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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 04:31:27 AM   #1
because_racecar
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Default Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

I took a trip this weekend and noticed my car swayed a lot at highway speeds. I've read the usual suspects being RTABs or FCABs however they have been replaced with only 7,000 and 9,000 miles on them respectively. I cannot tell which end of the car feels unstable; the descriptions of FCAB and RTAB failures does not completely match what I feel on my car.

I do not feel the car sway under load, only while cruising at highway speeds. When it starts to sway in one direction I have to correct with the steering wheel in the opposite direction but feels loose before it catches/hooks in the direction I am turning (this is only a slight sway, but definitely noticeable).This is why I suspect FCABs but after reading the recent revived thread, sounds like RTABs. Again, this is only while cruising at highway speeds, not under load, not on the street.

I am set up to take the car in on Friday, however after realizing how low the mileage is on my bushings, I am a little puzzled. Any advice on this subject? Possible loose suspension components? Any sure signs to reveal if its the front or rear of the vehicle?
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 04:34:25 AM   #2
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

What suspension are you running? how many miles?
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 04:37:01 AM   #3
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

I noticed this on my car after replacing the tires with 245/35 and 275/30. Seems like the car feels every crack on the road, and wants to steer by itself.
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 06:02:12 AM   #4
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=332625
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 06:20:14 AM   #5
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

Is it just tramlining? What tires and size do you run?

Also could be alignment... to much toe can do this.
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 06:26:05 AM   #6
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

Almost certain it's the steering coupler. Do a simple search and you will find several threads about this.

This same thing was happening to me. Did a little research and decided to change the steering coupler. Upon removing the old one I couldn't even tell that it was worn. I decided to swap it anyway. Drove the car at highway speeds after installing it and the scary sway was gone.
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 06:28:24 AM   #7
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

Here is a link. Hope it helps.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...19#post5997719
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 03:45:50 PM   #8
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Foo2rama View Post
Is it just tramlining? What tires and size do you run?

Also could be alignment... to much toe can do this.
Not tramlining so much on small cracks, but if they are big enough yes. It's possible it could be an alignment, but that was done fairly recently. See below for tires...


Quote:
Originally Posted by jayweezy View Post
Thanks, very interesting read until the bashing; strong arguments for tires there. I'm running 265/275 Dunlop Direzza Stars which appear to have even tread all the way around with the rears being slightly more worn. The symptoms in that thread seem way more harsh than I am experiencing. I'm not experiencing much "drift" while turning large corners (on-ramps, interchanges, etc) and turning fast (as one would to warm up the tires), the car still feels fairly stable.

Quote:
Originally Posted by gruppeM3 View Post
Almost certain it's the steering coupler. Do a simple search and you will find several threads about this.

This same thing was happening to me. Did a little research and decided to change the steering coupler. Upon removing the old one I couldn't even tell that it was worn. I decided to swap it anyway. Drove the car at highway speeds after installing it and the scary sway was gone.
I will definitely look into this as an option. I've decided to have a visual inspection of the FCABs, RTABs when I take it in since it's less likely to be these components. I will probably swap out the steering coupler as it seems fairly easy and inexpensive. I'm going to look into the ball joints and end links as a suspects as well.

I've slightly adjusted the height of my front coils which is a possible cause. I know they are still even. I would not expect this small height adjustment to affect but after reading some of the arguments in other threads, it's all possible; alignment was possibly thrown off. I will experiment by adjusting the coils back to where I had them previously to see what happens.
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Old Tue, Jun-19-2012, 04:02:49 PM   #9
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

i would really find an M buddy to swap out your rears just to make sure. i replaced many parts (which isnt a bad thing) trying to fix the problem. but they did have alot more life to them. tires was a simple check and ended up being the problem.
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Old Wed, Jun-20-2012, 03:54:05 PM   #10
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Default Re: Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jayweezy View Post
i would really find an M buddy to swap out your rears just to make sure. i replaced many parts (which isnt a bad thing) trying to fix the problem. but they did have alot more life to them. tires was a simple check and ended up being the problem.
I adjusted my front coils back to where they used to be. Didn't notice much sway on my 4m commute to work, however I need to do a little more driving to make a fair assumption. I checked my tires while the wheels were off, my tread is still very new and even all around. I will have to get around to troubleshoot the tires just in case.

I did however notice a lot of wheel/road-noise coming from the front left area. I felt like the car was pulling that direction on the freeway but later on it pulled the other way. I think it was leaning with the tilt of the road.

I'm a little concerned about how loud the wheel sounds. It's not a wheel bearing hum, but more of a tire-to-asphalt sound (white noise?) with a little oscillation due to the tire rotating: swishswishswish. It's not entirely noticeable just louder than I recall; maybe I'm just being paranoid.
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Discussing Car sways on the highway, usual suspects have been replaced. in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)