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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Control arm replacement on Sport suspension



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      05-21-2013, 07:08 AM   #1
droptop335
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Control arm replacement on Sport suspension

Hey guys,
Ok, my mechanic told me that my control arm bushings have leaked and need replacement. Honestly I haven't noticed a huge difference in ride quality or response, but I'd rather not keep worn parts on my car. He quoted my $500 to replace them, but I'm not sure if this is replacement of the entire control arm or just the bushings. Seems to me to be easier to replace the entire arm rather than try to press new bushings into the old ones? Also, is he referring to the upper (tension strut per BMW) or the lower (wishbone per BMW) control arms?

Anyway, I did a quick search here and got some good information, but one thing I didn't see: Are the control arms different for Sport vs non-sport suspensions? Also, are there some good non-BMW replacement arms that are recommended? I'd like to keep a decent ride quality, and I don't track the car.

Also, if I replace the arms, do I need a re-alignment? Seems that if the arms are exact replacement, then the alignment shouldn't be affected, but that's pure speculation on my part. Are the arms easily replaced as a DIY?

By the way, I have an E93 with Sport Suspension, if that makes a difference in your responses. Thanks in advance!
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Last edited by droptop335; 05-21-2013 at 07:20 AM.
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      05-21-2013, 01:05 PM   #2
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Just go with stock BMW parts. If you really want to you can go with the M3 control arms. They have a stronger bushing and are lighter, but they do increase NVH. Since you don't track it there's no real advantage other than longer life. If your shop has the proper tools they can replace the bushing and there are aftermarket solutions for just the bushings.
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      05-21-2013, 01:33 PM   #3
droptop335
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e90pilot View Post
Just go with stock BMW parts. If you really want to you can go with the M3 control arms. They have a stronger bushing and are lighter, but they do increase NVH. Since you don't track it there's no real advantage other than longer life. If your shop has the proper tools they can replace the bushing and there are aftermarket solutions for just the bushings.
Good to know. So you answered one of my six questions, but I do appreciate the info.
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      05-21-2013, 02:39 PM   #4
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I forgot to mention. The control arm is lower forward piece, the one that's oddly shaped. I don't believe that one requires a re-alignment after replacement even if you go with the M3 arms. Depending on your mileage you might want to get one anyway.
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      05-21-2013, 02:56 PM   #5
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You can just press a new bushing into the tension strut. Meyle makes a HD bushing or you can get an oem replacement. You can also replace the whole link: oem, Meyle or M3. If you're riding on run flat tires, stick with oem or Meyle. If you're riding on traditional tires, get the Meyle HD bushings or you may like the reduction in tramlining and brake shimmy with the M3 tension links. Replacing the tension strut or bushing doesn't require an alignment.

Quote:
Originally Posted by droptop335 View Post
Hey guys,
Ok, my mechanic told me that my control arm bushings have leaked and need replacement. Honestly I haven't noticed a huge difference in ride quality or response, but I'd rather not keep worn parts on my car. He quoted my $500 to replace them, but I'm not sure if this is replacement of the entire control arm or just the bushings. Seems to me to be easier to replace the entire arm rather than try to press new bushings into the old ones? Also, is he referring to the upper (tension strut per BMW) or the lower (wishbone per BMW) control arms?

Anyway, I did a quick search here and got some good information, but one thing I didn't see: Are the control arms different for Sport vs non-sport suspensions? Also, are there some good non-BMW replacement arms that are recommended? I'd like to keep a decent ride quality, and I don't track the car.

Also, if I replace the arms, do I need a re-alignment? Seems that if the arms are exact replacement, then the alignment shouldn't be affected, but that's pure speculation on my part. Are the arms easily replaced as a DIY?

By the way, I have an E93 with Sport Suspension, if that makes a difference in your responses. Thanks in advance!
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      05-21-2013, 03:03 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droptop335 View Post
Hey guys,
Ok, my mechanic told me that my control arm bushings have leaked and need replacement. Honestly I haven't noticed a huge difference in ride quality or response, but I'd rather not keep worn parts on my car. He quoted my $500 to replace them, but I'm not sure if this is replacement of the entire control arm or just the bushings. Seems to me to be easier to replace the entire arm rather than try to press new bushings into the old ones? Also, is he referring to the upper (tension strut per BMW) or the lower (wishbone per BMW) control arms?
The tension strut is the only oil fill bushing in the front suspension. The OEM control arms are $102 each from ECS, so if its not the whole arm being replaced you are getting screwed on that price. The bushings are only $45 from ECS for OEM parts.

