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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Suspension Refresh Questions



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      10-15-2021, 12:55 PM   #1
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Suspension Refresh Questions

My car has 75K miles on it bought it with 62K, I believe it has BMW sport suspension from factory. Upon buying, it didn't have any of these suspension related issues but now it does such as, brake clunk sound, steering wheel shake at higher speed, pulling right or left when hard braking. I know for sure my tie rods need replacing as they are rusted pretty bad. But I'm considering the level 3 refresh from ECS tuning which replaces pretty much every suspension component besides springs. Is it worth the full refresh at my mile mark and suspension issues? Or should I just replace the tie rod components? The full kit is 1.6K and you do get the upgrades M3 control arms and subframe bushing.
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      10-15-2021, 05:39 PM   #2
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Too many variables to give a solid response.

What are your expectations from the car? Simple transport to the Costco? Or driving enjoyment on weekend runs down the 'long way home'?
How long do you expect to keep the car?
What's your financial situation?

If you're an enthusiast, financially stable, and planning to keep the car for more than a couple of years, then I'd do the refresh.

If you feel that cars are appliances, you buy the cheapest tires you can find, you're financially stretched, or planning to swap cars in the next year or two, then I'd start with the tie-rods. But vibration/wander when braking typically means blown control arm bushings .
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      10-15-2021, 05:46 PM   #3
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Also depends on who will do the work. If you will pay a shop to do it, get it in the shop for an inspection and have them tell you (and *show* you) what needs to be replaced.

If you will DIY, then get it up on jack stands and start looking for loose stuff with a pry bar. And yes, +1 for the control arm bushings.
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      10-16-2021, 12:32 AM   #4
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do the full refresh if you want to keep car more than 2years, 1.6k in parts sounds cheap for full F+R refresh +subframe. by sounds of it, even if you change half the parts, the other half is so worn it will become even more noticeable and wear apart whatever you replace quicker. doing full refresh like this only worth it if you doing it yourself, at shop rate this going to cost you more than the car. the subframe bushing going to be only challenging part, but if your car skews/pulls under braking, the rear subframe bushing + rear+front control arm bushings ussually case.
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      10-16-2021, 02:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatre View Post
Too many variables to give a solid response.

What are your expectations from the car? Simple transport to the Costco? Or driving enjoyment on weekend runs down the 'long way home'?
How long do you expect to keep the car?
What's your financial situation?

If you're an enthusiast, financially stable, and planning to keep the car for more than a couple of years, then I'd do the refresh.

If you feel that cars are appliances, you buy the cheapest tires you can find, you're financially stretched, or planning to swap cars in the next year or two, then I'd start with the tie-rods. But vibration/wander when braking typically means blown control arm bushings .
I consider myself a growing enthusiast and I will keep this car forever which is why I'm considering the refresh. I drive it daily and I want a better/safer feel on the highway like going over bumps and on corners.

So your saying the wander when hard braking is likely due to the control arms. What would you say the steering wheel shake is due to? This is probably the most annoying of all the issues.
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      10-16-2021, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzero View Post
do the full refresh if you want to keep car more than 2years, 1.6k in parts sounds cheap for full F+R refresh +subframe. by sounds of it, even if you change half the parts, the other half is so worn it will become even more noticeable and wear apart whatever you replace quicker. doing full refresh like this only worth it if you doing it yourself, at shop rate this going to cost you more than the car. the subframe bushing going to be only challenging part, but if your car skews/pulls under braking, the rear subframe bushing + rear+front control arm bushings ussually case.
I plan on doing the work myself, but I'm curious as to what you think a shop may charge.
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      10-16-2021, 03:47 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave.E90 View Post
I plan on doing the work myself, but I'm curious as to what you think a shop may charge.

book time around 14-17hrs - probably around $2000-3000 at dealer or reputable shop. u should also considering doing diff bushing since you going to have subframe down

iam doing entire suspension refresh/upgrade this winter, expecting it to take 2 weeks (4-5hrs/day), alot of time going to go toward cleaning up parts and joints along the way.
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      10-16-2021, 05:35 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave.E90 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by dmatre View Post
Too many variables to give a solid response.

What are your expectations from the car? Simple transport to the Costco? Or driving enjoyment on weekend runs down the 'long way home'?
How long do you expect to keep the car?
What's your financial situation?

If you're an enthusiast, financially stable, and planning to keep the car for more than a couple of years, then I'd do the refresh.

