Audizine - An Automotive Enthusiast Community

Results 1 to 26 of 26
  1. #1
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    Peculiar Feeling Up Front - Subframe Bushings?

    Guest-only advertisement. Register or Log In now!
    All,

    I've been battling a very peculiar sensation for the last 6MO - 1YR.





    Background:
    Bought the car with 69k on it 3 years ago, and have only put 11k on it.
    I brought it from Stage 2 to Stage 3.
    Car has a fully documented Audi service history.
    Never crashed.
    I'm running 18x9.5 square with 255/35s.
    034 Rear Sway

    Symptoms:
    Last year I felt the front end was getting a little "wavy" with dips and changes in road surface.
    As I'm not new to B5s, I didn't mess around and replaced all of the front linkages, those being:

    • Upper Control Arms X 4
    • Lower Control Arms X 4
    • Outer Tie Rods X 2


    I tightened them under load, as per usual.
    All Mahle parts.

    While doing so I also checked that the steering rack bolts (3) were tight - they were.
    I did an extensive home alignment, then had it verified on an alignment bench - Happy to say I nailed it and no adjustment was required.

    The feeling still persists and the car is completely shit to drive.
    There is extremely limited feedback through the wheel.
    The car requires almost continuous on-center correction, as if want to stray.
    It feels almost as if there is play in the rack on-center.
    In the wet, it is a fu*king nightmare.
    The straying is 100% being led from the front - it is not the rear bushings

    So what is up?
    Worn rack at 80k miles?
    Subframe bushings?
    Did I somehow bolt the lower arms into the wrong holes in the subframe, meaning I was able to align it, but the geometry is out under load?
    The u-joint under the dash is tight, but I hadn't checked for slop...is that a thing?
    Wheels/Tires too wide?

    Bonus 1J e30 project photo
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2014
    AZ Member #
    281468
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Its the size of your tires. Called tramlining. Lowered suspension with less travel also plays into it.

    "Tramlining is the tendency of a vehicle's wheels to follow the contours in the surface upon which it runs. The term comes from the tendency of a car's wheels to follow the normally recessed rails of street trams, without driver input in the same way that the train does. The same effect is sometimes called Nibbling.

    Tramlining can usually be blamed on tires, and its incidence depends greatly on the model of tire and its state of wear. Although not normally dangerous, at very high speeds it can become a source of instability.

    Vehicles with large and wide low profile tires are more prone to the effects as well as vehicles which have wheels fitted that are larger than the manufacturers recommendation or have reinforced sidewalls. People who are relatively inexperienced with driving with this tendency will feel that they have to make continual course corrections and it is very easy to overcompensate the steering, which could potentially lead to veering off the road especially if the road is a narrow track/country road."

    Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tramlining

    Cacti has a 275 on his widebody and when it ran (1.5 years ago) it liked to wander a lot, at highway speeds especially.
    Last edited by Trb1; 10-10-2018 at 07:28 AM.

  3. #3
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jan 20 2014
    AZ Member #
    139561
    Location
    Woonsocket

    I just changed from stock size to 245-45-17 a couple moths ago. My commute is mostly poorly maintained New England country roads with a lot of undulations. I definitely noticed the steering on center and stability going to hell. If our shop ever gets its new alignment rack I'm hoping to play around to try to dial it out. I find it hard to believe that RS4's drove like this with their stock wider tires and lower offset wheels off the showroom floor. Might not hurt to run a smidge of toe in to compensate for the extra force wider tires exert on the control arm bushings.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2014
    AZ Member #
    281468
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by Nichtknicken View Post
    I just changed from stock size to 245-45-17 a couple moths ago. My commute is mostly poorly maintained New England country roads with a lot of undulations. I definitely noticed the steering on center and stability going to hell. If our shop ever gets its new alignment rack I'm hoping to play around to try to dial it out. I find it hard to believe that RS4's drove like this with their stock wider tires and lower offset wheels off the showroom floor. Might not hurt to run a smidge of toe in to compensate for the extra force wider tires exert on the control arm bushings.
    Toe in definitely helps. RS4's didn't have coil over suspension with a bunch of reduced travel from the factory either though. it's all about where you're exerting the force. low cars with wide tires look great and function well, but you definitely sacrifice drivability on a day to day commute with real world roads.

