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GA
01-21-1999, 08:47 AM
I posted this message earlier, but it got buried in another thread, so I thought I'd ask for help again.<p>I have the "darting" problem mentioned earlier (I usually refer to it as wandering steering, especially in straight-line driving), and I have taken my '95 525i in to the dealer several times to get it checked. I rotated and balanced the tires, had the steering linkage and thrust arm bushings checked ("all tight as a drum"), and I also had the alignment checked. My dealer tells me that the REAR toe on the car is as follows: +18 degrees on the right, and +27 degrees on the left. He says the permissible range is +15 to +27 for each. I asked if this 9 degree difference was a big deal, and he said no, I must just be "overly sensitive" to my car's handling. Well, I just can't keep the car going in a straight line.<p>Any thoughts on whether this is a major problem? The car is under (extended) warranty. The dealer tells me that rear toe is NOT adjustable on this car, and that correcting it would require "ripping off lots of parts one at a time and replacing them until the problem was found to be corrected." I love the car, but I'm hating the straight-line handling. Help!!

Phil Coppin
01-21-1999, 10:14 AM
<i>Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>Phil C.<br>95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<br></i>

GA
01-21-1999, 10:40 AM
Thanks, Phil! Will this equipment enable adjustment of rear toe in a '95 E34? Also, am I more likely to find someone who has this Hunter equipment and can do this in an independent shop or another BMW dealer?<p><i>: Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>: I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>: Phil C.<br>: 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<p></i>

Scott Taylor
01-21-1999, 11:53 AM
<br><i>: Thanks, Phil! Will this equipment enable adjustment of rear toe in a '95 E34? Also, am I more likely to find someone who has this Hunter equipment and can do this in an independent shop or another BMW dealer?<p>: : Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>: : I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>: : Phil C.<br>: : 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<p></i>Are you the original owner? Is it possible the<br>car's been hit? Could the FRAME be out of whack?<br>There are specialized shops that do alignments and<br>do frame straightening..just a thought- Scott

GA
01-21-1999, 12:12 PM
I am not the original owner. I got the car as a pre-owned, certified model from a BMW dealership (BMW of Manhattan, to be precise). I asked if the car had ever been hit when I got it, and I asked to see the service records, and I also checked one of those national databases that keeps track of accidents and insurance claims by VIN number, and nothing came up. I suppose there still could have been a problem I wasn't told about, but I don't think it's likely. What's more likely, I think, is that driving on New York streets got things out of whack.<p><i>: <br>: : Thanks, Phil! Will this equipment enable adjustment of rear toe in a '95 E34? Also, am I more likely to find someone who has this Hunter equipment and can do this in an independent shop or another BMW dealer?<p>: : : Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>: : : I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>: : : Phil C.<br>: : : 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<p>: Are you the original owner? Is it possible the<br>: car's been hit? Could the FRAME be out of whack?<br>: There are specialized shops that do alignments and<br>: do frame straightening..just a thought- Scott<p></i>

Ted
01-21-1999, 01:16 PM
I bought a set of 17" wheels and mounted Pirelli P-zero 235/45 - ZR17s for use during drivers schools, etc. The width and maybe the shorter & stiffer sidewall adds a certain "dartiness" (is that a word?)to the straight line handling. It particularly feels like it follows seams and the like in the road (I think this might be called trammeling?). I have gotten used to the feel though and I don't think that it causes any problem. Goes away when I switch back to my original 225/60 VR15 Michelins so I know it results from the wheel & tire combination and not the suspension adjustment.<p>Ted<br>'95 540iA<p><i>: I am not the original owner. I got the car as a pre-owned, certified model from a BMW dealership (BMW of Manhattan, to be precise). I asked if the car had ever been hit when I got it, and I asked to see the service records, and I also checked one of those national databases that keeps track of accidents and insurance claims by VIN number, and nothing came up. I suppose there still could have been a problem I wasn't told about, but I don't think it's likely. What's more likely, I think, is that driving on New York streets got things out of whack.<p>: : <br>: : : Thanks, Phil! Will this equipment enable adjustment of rear toe in a '95 E34? Also, am I more likely to find someone who has this Hunter equipment and can do this in an independent shop or another BMW dealer?<p>: : : : Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>: : : : I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>: : : : Phil C.<br>: : : : 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<p>: : Are you the original owner? Is it possible the<br>: : car's been hit? Could the FRAME be out of whack?<br>: : There are specialized shops that do alignments and<br>: : do frame straightening..just a thought- Scott<p></i>

