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      11-01-2013, 12:56 PM   #1
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Steering wheel shimmy driving me nuts!

Hey everyone,

Been trying to chase this down for Months now. 2009 335i M-sport on factory 193's wrapped in Michelin Super sports. At speeds of 65 and up the steering wheel shakes during acceleration, cruising speeds and while braking. I started with removing my wheels and checking balance. Everything seemed fine. I re-balanced them anyways and re-test drove the car, same thing. I was needing front brakes anyways so I went ahead and replaced the front rotors, pads and sensor. Again nothing changed. I was then thinking maybe the wheels are slightly bent to where I couldn't tell much during the wheel balance, so I swapped wheels with my wife's E92 (on VMR V710's). The exact same symptoms which rules out wheels and tires. I then started looking at suspension, given that my car only has 30,000 miles on it, i found it hard to believe that to be the case but, who knows... well nothing, everything is tight and as it should be. I honestly do not know where to go from here?

Summary:

2009 E90 335i Msport with 30,000 miles on the clock.

-Michelin super sports on factory 193's
-New brakes
-swapping wheels&tires did not change anything.
-suspension seems perfectly tight as it should be.
-Have tried numerous roads from NC to PA and still the same.

?? any help would be much appreciated!
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      11-01-2013, 01:06 PM   #2
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What is the condition of the tires? How is the alignment? Those are lesser factors when compared to wheel balance and loose bushings, but they play a role. I've had bad alignment cause uneven tire wear which lead to shake.


And this is sort of random and may not apply since I'm not that familiar with BMW steering racks. But my other car is an Infiniti FX and it has notorious steering wheel shake issues. One of the problems is that the steering rack actually works itself slightly loose. Can't really tell during normal driving, but at highway speeds, it causes a shake. So I've actually had to tighten the rack under the car and in my situation, it fixed it.
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      11-01-2013, 01:08 PM   #3
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I had the alignment done after my new set of super sports done at 28,000 miles. My wife's tires are brand new as well so that shouldn't be a factor. Would a rack really get loose at 30K?
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      11-01-2013, 01:12 PM   #4
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Again, I have no experience with this on BMW, but I had to tighten the steering rack on my FX at ~25K or so. Some people had to do it before that, some never have the issue. But this is pretty specific to that car, so I'd try every other avenue first.

Any issues with wheel hubs? If the bearings are shot that can cause a shake.

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Originally Posted by MMMCOOKIES335... View Post
I had the alignment done after my new set of super sports done at 28,000 miles. My wife's tires are brand new as well so that shouldn't be a factor. Would a rack really get loose at 30K?
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      11-01-2013, 01:15 PM   #5
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All four bearings felt fine, I checked them on the lift, all were tight.
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      11-01-2013, 01:16 PM   #6
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To note as well, all front and rear control arms were swapped for new M3 control arms 5,000 miles ago as well as rear subframe bushings from an M3.
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      11-01-2013, 07:21 PM   #7
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Anyone else
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      11-01-2013, 11:57 PM   #8
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I had the same symptoms as you and the guy in this post:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ibration+Fixed

I just replaced my front end with all new components, including new M3 control arms and it fixed my problem immediately. I thank the new thrust arms. You issue sounds identical, but with the added complication that you already changed to M3 front arms.....

You have done the obvious things, might be worth taking a close look at your tension arm, even though it has been replaced.
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      11-07-2013, 12:48 PM   #9
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Looked at the tension struts today and they seem perfectly fine... still scratching my head on this one.
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      12-17-2013, 09:55 AM   #10
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ANYONE?
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      12-17-2013, 02:54 PM   #11
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Bent rim?
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      12-17-2013, 04:26 PM   #12
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Maybe it needs a driver mod Your rack could be lose, it has to be moved to install your downpipes properly.
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      12-17-2013, 05:17 PM   #13
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^^ lol not driver mod I can guarantee you that. I have had it on the lift numerous times checking things, I checked the rack, it wasn't loose but put new stretch bolts in anyways just in case new ones didn't get put in when the rack was out the last time.

I know it's not a rim issue. Have tried different rims all together and still get the same vibration.
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      12-17-2013, 11:36 PM   #14
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When did it begin to happen...that you can best remember?
When a friend is driving next to you at 65+ can they or their passenger see a wobble or imbalance on any of the wheels?
I am grasping for some other indicators. Hmmm.
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      01-16-2014, 05:50 PM   #15
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Any updates OP? Have you found the source of your high speed shimmy?

