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    Warning to all E30 owners

    Hi all,
    I need to share this information with as many E30 owners as possible so this doesn't happen to anyone else.


    The short version.

    I recently replaced some suspension parts including the tie rods on my sons E30 and I believe they broke causing the car to loose control, hit a bank and roll.
    Please take note of the seller of these kits. They are branded Auto-Universal GmbH. The seller is directly related to Auto-Universal GmbH. Have a think before you buy one. If you know of any one who has recently done any front suspension work to their E30 contact them and ask where they got their parts and show them this post. If you frequent other E30 forums please post up a link there back to here.



    http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/311437146...%3AMEBIDX%3AIT

    I did look at the sellers feed back but I never did notice this from someone who bought the same kit. We are not the first.





    Update Note:
    I am continuing to update this listing as information comes to hand. I am using it to explain to whoever needs to know what has happened. I have also been adding a lot more detail into it simply to build the strongest case. It is also a Record and/or diary as such to keep a detailed account of how this is evolving. The seller is now threatening me with legal action and wants this post removed. What a surprise!.



    The detailed version.

    Firstly, I don't want this post to be taken as some sort of excuse for Luke. He certainly played his part, mainly the speed that he was doing. It is not ok for him to drive like he was, especially when he had a friend in the car. He had a free period from school and decided to go for a spirited drive on a back road before heading back to class with his mate. Also, in part it is for me as I feel as if I hold some of the blame and at the least, want it known that it was not driver error but a mechanical failure and feel i need to document exactly what happened. It should also be known that Luke has had advanced driver training and competes in Hill climbs at the local track. His driving ability is very much above average and he is familiar with correcting over steer.

    Anyway, I purchased and installed one of these front suspension kits for him. The car was then taken to a suspension specialist for a wheel alignment.
    This Tuesday (4 weeks later) I received a phone call from him during the day and he said.
    "I have rolled my car. I wasn't going excessively fast. I tried to correct it but I couldn't do anything with it."
    I got to the scene and found this.

    How the hell he and his friend were not badly hurt is beyond me. I spent some hours there waiting for police and tow trucks etc and I kept looking at the marks on the road and I could not for the life of me work out how he went off where he did. The Police officers explanation was that he lost it half way through the corner, over corrected, over corrected again coming out of the corner out of control and into the bank on the right. There were no fish tail skid marks anywhere through the corner only the straight marks heading straight at the bank. Luke says he did not fish tail through the corner. I trust that if he stuffed up he would simply say so.




    Here is a picture of a tie rod as they come ready to install. I have pointed out the various parts of the tie rod as they are described below. Please note the "Permanent connection" section. This is the point of failure.



    Once the car was at home I was looking over it and it occurred to me that the front left tie rod was still perfectly straight but the connection to the inner rod (rack end) had come apart. I need to stress at this point for those who may not know, that this connection in the tie rod is supposed to be a permanent connection, never to be taken apart. It is crimped onto a threaded rack end rod.

    The front left wheel took the first impact into the bank, was torn down and under the car. The sway bar brackets were ripped down, the control arm bent down and torn off yet the rack with the rack end looked fine and the tie rod hardly had a scratch. There is also tire scrub/skid marks inside the mudguard and on the chassis. These were made before the impact while the guard is not bent.



    Notice how the skid marks look like the wheel goes up and down while rubbing. More on that shortly.


    I looked to the right front suspension and the tie rod end was attached to the steering arm but the tie rod was snapped off and no where to be found. The rack end was neatly sitting in the end of the rack. The rack ends, rack mounts and the rack itself has absolutely no signs of stress. The front right wheel is still located in its correct place yet no tie rod to be seen.





