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The Tire Rack's Tire & Wheel Forum
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Old 07-28-2013, 04:54 PM   #1
magicchef
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Front end wobble

I have a 2001 330 Ci. I switched to good quality 18-inch wheels, and after maybe a year the wheels-and steering wheel-started to wobble. After buying new tires-but inexpensive ones-replacing struts and lower control arms, it still wobbles! I've been told 18" wheels don't work on my car, although lots of E46ers are using 18s and 19s. I've also been told that only Michelins or other high-quality tires work well. Has anyone had this experience? Thanks
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:17 PM   #2
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Your fine with the 18" have them re balanced. Maybe a wheel weight fell off. How old are your Fcabs?
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Old 07-28-2013, 05:22 PM   #3
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Check the balance, maybe a weight fell off one? Wheel bearings? I assume the bushings were changed along with the control arms? It is also possible that there is a defect in a tire. Try rotating your tires around, see if the wobble seems to follow the wheel?
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Old 07-29-2013, 01:17 PM   #4
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I would recommend Road Force Balancing your tires, if they have not been Road Forced already, and checking your bushings.
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Old 07-29-2013, 04:25 PM   #5
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Front end wobble

I think I have the same prob! But I don't think the wheels have anything to do with the wobbling! I changed the struts like 3 mounts ago but I had sport suspension but installed the cheap non sport struts ! And now I think one of them is blown! Im guessing thats Causing the wobbling !


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Old 07-30-2013, 12:33 AM   #6
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Balanced the tires again. Mechanic said one was out of 'true' from right to left, not fixable. Other out of round a little, possibly fixable. I sold those tires and put on Michelin Pilots today. Tracking is 95% improved, but still a trace of wobbling at about 60 mph and above. (Had replaced control arm bushings also a few weeks ago.) Struts and lower control arms replaced. Is there anything else that can produce wobbling-even a little?
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Old 08-20-2013, 12:04 AM   #7
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Update on front end wobble: Slight wobble is still there at 60 mph and above. Had the front wheels switched to the rear, and rear to front today, and balanced. New Michelins stayed on the front. Still some wobble at 60+, though very little. At America's Tire Warehouse one employee said that some cars have "wheel bearing rings, made out of plastic", that keep the wheel tight when attached, "especially on BMWs." I have never heard of these. Anyone else? (Again: new struts, new control arms and bushings, new Michelin Pilots.) I appreciate any input.
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:20 AM   #8
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he said that cause you're likely riding on crap wheels. those "rings" aren't necessary but on wheels that aren't for your car. trash them immediately
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Old 08-20-2013, 11:24 AM   #9
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Front end wobble

I think that's a little harsh.. Plenty of people run hub centric rings with no problems.


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Old 08-20-2013, 12:39 PM   #10
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+1

Nothing wrong with hubrings. If a manufacturer is able to offer various sizes for one bolt pattern across many platforms, hubrings make more sense. For instance, our wheels are hubcentric to BMW, but not for the Pontiac G8 and GTO, Acura TL, etc. We still have customers in those cars, and all they need are some hubrings to keep things centered.

From my experience, it's much more common with Japanese cars though, as a lot of manufacturers share the 5x114.3 bolt pattern.
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Old 08-20-2013, 01:34 PM   #11
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I should have said I would appreciate most input. Thanks, I'll look into hub rings.
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Old 08-20-2013, 05:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TnT817 View Post
I think that's a little harsh.. Plenty of people run hub centric rings with no problems.


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+1

Nothing wrong with hubrings. If a manufacturer is able to offer various sizes for one bolt pattern across many platforms, hubrings make more sense. For instance, our wheels are hubcentric to BMW, but not for the Pontiac G8 and GTO, Acura TL, etc. We still have customers in those cars, and all they need are some hubrings to keep things centered.

From my experience, it's much more common with Japanese cars though, as a lot of manufacturers share the 5x114.3 bolt pattern.
Nobody said there's anything wrong with hub rings.

Hub rings are required on aftermarket wheels or wheels that aren't made for the car.

OP has vibrations and can't get rid of them.

Many aftermarket wheels are junk.

OP did not say what specific model of wheels he has, nor did he say if they were damaged/used/etc.
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Old 08-20-2013, 06:34 PM   #13
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Well, it sounded like you were sort of implying that any wheel that is not hubcentric is junk, not meant for the car, and should be tossed. If I misinterpreted what you were saying, I apologize.
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Old 08-20-2013, 08:08 PM   #14
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Not at all referring to what you said, Kevin, if your last comment was to me. It's a learning process, too. Btw, are hub rings specific to the car, or to the brand of wheels? Thanks.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:10 AM   #15
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Well, it sounded like you were sort of implying that any wheel that is not hubcentric is junk, not meant for the car, and should be tossed. If I misinterpreted what you were saying, I apologize.
I was implying that any shop that installed a wheel without hub rings that REQUIRED hub rings is probably selling junk wheels. Any quality wheel will be installed by a quality installer/retailer and any quality installer would know to install hub rings on a wheel that requires them. Even if the wheels aren't junk, obviously a de-centered wheel would cause nasty vibrations. I don't know the OP or his situation but generally I don't put it past people to install junk wheels on their car then complain of vibration problems later. This is over the internet where I can't see the OP's car or the quality of installation. Would help to have more info.

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Not at all referring to what you said, Kevin, if your last comment was to me. It's a learning process, too. Btw, are hub rings specific to the car, or to the brand of wheels? Thanks.
Hub rings center the wheel. You need whatever size required to center your wheel on the hub. BMW wheels or wheels fitted for your particular application don't need hub rings because the wheel naturally centers itself.
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Last edited by Mango; 08-22-2013 at 12:11 AM.
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Old 08-22-2013, 12:31 AM   #16
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Thanks, Mango, I'm on it!
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Old 08-31-2013, 11:55 AM   #17
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The hub rings did the trick! The wheels run solid and smooth. Hooray! Thanks for everyone's input.
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