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GameboyRMH
GameboyRMH SuperDork
7/20/09 12:44 p.m.

Weird problem, I thought it could be a wheel bearing at first but then the frequency should change with speed...I've had worn sway bar links though, and the only symptom is an unbelievably horrendous clunk when turning or driving over uneven surfaces.

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/20/09 12:48 p.m.
GameboyRMH wrote: Weird problem, I thought it could be a wheel bearing at first but then the frequency should change with speed...I've had worn sway bar links though, and the only symptom is an unbelievably horrendous clunk when turning or driving over uneven surfaces.

I do get a clunk, and it seems to be from the driver's side more often, but I "thought" I heard it from the passenger side too and attributed it to the Vorshlag camber plates and possibly bad shocks.

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/20/09 8:44 p.m.

New control arm bushings (lollipops) are being overnighted to me.

On my way home from work it hit up a nice, quiet parking lot and did some quick right hand turns with the car in neutral. Vibration is there. No noise other than a little, low frequency noise from the tire. That's it.

Shortly after that, I took a look at the front end and re-torqued the front wheels. When I torqued the driver's front, I noticed the tire would toe out and lean back more than it probably should. To tell the truth, I noticed this before, and thought of the control arm bushings, but ignored it because of the more recent replacement and chalked it up to bad memory.

Anyway, I got on the ground and had someone else torque the wheel bolts while I watched the bushings. The center of the bushings moved very easy and quite a bit more than I expected. I'm not sure how much is too much, but it just didn't look right.

vazbmw
vazbmw New Reader
7/20/09 8:47 p.m.

I thought you said you had new control arms? That would have been my first guess if it was not under that impression Just did mine a month ago.

On the E34 the bushing come in the arms

So I am not familiar with the 3 series, but if it has control arms and thrust arms, change all the bushings

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/20/09 8:53 p.m.

Newer control arms and bushings. Last 20K miles. On the 3-series, the ball joints are installed on the control arms, but the bushings are separate.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
7/20/09 9:30 p.m.

beware that the inner balljoint (at the middle of the L) is a major PITA to tighten to spec...

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/20/09 9:50 p.m.
mad_machine wrote: beware that the inner balljoint (at the middle of the L) is a major PITA to tighten to spec...

It was my understanding that I didn't have to drop the control arm to install the bushings.

mad_machine
mad_machine SuperDork
7/20/09 9:53 p.m.

oh.. just the bushings.., no you might need to lever against them some to overcome any torque from the drooping suspension.

vazbmw
vazbmw Reader
7/21/09 12:29 a.m.

I see

Gimp wrote: Newer control arms and bushings. Last 20K miles. On the 3-series, the ball joints are installed on the control arms, but the bushings are separate.
Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/22/09 10:02 p.m.

Just an update.

Yesterday I realigned the car. Feels better, but problem still exists.

I installed the new control arm bushings tonight. The driver's side came off in one piece, so I assume it was okay. The center ripped out of the passenger side, so it may not have been.

I also took the opportunity to replace the sway bar end links. I had to remove the entire bar because the nuts were frozen, but that helped me discover something interesting - the sway bar was in a full bind - as in, I could pull down hard on the end of the bar and it would barely move. I had actually shaved down the bushings when I installed it to help prevent this sort of thing, but it wasn't enough. The bar will be going back in with washers to space it and keep it free to move.

Anyway, the end links. The rubber in the lower portion, where it connects to the frame on the driver's side was half torn out. The same on the passenger side was completely separated from the end links, so I'd say they were overdue.

Car is sitting overnight to let the control arm bushings settle and set in place. Throwing the front bar back on tomorrow and crossing my fingers. I'll let you guys know how it goes.

RussellH
RussellH Reader
7/22/09 10:43 p.m.

Let me know if you figure it out because in the last 4 years I've had my E36 328 I haven't been able to fix mine and it drives me just as nuts as it did the day I bought it.

There are lots of posts on the bimmerforums regarding this. I've replaced every suspension component including the tires several times and the wheels and the steering wheel shimmy remains. The only two items I didn't change are the front hubs and shock tower mounts. Everything else has been replaced but the shimmy's still there. Mine's worse as it happens above 55mph and comes and goes...mostly comes. Like if I turn it and very gently let the steering wheel straighten out at highway speeds it's hardly noticeable but within a few seconds it's back

Josh
Josh HalfDork
7/22/09 11:44 p.m.

What brand of bushings did you install 20k ago? I installed some off brand oe style bushings from Bav Auto a few years ago in my car and they lasted all of 6k miles before I got the telltale yank on the wheel under braking. Put good stuff in (powerflex), and have been happy ever since. One other thing to check would be the rubber brake caliper guide pin bushings. These things are super soft, and if the guide pins arent lubed very well they can bind against them, and as squishy as the bushings are, the caliper can get all cocked to one side. I got some nasty vibration from the caliper trying to bind against the rotor. The vibration stopped once I lubed the guide pins, but this has happened a couple times now, so I am installing brass caliper slide bushings next week. I hopefully wont have to deal with this again.

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/23/09 6:08 a.m.

I didn't install the last set, prev owner did. I just have a receipt for work done.

The guide pins is a very, very interesting idea. I'm hoping that when I get home from work today and go for a spin, all is well, but if not, what type of lube should I use on them?

Josh
Josh HalfDork
7/23/09 7:13 a.m.

I have been using anti-seize on them, but I'm doing a little research right now, and this may have been part of the problem. This is the OEM stuff, and what I plan to use next time:

ATE Plastilube

Permatex also makes a brake-specific lube that may be easier to find locally.

EricM
EricM HalfDork
7/23/09 11:05 a.m.

Motor mount?

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/23/09 10:15 p.m.

Well, no dice on the control arm bushings and sway bar end links. Exhaust hanger was bad at the back of the car and letting it move a good bit, but that wasn't it either.

Brake "twitch" is still there, but almost every clunk is gone.

Going to try the sliders on the brake calipers tomorrow, but I'm at a total loss. I'll probably do the wheel bearing after that.

Gimp
Gimp Dork
7/28/09 6:01 a.m.

And the winner is.....

Motor mount! Nice work Eric!

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