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vavet5308 12-08-2012 01:18 PM

front suspension overhaul with Moog
I bought some Moog parts from amazon for the front end of my 525it. It seems there is limited experience on the forums with Moog parts for our E39s, but it's a well respected brand in every other circle I've frequented, so I figured for the price, they were worth a shot. I've had the parts for about a week, but hadn't been able to spend any quality time in the garage because I had to finish a thesis.

I finally got around to starting the job last night, but wasn't able to pop the control arm ball joint or the thrust arm ball joint out of the wheel carrier. I figured the old trick of striking the side of the socket would work, so I wasn't too worried about not having the clothespin type ball joint tool. I also have an assortment of pickling fork, but none of these worked. The closest Harbor Freight is about 20 miles away, so I wanted to avoid that if possible. I stopped at Advance Auto Parts while I was out this morning and used their loaner tool program to borrow the front end tool kit. It had about 5 different tools, including the clothespin type tool. I got it home and figured out that it wouldn't fit because the stud on the ball joint was just a little too long. I took my air-powered cut-off tool and sliced off a portion of the stud. Now the tool worked great. It popped all 4 of them out without a problem after I trimmed the studs.

I did have to perform a little maintenance on the tool first. The threads were little messed up from the previous user, so the first thing I did was run a tap through the threaded portion to clean it up, then I cleaned the bolt with brake cleaner and finally put a little wheel bearing grease on the bolt.

The only snag I had with the Moog parts were the studs on the thrust arms. On the BMW parts, there is a hex head so you can hold the stud in place while you tighten the nut. There is no hex on the Moog thrust arms, but there is on the control arms. Not sure why they couldn't continue that. I overcame this by using a prybar between the top of the thrust arm and the bottom of the strut. I applied some force to the top of the thrust arm, forcing it down in the hole. Then I ran the nut on with my impact gun, then loosened slightly so I could torque it properly with the torque wrench.

I still have to install the sway bar end link on one side and do the final torque for the thrust arm bushing nut and the control arm bushing nut .

For the record, it is not necessary to remove the rotor. I'm not sure if it's necessary to remove the caliper, but I did and I think it gives you a little more room to work. I have about 6 hours into the job up to this point, but I'd say the second side went much faster than the first. I also wasn't trying to rush. I took my time and enjoyed the process.

It would certainly be more efficient to replace struts at the same time, so if you're thinking you want to do this and the struts, gather all the parts and do it. For me, I'm trying to spread the expense out over some months.

So this has been my experience in a nutshell.

Fudman 12-08-2012 02:49 PM

Don't forget to load the suspension before torquing the bushing bolts. Otherwise you'll tear them up when you drive. Cutting the ball joint bolts definitely makes removing them easier, especially when using the HF tool.

vavet5308 12-08-2012 06:58 PM


Originally Posted by Fudman (Post 7238211)
Don't forget to load the suspension before torquing the bushing bolts. Otherwise you'll tear them up when you drive. Cutting the ball joint bolts definitely makes removing them easier, especially when using the HF tool.

Yeah good point Fudman. I haven't torqued the bushing bolts for either the control arm or the thrust arm yet. It's always worth repeating.

I really just wanted to get the point out about the Moog parts and the Advance Auto Parts loaner tool.

oembimmerparts 12-09-2012 11:07 AM

As to the missing hex, In most cases if the hex is missing there are 2 flat sides at the very base of the stud that you can put a wrench on to hold it, Most of the time the top of the boot is hiding it. It would be very strange to not have one or the other.


GreenTiger 12-09-2012 11:27 AM

How would one load a suspension when installing these parts? Which parts require loading when installed?

Jason5driver 12-09-2012 12:22 PM


Originally Posted by King540i (Post 7239335)
How would one load a suspension when installing these parts? Which parts require loading when installed?

