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Old 05-22-2012, 12:56 AM   #61
MJLavelle
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has anyone tried these? i need new control arms and these seem pretty good price and since im still a student im trying to keep the prices as low as possible. thanks!

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-328...rms/ES2187555/

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-328...rms/ES2187554/
Well, this has degraded into a side topic debate, but I will stick to the subject at hand. These are new control arms. It is nearly impossible to judge the quality of the part, and since they are an off brand, it is safe to assume some shortcuts have been made.
But, if your control arms are shot, then using these would be better than keeping your worn out ones. But the big thing that is unknown is how long will they last, and will they have a negative impact on how your car handles.
It would be safe to assume that they will not feel like a BMW part, and most likely will not last as long.
But, if you have a limited budget, and you go into this knowing that they are not going to be anywhere near the quality of OEM, then buy them.
But I would hope that you plan on using them only until you can afford the correct ones.
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Old 05-22-2012, 02:16 AM   #62
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Sorry we got your thread on a tangent, OP. Someone brought forth a wild claim that had to be smacked down. I think it's safe to say SeanC's myth is BUSTED.
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Old 05-22-2012, 01:21 PM   #63
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I guess this one is settled. Interesting to see a response
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:03 PM   #64
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I guess this one is settled. Interesting to see a response
Well, it's gonna have to wait a little. Been flying 18 hours straight, still haven't reached my destination. Haven't had a chance to read all the posts, connection has been unreliable. I won't be back in the US until the 14th of June, after which I'll get a set of ZHP arms for my car and post pictures of both
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:08 PM   #65
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Well, it's gonna have to wait a little. Been flying 18 hours straight, still haven't reached my destination. Haven't had a chance to read all the posts, connection has been unreliable. I won't be back in the US until the 14th of June, after which I'll get a set of ZHP arms for my car and post pictures of both
We'll be waiting. You don't trust TerraPhntm's answer? He already debunked your myth by confirming that the actual arms are identical except for the outer balljoint being beefier and reinforced at its mounting location.

No offense, but your claims of the ZHP control arms featuring "special geometry for a tighter steering ratio feel" (your own words)are ridiculous.

Case closed.
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:22 PM   #66
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It's not a trust issue, I also posted a link to a picture where both arms showed differences, and not just in the ball joint. It is in your interest to have this issue closed. Learned much about ZHP in this thread?
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Old 05-22-2012, 03:39 PM   #67
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Assuming you're referring to these pictures, I don't see the difference.

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Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
Check out this post by alex323ci:

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...2&postcount=18

Best I could do now. My flight is boarding...
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Old 05-22-2012, 04:35 PM   #68
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the geometry of the control arm determines how much stress is transferred onto the chassis, resulting in a very different driving feel.
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They make your car feel like it just got a whole new shorter steering rack.
SeanC, your claims are specific and must be backed with specifics. Otherwise this is all conjecture and just a waste of time. The structure of the control arm serves no other purpose than to locate the wheel and provide an pivotal axis for it to rotate on. The other end of the arm serves to dampen vibrations. The goal of the arm is to be as light and durable as possible. It's not a magic device. Any difference in driving "feel" would come down to the balljoint (nylon vs metal) and not some magical 3D angles as you propose. You're way overthinking the control arms. Even BMW would never make such a claim.
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Old 05-22-2012, 09:59 PM   #69
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Wow thats alot of information haha i think i choose to go with meyle control arms since if for any reason the ball joints go bad i can change them and also like you guys said they are beefier than stock. Now my question is.. since im from canada alberta is there any sponsors/sites that are located here? or have the control arms for cheap because i know the custom fees are going to be outrages.. :/
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Old 05-23-2012, 12:00 AM   #70
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Good choice. 20k on my Meyles so far and they're rock solid. TitaniumCranium had over 80k on his last year, he probably has over 100k by now on them.
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Old 07-14-2012, 01:47 PM   #71
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All right folks, let me finally put an end to this debate once and for all. I finally installed ZHP arms on my May '01 built 330 (sport suspension standard), and have to say that I did not see any appreciable geometrical difference between the ZHP arms and original ones.

I publicly apologize to E46Mango and to those I have offended throughout the thread. I had apparently been misled by some of posts that I have read in the past (some by respected members), and the puzzling fact that ZHP's steering being sharper, even though the rack and other components have proven to be the same compared to non-ZHP's.
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Old 07-14-2012, 02:28 PM   #72
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I just suffered reading through this entire thread...I think I deserve a picture of Marissa Tomei!

SeanC nice post above...but there's no way Mango will accept your apology unless you also sign an affidavit swearing to replace your cooling system entirely each of the next 3 quarters...think that's the going price of his acceptance.

He said until I do that myself, I can't get the brass bleeder screw I've been wanting. Also...I'm glad I missed this earlier on, because the entire time I was thinking that the arms have to have the balljoints/bushing is exactly the same spot...though maybe the CAB for ZHP arm mounts it at a slightly different angle.

BTW, I like my non-ZHP arms fine..I've been almost convinced a few times in the last couple of years that mine are bad, but honestly, if they're going, it's very slight. I guess mine aren't original, but they've done at least 100K miles.

Then again, I'm not a kid so don't drive like one and I have huge balloon whitewall tires. With enough tire pressure, I can actually float on water with them...and with my All Season tires, I actually get enough push that I can do a good 3 knots. Just have to plug up a few more little holes and I'll be good for a real trip!
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:10 PM   #73
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Old 07-14-2012, 05:58 PM   #74
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All right folks, let me finally put an end to this debate once and for all. I finally installed ZHP arms on my May '01 built 330 (sport suspension standard), and have to say that I did not see any appreciable geometrical difference between the ZHP arms and original ones.

