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      12-23-2009, 05:51 PM   #1
MBrown1003
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Unhappy HELP: Vibration (not a balance issue)

Scenario: My winter tires were fine last year -- great traction, smooth running. My summer tires were fine all summer and fall. I put my winter tires back on (same ones I took off last year), and at anything over 65 MPH, the steering wheel vibrates like crazy.

I had all 4 wheels re-balanced. Slight improvement, but it's still bad.

I took the car to the dealer. They say the wheels don't fit on the hubs properly -- I need a centering ring. I didn't need one last year! (FYI, the car is an E90 sedan.)

The package came from TireRack, ordered through Ben. Wheels are the 18x8 Sport Edition A7s; tires are 245/40R18 Dunlop Winter Sport 3D.

Anybody got any ideas for me??
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      12-23-2009, 08:32 PM   #2
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Check With Tire Rack

They should/would have provided the center rings with your wheels if you needed them. They can tell you the specs on your wheels and whether they should have rings. If you can, check the hub bore on one of your wheels compared to the wheel pilot on the hubs. The wheel should only be a few thousandths (of an inch) larger.

I would expect that with the tapered seat wheel bolts that the wheels would center pretty well without the hub pilot feature, but have no personal experience with how critical the hub wheel pilot is on BMWs. In general, hub piloting is superior to stud piloting.

Be sure that your mounting surfaces are clean and that your wheels are seating flat on the hub mounting surface.
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      12-24-2009, 09:17 AM   #3
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I had a conversation with Ben about this last year. I have the same wheel/tire combo and had a pretty noticeable vibration even after re-balancing. He said that the wheels and tires individually have no problems but the combination of those two together just don't work right. From what I can tell the wheels fit pretty snug on the hub so I don't think it is a centering issue but it is possible.

This fall I had them road force balanced before putting them on and that has made a world of difference. I can still feel some vibrations above 70MPH but it is difficult to distinguish that from the crappy roads around here.
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      12-24-2009, 10:39 AM   #4
MBrown1003
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(I'm the OP.)

I went to the dealer this morning with the summer front tires to see if there was any difference. You can move the winter wheel/tire around on the hub (maybe 1/8" of play -- probably less than that). They dismounted the winter wheel/tire and mounted one of the summer units. No movement, even with just one lug nut in place.

What is confounding is that this wasn't a problem last year.

So, as we were looking at the wheels, I suggested that they use a wire brush to get rid of most of the anti-seize compound on the hub and on the matching surface on the wheel and re-mount the winter tires.

It's not perfect, but it's a whole lot better. I guess the wheel was "floating" on an excess of anti-seize. Does that sound plausible??
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      12-24-2009, 10:40 AM   #5
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      12-24-2009, 01:04 PM   #6
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I have the same issue with the vibration and had the wheels rebalanced last year. It made a small difference but still quite noticable. Seems to crop up between 100-130km/h, but around 130kmh it goes away (which is good since that is the speed limit here). This past week I tried higher speeds in Germany and the vibration was non-existent from about 140kmh to around 200-220kmh.

Although the vibration doesn't seem too strong at the steering wheel, is there cause for concern with extra wear on suspension components (ie. bushings etc?). Has anyone with the A7 wheels spoken with Tirerack about what they think?
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      12-24-2009, 01:46 PM   #7
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I have the exact same issue with vibration using the same Tire Rack setup . Some speeds have much more vibration than others. I had a full rebalance but it didn't help.
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      12-24-2009, 02:58 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MBrown1003 View Post
(I'm the OP.)

I went to the dealer this morning with the summer front tires to see if there was any difference. You can move the winter wheel/tire around on the hub (maybe 1/8" of play -- probably less than that). They dismounted the winter wheel/tire and mounted one of the summer units. No movement, even with just one lug nut in place.

What is confounding is that this wasn't a problem last year.

So, as we were looking at the wheels, I suggested that they use a wire brush to get rid of most of the anti-seize compound on the hub and on the matching surface on the wheel and re-mount the winter tires.