Anyway, I did a quick search here and got some good information, but one thing I didn't see: Are the control arms different for Sport vs non-sport suspensions? Also, are there some good non-BMW replacement arms that are recommended? I'd like to keep a decent ride quality, and I don't track the car.
Control arms are the same between sport and non.
Just go with OEM unless you want replace them again in 20k miles.

Also, if I replace the arms, do I need a re-alignment? Seems that if the arms are exact replacement, then the alignment shouldn't be affected, but that's pure speculation on my part. Are the arms easily replaced as a DIY?

You should, but its not manditory but if you don't you might wear your front tires out sooner.

By the way, I have an E93 with Sport Suspension, if that makes a difference in your responses. Thanks in advance!
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...15&hg=31&fg=05
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      05-22-2013, 07:46 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
You can just press a new bushing into the tension strut. Meyle makes a HD bushing or you can get an oem replacement. You can also replace the whole link: oem, Meyle or M3. If you're riding on run flat tires, stick with oem or Meyle. If you're riding on traditional tires, get the Meyle HD bushings or you may like the reduction in tramlining and brake shimmy with the M3 tension links. Replacing the tension strut or bushing doesn't require an alignment.
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I am still on runflats, albeit better (and softer) Michelin PS's, so it does make sense to stay with a somewhat "compliant" ride quality. Is the bushing itself pretty easy to replace? I assume I'll need some kind of gear puller to get the old one out. What about pressing in the new one? Can it be carefully hammered in do I need some sort of a press? Also, how hard is it to remove and reinstall the strut?
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      05-22-2013, 03:00 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droptop335 View Post
Thanks for the feedback! Yes, I am still on runflats, albeit better (and softer) Michelin PS's, so it does make sense to stay with a somewhat "compliant" ride quality. Is the bushing itself pretty easy to replace? I assume I'll need some kind of gear puller to get the old one out. What about pressing in the new one? Can it be carefully hammered in do I need some sort of a press? Also, how hard is it to remove and reinstall the strut?
It requires a hydrologic press. You could always take the arm off and take it to a machine shop and have them press out the old one and press in the new one.
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      05-28-2013, 07:30 AM   #9
droptop335
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So fcpeuro.com carries two different part numbers as replacement bushings. Both are lemforder and both have the exact same description. One is $56 and the other $69. Anybody know the difference?
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      05-29-2013, 12:01 AM   #10
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I have the stock parts. There is 20k on them. Nothing wrong with them, just upgraded to the M3 parts.

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      05-29-2013, 09:19 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by droptop335 View Post
Hey guys,
Ok, my mechanic told me that my control arm bushings have leaked and need replacement. Honestly I haven't noticed a huge difference in ride quality or response, but I'd rather not keep worn parts on my car. He quoted my $500 to replace them, but I'm not sure if this is replacement of the entire control arm or just the bushings. Seems to me to be easier to replace the entire arm rather than try to press new bushings into the old ones? Also, is he referring to the upper (tension strut per BMW) or the lower (wishbone per BMW) control arms?

Anyway, I did a quick search here and got some good information, but one thing I didn't see: Are the control arms different for Sport vs non-sport suspensions? Also, are there some good non-BMW replacement arms that are recommended? I'd like to keep a decent ride quality, and I don't track the car.

Also, if I replace the arms, do I need a re-alignment? Seems that if the arms are exact replacement, then the alignment shouldn't be affected, but that's pure speculation on my part. Are the arms easily replaced as a DIY?

By the way, I have an E93 with Sport Suspension, if that makes a difference in your responses. Thanks in advance!

Very easy to replace - just a nut & a bolt - but you gotta have your ride on jack stands and a floor jack to raise the wheel to normal ride height before torque'g nut & bolt. Oh, + creeper & tools.



Alignment recommended anytime a suspension part is replaced.

Stay with BMW parts.

REFERENCE to front end parts, E93.

If doing 2 arms, and I recommend doing both sides, you may as well do all 4 while it's up and available to work on. M3 parts are best.

Think seriously about Koni FSD's - you'll bless yourself on every drive as you marvel of your fortitude, driving stock shocks for so long - pothole explosions no more, especially effective w/RFT's. Speaking of which, Michelin PSS gives a pleasing, better ride.
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