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Old 06-15-2010, 10:29 AM   #1
nitrox121
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Arrow Jittery steering e36

Had my compact round a month now,

e36
318ti sport
73k miles

and driving along, itll sort of just move slighly to the left then the right, nothing drastic. but noticable

you can feel the feedback through the wheel, slight movements.

on newer "flatter" roads it seems ok but when i was on the motoray, the grooves wherre wagons had been i follwed them and it was all over the show pulling around.

Any ideas?

my tracking is fine,

ive read in into traminling, and i think this maybe the cause,

i have 225/40/18 wheels - AC snitzer reps
Not sure on the offset currently.

Tyres: Federal super steels




I currently looking for a donor set just to try and see if it gets any better

Thank you in advance

Greg
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Old 06-15-2010, 12:49 PM   #2
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By tracking you mean 'wheel alignment'? You mean on grooved road conditions the front wheels, steering pulls as the tires catch those grooves?
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Old 06-15-2010, 09:19 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SNOWti View Post
By tracking you mean 'wheel alignment'? You mean on grooved road conditions the front wheels, steering pulls as the tires catch those grooves?

yes wheel alignment.


well... that was an example, yes the grooves in the motorway as i enterered them the steering was all over the place, came out of them and it was better.

i think yes is the answer to your question
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Old 06-16-2010, 03:27 AM   #4
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Well, from my experience, I'm no mechanic, but I have the same sort of problem but my tracking/wheel alignment is all permanantly damaged. I bought the ti at a good deal but the kid thought the transmission and drive train was damaged. The issue is front and rear suspension. I took it to two separate blind tests for wheel alignment and both times failed with about the same specs as to what happened.

You see, kids buy these cars to mess with them and do power slides, burn outs, you know, all that douchy stuff, thus the ti was abused in such a manner.

So, I hope you don't have the same problem because its pricey. I have to replace front and rear suspension, it drives good though, a little rattle here and there, and my steering does the same as yours. These cars are built tough I will say, but I have to fix this issue as my rear tires are worn out very quickly.

Which incidentally, was an obvious problem that the suspension was all destroyed from a slide into a curb or something similar.
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Old 06-16-2010, 06:08 AM   #5
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It's called tramlining. I noticed this when I lowered my car. And it got worse when I lowered it even more. It felt like a boat, where you constantly had to rock it to keep it going straight. Some people say that the only way to fix this is with rear camber kit.

Many people have this problem. Either way, you get used to it and don't notice it.
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Old 06-16-2010, 10:39 AM   #6
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You know more than me. I actually dont think it may have to do with a wheel misalignment issue, I'm no pro mechanic really, sorry to have added some mis information. I hate doing that.

I don't mind that tramlining myself as I actually sort of like it...! It keeps me on me toes when driving! Do 17 inch+ wheels enhance this tramlining also?
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:20 AM   #7
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my 206 never had anything like that but i was on 16 inch wheels...

195.45/16

its not bad bad but i was getting a bit "playful" with a jag and was on a sweeping bend and the it didnt feel 100% in control as i would have liked. as it seemed to be tramlining

im going to try and source some wheels to try
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:53 AM   #8
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For me it was blown out RTAB's. I have a 97 with 120k miles. When both went out I felt like I was driving a boat!
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:17 AM   #9
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silly me, what's RTAB? I have this issue also and I figure tired control arm bushings (upgrade to m3?) or simply worn steering components. I'm on 205-55-16 continental tires and it wouldn't do it with my temporary 185-65-15 winters on steelies. these cars don't have a wide track so they don't quite fit into the groves so well, so you're always sucked into one side or the other. was planning on trying 195-65-15 summer to compare. I don't enjoy tramlining, shouldn't happen on a good cond. ti imho . maybe some spacers could help. I reseached it online and didn't find anything of value. Any one notice a difference with spacers? if so , what's your setup?
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:37 AM   #10
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Rear trailing arm bushing. Those and the subframe bushings get worn out and basically turn the rear suspension into a trailer that follows the front. I put Ireland Engineering subframe bushings in and it made a huge difference in the rigidity of the car. I still need to do my trailing arm bushings though, I'm going to stick with stock rubber on those.
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Old 07-07-2010, 03:54 AM   #11
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thanks, had my subframe bushings changed last yearwith oem parts, should get the trailing arms done also, but it really feels like it's coming from the front. never had the trailer feeling from the car though.
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Old 12-02-2010, 11:08 PM   #12
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Default Same here. . .

