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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Car acting weird after M3 Front Control arms



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      01-28-2020, 01:15 AM   #1
Blackdog76
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Car acting weird after M3 Front Control arms

I just installed a set of M3 front control arms on my 335d. Everything went in nicely and was torqued to spec. I had to adjust the toe so I could drive it to the alignment shop and got it aligned the next day to my carís specs. The car is handling like absolute shit. I donít know if itís because the new control arms are stiffer and my stock non sport suspension is so soft and bouncy, but the car is scary to drive at highway speeds around curves. It feels like the steering is held together with rubber bands. Is this an alignment screw up?
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      01-28-2020, 08:44 AM   #2
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Did you replace the control arm nuts? Sounds like nuts might be loose, and the arm sloping around. I had that when I was driving with nuts loose on purpose to get the arms to settle for final torque. Turns out a drive way to road < 2" bump was enough to make it settle.
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      01-28-2020, 09:18 PM   #3
Blackdog76
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Iíve been meaning to check the alignment guys work to make sure everything is tightened back up but I keep running out of daylight.
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      01-28-2020, 10:57 PM   #4
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Did you DIY install them or have a shop do it?
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      01-29-2020, 02:31 PM   #5
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Did you torque the tension arms in place while at ride height? The arm with the rubber bushing on the chassis side must not be preloaded.

Alignment looks good but if something is loose the sheet is meaningless.
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      01-29-2020, 07:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbnks2 View Post
Did you torque the tension arms in place while at ride height? The arm with the rubber bushing on the chassis side must not be preloaded.

Alignment looks good but if something is loose the sheet is meaningless.
Checked today, nothing loose. Arms were torqued while car was lifted.
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      01-29-2020, 09:57 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog76 View Post
Checked today, nothing loose. Arms were torqued while car was lifted.
I was under the assumption that when torqueing these the car needed to be at "ride height"
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      01-30-2020, 06:57 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM3Rrrr View Post
I was under the assumption that when torqueing these the car needed to be at "ride height"
You are correct, he should have torqued when it was on the ground at ride height
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      01-30-2020, 07:05 AM   #9
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Doesn't matter for the rear (of the front) arms, as they have ball joints at both ends; only matters for the front ones, which should definitely be torqued at ride height.
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      01-30-2020, 07:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog76 View Post
Checked today, nothing loose. Arms were torqued while car was lifted.
You're gonna have to redo the torquing. Your suspension needs preload for certain suspension parts when torqued. I believe control arm is definitely one of those.

Measure from center cap to top fender and keep that measurement in note before jacking your car. When you are ready to torque, jack your wheel hub so that the middle centercap to fender measures your previous measurement. That side is now technically preloaded.

Last edited by TheMidnightNarwhal; 01-30-2020 at 07:44 AM..
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      01-30-2020, 07:12 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
Doesn't matter for the rear (of the front) arms, as they have ball joints at both ends; only matters for the front ones, which should definitely be torqued at ride height.
TIS says both need to be torqued under preload... both arms have balljoints on hub side but on subframe side both are not balljoints but a rubber bushing.
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      01-30-2020, 07:15 AM   #12
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M3 arms have ball joints at both ends of the rear arms, definitely.

Anyhow, no harm done if they're torqued at ride height either way.
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      01-30-2020, 07:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
M3 arms have ball joints at both ends of the rear arms, definitely.

Anyhow, no harm done if they're torqued at ride height either way.
I don't believe so. Unless I'm wrong and that's technically considered a balljoint? I thought it was just called a bushing since bolt goes through it?

EDIT: Ohhh ok I see what you are saying, it does look like a balljoint.

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      01-30-2020, 07:48 AM   #14
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So someone said early on no preload. Now several are saying they must be torqued at ride height. Wonít hurt to try so Iíll loosen then retorque at ride height and see what happens.
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      01-30-2020, 09:05 AM   #15
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one of the main benefits for the M3 front lower arms was more neg camber; why did you get it adjusted to stock spec?
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      01-30-2020, 09:09 AM   #16
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Yes, definitely torque the inner ends at ride height. Even on the ball joints (where it's not necessary) it won't hurt. While it's 100% worthwhile doing, I don't know that it'll help your problem though... Fingers crossed!


Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMidnightNarwhal View Post
EDIT: Ohhh ok I see what you are saying, it does look like a balljoint.
Yep, definitely a ball joint!
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      01-30-2020, 01:58 PM   #17
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Before rear camber was un-even. One side was -1.3į. Now both sides at -1.8į. Agree with earlier poster. Whole point of front M3 arms is the increased negative camber capability. If you don't remove the pins up top, you can only go so far though. Your before and after front camber is near identical so you shouldn't feel any difference there.
FWIW, i run -1.5į camber on all 4 corners. I'm not tracking the car but got this advise from Ground Control in conjunction with all of my other suspension parts. His idea was sort of a neutral setup for me. If you go back for a realignment after redoing the proper ride height torquing, ask if the front camber is at max negative values already. I had thought the front M3 arms gave another -0.75į capability. But the camber pins up top may be stopping you. Ask about pulling the pins possibly.
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      01-30-2020, 02:05 PM   #18
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The before measurement is with the M3 parts, but before the geometry was set properly. Without M3 front arms, camber would have been about 0. So the camber on the sheet is about spot on. No need to pull the alignment pins, since they'll only yield about 0.2deg more at most, and it's currently even L-R
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      01-31-2020, 09:03 AM   #19
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M3 control arms should be torqued down at ride height & you should get the M3 nut & bolt set with them.

It's a good idea to do the tie rods at the same time so they can "keep up" with the new M3 arms.

You absolutely should re-torque the control arms after 30 days of install.
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      02-02-2020, 11:12 PM   #20
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I loosened the subframe tension and control arm mounting points and retorqued to spec at ride height with the same results. Iílm bringing it back to the alignment shop tomorrow. Iíll give it a little negative camber up front.

Last edited by Blackdog76; 02-03-2020 at 12:40 AM..
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      02-03-2020, 07:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackdog76 View Post
I loosened the subframe tension and control arm mounting points and retorqued to spec at ride height with the same results. I'lm bringing it back to the alignment shop tomorrow. I'll give it a little negative camber up front.
You can't give the front wheels camber unless you have an after market camber kind installed.

The only adjustments you can make in the front are Toe.
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      02-03-2020, 03:29 PM   #22
Blackdog76
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Ok so back from the alignment shop and they are saying the rear was already out of spec and they canít get it right because my rear subframe bushings are shot. I was already going to replace them anyway so not a big deal. But the more I searched similar handling issues the more tire pressure popped up. My tires are new (I decided to do M3 control arms and new tires at the same time to avoid 2 alignments). They had my rear at 45psi and my front at 38psi. Iím running m4 437m wheels so I dropped the pressures closer to m4 specs. Roughly 32 front and 38 rear. Iíll report back after my commute tonight.
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