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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 01-20-2011, 04:34 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Still Tramlining

If you've been following my threads, you know what I've been up to. Last spring, I replaced my front control arms and CABs. Then recently I replaced rear springs and trailing arm bushings. I have Sumitomo htr z3's with about 5k miles on them. I even replaced the steering guibo twice. The rear control arms were replaced 25k miles ago just before I bought the car.

I had the alignment checked yesterday, and now everything suspension and steering related is in great shape and properly adjusted.

But it's still tramlining. Do our cars "just do that"? Is it maybe my tires? The guy who did the alignment noticed it. We talked about it and all we could come up with was maybe, the tires are a little to square edged.

It's an 03 325i touring with ZSP suspension. Just over 70k miles.

Any thoughts?
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  #2  
Old 01-20-2011, 06:46 AM
banneddevice banneddevice is offline
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I had a similar problem with a set of Kumho MX HP Summer tires and they started tramlining very badly when the temperature started to cool down. I switched off to a set of Pilot AS and it stopped tramlining and road perfectly. I know its not the same set of tires but they are both HP-S tires and react in a similar fashion to temperature changes.
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  #3  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:20 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Hmmmm... the literature on these tires does say they shouldn't be used under 40 degrees. Is this maybe the result?
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  #4  
Old 01-20-2011, 07:44 AM
banneddevice banneddevice is offline
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Could be due to the rubber stiffening, I know snow tires are extremely soft compound even in cold temps while my HP-S tires were extremely hard in cold temps. They also started making a lot of noise at low speeds when the temperatures dropped. All of this went away when I changed over to my A/S tires.
The HP-S tires didn't make noise and they didn't tramline much except at low speeds when I drove on really poor road surfaces in warm temperatures. Both of these became much worse with cooler temperatures, the tramlining even began to happen at highway speeds which drove me nuts. Hope this helps. Might be worth it to get a set of cheap A/S tires to put on the front.
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  #5  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:18 AM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
If you've been following my threads, you know what I've been up to. Last spring, I replaced my front control arms and CABs. Then recently I replaced rear springs and trailing arm bushings. I have Sumitomo htr z3's with about 5k miles on them. I even replaced the steering guibo twice. The rear control arms were replaced 25k miles ago just before I bought the car.

I had the alignment checked yesterday, and now everything suspension and steering related is in great shape and properly adjusted.

But it's still tramlining. Do our cars "just do that"? Is it maybe my tires? The guy who did the alignment noticed it. We talked about it and all we could come up with was maybe, the tires are a little to square edged.

It's an 03 325i touring with ZSP suspension. Just over 70k miles.

Any thoughts?
Johnathan,

I just took my vert out yesterday to run it before the cold sets in this weekend, and I too noticed the tramlining. From the moment I got my car it has done it, and I have round shouldered Continentals. It's just normal for these cars. I'm sure the square edge of your tires are making it a bit worse. The tires being stiff will also contribute to it. Be careful driving with summer tires when it's very cold. I have noticed that my handling feels greasy when it is cold out, and I have to be careful not to push it.
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  #6  
Old 01-20-2011, 08:39 AM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
Johnathan,

I just took my vert out yesterday to run it before the cold sets in this weekend, and I too noticed the tramlining. From the moment I got my car it has done it, and I have round shouldered Continentals. It's just normal for these cars. I'm sure the square edge of your tires are making it a bit worse. The tires being stiff will also contribute to it. Be careful driving with summer tires when it's very cold. I have noticed that my handling feels greasy when it is cold out, and I have to be careful not to push it.
Yeah, I think the car has always done it. I think I'm maybe noticing it more because everything is tight now, maybe the loose steering and broken spring helped to mask the effect . I do take it easy on my tires in cold weather. My car is not a commuter, I don't drive to work, so I made the decision to get tires that would be more fun when the weather was good. I have noticed that on very wet roads, and particularly on snow, they change from tires to flotation devices pretty quickly.

Next time I need tires, I'll try something a bit different. The Sumitomo's give great grip but maybe something else won't get bounced around as much. But at the rate I put on miles, these will be on for at least two more years. Guess I'll just get used to it.
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  #7  
Old 01-20-2011, 09:22 AM
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smolck smolck is online now
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Well, your brand of tire isn't good IMO. Where's JVR826? He is an expert on this stuff.
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  #8  
Old 01-27-2011, 08:17 AM
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Does anyone think a strut tower brace would help eliminate tramlining. I've done everything else that needs to be done to the front, and nothing is loose or worn anywhere. I don't think I'll need new struts for the next couple years so this would be the last piece.

Anyone????
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  #9  
Old 01-27-2011, 08:59 AM
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G. P. Burdell G. P. Burdell is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Does anyone think a strut tower brace would help eliminate tramlining.
If you get a strut tower brace, get it for the added protection against strut tower mushrooming; I wouldn't expect it to have any impact upon tramlining if it's added to a suspension that is in good condition.
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  #10  
Old 01-27-2011, 09:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
Does anyone think a strut tower brace would help eliminate tramlining.


No.

Some tires just tramline. I don't notice it much at all with my current RE760 Sports.
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2011, 09:52 AM
tomjrau tomjrau is offline
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My tramlining significantly improved when switching from Dunlop SP Sport Maxx to the Hankook ventus v12 evo k110 (couldn't they come up with a shorter name?).. noise significantly improved too.
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  #12  
Old 01-28-2011, 05:53 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
If you've been following my threads, you know what I've been up to. Last spring, I replaced my front control arms and CABs. Then recently I replaced rear springs and trailing arm bushings. I have Sumitomo htr z3's with about 5k miles on them. I even replaced the steering guibo twice. The rear control arms were replaced 25k miles ago just before I bought the car.

I had the alignment checked yesterday, and now everything suspension and steering related is in great shape and properly adjusted.

But it's still tramlining. Do our cars "just do that"? Is it maybe my tires? The guy who did the alignment noticed it. We talked about it and all we could come up with was maybe, the tires are a little to square edged.

It's an 03 325i touring with ZSP suspension. Just over 70k miles.

Any thoughts?
Just a thought, maybe boost your tire pressure up to 40-42psi to see if it makes a difference. And / or swap wheels from front to back to see if that makes a difference.

Or, even better, if you have any friends in the area with an e46, ask to swap wheels for a test drive. At least you might be able to pinpoint if its a tire problem versus a strut/mechanical problem.
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  #13  
Old 01-29-2011, 11:54 AM
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My 330Ci tramlines quite a bit with Dunlop Direzzas, especially on I95 where the right lane is rutted from semis. Disappears completely when I put my snow tires on.
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  #14  
Old 01-29-2011, 08:56 PM
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marinekilz marinekilz is offline
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My first thought was if they chekced with the correct specs for your veh. ie tire size, touring, and sport suspension or just did a generic e46 alignment
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  #15  
Old 01-30-2011, 06:17 AM
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mawana mawana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by marinekilz View Post
My first thought was if they chekced with the correct specs for your veh. ie tire size, touring, and sport suspension or just did a generic e46 alignment
Yes, check your alignment specs - you should be running zero (0) toe on each front wheel or at least very close to 0.
Tires are usually the main culprit but in this case, I don't see the thread pattern of the sumi's contributing to tramlining. Unless, if they were wearing out unevenly.
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  #16  
Old 01-30-2011, 07:07 AM
mujjuman mujjuman is offline
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It's the tires. Also larger wheel size seems to promote it as well in my experience
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  #17  
Old 01-30-2011, 08:07 AM
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My tramlining went away after I switched to a square setup of kumho tires all around.

Btw, did you notice any change with the steering guibo?
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