Wednesday 6 January 2010

BMW Log - Aftermath of changing Control Arms on the BMW

Well after changing the control arms on the BMW to sort out worn bushes, as ever, I have inevitably introduced new problems. To be expected really... any suspension component work is always likely to throw the wheel alignment out on a car, I just didn't realise how sensitive BMWs are to badly aligned wheels.

Don't know if it is a rear wheel drive thing or just BMWs setup, but it drove absolutely terrible after changing the arms... literally felt like I had octagonal wheels, which were trying to pull me strongly left and right... any which way but straight. I made a b-line for a garage to get some tracking done... on sunday, my only option was that really 'quick' place, which I would never usually use for different reasons, but this was an emergency.

I found out that BMWs need 4-wheel alignment and that the guy capable of doing it wasn't in that day. Kind of fortunate in a way as I intended doing more work on the car (tie rods) so didn't want to spend all the money on 4-wheel alignment only to take it apart again soon.

So I asked them just to do 2-wheel alignment, just to get it drivable. It did make a difference and I could use the car, but either it is still mis-aligned, or the tie rod ball joints are bad as it is still handling like I am driving through SEVERE side winds on ice, pulling left and right all the time.

I am probably scrubbing tyres badly and am trying to make it through one week until I can change the tie rods and get 4-wheel alignment. I am booked into Blackboots in Chesham for 4-wheel alignment and have heard good things about these guys, so am looking forward to getting it all sorted and having a car that is a pleasure to drive again.

Oh and just to rub salt in the wounds... on my way to work today I got a poxy puncture!!

Got onto the motorway, car making a very odd noise... left it for a bit thinking it was just to do with bad tracking, but go to the point where driving was very difficult and noisy and just wrong. Pulled onto hard shoulder and found nearside rear tyre shredded and hanging off!! F*cker!!

This was also on the morning when we had snow... so there I am 7am, hard shoulder of the M1 changing a poxy wheel in the snow... not happy...

So not only am I skint from all the control arm work...I now have to buy new tyres... minimum I want to buy a pair... can't afford 4 all at once. How joyous life is at the mo.

Happy new year.

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