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      09-23-2021, 06:36 AM   #1
kazbek1
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Rougher ride after M3 control arm install/alignment

2007 335i, 136k miles, FBO, MHD Stage 2+ tune, M3 control arms, coilovers (for referenece)

At highway speeds, my steering wheel begins to vibrate a little and it feels/sounds like the tires are underinflated (they aren't) or they're rubbing against the fender well lining (they aren't). It's just not as smooth as it was prior to the M3 control arms install and alignment. I feel it in the pedals as well. I also installed a wheel stud kit at the same time. I'm running 12mm wheel spacers up front and 18mm spacers in the rear.

I checked everywhere and nothing is hanging from the bottom of the car, none of the tires are rubbing against anything, and the tires are all inflated to spec. Anyone else experience this after an upgraded control arm install, alignment, or wheel stud conversion?

Last edited by kazbek1; 09-23-2021 at 10:33 AM..
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      09-23-2021, 07:42 AM   #2
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You need an alignment immediately after installing these arms or the car drives like shit.
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      09-23-2021, 08:10 AM   #3
eljay
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Well, the ride should be more "stiffer" or direct as that is the reason for the upgrade. But what you are describing sounds like an install/alignment issue.
Were the bolts/nuts on the arms torqued correctly in a loaded position? If not, you would have these type of symptoms as the alignment rack would show everything is great, but on the road, the arm will want to move unnaturally into a different position, putting strain on the bushings.
If everything was installed correctly, I would ask the alignment place to check the alignment again.
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      09-23-2021, 08:24 AM   #4
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You will get more NVH with them as the tension arms are solid rubber vs fluid filled.

Its the trade off for a less slop and more direct feel you will have more feel of the road; I usually only notice it over bumps though as its just less absorption.

Last edited by neilvan; 09-23-2021 at 09:10 AM..
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      09-23-2021, 09:01 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave92N54 View Post
You need an alignment immediately after installing these arms or the car drives like shit.
You're not kidding. I took a drive around the block and thought I screwed something up. But yea, I got an alignment for it immediately after install.
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      09-23-2021, 09:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eljay View Post
Well, the ride should be more "stiffer" or direct as that is the reason for the upgrade. But what you are describing sounds like an install/alignment issue.
Were the bolts/nuts on the arms torqued correctly in a loaded position? If not, you would have these type of symptoms as the alignment rack would show everything is great, but on the road, the arm will want to move unnaturally into a different position, putting strain on the bushings.
If everything was installed correctly, I would ask the alignment place to check the alignment again.
As far as I know, I installed everything correctly. Before I removed the tires, I measuread from the center of the wheel to the middle of the wheel well. When it was time to torque, I jacked the hub up to the same measurement point and torqued from there. I assume that was pretty close to the loaded position.
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      09-23-2021, 09:05 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvan View Post
You will get more NVM with them as the tension arms are solid rubber vs fluid filled.

Its the trade off for a less slop and more direct feel you will have more feel of the road; I usually only notice it over bumps though as its just less absorption.
Can you specify what NVM is? And I'm all about stiffer rides but it's not until I get up to around 60mph that I start to feel vibrations in the steering wheel. To my knowledge, I torqued everything down to spec in the loaded position.
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      09-23-2021, 09:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbek1 View Post
Can you specify what NVM is? And I'm all about stiffer rides but it's not until I get up to around 60mph that I start to feel vibrations in the steering wheel. To my knowledge, I torqued everything down to spec in the loaded position.
Sorry that's a typo; should be NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).

Its just allowing more through, if youre wheels/tires were slightly out of balance, you may not have felt it before but you may now.
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      09-23-2021, 09:12 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvan View Post
Sorry that's a typo; should be NVH (noise, vibration, harshness).

Its just allowing more through, if youre wheels/tires were slightly out of balance, you may not have felt it before but you may now.
Hmmm ok. I just got an alignment about 7 months ago and it drove fine up until now. I'm hoping maybe the suspension needs to settle a little and the vibrations will go away?
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      09-23-2021, 09:15 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbek1 View Post
Hmmm ok. I just got an alignment about 7 months ago and it drove fine up until now. I'm hoping maybe the suspension needs to settle a little and the vibrations will go away?
doubtful. You may need a wheel alignment but the tension arms just transfer more feel (NVH) though into the car. The bushing type changed and it can't go back to how it was.
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      09-23-2021, 09:29 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilvan View Post
doubtful. You may need a wheel alignment but the tension arms just transfer more feel (NVH) though into the car. The bushing type changed and it can't go back to how it was.
Gotcha. Thanks for the advice!
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      09-23-2021, 09:31 AM   #12
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Also, looking at the alignment print out, it looks like he aligned it to M3 specs.
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      09-23-2021, 10:50 AM   #13
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Did a wheel weight fall off or something? Did you torque the wheel bolts evenly in a star pattern? Perhaps try rotating the tires and see if the vibration changes.

