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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 PM   #41
tock172
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I've been running the Meyle HD FCAB kit for over 10,000 miles in a variety of different driving conditions and I am very pleased with my purchase. Per Mango's advice, I opted for genuine BMW bolts.
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:46 PM   #42
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I just got the HD Meyle arms controls and HD bushing. They look better than what I had before they are solid but the bushing dont seem that great since i am feeling some vibration. suspension is big issue in e46 I had to change the arm control kit 3 times in 4 years hopefully this new kit will last longer I recommend the arm controls but for the bushing you can always look for something different. you can try bavarian auto part but avoid World pack....
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Old 02-03-2013, 09:47 PM   #43
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I have 70,000 miles on the HD arms and bushings. Very responsive, and still tight, both the ball joint and bushing. Now, the caveat: they do transmit more vibration and harshness to the steering column. Your wheels must be perfectly balance and the front rotors can not have much run out.

That said...the HD's out last the OEM's by a significant amount. I would guess 3 times plus. My original factory parts were shot after 50,000 miles and the bushing were crapping out at 30,000 miles.
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:35 PM   #44
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Okay...everything is ordered. You guys better be right or I'm coming after you!

Lemforder CAs and Meyle HD 66mm bushings. We'll see. If not, I can always replace bushings and sell the old ones to someone younger after gently removing them with lots of lubricant.

Also *** from wheel hubs...I'm sure they're OE...SKF was also offered for a little less.

Anyone happen to have heard of Febi/Bilstein CABs? I'm not sure if those are to be pressed into the original lollipop or not. Sal ordered those for me also, so I'll have a look at them in any case...but I think they're just the bushing.

So a couple of weeks for everything...I'll let you guys know how we did!

Oh, btw, anyone know where a CA date stamp happens to be? And who wants to guess how old my CAs are?
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Old 02-05-2013, 04:37 PM   #45
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Okay...everything is ordered. You guys better be right or I'm coming after you!

Lemforder CAs and Meyle HD 66mm bushings. We'll see. If not, I can always replace bushings and sell the old ones to someone younger after gently removing them with lots of lubricant.

Also *** from wheel hubs...I'm sure they're OE...SKF was also offered for a little less.

Anyone happen to have heard of Febi/Bilstein CABs? I'm not sure if those are to be pressed into the original lollipop or not. Sal ordered those for me also, so I'll have a look at them in any case...but I think they're just the bushing.

So a couple of weeks for everything...I'll let you guys know how we did!

Oh, btw, anyone know where a CA date stamp happens to be? And who wants to guess how old my CAs are?
Did you order the HDs with the lollipops?
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:46 PM   #46
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Okay...everything is ordered. You guys better be right or I'm coming after you!

Lemforder CAs and Meyle HD 66mm bushings. We'll see. If not, I can always replace bushings and sell the old ones to someone younger after gently removing them with lots of lubricant.

Also *** from wheel hubs...I'm sure they're OE...SKF was also offered for a little less.

Anyone happen to have heard of Febi/Bilstein CABs? I'm not sure if those are to be pressed into the original lollipop or not. Sal ordered those for me also, so I'll have a look at them in any case...but I think they're just the bushing.

So a couple of weeks for everything...I'll let you guys know how we did!

Oh, btw, anyone know where a CA date stamp happens to be? And who wants to guess how old my CAs are?

Which control arms did you get? ZHP or standard?
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Old 02-05-2013, 05:48 PM   #47
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I'm 99.99% sure he ordered standard OE with the nylon insulated outer balljoints
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Old 02-05-2013, 07:31 PM   #48
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I'm 99.99% sure he ordered standard OE with the nylon insulated outer balljoints
I got OE Lemforders...as in, I'll be sleeping with them a couple of days before the install...warm them up for the bushings.

Meyle HD bushings in lollipops...but Sal ordered the Febi/Bilsteins for me anyway and we'll compare...those might be bushings along. Good name and they may be making bushings now for newer models...IDK.

BTW there's seemingly a new exciting light retrofit available...a cornering lamp...not sure I can get it for me 63 13 0 304 666 is one of the versions available. Anyone hear of this or am I the first? I would love them!
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Old 02-05-2013, 10:39 PM   #49
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Okay...You guys better be right or I'm coming after someone younger after gently removing them with lots of lubricant. And who wants to guess how old my CAs are?
I fixed that for you.
I think it works well with your new sig line.

