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Thread: 75+mph shimmy with new suspension...-solved

  1. #1
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    75+mph shimmy with new suspension...-solved

    Unable to get rid of a shimmy that turns into a serious shake at 115+

    - Complete new front end by MEYLE except struts
    - New Dogbones in rear
    - Roadforce balance by BMW
    - New tires (Cheaper tires though, lower brand which is made by FALKEN)
    - New aftermarket brakes (Ive used these same brakes in my VW CC without issues)
    - Old new stock driveshaft and center bearing installed
    - 32mm Steering nut tightened up
    - New transmission mounts

    I had my mechanic install the suspension components, he has since inspected it twice and found nothing, checked every nut, nothing. Had BMW road force the tires and even indexed one of them. All 4 fell within spec. Had the BMW tech inspect the suspension as well and he found nothing wrong. The road force did help quite a lot, but still not where it should be. Steering is very tight and responsive. Struts do seem a slight bit soft but I think they are still in great shape. Strut mounts/bearings look to be ok, hard to tell.

    This shake usually starts very slightly at 60mph, goes away and comes back in at 75+. At 115mph and up it just gets worse and worse to the point where I was afraid to hold it at that speed. What could it be? I cant think of anything else.

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  2. #2
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    Some years ago we fixed ab E32 Alpina B12, the problem was a lose ball joint in the center steering tie rod.
    The pre-loaded side goes to the idler arm side http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Mainte...ering_link.htm


    Read this thread: Should the center link have any play at all? http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ny-play-at-all
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    Do you feel at what part of the car the shimmy occur? If it's front end related you'd feel it on the steering wheel. When you installed a new center support bearing on the driveshaft did you mark the two halves of the shaft? An unbalanced driveshaft can also be a source of vibrations at certain speeds.
    Last edited by cirrusblau; 01-10-2018 at 12:49 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun View Post
    Some years ago we fixed ab E32 Alpina B12, the problem was a lose ball joint in the center steering tie rod.
    The pre-loaded side goes to the idler arm side http://www.bmwe34.net/E34main/Mainte...ering_link.htm


    Read this thread: Should the center link have any play at all? http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/sh...ny-play-at-all
    Everything down there is very tight and there is no play in anything. I had it up on the lift with my mechanic and I pulling and pushing and using a crowbar to see any movement or play, nothing.

    Quote Originally Posted by cirrusblau View Post
    Do you feel at what part of the car the shimmy occur? If it's front end related you'd feel it on the steering wheel. When you installed a new center support bearing on the driveshaft did you mark the two halves of the shaft? An unbalanced driveshaft can also be a source of vibrations at certain speeds.
    I feel it in the steering wheel and slightly on the floor/seat at first, but after 110 the vibration starts to affect the entire car. At around 65 I can see the wheel starting to very slightly shake left/right and gets worse at 75+. That is only if I let it go and observe it. When I grab on to it, you cannot really feel it below 75. The CSB is actually from the new old stock driveshaft, was never separated but the markings were aligned.

    If I had a brake hub that was not properly seated due to a piece of rust or bad brake hub machining, would this likely cause a vibration only at higher speed or at all speeds? I imagine that this would cause a shimmy regardless of speed, just at lower frequency but noticeable.

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  5. #5
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    So I took the dust caps off the strut towers and found the passengers side strut bearing/bushing moved much more than the drivers side when the car was pushed side to side. Up and down shoes this but not as apparent. Here is some video of both. Is the passengers side too much play? I have nothing to compare this with except the drivers side which seems stiffer.

    Drivers side (Better)




    Passengers Side (Worse)


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  6. #6
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    I don't think that should have any play at all.

  7. #7
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    Looking to loosen both upper and lower cost tell arm bushings today and retighten while under load just incase it was installed while the suspension was dropped on the lift. My question is, does anyone have a solution on how to hold that nut on the upper control arm to remove the bolt? It is a very tight fit and I don't remember how I did it in the past with my old E32. Johan and Sean's site says to shave down a wrench. I'd hate to do that and was looking for an alternative.

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  8. #8
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    Use the cheapest open wrench and shave it down, I have made one which we always use for that in our wrenching group, Gale = TheStigg has a pic here http://www.nmia.com/~dgnrg/page_26.htm
    he says : If you grind down a 7/8" or 22 mm wrench, it will fit without having to lower the crossmember
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  9. #9
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    Guess im going to have to. Was busy today replacing the receiver dryer, pressure switch and also replaced the windshield wiper grommets. No more noisy wipers!
    Anyway I will try to do this over the weekend and report back, I am hoping that IF the control are bushings were tightened while on the lift, I hope they are not damaged.

