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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 01-23-2013, 03:54 AM   #1
DHK
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My Ride: 2002 BMW 325Ci
Should I do Suspension Work Symmetrically?

Ok So I have a 2002 325Ci with about 115k on it. I have owned it for about a year and its been mostly problem free. I don't put a lot of miles on it, I have had to spend maybe 5-600 dollars on this and that.

In May I have to get it through inspection and inspection here in Estonia is fairly rigorous. I have a hairline crack in one of my front control arms and one of my rear shocks is leaking oil.

Both of those would cause to me to fail here and so I need to get them fixed.
I am tempted to do both sides especially with the shock and I do not know when they were last replaced.

Is this silly, would I actually feel a difference with brand new control arms and shocks only on one side of the car?
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Old 01-23-2013, 04:03 AM   #2
cityjohn
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Don't know about control arms, but never replace only one shock or strut. Always the whole axle.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:22 AM   #3
WDE46
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Both shocks should definitely be replaced. You should do both control arms too if you can afford it. If you can't afford to have both CAs done then it'll be okay, but then you'll always have unequal control arms in terms of wear.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:32 AM   #4
DHK
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New shocks mean I will need realignment right? Maybe I should just do the front too while I'm at it.

As for control arms.... Im not sure I can probably afford it but After new rear pads, disks, and parking break pads as well as patching 3 oil leaks and replacing a bad tensioner I would probably prefer not to spend the extra 100+ for another control arm, Especially if the only problem with that is that I wont be able to replace them at the same time next time around.

Last edited by DHK; 01-23-2013 at 07:35 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 07:44 AM   #5
WDE46
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Your alignment should be okay after installing the new shocks, but it couldn't hurt to have it done. As long as the mechanic doesn't move any of the tierods in the front or bend something, then I don't see why it wouldn't just go back to its previous position. Again, if you can afford to do shocks all around, go for it. You'll definitely notice an improvement (much greater than replacing both control arms)!

Check your other control arm's ball joints for play. If there is any, then that is reason enough to replace it. I understand not being able to afford the other control arm right now. In the US we have the luxury of relatively cheap parts. I'm not sure of the situation in Estonia, but I would imagine they are a bit more expensive.

Last edited by WDE46; 01-23-2013 at 07:45 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:46 AM   #6
DHK
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Relative to the US we get parts at about the same price or little cheaper because we are an EU member and we don't pay tariffs from Germany. That said they may as well be more expensive because salaries here are not on par with the US or Germany.
Labor is much cheaper here, I use a relatively high end Indy who only works on BMWs and primarily e46 and e39 and I pay the equivalent of 35 dollars and hour. Ill probably just do the rear shocks for now, then do the front and the single control arm in march or april.
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Old 01-23-2013, 08:57 AM   #7
RayPooley
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DHK View Post
Ok So I have a 2002 325Ci with about 115k on it. I have owned it for about a year and its been mostly problem free. I don't put a lot of miles on it, I have had to spend maybe 5-600 dollars on this and that.

In May I have to get it through inspection and inspection here in Estonia is fairly rigorous. I have a hairline crack in one of my front control arms and one of my rear shocks is leaking oil.

Both of those would cause to me to fail here and so I need to get them fixed.
I am tempted to do both sides especially with the shock and I do not know when they were last replaced.

Is this silly, would I actually feel a difference with brand new control arms and shocks only on one side of the car?
Always do both sides when replacing shocks , springs, rotors, calipers, pads, cabs, track rods. Bearings are ok. Anything that affects the stability of the car. The parts wear at the same rate. If you put one 100% efficient component on one side while you still have a 50% efficient componet on the other side you are never going to get 100% stable ride.

Last edited by RayPooley; 01-23-2013 at 08:57 AM.
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Old 01-23-2013, 09:00 AM   #8
choxor
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If you're doing the rears you might as well replace the RTABs while you're in there if you haven't already. Same thing with the FCABs and steering guibo while you're working on the front.
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