I publicly apologize to E46Mango and to those I have offended throughout the thread. I had apparently been misled by some of posts that I have read in the past (some by respected members), and the puzzling fact that ZHP's steering being sharper, even though the rack and other components have proven to be the same compared to non-ZHP's.
Did your steering feel noticeably change after you installed the control arms?
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:32 PM   #75
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Did your steering feel noticeably change after you installed the control arms?
It is tighter, and there is no more brake shimmy, but it is not as quick as the ZHP's. My car does not have the 02+ cars' steering rack though, that's probably why.
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Old 07-14-2012, 07:41 PM   #76
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I just suffered reading through this entire thread...I think I deserve a picture of Marissa Tomei!

SeanC nice post above...but there's no way Mango will accept your apology unless you also sign an affidavit swearing to replace your cooling system entirely each of the next 3 quarters...think that's the going price of his acceptance.

He said until I do that myself, I can't get the brass bleeder screw I've been wanting. Also...I'm glad I missed this earlier on, because the entire time I was thinking that the arms have to have the balljoints/bushing is exactly the same spot...though maybe the CAB for ZHP arm mounts it at a slightly different angle.

BTW, I like my non-ZHP arms fine..I've been almost convinced a few times in the last couple of years that mine are bad, but honestly, if they're going, it's very slight. I guess mine aren't original, but they've done at least 100K miles.

Then again, I'm not a kid so don't drive like one and I have huge balloon whitewall tires. With enough tire pressure, I can actually float on water with them...and with my All Season tires, I actually get enough push that I can do a good 3 knots. Just have to plug up a few more little holes and I'll be good for a real trip!
ZHP's CABs being at a slightly different angle is very plausible. I don't think anybody investigated this aspect before.

I agree that non-ZHP arms being just fine. In fact, the previous owner had the passenger side arm replaced with a Taiwanese one within the last 20k miles, and the ball joints were just fine. I would not expect them to last that long. OEM non-ZHP arms should last at least 100k miles, with ZHP arms even more. Bushings, on the other hand, is a different story.
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Old 07-15-2012, 12:14 AM   #77
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The only difference externally is the outer ball joint - the actual wishbones are the same, hence the same stamped numbers. (These numbers don't correspond to the part numbers BMW sells since the wishbone and balljoints aren't sold separately).

I couldn't find the original pics, but I did find a bimmerfest post where I uploaded the (admittedly crappy quality) pictures that I took. You can see them here: http://bimmerfest.com/forums/showpos...3&postcount=12 You'll notice that the ZHP arm has metal surrounding the joint, while the non-ZHP arm has what looks like plastic surrounding it.

If you look at the full thread, there are some better quality pictures showing the differences in the first post.
I just re-read the entire thread again, and somehow, I missed this post. This really should have settled the debate.
Those numbers on the arms themselves are BMW part numbers, just not ones that can be bought separately. The way most companies construct a Bill of Materials, there are seperate part numbers for each part in an assembly. The cast aluminum arm has a unique part number (molded into the arm, in this case), the inner ball joint has a unique number, and the outer ball joint has a unique part number. You combine those 3 part numbers together, and it becomes a 4th unique part number - in this case a regular control arm, or a ZHP control arm, depending on the ball joints used to assemble it.
But the key here is that both the ZHP and Non-ZHP castings had the same part number cast into them, meaning they are exactly the same part.
There is no way they are different, or there would be different numbers on the casting. If there were 2 different castings, there would be 2 different numbers. The reasons for this are obvious, if you think about it from a manufacturing engineering standpoint. If the ZHP arm were different, it would have to have a unique number. That way, if the factory orders a batch of ZHP control arms, the people who assemble them would pull a bill of materials, and see that the casting number is x1, inner ball joint is x2, and outer ball joint is x3. Assemble those, and you have a ZHP control arm, which becomes a 4th unique part number, x4. If the casting was different from a regular control arm, it would have to have a unique number, different from the regular non-ZHP arm. If they both had the same number, but were different parts, then you could get regular control arms with ZHP bushings, or vice versa. If you had 2 different parts, with the same part number cast into them, there would be no way to determine which one was a "special" ZHP casting. You could not control the manufacturing process with 2 different parts, with the same part number.
Long story short, the fact that the ZHP and non-ZHP castings had the same part number molded into them means that there is no difference in the arms, just the ball joints. This really should have ended the arguement right there, but at least it was settled. If both arms have the same number cast into them, then they are exactly the same. This pretty much eleminates the angle of the CAB theory too, unless ZHP's had unique CAB part numbers. Since the aftermarket does not differentiate between a ZHP or non ZHP CAB, I would say they have to be the same, or aftermarket CAB's would not work on a ZHP.

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Old 07-15-2012, 01:06 AM   #78
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Meyle has a 30 year warranty on their balljoints, just FYI. ZHP and Meyle control arms are almost identical in quality.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:04 PM   #79
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All right folks, let me finally put an end to this debate once and for all. I finally installed ZHP arms on my May '01 built 330 (sport suspension standard), and have to say that I did not see any appreciable geometrical difference between the ZHP arms and original ones.

I publicly apologize to E46Mango and to those I have offended throughout the thread. I had apparently been misled by some of posts that I have read in the past (some by respected members), and the puzzling fact that ZHP's steering being sharper, even though the rack and other components have proven to be the same compared to non-ZHP's.


Good stuff. Thanks, SeanC. At least we settled this one. Apology accepted.

Apologies are never accepted from DMAX, however. His are fake.
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Old 07-18-2012, 12:11 PM   #80
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Good stuff. Thanks, SeanC. At least we settled this one. Apology accepted.

Apologies are never accepted from DMAX, however. His are fake.
lol
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