I'm new here, but not new to BMW's or mechanics. I could use a little help and advice.
My 91 E-36 has 200k miles on it. I'v always done the usual routine maintenance on it... Oil changes, plugs, brakes, etc. I even changed out the water pump, heater controle valve, and exhaust.
This fall, everything on the car seemed to fall apart at once.
First, the window clips broke, and took out the regulator. Then the headliner came loose, then I hit a deer. No major body damage, but all my pretty front sheet metal is dented
Next, the front ball joints went, then the rear shock mounts, then the drive-shaft
The engine still runs great, and overall, it's still a good car. I'm no longer driving it because of the ball joints and drive shaft, but I'm slowly piecing it back together as money and time allows.
My questions pertain to the ball joints and drive-shaft:
First the ball joints. I'v found them at bavarian autosport for $18 each, but everyone I'v talked to says I'll need to replace the entire lower arms. The dealer says they can just replace the ball's, but they want an un-godly ammount of money to do it... What's up??? Are the ball's that difficult to replace/press in? Special tools required that nobody but the dealer has??? I'm confused
Next the drive-shaft. It went out over a 15 mile trip in city traffic. When I left home, everything was fine. Suddenly there was a vibration when I got on the gas. A few miles later it became much worse, then a little further down the road, it turned into a violent noisy banging sound every time I touched the gas pedal. I drove it to a friends shop, got it up in the air, and had a look,,, The shaft itself looks fine. There is no [apparent] play in the rear, but the front flex joint, or rag joint is shreaded to peices.
Again, I'm getting conflicting information on this one... The dealer says the flex joint will not cause this [noisy banging] problem, and I need to replace the entire shaft [again at an un-godly ammount of money]... Bavarian has the flex joint for $50, but I dont want to waste my time replacing just the joint if I need the entire shaft... Can the flex-joint cause this problem by itself?????
Any advice from those of you who "have been there" would be very much appreciated... Thanks sooooo much!