I have the same exact problem as you, Volasko and others. I have a high speed shimmy while accelerating and more pronounced when I brake from above 65mph.

My problems were numerous. I had a bent driver front wheel. Fixed that and it got better but still present. I then replaced the front rotors (both) and found a remarkable improvement with the shimmy, but it was still present although much less.

At this point I could also feel just a slight vibration at highway speeds in addition to the shimmy and I really couldn't tell where it was coming from so I had all four wheels balanced. The vibration went away mostly but my shimmy is still there. My car has 83K miles and original suspension components.
I have 'tested' my suspension with the car on a lift, grabbing the tires at 9 and 3 o'clock and pulling/pushing. Then again at 12 and 6 o'clock and pulling/pushing. I used a long pry bar and gently tugged at the different components in their directional range. Everything seems very snug and tight as you say. Also no visual leaks from bushings anywhere. BUT these components have 83K miles on them, and one corner has a couple thousand miles of serious vibration from the bent wheel and out of balance wheel/tire mount.

I am going to take a guess that when I replace my control arms and wishbones with the M3 (TRW) parts my shimmy will disappear like Volasko. Your problem could definitely be the same, even though your new parts have 5K miles only. So many things could have happened. Bad pothole, curbing tire while parking (valet maybe?), or other impact that could have affected your suspension.

Is it possible that being out of alignment would cause a high speed-only shimmy, and especially under braking? Mine is definitely most pronounced under braking at highway speed--even now after the rotor and pad replacement.
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      01-17-2014, 08:41 AM   #16
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I have a little of the same. 2 slightly bent wheels replaced...that helped.
New M3 front arms installed....slightly helped.
Wheels rebalanced with road force...2 were slight out of balance per the last shop that showed me. And that slightly helped.
But the vibration is still there above 55 mph or so.

Throwing out ideas: an unbalanced driveshaft?

I general it all seems that it would be rotating objects that are out of balance. I suppose that the thrust and wishbone bushings can wear faster as a result, or they would amplify problems.

A couple of other causes I have seen long ago in other cars have been tires out of round and one time a tire shop had dropped something inside the tire when installing them on the wheel.

Last edited by jjellyneck; 01-17-2014 at 08:55 AM.
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      01-17-2014, 08:48 AM   #17
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Subscribed. Got the same issue
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      01-17-2014, 01:08 PM   #18
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hey guys,

sorry for not responding earlier. I have cured mine, apparently defective front control arms (TRW Brand) I bought OEM M3 from the dealer and it fixed it. I am not saying TRW are bad or that you MUST use OEM but it fixed it for me. Good luck everyone!
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      01-17-2014, 09:23 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MMMCOOKIES335... View Post
hey guys,

sorry for not responding earlier. I have cured mine, apparently defective front control arms (TRW Brand) I bought OEM M3 from the dealer and it fixed it. I am not saying TRW are bad or that you MUST use OEM but it fixed it for me. Good luck everyone!
I'm looking forward to changing out my control arms in spring...It's toooo cold right now. I have that same slight vibration that drives me crazy.
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      01-18-2014, 09:32 AM   #20
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Parts number been having the same issue ?
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      01-19-2014, 07:26 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjellyneck View Post
I have a little of the same. 2 slightly bent wheels replaced...that helped.
New M3 front arms installed....slightly helped.
Wheels rebalanced with road force...2 were slight out of balance per the last shop that showed me. And that slightly helped.
But the vibration is still there above 55 mph or so.

Throwing out ideas: an unbalanced driveshaft?

I general it all seems that it would be rotating objects that are out of balance. I suppose that the thrust and wishbone bushings can wear faster as a result, or they would amplify problems.

A couple of other causes I have seen long ago in other cars have been tires out of round and one time a tire shop had dropped something inside the tire when installing them on the wheel.
It seems like the only thing left you have not replaced or addressed are the tires themselves and the wheel bearing(s). That is if you replaced both the thrust arms and wishbones when you say "New M3 front arms installed...."

Tie rods and anything with a bushing in the front axle area could be at fault I suppose.

It's good to see MMMCOOKIES335 resolve the issue with control arm replacement. Seems to be the most common issue. Thanks for the update!

I am ordering mine this week.
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