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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
The E9X is the 4th evolution of the BMW 3 series including a highly tuned twin turbo 335i variant pushing out 300hp and 300 ft. lbs. of torque. BMW continues to show that it sets the bar for true driving performance! -- View the E9X Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-28-2013, 06:20 AM
335 tom 335 tom is offline
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335 Steering Centering

I'm actually a former 335xi owner and am now with a Golf R. I miss the low-range punch of the 335 and the phenomenal smoothness of the engine. However, I was so put off by the poor steering centering and on-center feel that I swapped for the Golf R. The R has electrical steering assist as well as AWD so I know that those are not factors in the centering (the car has great on-center feel and self-centering).

It seems that a lack of caster is a likely suspect but my dealer had indicated that it was not adjustable.

Anyone with any experience in adjusting the caster? Results?

I wouldn't mind getting back into another 335 but not until the I feel the centering can be addressed.

Thanks

Tom
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  #2  
Old 10-28-2013, 07:11 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335 tom View Post
I'm actually a former 335xi owner and am now with a Golf R. I miss the low-range punch of the 335 and the phenomenal smoothness of the engine. However, I was so put off by the poor steering centering and on-center feel that I swapped for the Golf R. The R has electrical steering assist as well as AWD so I know that those are not factors in the centering (the car has great on-center feel and self-centering).

It seems that a lack of caster is a likely suspect but my dealer had indicated that it was not adjustable.

Anyone with any experience in adjusting the caster? Results?

I wouldn't mind getting back into another 335 but not until the I feel the centering can be addressed.

Can't relate - mine feels fine. Did you try to fix with alignment?

Caster plates avail from Ground Control. Otherwise not adjustable, race guys want that - maybe you do too!
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Old 10-28-2013, 07:12 AM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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.

If grey cells serve, E9x has 7 camber - what's yours?
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  #4  
Old 10-28-2013, 08:51 AM
335 tom 335 tom is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Can't relate - mine feels fine. Did you try to fix with alignment?

Caster plates avail from Ground Control. Otherwise not adjustable, race guys want that - maybe you do too!
Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
.

If grey cells serve, E9x has 7 camber - what's yours?
Thanks for the response!

My 335 was aligned at least twice (although I do not recall the caster). I complained every time the car was in for service and every service loaner was similar to mine in terms of being numb on center and with poor centering. In the end, I just figured it was the nature of the beast.

Caster plates may be the way to go.
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  #5  
Old 10-28-2013, 11:46 AM
53K 53K is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335 tom View Post
Thanks for the response!

My 335 was aligned at least twice (although I do not recall the caster). I complained every time the car was in for service and every service loaner was similar to mine in terms of being numb on center and with poor centering. In the end, I just figured it was the nature of the beast.

Caster plates may be the way to go.
I also feel slight numbness in the center with my 335, compared to E46 that I had for years, but it is only slightly worse and not a big enough factor for me. In fact, it is the steering feel that made me go with E92 than F32. I couldn't believe the steering feel of F30 (F32 wasn't out then). You would feel more if you put a hot knife into butter.

Last edited by 53K; 10-28-2013 at 11:49 AM.
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  #6  
Old 10-28-2013, 12:52 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335 tom View Post
Thanks for the response!

My 335 was aligned at least twice (although I do not recall the caster). I complained every time the car was in for service and every service loaner was similar to mine in terms of being numb on center and with poor centering. In the end, I just figured it was the nature of the beast.

Caster plates may be the way to go.

30 years back BMW advertised their superior centering! Hmmmmmm.....
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  #7  
Old 10-28-2013, 06:58 PM
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335_tom, one little thing: What wheels/tires do you run?
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  #8  
Old 10-29-2013, 09:53 AM
335 tom 335 tom is offline
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Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
.

335_tom, one little thing: What wheels/tires do you run?
Stock 17s 225/45 if I recall. the first set was OEM whatever that was for 2007. At 20k they were making a horrible noise. The ride was abysmal. Replaced with RFT Potenzas. At 20K again unacceptably noisy. The ride was again abysmal. Went to non-RFT Potenzas (with a Conti comfort kit) ride was better (not great) and the tires were much quieter. None of them affected centering or on-center feel though.
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Old 10-29-2013, 12:09 PM
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Mark K Mark K is offline
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Originally Posted by 335 tom View Post
None of them affected centering or on-center feel though.
Look, if I have to complain about anything, it would be TOO MUCH on-center feel on my car. But I have zero complaints, truly, I will miss this steering when I get rid of this car in couple of years, whatever I get. Unless I get a used 987 Cayman, of course ...

Now, to your experience ...

a) go test drive 2011 and newer 335xi again. They did make some significant changes on SPORT suspension, couldn't say if they did the same with X drive.

b) now go test drive 2011 and newer 335i coupe or ZSP sedan with engine's power being sent where God intended it to be sent - to the rear wheels. How's the on-center feel? Good? Excellent, even? Yep, as expected. Conclusion: stay with VW or switch to Audi if you need 4 driven wheels.

No offense meant to you or BMW, really.
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2011 E92 335i 6MT ZSP ZCW (ED May 17th 2010)

2013 118d BMWNA Special Edition. Black on black cloth (yay!), 5 door hatchback, 140hp diesel. Special edition items: factory debadge| "VW", "Golf" and "TDI" badges factory applied | MT | Standard go flat tires | Spare tire (yay!) | No moonroof (yay!) .

Last edited by Mark K; 10-29-2013 at 12:13 PM.
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  #10  
Old 10-29-2013, 12:42 PM
335 tom 335 tom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark K View Post
Look, if I have to complain about anything, it would be TOO MUCH on-center feel on my car. But I have zero complaints, truly, I will miss this steering when I get rid of this car in couple of years, whatever I get. Unless I get a used 987 Cayman, of course ...

Now, to your experience ...

a) go test drive 2011 and newer 335xi again. They did make some significant changes on SPORT suspension, couldn't say if they did the same with X drive.

b) now go test drive 2011 and newer 335i coupe or ZSP sedan with engine's power being sent where God intended it to be sent - to the rear wheels. How's the on-center feel? Good? Excellent, even? Yep, as expected. Conclusion: stay with VW or switch to Audi if you need 4 driven wheels.

No offense meant to you or BMW, really.
No offense taken. Beautiful coupe by the way. Believe me, I have given a lot of thought to RWD and going to winter tires here in the upper midwest. Hard to hang the back end out with AWD.
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