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Thread: Car shakes at freeway speeds - solved

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    Default Car shakes at freeway speeds - solved

    copied from Bimmerboard, in case someone has this problem:
    Was driving on freeway at 65 mph for half an hour with no problem. Alignment and tire pressures OK. Then whole car started to shake, like there was an earthquake outside. Lane change didn't help. Within a minute I had the car slowed down to 50 mph and the shake subsided. Subsequently on city streets car droven normally. What should I check? I had suspected drive shaft, but I didn't hear the characteristic knocking under the seat accelerating from a traffic light.
    ----------------
    Last June I began to notice that the 750 shook badly when taken up to 65 mph. I didn't drive too often afterwards and last Thursday I forgot about the problem and took the car to the freeway again. Not surprisingly, the problem didn't go away by itself.Engine runs well. I examined the front tires. The right tire looks normal. Outer edge around the left tire has worn out. Looking through the spring, the strut boot has collapsed. I used the old boot when I switched to Bilstein touring ten+ years ago. I plan on disassembling the front left to see what goes wrong. Does it look like the strut insert fails? or the thrust arm or lower control arm?
    ---------------------------
    Replaced front calipers yesterday
    Following up from a problem first surfaced last June. I drove the 750 only a few times during these ten months, including a trip to CA smog check station (and passed!).
    I tried to sink my mind into the front suspension to figure out what was causing the dragging and bouncing that occurred two times at freeway speeds. Both occurred right after I stepped on the brake because of traffic ahead. Eventually that led me to believe that binding of the left front brake should be the cause. Once that idea is in my head I know I have to replace the brake components before looking for other culprits. Some fourteen years ago I rebuilt the original calipers, and probably didn't do it right. This time I just go with rebuilt calipers from O'Reilly, $94 for both sides.
    http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/c...%20caliper.jpg
    As shown in photo, a one-inch section of the rubber boot around the old piston was ripped. That could be the reason why the piston was dragging. I went on to remove the old piston and inspect, and found no rust spots. Still, the misplacing of rubber can be enough to interfere with piston movement.

    The only problem during reassembly was that the brake hose refused to detach from the pipe at the wheel well. Craftsman flare wrench, penetration spray, vise grip, etc, only rounded the 11 mm nut on the pipe side (circled in red in photo). I had to give up but the remaining problem is that the hose is now twisted, not by much, perhaps by some 45 degrees. But that twist is enough to keep the hose from forming a natural arch when the wheel is on the ground. That may cause future problems.
    http://www.bimmerboard.com/members/c...ake%20hose.jpg
    As for the strut and strut mount, a fellow at O'Reilly told me the boot is not absolutely necessary. For now I just spray some silicone lubricant on the shaft and not to do anything to the strut. Last night I drove around town and car behaved perfectly. This afternoon I'll take the car to the freeway and see if problem goes away.
    Patrick C 88 E32 750 172K

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    Eastern Tennessee USi
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    Torque and control arms. Upper and lower control arms, whatever they call them. Both wear and get sloppy. We used to call this the 55 MPH shake and caused by any play in the steering system uncluding the loose nut behind the wheel. (steering wheel).
    95 E34 530I V2.17
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  3. #3
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    Sounds like you got to the root cause. Do let us know how it goes.

    The boot is just a 'dust protector' It extends the life of the o-ring shaft seal in the shock significantly, and significantly more if used in dirty conditions. Lots of people don't fit them.

    Join the Aussie
    540i LE yahoo forum

    08/88 535i e34 M30+miller MAF, 'stiens, tints & teeth!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Michigan
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    Get yourself a set of Vice Grip 7LW 7" locking wrench. They squash the fitting just enough to loosen it and save you a lot of headaches when you have a stuck brake line fitting. We've used them several times in this situation and it really saved the day.

    1990 535im 421,000 miles, 1987 325is, 1989 325is, 1990 m3, 1991 318is, 2001 X5 3.0

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by ahlem View Post
    Get yourself a set of Vice Grip 7LW 7" locking wrench. They squash the fitting just enough to loosen it and save you a lot of headaches when you have a stuck brake line fitting. We've used them several times in this situation and it really saved the day.
    Good idea Ahlem, where do we buy these vice grips?

  6. #6
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    lowes, walmart, amazon, ebay toolup dot com etc , just search for Vise rip 7lw Locking Wrench-7LW or Vise Grip 4LW / 7LW / 10LW locking wrenches

    http://i392.photobucket.com/albums/p...psiqqqemon.jpg

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    95 E34 530I V2.17
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

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