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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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Old 01-09-2013, 06:04 PM
Steelsmitty Steelsmitty is offline
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Shimmy shimmy coco puff at highway speeds

High speed shimmy in the front end mystery:

Before I describe the problem I know that my front end lower control arm 'eyeball' joints are bad and that this may be my problem. But, I think its more than that.

My 2003 325xi floats around at highway speeds which will be fixed with new lower control arm bushings.

Here is a new problem.

Crusing along for 50 miles at 74 to 78 mph a small grade climb on the interstate, the car downshifts a bit to maintain speed and the front end goes a bit crazy with a serious shimmy. Back off the gas...fine. Accelerate again, same shimmy.

First, I'm wondering if the some front end bearings heat up, get loose and start this crap or if drive shafts are to blame.

I have not taken it to my mechanic in Nashville yet to get the laundry list of issues. I fear an expensive repair.


Last edited by Steelsmitty; 01-09-2013 at 06:05 PM.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:38 PM
BigMotherWheels BigMotherWheels is offline
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I really think you need new control arms and bushings. Do that first and then see how it is. Under $400 and do it yourself. Don't stress or take it to the dealership.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:48 PM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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The car downshifts on a "small grade" at 74-78 mph ? Auto trans? That doesn't sound right. I cruise at about 80-85, traffic permitting, there's some good steep grades around, and my car never downshifts at those speeds. Might want to think about trans fluid and filter change.
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Old 01-10-2013, 07:22 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Nice Digital Underground reference in title!

I wonder, in addition to the aforementioned suspension items, if your transmission and/or engine mounts are shot? That could explain for the reaction to the downshift at load. I also wonder if the guibo or drive shaft has issues?
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:37 AM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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Psst, and you should know this.......The correct words to that song are, "Shimmy shimmy Cocoa Bop." Cocoa Puffs are a cereal.
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Old 01-11-2013, 06:01 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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I thought it was Cocoa Pop? (I didn't look up the lyrics though).

This may help the OP:
- The main causes of vibration while highway driving (0) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) & while highway braking (1) (2) (3) & why it's not rotor "warp" (1) & severe ABS shuddering while slow speed braking on bumps (1) & how fluid-filled thrust arm bushings crack and tear causing the BMW to vibrate at speed (0) (1) (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) (6) (7) (8) & a comprehensive TireRack vehicle vibration diagnosis chart (1) (jpg) with wheel match mounting hints (1) & how a worn drive shaft, flex disc, center bearing, or "giunti Boschi", aka giubo (it's not spelled guibo although it sounds like it is to some) can cause the vehicle to vibrate (1) (2) (3) (4) & how to repair the rear driveshaft seal by the differential (1) & how to repair the inner constant velocity (CV) half-drive shaft (1).
Please read the suggested threads and add value, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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Old 01-11-2013, 07:05 AM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
I thought it was Cocoa Pop? (I didn't look up the lyrics though).
It is...

My garage: 2013 BMW 550xi GT, 2007 BMW Z4 3.0si Manual, 2006 BMW 530xi

Retired: 2007 BMW X3, 1998 BMW Z3

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Old 01-11-2013, 07:58 AM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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I guess I'm the only one who thought of this song instead when I saw the title.
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Old 01-11-2013, 09:06 AM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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When the song was done by Little Anthony and the Imperials, it was called, "Shimmy Shimmy Ko-Ko-Bop. Look it up.
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