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Old 03-29-2013, 03:27 PM   #1
alexapps1
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Question Replaced nearly everything,

I must have read 100 threads on this already but have not as managed to find the solution to my problem.

I have the classic steering feels light, car tramlines, handling doesn't feel even close to 'on rails' as someone previously described theirs after it was fixed. To add to all of this I've just noticed a fair amount of steering wheel wobble under braking (and possibly under deceleration).

In my pursuit of BMW handling I have so far changed the following parts.

- control arms (that inner ball joint nut is horrible)
- tie rod ends
- front control arm bushes (fcabs)
- rear trailing arm bushes (rtabs)
- front drop links
- lower steering flexible joint
- all four shocks and springs
- two new rear tyres
- two new front tyres

All followed by a hunter alignment.

So a fair amount of money spent and it does seem to have helped but the issue certainly isn't resolved. I've had a mechanic look at this so you'd hope anything obvious would be found.

I've tried the wiggling the wheel at 3 and 9 and there doesn't appear to be much movement.

When the car is off I've tried wobbling the steering wheel and there is some play but I don't know how much is normal. I've done this looking out of the window and it did seem to translate into wheel movements.

As far as I can see it can only be, either, upper universal joint, or steering rack. I must have replaced everything else!

My question is this, how can I tell which of these it is most likely to be? Both of these things are expensive to replace. 150 for top uj / 220 for recon steering rack. Also, is there anything I may have missed that could be causing this?
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:38 PM   #2
alexapps1
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Quick extra question, how do I change the thread title??
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:54 PM   #3
Dave1027
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Scan and post the alignment sheet.

Wobble while braking sounds like warped brake rotor(s).
Steering wheel play is almost always the Guibo. Best way to tell (how I confirmed it on mine) is to remove the guibo for inspection. I hammered mine tight for free. It could be the rack or tie rods (inner or outer).

If I were you I'd confirm what is bad before ordering anything. Drop the rack and inspect everything closely. It's only a few bolts to drop the rack.

Last edited by Dave1027; 03-29-2013 at 03:56 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
alexapps1
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I will post the alignment sheet when I am home.

The guibo has been replaced under lower flexible steering joint in my above list. Tie rod ends have also been replaced.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:09 PM   #5
Dave1027
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Try this. Jack up the car, all four and put on jackstands. Grab each wheel at 3 and 9 o'clock and try to wobble it. Have somebody hold the steering wheel while you do the fronts. Any play in any wheel front or rear?

Edit to add: I reread your original post and you say you did this already. Did you do the rear wheels too?

Last edited by Dave1027; 03-29-2013 at 04:42 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 04:38 PM   #6
LeMansteve
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Have you replaced the two front upper strut mounts?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:14 PM   #7
jcns
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this is quite the puzzle.
so here is at shot at it
What kind of tires are you running?
Tire pressures?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:26 PM   #8
alexapps1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
Did you do the rear wheels too?
I didn't. I didn't realise there could be play here. Would that be bearings?
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:27 PM   #9
alexapps1
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Originally Posted by LeMansteve View Post
Have you replaced the two front upper strut mounts?
I did the rear two but not the front.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:31 PM   #10
alexapps1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcns View Post
this is quite the puzzle.
so here is at shot at it
What kind of tires are you running?
Tire pressures?
Tire pressures are as recommended on the door thing. I do think it is more than tire pressures but I'm willing to try anything!

Tyres are four Nokian Z G2. Back: 255/35R18 front 225/40R18. I have snow tyres too and I'm pretty sure this persisted when I had them on. Starting to doubt everything now!
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:42 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by alexapps1 View Post
I didn't. I didn't realise there could be play here. Would that be bearings?


Maybe, more likely bushings.
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Old 03-29-2013, 05:44 PM   #12
alexapps1
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I've replaced the rear trailing arm bushes. Are there other bushes here that may have gone?
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:13 PM   #13
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I don't know if this is what you have problems with or not, or if you have already replaced this part - but

I had a little play in my steering wheel a few years back and this is what another forum member told me.
I had this part replaced and the steering is as tight as a new BMW.

Check out my old thread below:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...269&highlight=

Steering wobble while braking or deceleration is usually warped or worn out front rotors. It can also be due to feathering of the front tires.

Good Luck
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Last edited by BB BMW; 03-29-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:26 PM   #14
alexapps1
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I have come across your thread before. Mine is part four in the diagram as it is RHD. But yes, I have replaced this part. I had such high hopes, I really thought that would fix it.

I'm really starting to think it is the rack as that is where everyone seems to finally end up after exhausting all other options.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:30 PM   #15
alexapps1
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Front rotors and pads are pretty new due to a sticky caliper previously. I replaced both front calipers with reconditioned ones at the point I replaced the discs and pads. I really hope it isn't a sticky caliper again.
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Old 03-29-2013, 06:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alexapps1 View Post
Tire pressures are as recommended on the door thing. I do think it is more than tire pressures but I'm willing to try anything!

Tyres are four Nokian Z G2. Back: 255/35R18 front 225/40R18. I have snow tyres too and I'm pretty sure this persisted when I had them on. Starting to doubt everything now!
did this problem start after you got the 18'' wheels?
What kind of wheels?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:08 PM   #17
alexapps1
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They are the MV1 wheels. I've always had these. I used to be able to sit at over 100mph with no problems, now it feels dangerous at 70.

Things have improved with the parts I've replaced but its not quite there yet. Does anyone know how I can differentiate between play in the upper universal joint, and play in the steering rack?
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Old 03-29-2013, 07:08 PM   #18
Jersey Swags
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Inner tie rods
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Old 03-30-2013, 07:23 AM   #19
alexapps1
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I've replaced all the above parts. Was this the inner tie rod and outer tie rod?

Last edited by alexapps1; 03-30-2013 at 07:26 AM.
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Old 03-30-2013, 10:42 AM   #20
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Don't forget, the wider and lower profile the tires are, the more it will tramline. Not really a fault, just the nature of the beast. Good article about the subject on TireRack.com. You've got a lot of money and time invested into this. You may be at this point, just chasing a ghost.

http://www.tirerack.com/tires/tirete....jsp?techid=47
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