It's not perfect, but it's a whole lot better. I guess the wheel was "floating" on an excess of anti-seize. Does that sound plausible??
The wheel bolt clamping is pretty high. I don't think the lube would be a problem. It certainly didn't hurt to remove the excess compound, and you may have removed some debris that was a problem. Without the hub piloting you will have a bit of variance every time the wheel is re-installed resulting in randomly better and worse results just depending on luck. It seems like care to center the wheel on the wheel bolts by lightly hand snugging each bolt and while rocking the wheel a bit to center the wheel on the bolt circle as well as you can would produce the best results (w/o a hub pilot).

Several of you have issues with the setup. You should definitely talk to Ben when he's back from the holidays on the 28th.
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      12-26-2009, 05:55 PM   #9
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i got the same problem with the same winter set up
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      12-26-2009, 06:39 PM   #10
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i have same tires and size and i dont have any ring and i dont have any vibration . maybe you need front end alignment.
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      12-28-2009, 08:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyd1961 View Post
i have same tires and size and i dont have any ring and i dont have any vibration . maybe you need front end alignment.
Bobby, If the vibration had happened when I was running my summer tires, I would say you might have a point, but that's not what happened here. In this case, I drove the car at highway speeds with the summer tires one night, and it was perfectly smooth. The next day, I installed the winter tires, and it was vibrating like crazy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Calintexas
The wheel bolt clamping is pretty high. I don't think the lube would be a problem. It certainly didn't hurt to remove the excess compound, and you may have removed some debris that was a problem. Without the hub piloting you will have a bit of variance every time the wheel is re-installed resulting in randomly better and worse results just depending on luck. It seems like care to center the wheel on the wheel bolts by lightly hand snugging each bolt and while rocking the wheel a bit to center the wheel on the bolt circle as well as you can would produce the best results (w/o a hub pilot).
Calintexas, I agree with your point about perfect centering. I hand-tighten the lug bolts in the conventional star pattern (every other bolt), then lower the car and use the same pattern to tighten with a torque wrench. I think that's the best way to ensure even seating, right?

TireRack Ben, I think we could use your guidance here!
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      12-28-2009, 08:46 AM   #12
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I had this problem from the beginning with my winter tires. Turned out to be a bad tire. Front two were replaced under warranty. Problem is gone now.
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      12-28-2009, 08:55 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobbyd1961 View Post
i have same tires and size and i dont have any ring and i dont have any vibration . maybe you need front end alignment.
I don't think that's my problem. I had to put on my winter tires for a week in November while I waited for a new rear PS/2 to arrive, and the vibration was there with the A7 wheels/Dunlop M3s. When I put the summer tires back on, no vibration. And now the winters are back on again, the vibration is back as well (and this goes for both sets of wheels...the front ones had vibration last winter, the rears--now in front--have the same vibration, if not worse).

Mileage on the winter tires is low (maybe 4-5000kms so far total) so not much in the way of wear front to back yet either.
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      12-29-2009, 07:38 PM   #14
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Hi Guys, I am back in the office after my Christmas vacation, and thanks for bringing this to my attention.

That wheel is built to be hubcentric on the M3. It should have a 72.56mm centerbore. If anyone who is having an issue with vibration could get a micrometer measurement of the inner bore (ignore any chamfer or bevel, measure where it is smooth) and let me know, I would be interested.

If the micrometer does not read 100ths of a mm, it should measure out to either 72.5 or 72.6 depending on the calibration.

I have sent out a ton of these wheels, and have seen very few issues with vibration, but I definitely want to find out if there are any irregularities.
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      12-30-2009, 07:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ben@tirerack View Post
Hi Guys, I am back in the office after my Christmas vacation, and thanks for bringing this to my attention.

That wheel is built to be hubcentric on the M3. It should have a 72.56mm centerbore. If anyone who is having an issue with vibration could get a micrometer measurement of the inner bore (ignore any chamfer or bevel, measure where it is smooth) and let me know, I would be interested.

If the micrometer does not read 100ths of a mm, it should measure out to either 72.5 or 72.6 depending on the calibration.

