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Old 09-18-2017, 03:48 PM   #1
shiftyshadow17
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Broken FCAB bracket bolt

After having FCAB symptoms, like bump steer and vibrations, I finally got around to changing my front control arm bushings. I got the passenger side bracket off just fine and got the bushing off the arm but then when I went to take the driver side off, the inner most bolt came out fine but then the outer (closer to wheel) broke in half while trying to take it out.

So half the bolt was left in there, I had to be able to put the car back together so I got the new bushings pressed into the brackets and I put the passenger side back together fine but I didn't want to leave the driver side with just one bolt in it, so I drilled it out and for now just put a long bolt with a nut on the end to hold it.

Any suggestions on what to do with it? Is it possible to take the part where the bolt goes into out and put a new one or something?

My car is a 325xi so the FCAB bracket mounts to the frame, not the body.

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Old 09-18-2017, 03:59 PM   #2
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Also, after changing the bushings, the bump steer is still there, and the vibrations in the steering wheel are actually worse, the steering wheel shakes very bad now above 120km/h too. The old bushings were 14 years old so how could the new ones be worse?
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:05 PM   #3
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The new ones are doing exactly what they're designed to--they're simply transferring any vibrations your old mushy bushings were masking, to the part thats truly broken. You need to replace the entire suspension at this point, not just one piece. Your suspension is quaking in its boots because its tired and busted.

You'll also want to start off with... well just read my post here.

http://www.e46mango.com/2017/06/so-y...hakes-huh.html
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:06 PM   #4
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I'm kind of in the same boat as you, mine's got a bolt and nut in the same spot. It happens to be a " bolt and nut, nothing bad has happened, I've only known about it for the last year or so. My guess is it happened when the car was in the body shop and the whole knuckle had to be replaced. I suppose a welding shop might be able to weld something in there, even if they just tack the nut in place. A nutsert might work but they are aluminum and might not take the stress. Have you tried an EZ out if you didn't ruin the threads when you drilled?
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Last edited by jmo69; 09-18-2017 at 04:09 PM.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:06 PM   #5
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How old are your tires?

The worn-out nature of the old bushings was masking an imbalance elsewhere in the chassis. Either that or you installed them incorrectly.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:11 PM   #6
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Both front struts are new, tie rods and the control arms are fine. Replaced sway bar bushings, and I have next to new tires on the car. but I am running a staggered setup.








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Old 09-18-2017, 04:15 PM   #7
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I would really want a little bit longer bolt, so that there was full thread engagement on that nut.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:18 PM   #8
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I would really want a little bit longer bolt, so that there was full thread engagement on that nut.


I was mostly hoping just for it to be fine for now and get some suggestions on what to do as I guess it can't be fixed, all I can do is get a bigger bolt?
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mango View Post
The new ones are doing exactly what they're designed to--they're simply transferring any vibrations your old mushy bushings were masking, to the part thats truly broken. You need to replace the entire suspension at this point, not just one piece. Your suspension is quaking in its boots because its tired and busted.

You'll also want to start off with... well just read my post here.

http://www.e46mango.com/2017/06/so-y...hakes-huh.html


I have no issues with any of the things in your post, I have checked everything
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:19 PM   #10
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How old are your tires?

The worn-out nature of the old bushings was masking an imbalance elsewhere in the chassis. Either that or you installed them incorrectly.


I made sure the bushings were installed correctly. I have m3 staggered rims on my car and new tires.
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Old 09-18-2017, 04:25 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I'm kind of in the same boat as you, mine's got a bolt and nut in the same spot. It happens to be a " bolt and nut, nothing bad has happened, I've only known about it for the last year or so. My guess is it happened when the car was in the body shop and the whole knuckle had to be replaced. I suppose a welding shop might be able to weld something in there, even if they just tack the nut in place. A nutsert might work but they are aluminum and might not take the stress. Have you tried an EZ out if you didn't ruin the threads when you drilled?

I could not drill straight so the threads are done.
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Old 09-18-2017, 05:12 PM   #12
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I'm surprised you were able to drill it out with the subframe still on the car honestly. Another member by the name of venerated went through this same issue a few weeks ago. She ended up just getting a used front subframe and swapping it in.

