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Thread: Braking causing wheel shimmy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
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    Turbo 97 E36 M3

    Braking causing wheel shimmy

    I'm going nuts over this.....so, I think my tires need to be replaced too because I can't seem to get rid of my steering wheel shimmy that I feel from 60-70....the shimmy gets worse when braking, and I have STOPTECH front BBK 332x32 ST40 up front.

    Bought new Rotors (the old ones were out of tolerance)
    Installed old pads (because they were almost new)
    Re-bed using STOPTECH's recommended process....no change
    Steering wheel shimmy still present

    Remove old pads, installed new Street performance pads.
    Re-bed using same process....shimmy is worse! Especially at slower speeds. i've done the break in procedure at least 3 x times now.

    I'm at my wits end. Like I said, I think the tires are a contributing factor, but why would the new pads make the issue worse, especially at slower speeds?

    My front end suspension is all new:
    -struts refurbished by Ground Control
    -Lemford tie rods, both inner/outer
    -Lemford control arms with new bushings
    -New poly sway bar bushings
    -New Meyle HD sway bar end links
    -Wheel bearings have about 20k miles on them, make no noises

    I've had this BBK since 2007....wondering if they need a rebuild? Something I noticed. Spin passenger wheel, and the wheel can rotate 3 times before stopping using one hand on a spoke. Use the same method on driver's side and I can get slightly more than 2 rotations....sticky caliper?
    1997 Arctic Silver M3
    CES Stage IV (651rwhp/615rwtq @ 24 psi)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Charleston, SC
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    95 E36 M3, 03 E39 540i6
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWManiac View Post
    I'm going nuts over this.....so, I think my tires need to be replaced too because I can't seem to get rid of my steering wheel shimmy that I feel from 60-70....the shimmy gets worse when braking, and I have STOPTECH front BBK 332x32 ST40 up front.

    Bought new Rotors (the old ones were out of tolerance)
    Installed old pads (because they were almost new)
    Re-bed using STOPTECH's recommended process....no change
    Steering wheel shimmy still present

    Remove old pads, installed new Street performance pads.
    Re-bed using same process....shimmy is worse! Especially at slower speeds. i've done the break in procedure at least 3 x times now.

    I'm at my wits end. Like I said, I think the tires are a contributing factor, but why would the new pads make the issue worse, especially at slower speeds?

    My front end suspension is all new:
    -struts refurbished by Ground Control
    -Lemford tie rods, both inner/outer
    -Lemford control arms with new bushings
    -New poly sway bar bushings
    -New Meyle HD sway bar end links
    -Wheel bearings have about 20k miles on them, make no noises

    I've had this BBK since 2007....wondering if they need a rebuild? Something I noticed. Spin passenger wheel, and the wheel can rotate 3 times before stopping using one hand on a spoke. Use the same method on driver's side and I can get slightly more than 2 rotations....sticky caliper?
    Sounds like a wheel balance or bent rim issue, as you have shimmy without braking. Have you tried swapping the front and rear wheels?


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    1995 BMW M3
    2003 BMW 540i6 Alpine White M sport

  3. #3
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by bostonaudi View Post
    Sounds like a wheel balance or bent rim issue, as you have shimmy without braking. Have you tried swapping the front and rear wheels?


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    I'm going to give that a try....my only concern is I am not running a square setup. Fronts are 225/40 and the rears are 255/35. The rears have a slight tuck, but I guess I should give it a try. I've had the wheels balanced a couple times, by different shops with no luck.
    1997 Arctic Silver M3
    CES Stage IV (651rwhp/615rwtq @ 24 psi)

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
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    Infiniti FX37, E36 M3a/4
    Quote Originally Posted by BMWManiac View Post
    Fronts are 225/40 and the rears are 255/35. I've had the wheels balanced a couple times, by different shops with no luck.
    Are these stock 17" wheels?

    Are they using road force when balancing to make sure the tires are true?
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  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Turbo 97 E36 M3
    No, these are 18 X 8.5" ACS III wheels I've had forever...I've asked for the Hunter Road Force balancing and I hope that is what they used.
    1997 Arctic Silver M3
    CES Stage IV (651rwhp/615rwtq @ 24 psi)

  6. #6
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    Mar 2008
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    West Covina, CA
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    97 M3/4/5, 98 M3/2/5
    Borrow another set of wheels and tires and try it out to rule out your current wheels. I've seen a bunch of cracked and bent type 3s form my experience of working at a BMW shop. The Hunter Road Force balancer GSP9700 can also tell if the wheel has a lot of run out(bent) if the shop knows how to use the feature with the small arm that rolls on the inner barrel. https://www.hunter.com/gsp9700 is where you can locate a shop with one.

    I would rebuild the calipers to rule out binding or sticky pistons. Are the abutment plates where the pads sit and slide on clean? https://www.zeckhausen.com/catalog/i..._217_7226_7266 is where you can find replacement parts but you may be able to get them cheaper elsewhere.

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by tofunin View Post
    Borrow another set of wheels and tires and try it out to rule out your current wheels. I've seen a bunch of cracked and bent type 3s form my experience of working at a BMW shop. The Hunter Road Force balancer GSP9700 can also tell if the wheel has a lot of run out(bent) if the shop knows how to use the feature with the small arm that rolls on the inner barrel. https://www.hunter.com/gsp9700 is where you can locate a shop with one.

    I would rebuild the calipers to rule out binding or sticky pistons. Are the abutment plates where the pads sit and slide on clean? https://www.zeckhausen.com/catalog/i..._217_7226_7266 is where you can find replacement parts but you may be able to get them cheaper elsewhere.
    So I was getting tired of the ACS III wheels (been 13 years) so I bought another set of wheels and new tires....they are on the way. I used that Hunter site and the closest was a Chevy dealer that I last had my wheels balanced. They didn't say anything was out of the ordinary.

    I've also been on the Zechausen site a bunch. If the new wheels/tires don't do anything, I also have a stock pair of M3 brakes to throw on and test while I rebuild the calipers.
    1997 Arctic Silver M3
    CES Stage IV (651rwhp/615rwtq @ 24 psi)

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2018
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    Indio, Ca
    Posts
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    1999 BMW M3 Convertible
    Thanks for this post. I have the same annoying 60mph shimmy. About to install new pagid rotors and meyle/ lemforder suspension parts hoping to solve the problem

    Sounds like it may not be the total answer. I'll be staying tuned!

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