I have sent out a ton of these wheels, and have seen very few issues with vibration, but I definitely want to find out if there are any irregularities.
Hi, Ben. Welcome back -- hope you had a good vacation.

One other fact to stir into the mix. In my case, this is my second season on the wheels. They were fine last year, so the inner bore wasn't a problem last year. That's what's so confounding.
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      01-03-2010, 01:29 PM   #16
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Just to add another data point to this thread, I too have the Sport Edition A7 wheels with Bridgestone Blizaaks and have the vibration issue. When my stock 19" summer wheels/tires are mounted the steering wheel is rock solid no matter the speed.

At the end of the winter season last year I took care to mark the wheels and tires so I knew where they were mounted. I rotated the wheels from front to back and the vibration is not only back this year....it's actually worse. I'll take a measurement of the inner bore as soon as I can and report back.
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      01-04-2010, 07:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex///M View Post
Just to add another data point to this thread, I too have the Sport Edition A7 wheels with Bridgestone Blizaaks and have the vibration issue. When my stock 19" summer wheels/tires are mounted the steering wheel is rock solid no matter the speed.

At the end of the winter season last year I took care to mark the wheels and tires so I knew where they were mounted. I rotated the wheels from front to back and the vibration is not only back this year....it's actually worse. I'll take a measurement of the inner bore as soon as I can and report back.
I, too, rotated front-to-rear when I put the winter tires back on this season. I had my dealer swap them back again (to their original locations) to see if that would fix it, but it made no difference.
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      01-04-2010, 07:21 PM   #18
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Hey guys, to help give some insight to this issue, there was a time period when BMW produced the E39 5 series and that vehicle chassis was built with a hub that was 74mm compared to the std 72.6, at that time even though the chassis is different from the 3 series, many wheel suppliers for BMW built all the base wheels to a 74mm C/B because it was easier to ring down than to expect customers to go find a machine shop to open the bore. Typically what does happen in many cases of swapping wheels, is the ring can get stuck inside the wheels coming off, or pop out once they are laid flat on the floor and they can be misplaced once they have been moved, or the ring could be seated to the hub and the new wheel has the correct bore and simply not sitting on the pad all the way?? The ring is a very thin ring.

Also with other aftermarket brands, many companies that build a wheel with a similar PCD and offset also will produce the wheels with a similar ring package, it is best to check with the manufacturer. In the case where you took off aftermarket wheels to put back on stocks...the aftermarket most likely took a ring and it was lost, or is on your hub causing a vibration with your factory wheels because they are not seated to the mounting pad.

I hope this information is helpful.

Jim
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      01-06-2010, 01:28 PM   #19
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^^All good info above but this wheel does not use a ring. So all of Jim's theories make perfect sense, but this wheel should be bored for the "standard" 72.56mm BMW hub.

I am very eager to hear from anyone who has micrometer measurements of the wheel centerbore. If anyone gets micrometer measurements, definitely PM me.
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      01-13-2010, 08:09 AM   #20
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Anybody have a micrometer? Ben, would one of your installers have one?
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      01-18-2010, 01:35 PM   #21
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Ben, a minor update. I dismounted the front wheels/tires (A7 with Dunlop 3Ds 235/40-18) and remounted them after "wiggling" them around some. These wheels/tires are on their second season (last year they got around 4-5000kms). I also followed the star pattern tightening format and torqued them in two stages.

After putting the wheels back on, the vibration seems to be lessened in the 100-120km/h range, but is worse (!) above that...insofar as before once I drove faster that around 120km/h, the vibration stopped.

I'm not sure what to make of this. I looked at the wheels weights too and I see no signs of any weights having come off. Last year when I first mounted the A7s, I had the same vibration on the front, but it seemed to improve a little bit after I pulled the wheels off (the rebalancing that I had done here did not help)...but it was still there up to around 120kmh. When I first mounted the wheels this season, I rotated front to back to equalize the wear.

I am trying to find a micrometer to take a measurement.
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      02-25-2010, 08:14 AM   #22
MBrown1003
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So, has anybody come up with a solution, or are we all just bouncing around on lousy wheels?
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