steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

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steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 15:37

Hello all

Wondering if any one has any insight on this issue. It has only developed of late (c 2-3 weeks)

Sometimes, the steering wheel judders around the 50mph mark. It doesnt happen every time. I can't draw a pattern, but it feels like it is when the car has been revved up to the speed and the accelerator eased off. I suspected the tyres, and replaced 3 of them this morning (the rubber on the tyres had also started cracking being c 5+ years old with low mileage) . Avon ZV7's on the front and michelin's on the rear (one of the tyres was more recent).

the new tyres did seem to have reduced tramlining on an uneven road on low speeds, so i was happy.

However on a motorway ride the same problem reappeared.

I am attaching a link to a video .. you can see i am at 50mph in top gear. Downshifting etc doesnt reduce it, but seems to resolve itself after some time.
https://1drv.ms/v/s!Am_CLzV_6JJ5nWQqOtDq5sZcg70M
Any ideas ?
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 15:49

For what it's worth, brake discs and pads were replaced about 3 years ago. So no major changes of late.
And i did feel a burning carbon smell from the front passenger tyre the first time i experienced this and stopped to check.
the car hasn't been serviced in c 2 yrs/3k miles ... but didn't feel like an engine knocking issue.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby alec.m » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 15:54

I had exactly that problem a few years ago on my 2.8. It was knackered bushes on the rear of the wishbones. I took the opportunity to replace them with powerflex purple bushes. A complete cure for me. Hope this helps. If this is your problem your tracking will never be right and you`ll soon ruin your tyres.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby BladeRunner919 » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 16:36

I would start by looking at the brake caliper on the side that you smelled 'burning'. The judder and the smell are both potential symptoms of a sticking caliper.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 17:10

Back at the tyre place. Issue didn't occur in the way..though that was c20 30 mph drive

No extra heat on either side.

Tyre guy said one wheel is buckled and rebalanced...

Could that be the issue ?
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby BladeRunner919 » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 18:56

If it's actually buckled, then that's your problem. You need to replace it. I wouldn't suggest you drive on a buckled wheel.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 19:07

So ...

a/ the wheel is a bit buckled. He rebalanced it. Says its OK though.

b/ says the D bushes are perished and recommends replacing the bushes, wishbone, drop links etc. quoting c 650quid for all this. Just the bushes are 250.

c/ says the callipers are fine.

A little bit all over the place really ... not sure now what's the best way to proceed.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby gookah » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 21:29

my money is still on a sticking calliper, regardless of what your mechanic says, buckled wheels, bushes etc etc don't resolve themselves and get better but a calliper can.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby c_w » Fri 10 Mar, 2017 22:26

Tyre person was probably reporting a bit of runout, which can be balanced out without noticing it on the car unless it's really bad. But a badly buckled wheel is felt from slow speeds upward (the car waddles if it's really bad).

But after watching your video, that's definitely a binding caliper. After it's started to do it, try and pull over and feel each front wheel, the binding caliper wheel be hot.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Warrior » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 02:13

Exactly the same as mine was doing on Wednesday. Brake caliper for sure.

First time I had a problem was about 3 years ago and it only happened once. Enough to make me pull over and check the wheel nuts. Had 2 advisories on April MOT's, both times after the car had been standing longer than normal but no obvious issues. Then a bit of a shudder that cleared itself some weeks ago and a real wobble on Wednesday.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 12:23

I'm having this problem, starting at a lower speed than yours. My OH thinks it is the tracking but I'll try and check the wheel for heat as suggested on the thread. Please post once the cause is confirmed and it's fixed.

ren
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 13:22

Thanks burmagirl .. doesn't look like i will have an update today. Please do keep me posted as well if anything comes up.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 16:11

Well, I just took a brief trip up and down the A1 and checked the wheels as soon as I got back. I DO get the judder at 50mph and then again at 75mph. The wheels are all hottish but the offside back wheel is hotter than the others. No smell of burning though and the back tyres were new last year, although the front tyres may need replacing at the MOT. It's going into the garage on the 23rd to be checked for a few bits and pieces so I'll have them check that when I'm there, if it hasn't resolved itself.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby c_w » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 19:54

burmagirl wrote:Well, I just took a brief trip up and down the A1 and checked the wheels as soon as I got back. I DO get the judder at 50mph and then again at 75mph. The wheels are all hottish but the offside back wheel is hotter than the others. No smell of burning though and the back tyres were new last year, although the front tyres may need replacing at the MOT. It's going into the garage on the 23rd to be checked for a few bits and pieces so I'll have them check that when I'm there, if it hasn't resolved itself.


Tracking never causes judder. Try the same thing to see if you can build a case for a certain wheel being hotter than the rest.

