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Old 02-13-2019, 10:22 AM   #1
nola mike
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What do I need to replace "while I'm in there"

Went to get an alignment. Got a call back, "How much do you like your car?". Quoted $2500 or so for new front/rear shocks/struts/springs/control arm bushing. It's an '01 330ci vert with 225k miles. Was looking to upgrade in the next year or so, but figure it's at least doing the minimum repairs before selling. Certainly don't want to go nuts, OEM will be more than sufficient. I want to replace anything that needs it while I'm in there, but don't want to jump down a time/money rabbit hole (esp time). I got under the front and took a look, and I definitely have 1 trashed control arm bushing. Also 1 sway bar link bushing is shot. Those are the only obvious things (to me). So what else do I need parts wise? (strut mounts, hardware, other rubber pieces, etc?). HATE getting in there and having to stop for a $.05 washer.
Thanks!
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:45 AM   #2
Ettinger
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If you are able, I hope you refresh these items on your own.

OEM replacements

Without ZSP (sport package, "M package II"):
1. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-str...-kit-290947kt1
2. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-sho...rear-556882kt1
3. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-con...-hd-e46arms-hd
4. 2x https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-swa...-31351095694my

Grand total.. $890.



With ZSP (sport package, "M package II"):
1. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-str...t-sac-290949kt
2. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-sho...rear-556882kt2
3. https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-8-p...6-zhp8piecekit
4. 2x https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-swa...-31351095694my

Grand total.. $1140.



Replace #3 with FCAB only if you so choose - ride quality / steering won't be quite "dialed in". When were the outer tie rods last replaced?

I imagine your control arms (and remaining two bushes) are original. You may opt for Powerflex Purple FCABs. I think someone here offers them pre-pressed into "lollipops" brackets with a core charge. You may opt for Lemforder parts over the Meyle HD versions I posted. You may also opt for different shock mounts, i.e. the reinforced units offered by Ground Control. You may be missing protective cap(s) for the Strut Mounts: 2x https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-str...nt-31311139453

Up to you.

$1300-1600 will cover quite a few fill-ups, oil changes, etc..

Hope this helps!

Last edited by Ettinger; 02-13-2019 at 10:51 AM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 01:08 PM   #3
nola mike
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Thanks for that. Here's what pelican gave me, similar list.
I can't remember what I've replaced and when, my maintenance app wiped out a while ago. Got the car with 135k, going to assume that most/all was original when I got it. I'm actually quite certain that I've replaced the control arms before, but am going to do that again. Had outer tie rod ends on my list, should I just do inners as well (see, I'm going down the hole). What about axle carrier mounts, differential mounts? Guessing that that is a higher effort/benefit than I want to do, same with Genuine BMW Part: REPAIR KIT TRAILING ARM RUB? Also, are the front springs different for man/auto trans? I have the sport susp, but are the springs/struts interchangeable with non-sport?

https://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin...command=lookup

Last edited by nola mike; 02-13-2019 at 02:35 PM.
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Old 02-13-2019, 10:12 PM   #4
Ettinger
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Originally Posted by nola mike View Post
Thanks for that. Here's what pelican gave me, similar list.
I can't remember what I've replaced and when, my maintenance app wiped out a while ago. Got the car with 135k, going to assume that most/all was original when I got it. I'm actually quite certain that I've replaced the control arms before, but am going to do that again. Had outer tie rod ends on my list, should I just do inners as well (see, I'm going down the hole). What about axle carrier mounts, differential mounts? Guessing that that is a higher effort/benefit than I want to do, same with Genuine BMW Part: REPAIR KIT TRAILING ARM RUB? Also, are the front springs different for man/auto trans? I have the sport susp, but are the springs/struts interchangeable with non-sport?

https://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin...command=lookup
I think so. Some Z4M / E36 M3 suspension bits are compatible with the E46 chassis. I suggest you give FCP Euro a call to confirm - their customer service is excellent.

Last edited by Ettinger; 02-13-2019 at 10:13 PM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 07:37 AM   #5
the fly
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Originally Posted by Ettinger View Post

I imagine your control arms (and remaining two bushes) are original. You may opt for Powerflex Purple FCABs. I think someone here offers them pre-pressed into "lollipops" brackets with a core charge. You may opt for Lemforder parts over the Meyle HD versions I posted.

You're probably speaking about me, though I don't offer poly for standard e46. I do offer the solid offset z4m FCABs which are a popular upgrade for standard e46, though I am currently out of stock. I do have solid rubber e46m3 fcabs ready to go though. Those are centered just like the stock non-M e46, but have the benefit of being solid rubber versus fluid filled.
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Old 02-15-2019, 08:19 AM   #6
Ettinger
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Originally Posted by the fly View Post
You're probably speaking about me, though I don't offer poly for standard e46. I do offer the solid offset z4m FCABs which are a popular upgrade for standard e46, though I am currently out of stock. I do have solid rubber e46m3 fcabs ready to go though. Those are centered just like the stock non-M e46, but have the benefit of being solid rubber versus fluid filled.
I am - I recognize your username. You sell the Powerflex units pre-pressed for Xi models, right?

