E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Front Suspension Issues - Please Help ASAP!
View Single Post
Old 01-29-2012, 03:19 PM   #10
Registered User
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Eugene, OR USA
Posts: 43
My Ride: 2000 323i
Originally Posted by tomoyer View Post
Ok, Quadrant5, first off, lets not mix terms for the same parts, i.e. anti-foll bar, sway bar, they are one and the same, pick a name and stick with it (most commonly known as sway bar).

No service records with the car?

If on a limited budget, pick and choose your upgrades wisely, however, if your front and rear suspension is worn and/or damaged (never told us the mileage on the car), to do the job 100% correctly will cost you close to $1500.00 or more in parts itself, labor being extra.

The Outer Lower Control Arm Ball Joint is not replaceable (unless you have a Meyle Aluminum Control Arm which allows for replacing just the ball joint (about $190.00 a piece). The inner ball joint is replaceable at any time (cost is about $90.00 each). The Lower Control Arm Bushings, PowerFlex Urethane Bushings cost the same as stock bushings (about $70.00 per pair without the brackets) and are much better than the stock or solid rubber bushings PLUS they can be re-used and are much easier to install. Sway Bar End Links wear and should be replaced at same time as the other front suspension items. Tie Rod Ends also have ball joints in them and need replacing when they have excessive play or a vague steering feel. Just all those items alone, puts the parts price tag up over $700.00 and we haven't even talked about the Front Struts and their related parts.

And if the Front Suspension needs attention due to wear/damage or updating, the Rear Suspension is also in need of attention, which will add more money to the project.

The very best way to look at fixing/updating suspension: Do it all, the entire suspension wears!

How to tell if things need replacing? First off, buy yourself the correct Bentley Service Manual, you will be doing yourself a big favor. Do you have the tools (full set of metric sockets, combination wrenches, jack, jack stands) and a place to do the work, or will you have to have the work done by a shop?
Thank you tomoyer, your reasoning seems sound. I do not currently have service records for the car. After I get the registration from the state, the shop who has done most of the work on the car is willing to release all service records to me. That will be nice. Mileage on the car is in vecinity of 133,000.

As to the rest, it seems the logical next step to get a good manual (I ordered a manual on CD-ROM; I hope that it will serve me well) and some more metric tools. As far as doing the whole suspension, I can't afford to do it all right now. Hopefully with service records and some research I will be able to prioritize my repairs. Thank you for your input.
Quadrant5 is offline   Reply With Quote