If you feel that cars are appliances, you buy the cheapest tires you can find, you're financially stretched, or planning to swap cars in the next year or two, then I'd start with the tie-rods. But vibration/wander when braking typically means blown control arm bushings .
I consider myself a growing enthusiast and I will keep this car forever which is why I'm considering the refresh. I drive it daily and I want a better/safer feel on the highway like going over bumps and on corners.

So your saying the wander when hard braking is likely due to the control arms. What would you say the steering wheel shake is due to? This is probably the most annoying of all the issues.
Both issues would be the same. When the bushing is shot, the inboard side of the thrust arm can move up/down and side/side.

If you've got jack stands you can climb under and check for leaks/free play.

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      10-17-2021, 07:42 PM   #9
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I plan to jack the car up next weekend to change a high beam bulb to led so I'll look for this leak or play while I'm at it.

FCP is the best with their DIY right. I've seen these videos, reason I don't think it will be too hard to do by myself especially if my friends help out, I mean all the bushings and everything is already in so can't be too hard just a matter of time and tools. I will definitely be using my buddies lift though cause I'd break my damn back trying to work on something like this with the car on jacks.

Appreciate the insight man.
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      10-17-2021, 07:56 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nzero View Post
book time around 14-17hrs - probably around $2000-3000 at dealer or reputable shop. u should also considering doing diff bushing since you going to have subframe down

iam doing entire suspension refresh/upgrade this winter, expecting it to take 2 weeks (4-5hrs/day), alot of time going to go toward cleaning up parts and joints along the way.
Sheesh yea you right all together would damn near cost as much as the car. Definitely doing it myself. That's wassup though wish I had the time to take my time like you. It'd have to be a 1 day thing for me which I think is doable with multiple hands and a lift. Is this your first suspension refresh what do you plan on doing?
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      10-17-2021, 11:44 PM   #11
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If you wanted to, you could take this as an opportunity to do the m3 control arm conversion to the front of your car. It's just a replacement of the upper and lower control arms (AKA tension/thrust arms). These come with the bushings installed when you buy them. The upper arms have solid bushings as well which are an improvement over the non-M fluid bushigns. They also alter the camber slightly which helps with the tram lining when you go over cracks and pavement changes
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      10-18-2021, 03:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave.E90 View Post
It'd have to be a 1 day thing for me which I think is doable with multiple hands and a lift. Is this your first suspension refresh what do you plan on doing?

lucky u if you have access to lift, in my case iam doing on 24" jackstands. this isnt my first refresh, on my daily N52 i did full oem refresh on 17-18" jackstands.

with the N54 build iam doing over winter, i am likely going to put full m3 refresh or Turner suspension arms/links/toes(if comes on sale before my build), not sure if putting m3 knuckles (depending on brake kit iam trying to piece together), subframe bushings (either oem M ones or solid ones not sure yet), bilstein b14 or b16(if can find on sale before my build), and pretty much any bushing and mount imaginable and maybe solid engine mount inserts.

the real time consuming part for me for suspension portion is iam gonna sandblast subframe/knuckles/brackets/calipers and other metals (maybe even electrolysis bath) so that i can powdercoat everything before rebuild.
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      10-19-2021, 10:46 AM   #13
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I just did an entire suspension and brake upgrade on my 2006 325i E90. Along with the suspension, I also bought this kit from FCP Euro

