Bushing help? (support arm) [Archive] - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

: Bushing help? (support arm)

10-24-2008, 01:27 AM

I got my car inspected and was told something that was a little troubling.

The gentleman told me at the shop that I need to replace my Cross Member Rod's because the bushings on both sides are shot. Now from what I understand, this is a common problem with these older 5 series.

However, doesn't it make sense that I can just replace my bushing and not the whole rod?

From what I can find on online part stores, they are 2 different part numbers.

The part number that I got for the rods (or what I think are "support arms") are 31121141097 and 31121141098. The # for the bushing I THINK I need is 31121139456.

I won't be able to go to another shop before next week so I wanted to poke around here if anyone knew. Just seems rediculous that the shop wanted me to buy TWO rods for 230 bux a pop when the bushings are 20 bux. Also online I have found the rods for a lot cheaper too...less than half as much.

Also, a friend that had this bushing problem said there was a brand that I should get which he forgot the name to. Is there a "better" one to look for? or tomoto tamato.


*edit* I got it inspected because the steering felt a little off...like a gentle hand was nudging the car in a different direction when on the highway...if you know what I mean. Nothing too serious, but enough to feel that something was "off".

10-24-2008, 05:05 AM
You can purchase these control arms and thrust arms from various suppliers ,ebay for a lot less ,it is recommended that you replace these arms in pairs also make shure that you torque these arms with vehicle on level ground with full weight on suspension.

10-24-2008, 05:31 AM
My friend,

I have some hard learned advice. Use only Meyel or Lemforder. you can get them with pre pressed bushings included. They cost more but they will last you 70,000 miles. The cheaper ones will last one season. David is correct, replace them in pairs. Your mechanic is also correct about replacing the unit and not just the bushing. The Ball joints an the arms are part of the assembly, not pressed in. If your bushings are shot, your ball joints are not far behind.

Look at Autohausaz.com and or Bimmerparts.com for decent pricing. Do not try to cut corners on this one.

This link is helpful


10-24-2008, 11:14 AM
Thanks so much for the quick replies. I'll be ordering parts today.

Autohausaz has some AWESOME prices...

Looks like it would be a better job for a suspension shop than doing myself considering I live in an apartment (barely any space to work on cars :() and don't have ramps.

I was hoping just for the bushings because I was also buying some winter rims and tires. Oh well. Gotta do it right.

10-24-2008, 12:19 PM
One more question - should I do both at the same time? (Upper and lower)


10-24-2008, 12:44 PM
If you have the funds, I would say yes. It is a good bet that they have been in there just as long as the uppers. When I did mine (For the second time because I bought crap the first time) I replaced uppers and lowers. PS. From your *Edit* it seems like you may need a wheel alignment. The symptoms are that the car will pull to the left or right (not both) while driving.

10-24-2008, 12:55 PM
I thought it may need an alignment, but I don't think so because it drives perfectly straight when on a strait and even road....its just when the road is a little uneven or windy which is what led me to the suspension components.

If I can I will do both. The lowers are pretty cheap. The car is 16 years old and I'm not sure they would have every been done because of only 40K miles on it.


10-28-2008, 10:01 AM
in the end you could have just push the bushing out and put a new one it. when you steped on the break around 4o did the car start to shimmy

10-30-2008, 10:43 PM
The car doesn't shimmy at all. I only notice a very suttle loose feeling to the steering. I have decided to hold off on replacing these until next year. I need to buy tires first...and I also have other issues I'd like to sort out as well.

I have a bit of a rough idle, and when the car is coasting down a hill, it feels as though I'm kicking the gas pedal every second or so....very hard to explain, but my RPMs also bounce up and down by 200-300 revs (only at 40-70 KPH). I just put in new spark plugs as well. I noticed there were 2 different ones when I took out the old ones...completely different with a much larger gap than my new Bosch platinums. They also smelled of gas which I thought was a little weird. I haven't noticed any of my other cars in the past have that smell on the plugs. I think my car should be getting better mileage. I'm getting 18 US MPG (22 CAN MPG). That was even a lot of hwy miles. I'm in the process of getting to know my car better, and help is appreciated guys :) I'm searching right now to see the best ways to check common failure parts, and just good regular maintenance things to help keep it running well, and getting best mileage possible (didn't buy the car for good MPG, just want to have it be as good as possible).

bimmer dot info
10-31-2008, 06:54 AM
Some of the loose feeling might be the nut down by the firewall. It allows the wheel to telescope. When it gets loose you end up with a little play.
Check the rest of the ignition system (wires, cap and rotor)