Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: West side of Lake Michigan
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A suspension 'strut' almost always means it has a shock absorber incorporated or contained within it. In a BMW, this is always the case. The original strut has shock parts that make it function as a shock absorber while the replacement entails removing these parts (they fall right out) and putting in a 'shock insert' that is a self-contained shock absorber. These inserts vary in price, ranging from about $100 each and up. For a good mechanic, it takes about an hour to an hour-and-a-half to remove a strut/spring assembly, disassemble it, replace the insert, and reassemble it. Double that for both sides.
At the same time, other suspension components should be inspected and, if necessary, replaced, so parts of the job (removing the brakes, disconnecting suspension arms, etc.) don't need to be done twice. Part of your vibration might be coming from worn suspension bushings in arms that cost ~$75-150 each. If so, your mechanic should be able to show you their excessive movement and maybe deteriorated rubber parts. If the front brakes need service, do them, now, too, since they'll be disassembled anyway. In all, it could cost you upwards of $1000 to do everything, but you'll be set for at least 40-50,000 miles (or twice that - how many miles does your car have on it *now*?) before any similar front end service should be needed.
<span style='font-size:8pt;line-height:100%'><span style='color:red'><span style='font-family:Optima'>C.R. Krieger
'88 535is Da Red Dog</span></span></span>
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