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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 10-06-2012, 01:43 AM   #1
e4Tsex
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I need advice on replacing suspension

I've read a lot of threads on replacing suspension but most people are doing race springs and coil overs, and I'm just getting confused about it all. All I want is a new stock-like setup without going lower or stiffer. I don't track the car, but drive it spiritedly on a daily basis.

My car is at 173k miles on stock SPORT suspension, and I would like to replace it myself for under $1000 if possible. The car seems to handle fine, but I have noticed hydraulic fluid leaking from the struts for years, and the car recently developed both a creaking and 'clacking' noise in the driver's side rear area when going over bumps. I can't figure out what it is exactly, but wouldn't mind just replacing suspension all around since it is so old. I am hoping it isn't the subframe, but the noise is only on one side of the car, and I'm not sure if that is characteristic of subframe damage.

I am thinking Saches struts since they are a good price, but what else do I truely need?
Springs?
Sway bars?
Swing arms?
Mounting hardwares?
Dippity doos that I am unaware of?

I really just want a simple setup that will work for the remainder of the car's life and that is easy enough for me to install with help from a friend over a weekend. So, what is the best option for me?
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i heard that this cars go like 300k miles
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:28 AM   #2
itscoo2pyopants
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Start off with replacing your shocks / struts. I recently installed some koni street shocks on a sport suspension 325ci. They are fairly inexpensive and are comparable to stock ride quality. While your in there, I'd probably replace the front and rear shock mounts, they are more than likely shot. Then you can look at the front control arms, front control arm bushings, sway bar end links, and tie rods. I would also look at replacing the rear trailing arm bushings. You can probably get most of these parts for under $1000 if you can install them yourself. And you will only have to do an alignment once and refresh your riding quality. You can look to see what else needs to be replaced when your under the car. The guibo is usually a 100k mile item. Also take a peek at your steering coupler while you have the front plate off. This should keep you busy..
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Old 11-18-2012, 11:45 PM   #3
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Start off with replacing your shocks / struts. I recently installed some koni street shocks on a sport suspension 325ci. They are fairly inexpensive and are comparable to stock ride quality. While your in there, I'd probably replace the front and rear shock mounts, they are more than likely shot. Then you can look at the front control arms, front control arm bushings, sway bar end links, and tie rods. I would also look at replacing the rear trailing arm bushings. You can probably get most of these parts for under $1000 if you can install them yourself. And you will only have to do an alignment once and refresh your riding quality. You can look to see what else needs to be replaced when your under the car. The guibo is usually a 100k mile item. Also take a peek at your steering coupler while you have the front plate off. This should keep you busy..
But i have no more agree with you because this tire will be no more good on rough road. Suspension reduce the power of speed as well as engine power also reduced...
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Old 11-19-2012, 11:18 AM   #4
hummer
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OP, it sounds like you haven't got a clue suspension wise! Option 1: Why not do yourself a favor and visit a local independant BMW mechanic. Surely, there must be one somewhere in Portland. Get the car on a lift for a complete inspection by someone who knows what they're looking at! You will save $$$ in the long run and learn something in the process. I assume it's Bilstein Touring for the OEM type handling? Any reading should have led you to sway links, struts, shocks, mounts, front control arm/balljoints and RTABs as a minimum for a car with your miles. Tierods are also candidates. There's an easy $1,000 here.
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Old 10-06-2012, 02:52 AM   #5
peytonracer4
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Just replace the shocks and leave the springs.
Springs don't progressively go bad. They're either physically broken, or they're not.
Leave your springs and get new shocks. You can get Sachs, which is original. You can look into what koni has to offer. I know they offer a shock that is supposed to handle similar to OEM if not slightly better.
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Old 10-06-2012, 08:16 AM   #6
klax
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Get under the car and check out where the unibody attaches to the rear suspension carrier. It sounds like you might have the classic torn rear mounts. I would check this out before you do anything else.
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Old 10-08-2012, 07:00 PM   #7
e4Tsex
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Okay, I have decided to order Bilstein Sports, and stick with the original springs since they are still in one piece. I am still confused as to what kind of mounting hardware I need. Bavarian autosport has a convoluted selection of mounts, reinforcements, strut bearings, gaskets, pads, shaft protectors, and 'mounting kits' which seem to include hardly anything I need, plus more items I'm not familiar with. This is what I need help with most. Which parts do I need?

I'm not sure where exactly to look for subframe damage, but I'll look for a diagram on the forum unless someone can tell me. I removed the rear passenger side wheel and had a look all around under there to try and see where these noises are coming from, but I didn't find anything. However, when it comes to suspension, I don't really know what I'm looking at.

I will look into replacing the sway bar end links, tie rods, and trailing arm bushings if I have any money left over, keeping in mind that I will need an alignment, but I don't honestly know what any of those things are. Ughhh... I feel kinda helpless with suspension stuff.
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i heard that this cars go like 300k miles

Last edited by e4Tsex; 10-08-2012 at 08:20 PM.
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Old 11-16-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
325Ci Guy
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The sound you are hearing is more than likely one of the "shock mounts" in the rear...and it was diagnosed by my BMW mech here in Chicago. I had the same thing happen to my 325 at nearly the same miles as you.
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