  5. #5
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jan 20 2014
    AZ Member #
    139561
    Location
    Woonsocket

    I know the OP has coils but I'm at stock ride height and it's still noticeable. Just trying to save him from tossing a bunch more parts on it to no avail. From what I can find in 5 minutes of Googling the toe specs are similar for most of the B5s. 0 deg 10' +-2' , though I did find one reference to a range of 5' to 15' for an RS4.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    Thanks for the feedback folks.

    Regarding toe, I toed the thing in a tad after getting the green light on the alignment, but it made no difference.
    Seems like the cheapest method of testing the tire theory out is refitting the 17" AVUS.

    Problem there is that I have since fitted 18Zs up front. Maybe a 20mm spacer can cheat things out enough to clear.
    I just can't believe that the tires could be causing this much of a code brown.
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  7. #7
    Established Member Two Rings Dfloods4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 10 2013
    AZ Member #
    134990
    Location
    Menifee Ca

    Im running 245 35 18 on lowered kwv3. 18x8.5 vmr. Had it corner balanced and aligned and there are no issues. Im super sensitive to this kind of thing. Im def no expert but I would think is an alignment issue.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  8. #8
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    I'll post my alignment sheet tonight. I'm no expert so maybe you guys will spot something
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  9. #9
    Established Member Two Rings Dfloods4's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 10 2013
    AZ Member #
    134990
    Location
    Menifee Ca

    Also wanted to add I fought shitty alignment issues for like 4 months. Trying to find the right setup with adjustable upper arms. And Im not that low on the v3 either maybe that plays a part.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Three Rings PwrWgn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 14 2013
    AZ Member #
    123136
    Location
    Seattle

    I've always assumed this was a symptom of lowering ride height while increasing tire width and wall stiffness.

    I noticed this unstable feeling most after getting an alignment from a reputable shop, so I have a feeling there are corrections that can be made with stock hardware (like more toe).

    It's extemely pronounced when driving over the crown of the road (like center lane of a 3 lane FWY). like walking a tightrope.

    I'm also under the impression that adjustable UCAs would help to improve this, but I'm too cheap to buy a set of the Sterns.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    Quote Originally Posted by PwrWgn View Post
    It's extemely pronounced when driving over the crown of the road (like center lane of a 3 lane FWY). like walking a tightrope.

    I'm also under the impression that adjustable UCAs would help to improve this, but I'm too cheap to buy a set of the Sterns.
    That's pretty much the case here. I'll drop the money on adjustable uppers if that is for sure the issue though.
    There is no way that the stance guys are rolling around this uncomfortable on a daily basis.

    I just ordered 20mm spacers to try and fit my 17" Avus' over some 18Zs. I'll try that first.
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  12. #12
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2014
    AZ Member #
    281468
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Quote Originally Posted by e30mclow View Post
    That's pretty much the case here. I'll drop the money on adjustable uppers if that is for sure the issue though.
    There is no way that the stance guys are rolling around this uncomfortable on a daily basis.

    I just ordered 20mm spacers to try and fit my 17" Avus' over some 18Zs. I'll try that first.
    I run Adusable uppers and airlift with solid everything pretty much. I track back and fourth pretty bad on a 235. It doesnt feel uncomtrolled like youre describing though. More manipulated by the road.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 26 2015
    AZ Member #
    329604
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ

    Quote Originally Posted by e30mclow View Post
    There is no way that the stance guys are rolling around this uncomfortable on a daily basis.
    This is a joke, right?

  14. #14
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    The plot thickens!

    Having checked everything over and over again, I never actually examined my coilovers in detail. It looks as though the 2 x front struts are shot.
    Hopefully that is the primary contributor. They had probably done 30-40k miles on my Imola through 4 winters in Canada, so they were getting tired.

    I ordered some BC coilovers last night, as I have them on my e30 and they've been fantastic.
    I'll get those on as soon as they come in as I have a big ole drive from NC to Ontario coming up, and there is no way I'd cope with things the way they are.
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  15. #15
    Established Member Two Rings
    Join Date
    Jan 20 2014
    AZ Member #
    139561
    Location
    Woonsocket

    Nice find, hopefully that's your issue. Update the thread however it turns out. My Bilsteins are only about 4 years old and I'm used to thinking of them as bullet proof but it's best not to assume anything when hunting down problems.