Last edited by Ettinger; 02-15-2019 at 08:25 AM.
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Old 02-15-2019, 02:52 PM   #7
the fly
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I am - I recognize your username. You sell the Powerflex units pre-pressed for Xi models, right?
I do indeed do poly for XI and rubber for others.
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Old 02-26-2019, 10:38 AM   #8
nola mike
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Well, halfway through at least. Took me 3 freakin hours (including trips to home depot and HF) to remove 2 of the gorilla'd lugnuts that they put on at the tire place (the damn head of a lugnut started to twist, never seen that before). Didn't see that coming as being the hard part of the job. Not including that, I'm about 4 hours in so far. Got the front disassembled. Tie rod ends, Control arms, sway bar, struts removed and disassembled. Replaced the links and bushings on the sway bar. One of the link balljoints was bad, others seemed ok. Shocks were completely blown, I mean no rebound at all. They look original. Springs also seem OK, so I'm going to have to decide on whether or not to actually replace them (I have new ones coming today) I gambled on the control arms and lost--one of the inner balljoints was bad, and I ripped the boot anyway getting it off with a pickle fork. Doesn't seem possible to get that passenger side off without it. So now I'm stuck waiting on replacements. One control arm bushing was shredded, other looks OK. Lastly ran into a torn steering rack boot, and don't think I'm going to try and reuse the bump stops and boots on the struts. All in all, probably could have gotten by with new struts and FCABs for $250 (though it looks like it would be a bitch to replace them with the control arms still on the car). So I'm in it for about $500 for the front, $200 for the rear, plus 1-2 days labor. Still way ahead of the $2500 I was quoted just for shocks/struts/FCABs. Tips so far:

1. Bentley says you have to remove the brake calipers to get the struts out. Not sure why, not an issue at all
2. Thought that I might be able to get the control arms out without removing the reinforcement plate. Nope.
3. Ball joint spreader type tool is much better than a pickle fork for the outer ball joints, but can't reach the inners.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:06 AM   #9
Ettinger
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Originally Posted by nola mike View Post
Well, halfway through at least. Took me 3 freakin hours (including trips to home depot and HF) to remove 2 of the gorilla'd lugnuts that they put on at the tire place (the damn head of a lugnut started to twist, never seen that before). Didn't see that coming as being the hard part of the job. Not including that, I'm about 4 hours in so far.
. . .
So I'm in it for about $500 for the front, $200 for the rear, plus 1-2 days labor. Still way ahead of the $2500 I was quoted just for shocks/struts/FCABs. Tips so far:

1. Bentley says you have to remove the brake calipers to get the struts out. Not sure why, not an issue at all
2. Thought that I might be able to get the control arms out without removing the reinforcement plate. Nope.
3. Ball joint spreader type tool is much better than a pickle fork for the outer ball joints, but can't reach the inners.
Glad to hear you've been chipping away at this Looking forward to hearing your impressions on ride quality.

I replaced factory FCABs with ease - use a puller tool & a bit of wash soap or silicone-based lubricant to glide parts on/off.

Another tip: sand down an allen key to use as a strut spreader tool if you live in a rusty area. A little penetrating lubricant can help, too. No more wrestling with the knuckle to get the strut free!

Did you install reinforced RSMs?

Last edited by Ettinger; 02-26-2019 at 11:09 AM. Reason: &
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:08 AM   #10
nola mike
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Struts + PB blaster = No problem getting out. RSM = rear strut mounts (if so, then no. Actually if not, probably no also since I don't know what else that might mean).
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:16 AM   #11
Ettinger
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Originally Posted by nola mike View Post
Struts + PB blaster = No problem getting out. RSM = rear strut mounts (if so, then no. Actually if not, probably no also since I don't know what else that might mean).
Here:
https://groundcontrolstore.com/colle...ertible-pair-1

A bit cheaper:
https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-sho...e36e46mountkit

If you already have RSMs:
https://fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-sho...gn-51718413359
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:20 AM   #12
nola mike
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Oops, I meant I thought it meant reinforced strut mounts. But yeah, new ones front and rear.
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Old 02-26-2019, 11:22 AM   #13
nola mike
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OK, see that they have the reinforcing plate. I think the kit I bought has them.
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Old 02-27-2019, 08:26 AM   #14
ctlikon
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Quote:
OK, see that they have the reinforcing plate. I think the kit I bought has them.
Good, because that is 1 thing I was going to suggest. These car's sheetmetal in the strut locations is thin and deforms/cracks in those areas. The front plates go between the top of the strut and the inside of the tower so that it isn't visible from the engine compartment. The rears go on top of the trunk sheetmetal so that it is visible from the trunk.
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Old 03-16-2019, 01:45 PM   #15
nola mike
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Grrr. Still working at this. The front struts were a bitch to reassemble. I had to use 2 pairs of spring compressors, and even then it was a struggle to get them compressed enough to get the nut on (Probably 2 hours). Anyway, finally got the fronts done. Moved to the rear, which really should have taken 30 minutes for the struts and springs. I decided to replace the sway bar bushings and end links, since I had the parts and it looked easy. Well, those links were a PITA to remove (grinder made short work though), and harder to put on. Took me 1 - 1.5 hours to do that. The old links didn't look that bad. Should have left well enough alone. Then, of course, my battery was dead and I couldn't lower the top to access the shock. Ugh. Anyway, should be able to finish up on monday. 4 hours of work today, + the 2 hours for the struts. My springs were a mess though. Total of 6 pieces of spring. See pics...
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Last edited by nola mike; 03-16-2019 at 02:24 PM.
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Old 03-19-2019, 06:07 PM   #16
nola mike
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Finally finished! After an alignment snafu I aligned it today and finally got out. Wow, what a difference! Feels like a new car. Shake at speed and braking gone, rock solid at speed. So much more responsive, really incredible. Was planning on getting rid of this, may hold on to it for a while now. Check out the difference in ride height with the new springs.
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Last edited by nola mike; 03-19-2019 at 06:08 PM.
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