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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 07-09-2010, 08:46 PM   #1
Jblack4083
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How does Bad Bushings feel vs. Bad Struts

I'm in the process of diagnosing my suspension but I'm having trouble deciding what to do first.

What does Bad bushings / Ball joints feel like as opposed to Bad Struts / Springs etc...

Right now I'm experiencing rough driving, i feel every little imperfection on the road. But I don't have the "bouncy" feeling of bad shocks. It just feels like my wheels are loose. Also important to note if, for example, I am accelerating hard and i hit a bump that goes across the lane the back of my car vibrates hard almost as if the wheels are skipping across the ground.
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Old 07-10-2010, 08:42 AM   #2
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That would sound like bushings / balljoints to me... is it mainly in the front or rear?
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:02 AM   #3
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bad strut car feels under damped. bouncy, all you feel is spring, crappy ride.

shot ball joints make steering feel sloppy, bump steer, lose, steering simply wont feel like a BMW, you mentioned skipping, but is it a skip that feels like the wheel is wiggling, or under damped?
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Old 07-10-2010, 09:34 AM   #4
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It's definitely the bushings and ball joints from what you guys have said.

It's a skip that doesn't feel like the wheel is underdamped because i feel the impact of the wheel skipping across the ground.

So now I'm going to do my FCABs and CAs, but what do I do about the rears?
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:31 AM   #5
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yeah, sounds like your ball joints, or FCAB are shot. You can check the CAB by going under the car, and if theyre stock, they will be leaked out or still leaking, yes, the OEM FCAB are fluid filled. if theyre not stock you can grab the control arms, if the wheel is lightly loaded or not at all, and rock them and see if there is play in the FCABs.

When the RTABs are shot, oh man, that car will feel like more unstable over anything but a slate smooth surface, hit an expansion joint at speed on the gas or off, and you can literally feel the back wheels twitch. Sometimes under braking, it makes the rear end feel lose. especially when braking hard from triple digits.
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:50 PM   #6
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Yep the bushings feel really dry... Will replace the bushings, control arms, and ball joints on wednesday. Thanks!
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Old 07-11-2010, 06:56 PM   #7
Snik
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may i suggest Meyle HD bushing, and Control arms with replaceable ball joints
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