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  10. #10
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    I loosened, weighted the car and retightened all 4 control arms. They didnt move at all when I loosened them so it seems they were in the right position. The UCA green plastic was pointed in the right orientation as well. I moved the car up and down with them loosened and tightened them back up.
    Drove to work, same deal. Not sure what else to check. Regarding the tires, if a road force balance was performed on them and they passed within spec, that rules out bad or cheap tires right?

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  11. #11
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    Are your tires the same size front and rear? If so, try swapping them and see if the shimmy feel moves.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m735is View Post
    Are your tires the same size front and rear? If so, try swapping them and see if the shimmy feel moves.
    ^this is the first thing I do when troubleshooting weird shimmies. I have had so many bent wheels or broken tire belts that weren’t obviously visible but became apparent after rotation.

    also check tire pressure, it’s probably not the culprit but it’s a way to quickly narrow down the list.

  13. #13
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    Tried rotating them as well no change. Upped the tire pressure a bit, helped with handling but no change.

    Today I drove it up to 80mph and the vibration was very very slight, big change from yesterday. That rules out tires and wheels. I'm starting to think a bad U-Joint on the driveshaft.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by SergeBMW View Post
    I'm starting to think a bad U-Joint on the driveshaft.
    Just yesterday someone on the German Motor Talk forum fixed such a vibration by replacing the driveshaft against a used one on his E36. Similar symptoms he had and he also changed a lot of other parts on the steering, new center bearing for the driveshaft etc.
    Here the German text
    Feedback: da das Geraeusch nicht weg ging hab ich mir eine gebrauchte 318ti Kardanwelle besorgt und eingebaut, vorher haben wir das Auto auf eine Bühne gehoben und in der Luft fahren lassen. Da hat man ein Klappern beim Kreuzgelenk (was am differential ist) gehoert. Habe dann, wo beide Wellen ausgebaut waren, alle Lager begutachtet und geprueft. Da merkte man das Kreuzgelenk hinten hatte mehr spiel an der alten Welle als an der neuen. eingebaut, also die neue Welle, dann das selbe in der Luft gemacht. Geräusch weg und läuft perfekt gerade. Danach Probefahrt. Alles top. es wird immer von der Hardyscheibe und vom Mittellager geredet, aber prueft mal das Kreuzgelenk beim Differential. Meist findet man dazu nur Themen beim E46 und beim E39. Aber anscheinend bei uns E36 Fahrer gibt es das auch. Muss dazu sagen, die alte Welle hatte nun gut 350.000km runter.

    translation:
    Feedback: Since the noise did not go away, I got a used 318ti driveshaft and installed it, before we lifted the car on a lift and let run int he air/lifted. Then we could hear the noise at the universal joint (which is at the differential). Then, when both driveshafts were removed, I checked all the bearings. Then one could see the rear universal joint had more play on the old shaft than on the new one. Installed the new used driveshaft and then we made the same test with the car on the lift, let it run thru the gears and speeds. Noise gone and runs perfectly straight. After that I made a test drive. Everything perfect.People always talk about the Hardyscheibe (giubo) and the center bearing, but check out the universal joint at the differential. Mostly you will find only topics on the E46 and the E39. But apparently with us E36 drivers, there are also problems. I have to say, the old driveshaft was used now about 350.000 km.
    ----------------------
    I do not know if you have the possibility to get the car on a solid lift and make a similar test.
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    Check steering u-joint. Also the flex connection on the column within the cabin.

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    Do you have standard rims on the car?, are they the same rims as before the new front end? is the reason you did the whole new front end, because if the same issue? and if so was it the same or worse after?
    Seeing that you have had problems with rust behind discs/hubs before, have you rechecked that all hub surfaces are clean?
    Have you checked steering column for play between the wheel and steering box?
    I haven't heard of a road force balance before, is it like an 'on car balance'?( maybe you could explain it to me) but maybe go to a tyre place and get them to do an individual balance on each tyre. Depending on the rims, the placement of the weights may be satisfactory for low speeds, but cause vibration at high speeds, (eg stick on weights on the inside of the rims instead of the outer edge), just some thoughts and questions