Simple things I know, but it can lead to the symptoms you describe.
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      09-23-2021, 10:56 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbek1 View Post
I also installed a wheel stud kit at the same time. I'm running 12mm wheel spacers up front and 18mm spacers in the rear.
What kind of spacers did you use? There are a few posts around here about similar experiences. If the wheel isn't perfectly centered it'll wobble and result in vibrations at speed.

I haven't installed my M3 wishbones yet, but I have similar vibrations from the front. When the front of my car is jacked off the ground and I spin the wheels, I can see one of them isn't perfectly round. It has a visible high and low spots, which I'm guessing is the cause. However mine is *not* bad enough to justify replacing the tires yet. Try spinning the tires with the car off the ground and see if you can identify whether the tire is not rolling evenly.
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      09-23-2021, 11:36 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R3dLeader View Post
Did a wheel weight fall off or something? Did you torque the wheel bolts evenly in a star pattern? Perhaps try rotating the tires and see if the vibration changes.

Simple things I know, but it can lead to the symptoms you describe.
I'll check out the wheel weights and rotate the tires. You're right though. They are simple things that I probably shouldn't overlook. I did torque them all to spec in a star pattern but I'll pay extra attention to doing that again when I swap wheels.
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      09-23-2021, 11:39 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrydr310 View Post
What kind of spacers did you use? There are a few posts around here about similar experiences. If the wheel isn't perfectly centered it'll wobble and result in vibrations at speed.

I haven't installed my M3 wishbones yet, but I have similar vibrations from the front. When the front of my car is jacked off the ground and I spin the wheels, I can see one of them isn't perfectly round. It has a visible high and low spots, which I'm guessing is the cause. However mine is *not* bad enough to justify replacing the tires yet. Try spinning the tires with the car off the ground and see if you can identify whether the tire is not rolling evenly.
I'm using 12mm and 18mm hubcentric spacers. Theyre definitely installed correctly. I've had them on for about 2 years now with no issues.

I'll go ahead and rotate the front tires and ensure they're centered correctly. If that doesn't work, I'll probably remove the wheel stud conversion to see if that's the culprit.
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      09-24-2021, 12:46 AM   #17
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I'd guess spacers.

I've got m3 control arms on stock suspension with 18x9 et37 wheels (if memory serves). I had it aligned right after and did not notice any more noise or vibrations.

You might be feeling it a bit more because the m3 arms give you a bit more camber. Combined with the coil overs and spacers that may be off just enough to cause it. Either way, that's definitely the quickest/easiest thing to check, though it depends on why you installed them in the first place.
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      09-24-2021, 04:59 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by matamua View Post
I'd guess spacers.

I've got m3 control arms on stock suspension with 18x9 et37 wheels (if memory serves). I had it aligned right after and did not notice any more noise or vibrations.

You might be feeling it a bit more because the m3 arms give you a bit more camber. Combined with the coil overs and spacers that may be off just enough to cause it. Either way, that's definitely the quickest/easiest thing to check, though it depends on why you installed them in the first place.
I only got the spacers for aesthetic reasons. I just think the car looks better when the tires sit nearly flush with the fender well. I'll remove them to see if they're the reason behind the vibrations. If not, I'm going to remove the wheel stud kit and see if that does anything.
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      09-24-2021, 08:26 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kazbek1 View Post
2007 335i, 136k miles, FBO, MHD Stage 2+ tune, M3 control arms, coilovers (for referenece)

At highway speeds, my steering wheel begins to vibrate a little and it feels/sounds like the tires are underinflated (they aren't) or they're rubbing against the fender well lining (they aren't). It's just not as smooth as it was prior to the M3 control arms install and alignment. I feel it in the pedals as well. I also installed a wheel stud kit at the same time. I'm running 12mm wheel spacers up front and 18mm spacers in the rear.

I checked everywhere and nothing is hanging from the bottom of the car, none of the tires are rubbing against anything, and the tires are all inflated to spec. Anyone else experience this after an upgraded control arm install, alignment, or wheel stud conversion?
You will get a little more NVH but I guarantee you the vibration is your spacers. Remove them and try it you’ll see
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