  16. #16
    Veteran Member Three Rings
    Join Date
    Sep 09 2014
    AZ Member #
    281468
    Location
    Grand Rapids, Michigan

    Yikes. That will definitely cause some tracking issues.

  17. #17
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    Quote Originally Posted by Nichtknicken View Post
    I'm used to thinking of them as bullet proof but it's best not to assume anything when hunting down problems.
    Yup, I've subconsciously been thinking "I bought those new, they must be OK".
    I was able bounce the front of the car up & down by about 1"-2"
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  18. #18
    Senior Member Three Rings slowSfaux's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 26 2015
    AZ Member #
    329604
    Location
    Phoenix, AZ

    Keep in mind that shocks only resist movement over time, springs resist compression/weight. Being able to compress the suspension is a function of the spring rate, the oscillations are controlled by the shocks. If the car bounces after you compress the suspension then release it, that's a sign the shocks are blown.

  19. #19
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 04 2013
    AZ Member #
    128426
    My Garage
    stg 3 widebody, 1990 miata, '05 gsxr 1000
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA

    yeah other than bushings, which you replaced... tramlining is pretty obvious when it happens, not remotely the same as feeling uncertain steering. Blown struts make sense, that's the worst feeling... Another is worn out wheel bearings, believe it or not -- if it feels like it's really windy out, and nobody else is wiggling around... check those. Alignment, i mean yeah toe out makes it dartier, but you're not going to think something's wrong. Another thing is check your power steering/rack, but that's last for a few reasons, airbubbles/play are unlikely the cause plus it's expensive.

  20. #20
    Veteran Member Three Rings zatch_303's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 13 2009
    AZ Member #
    43721
    Location
    Colorado

    I just upgraded to 18x8.5 Konig wheels with 235/40/18 Falken's. I immediately noticed the steering being more "floaty" on center and liking to stray like you're describing. Much less tight and planted. Hoping an alignment will fix this feeling as I was expecting the opposite from more rubber and wider wheels. Not nearly as low as you but my coils are shot, just bought some new Vogtlands and after slapping those on and an alignment I am hoping this issue is fixed. If not I will be referencing back to this thread to see what you come up with. James, it is interesting you suggest wheel bearings as a culprit, would have never thought they would impact steering.
    // 2001 Volcano Black B5 A4 Avant 1.8TQM - Past
    // 2001.5 Pearl White B5 S4 Sedan 6MT

  21. #21
    Veteran Member Four Rings
    Join Date
    Nov 04 2013
    AZ Member #
    128426
    My Garage
    stg 3 widebody, 1990 miata, '05 gsxr 1000
    Location
    Palo Alto, CA

    tramlining pulls the steering wheel, imho it's not vague feeling in that sense, you just have to fight it. I mean I guess if you have aged bushings etc allowing deflection, it could feel floaty, but the deflection is the culprit, not tramlining.

    And yeah i was surprised by the bearing causing that too, i think it's just once the bearing gets real worn it allows deflection. In hindsight it makes sense, hence why one of the tests for wheel bearing is the 12-6 shake test.
    Last edited by james 408; 10-13-2018 at 03:14 PM.

  22. #22
    Veteran Member Four Rings MacDaddy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 06 2008
    AZ Member #
    31677
    Location
    Canadia

    Dont even bother suggesting anything folks, this guy is perpetually woe is me his car got joy rided and crashed by a moving company, and he came on here asking what to do only to dismiss every single suggestion.

    Your time is better spent talking to a brick wall.

  23. #23
    Veteran Member Three Rings protocol_droid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 20 2009
    AZ Member #
    50953
    My Garage
    14 GS350 FSport
    Location
    socal

    had the same problem originally in my avant. i too had blown st coils. swapped to eibach coils and it didnt fix the wandering and constant steering feel adjusments. swapped new control arms and that didnt fix it....turned out the main subframe bolts werent torqued down properly and vois la....no more drifting steering. the subframe was shifting during driving ever so slightly giving this weird steering feel. anyhow good luck.

    Sent from my SM-G930P using Tapatalk
    01.5 B5 S4 Nogaro Avant 6MT Sport STG3
    01 B5 A4 Silver Avant

  24. #24
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    Quote Originally Posted by MacDaddy View Post
    Dont even bother suggesting anything folks, this guy is perpetually woe is me his car got joy rided and crashed by a moving company, and he came on here asking what to do only to dismiss every single suggestion.

