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Old 02-17-2013, 12:09 AM   #1
Nerdy46
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My Ride: 328i
Steering Wheel Shaking... Driving Me Crazy

Car:
1999 328i

Symptom: Steering wheel shake at highway speed 55+

I have a steering wheel shake at high speeds that i cant seem to get rid of. It started when i put a new set of wheels on awhile ago. But that may just be coincidence.

Since i got the car cheap and it had high mileage i have replaced several things as just general maintenance.

Recently replaced:
Front Rotors and Pads
Inner/Outter Tie Rods
Swaybar endlinks
FCAB's
Struts (Koni street)
Springs (H&R)
Wheels (ASA AR1)
Alignment (twice, first time steering wheel was slightly off)
All wheels balanced
(One wheel took 5 oz to balance its been balanced 3 times.)


I had swapped out the front drivers wheel with a known good one and it seemed to reduce the problem, placebo maybe....

I had that rim and tire checked. Rebalanced twice, unmounted and re mounted... The rim spun true with no tire mounted.

Since i thought it was taking a lot of weight to balance the tire i decided to swap on known good tires from another set of wheels.... No help

Car does not seem to have any play in steering, last time i had it up i didn't notice play at 3 and 9 or 12 and 6.

Ive noticed my parking brake starting to act funny and there is an occasional pull to the drivers side.... so im starting to suspect a stuck rear caliper...

Ive pulled it slightly while driving and haven't noticed a difference in the wheel shake...

Ive driven at highway speed and coasted to a stop no rotor seems hot to the touch

The vibration does not seem load dependent but it does come and go from time to time So i think that rules out the DS flex disk.... However i do have a new one waiting to install with new rear diff bushings...

I usually consider my self pretty well versed in diagnostics but this one currently has me slightly stumped. Any ideas?

My plan of attack:
Swap out the front wheel again... Maybe the shop made a mistake when they said the rim was fine.... I didnt notice any bends but who knows.... If that fixes the issue have the removed wheel and tire roadforce balanced.

Jack the car up and give the wheels another spin to check the calipers.
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish

Last edited by Nerdy46; 02-17-2013 at 12:13 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:35 AM   #2
dslboomer
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Have you cleaned hubs before installing rotors and back side of rims where they contact the rotors?
3M Clean & Strip disc on a drill works wonder.
This is from own experience.
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:42 AM   #3
Alex323Ci
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it's most likely your new wheel/tire combo

very common especially with those that aren't hub centric
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Old 02-17-2013, 12:51 AM   #4
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dslboomer View Post
Have you cleaned hubs before installing rotors and back side of rims where they contact the rotors?
3M Clean & Strip disc on a drill works wonder.
This is from own experience.
yes. clean and anti seize
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:06 AM   #5
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
it's most likely your new wheel/tire combo

very common especially with those that aren't hub centric
My initial thought... bought rings, pulled a wheel and they would not fit with the rings in place... Im pretty sure the rings were for 72.5 to 74.XX but i could have picked up the wrong ones... I really need someone to cross reference the ASA part number to be 100% sure.
__________________
Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish

Last edited by Nerdy46; 02-17-2013 at 01:25 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:18 AM   #6
Alex323Ci
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nerdy46 View Post
My initial thought... bought rings, pulled a wheel and they would not fit with the rings in place... Im pretty sure the rings were for 74.1 to 75.XX but i could have picked up the wrong ones... I really need someone to cross reference the ASA part number to be 100% sure.
adapter rings aren't as good as machined to correct hub centric

also the point that it needed a lot of weights is never a good sign. In the past you would hear of the choice to static balance or dynamic balance. what it sounds like now is that the wheel/tire is balance best for low speeds but not high. a speed sensitive shake (at a certain speed) is very often caused by the imbalance of the wheel+tire

if you really want to check, put your old wheel/tire set on all fours and test
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:19 AM   #7
mitfa911
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I had this problem with mine and it was the front tires were cupping on the inner side. I took the car to a tire shop and had the tires inverted so the inside was now the outside. Problem solved.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:19 AM   #8
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
adapter rings aren't as good as machined to correct hub centric

also the point that it needed a lot of weights is never a good sign. In the past you would hear of the choice to static balance or dynamic balance. what it sounds like now is that the wheel/tire is balance best for low speeds but not high. a speed sensitive shake (at a certain speed) is very often caused by the imbalance of the wheel+tire

if you really want to check, put your old wheel/tire set on all fours and test
Was dynamic balanced on a hunter balance.
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:20 AM   #9
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mitfa911 View Post
I had this problem with mine and it was the front tires were cupping on the inner side. I took the car to a tire shop and had the tires inverted so the inside was now the outside. Problem solved.
Please read the entire post. Tires have been changed.
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:29 AM   #10
spdracr137
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I chased a steering wheel shake at 65+ for a long time. Mine started right after changing tires so I thought it was the tires. I got an alignment, had discount tire rotate and even put different set of tires on and did numerous road force balance and it wouldn't go away. Mine ended up being the passenger side control arms. The inner ball joint on the passenger side had some play so I replaced both control arms and steering wheel shake at 65+ has completely went away. Not saying this is your problem but just another thing to check.
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:31 AM   #11
Miami M3
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Steering coupler