Look here:

Lift wheel carrier to position of "empty weight position" or "normal position" as previously measured (tape measure).
Utilize lift (jack and towel) to lift up on swing arm at its lowest point; found adjacent to wheel carrier inboard side at ball joint.
Or, you can drive the car on to some ramps, and torque everything down from there...

Fudman 12-09-2012 01:01 PM

The beisan approach works nicely. I put my car onto 2"X10" jack pads, 4 plies thick (6"), under each tire. This kept the weight evenly distributed on all corners and gave me enough room to torque the bushing bolts. I use these jack pads whenever I need to work under my car (like ATF change).

vavet5308 12-10-2012 05:35 PM

I finished everything up tonight and took her for a little drive. WOW! The steering wheel is ROCK SOLID at 70+ mph. Fan-effing-tastic!

gmak2012 03-21-2015 03:32 AM

Here we are a few years later, and it would be interesting to know how the MOOG thrust arms have held up and over what mileage. Thanks.

BbradenMmillerW 03-21-2015 07:00 AM

2nd that request for update

IgotBMW 03-21-2015 08:11 AM

vavet5308, can you provide a link to the MOOG Amazon site.

vavet5308 03-23-2015 11:04 AM


Originally Posted by IgotBMW (Post 8978792)
vavet5308, can you provide a link to the MOOG Amazon site.

I have a short commute, so I've only accumulated about 16K miles on the Moog parts. No problems so far.

Don't know if I can send you a link to the exact amazon page, but I can list part numbers by looking through my amazon history.

K620131/ K620132 Rear dog leg control arm
K750004 Rear sway bar end links

K90418/K90419 front thrust arm for 6 cylinder cars (left/right with bushings)
K80529/K80530 Front control arm
K80241/K80242 Front sway bar end links (left/right)

I think the only control arm I could not find from Moog was the rear axle front control arm, aka "guide rod" 33 32 6 768 791

Some of these were in short supply when I bought. I don't know if they have been discontinued. I will warn you that they also make a lesser line whose part numbers start with RK instead of just K. They might be perfectly adequate parts, but the warranty is much shorter. I figured if the manufacturer didn't want to stand behind them, I didn't want them on my car. If memory serves, that might be how I ended up with OE guide rods for the rear suspension.

Good luck. I'd love to see more people trying out Moog instead of drinking the Lemforder Kool-Aid without thinking about it. Moog is respected in other automotive circles so I can't imagine they'd sacrifice quality for Euro applications.

cdawg246 03-23-2015 11:19 AM

I didnt drink the lemforder kool aid either and went with meyle hd thrust, front arms and tie rods installed for 4yrs still no issues-moog suspension parts good for you

Zerodynamic 03-23-2015 12:52 PM

I've always heard excellent things about MOOG products, just not in a BMW forum. Good to know they work well.

NUrburgringer 07-02-2015 12:15 PM

2 Attachment(s)
hey all. Don't post here much but found this thread looking at new front control arms for my 145k mile '99 528i.
The front brakes are also due so ordered everything from Rockauto for what seems to be very good prices. Much better than tirerack or FCP Euro.
I redid the rear suspension with all Lemforder parts from FCP last year but am giving Moog a try for the front thrust arms at <1/2 the price.

Will report back after I get the moogs on and drive a while.
Can't remember the brand (not Lems) of the ones that I put on ~50k miles ago but the ball joints where the link meets the wheel hub are well and truly shot.

I've owned the car for ~10 years and ~95k miles, and although I frequently think about getting something else like a E90 wagon every time I get in the E39 and take her out it just seems like a crime to sell her for the ~$3k or so she's worth on the market, being such an awesome vehicle.
I mean, just look at her! My only regret was not getting an E39 wagon in 2005 when I bought her, but can't complain.

NUrburgringer 07-02-2015 12:24 PM

BTW - before checking out I did notice that there were 2 sets of brake pads (1 set covers both fronts) and also found a 5% discount code for Rockauto 82E2BB878537DA so the total came to $193. :thumbup:

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