I've had a sticking caliper so bad I thought the wheel was falling off with the steering writhing and banging in my hands. I had to stop for a while whilst it cooled down, and I tried to lever the caliper/pad off the disc as best I could through the wheel spokes to get me home. Once it starts to bind lightly it gets hotter and binds more. Usually there are tell-tale signs on the disc (smear marks/blue clouds etc)
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 22:37

I've never had anything as bad as that, c_w! Are you saying, if it's sticking, it could still be stuck when you stop? I guess mine has not got that bad yet, but I'll check for the marks. What if there aren't any?

regards

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sat 11 Mar, 2017 22:44

I've never had anything as bad as that, c_w! Are you saying, if it's sticking, it could still be stuck when you stop? I guess mine has not got that bad yet, but I'll check for the marks. What if there aren't any?

regards

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Howard Adams » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 08:32

Hi, all of the above replys all are relevant. As an ex Land Rover technician the fault seems relatively easy to diagnose.
Any juddering,vibration through the steering wheel will normally be caused by a Front wheel/brake fault. Remove the brake master cylinder cap(rag around it)
Take the front wheels off, remove one caliper from its fixings, are the pads free in there guides?, next you will need an assistant to Slowly pump the brake pedal whilst you have a pair of large grips on the caliper piston, only pump it out a small amount( if it comes out completely you have a problem), it should be relatively free, then squeeze it back in. Repeat this 6 or 7 times. Reassemble using copper grease sparingly on the pad edges, do exactly the same on the other side. If it is seized and has corrosion/pitting on the piston a new caliper would be advised. (They don't have to be changed in pairs) Excellent opportunity to change the brake fluid as well.
Most Z3 are now 14/15 years + old so there's a good chance things are starting to seize.
Any wheel fault, whether out of balance or buckled will not be an intermittent fault.
You mentioned you have had the alignment done, the steering wheel should definitely be in the correct position!!
Hope some of this info helps.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 11:52

Thanks Howard. You mention the front wheels - is this on a front wheel drive car, or is there some other reason? The Z3 is a rear-wheel drive car.

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby BladeRunner919 » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 13:25

burmagirl wrote:Thanks Howard. You mention the front wheels - is this on a front wheel drive car, or is there some other reason? The Z3 is a rear-wheel drive car.

Sue


It's because a problem at the rear may cause the whole car to shake a bit, but won't give judder through the wheel. Obviously the steering wheel is attached to the front wheels, hence the advice to look at the front of the car.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby c_w » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 14:49

burmagirl wrote:I've never had anything as bad as that, c_w! Are you saying, if it's sticking, it could still be stuck when you stop? I guess mine has not got that bad yet, but I'll check for the marks. What if there aren't any?

regards

Sue


Mine was quite bad and the car would come to a definite stop without pressing the brakes. But you can have light binding which builds a surprising amount of heat easily.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Howard Adams » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 15:43

burmagirl wrote:Thanks Howard. You mention the front wheels - is this on a front wheel drive car, or is there some other reason? The Z3 is a rear-wheel drive car.

Sue

Any vibration or shaking coming through the steering wheel is normally a front end problem. It makes no difference whether the car is rwd or fwd. If my basic guide to diagnosing is followed you will find the fault.
Normally any fault with the rear calipers will cause violent shaking through the whole car and some times the brake pedal to pulse.
Good luck
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Sun 12 Mar, 2017 16:00

Nothing like that, Howard. I'll get my OH to investigate as you've suggested.

Thanks very much

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Bobafixit » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 10:05

I agree this will definitely be a front caliper sticking issue.

I've had several E46 coupes and now a Z3 and all have had sticking calipers at some point which caused intermittent steering wheel wobble.
I've always just put this down to my cars spending more time on the drive being washed and polished than being driven.
Easy fix new / exchange calipers readily available from GSF or Eurocarparts for about £60-70.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 10:52

Mine has been outside all winter due to far too much junk in the garage and I haven't driven it much as I broke my wrist and hand at the end of Aug; even now it's painful when I turn a corner. So that could well be the cause.

regards

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby peter2b » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 20:43

I had some thing like that, after I had a winter check up by my local bmw dealer I found the n/s wish bone ball joint was worn and the rubber bush was knackered, after replacing the wish bones she handles like new I think it's the best £160 I've spent on her
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Mon 13 Mar, 2017 21:01

well my oh has checked the discsand there is no sign of anything sticking; i'll have to see what the garage says.

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Sat 18 Mar, 2017 12:09

Update ..

Went into the garage - PM me for which one.

Mechanic looked at the front offside discs and said it looks like the callipers' issue. Car on ramp, rotated both front wheels and o/s rotated less.

New callipers ordered and replaced. Hoping this has solved the issue, as it is intermittent, i can't really tell. I didnt have the issue onward to the garage nor on the way back.

All in, 70+vat for part, 90 for labour, total just under gbp200.
The old calliper was retained. The replacement was a pagid which said 'remanufactured' on the box.

Will update the thread if the issue reoccurs.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Howard Adams » Wed 22 Mar, 2017 15:38

Hi, did the replacement caliper rectify the problem, I do hope so.
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby burmagirl » Fri 24 Mar, 2017 17:45

Well my zed went in for its MOT yesterday. This time they picked up on the DSC and brake lights - it's either the CU which controls the sensors or a loose connection - which they let go last year, so that has to be done. Praying for a loose connection!

The front tyres were changed and balanced and that has cured the judder, fortunately, it's all fine now. Thanks for everyone's advice!

Sue
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby HighSharpe » Sun 26 Mar, 2017 17:19

Hello Howard and other members

Just went on a nice 2 hr drive in essex in the sun with the roof down - first roof down drive of the year!

I didnt feel the original issue _even once_ on this drive.

So it seems it was indeed the callipers. Thanks every one for the advice, saved me going off on a wild goose chase!
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Re: steering judder c 50mph... occurring on and off

Postby Howard Adams » Sun 26 Mar, 2017 20:58

Excellent, sounds like you had a good run.
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