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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 09-18-2012, 01:02 PM   #1
nbakhrani
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: chicago
Posts: 14
My Ride: 2003 325xi
repairing and upgrading suspension! Need advice on purchasing parts

I had a few questions regarding what i need to purchase for some of the issues i am having with the car. my car vibrates if i go over 50 and also i cannot keep the car in control it seems to shift randomly when i am going over 60 mph. its not the alignment thats causing but feels like there are parts that are loose in there. it also makes a clunking noise on the right side whenever i go on small bumps. and the last thing is that if i am driving over 50 and i break the car seems to lean one direction rather than braking straight and the steering wheel also shakes a lot till it gets down to 40 mph. The issue seems to be the control arm bushings and sway bar links.

I am debating wether i should purchase the bushings only or buy the whole control arm. I am on a tight budget and if i can live with just replacing the bushings that would be great.
this is the price for the whole control arm
http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...ntrarmbkit.htm

I also want to purchase 2 front inner ball joints, 2 front sway bar links, and 1 rear lower control arm. Would this be good and am i missing anything else?
http://www.oembimmerparts.com/shoppingcart.asp?

I also wanted to find out if u guys recommend a website where i can get just the control arm bushings because that whole kit is just very expensive. IF needed i will end up buying it. i want to make sure that what i am purchasing so far is what is needed and if i need to add anything else to my list. thanks!
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:15 PM   #2
Kubica
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If you are on a budget, just replace parts that have failed.

Powerflex fcabs and links are short money. The inner ball joints are probably ok still. It easy to figure out if the outer ball joints are worn, which is the only reason to replace the control arm. Rear control arms are usually good unless they get bent and the vehicle can't be aligned in spec.

Sounds like you need new front rotors and pads. A bad strut can cause vibrations too.
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Old 09-18-2012, 01:52 PM   #3
GSherbs
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How many miles?

I've got an 02 330xi with 60k - I had to replace the front control arms and the bushings... Solved the issues you are describing with shaking. Swaybar links are probably worth doing also.

If you plan on keeping the car for a while, consider Meyle HD - I believe their control arms are put together in a way in which the ball joints can be replaced without having to replace the arm itself. Had I known this, I probably would have passed on the lemfoerder arms that i bought.
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Old 09-18-2012, 02:38 PM   #4
SamDoe1
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GSherbs View Post
If you plan on keeping the car for a while, consider Meyle HD - I believe their control arms are put together in a way in which the ball joints can be replaced without having to replace the arm itself. Had I known this, I probably would have passed on the lemfoerder arms that i bought.
This is only for RWD cars. The Xi is not compatible.
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Old 09-18-2012, 03:22 PM   #5
tomoyer
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No body makes a Front Lower Control Arm for an XI that has the replaceable Outer Ball Joints, so forget that option right away. Definitely need to do some checking before just buying parts. That said, depending on the mileage, there are quite a few things that can lead to your problem; worn out outer ball joint(s), worn out/torn front lower control arm bushings, front sway bar links, worn tie rod ends, as well as front struts that are "used" up. For front lower control arm bushings, go with the PowerFlex Urethane ones, cost is the same as the rubber ones, easier to install, will last longer and if not damaged, can be reused. Debate here on which ones to get; the correct ones for an E46 XI have an off-set hole, though others have been using a centered hole E36 PowerFlex Bushing.
Why are you "replacing" one rear lower control arm? On a budget I can understand only doing what needs to be done, usually better though to replace control arms, bushings, tie rod ends, sway bar links, struts, shocks, rear upper shock mounts, pads and rotors in pairs.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:09 PM   #6
nbakhrani
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my car has 105,000 miles so pretty much a lot of the suspension parts will need to be replaced. I guess a better question would be that i have a budget of about 900 to 1000 for parts so what parts would be the best thing to replace for now considering the issues i mentioned earlier? if i replace the whole control arm thats 650 right there so i have 350 for the rest of it
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:35 PM   #7
ModBargains IV
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If your steering wheel is shaking while you brake, that's most likely something to do with your brakes - i.e. warped rotors. Clunking sounds like it may be blown shocks. In any case, hopefully you can get everything figured out and get back on the road.

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Old 09-21-2012, 09:08 PM   #8
E46er75
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Mine does the same thing as far as the shaking steering wheel goes, it evens does it at the same speed around 40-50mph. I'm doing the brakes which will include replacing the rotors this weekend. I'll let you know if this fixes the issues in my car.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:43 PM   #9
E46er75
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Just to follow up. I replaced my both front rotors and pads this morning and problem solved. Smooth as new!
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Old 09-24-2012, 02:56 AM   #10
5speed30
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if its not vibrating at lower speeds like cruising around town and only at highway speeds id check the tires, might need rebalanced. Could also be rotors but getting them turned at napa instead of buying new ones will save you bank and as for doing whole control arms, no real need to replace the whole thing unless the ball joints shot which you can check easily. definitely get the bushings and links though
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Old 10-03-2012, 11:05 AM   #11
yo_marc
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I chased a strange 60mph+ vibration in my '05 325xi for a while. Replaced worn front end components, still vibed - new tires, still vibed. Thought it may have been the guibo, center support bearing, or dry CV's.

Gave up on it and let the local BMW shop work it out. Ended up being two bent stock rims. Got 'em straightened for about $150 a pop.
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