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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-04-2013, 05:57 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

I've replaced everything except shocks & struts. The car is a 97 528i with 220k. There's a road by my house that it appears a concrete truck must've been leaking concrete because there are probably 200 globs of hard concrete on about a quarter mile stretch. When I drive over them my rear end skips all over the place. It does it on any bumps....this is just where its almost uncontrollable. If it wasn't for my 11.5" rims on the back laying down some traction I really think the ass end just might break loose on this stretch of road if it were wet. Like I said, almost everything back there is about 3 months old (balljoints, upper and lower control arms, swaybar links and intergal links) .....even new pads and rotors. One thing I thought of was that my rear tires are 285/25/20 and I temporarily put a 285/30/20 on the rear drivers side. Could that make it skip ????
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2013, 06:52 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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Time for new shocks and struts.
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  #3  
Old 07-04-2013, 06:59 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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My car did the same thing..... My rear toe adjusters were BROKEN. Luckily, they couldn't fall out as they were seized to the toe control arm.
Here is how bad it was:

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  #4  
Old 07-04-2013, 07:41 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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I just had an allignment done after I replaced the suspension components. Seems like they'd have noticed something like that. I do DEFINITELYneed shocks and struts.
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Old 07-04-2013, 10:00 AM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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The alignment shop may not notice that... Did they jack up the rear and check for play? With the wheels on the ground, it doesn't move at all.
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:36 PM
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

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Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
The alignment shop may not notice that... Did they jack up the rear and check for play? With the wheels on the ground, it doesn't move at all.
They would have to notice that....how would they allign the rear without adjusting the toe ???

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Old 07-04-2013, 03:37 PM
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

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Originally Posted by Max_VQ View Post
The alignment shop may not notice that... Did they jack up the rear and check for play? With the wheels on the ground, it doesn't move at all.
And yes....they had the car up on a lift.

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Old 07-04-2013, 04:56 PM
Max_VQ Max_VQ is offline
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Originally Posted by diggyd357 View Post
They would have to notice that....how would they allign the rear without adjusting the toe ???

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You don't understand... The toe adjusters bolts were broken in the middle of the bushing and almost 100% seized. They can still be adjusted, but may rattle loose months later, causing the rear toe to change a lot when the tire hits a bump.

From what you have said, this is not your issue. I only mention it as it was a strange problem that can be easily overlooked.

I hope new shocks fixes your problem.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2013, 07:06 AM
rdl rdl is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggyd357 View Post
...
When I drive over them my rear end skips all over the place. It does it on any bumps....this is just where its almost uncontrollable.
...
For a little clarification.
Is this new, immediately after changing the one tire?
Does this happen when you are driving straight or only while turning?

A sideways jerk driving over a bump while turning is usually weak shocks/struts. A sideways jump while driving straight is usually bad alignment. It's most often toe. But failed links can/might allow "re-alignment" causing the phenomenon of bump steer. (some race cars have it "designed in" as a tradeoff in order to get other advantages, E39s don't)

I wouldn't have thought a 1", 4% difference in diameter with the new tire would cause the dramatic handling you describe. But perhaps with such wide wheels & tires ...
Are you by chance braking over these bumps? The DSC/ABS can't much like the difference in wheel speeds.

I wouldn't rely on an alignment 3 months ago as being proof against current issues. Heavy bumps can shift things &/or adjuster points can loosen & move. Did you replace the self-locking nuts on the rear adjuster points as specified by BMW, or use threadlocker? Were the new parts a good brand? Some of the cheap brands have reported very early failure.
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  #10  
Old 07-05-2013, 08:41 AM
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

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Originally Posted by rdl View Post
For a little clarification.
Is this new, immediately after changing the one tire?
Does this happen when you are driving straight or only while turning?

A sideways jerk driving over a bump while turning is usually weak shocks/struts. A sideways jump while driving straight is usually bad alignment. It's most often toe. But failed links can/might allow "re-alignment" causing the phenomenon of bump steer. (some race cars have it "designed in" as a tradeoff in order to get other advantages, E39s don't)

I wouldn't have thought a 1", 4% difference in diameter with the new tire would cause the dramatic handling you describe. But perhaps with such wide wheels & tires ...
Are you by chance braking over these bumps? The DSC/ABS can't much like the difference in wheel speeds.

