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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 12-21-2010, 03:01 PM   #1
stlnation
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Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: columbia mo
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My Ride: 2001 BMW 330XI
Unfun trip to dealership...

i have been having some steering problems with my 01 330xi. it has 150,000 miles. Last winter i replaced the inner ball joints and passenger side control arm with parts from bimmerworld.com.

monday after a visit to the dealership to have them look at the suspension. they recommended i replace the following

both control arms
right side tie rod end
both control arm bushings
both steering rack boots


Bimmerworld will warrenty the control arm i bought last december i just have to buy the new one from them install it and return the old one for the refund.

price quoted by dealer$891 for parts $540 for labor.

So after doing some shopping online i have found.

BavAuto
31 12 6 758 533 Control Arm - Left $249.95
31 12 9 063 163 Control Arm Bushing Set $69.95
31 12 6 758 534 Control Arm - Right $249.95
32 10 6 774 321 BALL JOINT, RIGHT (tie rod end) $89.95
32 13 6 752 478 Steering Rack Boot kit x2 $115.90

Total $775 (free shipping)

Bimmerworld
1 Control Arms Side: Left $194.99
1 Control Arms Side: Right $194.99
1 tie rod $123.99 (they dont have just the tie rod ends)
1 Meyle HD and Control Arm Bushing Sets $64.99
2 steering rack boot kit $105.98
Total $684.94 (no free shipping)

FCP Groton
2 32136752478, 330xi Boot Kit $100.00
1 32106774320 tie rod left $55.00
1 32106774321 tie rod right $55.00
Left & Right Control Arms $250.00
1 Control Arm Bushing Kit $60.00
total $520 (Free shipping) w/ Lifetime warrenty on parts


So what im left wanting to do is order from FCP Groton. Do they have good parts? also how you feel about me getting the warrenty meyle hd control arm from bimmerworld and everything else from FCP Groton. the would essentially get the bill down to $400 at FCP after bimmerworld refunds me for the control arm.

Also how do you guys feel about tie rods. should i just replace the one side or both sides and do you think just tie rods ends are ok or should i do the whole tie rods on both sides.

thanks everyone i just dont want to have to do this again next winter
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:17 PM   #2
G-Hots
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get the moog tie rods from advance auto/autozone they are $30 max each side.
go to the dealer and buy the control arm bushings from them. it was around $110 for a set? I believe..

I have no idea how much the control arms cost for an Xi but i heard they cost an arm and a leg. So I would say shop around your local parts stores first then go online as a last resort

i replaced both control arms and bushings + tie rod ends for around $350. It took me about 4 hours all total maybe 3. good luck my friend
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:18 PM   #3
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oh btw, dont forget... you need to spare about 100 bucks for wheel alignment so keep that in mind when you are shopping for parts.. (depending on your budget)
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Old 12-21-2010, 03:42 PM   #4
xi_ter
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Most FCP Groton is Chinese jobber sourced. Probably cast parts like control arms are okay, but I'd go OEM for rubber parts like bushings for long life. BavAuto sells a lot of Chinese suspension parts and doesn't disclose sources. Use Pelican instead.
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Old 12-21-2010, 05:42 PM   #5
stlnation
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Originally Posted by G-Hots View Post
get the moog tie rods from advance auto/autozone they are $30 max each side.
go to the dealer and buy the control arm bushings from them. it was around $110 for a set? I believe..

I have no idea how much the control arms cost for an Xi but i heard they cost an arm and a leg. So I would say shop around your local parts stores first then go online as a last resort

i replaced both control arms and bushings + tie rod ends for around $350. It took me about 4 hours all total maybe 3. good luck my friend
tie rods not available at autozone
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Old 12-21-2010, 06:26 PM   #6
Kubica
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Quote:
Originally Posted by G-Hots View Post
get the moog tie rods from advance auto/autozone they are $30 max each side.
go to the dealer and buy the control arm bushings from them. it was around $110 for a set? I believe..

I have no idea how much the control arms cost for an Xi but i heard they cost an arm and a leg. So I would say shop around your local parts stores first then go online as a last resort

i replaced both control arms and bushings + tie rod ends for around $350. It took me about 4 hours all total maybe 3. good luck my friend
Quote:
Originally Posted by stlnation View Post
tie rods not available at autozone

This guy doesn't know what he's talking about- he doesn't even have an xi.

First of all, you should get powerflex control arm bushings. Don't put the crappy oem xi bushings back in.

Second, it's odd that you need new tie-rod boots. Please take a look at these yourself and make the call- it's weird that both would need to be replaced too. Also if the right boot is bad, and the right tie-rod end is bad, I would think the right inner tie-rod is bad too. Think about buying the whole tie-rod assembly for the right side. You will also need an alignment.

Third, the bimmerworld prices for control arms looks good, but only if they are lemfoerder brand. Make sure they are lemfoerder.

Fourth, forget about FCPGroton. It's mostly chinese junk, and their prices for OEM stuff is never very good.

