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Discussion Starter #1
I was searching the old bimmer.org archives for posts about "wandering" or "tramlining" since my 325i (w/ sport package) has done this much more since the steering retrofit was done. I was especially interested in owners of 323s and 28s since those cars would have the same steering rack as I do now. I wanted to see what owners of these cars did to lessen the problem.

You made this post a while ago commenting on your car's tracking over bad surfaces:

http://bimmer.roadfly.org/3series/messages/archive/msgsy2000w21/59568.html

Does your car still do this? If not, what did you do to lessen or eliminate the problem?

THanks,
Rob
 

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There are several things that I've tried to minimize (but not eliminate) the problem.

First of all, play with your tire pressure. I've found that sometimes lowering the pressure up front minimizes the problem. Another suggestion is to change to assymetric tires rather than the directional tires. Directional tires wander/tramlines a little bit more.

Lastly, go with a smaller diameter wheel. I tried my wife's V spoke 16" with Conti-tourings (assymetric tread pattern) and it all but completely eliminated tramlining. Right now I'm running the WORST possible combination for tramlining, 38psi all around, 18" rims with one of the stickiest directional tread patterns, S-03s. I've just come to grip with the fact that's something I'll always experience.

But the biggest difference maker was going between assymetric and directional tires. My friend's E46 M3, running on 18" wheels AND wider front tires, but ContiSports Contacts (asymetric) does not wonder nearly as bad as mine with the S-03s. We both run very high tire pressure (he runs 40 psi all around).
 

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On your S-03s, the more wear and more track/auto-x use, the less tramlining you will get. Mine were horrible new and now they do not tramline with 40 PSI....
 

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My PZero Asimetricos tramline a LOT less now that they're worn in (the rears are almost gone in fact), and that I run 36psi instead of 38. When new and at 38psi, they were just as bad as the stock ContiSports also at 38.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks. I actually do have Contisports-- so I guess that's better than having Pilots or S03s as far as tramlining goes. I also lowered my front pressure to 30psi - I had been running 35-- and that helped a little. The strange thing is that the higher boost rack that came w/ the car seemed to cause much less tramlining. I know some people (like TD) said the opposite- they felt that the higher boost actually contributed to tramlining.

My "hack" theory is that a higher boost rack boosts inputs from the steering colum (the pinion), but its higher power better allows it resists side to side inputs from the tie rods that would result in tramlining. :confused:

Since switching to decent 16" rims and tires all around would probably run me about $1000-maybe even more, I'm considering paying for another "steering retrofit" myself. But this time, I'd have them put in the 02 steering rack-- which has slightly more boost than the one I have now (but less than the original 01), and also the quicker ratio. Installed, this would run me about $1000. I drove some 02s and didn't notice them tramlining as much-- even the ones that had 17" wheels. I'm thinking that the 02 rack might be the "e46 steering sweet spot" that best balances road feel, comfort, tramlining, and weight. What do you think would be the better "investment"? Tires or new rack? I'm leaning towards the rack option. Also, is there any particular way that you've found to hold the steering wheel that somehow lessens the annoyance of the tramlining? I've been living w/ this for a few months and still really haven't gotten used to it.

Thanks.
:)
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Kaz, Nate-

Interesinting that you guys find that the tramlining is reduced w/ tire wear. A lot of the stuff I've found on the web seems to say the opposite--tramlining gets worse w/ tire age because harder rubber is exposed. My Contisports have about 7500 miles on them, so they're still fairly new.
 

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robg said:
Thanks. I actually do have Contisports-- so I guess that's better than having Pilots or S03s as far as tramlining goes. I also lowered my front pressure to 30psi - I had been running 35-- and that helped a little. The strange thing is that the higher boost rack that came w/ the car seemed to cause much less tramlining. I know some people (like TD) said the opposite- they felt that the higher boost actually contributed to tramlining.

My "hack" theory is that a higher boost rack boosts inputs from the steering colum (the pinion), but its higher power better allows it resists side to side inputs from the tie rods that would result in tramlining. :confused:

Since switching to decent 16" rims and tires all around would probably run me about $1000-maybe even more, I'm considering paying for another "steering retrofit" myself. But this time, I'd have them put in the 02 steering rack-- which has slightly more boost than the one I have now (but less than the original 01), and also the quicker ratio. Installed, this would run me about $1000. I drove some 02s and didn't notice them tramlining as much-- even the ones that had 17" wheels. I'm thinking that the 02 rack might be the "e46 steering sweet spot" that best balances road feel, comfort, tramlining, and weight. What do you think would be the better "investment"? Tires or new rack? I'm leaning towards the rack option. Also, is there any particular way that you've found to hold the steering wheel that somehow lessens the annoyance of the tramlining? I've been living w/ this for a few months and still really haven't gotten used to it.

Thanks.
:)
I'm willing to part with my V-Spoke 16", no curb-rash with ~60% treadlife left Conti-Tourings for $400 plus shipping. :)
 

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robg said:
Kaz, Nate-

Interesinting that you guys find that the tramlining is reduced w/ tire wear. A lot of the stuff I've found on the web seems to say the opposite--tramlining gets worse w/ tire age because harder rubber is exposed. My Contisports have about 7500 miles on them, so they're still fairly new.
I do't know why for sure, but I would onwder if it's due to decreased treadblock squirm.

Frankly I think suspension design has a LOT to do with it. Although Mac strut (what we have) is known to track better (i.e. not tramline), my old car had multilink dual control-arm front suspension and it wouldn't tramline with ANY tire, and I almost always ran 40psi in that car. When that model was redesigned though, they did change it to mac strut.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The HACK said:


I'm willing to part with my V-Spoke 16", no curb-rash with ~60% treadlife left Conti-Tourings for $400 plus shipping. :)
Oooh-- those were my least favorite wheels from BMW. I was so relieved that they ditched those for 2001. The price is tempting though. The 5 spokers that came as std on the 328ci were nice though...
 

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robg said:


Oooh-- those were my least favorite wheels from BMW. I was so relieved that they ditched those for 2001. The price is tempting though. The 5 spokers that came as std on the 328ci were nice though...
I have those :D

Not for sale though :p Watch the classifieds here and at e46fanatics, I'm sure a new 325Ci owner will be selling his.

Why not try some 16x8 SSR Competitions? 12lbs each :thumb:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Nate-

I'll watch the classifieds. I actually think I want the heavier stock wheels because I think lighter wheels would be more prone to tramlining. I still may just end up spending my money on a new rack so that I can still use my beautiful 17" 7 spokers-- my favorite e46 wheels.
 

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alignment

How did you make out with your wheel alignment at JMK????????
vern
 

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My '99 did this and it was quite bad (one of the several reasons I bailed out of it so early on) It was terrible. I could not take my hand off the wheel because the car would literally go flying into the surrounding lanes or shoulder of the road. It was not very reassuring. Not to mention the pull on braking, or the sunroof that never worked, or the SRS light that would not go away even after the entire SRS system (airbags, sensors, wiring harness, control modules, etc.) was replaced under the recommendation of a BMW field engineer.

My '00 did it slightly when I got it, but now that I have put on a set of Type 44s with different tires than the stock equipment and have since then had an alignment done (paid by BMWNA, thank you very much, along with a new set of front control arms) the car is fine. It has a VERY slight pull on the highway, but I attribute that to the width of the tire as well as the slope of the highway. I don't even notice it anymore.

Both cars came from the factory with the 16" V-spoke wheels and Bridgestone Turanza ER30 tires. I now have Conti's on the Type 44s. While the OEM tires might have contributed, I doubt it was the sole cause as the '99 was much worse than the '00 and they both had the same set up.
 
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