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3-Series (E46, E90) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1999 to Current. Models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318Ci, BMW 320i, BMW 323i, BMW 325i, BMW 330i, BMW 328 Ci, BMW 328i, BMW 325i/xi, BMW 330Ci, BMW 320d, BMW 330d, BMW 335d.

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Old 08-18-2004, 02:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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I've got a '99 323i, ~70k miles on it, and the front bushings are worn. The ball joints feel okay, but wondering if I should replace them while I'm in there (actually would be replacing with a new control arm with new ball joints), or do they have significant life left in them and I shouldn't waste my money on the new control arms/ball joints?

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Old 08-19-2004, 07:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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waste monay if you will keep the car for the next few years. ball joints go slowly, so the deterioration in handling is hard to notice. however, when you put the new ones in, you will be amazed how much better the car drives.
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Old 08-19-2004, 02:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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My 2000 has 35K miles and I was just informed at the inspection that the front left one is completely shot. Is that normal???
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Old 08-20-2004, 06:31 AM   #4 (permalink)
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no not normal. but a lot of potholes can do it..... ghead
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Old 08-20-2004, 08:54 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Just did the control arms with bushings trick on my son-in-laws 1990 325ic and what a difference in handling. I would go for the control arm with ball joints and rear bushings.
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Old 08-20-2004, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgivens@Aug 18 2004, 03:38 PM
I've got a '99 323i, ~70k miles on it, and the front bushings are worn. The ball joints feel okay, but wondering if I should replace them while I'm in there (actually would be replacing with a new control arm with new ball joints), or do they have significant life left in them and I shouldn't waste my money on the new control arms/ball joints?

Thanks,
Scott
Just had mine done this morning (warranty covered). It drives like a dream again! Definitely get it done!
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Old 08-20-2004, 11:37 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Bear, was that the first time they had been replaced? How many miles are on the car? If that was the first time, and the car being a '90, I'd imagine they were probably due.

welchbmw00, were they covered under warranty because they were worn already?
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Old 08-20-2004, 01:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by sgivens@Aug 20 2004, 12:17 PM
Bear, was that the first time they had been replaced? How many miles are on the car? If that was the first time, and the car being a '90, I'd imagine they were probably due.

welchbmw00, were they covered under warranty because they were worn already?
I think it must have been. I was just psyched that I didn't have to shell out $800-$1000 to get it done. I would imagine it was a defect in the ball joint because they really shouldn't wear out until 80-100K miles. Although, I live in NH which some call pothole central. They told me it wouldn't be covered under warranty if it was just normal wear and tear so I'm guessing it was a defect. Oh well, drives great now. Time to get the Shark Injector!
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Old 08-23-2004, 01:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Mu 2000 323i w/70500 miles was just diagnosed at the local dealership with bad front control arms, with an estimate of $973 to replace. I then brought the car to a local master technician for a second opinion who put the car on the lift and showed me that the left ball joint was shot (about 1/2 inch play in control arm), but the other ball joint ans bushings looks o.k. Estimated about $150 to replace. The same mechanic found that all tires were out of balance. We balanced them, and just that alone makes the car feel faster. I know, I know, it's wishful thinking, right? Getting the ball joint done this weekend.
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