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Old 02-06-2013, 01:35 AM   #50
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Good stuff, Doug

Next, tackle the RTABs....
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:17 PM   #51
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So, remember how yesterday I said I ordered the Meyle HD bushings from bmaparts. I got them today. How does it do that? Code: specE30 gave me 5% off. I think I deserve more!

Now I'm just worried about the lemforders fitting in them okay. As I recall, lemforders had a roundish end...and the opening in this bushing has a 'keyhole' in the top and bottom. That's different than the lemforder bushing I'm pretty sure. I hope this works! If not, guess I'll be trying Febi/Bilstein bushings!
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Old 02-06-2013, 08:14 PM   #52
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I didn't realize I'd been implicated in this thread within the first couple of posts or I'd of chimed in.

I did my suspension replacement in 2007. I used Meyle HD FCA's and OE lolipops with Powerflex polyurethane FCAB's. I purchased a tube of copper Molylube to lubricate the polyurethane, which I found out after the fact is what Powerflex includes with their kits.

My initial impression after installing the polyurethane FCAB's was that there was no noticeable increase in road noise or change in comfort.

I used to drive a 500 mile a week commute and racked up 80k on my car in no time flat. over the last couple years I've added another 35k so I'm sitting at 115k on the Meyle HD's and the Powerflex.

I just went through the front suspension about a month ago and replaced the inner/outer tie rods with Lemforder. I also pulled the FCAB's for inspection. They looked like they were brand new. There is literally no wear on them. The ball joints are still tight too. I took it in for alignment when I finished the work. The shop commented that everything was in spec and there was no play in the suspension.

I know that information is water under the bridge for you Doug but it may be of interest to others making the same decision and happen to find this thread.

I'm sure the Lemforder is a good decision so I wouldn't worry about it. Personally I'm glad I've got the Powerflex FCAB's and would recommend them. Knowing what I know about the Meyle products I've used since they corrected some quality control issues, I'm sure the Meyle HD bushings will be a much better replacement than the OE too.

The end of the control arm should be a hex pattern IIRC. I thought the M's had the keyhole but it's completely conceivable that they would provide a part that fit both non-M and M.
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Old 02-06-2013, 10:36 PM   #53
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I didn't realize I'd been implicated in this thread within the first couple of posts or I'd of chimed in.

I did my suspension replacement in 2007. I used Meyle HD FCA's and OE lolipops with Powerflex polyurethane FCAB's. I purchased a tube of copper Molylube to lubricate the polyurethane, which I found out after the fact is what Powerflex includes with their kits.

My initial impression after installing the polyurethane FCAB's was that there was no noticeable increase in road noise or change in comfort.

I used to drive a 500 mile a week commute and racked up 80k on my car in no time flat. over the last couple years I've added another 35k so I'm sitting at 115k on the Meyle HD's and the Powerflex.

I just went through the front suspension about a month ago and replaced the inner/outer tie rods with Lemforder. I also pulled the FCAB's for inspection. They looked like they were brand new. There is literally no wear on them. The ball joints are still tight too. I took it in for alignment when I finished the work. The shop commented that everything was in spec and there was no play in the suspension.

I know that information is water under the bridge for you Doug but it may be of interest to others making the same decision and happen to find this thread.

I'm sure the Lemforder is a good decision so I wouldn't worry about it. Personally I'm glad I've got the Powerflex FCAB's and would recommend them. Knowing what I know about the Meyle products I've used since they corrected some quality control issues, I'm sure the Meyle HD bushings will be a much better replacement than the OE too.

The end of the control arm should be a hex pattern IIRC. I thought the M's had the keyhole but it's completely conceivable that they would provide a part that fit both non-M and M.
M3




OEM non-M


The end of the control arms themselves look similar, but the M3's seems thicker.

M3


Non-M

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:35 PM   #54
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Yeah that's what I thought. It's only a hex pattern on the non-M. The OE that I pulled off wasn't keyed like the one you have pictured, and neither was the Powerflex bushing. It does look like the diameter of the M's LCA is larger from the picture. I wonder why they relieved material from all of the apex edges on the M bushing.
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Last edited by TitaniumCranium; 02-06-2013 at 11:39 PM. Reason: addional thoughts...
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Old 02-07-2013, 07:26 PM   #55
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So I compared the HD CABs against Febi. Febi/Bilstein cabs are identical...except much softer. I have a feeling it's also fluid filled, and I wouldn't be surprised if it's a lemforder...somehow...though I looked for a febi and lemforder connection...none that I could find.

I could push the febi cab with my finger...meyle hd isn't going anywhere.