GA
01-21-1999, 02:21 PM
Ted: Good thought, but no, I've got the Michelin 225/60 R15, just normal factory-specified tires.<p>I'm sort of going out of my head on how to get this fixed. Sometimes I think my wife's Subaru handles better (at least at moderate speeds), but I really do love this car, so I want to get everything straightened out (no pun intended).<p><i>: I bought a set of 17" wheels and mounted Pirelli P-zero 235/45 - ZR17s for use during drivers schools, etc. The width and maybe the shorter & stiffer sidewall adds a certain "dartiness" (is that a word?)to the straight line handling. It particularly feels like it follows seams and the like in the road (I think this might be called trammeling?). I have gotten used to the feel though and I don't think that it causes any problem. Goes away when I switch back to my original 225/60 VR15 Michelins so I know it results from the wheel & tire combination and not the suspension adjustment.<p>: Ted<br>: '95 540iA<p>: : I am not the original owner. I got the car as a pre-owned, certified model from a BMW dealership (BMW of Manhattan, to be precise). I asked if the car had ever been hit when I got it, and I asked to see the service records, and I also checked one of those national databases that keeps track of accidents and insurance claims by VIN number, and nothing came up. I suppose there still could have been a problem I wasn't told about, but I don't think it's likely. What's more likely, I think, is that driving on New York streets got things out of whack.<p>: : : <br>: : : : Thanks, Phil! Will this equipment enable adjustment of rear toe in a '95 E34? Also, am I more likely to find someone who has this Hunter equipment and can do this in an independent shop or another BMW dealer?<p>: : : : : Read the comments from other 5er owners!<br>: : : : : I believe your dealer service manager sounds a little "mechanically challenged"....try shopping around and find someone with Hunter equipment (wheel balancing and alignment) and have them work on it.<p>: : : : : Phil C.<br>: : : : : 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and tracking true!!<p>: : : Are you the original owner? Is it possible the<br>: : : car's been hit? Could the FRAME be out of whack?<br>: : : There are specialized shops that do alignments and<br>: : : do frame straightening..just a thought- Scott<p></i>

Ted
01-21-1999, 03:40 PM
<i>: I posted this message earlier, but it got buried in another thread, so I thought I'd ask for help again.<p>: I have the "darting" problem mentioned earlier (I usually refer to it as wandering steering, especially in straight-line driving), and I have taken my '95 525i in to the dealer several times to get it checked. I rotated and balanced the tires, had the steering linkage and thrust arm bushings checked ("all tight as a drum"), and I also had the alignment checked. My dealer tells me that the REAR toe on the car is as follows: +18 degrees on the right, and +27 degrees on the left. He says the permissible range is +15 to +27 for each. I asked if this 9 degree difference was a big deal, and he said no, I must just be "overly sensitive" to my car's handling. Well, I just can't keep the car going in a straight line.<p>: Any thoughts on whether this is a major problem? The car is under (extended) warranty. The dealer tells me that rear toe is NOT adjustable on this car, and that correcting it would require "ripping off lots of parts one at a time and replacing them until the problem was found to be corrected." I love the car, but I'm hating the straight-line handling. Help!!<p></i>

Phil Coppin
01-21-1999, 03:56 PM
GA<br>Hunter supplies equipment for both balancing and alignment. It seems like you have checked for damage etc. However, before you drive yourself nuts, I would call BMW customer service (some people think THAT'S an oxymoron!) explain your problem and mention the problems you are experiencing and the conflicting information you are receiving. Just a couple of ideas :<p>1. Have you driven a similar model car to get the<br> feel?<br>2. Does the "darting" happen under braking or<br> just when you are tooling along. It could be<br> a warped rotor if its under braking.<br>3. Do you drive one or two handed? One handed is<br> BAD and the steering feel on Bimmers is a little more direct than U.S. landyachts!!! <br>4. Is there any play at all from the steering wheel to the road wheel (get someone to move<br> the wheel slightly while you hold the road<br> wheel). If there is slop, this could make the<br> steering feel darty but it is adjustable at the steering box.<p>Phil C.<br>95 525i 5spd. Sharked and steady as a rock!<p>

