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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 05-14-2008, 09:53 AM
RogerD RogerD is offline
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ZHP Excessive tramlining

My '05 ZHP with 26K on the clock is tramlining excessively around town and on the highway. It feels unsafe as it is hard to control at speed on roads that are less than perfect. The car has moved nearly a foot to the right at lower speeds when driving over ruts in the road caused by trucks. I had control arms checked and some work done (brackets) under warranty before I picked up the car.

The tires are new Michelin Pilot Sports. They probably have 200 miles on them at the most -- the dealer put them on before I picked up the car.

Should I expect this problem to go away (to an extent) as the tires "break in", e.g. at 1000 miles? Or should I head to the dealer and request an alignment, etc.? Tire pressure is OK, set to 32/38 cold at this point.

If it turns out to be the tires -- anyone want the set for $500? I'll swap 'em for the Tirerack Pirelli PZero closeout.
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  #2  
Old 05-14-2008, 10:01 AM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Search the forum, but I'll tell you, this is a function of the PS1 tires you're running.

My '05 had PS1s from the factory and I had the same issues. Once I switched to PS2s it was mostly a memory. I've since tried a couple other brands and models, neither of those have any problems in the uneven pavement situation either.

Best advice if you don't want to spring for new rubber now is to eat those babies up fast and move on to something else. Track days are good for that!

You may also want to toy with tire pressure some. If you're running the stock pressures I found them less than ideal. 37psi all around, IMHO, is a better starting point than the 33psi and 41psi I remember seeing on the door jam (could be wrong, don't quote me on that). Running those pressures will get you way more understeer than you should have to deal with on a stock ZHP.
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  #3  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:01 AM
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woody underwood woody underwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Search the forum, but I'll tell you, this is a function of the PS1 tires you're running.

My '05 had PS1s from the factory and I had the same issues. Once I switched to PS2s it was mostly a memory. I've since tried a couple other brands and models, neither of those have any problems in the uneven pavement situation either.

Best advice if you don't want to spring for new rubber now is to eat those babies up fast and move on to something else. Track days are good for that!

You may also want to toy with tire pressure some. If you're running the stock pressures I found them less than ideal. 37psi all around, IMHO, is a better starting point than the 33psi and 41psi I remember seeing on the door jam (could be wrong, don't quote me on that). Running those pressures will get you way more understeer than you should have to deal with on a stock ZHP.
This guys right. It's your tires...I have Bridgestones on my ZHP and they are even worse. Next set will be the best Michelins I can get. Higher tire pressure will help, but you shouldn't have to do that. I run 38/40 psi.
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  #4  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:14 AM
Taymar Taymar is offline
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Has anyone tried bridgestone potenza re040(?) runflats?

My car feels a bit weird at speed sometimes, like there's a strong crosswind. I'm wondering if these tires might be to blame.

I might try continental next time, been impressed with them in the past.
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  #5  
Old 05-14-2008, 11:31 AM
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SC4ME SC4ME is offline
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Another factor is the staggered setup, smaller wheels on the front and bigger on the rear. But definitely, the type of tire you have is the biggest issue.
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  #6  
Old 05-14-2008, 12:38 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taymar View Post
Has anyone tried bridgestone potenza re040(?) runflats?

My car feels a bit weird at speed sometimes, like there's a strong crosswind. I'm wondering if these tires might be to blame.

I might try continental next time, been impressed with them in the past.
Why purposely put those brick heavy runflats on your car?

I have been unimpressed with the couple of sets of Conti's I've had on two E39's.

I just got a set of Nitto Invos for my car and am really liking them as a street tire. I put a review in the tire forum, have a look see. IMO, you don't need to spend Michelin money on street only tires.
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  #7  
Old 05-14-2008, 01:38 PM
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ktonomura ktonomura is offline
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Falken FK452s are a good budget friendly choice as well if your car is only street driven! check them out
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  #8  
Old 05-14-2008, 03:32 PM
Dunbar42 Dunbar42 is offline
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My PS1's tramline pretty bad on the highway. I'm going to live with it until the tires need replacement. You could always buy some new tires (PS2's, Eagle F1 Asymetrics) pretty much any of the highly regarded ultra high performance tires. Sell your new PS1's to offset the cost.
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  #9  
Old 05-14-2008, 03:34 PM
Lanc3r Lanc3r is offline
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Stiff suspension + stiff tires = feel everything.
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  #10  
Old 05-14-2008, 03:47 PM
Taymar Taymar is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
Why purposely put those brick heavy runflats on your car?