Anyway, have them in hand and front wheel bearings/axle hub...F. A. G.
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Old 02-16-2013, 07:50 PM   #56
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Another interesting day. This morning, loaded up car with CAs/CABs/ axle hubs...to get them on.

Drive a neighbor down town and start notice a horrible front end shimmy...so bad I pulled over to look for a flat tire...tightened all the wheels...inspected stuff.

Well...turns out my CAs were fine (after at least 100K miles, but I think they were much older...no date stamp that I saw. But, my lemforder cabs...about 2 years old...were totally shot.

Discovered my strut was blown...it's only a few years old I think...but I'll check on the install date later. Anyway....a blown shock combined with really bad cabs lead to this shimmy.

Got the Lemforders with Meyles HDs...and on city streets and highway for a short bit, my shimmy is much reduced (still need struts), and I like the Meyles just fine...they're not nearly as much harder as I thought...hardly noticeable really.

I'll get the axle hubs installed with struts.

I have sachs now...that's OE...and what's in the rear...so I think I'm going Sachs again...maybe boge...went through the whole discussion here before...and this is one area I know I'll stay OE...sorry, no coilovers or rake for me!

Thanks for all your advice here...Meyle HD Cabs and Lemforders should last a while. Tightening that rt. inner nut is a pitb...just very slow one crank at a time. (Was working on a lift...so we did it from below.)

Thanks again, guys!
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:06 AM   #57
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For ball joint separation don't use the pickle fork. This is what you want, and it makes the job stress-free:
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qua...tor-99849.html

Tech4Tech- The link to the ball joint separator says its for front wheel drive vehicles. It works on the e46 too?
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Old 02-20-2013, 11:25 AM   #58
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
Another interesting day. This morning, loaded up car with CAs/CABs/ axle hubs...to get them on.

Drive a neighbor down town and start notice a horrible front end shimmy...so bad I pulled over to look for a flat tire...tightened all the wheels...inspected stuff.

Well...turns out my CAs were fine (after at least 100K miles, but I think they were much older...no date stamp that I saw. But, my lemforder cabs...about 2 years old...were totally shot.

Discovered my strut was blown...it's only a few years old I think...but I'll check on the install date later. Anyway....a blown shock combined with really bad cabs lead to this shimmy.

Got the Lemforders with Meyles HDs...and on city streets and highway for a short bit, my shimmy is much reduced (still need struts), and I like the Meyles just fine...they're not nearly as much harder as I thought...hardly noticeable really.

I'll get the axle hubs installed with struts.

I have sachs now...that's OE...and what's in the rear...so I think I'm going Sachs again...maybe boge...went through the whole discussion here before...and this is one area I know I'll stay OE...sorry, no coilovers or rake for me!

Thanks for all your advice here...Meyle HD Cabs and Lemforders should last a while. Tightening that rt. inner nut is a pitb...just very slow one crank at a time. (Was working on a lift...so we did it from below.)

Thanks again, guys!
Glad you like em! So now you're not OE anymore DMAX is the aftermarket kingpin, now.

So you're going with ZHP struts? might as well turn your car into a handling machine! you've got bitten by the bug!
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Old 02-20-2013, 02:07 PM   #59
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I guess, Mango. Everyone falls of their high horse eventually! I'm worried about my bilsteins, but truth is, far be if for me to be concerned about a gap! lol

The CABs are nice...and honestly, I don't noticed a harsher ride...though the rest of 'me' is stock, so that might make a difference too.

New struts and wheel bearings tomorrow, I think! Whoot...almost a new front end!
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Old 02-20-2013, 03:59 PM   #60
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For ball joint separation don't use the pickle fork. This is what you want, and it makes the job stress-free:
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qua...tor-99849.html

Tech4Tech- The link to the ball joint separator says its for front wheel drive vehicles. It works on the e46 too?
If you read the reviews, there was one person who used it on a Ford F350 truck, which is as hardcore as it gets. There is also a review that mentions using it on a BMW e30, so answers the BMW question.
I have also used one of these when replacing the CA's on my previous e46. That car was a from NY, so there was a good bit of rust on it. It worked fine for me. Just hold on to the receipt, because they will replace it if it does break. It is still cheaper than renting a tool, and the parts stores that loan tools do not seem to have these, just pickle forks (at least in my area).
I don't know why they specify it for FWD cars. It may be because the majority of people who would even consider breaking a ball joint open these days are people replacing driveshshafts with bad CV joints on a FWD car.
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