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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Bad Handling and Tramlining - E90 330i SE 2005



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      07-25-2012, 03:21 PM   #1
mierzwin
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Bad Handling and Tramlining - E90 330i SE 2005

I thought it was normal with run flats and after switching from Audi a3 3.2 which had S3's suspension I just find BMW's handling unacceptable.

I have ordered now brand new set of non-RFT to see if this helps but still car which cost new 30k+ can't handle that bad?

Every pot hole it's just big bang inside of the car. Any uneven surface causes car to tramline.

I had it on oem 17's and after replacing to 18's from M-Sport (MV3s with tyres it comes with) it got a little bit better but still terrible.

I dropped few days ago my E90 to friends garage to remove scratches on rear bumper and stone chips on bonnet and after he drove my car he only commented how I am able to drive it on daily basis, it's just horrible.

TBH after driving back home his Passat 05 plate it feels so much better on the road, pot holes are a lot better and can almost not notice them comparing to my 330.

I hope tyres will fix the issue but if not can you point me what can be wrong, what needs replacing to improve the ride? Will putting coilovers change cars handling totally?

I am so fed up that thinking about getting Audi. My car is standard SE 05 plate, 52k miles FSH. MOT done with months backs, no fault but problem with handling was from day one, thought it was normal but anyone who drives my car says it cant be.

Anyone in Uxbridge area (UB10) who wants to drive my car and compare to yours ?
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      07-25-2012, 03:55 PM   #2
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Got similar problems with mine, switched to non rfts thinking that would solve the problem but didn't. Either the lower steering assembly or the rack are to blame on mine as i've ruled all other avenues...
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      07-25-2012, 04:05 PM   #3
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Bang over pot holes could be the run flats, same with the tramlining. Before you do anything get a proper 4 wheel alignment done http://www.alignmycar.co.uk/
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      07-25-2012, 04:23 PM   #4
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What he said ^^^.

Ditch the run-flats, and get the alignment checked. If you're still not happy, then it's time to shell out for new shocks.
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      07-25-2012, 04:36 PM   #5
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Will new shocks resolve it completely? Anyone had this issue and got rid off it.

I would love to ride someones e90 just to compare because I don't think this is normal.

Suspension is standard SE but when going over bumps feels like stone made.

How much are new shocks? Are coilovers gonna be improvement?

Would be a shame to get ride off the car. Nice space, great fuel economy for 3.0 engine just the ride.....
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      07-25-2012, 04:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mierzwin View Post
Will new shocks resolve it completely? Anyone had this issue and got rid off it.
Difficult to say - your perception of normal may be very different to the next person's.

For 100% certain, switching to non-RFT made a huge difference to the ride quality on my M-Sport, and changing the shocks improved it again.
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      07-25-2012, 05:31 PM   #7
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Maybe go down to cargiant one evening and try a similar motor out to compare your ms with
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      07-26-2012, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Maybe go down to cargiant one evening and try a similar motor out to compare your ms with
good idea, car giant not that far, and free test ride ;]
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      07-26-2012, 07:43 AM   #9
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check alignment, check tyre pressures, check tyre wear and then check other stuff

mine used to tramline badly on bridgestones but on contis it's ok, still does it but not as bad.
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      07-26-2012, 07:45 AM   #10
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i noticed it as well. Coming from an Audi a3 as well, the E93 335 feels sloppy in comparison stock. Stock V stock, the Audi felt much better. Had to replace the suspension and set it on stiff. The car felt much better and handled likes a dream now. I blame it on the sloppy suspension and sways.
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      07-26-2012, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scflaw View Post
i noticed it as well. Coming from an Audi a3 as well, the E93 335 feels sloppy in comparison stock. Stock V stock, the Audi felt much better. Had to replace the suspension and set it on stiff. The car felt much better and handled likes a dream now. I blame it on the sloppy suspension and sways.
what upgrade suspension did you do? I am trying to read about coilovers, if new tyres and checking everything doesn't help is this my only option to improve the ride ?
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      07-26-2012, 08:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mierzwin View Post
what upgrade suspension did you do? I am trying to read about coilovers, if new tyres and checking everything doesn't help is this my only option to improve the ride ?
I had it replaced with PSS10's from bilstein. This was the only thing that has helped, at least in my case. I have upgraded sways on the to do list to further boost the handling capabilities.

