It is not just in the Thrust Arm Bushings. Yes, the bushings are replaceable in thrust arms, most dealerships only replace the bushings. E53 X5 also suffers from lower control arm ball joint play in the front as well as rear upper control arm ball joint play and rear lower ball joint play ---those items have to be replaced as control arms because the ball joints are part of them and are not a pressable item!!!! All which are items that are very high strung due to the suv's capability handle nearly like a sedan and still weighing as much as a typical small-midsized SUV.....please take out your buddies Ford Explorer and tell me it can corner like an X5.
Your E60 535 also suffers from front thrust arm bushing issues as well as occasional tie rod and lower control arm problems in the front and upper and lower ball joint in the rear. Geometry in the E60 and E53 rear end is VERY similar. Bringing your car to a "side walk Sam" independent shop is something you do at your own risk, a dealership will stand behind the repair, if something gets ruined in the process they will take care of it in a professional fashion, your independent will find the cheapest way out.
BMW's are high strung cars when it comes to engines/suspension. You drive them on bad roads and drive them hard - they will need repairs.
Last edited by !Achtung!; 02-01-2013 at 07:37 PM.