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Bimmer App
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:34 AM   #12
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spdracr137 View Post
I chased a steering wheel shake at 65+ for a long time. Mine started right after changing tires so I thought it was the tires. I got an alignment, had discount tire rotate and even put different set of tires on and did numerous road force balance and it wouldn't go away. Mine ended up being the passenger side control arms. The inner ball joint on the passenger side had some play so I replaced both control arms and steering wheel shake at 65+ has completely went away. Not saying this is your problem but just another thing to check.
The ball joints looked ok when i did the FCAB's recently but ill take a second look.
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
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Old 02-17-2013, 01:35 AM   #13
Nerdy46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miami M3 View Post
Steering coupler

Sent from my SPH-L710 using Bimmer App
Can this be viewed from uptop?? or do i i need to wait till morning to go take a look?
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:34 AM   #14
Surrept
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I don't think it can be viewed from up top. It's pretty easy to access from below though. Drivers side wheel well.
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Old 02-17-2013, 03:37 AM   #15
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Could be rotors. Areyour new fronts bmw? The backs could also have excessive runout. Happened to me...
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Old 02-17-2013, 07:59 AM   #16
jfoj
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Likely tire balance and/or bent wheel(s).

There is a real false sense that all wheels can be balanced which is not really 100% true. You cannot make a wheel or tire that is not round, roll properly by balancing the wheel/tire combination. A balancer cannot make make something roll round again. It can only offset weight variations within the tire/wheel, but it cannot solve an out of round or a wheel runout issue.

Even if the wheel/tire combination is balanced on a Hunter Road Force balancer, I guarantee that many tire balancing techs miss bent wheels and do not flag them for the customer and explain to the customer there is a problem with a bent wheel.

I have wheels/tires balanced by a specific shop that even the shop owner will only schedule customers that want Road Force balancing by a specific tire tech at the shop. This tech even demonstrated for me how the Hunter Road Force balancer showed a tire/wheel combination as properly balanced with Road Force applied, however, the wheel was slightly bent and there was still vibration present. The tech learned this his trick to identify problem wheels by accident when working on a problem he was having a very hard time resolving on his personal car. You can actually feel the vibration within the Hunter Road Force machine, which he allowed my to experience, and the machine display indicated the wheel was properly balanced, which based upon the wheel balance it was was.

I have personally had many bent Style 66 and other wheels, had to get many wheels repaired, had at least 2 wheels crack on the inner rim causing tire leaks. The issue that people do not understand is how much force is transmitted from the tire into the actually wheel rim. The lower profile tires have a greater chance of bending wheels due to the stiffer and lower sidewalls. Also the lighter weight aluminum wheels are soft and can easily be bent.

What you can do to check for bent and out of round wheels is to jack up a front tire until the tread is just off the pavement and then spin the wheel on the car and watch closely between the tire tread and the pavement. I usually bring the tread only about 1/8" off the pavement, then spin the wheel and look for low spots between the pavement and tread. If the wheel is bent, you will easily see a low spot show up, I think I have seen low spots that were more than 1/4". Once you find the low spot you can then look at the inner rim bead area and you will likely find a deformation in the inner rim bead. You may also find a similar deformation in the outer rim bead area as well if the bend is bad. Most wheels bend first on the inner rim bead area.

You can also watch the tread pattern and see if is bends toward the inside of the wheel in areas. Tread pattern movement is another indicator of a bent wheel. Also watch closely the outer rim bead area on both sides of the wheel when you are spinning the wheel. Any bends will be pretty obvious.

The simplest and quickest way to test for bad rims/tires that either vibrate or are noisy is to swap a set of tires/wheels from a different car or move the rear tires to the front for a short test, even if you have a staggered set up as long as you have no tire rubbing on the strut tube or with the fenders or suspension parts. If you have any concern, just limit the overall turning of the front wheels while you test with the rear wheels up front.

OP stated that the problem appeared to start when a different set of wheels was installed. The first thing I would rule out would be a bent wheel. Bent wheels are FAR more common that most of use believe.
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Last edited by jfoj; 02-17-2013 at 08:05 AM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 08:21 AM   #17
BDUB328I
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After u have the shaking for a little pull over and touch ur front wheels if one of them is hott your caliper is seized on that side. That was my problem, similar symptoms ur having
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:14 AM   #18
Nerdy46
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Well, went in to super diagnostic mode today and tracked it down.. I had a pad dragging. The retainer clip was broken and causing half the pad to hang. I also installed a new caliper because I had purchased it thinking it was at fault... finally got the rotor to get hot to touch... ONLY ON THE INSIDE.... guess that's the benefit to drilled rotors.... the pads are only 2 months old so I should be covered. I'm going to replace the passenger side caliper and flush all brake fluid because it looks like its been cooked.

I guess it was just dragging enough to barely be felt with the HD Lcabs.... when I would swap wheels i must of bumped the rotor enough to reseat the pad..... that was a tough one.
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Daily: 1999 328i (202k)- Sport and winter package, 5speed, Jet Black, hellbeige, e60 Short throw, cross drilled rotors, koni, H&R, ASA AR1, Vibrant stealth, basslink
Track: 1995 Mustang GT (230k)- 306ci, 5 speed, MGW shifter, Trickflow Heads, Trickflow intake, street cam, shaved and tucked engine bay, slammed, 1 3/4'' long tubes, tuned with moates.
On the Water: 7' Boneyard Retro Quad Fish

Last edited by Nerdy46; 02-18-2013 at 12:17 AM.
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