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The mkiv Supra Owners Club

e53 X5 wheel wobble/vibrate when braking.


Shane
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Apologies in advance for the long post.

 

So I have had this issue now for a while, drive on a really smooth road surface and and you can just detect a very slight wheel wobble between 45-55 ish, but very very slight and it just feels like a wheel slightly out of balance. If you brake heavy in that speed range, a vibration, sometimes quite violent, takes over and you have to get it down to below 40 to stop what seems to be almost a resonance affect.

 

I spent all last winter thinking it was just my chunky winter tyres and convinced myself that when I put the summer ones back on all would be fine, sadly not, it made no difference.

 

Lower control arm bushes are known to be an issue causing the violent shaking when braking, as are both the inner and out tie rods. One of the control arms had a crappy ball joint and was replaced and the other one was fine and looks to have been replaced before. I also have just in desperation changed the inner and outer tie rods, despite the old ones havning no play in any of the joints. Also changed both AR drop links while I was at it, brand new brake discs also.

 

Sadly, its still the same. One observation that may be a clue, pretty much each time I have it up on a jack to do something and then take it out afterwards, I convince myself its improved, not cured 100% but improved. As in, the slight wobble is still there in the speed range, but the horrible shaking seems to dissapear, then gradually over a few journeys it returns until it gets to it's former glory. So I am thinking possibly shocks here, but why the wobble at only a certain speed if its the shocks? Maybe there is two faults, one causing the slight wobble, and the shocks causing the horrible shaking resonant type fault once the wobble is there?

 

There is no play detectable in any other joints or the rack. I am thinking now its time to pull the drive shafts but again nothing noticably wrong. Luckily, parts are quite reasonably priced for this, but its all adding up and the real issue for me is that I have limited time and energy to keep pulling it to bits, it's a heavy car to work on and I am getting old, and only just getting over changing the rear wheel bearing on the supra ;) Any suggestions other than to chuck a bucket of water over it and move it on?

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I'd think its more likely a partially seized wheel cylinder. I had that with my Range Rover that would vibrate at 50 - 55mph. You can usually confirm if this is your problem by touching the road wheel after a run, if its warm then you know what the problem is. I had a hot wheel and a new caliper solved the problem.

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I'd think its more likely a partially seized wheel cylinder. I had that with my Range Rover that would vibrate at 50 - 55mph. You can usually confirm if this is your problem by touching the road wheel after a run, if its warm then you know what the problem is. I had a hot wheel and a new caliper solved the problem.

 

Good call, and have read similar experiences on various BM forums, but sadly not. One of the first things I tried once I realised it wasnt my wheels/tyre or discs was to clamp the flexis one at a time to eliminate the front braking. Also, doesn't explain why there is a slight wobble and why it seems to be improved after being jacked up. Depending on what year you had, the X5 E53 shared the same platform as the RR. But will check for heat this evening after the drive home, just to be sure.

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