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3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

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Old 01-12-2005, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Can anyone tell me the signs of worn out control arms & bushings?
I have noticed my steering wheel is starting to vibrate more going over little bumps etc. and I get a "chatter"in my steerng wheel column on bigger bumps.
I was told it might be control arms & bushings. The front has been aligned and the front shocks are pretty new. The car has 93,000 miles on it. Not bad for a '92.
Your thoughts gang??? used
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Old 01-12-2005, 04:04 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I believe if you jack your car up then try to wiggle the wheel and there is any play then u probably need new ball joints. If the boots on the ball joints have tears in them, then you should replace the ball joints. If you are thinking about changing your control arms, its not hard and can easily be done with a little patience.
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Old 01-12-2005, 04:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Whenever I would go over a bump, or rumble stips, there was a banging noise from the front. Also something felt loose. When I took off the front wheels to do brakes, I pulled the bottom of the strut in and out (towards me) and it was loose. Also, you can see the bushings (from the front looking back) and see what kind of condition they are in.

I just replaced the drivers side control arm and have the pax side to go. The arms and bushings I got from FCP Groton (fcpgroton.com)and were $60 USD per plus $20 for the bushing set.

I found a machine shop close by and had them press the bushing into the mounts ($5 USD) as I had a bear of a time getting the two together. That was by far the most challenging part of the whole process. The three attach points came off relatively easy and went on easier.

Replacing the bushings has quieted the driver's side, and added some stiffness to the overall ride and steering. I opted not to get the M3 offset bushings just simply so I could save a little cash.

If you have anyother questions, just ask. Good luck
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:20 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Thanks for the info!
I'll check it out this weekend.
What did the machine shop use to put together parts?
I went thru all the service records of the previous owner and when they replaced the front shocks there was a note on the repair bill that the car should get new control arms & bushings, so that must be the culprit.
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Old 01-13-2005, 08:24 AM   #5 (permalink)
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it's not even necessary to jack the car up. if u can wiggle the wheel quite easily they r worn out.

mine did wiggle a lot and i replaced both sides with new arms. cost me about 120 euros but it's brand new now. all original parts and fitted them myself.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I had to replace my bushings on my 540 about 10k miles ago - the steering wheel would vibrate between 50-60 80-10 mph, apparently that is a textbook example, at least for a 5.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:04 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by PatrickE30@Jan 13 2005, 08:24 AM
it's not even necessary to jack the car up. if u can wiggle the wheel quite easily they r worn out.

mine did wiggle a lot and i replaced both sides with new arms. cost me about 120 euros but it's brand new now. all original parts and fitted them myself.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:05 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by PatrickE30@Jan 13 2005, 08:24 AM
it's not even necessary to jack the car up. if u can wiggle the wheel quite easily they r worn out.

mine did wiggle a lot and i replaced both sides with new arms. cost me about 120 euros but it's brand new now. all original parts and fitted them myself.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by mysticguy04+Jan 13 2005, 10:05 AM--><div class='quotetop'>QUOTE(mysticguy04 @ Jan 13 2005, 10:05 AM)</div><div class='quotemain'><!--QuoteBegin-PatrickE30@Jan 13 2005, 08:24 AM
it's not even necessary to jack the car up. if u can wiggle the wheel quite easily they r worn out.

mine did wiggle a lot and i replaced both sides with new arms. cost me about 120 euros but it's brand new now. all original parts and fitted them myself.
[snapback]270649[/snapback]
[snapback]270689[/snapback]
[/b][/quote]
I tried wiggling the wheels and they don't budge.I guess that's good.
The steering wheel chatter only comes when I hit little bumps etc. It does not vibate while driving on the highway etc so I know it's aligned etc.
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Old 01-13-2005, 10:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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To put the bushings together you have to have a press. I also used the press to the push control arm bushings along with its carrier onto the control arm. If you dont have access to a press, just take it to a machine or watever and they will do it in like ten minutes.
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Old 01-13-2005, 11:50 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by Bmw1990@Jan 13 2005, 10:58 AM
To put the bushings together you have to have a press. I also used the press to the push control arm bushings along with its carrier onto the control arm. If you dont have access to a press, just take it to a machine or watever and they will do it in like ten minutes.
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Okay. I'll check into it.
Tahnks alot for all your help!
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