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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 Mon, Aug-02-2010, 05:08:54 PM   #1
bvnmspt
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Default Steering vibration finally gone with caliper rebuild

I've had a substantial steering wheel vibration for a while. Within the past year, I've replace the FCAB, LCA, power steering rack, steering tie rods, steering coupler, front spring pockets with bearings, and tires. Even after I changed all those components, I was still experiencing a slight vibration in the steering wheel. This past weekend, I rebuilt my front calipers and the vibration is completely gone! Yay!

Apparently, this is somewhat of a common problems with BMWs. I've read that 5 series owners were also suffering from this problem. If you are experiencing a steering vibration problem, lift your front wheels up and try spinning them, if they are dragging, buy a rebuild kit for $12 per side. Afterwards, make sure to get your tires rebalanced. If the vibration isn't taken care of, it will accerate the wear on the rack and pinion gears on the power steering rack and will introduce play in the steering wheel.
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 05:31:18 PM   #2
vndkshn
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You didn't change pads or rotors?
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 05:50:31 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by vndkshn View Post
You didn't change pads or rotors?
I installed new rotors last week. Vibration was still there after the rotor was changed. Pads have about 90% left so I didn't change them.
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 06:18:58 PM   #4
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This isn't just a problem on BMWs, brake calipers freeze on rotors all the time and vibration in the steering wheel is the most telling symptom. I had the same issue on my '02 Chrysler Sebring (usually only when brakes were cold for some reason) and replacing the calipers solved it immediately.

Glad you found the culprit!
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 07:03:41 PM   #5
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Yes, a common problem on many cars and not just BMW's. Glad you got it all worked out!
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 07:13:22 PM   #6
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This vibration was persistent at all speeds, or only at some? I get a little vibration at 60kph and 110kph, I think it's the crummy tires I've got (Falken 452s) one of which was replaced under warranty because it was out of round, but two others were marginal according to a Hunter Road Forcing machine. So I've been waiting until I got some new wheels, before putting Michelins on the car and getting it thoroughly aligned.

What's in this $12 kit anyways? And is a rebuild something you can do yourself?
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 09:13:19 PM   #7
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This vibration was persistent at all speeds, or only at some? I get a little vibration at 60kph and 110kph, I think it's the crummy tires I've got (Falken 452s) one of which was replaced under warranty because it was out of round, but two others were marginal according to a Hunter Road Forcing machine. So I've been waiting until I got some new wheels, before putting Michelins on the car and getting it thoroughly aligned.

What's in this $12 kit anyways? And is a rebuild something you can do yourself?
The vibration wasn't as bad at lower speed. It got worse as the speed increased. What was happening was that every time that the wheel was rotating, the un-retracted pads would create friction at the same spot on the rotor. If you think about it, the brake was being applied and release for each revolution of the wheel at the same spot. This will make the tire go out of round and out of balance.

Since the piston is now retracting, the car coasts much better. I should see a decrease in fuel consumption as well.

The part you need is 34-11-1-157-037-M4. You can buy it here...
http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/cata...BRKhyd_pg3.htm

There are DIYs online that shows how to replace the o-ring and the boot.
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Last edited by bvnmspt; Tue, Aug-03-2010 at 12:06:56 AM.
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Old Mon, Aug-02-2010, 10:01:44 PM   #8
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when you have the caliper apart, check to see if your piston is pitted. If it is, you'll have to get a new piston. I got the stainless steel 303 piston from Bimmerworld. They sell them in a pair for about $80. So I when ahead and replace both the front piston. Watch your fingers when you are blowing compressed air into the bleeder valve when removing the piston. Putting the o-ring and dust boot back on is a pain. Make sure you search for the DIY on how to put it back together. Otherwise, you might get very very frustrated...

Good Luck!
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Old Sun, Sep-05-2010, 02:42:02 AM   #9
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I'm having pretty much the same problem....but it isn't consistent at all. It will start after I've been driving for 5-10 minutes, and progressively get worse, and then come and go randomly. Is this what was happening with you, or was it constant?
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Old Thu, Sep-09-2010, 10:15:29 PM   #10
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I'm having pretty much the same problem....but it isn't consistent at all. It will start after I've been driving for 5-10 minutes, and progressively get worse, and then come and go randomly. Is this what was happening with you, or was it constant?
The occurance of the vibration was very random. Sometimes, the vibration was really heavy and other times, it was very slight.
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Discussing Steering vibration finally gone with caliper rebuild 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)