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Old 03-10-2008, 10:26 PM   #1
kentukred

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E46 Shaking & Vibrating HELP!!

I own a 99 323i E46 that recently started vibrating and shaking when driving and braking. The shaking becomes so violent that the steering wheel moves to and fro violently about 1 and a half inches on its own. The shaking usually progresses as I accelerate, however it does have an oscilating (as if in the wheels) vibration that starts in low mph that builds up to a strong shake at about 45 mph. When it shakes I never accelerate over 45 mph because the shaking becomes so violent. The shaking also continues when I apply the brakes. Here's the conondrum: The shaking is periodic and doesn't occur all the time - Today while driving, the skaking continued for about 10 miles, and then slowly faded away totally. Then later the shaking began again. I took the vehicle to the tire and brake shop today who just placed a new set of tires on the vehicle 3 months ago, and they re-balanced all the tires. The shaking still continues. PLEASE HELP!!
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Old 03-10-2008, 11:08 PM   #2
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Have your front lower control arm ball joints and expecialy the bushings, since they have a tendency to go bad. Since you've jsut had the tires balanced that illimates bent rims.
Get them replaced with OEM bushings and your be fine.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:45 PM   #3
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I'm going to jack up the front end and check out the CAB to verify that it is the problem. Does anyone know of a post that shows how to replace the CAB or the ball joint? We have a large shop with lifts and various mechanic equipment, but I've never replaced control arm bushings before. Thanks
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kentukred View Post
I'm going to jack up the front end and check out the CAB to verify that it is the problem. Does anyone know of a post that shows how to replace the CAB or the ball joint? We have a large shop with lifts and various mechanic equipment, but I've never replaced control arm bushings before. Thanks
replacment is easy. Especially if you have a lift of some sort.

Two bolts hold the control arm bushings on. two more bolts for the lower control arms. some elbow grease, patience and a few hours and they are replaced. Its pretty simple once you look under the car.


I would recommend replacing the control arms while you have them removed from the car. Since the ball joints in it also tend to go out. Mine went out in my 330 at 130k miles. Used to vibrate upon breaking due to the loose balljoints.

also consider replacing the control arms, once again because you are down there...parts arent too expensive either.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:00 PM   #5
kentukred

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Where would anyone recommend purchasing a new control arm with new ball joints and new bushings beside a BMW dealer? Or would you recommend only replacing with original equipment?
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:13 PM   #6
kentukred

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OE Parts from my BMW parts department come out to about 650.00: 250.00 for each control arm with ball joints and 150.00 for a set of new bushings.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:21 PM   #7
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Where would anyone recommend purchasing a new control arm with new ball joints and new bushings beside a BMW dealer? Or would you recommend only replacing with original equipment?
OEM is good. Might want to check Myle(i think is the name)


also check out sponser tischerbmw.com for parts. I believe they have a OEM parts package that would fit ur needs.

here

this is the specific link. half way down page. 481~ dollars. I have ordered from them before and im pleased with the products/service and prices.
http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...egoryID=103121
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Last edited by Numark318i; 03-11-2008 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:13 PM   #8
kentukred

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I put the car on the lift today and checked out the control arm bushings. I can't tell that they need replacement. From what I can see, they're not cracked or busted. I'll attach photos. If you think they might need replacement, let me know.
Attached Images
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File Type: jpg 88Resized.JPG (52.2 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 90Resized.JPG (59.5 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg 91Resized.JPG (55.3 KB, 5 views)
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:14 PM   #9
kentukred

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And here's pics of the Passenger side control arm.
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File Type: jpg 82Resized.JPG (56.4 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg 84Resized.JPG (50.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old 03-12-2008, 08:57 PM   #10
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my control arm bushings looked like that when i replaced them. They look fine but the rubber is worn.

If the car is on a lift grab the bottom of the wheel and try to pull it away from the car. Have someone do this and at the same time watch the bushing connecting to the car. There shouldnt be too much movement.
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Old 03-13-2008, 08:45 PM   #11
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I have also replaced the front Control Arms myself.. You probably want to simply replace the entire arm and get the two bushings. Rumor has it the ball joints in the OEM control arms (which are integral to the arm) tend to go out between 60k and 80k miles on the E46. I will tell you that with a little press and a lift the job is cake with even one person. I bought aftermarket control arms at www.bavauto.com because I wanted control arms with ball joints that I could replace rather than having to replace the whole arm each time. The shaking of the steering wheel that I was experiencing (only when braking though) vanished after the replacement of the control arms.
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Old 03-14-2008, 12:46 AM   #12
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it's better to just replace the whole control arm, it's waist of money i think to buy the ball joints separate, one ball joint is almost as half of the whole control arm . once you replace the whole arm you know you start with all ball joints new.

If you are replacing the bushings yourself it will take some patience and muscle, they are PITA sometimes. Once i take the control arm of the bushing i take my lolipop and new bushing to a press shop, it's a snap if you have a press machine.

Might be a good idea you upgrade to stronger bushings if you like and you can afford it, it will improve your handling.

Last edited by mzbmw325i; 03-14-2008 at 12:50 AM..
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Old 03-14-2008, 05:56 PM   #13
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From your pictures it looks as if your pasg bushing is shot. You do have the updated bushings so they have been changed before.
With the wheel off and the car on jack stands you can pry off the bushings with a bar.
You can even try beating them off. Replacing the bushings is going to be the cheapest fix, rather then spending 400$ on new arms. Becides changing out the arms in your driveway isnt very fun, expecicaly when the inner ball joint spins and you cant get the nut off. Good luck with that if your not using air tools.
To get the new bushings back on rub some liquid soap on the inside and just hit them on with a hammer, they pop right on very easly.
No alignment needed after replacement unless your worried about camber, then that might be off a little.
Also you shouldnt pay more then 3 hours to change out the bushigns and arms, if you go that way. Anymore time then that and your getting ripped.
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Old 03-17-2008, 08:56 PM   #14
kentukred

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Found The Problem... Now I Have To Fix It.

I took the 323 to a local import mechanic shop. They put the car up on the lift and checked out the bushings and ball joints. They said that both needed to be repaced. Although the bushings looked fairly fine, when they put a pry bar to them, it was evident they were bad. They stated the ball joints had 1/8 inch movement in them. I have purchased Meyle HD arms and bushings and plan to install later in the week when they arrive. Could anyone give me some pointers on what is needed for the removal/install. My father has a large shop with a rotary lift and various air tools. I'm just not sure if there are any special tools needed? If anyone has any tips or pictures for removal/installation and pressing the lollipop of the arm onto the bushing, please let me know. Thanks in advance.
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Old 03-17-2008, 09:44 PM   #15
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The inner ball joint is a 21mm nut, a snap on 3/8 21mm universal socket works the best but a swivel will also work. A long extension and a breaker bar.
The outter ball joint is an 18mm and can be wrenched off. Both ball joints can be hit hard a few times and will pop out. A ball joint seperator works great also.
To put the bushing onto the arm rub some liquid soap inside the bushing and beat it on with a deadblow or a heavey rubber hammer.
To tighten the inner ball joint lower the vehicle onto the wheels and it will hold the ball joint so it wont spinwhen tightening.
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