    Here's what I think happened. He came through the corner and as he straighten, the right front tie rod connection gave way. This caused the car to veer over to the right side of the road. I would imagine that the gyroscopic effect of the front wheel would force the wheel to continue on a forward path. (not act like it would when trying to move a car at low speed with out steering) This forward motion of the wheel continues until it is upset enough by something like counter steering of the other wheel. At which point the forces from counter steering and the right wheel going on its own path force the right wheel to go full lock creating the dark skid mark on the road and inside the guard. At some point the extra load on the left front tie rod causes it to let go as well. It also goes full lock and skids into the guard and chassis rail.
    If you look at the skid marks inside the front left guard they look as if they go up and down as if it has hit a large bump. I believe if the car was sliding sideways shortly before impact the left wheel would almost be rolling in the direction of travel. (The tire has no scuffing) When it goes over the gutter before hitting the embankment the suspension traveling up and down is what caused the mark to look like this. The tie rod is not connected because the wheel is rubbing against the inner guard.
    When the car impacts sideways into the bank it tears the wheel down under the car and the car rolled over. At this point the right wheel is hard back in the mud guard and as the car rolls over, the tie rod if flicked downward. As the car came down onto its wheels again the right tie rod was speared into the hard, decomposed granite and then was torn off as the car kept moving. The bend and break point in the tie rod end fits right onto the rim edge.

    I believe this because I went back to the site and found the right tie rod embedded into the ground about 4 meters from the initial point of impact of the left wheel into bank. At this point the right front has had no impact, yet the tie rod is in a position to spear into the ground. It must have been broken! The car then continued to roll several more times coming to a rest.



    Original BMW tie rod I disassembled with lots of heat and force showing purchase by thread inside tube.



    Auto-Universal tie rod (disassembled it self) showing slight marks from thread. You can even see that the crimp marks on the out side of the tube are no where near as deep as the OEM part. It simply was not crimped with enough force to ensure a good connection.

    I also pulled apart one the original tie rods that were removed. It required the pressed part to be heated glowing red, an 18" shifting spanner and set of vice grips in a large vice to separate them. You can see in the photos the original has quite deep impressions from the thread and when I run a screw driver over them you can hear it clicking.The cheap replacement has only very slight marks that can not even be felt.

    I am convinced that both tie rods broke causing the crash. Certainly there is blame on Luke because of the the speed he was doing. The speed limit there is 100km/h and he says he was doing around 120km/h. His mate also kept saying to me during the afternoon on the side of the road. "We weren't going that fast" My Landcruiser would go around that corner at that speed, however, if he was doing the speed limit, perhaps it would not have been so bad and maybe just one roll over.

    I have contacted the seller (I am fairly confident he speaks English) and told him what I believe, yet he is still selling these sets. I know this because I got my mechanic to purchase another set from him 36 hours after I sent him an email. I may get them tested by someone when they arrive. Not sure exactly yet but I will update this when I get them and do something. Any suggestion welcome.
    My wife has German relatives and we are in the process of trying to find out who in Germany we can contact to get this seller to withdraw these from sale. Its a public holiday there at the moment so will need to wait till Monday.
    My son and his mate could have been killed. There is one less E30 in the world, this guy is still selling this crap and I am really pissed off. If there is anyone here that is located in Germany, please, can you offer any help? Any government agency who regulates motor vehicle standard or the like so we can report this guy and get him to stop selling these sets. (or at least the tie rods)
    I will get my mechanic to leave some more appropriate feedback on EBay once we get the new set and I might try EBay for recourse, but from past experience they probably wont care.
    Thanks.

    UPDATE: 1st June 16
    I have been contacted by an apprentice mechanic here in Australia who bought the same kit. One of his tie rods broke before he got it off the hoist. His broke exactly the same way as ours. He contacted the seller with photos and he did nothing. He also contacted Ebay who also did nothing. Here is his description of what happened in his own words.....

    Hi Chris
    What happened was the parcel was a month late for starters which was pretty annoying but any ways once I received it all I installed it all my self as I'm doing my apprenticeship. so I did the right side first and every thing was sweet so I started on the left side, got it all in and went to go turn the steering wheel and it was really hard to turn ( car was on my hoist so wheels weren't on the ground) as I turned the steering wheel no even a full rotation to the right I heard a massive bang and went under the car and the tie rod end had pulled it self out of the rack end. so I pulled it all apart and found the the ball joint in the new control arm was seized. luckily I wasn't driving it at the time. So I messaged the company with photos and saying what happened and they replied but weren't helpful at all and then just stop replying all together I made a complaint on eBay but no one ever got back to me.


