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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-09-2012, 08:44 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Steering wheel shake

My steering wheel has a slight shake that is most prevalent at 45 mph. When I am going 30 and blow or 60 and above the shake goes away. If I turn left the shake goes away but if I go straight or right the shake stays. The shake is accompanied by a whooping that I think is coming from the front driver side wheel. The whooping speeds up and slow down with the speedo. I would greatly appreciate it if some could point me in the direction of the problem.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman

Last edited by southpark11235; 09-10-2012 at 06:42 AM.
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  #2  
Old 09-09-2012, 11:05 PM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Whooping? Whopping? Me no gusta.
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  #3  
Old 09-10-2012, 04:50 AM
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Cipher_tx Cipher_tx is offline
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Tire, balance, or bearing.

Feel the tread for any high spots and take it to a shop to check the balance and for bends in the wheel.
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  #4  
Old 09-10-2012, 07:05 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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I fixed the spelling error.

I have checked for flat spot and did not find any, plus the tires are only 4 months old. This week I will have a shop balance the wheels and double check for flat spots. How should I check to see if the wheel bearing is bad.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #5  
Old 09-10-2012, 11:46 AM
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If the tires are that new there may be a bend in the wheel. Have the shop check when they balance.

Usually when a bearing is bad enough to feel, it's bad enough to hear. Most likely you would hear a humming sound while driving and would become louder while turning.
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Old 09-10-2012, 12:22 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Also consider that in addition to the items mentioned above, the tie rods, ball joints, and/or control arm bushings could be the culprit.
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  #7  
Old 09-10-2012, 01:10 PM
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^ that too
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  #8  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:27 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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The shop found the front driver side wheel bearing is bad. This is kind of weird because the PO said he changed the front wheel bearings. But whatever I order the parts today and everything should be here next. Will I need an alignment after I change the bearings?
Thanks for the help.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #9  
Old 09-12-2012, 04:37 PM
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If he used cheap bearings it is very possible. I've had cars come back 3 months after requesting the cheapest part. We call them 'white box'. Very poor quality.
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Old 09-12-2012, 04:52 PM
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You won't need an alignment after replacing the wheel bearing. Fortunately, they're are fairly affordable, too. And the labor involved to replace the front bearings is WAAAAY less than what's involved for the rear.
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  #11  
Old 09-22-2012, 09:53 PM
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Today I changed the front wheel bearings. Both of the old bearings were install wrong. After I took the dust cap off on the driver’s side I saw that the big 46mm nut was not staked to the axle. There was a square piece of metal cut out of the nut were one of the stakes should have been but no stake. I do not kwon if the installer did this so he could reuse the nut or if he knew something should be done there and said “I know I will cut out a small metal square. That has to be right. Right?” or he just really NEEDED a small metal square for his collection. Next I got my little brother to push the brake pedal while I used a 2ft breaker bar on the big nut. I was prepared for a big fight with this nut so put my keen on the bar and began putting my weight on it when the nut came lose with relatively little fours and I almost slammed my head in to the car. I continued remove pieces and after I pulled the old bearing I found that there was no rear dust cap. I bought new dust caps so it did not mater. I proceeded to reinstall everything and move on to the passenger side. After I got the dust cap off I found the same metal square miss from the big nut. Using my breaker bar I began to remove the nut but to my surprise it would not move. So I mixed 50% ATF with 50% acetone in a Windex bottle and sprayed the nut. Then I let the nut soak for awhile, while I had diner. When I came back I used my jack to prevent the breaker bar from slipping and stood on the end of the bar. The nut still would not move so using the bar like a spring board jumping up and down I was able to build up enough momentum to break the nut lose. The rest of the presider when smoothly and this side had a rear dust cap. Now with the car reassembled I took it for a test drive and the new *** bearings completely solved the sound issue. The steering wheel shake has been greatly reduced during the test drive I took my hands off the wheel and lightly touched it. I could still feel something but could not see it and will probably never notice it again because I normally drive with gloves on. Thanks for all the help.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #12  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:46 PM
ryan_e36 ryan_e36 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by southpark11235 View Post
