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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:27 PM   #1
DipInDipOut
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My Ride: 2004 330Ci
Question about front struts, rear shocks & wheel bearings.

Hi everyone, I have a 2004 330Ci with 75k miles on the dash. My friends that is a very experienced mechanic said that I need new front struts and rear shocks. My car also shakes (coming from front passenger side wheel) and makes a noise similiar to a flapping/thumping noise as my wheel spins. I think this noise & shaking began after I hit a pothole/bump. (New York streets are the worst..) so my mechanic said the cause of the shaking & noise is most likely from a bad wheel bearing. The gas station shop he works at quoted basically about $1350 for the front struts and rear shocks ($500 for front struts & $800 for rear shocks) I have a couple questions..

Does the price for that sound about right?
Do you guys think the wheel bearing can be the cause of the shaking/noise problem?
& I haven't gotten a price on front wheel bearings yet but how much do you guys think that should come out to?

Thank you in advance everyone!
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:40 PM   #2
JasonLI25t
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not sure why the rear shocks would be more than the fronts generally it is the opposite. the labor is easier too.

is this with OEM shocks/struts? the price sounds a bit high. A full set of OEM struts/shocks can be had for around $600. Maybe add another 100 if strut mounts are being replaced as well. I think there are many indy shops who could do this job for less than the labor that seems to be charged here...roughly 600-800 dollars.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:50 PM   #3
DipInDipOut
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Originally Posted by JasonLI25t View Post
not sure why the rear shocks would be more than the fronts generally it is the opposite. the labor is easier too.

is this with OEM shocks/struts? the price sounds a bit high. A full set of OEM struts/shocks can be had for around $600. Maybe add another 100 if strut mounts are being replaced as well. I think there are many indy shops who could do this job for less than the labor that seems to be charged here...roughly 600-800 dollars.

I never really knew much about prices or cars either but yes they are OEM struts & shocks, taxes and labor all included. I think it's the labor rate that makes the final prices so much. How long do you think front struts and rear shocks take to be done by an experienced mechanic? (Not sure if he's replacing mounts, I have to ask him, should be seeing him later today so I should have an answer by tomorrow at least.
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Old 03-30-2014, 03:57 PM   #4
JasonLI25t
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Also ask if that price includes an alignment, which you'll need. if it includes an alignment and mounts, it's not a bad price.

around here i can find indy shops to simply install new shocks and struts for about 400 dollars. most of the labor cost comes from the front. a skilled mechanic can do both rears in 45 minutes or less i'd imagine.

poke around the forums though in the local area...lots of capable people out there who may be willing to do this for you in their driveway for considerably less. get the parts online, save some money that way too. in the end you'll just need a shop for the alignment. up to you, but there are ways to save money. koni sport shocks/struts can be had on ebay right now for $560 shipped.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:24 PM   #5
tkrotchko
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A Couple things (from having done all these things to my car).

1) Rear shocks are far easier than the front

2) Front aren't bad if you've done them before, no harder than a Honda Accord, but harder than the rear. If you don't have a "fork style" spring compressor, don't bother to try it yourself. The spring compressors that hook onto the springs are what I'd consider "widow makers". Ideally, you'd know "a guy" who has a floor spring compressor.

3) Always replace front and rear mounts for struts & shocks. These are wear items, and there is *no additional labor* for new mounts as they have to be swapped anyway. If you don't do it now, you'll be paying $600 to replace a new mount 2 years down the road.

4) An alignment isn't strictly necessary. In reality, the only thing that affects alignment is replacement of tie rod ends. I understand why shops want to do it, but there is no technical reason it needs to be done.

I would also recommend going with OEM/OEM style struts and shocks. Harder is not better for street use, particularly with the 330 which already has what amounts to a sports suspension.

Last edited by tkrotchko; 03-30-2014 at 04:26 PM.
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Old 03-30-2014, 04:28 PM   #6
JasonLI25t
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the alignment is debatable and has been for some time and you might be right. one thing i will say...check your tire wear as it stands now. if you've been driving on NY roads with severely blown shocks/struts your alignment will be off anyway making it necessary even though it wouldn't have to do with the removal/installation process.
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Old 03-30-2014, 05:42 PM   #7
tkrotchko
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Yeah, I'm not looking to start a thread war, and if ran a garage, I'd insist on doing the alignment for a customer car too. But if you're doing it yourself, try it without aligning it. You'll be able to tell within 2 miles if the car needs to be re-aligned.
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Old 03-30-2014, 09:34 PM   #8
Dave1027
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The thumping is probably from a damaged tire.

Maybe you do need new struts and shocks but I don't think it's related to the thumping problem. For sure the rear shocks have nothing to do with it. Also, is it $500 for only the fronts and $800 for all four? If this guy is charging $500 for the fronts and then another $800 for the rears then he has something seriously screwed up. The rears should be less than half the cost of the fronts. Another thing is I'd be leery about having a gas station work on your beamer.
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Old 03-31-2014, 12:33 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tkrotchko View Post
I would also recommend going with OEM/OEM style struts and shocks. Harder is not better for street use, particularly with the 330 which already has what amounts to a sports suspension.
Great info in your post, but I will disagree with the quoted piece above. The OE struts/shocks are not only pricey, buy have a usable life of 60K-80K miles. With the variety of options available from Bilstein & Koni, you are not only getting upgraded components in terms of durability, comfort and performance, but a lifetime warranty as well.

I just ordered Koni Sport (Yellow) struts and shocks for $537 shipped from Bav Auto. You can also get the Koni STR.T's (Orange) for $350 shipped...which are still an upgrade from the OE sport's but with the same lifetime warranty.
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Old 03-31-2014, 01:08 AM   #10
Elgarade
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Thats way too high, the rear super easy to do the fronts will require some work, you could watch some diys on youtube. Parts wise source them on line for oem, and don't for get the reinforcement plates.
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Old 03-31-2014, 07:12 PM   #11
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...The OE struts/shocks are not only pricey, buy have a usable life of 60K-80K miles. With the variety of options available from Bilstein & Koni, you are not only getting upgraded components in terms of durability, comfort and performance, but a lifetime warranty as well.
You're right, BMW strut/shocks only come with the standard 2 year warranty and do tend to wear out in well before the 100K mark. However, Sachs, which is the OEM manufacturer, also offers a lifetime warranty on their Sachs-branded strut/shocks.
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