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7 Series - E38 (1995 - 2001)

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  #1  
Old 01-09-2007, 05:00 AM
doncorleone doncorleone is offline
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Steering shimmy/vibration

Hello all, I have previously owned a 2000 5 series and a 1998 M3. I currently have a 1998 740i, and have had all sorts of problems, but love driving the car. I have dealt with the notorious "service engine" light, and other annoyances, but I am at my wits end regarding a steering wheel shimmy/vibration I get when driving in the 45 to 60 mph range. I have tried different wheels, tires, balances, sway bar bushings, tie rod ends. I have gone back to the OEM BMW Rims and a set of Michelin X-Ice tires for the Winter in Indiana. I still can't seem to get rid of it. The shimmy seems to go away when I get on the brakes a bit. I read somewhere that shimmy could be caused by the "traction control strut". Does anyone agree with this assessment?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 01-09-2007, 12:05 PM
jaugustavo jaugustavo is offline
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did you replace the traction struts? worn bushings on the traction struts seem to be a regular contributor to steering wheel shimmy at 45 - 55 mph.
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  #3  
Old 01-09-2007, 08:48 PM
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thrust arms and wheel bearings!
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  #4  
Old 01-10-2007, 08:01 PM
ttype86 ttype86 is offline
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I'd start with the Traction Struts, these are notorious for exactly what you described.
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  #5  
Old 01-11-2007, 08:09 AM
doncorleone doncorleone is offline
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In process

I'm currently in the process of having the traction struts replaced, we'll see how that goes. Thanks for the feedback.
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  #6  
Old 01-18-2007, 11:48 AM
jaugustavo jaugustavo is offline
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hey doncorleone, just wondering if the traction struts were the problem.
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  #7  
Old 01-18-2007, 09:39 PM
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bimmer7 bimmer7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncorleone View Post
I'm currently in the process of having the traction struts replaced, we'll see how that goes. Thanks for the feedback.
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  #8  
Old 01-18-2007, 09:42 PM
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bimmer7 bimmer7 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncorleone View Post
Hello all, I have previously owned a 2000 5 series and a 1998 M3. I currently have a 1998 740i, and have had all sorts of problems, but love driving the car. I have dealt with the notorious "service engine" light, and other annoyances, but I am at my wits end regarding a steering wheel shimmy/vibration I get when driving in the 45 to 60 mph range. I have tried different wheels, tires, balances, sway bar bushings, tie rod ends. I have gone back to the OEM BMW Rims and a set of Michelin X-Ice tires for the Winter in Indiana. I still can't seem to get rid of it. The shimmy seems to go away when I get on the brakes a bit. I read somewhere that shimmy could be caused by the "traction control strut". Does anyone agree with this assessment?

Any comments would be greatly appreciated.
May very well be the traction struts.....but did you get a Hunter RoadForce Balancing....sometimes that helps big time
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  #9  
Old 01-20-2007, 10:08 AM
MikeSpaulding MikeSpaulding is offline
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I too share the same year and model and, unfortunately, the same problem. I've replaced one of the wheel bearings and yet still suffer the symptoms, so I too would like to know if the traction struts solved your problem.

Thanks -Mike
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  #10  
Old 02-02-2007, 04:06 PM
Clancy Clancy is offline
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Something has to be the cause of the shimmy. Before you replace all the things that help keep the shimmies dampered, try having your tires balanced on the car: on a rack. The weight of those big rotors can ruin a perfect tire balance job if the rotors are out of balance. Find a shop that is set up to do this kind of balancing job.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2007, 10:38 PM
ttype86 ttype86 is offline
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Quote:
Something has to be the cause of the shimmy.
Yes, most likely the traction struts. I myself and hundreds of others have had the exact same problem, and replacing the traction strut bushings solves the problem 98% of the time. If you read his post, he states he has been through numerous sets of different rims and tires. Even if they were all out of balance, they wouldn't all start to shimmy at the exact same speed. My money is on the traction struts, they are the one thing known to cause this symptom frequently on the 740's, and their the one thing he hasn't replaced, yet he still has the same condition.

