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Old 03-11-2007, 06:02 PM   #1
ripcurler03

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Steering wheel shimmy Question

I recently bought a 1998 328i, e36, when i get to speeds over about 80, the steering wheel starts to shimmy and vibrate back and forth. It also seems to depend on the road surfaces, it will drive at higher speeds on some without shimmying more than others. Any ideas? just struts or rotors? Thanks a lot!
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Old 03-11-2007, 06:11 PM   #2
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Have you checked if the wheels are balanced?
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Old 03-11-2007, 07:03 PM   #3
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search for the answers you look for
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:01 PM   #4
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^^what does that mean?

My steering wheel shakes a bit but it is only at low to medium speeds. This happened after I put new tires on my front wheels. I called a dealer after calling many local shops with no help and they said that the tires might actually need to be "force balanced". It's a little different than regular balancing in that the tire is actually rotated on the wheel to balance it better than just placing weights on the wheel.
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:05 PM   #5
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Balancing, alignment, condition (inflation) of tires, ball joints, bushings, engine mounts, not necessarily in that order...
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Old 03-11-2007, 08:06 PM   #6
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Oh, also make sure your lug nuts are TIGHT. That makes a bit of a difference. I overlook that from time to time, but I'm pretty absent-minded...

Oh, one more thing... if it was your rotors or anything with your brakes... it would happen more when you were braking. I had that problem too, before I replaced my front tires. So I replaced all my rotors and pads because they needed it anyway... turns out that the shaking while braking was coming from the fact that the caliper retaining clip wasn't on the front left caliper.

I have had some problems with my car, if you can't tell...

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Old 03-12-2007, 12:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ripcurler03
Any ideas? just struts or rotors? Thanks a lot!
Neither. 10 to 1 it's your control arm bushings. At 70mph & above, wheel balancing makes less of a difference. Rotors only come into play if you're braking, like Mullet said.
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Old 03-12-2007, 10:28 AM   #8
ripcurler03

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awesome thanks, got some work ahead of me then
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:17 PM   #9
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My problem started at 70 mph like yours and gradually progressed to happening at 40 mph. I'm 90% through a front end suspension overhaul and found everything worn out. This includes Lower Control Arms, Tie rod ends, and Lower control arm bushings. All 4 of my shocks were also completely blown. So DIY budget should be around $1000 for everything I listed. $1500-2000 if you need to have a shop install it.
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Old 03-12-2007, 05:53 PM   #10
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also wheels might be bent. All of the above is fine on my 330, but the bent wheels "shimmy" the wheel a little bit above 70, it goes away above 80 though.

also, i did read on E30 tech(i believe) that warped rotors, if they are bad can cause wheel shaking due to the unbalanced rotor. Not sure if this is true on an E36 though. I had shimmy in my E30, replaced the rotors and it was gone.
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Old 03-12-2007, 07:23 PM   #11
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^^^^your rotors would have to be visibly warped to shake the wheel when not braking. A bent wheel would make a rhythmic thump increasing in frequency as speed increases. I've had two of those and one warped rotor.
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