    He also sent some pictures. This was back in September 2015.

    Sellers Details:
    In the listing the parts are quoted as having a brand name. Auto-Universal GmbH.
    Doing a search for this "Brand" it is in fact a workshop. And the proprietors surname is the same as the Ebay user name. carparts-Lange.

    This is his web site.
    http://autouniversalgmbh.de/

    This "brand" is also listed on one of those Chinese trade sourcing sites
    http://carpartslange.en.ec21.com/company_info.html.

    Auto-Universal GmbH (GmbH means he has set himself up behind a limited liability company)

    UPDATE 2nd June 16
    Was contacted by the seller via pay pal. He has threatened me with legal action if I don't remove this post.
    Heres the conversation so far...

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    30/05/2016 02:25 PDT


    I contacted you directly about these sub quality parts. They failed causing a major crash. You have previous negative feedback saying the tie rods in this kit broke. YOU ARE PUTTING LIVES IN DANGER!! selling this crap. Ebay have been contacted and you are still selling this rubbish. I am only getting started requesting a refund through PayPal.

    Here is a post detailing exactly what happened with detailed photos of the failed parts

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=386664

    STOP SELLING THIS RUBBISH!! Someone will die.

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    30/05/2016 05:14 PDT


    I Just found another person that this happened to with a kit from you via face book. He says he contacted you and you did nothing. STOP SELLING THIS RUBBISH! YOU ARE GOING TO KILL SOMEONE!!

    Auto-Universal GmbH refused Chris Williams's request for a $254.10 AUD refund.

    31/05/2016 00:47 PDT
    From Seller – Auto-Universal GmbH


    31/05/2016 00:47 PDT

    Please send us the chassis number, the copy of the installation invoice and the measurement protocol via mail. This set was sold to more than 100, including car dealerships, without problems.

    greetings

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    31/05/2016 03:11 PDT


    If you go and have a read of the thread that is discussing you and your dodgy parts there are multiple cases of these parts failing. I have located several people that have your kits and we are currently looking into getting them tested. The connection made on the tie rod is sub standard. If you had any idea you can clearly see this in the thread with detailed photos. You have been warned. There is a documented thread containing your details linking these dodgy kits to you. If someone dies from these you will be held accountable.

    http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=386664

    Go and have a look and stop putting your profit over people lives.

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    31/05/2016 03:52 PDT


    You say you have sold 100 with out problems.

    You have negative feedback stating the tie rod broke after 2 weeks for this kit.

    You are a Liar.

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    31/05/2016 04:10 PDT


    You want a chassis number? You say your kit fits ALL e30's why do you need a chassis number. Shouldn't you ask that before you sell me a kit??

    I installed them my self and the car was taken to a suspension specialist for a wheel alignment straight away. A receipt can be provided for this. (Howard Revell Steering Fyshwick ACT Australia, Been in business over 30 years)

    From Seller – Auto-Universal GmbH
    31/05/2016 06:40 PDT


    Thank you for the information. Please send me the chassis numbers and the measurement protocol.

    thank you

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    31/05/2016 12:59 PDT


    Why do you want the chassis number? You should have asked me that before you sold the parts. Your listing says ALL E30 BMW.

    The measurement protocol? If you mean the alignment specification, This was done by Howard Revell Steering.

    It is clear that the permanent connection made during manufacture is NO PERMANENT and is breaking.

    You knew that these parts have been failing and you continue to sell them. Someone could die as a result of your negligence.

    From Seller – Auto-Universal GmbH
    01/06/2016 03:57 PDT


    I do not understand why you send Refuse the data. What reason can you have? We have of course informed the manufacturer. This then has made a test. We found no defects.

    I can well understand that you want to clear up the cause, I would also try.

    As you can see from the pictures the vehicle has come in straight drive off the road. So I am assuming that the tie rods were fine. I think that the police is right. Maybe the young people have something overestimated. This has already made my son.

    As you probably know, that is exactly the constructed of BMW breaking point. This is the occupant protection (passenger compartment).