https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...e93-bmwmcaktfr
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      10-20-2021, 08:12 AM   #14
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Nice suspension kit. It's so funny how they grind off the BMW logo on the m3 control arms.
Did you notice a BIG difference after going coil-over?
Labor kills you on these cars. DIY as much as humanly possible if you want to save any money. When shops are asking $750 to install a valve cover gasket I just shake my head.
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      10-20-2021, 09:46 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaronbwall View Post
Nice suspension kit. It's so funny how they grind off the BMW logo on the m3 control arms.
Did you notice a BIG difference after going coil-over?
Labor kills you on these cars. DIY as much as humanly possible if you want to save any money. When shops are asking $750 to install a valve cover gasket I just shake my head.
Installed everything myself with the help of a couple of friends. The difference was night and day after the coilovers. It took us about 4 days. I also did a front and rear bumper (M3 style) replacement.
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      10-20-2021, 10:08 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszach1 View Post
Installed everything myself with the help of a couple of friends. The difference was night and day after the coilovers. It took us about 4 days. I also did a front and rear bumper (M3 style) replacement.
Dude, amazing. I'd like to go coil-over and get an LSD in the future. Those two items in combo would transform the 335i. It's just so much $$$.
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      10-21-2021, 04:12 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaronbwall View Post
Dude, amazing. I'd like to go coil-over and get an LSD in the future. Those two items in combo would transform the 335i. It's just so much $$$.
I live in Germany right now so we do get some discounts on parts simply because they are made here and don't have to worry about import fees. I think I paid 550 Euros for the ST XA suspension and paid 675 euros for the Front, rear bumpers, side skirts, and rear lip spoiler. Then had them all painted to match the car. It also helps to have a friend that is a certified BMW mechanic and actually worked at the local BMW dealership to help out! I also did some basic refresh while we were in there. Replaced thermostat and water pump, replaced the serpentine belt and all new pulleys, new CSF radiator, and did the BMW Cowl Filter replacement (saves about 10 pounds).
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      10-22-2021, 10:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszach1 View Post
I live in Germany right now so we do get some discounts on parts simply because they are made here and don't have to worry about import fees. I think I paid 550 Euros for the ST XA suspension and paid 675 euros for the Front, rear bumpers, side skirts, and rear lip spoiler. Then had them all painted to match the car. It also helps to have a friend that is a certified BMW mechanic and actually worked at the local BMW dealership to help out! I also did some basic refresh while we were in there. Replaced thermostat and water pump, replaced the serpentine belt and all new pulleys, new CSF radiator, and did the BMW Cowl Filter replacement (saves about 10 pounds).
Hi, just curious what is mileage if your 325i?
Does is also drink quite a lot of oil?
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      10-22-2021, 10:59 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chriszach1 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaronbwall View Post
Dude, amazing. I'd like to go coil-over and get an LSD in the future. Those two items in combo would transform the 335i. It's just so much $$$.
I live in Germany right now so we do get some discounts on parts simply because they are made here and don't have to worry about import fees. I think I paid 550 Euros for the ST XA suspension and paid 675 euros for the Front, rear bumpers, side skirts, and rear lip spoiler. Then had them all painted to match the car. It also helps to have a friend that is a certified BMW mechanic and actually worked at the local BMW dealership to help out! I also did some basic refresh while we were in there. Replaced thermostat and water pump, replaced the serpentine belt and all new pulleys, new CSF radiator, and did the BMW Cowl Filter replacement (saves about 10 pounds).
How is your coolant temperature with CSF? Upgraded radiator or replacement? I know there are some reports that heating is not as good with upgraded CSF.
Also be careful with cowl removal bcs. water intrusion. I would remove that only for track purposes and put it back. I installed oil cooler on my N52 and absolutely no cooling issues here on track in CO at 96-102f ambient temperatures at 5,000ft altitude with cowl being there. I know removing cowl is a must on track but with oil cooler, no issues.
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      10-22-2021, 02:50 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelE91 View Post
Hi, just curious what is mileage if your 325i?
Does is also drink quite a lot of oil?
I have about 175,000 miles on it. Oil usage is fine...it's honestly one of the best running cars I've had. No major issues...most things I replaced just wore out!
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      10-22-2021, 02:53 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edycol View Post
How is your coolant temperature with CSF? Upgraded radiator or replacement? I know there are some reports that heating is not as good with upgraded CSF.
Also be careful with cowl removal bcs. water intrusion. I would remove that only for track purposes and put it back. I installed oil cooler on my N52 and absolutely no cooling issues here on track in CO at 96-102f ambient temperatures at 5,000ft altitude with cowl being there. I know removing cowl is a must on track but with oil cooler, no issues.
Cooling hasn't been an issue. I did end up removing the cowl and going back to stock...I did this because I wouldn't have passed my car inspection!
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      10-24-2021, 02:16 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suave.E90 View Post
My car has 75K miles on it bought it with 62K, I believe it has BMW sport suspension from factory. Upon buying, it didn't have any of these suspension related issues but now it does such as, brake clunk sound, steering wheel shake at higher speed, pulling right or left when hard braking. I know for sure my tie rods need replacing as they are rusted pretty bad. But I'm considering the level 3 refresh from ECS tuning which replaces pretty much every suspension component besides springs. Is it worth the full refresh at my mile mark and suspension issues? Or should I just replace the tie rod components? The full kit is 1.6K and you do get the upgrades M3 control arms and subframe bushing.
I would do the suspension in stages.

What car do you have? 328 or 335?

How do you use the car? DD, DD / Track / Weekends??
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