I wouldn't rely on an alignment 3 months ago as being proof against current issues. Heavy bumps can shift things &/or adjuster points can loosen & move. Did you replace the self-locking nuts on the rear adjuster points as specified by BMW, or use threadlocker? Were the new parts a good brand? Some of the cheap brands have reported very early failure.
Unfortunately they were not oem parts. Every rubber piece on the suspension was gone. I had so much wheel play I had to do something. I just couldn't afford to rebuild the front and rear ends with Lemforder parts all at once so I went with the cheap crap to enable to safely drive the car then I'd planned on little by little changing them all out with oem. I have ordered some coilovers so I'm gonna start there. I guess I'll go from there.

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Old 07-05-2013, 09:57 AM
tcbDE tcbDE is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by diggyd357 View Post
I've replaced everything except shocks & struts. The car is a 97 528i with 220k.
Wait, you have 220k miles and you still have not changed the factory dampers?
Quote:
Originally Posted by AnotherGeezer View Post
Time for new shocks and struts.
^^ this, about 100k mi ago...
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  #12  
Old 07-06-2013, 04:55 AM
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

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Originally Posted by tcbDE View Post
Wait, you have 220k miles and you still have not changed the factory dampers?

^^ this, about 100k mi ago...
While I appreciate your concern geezer, I've only had the car for about 6k mi now. I'm doing my best to restore this 16yr old car and just haven't gitten to the dampers yet.....but they're ordered now. In the 7 months I've had the car I've done vanos seals, ccv, icv, cooling system, alternator, pads & rotors, rims & tires, head & taillights, neutral safety switch, front & rear suspension (minus the dampers), transmission fluid & filter, plugs, fuel filter, o2 sensors, exhaust headers, and more.....so I have been trying.

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  #13  
Old 07-06-2013, 08:39 AM
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+1 on everyone who had recommended shock absorber replacement. They are not criticizing the OP just answering the question posed in this thread.

The car is experiencing shock when hitting the concrete bumps. New shock absorbers are your best solution at this point.
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  #14  
Old 07-06-2013, 09:04 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Originally Posted by johnstern View Post
+1 on everyone who had recommended shock absorber replacement. They are not criticizing the OP just answering the question posed in this thread.

The car is experiencing shock when hitting the concrete bumps. New shock absorbers are your best solution at this point.
Agreed Alson I never took it as criticism and I apologize if I came across as defensive or sarcasticn I assure you it was unintentional. I GREATLY APPRECIATE everyone who takes the time to offer advice , be it criticism, personal experiences or just their two cents . I sometimes am a little too thorough with my replies leaving them open to interpretation as sarcasm, overkill or just ramblimg on at the mouth.
Anyway..... I too am thinking shocks/struts so I ordered a new set of coilovers. I've been wanting to drop it a couple inches anyway so I'm killing two birds with one stone. Thanks again !!!
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Old 07-07-2013, 08:11 AM
izoel izoel is offline
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

Please let us know when you've solve this problem, for I also have the same issue and just replace my front shock only with OE, thanks

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  #16  
Old 07-24-2013, 04:10 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

Ok....update.....had a guy pull in behind me at a gas station and tell me I have threads showing on my rear passenger tire. So I got under the car snad looked , but couldn't see anything. When I ran my hand around the inside edge of the tire I got poked by tiny wires. Come to find out there was about a 5" section on the inside edge that was SO Worn I just don't see how it was holding air. I put on my spare and voila ! No more jerking or skipping over bumps. Now, the question is "what caused that incredibly strange wear pattern on my tire ?" I notice the inside edge of the drivers side was slightly more worrn on the inside, but nothing like the passenger side. I also found it strange that this was a new Goodyear asymmetrical tire with a couple thousand miles on it and looked like it had 10, 000. Anyway....still researching. I will post back when I have something useful to post. Thanks !

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Old 07-24-2013, 07:14 AM
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Re: Bumps cause rear end to skip side 2side

And the verdict is in....rear wheel bearings.....the "dreaded rear wheel bearings" .

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  #18  
Old 08-01-2013, 09:42 PM
Cmarino72 Cmarino72 is offline
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I have the same issue...I have had my 1998 528i for less than a year and I am trying to fix everything that the previous owner didn't do...need new struts/shocks and strut mounts are torn.
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