I never regretted my pss10 purchase but alot of people have issues with them in places where their was snow or cold weather. *knock on wood* i haven't had any problems that they've experienced at all. You should try the KW V3's, many people vouch for them and seems like there are not as many problems.
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      07-26-2012, 09:10 AM   #13
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Are you mixing ride quality with handling here? As issues over potholes are not necessarily a handling problem, but compromised secondary ride quality.

I went through this on my E91 with Bridgestone RFTs. Non run-flats made a vast improvement, but as my car was on SE suspension damping was then a little too soft. I fitted Koni FSD dampers and haven't looked back. OK it may not be a solution for everyone, as ride and handling balance are very individual. But for me it has made my E91 a much more mature riding car, with improved handling as well.

BTW, the E90/1 chassis does not tramline on the right tyres. No hint of it at all, but with RFTs the steering can be seriously corrupted.

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      07-26-2012, 09:15 AM   #14
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The handling is fine most of the time, until after hitting pothole cars goes into unexpected direction. If feels not normal to me, as it tramlines a lot.

As a result of that I consider it to be poor ride quality but issue is with tram lining and car being hard when in contact with uneven surfaces. My old A3 on sport suspension, harder one, was more confortable with pot holes etc.

I will look through options, thanks for suggesting to change dampers, could be the fix I need.
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      07-26-2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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Just to add... the early SE models had some issues with strange damping anyway, improved when BMW revised the dampers and softened the whole suspension feel.

Personally I can't see that coilovers are the best way to look for an answer, unless you are wanting more than focusing on an improved ride. Certainly the damping rates and tyre combination need attention.

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      07-26-2012, 09:42 AM   #16
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do you think replacing with brand new revised dampers could help?
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      07-26-2012, 09:52 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mierzwin View Post
do you think replacing with brand new revised dampers could help?
You haven't said what mileage the car has driven, but I've read that users have replaced high mileage dampers and had a much more controlled ride. Then most cars will be better on replacement dampers if high mileage.

Another issue can be the way the RFTs hop and bounce, that will be worse on soft damping, that also contributes to the car darting about. It is why there is strong opinion, based on back to back testing, that the M-sport suspension although harder than the SE suspension, can be the most comfortable and controlled ride, on some of the E9* models.

If replacing dampers certainly look at the aftermarket options, as you can improve the car with the correct setup.

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      07-26-2012, 10:07 AM   #18
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52k miles FSH, mentioned in first post

yeah aftermarket is the option but Koni FSD are twice the price of OEM ones, and my pocket is not so deep, in process of buying a house so all monies go towards it...
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      07-27-2012, 04:31 AM   #19
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Im still facing the problems in handling. Having Bridgestones Runflut, the steering feels so light, and the biggest problem is i feel the back of the car not following sharply when changing the steering wheel direction, i.e when overtaking. Done many many wheel alignments so far, trying different tyre pressures, now i run 2.3 in the front and 2.7 in the rears.

Dont know whats left to do. If changing to non runflats it might make the problem worse due to their softer sidewalls...
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      07-27-2012, 04:27 PM   #20
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Would buckled wheels cause tram lining? reason is that when my wheels were buckled i had really bad tramlining on NON RFT then i changed to summer RFT and the problem was masked away but i did experiance the car pulling towards which ever direction the uneven grounds . changed a new set of alloys back on RFT..no problems at all!
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      07-27-2012, 07:23 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yoro35i View Post
Would buckled wheels cause tram lining? reason is that when my wheels were buckled i had really bad tramlining on NON RFT then i changed to summer RFT and the problem was masked away but i did experiance the car pulling towards which ever direction the uneven grounds . changed a new set of alloys back on RFT..no problems at all!
hows the eibach springs Alan?...still happy?...when r we gona meet up?
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      07-27-2012, 07:35 PM   #22
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There is clearly something wrong with your car what you describe is not normal - the e90/91 shouldn't tramline at all when everything is as it should be.

However its impossible to diagnose on a forum!

tramlining, poor control, car going where it wants to after being unsettled by pot hole could be any combination (or just mismatch of):

shock absorbers (aka dampers)
front upper control arms/ball joints
front lower control arms/ball joints
tie rods
geometry
tyres/tyre sizes
tyre pressures
buckled wheel(s)
steering rack

off the top of my head. There is no way that anyone here or anywhere else in the world can tell you exactly what your problem is by just reading it on the forum - you need to find a good mechanic who knows BMW's.

If you do start changing parts, don't go for cheap pattern parts as you may not notice any improvement. Also, get geometry has to be done on a hunter/KDS machine - anything else like 'tracking' or simple 4 wheel alignment won't solve your problem.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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