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by shogun View Post
    Just yesterday someone on the German Motor Talk forum fixed such a vibration by replacing the driveshaft against a used one on his E36. Similar symptoms he had and he also changed a lot of other parts on the steering, new center bearing for the driveshaft etc.
    Here the German text
    Feedback: da das Geraeusch nicht weg ging hab ich mir eine gebrauchte 318ti Kardanwelle besorgt und eingebaut, vorher haben wir das Auto auf eine Bühne gehoben und in der Luft fahren lassen. Da hat man ein Klappern beim Kreuzgelenk (was am differential ist) gehoert. Habe dann, wo beide Wellen ausgebaut waren, alle Lager begutachtet und geprueft. Da merkte man das Kreuzgelenk hinten hatte mehr spiel an der alten Welle als an der neuen. eingebaut, also die neue Welle, dann das selbe in der Luft gemacht. Geräusch weg und läuft perfekt gerade. Danach Probefahrt. Alles top. es wird immer von der Hardyscheibe und vom Mittellager geredet, aber prueft mal das Kreuzgelenk beim Differential. Meist findet man dazu nur Themen beim E46 und beim E39. Aber anscheinend bei uns E36 Fahrer gibt es das auch. Muss dazu sagen, die alte Welle hatte nun gut 350.000km runter.

    translation:
    Feedback: Since the noise did not go away, I got a used 318ti driveshaft and installed it, before we lifted the car on a lift and let run int he air/lifted. Then we could hear the noise at the universal joint (which is at the differential). Then, when both driveshafts were removed, I checked all the bearings. Then one could see the rear universal joint had more play on the old shaft than on the new one. Installed the new used driveshaft and then we made the same test with the car on the lift, let it run thru the gears and speeds. Noise gone and runs perfectly straight. After that I made a test drive. Everything perfect.People always talk about the Hardyscheibe (giubo) and the center bearing, but check out the universal joint at the differential. Mostly you will find only topics on the E46 and the E39. But apparently with us E36 drivers, there are also problems. I have to say, the old driveshaft was used now about 350.000 km.
    ----------------------
    I do not know if you have the possibility to get the car on a solid lift and make a similar test.

    Mine has the CV joint at the rear, not a U-joint but I guess they could both go bad. I wanted to do this same test by placing the rear wheels up in the air. Is this ok to do with an LSD diff?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustam View Post
    Check steering u-joint. Also the flex connection on the column within the cabin.
    Checked these as well, they are tight without any real play

    Quote Originally Posted by PJs e32 View Post
    Do you have standard rims on the car?, are they the same rims as before the new front end? is the reason you did the whole new front end, because if the same issue? and if so was it the same or worse after?
    Seeing that you have had problems with rust behind discs/hubs before, have you rechecked that all hub surfaces are clean?
    Have you checked steering column for play between the wheel and steering box?
    I haven't heard of a road force balance before, is it like an 'on car balance'?( maybe you could explain it to me) but maybe go to a tyre place and get them to do an individual balance on each tyre. Depending on the rims, the placement of the weights may be satisfactory for low speeds, but cause vibration at high speeds, (eg stick on weights on the inside of the rims instead of the outer edge), just some thoughts and questions
    The car has the standard Style 3 rims that came with the car from factory, reason for complete new front end was because the car had sat for 7 or so years in total and was just part of making it roadworthy again. No play in steering column after tightening the 32mm nut.
    Road force balancers allow wheels to be balanced with 1200lbs of force applied to it to really find any issues with the tire, rim, and balnce itself. I had this done at the BMW dealer, this is the best way to balance a tire. Mine was found to be out of spec by the tire shops balancer and one tire had to be re indexed on the rim, meaning the high point of the tire was rotated to the low spot of the rim.


    Today on my way to work, I have been hearing a loud knock on the floor of the car when going over bumps and especially when weight is decreased on the front end such as when going through a divet in the road. This is a louder, more pronounced and easier to feel knock than the one I had a few weeks back (Another thread). I checked the upper control arm bushings by gently using a pry bar. The bushing end moves quite a lot with very slight force on it with the pry bar. Seems almost too soft, is this normal or might I have defective parts? Its not slop but just plenty of movement on both. Suspension only has 1500 miles or so on it.
    Last edited by SergeBMW; 01-18-2018 at 11:10 PM.

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  18. #18
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    "Mine has the CV joint at the rear, not a U-joint but I guess they could both go bad. I wanted to do this same test by placing the rear wheels up in the air. Is this ok to do with an LSD diff?"
    no problem, but be very, very careful, I do not know how solid your lift is. If you just want to lift the rear wheels, jack it up, put it on jacks and something solid underneath in addition just in case the car slips. Very dangerous

    "Today on my way to work, I have been hearing a loud knock on the floor of the car when going over bumps and especially when weight is decreased on the front end such as when going through a divet in the road. This is a louder, more pronounced and easier to feel knock than the one I had a few weeks back (Another thread). I checked the upper control arm bushings by gently using a pry bar. The bushing end moves quite a lot with very slight force on it with the pry bar. Seems almost too soft, is this normal or might I have defective parts? Its not slop but just plenty of movement on both. Suspension only has 1500 miles or so on it."

