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      04-06-2014, 02:03 PM   #1
Taylorguy74
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Squirrelly driving - steering input

Does anyone know any decent links or such for better techniques in the Z4M? The reason I ask is that at higher speeds the steering feels squirrelly - like little input goes a long way and I feel myself getting twitchy lines. Albeit I am just back roads driving, but at times it does feel not so safe. Two hands is a must in this little beast especially during acceleration - and I'm sure it's my inexperience with the car too as I just got it in December and have only been out a few times.

Definitely a raw versus refined feel - my E90 tracks amazing, guess I will just have to get more behind the wheel time with the M. Any tips or tricks videos or articles?
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      04-06-2014, 02:37 PM   #2
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Had a couple friends who tracked Z4Ms, and they also reported the car being a bit squirelly.
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      04-06-2014, 02:39 PM   #3
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There are many variables, alignment, tires, etc. I have this exact issue on the street, due to my track alignment and r-comps tires. Constantly fighting the twitchy feed back. It was walmost non existent on oem alignment and street tires. I do love the direct input through the steering wheel feeling ever crack in the road.
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      04-06-2014, 02:42 PM   #4
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I'd recommend starting with an alignment if you haven't had one in a while.
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      04-06-2014, 05:25 PM   #5
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I brought mine back to the dealer a week after taking delivery for this exact issue. They put it on the alignment rack and showed me it was well within spec. IMO this car would be 100% more enjoyable if it could be driven hard w/o the need for constant mini-corrections.
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      04-06-2014, 05:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by m5m3mc View Post
I brought mine back to the dealer a week after taking delivery for this exact issue. They put it on the alignment rack and showed me it was well within spec. IMO this car would be 100% more enjoyable if it could be driven hard w/o the need for constant mini-corrections.
This is along the lines of how I feel. Thanks for the reply. Feel on steering wise, my E90 is 100x better at high speeds. Much more stable to me, but I do enjoy the M rawness when it's controllable.
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      04-06-2014, 08:54 PM   #7
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Unless you have a mechanical issue (FCAB's, Tie-rod ends, Tire balance) then most likely your alignment is off. Being in 'BMW spec.' can mean several things since the 'spec' is rather large. Did the dealer give you a print out of the current alignment settings??? You could have the toe on one wheel going to one side of the spec, and the other wheel on the other side of the spec, or both to one side of the spec or the other....but both are 'in spec'..

I do not run my MC anywhere near OEM specs and it does not wander or is squirrely. It is very sensitive to steering input and very precise, so if you are not attentive it goes exactly where your hands tell it to.
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      04-06-2014, 10:06 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shipkiller View Post
I do not run my MC anywhere near OEM specs and it does not wander or is squirrely. It is very sensitive to steering input and very precise, so if you are not attentive it goes exactly where your hands tell it to.
I have to agree. I was just marveling today how my car goes exactly where I point it. No tramlining, no wandering. It is sensitive--I rarely drive with one hand on the wheel, and certainly not when driving spiritedly(?)
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      04-19-2014, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorguy74
Does anyone know any decent links or such for better techniques in the Z4M? The reason I ask is that at higher speeds the steering feels squirrelly - like little input goes a long way and I feel myself getting twitchy lines. Albeit I am just back roads driving, but at times it does feel not so safe. Two hands is a must in this little beast especially during acceleration - and I'm sure it's my inexperience with the car too as I just got it in December and have only been out a few times.

Definitely a raw versus refined feel - my E90 tracks amazing, guess I will just have to get more behind the wheel time with the M. Any tips or tricks videos or articles?
I find that it is very precise and responsive to you're inputs . My guess is you may be making too aggressive inputs or that you're car has a major alignment / suspension/ RTAB problem . Here is a vid of one of my track sessions . The camera angle shows all my steering inputs . Be sure to watch the last lap where I have a major slide and see how controlled my inputs are . Hope this helps .

George
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      04-19-2014, 11:08 AM   #10
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Thanks for that! I'm going to agree on the minor inputs. I tried some easier, minute inputs this morning and the car responds much better. I feel I was turning a little too hard, or releasing too quickly and then having to 'catch' and correct the wheel as I over-inputed. I really appreciate the vid and clarifications everyone!

Also, that slide correction was amazing. Very little input. Thanks again.

Last edited by Taylorguy74; 04-19-2014 at 11:17 AM..
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      04-19-2014, 11:54 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorguy74 View Post
Thanks for that! I'm going to agree on the minor inputs. I tried some easier, minute inputs this morning and the car responds much better. I feel I was turning a little too hard, or releasing too quickly and then having to 'catch' and correct the wheel as I over-inputed. I really appreciate the vid and clarifications everyone!

Also, that slide correction was amazing. Very little input. Thanks again.
Cool. The very close ratio steering, suspension set-up, stiff chassis, and short (compared to an E90) wheelbase mean this car is way more sensitive than the E90. (I have a 335d, have owned an E90 M3.). I've also found that rear toe-in that's in the middle of the stock range rather than the "less" side of the range settles the car when rolling on throttle at the apex. (I'll see if I can dig up my "street" alignment settings.)