Bought a ti had a blown engine, so didn't get to drive it much. All fixed now. The big issue now is what you guys are talking about. I have learned that when you're surfing at tirerack and some other places online, choosing any wheel over 16" so, 17" and up, will cause the rear camber to need adjustment. My car had 17s with 225 45 17s which were all bent up. Yesterday I replaced the wheels but kept the tires, so it's still the same set up. Today, I had it aligned--they could only reset toe on the front and had no specs for the rear camber at all. He needs to pay more for automotive information, and he'll never touch my ti again. Anyway.
After new wheels, old tires, and alignment, I got sideways at 60mph on ice under a bridge. I saved it, and I did not ruin my upholstery! Whew.
This trailing issue is what needs attention. Body mounts are worn, I can move the rear axle with a small screwdriver. But just changing the body mounts will not alter the rear camber will it?

Is there a kit for making rear camber adjustment? How's it work? Will it be a new set of rear control and stabilizer bushings? Is this why you can get an eccentric bolt for the control arm back there? I'm gonna be driving this thing all winter in Northwest Indiana and I'd really like to have a more predictable rear end.

I'm extremely familiar with the front end and toe was only off a tiny bit after replacing the struts, control arms, and tie rod ends. This thing does whatever hell it wants on bumps and it is multiplied on snow--won't track at all.
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Old 12-03-2010, 02:04 AM   #13
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Check your tire pressures, wheel alignment Gould be set so toe is either 0 or toed in instead of toed out like factory if I'm not mistaken. As long as you have good front suspension parts, nothing lose, the car should track where you point it as long as toe is 0 or in. Toe out causes instability, tramlining, twitchiness, an where's your tires. However, toe out is nice for turn in. Id check your front end parts, pressures, and then alignment specs. I'm a mechanic and have been doing alignments with my cars and testing them over and over with different settings and parts.
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Old 12-03-2010, 05:29 AM   #14
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Default Teacher who likes (needs) to learn.

Okay, I'm glad I have your attention for a minute. As I was waiting to put the engine back together, I replaced the following front suspension:
All OEM-or equal,
struts
lower control arms
control arm bushings
stabilizer links and brackets
reinstalled front brakes--missing parts (still squeaky-what's the best way to quiet that?)

After putting it together, a couple of oil changes, I am almost happy with its power, turning ability, but going straight down a county road is difficult--on snow, impossible. Since it's up and running, I have replaced the 17" wheels (same tires) with new ones (yesterday) and had a front wheel alignment (he said "toe was set to specs and camber was wrong front and rear but he had no specs or ability to adjust).

What I see looking at the rear end:
Rear subframe bushings are shot, they look separated. I think I'm hearing that replacing those is the solution to the wagon train feel. On the other hand, I think you're saying that too much neg camber causes symptoms mentioned. . .

Control arm bushings seem tight but cracked. Here's a giant question then:

Since I have some work to do, how can I decrease the rear camber / \ to within specs.
With OEM ride height
17 inch wheels--17x8, offsite 40mm
225 45 17 tires?
I can do just about anything, but I don't know whatto do.

I don't want to race, just have it safe on county roads.

Update: I just measured the camber using a square as shown on one of these threads. On the right side, there is 1/4 inch difference which doesn't seem too bad. But on the driver's side, there is 3/4 inch difference meaning way too much negative camber on that side. Yep it looks funny it's so far off. So maybe I need a new (junkyard) trailing arm. Aren't those $1000 almost at Pelican? Out of the question.

There's no getting used to it, for it is totally unpredictable. I believe the issue is narrowed down to the left rear. One final note: after jacking the left rear wheel up and letting it back down, the camber measurement is completely different. So something is bent/loose/just plain not right, but what?

Last edited by jwinlaporte; 12-03-2010 at 01:04 PM. Reason: some numbers to add and one more thing. . .
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Old 12-03-2010, 06:23 AM   #15
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At stock ride height, with fresh bushings, the camber should be in spec. If it isn't then the trailing arm is bent. Honestly, I've now replaced my subframe and rear trailing arm bushings and my car is amazingly stable compared to when I bought it.
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