I have been unimpressed with the couple of sets of Conti's I've had on two E39's.

I just got a set of Nitto Invos for my car and am really liking them as a street tire. I put a review in the tire forum, have a look see. IMO, you don't need to spend Michelin money on street only tires.
The runflats came on the car unfortunately. Thanks for the heads up on the Conti's, the set I had weren't on a BMW. Will be nice to ditch this extra unsprung weight when it's time for tires.
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  #11  
Old 05-14-2008, 05:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taymar View Post
Has anyone tried bridgestone potenza re040(?) runflats?

My car feels a bit weird at speed sometimes, like there's a strong crosswind. I'm wondering if these tires might be to blame.

I might try continental next time, been impressed with them in the past.
Runflats blow

(OEM) Contis blow

Step up to the plate & spring for PS2s
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  #12  
Old 05-14-2008, 05:26 PM
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RogerD,

You`ll get used to the tramlining (seriously).....there`s 2 factors here:

Those PS1s need time to break in (at least 500 miles)

ZHPs have the quickest steering of all BMWs, and can make the car feel "nervous" until you acclimate to it (and you WILL) Just stay out of those truck ruts....

Regards,
Bob
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  #13  
Old 05-14-2008, 05:35 PM
ktc ktc is offline
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Originally Posted by ktonomura View Post
Falken FK452s are a good budget friendly choice as well if your car is only street driven! check them out
+1. I've had a really good experience with them going from the Bridgestone RE040s and there is definitely less tramlining. It's also quieter.
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  #14  
Old 05-14-2008, 05:50 PM
pcb121055 pcb121055 is offline
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tramlining was one of the first things i noticed about my zhp. for my daily route, it only happens on the first stretch of interstate i use when i head home and it is only for a few miles but it is the same effect every time. it darts to one side or another. it is ironic how straight it runs on decent surfaces but how much of a challenge it is on those minor ruts. i bought my car @ 32k with a new set of dunlop dz101's on it and have gotten better at dealing with this behavior. tirerack.com has a blurb on tramlining that suggests that it is at least partially due to aggressive tread patterns. since it is only this one stretch where i encounter this effect, i can live with it.
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  #15  
Old 05-14-2008, 06:59 PM
tomjrau tomjrau is offline
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tramlining

I noticed quite a bit of tramlining on my '03 zhp as well after upgrading from bridgestone potenza re040 stock to dunlop sp sport maxx. The rear end especially seems to tramline much more than the front which is a little disconcerting at times and fools me into wanting to correct the steering on the freeway. This is only a problem on certain freeways with longitudinal grooves and goes away on straight, smooth, uncambered roads.
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  #16  
Old 05-15-2008, 04:45 AM
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Chris90 Chris90 is offline
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Originally Posted by SC4ME View Post
Another factor is the staggered setup, smaller wheels on the front and bigger on the rear. But definitely, the type of tire you have is the biggest issue.
Mine is non-staggered (225s) and tramlines like crazy. But I kind of like it, feels like I'm actually driving something.

I have Goodyear Eagle F1s, but it was similar with my snow tires.
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  #17  
Old 05-15-2008, 04:32 PM
ZHPPY ZHPPY is offline
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I bought my 04 ZHP last August and it had new PS1s on it. The car drove beautifully and I did not have any tramlining issues before I put winter wheels/tires on in November. In April I put the ZHP wheels/tires back on and the tramlining started. I searched this forum many times but did not see a post saying specifically that PS1s the worst/one of the worst for tramlining. Then again, I didn't search on PS1s.

Yesterday I took my car to the dealership to have it checked out. I told the SA that on grooved and/or rutted roads my car pulls to the left when stopping. The SA called me later and said the tech did not find anything wrong nor could he duplicate my problems when he took it out for a drive. I went by after work and the tech went on a ride with me. I learned the SA only wrote down that the car was pulling to the left when coming to a stop. The tech said he checked the brake calipers, suspension, tires, etc and everything was fine. He also said the brake pads and tires are wearing evenly. When I took him on a road that causes the worst tramlining, he said his car does the same thing (He has an e46 too.) He said it was a combination of the suspension, tire size and tires. He said my car drives perfectly but he would do an alignment on it if I wanted. He added that he thought it would be a waste of my money. I believed him. When I got home and got on the forum, I saw this thread. I guess I will be looking for new tires soon.