You're on the right track now! Once you get used to it you'll be saying the E90 isn't responsive enough and requires too much input!
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      04-19-2014, 12:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
Cool. The very close ratio steering, suspension set-up, stiff chassis, and short (compared to an E90) wheelbase mean this car is way more sensitive than the E90. (I have a 335d, have owned an E90 M3.). I've also found that rear toe-in that's in the middle of the stock range rather than the "less" side of the range settles the car when rolling on throttle at the apex. (I'll see if I can dig up my "street" alignment settings.)

You're on the right track now! Once you get used to it you'll be saying the E90 isn't responsive enough and requires too much input!
Thanks! Would like to see the alignment settings you have for street plus.
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      04-19-2014, 12:52 PM   #13
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Here is mine on the track. I didn't think it was twitchy at all. I was hitting around 130-140 on the back straight.



Alignment settings

Front: -2.2 (via shims) and 0 Toe
Rear: 1.8* and 1/4" total Toe
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      04-19-2014, 01:05 PM   #14
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I'm using Kgolf's rear settings (took his recommendation--great stuff--car is better with a bit more toe-in, able to put power down as noted in prior post).

I'm running -1.7 front 1/16th toe-in. I've also run zero toe-in front--better for tire wear but the car is a bit more work straight-line and more sensitive. Suggest starting with a tiny bit of toe-in (1/16th total front) if you're going to change front alignment. I also have Turner camber washers in front.

Front negative camber is easy to achieve using the Turner camber washer kit. (Stock can only get to -1.0 or a bit more with the "pins"--small hex head bolts--removed.). See this thread for everything you'd ever need to know. 2 washers will easily get you to -2.0, and allow adjustment between ~-1.7 - ~-2.6 by moving the struts in/out.

Alignment is always a compromise between tire wear and max grip. Street--for me--is the compromise I'm comfortable with expressed in the settings above. YMMD. Driving inputs are the most important factor though--alignment helps but the driver is key not the settings.

Last edited by Finnegan; 08-01-2014 at 08:22 PM..
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      04-19-2014, 04:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
I'm using Kgolf's rear settings (took his recommendation--great stuff--car is better with a bit more toe-in, able to put power down as noted in prior post). .
Yea, typically I don't like running that much toe (I was at 1/8th total toe for a year prior). The 1/4th of an inch was a incredible difference. Well worth the extra tire wear.
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      04-19-2014, 07:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorguy74 View Post
Thanks for that! I'm going to agree on the minor inputs. I tried some easier, minute inputs this morning and the car responds much better. I feel I was turning a little too hard, or releasing too quickly and then having to 'catch' and correct the wheel as I over-inputed. I really appreciate the vid and clarifications everyone!

Also, that slide correction was amazing. Very little input. Thanks again.
If your inputs are too twitchy, you are probably not looking far enough ahead.
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      04-19-2014, 08:49 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
I'm using Kgolf's rear settings (took his recommendation--great stuff--car is better with a bit more toe-in, able to put power down as noted in prior post).

I'm running -1.7 front 1/16th toe-in. I've also run zero toe-in front--better for tire wear but the car is a bit more work straight-line and more sensitive. Suggest starting with a tiny bit of toe-in (1/16th total front) if you're going to change front alignment. I also have Turner camber washers in front.

You sure you don't mean toe out in front? Or maybe those are your settings in rear?
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      04-19-2014, 11:06 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3002 tii
Quote:
Originally Posted by Finnegan View Post
I'm using Kgolf's rear settings (took his recommendation--great stuff--car is better with a bit more toe-in, able to put power down as noted in prior post).

I'm running -1.7 front 1/16th toe-in. I've also run zero toe-in front--better for tire wear but the car is a bit more work straight-line and more sensitive. Suggest starting with a tiny bit of toe-in (1/16th total front) if you're going to change front alignment. I also have Turner camber washers in front.

You sure you don't mean toe out in front? Or maybe those are your settings in rear?
I would think Toe-In because he was talking about his street setting.
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      04-19-2014, 11:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kgolf31 View Post
I would think Toe-In because he was talking about his street setting.
Yep. When move the struts inboard (increase to ~-2.5) I end up with a bit of toe-out. The touch of toe-in at -1.7 is street not track.
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      04-20-2014, 12:15 AM   #20
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I'm going to suggest it's normal. If you've ever driven extensively any of the BMWs from the mid 90s to very early 2000 range, especially those equipped with Servotronic steering, this "dart-y" or nervous steering is what made BMWs different from your average daily driving appliance.

Coupled with a short wheel base and a very short steering ratio, what some would consider the greatest steering feel BMW has made in ages, if you're not used to it, to be "twitchy."
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      04-21-2014, 12:35 PM   #21
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My settings are -3.2 front with zero toe , and -2.2 rear with .12 total toe in . Very stable under braking and in fast corners , my suspension settings and solid bushings make weight transitions happen FAST so quick precise inputs are rewarded , but the communication is telepathic . I know exactly what the chassis and each wheel is doing .
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      02-01-2020, 12:38 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Taylorguy74 View Post
Does anyone know any decent links or such for better techniques in the Z4M? The reason I ask is that at higher speeds the steering feels squirrelly - like little input goes a long way and I feel myself getting twitchy lines. Albeit I am just back roads driving, but at times it does feel not so safe. Two hands is a must in this little beast especially during acceleration

any solution to this problem....? i have precisely the same issue in my Z4!
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