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

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

    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.

    BMW 7er Website www.7er.com
    1989 BMW 735i Schwarz (sadly, sold) // 1989 BMW 750iL Cirrusblau Metallic // 1998 BMW 740iL Oxfordgrün Metallic // 2010 Volkswagen CC Candy White

  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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  3. #3
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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 01:49 AM.

  4. #4
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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.

    BMW 7er Website www.7er.com
    1989 BMW 735i Schwarz (sadly, sold) // 1989 BMW 750iL Cirrusblau Metallic // 1998 BMW 740iL Oxfordgrün Metallic // 2010 Volkswagen CC Candy White

  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)


    BMW 7er Website www.7er.com
    1989 BMW 735i Schwarz (sadly, sold) // 1989 BMW 750iL Cirrusblau Metallic // 1998 BMW 740iL Oxfordgrün Metallic // 2010 Volkswagen CC Candy White

  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.

    BMW 7er Website www.7er.com
    1989 BMW 735i Schwarz (sadly, sold) // 1989 BMW 750iL Cirrusblau Metallic // 1998 BMW 740iL Oxfordgrün Metallic // 2010 Volkswagen CC Candy White

  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?

    BMW 7er Website www.7er.com
    1989 BMW 735i Schwarz (sadly, sold) // 1989 BMW 750iL Cirrusblau Metallic // 1998 BMW 740iL Oxfordgrün Metallic // 2010 Volkswagen CC Candy White

  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.

  12. #12
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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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  15. #15
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    Check steering u-joint. Also the flex connection on the column within the cabin.

  16. #16
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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

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