Paul A
01-21-1999, 03:59 PM
I'm pretty sure the toe on the rear is not adjustable on the E34, as odd as that may be, but check your Bentley manual. What's more, the numbers you refer to are undoubtably "minutes of arc" where one degree is 60 "minutes". Therefore you have about 1/4 degree on R and 1/2 degree on L, I don't know which way, but pretty small errors anyhow. <p>I would check the front end further before messing with the rear, esp as numerous problems have already been documented on the E34. Tire type, tire wear pattern, re-check front toe-in.<p><br><i>: I posted this message earlier, but it got buried in another thread, so I thought I'd ask for help again.<p>: I have the "darting" problem mentioned earlier (I usually refer to it as wandering steering, especially in straight-line driving), and I have taken my '95 525i in to the dealer several times to get it checked. I rotated and balanced the tires, had the steering linkage and thrust arm bushings checked ("all tight as a drum"), and I also had the alignment checked. My dealer tells me that the REAR toe on the car is as follows: +18 degrees on the right, and +27 degrees on the left. He says the permissible range is +15 to +27 for each. I asked if this 9 degree difference was a big deal, and he said no, I must just be "overly sensitive" to my car's handling. Well, I just can't keep the car going in a straight line.<p>: Any thoughts on whether this is a major problem? The car is under (extended) warranty. The dealer tells me that rear toe is NOT adjustable on this car, and that correcting it would require "ripping off lots of parts one at a time and replacing them until the problem was found to be corrected." I love the car, but I'm hating the straight-line handling. Help!!<p></i>

GA
01-21-1999, 04:26 PM
Thanks everyone for the much-appreciated help! I will follow up on your suggestions. Phil: As to your ideas:<p>(1) Unfortunately, I have not driven other cars of the same model. But if they all drove like this, well then I might be saying bad things about the whole line, not just this one car! I did drive an E28 quite a bit a few years ago, and the steering and straight-line handling was dead on.<p>(2) The "darting" does not happen under braking; only while moving along without braking.<p>(3) I used to drive one-handed. It actually made me nervous with the car moving back and forthso much, so I drive solidly two-handed now just to feel a little more confident about where the car is going. It's still happening, even with two hands at 9 and 3 or 10 and 2. I can just correct a little easier now (and I have to correct almost constantly).<p>(4) I had the dealer check for play in the steering box, etc., and he said everything was very tight. Nevertheless, in my opinion the steering could be a lot "tighter" (i.e. predictably responsive to small steering wheel movements).<p>The tires are a little worn, especially towards the outside. After I had the tires rotated, the problem seemed to get much better, but only for about 3 days. Now I think it was just wishful thinking (that the problem got better).<p>I envy your steady E34, Phil! Thanks for the advice.<p><br><i>: GA<br>: Hunter supplies equipment for both balancing and alignment. It seems like you have checked for damage etc. However, before you drive yourself nuts, I would call BMW customer service (some people think THAT'S an oxymoron!) explain your problem and mention the problems you are experiencing and the conflicting information you are receiving. Just a couple of ideas :<p>: 1. Have you driven a similar model car to get the<br>: feel?<br>: 2. Does the "darting" happen under braking or<br>: just when you are tooling along. It could be<br>: a warped rotor if its under braking.<br>: 3. Do you drive one or two handed? One handed is<br>: BAD and the steering feel on Bimmers is a little more direct than U.S. landyachts!!! <br>: 4. Is there any play at all from the steering wheel to the road wheel (get someone to move<br>: the wheel slightly while you hold the road<br>: wheel). If there is slop, this could make the<br>: steering feel darty but it is adjustable at the steering box.<p>: Phil C.<br>: 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and steady as a rock!<p></i>