My steering wheel has a slight shake that is most prevalent at 45 mph. When I am going 30 and blow or 60 and above the shake goes away. If I turn left the shake goes away but if I go straight or right the shake stays. The shake is accompanied by a whooping that I think is coming from the front driver side wheel. The whooping speeds up and slow down with the speedo. I would greatly appreciate it if some could point me in the direction of the problem.
its the wheel bearing if its at certain speeds. other than that it could be a bend in your rim or the tires balance is off
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  #13  
Old 10-04-2012, 07:58 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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I replaced the wheel bearings and fix the shake for like two weeks. Then unrelated to my first problem my brake caliper started sticking and warped the disk. So the shake is back. I order all the parts to rebuild the caliper and I am going to either replace or machine the disk.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #14  
Old 10-04-2012, 09:51 PM
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russian318is russian318is is offline
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are they tyres fully pumped up?
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  #15  
Old 10-04-2012, 11:05 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Rebuilding the caliper should be pretty easy. I rebuilt one of mine and saved a lot of money. Hardest part is getting the dust boot properly seated. Just gotta take your time and expect to break the first one (pro-tip: buy an extra).
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  #16  
Old 10-05-2012, 07:49 AM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by russian318is View Post
are they tyres fully pumped up?
Yes
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #17  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:23 AM
Echo46 Echo46 is offline
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I am betting the shake is, at the very least, bad CABs and possibly also bad control arms and end links.
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  #18  
Old 10-05-2012, 11:40 AM
godschariot godschariot is offline
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I am betting the shake is, at the very least, bad CABs and possibly also bad control arms and end links.
if that was the case i'd think it'd get worse the faster you went?
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  #19  
Old 10-05-2012, 04:04 PM
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bimmer claus bimmer claus is offline
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end links are notorious for shake when there loose they can make your steering wheel shake like a dryer on steroids control arms can do the same my 318is used to get so bad youd have to use two hands to control the beast
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  #20  
Old 10-05-2012, 06:47 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Sorry if I am not be clear. The original shake was fixed when I replaced the front wheel bearings. Then a few weeks later I realized my brake caliper was sticking when it warped the rotor. This cased a new shake when I hit the brakes. I order all the parts to fix it and they should be here Wednesday.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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  #21  
Old 10-14-2012, 10:03 PM
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southpark11235 southpark11235 is online now
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Rebuilding the calipers was relatively easy the hardest part was removing the piston. That took a few hours and I ended up buying a rebuilt passenger caliper as it was rusted in place. After I took everything apart I let it soak it diesel fuel for 24 hours. The diesel worked its magic and with a brush and water everything was ready for paint. I use some high temp black spray paint and now my calipers match my exhaust. Using all new rubber seals and bushing I reassembled the calipers without issue. Then I put every back on my car and bled the brakes. When I took my car for a test drive I noticed that I had to press the brake pedal about ½ an inch before I started braking. Before I rebuilt the calipers braking was instantaneous and hard with very little pedal travel. I do not know if I am just noticing the change from my broken calipers or if I have a little air in the system. After the little test drive I showered and ate breakfast. Then I started my 2.5 hour trip down to New York City to buy a full e46 m3 interior. For the whole trip the wheel shake stayed away so I think it gone. The drive down its self was quite nice. When I was in NYC I got followed by a 90s red Ferrari for like 15 min. After I bought the interior the guy I bought it from was surprised I got everything in my little 323is. The interior filled x3 but I managed. Although some might say I cheated by removing my passenger seat . The drive back was a little stressful after got to Quick Check and was told I could not use a NY Quick Check card in NJ. I only had under a ¼ tank left and $4 in cash. I had be use my phone a GPS so it was dead and nearest Quick Check in NY I knew of was 1.5 hours away. Quite angrily I ask the manger “could you attest take me out to dinner? Because I at least like to be wined and dined before I get f*cked” and some other Eric Cartman quotes from the humancentipad episode. After that I peeled out. Later I had to pull in to a moil station and find some change. I found $1.16 in change and put $5.16 in gas in my car. Somehow I managed to get to a NY Quick Check with the fuel light on and the needle at E. I got out of my car and kissed the gas pump I was so happy. After filling my car I got home without any more problems.
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Alex//1999 323is - power e46 M3 seats, style 43 rims, 328 exhaust, Z3 rack, Bilstein PSS coilovers

“We got about ten minutes before this entire county is up in flames. If you want to live, you’d better step on the gas! Oh wait is this a Tesla? Sh!t! Well, step on the prissy pedal, we're going to die!” – Cartman
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