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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 02-15-2006, 10:23 AM
Blinky330XI's Avatar
Blinky330XI Blinky330XI is offline
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Location: Boston
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 277
Mein Auto: 330XI
Bushings Need Replacement. Whole Cont. Arm?

Hello All,
My 01 330xi has 50k, and the control arms (bushings) are shot! I was wondering if you can just replace the bushings, or do we have to change out the entire control arm?

Anyone want to help with a coolant flush n fill? 50 degress here in Boston today!

Thx!
-AC
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  #2  
Old 02-17-2006, 08:21 AM
cxc511 cxc511 is offline
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Location: Philadelphia
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Posts: 7
Mein Auto: 325i
I am looking to purchase my first BMW and was very close to buying a 2001 325i with 50k mileage. I had my mechanic inspect the car, and he mentioned the rear bushings on the lower control arm were pretty well worn.

I called the local dealer to price the repair and it sounds like they are able to just replace the bushings. Quoted cost was $400.

Unfortunately I am still looking b/c the owner would not adjust price for this and a couple of other wear items that were noted on the car!
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  #3  
Old 02-17-2006, 09:10 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Mein Auto: '11 335d, '00 540iT
Recommend doing control arms

Recommend doing control arms. The ball joints (non replaceable part of the control arm) are likely to need replacing within 20K miles. It is probably worth spending the extra money now to replace the control arms with the bushings. If you change the bushings now, and need to replace the control arms later, you will probably have to change the bushings again as they are often destroyed when removed from the control arms. You also save on an additional alignment getting it done all at once.

With that said if you are good with tools it's not a difficult DIY if done all at once. It will run you about $400 in parts plus the alighment if you DIY. Lots of write-ups on this topic on the various the boards.

Bimmerworld has a $300 control arm & bushing special. Bavauto has what appear as higher quality ones for about $100 more.
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  #4  
Old 02-17-2006, 10:27 AM
schnooe schnooe is offline
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Location: Milwaukee
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Mein Auto: 2001 330xi
Ah yes, but you forget, he has an xi. We've got different control arms... and I don't think anyone really offers any specials on them for us. Nor are any upgraded bushings available for us yet either.
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  #5  
Old 02-17-2006, 10:49 AM
KeithS KeithS is offline
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Yes, you are right. Missed that point.
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2006, 05:22 PM
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norihaga norihaga is offline
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Location: Surrey, UK
 
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Mein Auto: '93 E30 318is Touring
Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithS
Recommend doing control arms. The ball joints (non replaceable part of the control arm) are likely to need replacing within 20K miles. It is probably worth spending the extra money now to replace the control arms with the bushings. If you change the bushings now, and need to replace the control arms later, you will probably have to change the bushings again as they are often destroyed when removed from the control arms. You also save on an additional alignment getting it done all at once.

With that said if you are good with tools it's not a difficult DIY if done all at once. It will run you about $400 in parts plus the alighment if you DIY. Lots of write-ups on this topic on the various the boards.

Bimmerworld has a $300 control arm & bushing special. Bavauto has what appear as higher quality ones for about $100 more.
As of a few months ago, at least, you can get a complete set of control arms + bushings in their brackets for less than $300.

Here's one - not for an xi - OEM and $269 shipped.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/NEW-B...39439344QQrdZ1
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2006, 05:57 AM
schnooe schnooe is offline
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Location: Milwaukee
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
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Mein Auto: 2001 330xi
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...63&hg=31&fg=05

I don't know if that link will work but if you go to the realoem site and compare the xi control arms to the non xi ones... it looks to me as though the ball joints ARE replaceable. The arms are built differently and while it appears that they have the same short lives, perhaps the fixes don't require that a whole control arm be purchased.

For comparison, here's a diagram of the non xi control arm:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...04&hg=31&fg=05

Last edited by schnooe; 02-22-2006 at 06:04 AM.
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2006, 10:37 AM
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Blinky330XI Blinky330XI is offline
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Location: Boston
 
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Mein Auto: 330XI
Just rec'd a call from my mechanic... Look like $2,000 in repairs? WTF? Running down during lunch, I'll keep an update.
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