    Check once more the tightening torques of all parts on the steering/front axle http://www.e32-schrauber.de/bmw/s-vorderachse.htm Thrust arm 127 Nm
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  19. #19
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    I eventually found the source of the knocking. A loose sway bar link on the driver's side. Luckily no more noise.

    I have since replaced the shocks with the Bilsteins B6 HD shocks and also upgraded the shock mounts to the KMAC camber/castor mounts from bavauto. All went well, car feels great but still vibrating. Feels tighter but you can feel the whole car shaking. At this point, the entire front end is brand new... The rear has new dog bones and new pressure accumulators. I still have not put the rear up and put the car in drive to check the driveshaft for shake, too afraid to do this at home.
    Today I drove to work and again, it was nearly silky smooth with a very subtle vibration, but the car felt amazing as I am not used to this smoothness. When I slowed down up to a junction down to 30mph, sped back up to 75mph, the vibration was back all of a a sudden out of nowhere. Just as bad as any other day.

    Brakes are new as well and when I apply brakes, it is smooth, no vibration from the brakes. I'll be heading to my indy in about an hour to see what he can find, he is also stumped, we've both been looking for a solution.

    I will say again, there is this creaking sound coming from under the floor pans near the end of them, happens far more often now and is very noticeable when braking or turning and braking as well as braking while driving in reverse. Making me think this is one of the control or thrust arms.... They are Lal new Meyle.

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  20. #20
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    Could it be the driveshaft center bearing? Maybe a long shot but I would think it's worth a look.

    http://bmwe32.masscom.net/sean750/dr...terbearing.htm

  21. #21
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    Driveshaft and center bearing replaced already as well.

    Took the car to my indy today, he drove it and him and his buddy said it had to be the tires if anything. I am running OHTSU (Falken brand) tires because at the time, the only other choice was tire priced at $175 each... so I went with these after all the good ratings. He says they feel too rough even at slow speeds and he also noticed scalloping on the tire. They are brand new, might have to go back to the alignment shop again. It is a shame if it is the tires because they are new and I'd hate to throw another $600 on tires. Michellins arent even made for this standard size anymore. I am looking for a used set of wheels/tires online to at least help the blow of the cost, I would like to try before settling on a new set of tires.

    For now I may get my E38's transmission replaced and back on the road while I keep looking into solutions for this. Im going to put it on ramps and check the suspension components again for any play with a pry bar. Buying new tires will be my last choice.

    I tried showing the creaking noise to him but he swore it was the brake stretching, but it is a different sound to that and I guess my hearings too good lol.

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  22. #22
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    can you swap wheels with your E38 for testing purposes?
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  23. #23
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    Hmm maybe I can but I'd need a set of spacers. Not sure if I need hubcentric rings though. Have to check.
    Tires are fatter and thicker on the E38

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  24. #24
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    You don't need hubcentric rings to go from E38 to E32. Only the E39 wheels have the oddball center bore. Are you sure about the spacers? What wheels are on your E38? For a while, I was running a set of staggered 18" Mpars from an E38 on my E32 750iL with no spacers, no rings, and no problems.
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  25. #25
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    It's the 235 60 16, standard fat smooth ride tire size. Ive heard you need at least a spacer for that size tire on those standard basket weave rims.
    Today in the morning I'll be going to pick up a set of E60 wheels with Michelin tires. $240 I'm paying and after I test it out, I'll be selling them.

    Today while driving through the city, car was pulling to the right really hard as if it had a bad alignment, the steering wheel was pointed quite a bit into the opposite direction just to maintain a straight line, regardless of road or which lane. Sat at a taco bell with the girlfriend eating, did a tight u turn and left. This time the car drove perfectly straight, even in the far right lane, steering wheel remained straight and the car never pulled to the right. Driving in the far left lane, I almost felt the car moving slightly more to the left. Wtf...

    This car is driving me absolutely insane at this point. Everything up front is new except motor mounts which I just ordered. New everything and it still drives like an old POS 80s econobox. It creaks like an old F150 from the 90s and just drives bad. It drove like a new car for a week, and after that, it all started falling apart. There is no sign of the car ever being in an accident. If the tires don't make a difference, then I have no idea what I'll do next. I've spebt over 4k so far on this car...


    Symptoms again
    Pulls hard to the right (sometimes, not always)
    65+ shimmy (sometimes it's barely noticeable, sometimes it shakes the whole car)
    Sometimes thing up front Creaks like an old F150 pickup.

    What's been replaced
    Brake pads and rotors
    Struts
    Strut mounts
    Spring pads
    Entire suspension and steering assembly minus steering box

    Tightened 32mm steering column nut
    Tightened subframe
    Checked all suspension components and can't find source of creaking noise.

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    Last Post: 10-16-2007, 02:13 PM
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