You could see if a place could cut the ruined weldnut off and weld a new one in but that would probably cost about what a used subframe would unless you can do it yourself.

For the time being though you should absolutely get a longer bolt. And use a nylock nut so it doesn't vibrate off. Or at least use a lock washer. If using a lock washer use a flat washer too, so that the lock washer is sandwiched between the nut and flatwasher.
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Old 09-18-2017, 06:29 PM   #13
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With the xi, the front wheel bearings and axles can also give you vibration-
especially if it does it under power, suspect the axles. They don't have to bind much
to really shake the front wheels.
And the bearings may only deflect under load, so they're not trivial to troubleshoot...

what I found,
t
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Old 09-18-2017, 08:10 PM   #14
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I'm surprised you were able to drill it out with the subframe still on the car honestly. Another member by the name of venerated went through this same issue a few weeks ago. She ended up just getting a used front subframe and swapping it in.

You could see if a place could cut the ruined weldnut off and weld a new one in but that would probably cost about what a used subframe would unless you can do it yourself.

For the time being though you should absolutely get a longer bolt. And use a nylock nut so it doesn't vibrate off. Or at least use a lock washer. If using a lock washer use a flat washer too, so that the lock washer is sandwiched between the nut and flatwasher.


I was going to use a lock nut, I have one and I tried to put it on but its too big to fit between the bracket and the frame.
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Old 09-19-2017, 06:34 AM   #15
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The only correct way to fix the bolt problem is to replace the subframe? and any suggestions on why it made vibrations worse and why bump steer is still there?
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Old 09-19-2017, 07:42 AM   #16
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Have you had an alignment done recently? That can cure a lot of problems.
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Old 09-19-2017, 08:11 AM   #17
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Have you had an alignment done recently? That can cure a lot of problems.


I had an alignment done 2 weeks ago. but then after that now I just replaced the rear trailing arm bushings, all 4, the upper ball joints in the rear, and the fcabs. althought while installing both rear upper control arm ball joints the boots ripped so I'll have to do those again. I may need another alignment.
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Old 09-19-2017, 09:54 AM   #18
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Lift the car up & put both front wheels in the air.
Watch your wheels as you slowly roll them & check the inner & outer lips against a reference point. (screwdriver for example)

Chances are you have 1 or more bent wheels, or they are horribly balanced (happened to me twice at two different tire shops).
A road force balancing revealed that I had slightly bent wheels, but they were balanced out almost completely.

If that isn't your issue, replace your front upper strut mounts. Don't even think, just do it.
I had the same high speed vibration years ago, and this was an instant cure. They are like $30 a piece.

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Old 09-19-2017, 11:03 AM   #19
shiftyshadow17
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Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
Lift the car up & put both front wheels in the air.
Watch your wheels as you slowly roll them & check the inner & outer lips against a reference point. (screwdriver for example)

Chances are you have 1 or more bent wheels, or they are horribly balanced (happened to me twice at two different tire shops).
A road force balancing revealed that I had slightly bent wheels, but they were balanced out almost completely.

If that isn't your issue, replace your front upper strut mounts. Don't even think, just do it.
I had the same high speed vibration years ago, and this was an instant cure. They are like $30 a piece.


I am guessing strut mounts. as I've had 3 different sets of rims on this car and it's present with all of them. All the sets were oem rims. I have oem m3 rims on my car right now.
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Old 09-19-2017, 11:06 AM   #20
shiftyshadow17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GhostFlame View Post
Lift the car up & put both front wheels in the air.
Watch your wheels as you slowly roll them & check the inner & outer lips against a reference point. (screwdriver for example)

Chances are you have 1 or more bent wheels, or they are horribly balanced (happened to me twice at two different tire shops).
A road force balancing revealed that I had slightly bent wheels, but they were balanced out almost completely.

If that isn't your issue, replace your front upper strut mounts. Don't even think, just do it.
I had the same high speed vibration years ago, and this was an instant cure. They are like $30 a piece.


It's like a shimmy starting at 80km/h and getting worse the faster I go. The wheels on the car are balanced, but in the driver side front strut where the pinch bolt goes onto the strut where it connects to the hub has a huge groove like the pinch bolt was put through the strut, it wore a huge hole in the strut.
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