Fifth, don't go to the dealer anymore, ok? Parts and Sales departments are ok, just stay away from Service.
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Old 12-21-2010, 08:05 PM   #7
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+1 on Kubica's comments, FCPGroton products are total junk! Lifetime of exchanging parts, getting RMA's and eating shipping costs is the true warr. policy.

Pelican, AutohausAZ, Tisher would be known good part sources.

Don't walk away from FCPGroton.....run!!
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:48 AM   #8
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KUBICA way to put it! I go alot with Pelican parts..they have quality stuff!..and go with Powerflex bushings! I cant push them enufff, $60.00 for front $55 for rear. They are the best investment and will hold up sooooo much better. remember the dealer will tell you whatever they need to to get your $$$.... save the labor....$540? WTH? do it your self..its easy. My advice, if your going to replace on tie rod. and why would they tell you to replace just the boot?..if its bad then the whole rod is bad....Replace them both! $118 each on pelican parts. The only draxback to an Xi ,,I found out the challenging way..is the suspension and the control arms-CVaxles-ball joints. They wear out, they fade and they degrade over time. Spend the extra dollar to get a quality part that will surpass the BMW OEM ones. Its worth it, I went through it and still have to finish my suspension next month. Once thats done Iam in the total "green zone" with maintainance. And listen to the advice here!...these guys al lhave alot of time under the hood like me and have alot of genuine mechanical advice for the avaergae
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:56 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
This guy doesn't know what he's talking about- he doesn't even have an xi.
you are right i dont have an xi. you are wrong i know what im talking about. i replaced more control arms than you probably replaced your oil filter... GUY.
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Old 12-22-2010, 11:58 AM   #10
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as I was saying..( i think my flight is boarding) advice and how to for the average -above average BMW eunthusiast.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:07 PM   #11
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you are right i dont have an xi. you are wrong i know what im talking about. i replaced more control arms than you probably replaced your oil filter... GUY.
lol.. this could get interesting..
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:33 PM   #12
E-rock
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Somewhat off topic but I don't want to start another thread.

Left tie rod assembly (minus the boot) needs to be replaced- Should I replace in pairs or just replace the one?


To the OP- I like Pelican Parts. Great prices and they give manufacturer options on most parts. Also check out ECS Tuning and Turner. Pelican will most likely have the best price while still maintaining OEM quality.

Also, someone already mentioned it but I'd check out the tie rod that the dealer said was good. If they are saying the boot was torn, there could be damage to the inner joint. Granted, it's not as catastrophic as having a CV boot fail but it's easy enough to check for tie-rod wear. It sounds like you may want to replace the entire tie rod assembly on both sides just to get it out of the way.
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Old 12-22-2010, 12:49 PM   #13
Kubica
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Originally Posted by G-Hots View Post
you are right i dont have an xi. you are wrong i know what im talking about. i replaced more control arms than you probably replaced your oil filter... GUY.
Listen g-spot-

Few things:

1) You know nothing.
2) Leave.
3) Rochester sucks.
4) You can't write properly.
5) You suck at life.
6) Leave.

I can also PM what I think about you, if you like. This is the xi forum- nobody here cares what you think, what you think you know, and what parts you think will fit.
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Old 12-23-2010, 12:01 PM   #14
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Listen g-spot-

Few things:

1) You know nothing.
2) Leave.
3) Rochester sucks.
4) You can't write properly.
5) You suck at life.
6) Leave.

I can also PM what I think about you, if you like. This is the xi forum- nobody here cares what you think, what you think you know, and what parts you think will fit.
1) I know more than you do.
2) Definitely staying.
3) I Agree
4) I'm not trying to
5) Are you 15?
6) Staying
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Old 12-24-2010, 02:37 PM   #15
wdeerfield
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Originally Posted by G-Hots View Post
1) I know more than you do.
2) Definitely staying.
3) I Agree
4) I'm not trying to
5) Are you 15?
6) Staying
lol.. awesome.. just awesome...

just goes to show nothing good comes from central ny.
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Old 12-24-2010, 03:14 PM   #16
tifreak
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Second, it's odd that you need new tie-rod boots. Please take a look at these yourself and make the call- it's weird that both would need to be replaced too. Also if the right boot is bad, and the right tie-rod end is bad, I would think the right inner tie-rod is bad too. Think about buying the whole tie-rod assembly for the right side. You will also need an alignment.
why would the outer being bad be any sign of the inner being bad?
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:40 AM   #17
mujjuman
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why would you need to replace the control arms themselves? should be just the bushing, no?
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Old 01-04-2011, 06:59 AM   #18
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why would you need to replace the control arms themselves? should be just the bushing, no?
the outer ball joints are pressed into the control arm. it's recommended to replace the unit as a whole if the outers are bad.
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Old 01-04-2011, 08:00 AM   #19
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this is interesting.................and entertaining
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Old 01-04-2011, 12:55 PM   #20
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^^Yeah i can't stand when people without an xi give bad information- people read this stuff and end up ordering the wrong parts. If he had an xi, i would've been nicer. . .
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