Rob
01-21-1999, 09:04 PM
First thing I'd do is take it to a really good alignment shop and find out *EXACTLY* what all your settings are. A shop that local SCCA, BMWCCA, PCA, and NCCC type racers use is what you need. Once you know what the readings are you can better determine how to resolve this issue. <p>I've run autocrosses for a couple years now and have found "Twichyness" to be caused by either worn parts, or by odd front setting. Usually its not the rear setting.<p>The front and rear alignments on an E34 are somewhat adjustable; however, aside from front toe, they are not easily adjusted. Nor can they be adjusted a lot. The front camber and caster are altered by pulling the front struts and adding special spacers to the top of them. The rear toe can be altered by installing special offset bushings in the trailing arms. The Bentley manual covers the installation of these items. Your dealer is right though. Installing the rear bushings is a good bit of labor. Defining the problem as fully as possible can help minimize the replace-parts-at-random mentality practiced by most facilities today.<p>Hope this helps!<p><i>: I have the "darting" problem mentioned earlier (I usually refer to it as wandering steering, especially in straight-line driving), and I have taken my '95 525i in to the dealer several times to get it checked. I rotated and balanced the tires, had the steering linkage and thrust arm bushings checked ("all tight as a drum"), and I also had the alignment checked. My dealer tells me that the REAR toe on the car is as follows: +18 degrees on the right, and +27 degrees on the left. He says the permissible range is +15 to +27 for each. I asked if this 9 degree difference was a big deal, and he said no, I must just be "overly sensitive" to my car's handling. Well, I just can't keep the car going in a straight line.<p>: Any thoughts on whether this is a major problem? The car is under (extended) warranty. The dealer tells me that rear toe is NOT adjustable on this car, and that correcting it would require "ripping off lots of parts one at a time and replacing them until the problem was found to be corrected." I love the car, but I'm hating the straight-line handling. Help!!<p></i>

Scott Taylor
01-22-1999, 02:04 AM
<br><i>: Thanks everyone for the much-appreciated help! I will follow up on your suggestions. Phil: As to your ideas:<p>: (1) Unfortunately, I have not driven other cars of the same model. But if they all drove like this, well then I might be saying bad things about the whole line, not just this one car! I did drive an E28 quite a bit a few years ago, and the steering and straight-line handling was dead on.<p>: (2) The "darting" does not happen under braking; only while moving along without braking.<p>: (3) I used to drive one-handed. It actually made me nervous with the car moving back and forthso much, so I drive solidly two-handed now just to feel a little more confident about where the car is going. It's still happening, even with two hands at 9 and 3 or 10 and 2. I can just correct a little easier now (and I have to correct almost constantly).<p>: (4) I had the dealer check for play in the steering box, etc., and he said everything was very tight. Nevertheless, in my opinion the steering could be a lot "tighter" (i.e. predictably responsive to small steering wheel movements).<p>: The tires are a little worn, especially towards the outside. After I had the tires rotated, the problem seemed to get much better, but only for about 3 days. Now I think it was just wishful thinking (that the problem got better).<p>: I envy your steady E34, Phil! Thanks for the advice.<p>: <br>: : GA<br>: : Hunter supplies equipment for both balancing and alignment. It seems like you have checked for damage etc. However, before you drive yourself nuts, I would call BMW customer service (some people think THAT'S an oxymoron!) explain your problem and mention the problems you are experiencing and the conflicting information you are receiving. Just a couple of ideas :<p>: : 1. Have you driven a similar model car to get the<br>: : feel?<br>: : 2. Does the "darting" happen under braking or<br>: : just when you are tooling along. It could be<br>: : a warped rotor if its under braking.<br>: : 3. Do you drive one or two handed? One handed is<br>: : BAD and the steering feel on Bimmers is a little more direct than U.S. landyachts!!! <br>: : 4. Is there any play at all from the steering wheel to the road wheel (get someone to move<br>: : the wheel slightly while you hold the road<br>: : wheel). If there is slop, this could make the<br>: : steering feel darty but it is adjustable at the steering box.<p>: : Phil C.<br>: : 95 525i 5spd. Sharked and steady as a rock!<p></i>Are the Wheels well balanced?My mechanic tells<br>me that he sees crappy balancing jobs all the time<br>even when people "just had it done".Also is it possible that the wheels have damage(from someone<br>doing a little "curb-gliding") ? I had some "shaking" of the steering wheel recently (on a non<br>BMW vehicle that I was ...ahemm..am..uhm..driving)<br> ( I AM LOOKING ) but that was while braking and as Phil pointed out, that was a warped rotor.SCOTT


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