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Steering wander.....

Discussion in 'Z3 Roadster & Coupé' started by Barry Gadd, Nov 16, 2014.

  1. Barry Gadd

    Barry Gadd Zorg Addict
    British Zeds The M44 Massive

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    I'm really enjoying driving my Z3 after several months of getting her up and ready. She passed the MOT a week ago but I've noticed I need to correct the steering especially at low speed with slight adjustments of the steering wheel.
    A while back I did try rocking the front wheels top to bottom and side to side when jacked up and found no perceptible movement in the rod ends.
    I'm wondering if anyone has seen this problem before and if there are any such steering problems common on Z3's?
    A couple of questions:-
    Is the mating between rack and pinion likely to wear and if so is there an adjustment?
    Could there be wear on either track, or tie, rod ends without being able to detect this by moving the front wheel side to side when jacked up?
    I'm happy driving her but would prefer to sort this out asap.
    Thanks
     
  2. miller1098

    miller1098 Zorg Guru (V)
    Supporter British Zeds

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    Our 2.8 was like this we put poly arb bushes ,it worked on ours
     
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  3. David Cullen

    David Cullen Zorg Legend
    Supporter The M44 Massive

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    only new to the scene myself but it seems to be a common issue with the Zed, from what i have seen and heard, unless things are tight and like new you will have tram lining and even with things tight the ARBs are pretty flimsy, any strengthening of the ARBs or main bushes on the car will help matters no end, poly bushing makes a huge difference to a cars feel and drive, so also does suspension, ie coilovers, even lowering springs make a big difference to the cars stability. a few choice braces will also help but for me, lb for lb poly bushes are a great addition to any car and do way more than any other upgrade and is the least expensive of all the options.
    as i say, im only in the scene a short while so dont take what i say as golden, i will probably be contradicted in a few minutes ;-)
     
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  4. Barry Gadd

    Barry Gadd Zorg Addict
    British Zeds The M44 Massive

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    Thanks for the replies.
    I'll get some ARB bushes and see if this cures the wandering.
     
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  5. Brian4

    Brian4 Zorg Guru (IV)
    British Zeds East Anglian Crew

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    With the car on the ground try and tighten the front wheel bolts up and if the wheel rotates as well the control arm bushes have gone soft. These are the ones that connect to rear of the front arm to the body.Easiest to replace with Poly bush as getting the new OEM rubber ones back on is more difficult.
     
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  6. Barry Gadd

    Barry Gadd Zorg Addict
    British Zeds The M44 Massive

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    Hi Brian,
    I did replace both lower arms to get the car through the MOT (I guess the control arm is the curved cast iron link which has 2 ball joints and a bush at the rear. In the old days this was known as the wishbone...)
    If I'm wrong please let me know but I will try the wheel bolt tightening check anyway.
    Thanks for your help.
     
  7. Brian4

    Brian4 Zorg Guru (IV)
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    Hi Barry

    Yes that is the control arm and if you replaced them I would expect the bush at the rear was replaced, if not these do go soft but not MOT fail and allows the wheel to move. If you cannot detect any movement in the steering rod ball joints I wouldn't think they are worn. The next likely culprit is the tyre issue as Z3 and E36 3 series seem to like certain tyres. I cannot comment on choice as mine has only ever had Continental 3 on which were standard fit.

    Keep asking and somebody will answer. Try the wheel nut test.

    Here's a bit of a video on a E46 3 series but same principle.

    View: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kmnQDh8A6eE
     
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  8. Barry Gadd

    Barry Gadd Zorg Addict
    British Zeds The M44 Massive

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    Finally got round to sorting the steering wander out.
    My Z3 had 17inch wheels but Joey (ZRoadster member) kindly lent me his 16 inch ones and the car handled much better.
    I've now bought 2 sets of the same BMW (I think E36 or 38) wheels as each set had 2 good tyres plus 2 worn. This proved to be an economic way of going ahead as my 4 tyres all have around 6-8mm tread. The fronts are Pirelli P7's and the rear are Wanli.
    I took the car for a run today and she handled really well.
    Many thanks to all for the advice given above.
     
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