    I must ask you herewith your assertions and presumptions from the Internet to delete. They have no evidence and accuse public the company and me. These meet the definition of defamation and incitement. If this is not done within 7 working days, I will be bringing criminal proceedings in the police and the attorney appoint an injunction and damages submitted.

    Furthermore, may I ask you this product to put in your forum.

    greetings

    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    01/06/2016 13:50 PDT


    Defamation? I don't think you understand what defamation is. I welcome you to start legal proceedings. PLEASE DO IT! I am NOT deleting that post! DO IT NOW! Don't wait 7 days.

    You know as well as me YOU don't want this anywhere near the legal system.

    Thank you for making me go to the steering specialist who did the alignment. I took the failed parts with me and they inspected them. They were shocked that a PERMANENT connection is now NOT permanent with no signs of damage to either end of the tie rod. They too agree that these parts failed. They are preparing me a report. I will add this to the forum post soon. I also have the print out from the alignment machine of the specs that you requested. They advise me there is nothing alarming about the specs for a car of that age. I will put this on the forum also along with a photo of the compliance plate that you requested. Please keep your eye on it for updates.

    Please forward me a copy of the correspondence between you and the manufacturer including the test procedures applied and the subsequent report regarding the structural integrity of the tie rods. I will be happy to add that to the forum post for you.

    I will be adding my own when the new set arrives and I have them tested.
    __________________________________________________ ____________________
    Here is the vin as requested. (Compliance plate is covered by the mud guard being folded over it)


    Alignment specs as requested. Now where is your test report?


    Update 6th June 16


    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    03/06/2016 03:52 PDT


    I am still waiting for the copy of the test report you had done on your tie rods.

    I would have thought that someone as deep as you are in muddy water would be eager to clear your name.

    From Seller – Auto-Universal GmbH
    06/06/2016 01:19 PDT


    Es wurde Strafanzeige gegen den Käufer erstattet.

    Polizei Brandenburg

    Sendebestätigung

    Ihr Vorgang wurde erfolgreich an die Polizei übermittelt und wird umgehend bearbeitet.

    Dem Vorgang wurde automatisch die VorgangsID v10283485 zugeordnet


    Google translation:
    It was an offense against the buyer will be refunded. Police Brandenburg send confirmation of your process was successfully sent to the police and is immediately processed. The process was automatically assigned VorgangsID v1028 3485



    From Buyer – Chris Williams
    06/06/2016 01:26 PDT


    Excellent! I look forward to hearing from them. I am sure they will be interested in the dangerous rubbish you are selling.
    Last edited by luke.williams04; 06-08-2016, 04:58 AM. Reason: Update

    #2
    Sorry to hear of you loss

    Makes me glad I spent extra on quality brand name parts for my e30's suspension and steering components
    If it's got tits or tires, it's gonna cost ya!

    Comment


      #3
      holy shit!

      Comment


        #4
        that really sucks. damn chinese crap. ass hats. you should launch a lawsuit.
        sigpic
        Gigitty Gigitty!!!!

        88 cabrio becoming alpina b6 3.5s transplanted s62
        92 Mtech 2 cabrio alpinweiss 770 code
        88 325ix coupe manual lachsilber/cardinal
        88 325ix coupe manual diamondschwartz/natur
        87 e30 m3 for parts lachsilber/cardinal(serial number 7)
        12 135i M sport cabrio grey/black

        Comment


          #5
          Hereby requesting this is made a sticky in the suspension section
          sigpic

          (clicky on piccy to get to thread)

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by econti View Post
            hereby requesting this is made a sticky in the suspension section
            +1
            My Garage
            2001 Z3 2.5i Steel Gray/Black (Lexi)
            1988 325ix Diamond Schwartz/Black (Izzy)
            1989 325i Cirrus Blue/Houndstooth (Stitch)
            Feedback

            Instagram: Stone.Hopkins

            Comment


              #7
              Originally posted by Stanley Rockafella View Post
              Sorry to hear of you loss

              Makes me glad I spent extra on quality brand name parts for my e30's suspension and steering components
              This X10000000000000
              Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon - BMW restoration + service
              @autobahnmotorsport - 503.206.7905
              '88 M5 | '88 325is | '89 330is

              "The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen." - Jim Levie

              Comment


                #8
                OP, I hope you succeed. This is a terrible thing to happen.

