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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > New Suspension installed but have a problem



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      10-19-2013, 07:54 PM   #1
nikitino25
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New Suspension installed but have a problem

So me and a mechanic friend just installed my new BMW Performance Suspension kit but now I've got a problem. I took it for an alignment after the install and the tech got everything within spec but when he took it for a test drive, he noticed that the car had what he called "memory steer" such that when you take a right turn, after the turn the steering wheel wants to stay turned right and the car veers right. (It should just go back to center after the turn). The same thing conversely happens when you turn left, the wheel stays left and car veers left. It's almost like something is binding up. During the install, we torqued everything to spec and had the wheels jacked up for the control arm tightening like you're supposed to. (also did this for the sway bar links). I even got basically all new mounts including new top hats. The only problem we ran into on the install was tightening the strut top nut to the strut tower, this requires a special socket with the side cut out so you can fit an allen wrench inside it and on the top of the strut shaft to keep the shaft from spinning while you torque the nut. I didn't have this special socket so we just used an impact wrench and I think we got that nut too tight. But, I've since gone back and made my own socket by cutting out the side and was able to loosen the nut and then re-torque it to proper specs. I was sure that would solve the "memory steer" problem but it did not. So, what else could be causing this? Any ideas? There are no funny noises or anything. Did we maybe damage the top hat bearings when we used the impact wrench the first time? I know you're technically not supposed to use an impact gun on that nut but I'm fairly sure most people do it that way anyway.... Help!
Also, is it safe to drive around like this or should I lay off of it in case I might be damaging something?

Last edited by nikitino25; 10-19-2013 at 08:06 PM.
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      10-19-2013, 10:51 PM   #2
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I had this issue when I installed my H&R sports. Literally all I did was stop the car and move teh steering wheel all the way to the left all te way back to the right then back to the center and it went away. That might help idk.
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      10-20-2013, 01:45 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peepayy_91 View Post
I had this issue when I installed my H&R sports. Literally all I did was stop the car and move teh steering wheel all the way to the left all te way back to the right then back to the center and it went away. That might help idk.
Dude thanks for the heads up, I will definitely try that tomorrow. If that works I will owe u one for sure....will update thread also.

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      10-20-2013, 02:33 PM   #4
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Unfortunately that didn't work, I tried the left to right and back remedy a couple times but still have the same memory steer problem; nothing's ever that easy for me.
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      10-20-2013, 02:46 PM   #5
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sounds like they installed the washers under the guide support upside down. Those washers are flat on one side, and raised in the center on the other side (like a cone). the raised center supports the bearing on the guide support and lifts the cup above the spring plate and rest of the suspension components so it's free to move without binding.
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      10-20-2013, 05:18 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
sounds like they installed the washers under the guide support upside down. Those washers are flat on one side, and raised in the center on the other side (like a cone). the raised center supports the bearing on the guide support and lifts the cup above the spring plate and rest of the suspension components so it's free to move without binding.
I was thinking about that myself. Are you talking about the washer that has the black ring around it in the middle and goes under the bearing washer? That's the only thing I can think of too. Is there any way to check this without having to remove the whole front strut again and take it apart?

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      10-20-2013, 07:15 PM   #7
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I just took the car for a good drive and even purposely drove over a few speed bumps to see if that helped any. Not sure if that was a good idea or not but I was also trying to get the front end to settle some which did work work a little bit; the ride height has dropped about an inch or so from install but still needs to come down some. Still have the same problem with the memory steer though. Am I going to have to take the struts back off and reassemble and reinstall? Man, I hope not....
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      10-20-2013, 10:01 PM   #8
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Just realized after posting my thread right above yours we have pretty much the same issue. Ill keep you updated if I figure it out.
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      10-21-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitino25 View Post
I was thinking about that myself. Are you talking about the washer that has the black ring around it in the middle and goes under the bearing washer? That's the only thing I can think of too. Is there any way to check this without having to remove the whole front strut again and take it apart?
you have to remove the top part of the strut, but you won't have to take the bottom out of the carrier if you can compress the spring enough to swing the top of the strut out from the fender. then you can remove the top nut and guide support to check the washers.

yes, they are the washers with the black stripe on them. they go on top of the spring plate, just below the guide support bearing, black stripe facing UP.
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      10-21-2013, 03:50 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mike-y View Post
you have to remove the top part of the strut, but you won't have to take the bottom out of the carrier if you can compress the spring enough to swing the top of the strut out from the fender. then you can remove the top nut and guide support to check the washers.

yes, they are the washers with the black stripe on them. they go on top of the spring plate, just below the guide support bearing, black stripe facing UP.
Yep, looks like I may have to do this. I already ordered some new washers and also the one that goes above it as well to cover the bearings just in case I damaged either one of them. Probably shouldn't have been driving around and purposely going over speed bumps to settle the struts . What are the chances that I damaged the bearings in the top hats? I still have my old ones which were in pretty good shape in case I need them. If the bearings still rotate freely on my new hats does that mean they are ok and can still be used?
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      10-21-2013, 05:10 PM   #11
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the bottom of the guide support would be rubbing on the spring plate. aside from some visual scuffing, I doubt anything really got damaged. the only thing that might have been damaged is the really thin washer/cap that goes directly over the bearing, but they are soft, and I bet you can bend it back into shape easily.
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      11-05-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Finally pulled my struts this weekend and did have that stupid washer upside down. Reassembled struts correctly and re-installed and now no more trouble..
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      11-05-2013, 09:01 PM   #13
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