    Your time is better spent talking to a brick wall.
    ?

    Are you serious lol? Strong words.

    If I had listened to some of you guys I'd have "kicked his ass brah" or "Slam their Facebook and Insta, guy!"
    By doing what I did and getting a proper evaluation, I was able to fight the insurance payout and

    1. get the true value rather than KBB
    2. get reimbursed for the 3rd Party Evaluation
    3. received damages

    All of which was ethical.

    The closing statement on that thread -
    Quote Originally Posted by e30mclow View Post

    I'll likely sign the package on Monday, which will hopefully see my car returned within a week.
    Ended up with a reasonable figure for the car, as stated above + the car back (them waiving the salvage rights & associated costs) + a "Customer Service Gesture" for all of the BS.

    The gesture value isn't what I had been pushing for, but was close enough to warrant me not pursuing it further (weighing up how much I'd need to spend to get to that figure made it negligible).

    Regarding getting your own appraisal - It isn't cheap guys. It cost just under $1,000 considering the appraiser was 4-5hrs away from the location of my car. That $1,000 got the value from $5,325 to $11,100, so it was still worth it. Given that the initial appraisal was embarrassingly bogus (they hired the guy), the costs for 2nd one were reimbursed, so I actually ended up not paying for it.



    Main tips at this point -
    • put away the aforementioned "dildos of justice"

    • understand that the people you will deal with only see things in black & white (that's their job), and it cannot be easy dealing with irate Irishmen

    • stay away from social media blasting - I think that only creates further issues if resorted to before giving those involved an opportunity to act

    • it will take a LONG time to set right - that LONG time isn't easily assigned a dollar value, and any value that you assign it certainly won't be paid lol

    • threatening with legal representation/action straight off the bat only makes them put sand on their dildos of injustice

    • write down EVERYTHING, make notes on every call and always follow up in writing if they're falling behind agreed milestones

    • You're not going to get rich, but if everything is handled well, you shouldn't lose money at least
    I certainly don't feel that I've ever dismissed anyone on here, as I've always found a fix to anything and have reported back with the true cause.
    I'm honestly confused as to how you're referring to me as a "woe is me" user....?

    We're all B5 owners, therefore we're all in a constant state of bloody woe, not just me lol
    Last edited by e30mclow; 10-15-2018 at 08:14 AM.
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  25. #25
    Senior Member Three Rings e30mclow's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 08 2015
    AZ Member #
    314258
    Location
    An Irishman living in NC

    My new coilovers arrived yesterday, so I installed the fronts last night after work.

    Happy to say that the issue seems to be gone! I haven't dialed in the height/alignment/preload yet, but the symptoms previously described seem to have gone.
    I'll update once I get the rears in and and get everything sorted, but I think we've cracked it - the driver's side shock was on the way out.

    Thanks folks
    Current: 2000 Black Stage III (BW-K04)
    1990 BMW E30 325i
    Previous Bad Idea: 2000 Imola Stage III (BW-K04) - Now a parts car - HERE
    Previous "Better" Ideas: Euro e30 m3, Euro e34 m5, Inca Orange 2002Tii, '89 325iS, '89 318i, '90 318iS, '91 318iS, 2 X '87 316, '89 320i, '81 316 and so on..

  26. #26
    Registered Member Three Rings lowestA4's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 08 2005
    AZ Member #
    6403
    Location
    hanover germany

    For me personally brandnew coilovers made a huge and very impressive improvement. It turned out all gas had been evaporated from the stock ones over the years and the car was literally just on springs only. Also no more vibrations and no more window rattling in the cabin.
    2000 RS4 B5 / nogaroblue on black [current]
    2011 A4 B8 avant s-line / monzasilver on black [current]
    2000 A4 B5 [gone]
    1986 Audi 80 [gone]
    **************-



Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  


    © 2001-2018 Audizine, Audizine.com, and Driverzines.com
    Audizine is an independently owned and operated automotive enthusiast community and news website.
    Audi and the Audi logo(s) are copyright/trademark Audi AG. Audizine is not endorsed by or affiliated with Audi AG.