                The question is, How many other people are selling inferior quality stuff like this?

                Thank you for posting this unfortunate incident. Hopefully it will serve an eye-opener to others and they will see how important the suspension items are.

                Originally posted by econti View Post
                Hereby requesting this is made a sticky in the suspension section
                Agree to this as well.
                1990 325i
                2004 330i Individual 6-speed
                sigpic


                Comment


                  #9
                  For less then $87 usd, what did you expect?
                  Your resource to do-it-yourself and interesting bmw and e30 stuff: www.rtsauto.com

                  Your resource to tools and tips: www.rtstools.com

                  Comment


                    #10
                    Originally posted by noid View Post
                    For less then $87 usd, what did you expect?
                    Indeed. You get what you pay for. And situations like this are the exact reason I always buy quality parts. I don't think you can even get ONE Lemfoerder control arm for what you paid for the whole kit.

                    Glad your son is okay. Best of luck to you going after this guy. Parts of such poor quality should not be sold.

                    I agree this should be a sticky, but keep it here for better visibility, and maybe change the title to something more descriptive.
                    2000 A4 1.8TQ | 1988 325is | 1976 280Z | 1953 CJ3B

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by rturbo 930 View Post
                      Indeed. You get what you pay for. And situations like this are the exact reason I always buy quality parts. I don't think you can even get ONE Lemfoerder control arm for what you paid for the whole kit.

                      Glad your son is okay. Best of luck to you going after this guy. Parts of such poor quality should not be sold.

                      I agree this should be a sticky, but keep it here for better visibility, and maybe change the title to something more descriptive.
                      i got both FEBI control arms for about 150 all together on pelican. i Only trust FEBI or LEMFORDER expensive yes but safe and great quality. sorry for the crash man thats a horrible situation
                      i love bmws

                      Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Originally posted by sonomabimmers View Post
                        i got both FEBI control arms for about 150 all together on pelican. i Only trust FEBI or LEMFORDER expensive yes but safe and great quality. sorry for the crash man thats a horrible situation
                        I used to agree with this statement, but all Febi products are now being made in China, so I absolutely refuse to put that garbage on my car. Lemforder only now. TRW (part of the ZF corporation) works too as a backup.
                        Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon - BMW restoration + service
                        @autobahnmotorsport - 503.206.7905
                        '88 M5 | '88 325is | '89 330is

                        "The car makes it possible, but the driver makes it happen." - Jim Levie

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Austin! View Post
                          I used to agree with this statement, but all Febi products are now being made in China, so I absolutely refuse to put that garbage on my car. Lemforder only now. TRW (part of the ZF corporation) works too as a backup.


                          Man that was unknown to me thanks a bunch. Lemforder for the win then.


                          Tapatalk
                          i love bmws

                          Your signature picture has been removed since it contained the Photobucket "upgrade your account" image.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Lemforder or Meyle. Nothing else under any circumstances. Stick with quality.

                            At least your son is safe and unharmed, but I'd be pretty bummed about my E30 if that were me. Good thing they're everywhere and you guys can always start a new project.
                            "Leafeon" '92 Lagunengrun 325i Vert (Daily Driver/Project)
                            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=366044
                            The stickers make it go faster. :nice:

                            Comment


                              #15
                              The ebay link was AU.. so I was curious..

                              I see the kit is also sold on American eBay.. (and UK)

                              http://www.ebay.com/itm/Control-Arm-...-/311437147026

                              Anyone else on R3V bought this kit?



                              More info from googling:

                              Manufacturer is listed as: Auto-Universal GmbH - which is a German company

                              http://autouniversalgmbh.de/impressum.htm (Same town as eBay lists)

                              http://carpartslange.en.ec21.com/company_info.html (User name website)

                              You can find additional phone numbers on those two sites..

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