Last edited by ttype86; 02-02-2007 at 10:46 PM.
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  #12  
Old 02-07-2007, 05:16 AM
98740il 98740il is offline
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answer to ur problem

i jus had my control arms replaced and sway bars replaced and it fixed my rattle in the steering wheel
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  #13  
Old 02-07-2007, 09:59 AM
Tomlite Tomlite is offline
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Traction Strut bushings don't vibrate until you lightly apply the Brakes from about 45 mph to 62 mph. They won't vibrate on a flat roll.
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  #14  
Old 02-07-2007, 11:06 PM
ttype86 ttype86 is offline
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Quote:
Traction Strut bushings don't vibrate until you lightly apply the Brakes from about 45 mph to 62 mph.
Absolutely not true, in fact, mine only shimmied while I was driving in a straight line between 40 -50 mph, and the shimmy actually went away when I hit the brakes. Only the last couple of weeks before I replaced them, did they start to shimmy also when I was braking. And I know for a fact that the traction struts were the only problem as, they were the only thing I replaced on the front end and the shimmy went away in all situations and never came back again. Do a search and you'll find many other people have had the same problem between 40 -50 mph or so while driving and replacing the traction struts fixes the problem.
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  #15  
Old 07-26-2009, 02:38 PM
bigjrocc27 bigjrocc27 is offline
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I am having the same problem as well, but if i may ask to anyone who will answer. is the traction strut bushings the same as control arms ( lower ).
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  #16  
Old 08-06-2009, 08:38 PM
bigjrocc27 bigjrocc27 is offline
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Well replacing the traction control struts did the trick for me, so i have to thank everyone on this website for the help in figuring this problem out.
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  #17  
Old 08-13-2009, 04:01 PM
DJ_GMONEY DJ_GMONEY is offline
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I have a '98 740IL and my shimmy started when i got a flat on the driver side front tire then a flat on the passenger side front tire two days later. The driver side tire was patched while it was still on the car but the passenger side tire had to be removed. When they put the wheel back on, the shimmy started a few days later. When i brake slightly the shimmy is really bad but if i hit the brakes pretty hard, I don't really notice the shimmy. I will do a balance before i i try anything else. I'm not sure about the 65 mph shimmy because i have never driven my 740IL at that speed on the highway. It's 85 mph all the way. 65 mph is a disrespect to the motor in these vehicles.
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  #18  
Old 08-24-2009, 06:15 PM
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E92-Lighting E92-Lighting is offline
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i believe its a traction struts, you may want to look into those
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  #19  
Old 05-29-2010, 07:06 AM
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PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
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shimmy

I have posted an answer to this problem on other pages on this site, I cured my steering shimmy by replacing the front brake disc rotors, I'm 60 years old with 40 years experience on BMW's and I cannot give an answer or reason why this cured the shimmy on my 730i e38, Peter Newman
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  #20  
Old 09-27-2010, 07:19 PM
Jhouse06 Jhouse06 is offline
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Mein Auto: 1998 740i
Similar Issue

I have a 1998 740i. 3 days ago I took my car to the shop to put new 18 inch BMW rims and new tires on the car. After I picked it back up it started vibrating between 40 and 65 mph. It never did it before with the factory rims (which were 16inch rims) and I just put new tires on them 6 months ago, still nothing. Now it is vibrating and I took the car back...They checked the rims and tires 5 times and said they could not find any flaws. They balanced them put them on multiple machines to check the rims and tires and still nothing. They have checked the rest of the car and say they can not figure out why it is doing this out of the blue. The vibrating does not happen every time, but does 75% of the time. The manager even tried turning the traction control off to see if that would make a difference, it didn't. Then the entire shop took a crack at it and the manager comes to me after a few days of looking and says they are stumped. Based on what I am reading here I should specifically ask them to check the "Traction strut bushings" and possibly have the tires balanced on the car, on a rack???

Lastly the vibrating in the steering wheel happens whether I am accelerating or braking. At the shop they put the car on a rack and lifted. While in the air they removed the rear tires and the vibrations stopped, when put back on it started again. They said it was vibrating pretty bad in the air and the steering wheel was too.

Any help here would be much appreciated, thanks a bunch!!!
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  #21  
Old 09-27-2010, 09:35 PM
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PETER NEWMAN PETER NEWMAN is offline
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Smile Vibrations

Hi there, Here are two tips which I'm sure will cure your vibration problems, It seems to be a coincedence that your bmw started vibrating after having new wheels fitted but did the tyre garage supply the concentric rings which ensures that the new wheels are centered properly on the hubs, This is MOST important ! Secondly the main reason for wheel vibration or steering wobble on bmw e38 seven series is wear in the inner bushes on the lower thrust arms, These are the curved arms, I had this problem with my 730 and I could not detect any wear in the bushes but I replaced both arms anyway and the problem was totally cured. If you lived in the south east of the UK I could fix this for you in around one hour, Peter.
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  #22  
Old 09-28-2010, 06:55 AM
Jhouse06 Jhouse06 is offline
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I am heading back to the shop today, I will pass this info on to the mechanics. Thank you, I will let you know if this is the solution.

PS, I appreciate your gesture to help if I lived in the UK.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-2014, 08:37 PM
williamsboi williamsboi is offline
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Hi folks, I have pretty violent wheel shake around the speeds you're talking about but only very rarely, not all the time. Could that be the shimmy problem or something else? Maybe something bad with the brakes?
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