The tech also complemented my car and said he loves it when he sees my car on the day's work order. He must have worked on it the four times it's been there (oil change, steering wheel replacement, brake fluid flush, and sunroof rail replacement). I knew there weren't many ZHPs around here besides mine.
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  #18  
Old 08-15-2011, 04:06 PM
04Cali330CiZHP 04Cali330CiZHP is offline
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This is obviously an old post but I had the same situation with my Bridgstone Potenza staggers. After several unsettling episodes of "tracking" or, tramlining I was informed by a friend that works at Wheel Warehouse that tire pressure can contribute significantly to this phenomenon. Sure enough, I brought the tire pressure up to the recommended numbers and the problem was nearly non-existent. I have also driven PS2s and the matter is similar. AIR UP!! It turns out that I had run too low for too long and damaged my tires. An even better reason to check the pressure.
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  #19  
Old 08-16-2011, 02:54 PM
tomjrau tomjrau is offline
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Tramlining in my ZHP was significantly reduced when I switched from the Dunlop SP sport maxx to the Hankook Ventus V12. I keep my tire pressures at 36F/39R.

The Hankook tires are also quieter and ride better but appear to be wearing out about 33% quicker. Road feedback also slightly reduced. The improvement in tramlining is well worth the decreased treadlife to me, especially given the price of the tires.
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  #20  
Old 08-16-2011, 08:28 PM
johnrando johnrando is offline
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Interesting, I have the original tires on my ZHP still and I don't really get a lot of heavy tram lining. Mine is more what you would describe as "slightly jittery". BTW, zhpmafia.com has a lot of good ZHP information.
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  #21  
Old 08-16-2011, 10:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrando View Post
Interesting, I have the original tires on my ZHP still and I don't really get a lot of heavy tram lining. Mine is more what you would describe as "slightly jittery". BTW, zhpmafia.com has a lot of good ZHP information.
As tires wear in, tramlining is reduced somewhat.

You get used to tramlining, and you subconciously correct for it....it becomes like breathing, you don`t even realize you`re doing it.

We know....we STARTED the ZHP Mafia, right here....
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  #22  
Old 08-16-2011, 10:47 PM
johnrando johnrando is offline
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Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
As tires wear in, tramlining is reduced somewhat.

You get used to tramlining, and you subconciously correct for it....it becomes like breathing, you don`t even realize you`re doing it.

We know....we STARTED the ZHP Mafia, right here....
Nice!
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  #23  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:25 PM
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CaptainTrap CaptainTrap is offline
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hate to resurrect an old thread but I need advice. I am experiencing horrible tramlining on my commute on i84 (CT portion exit 8-11 east and west) to and from work everyday. I dont really notice it anywhere else. I was experiencing the problem with my summer set and when i had my winter set up on last week i have the same issue. Which leads me to believe that this cannot be a tire issue. My CABs and ball joints are only 3 years old. Could this be a symptom of a shot steering guibo or something else?

Thanks
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  #24  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:47 PM
cvx5832 cvx5832 is online now
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I'd start with an alignment if it hasn't been done in a while. I had the same symptoms after changing control arms and I was stubborn about getting an alignment after the repair. Turns out I had excessive toe-in.

Several experts I've spoken to and read about explain it like this : Excessive front toe isn't usually detectable on a perfect road surface because the two wheels have opposing forces. On less than perfect roads, where one tire may get some "air" even for a split second, the tire that's still on the road is free to "steer" the car. This gives you that momentary steering input that's perceived as an unstable car.

Another cause is rear trailing arm bushings. Those are easier to diagnose so just look up how to do it here.
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  #25  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainTrap View Post
hate to resurrect an old thread but I need advice. I am experiencing horrible tramlining on my commute on i84 (CT portion exit 8-11 east and west) to and from work everyday. I dont really notice it anywhere else. I was experiencing the problem with my summer set and when i had my winter set up on last week i have the same issue. Which leads me to believe that this cannot be a tire issue. My CABs and ball joints are only 3 years old. Could this be a symptom of a shot steering guibo or something else?

Thanks
Try to avoid lanes with truck ruts....
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