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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #26  
Old 05-05-2012, 11:53 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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It's a relatively simple DIY with some possible complications (ball joint removal). The Harbor Freight tool works well and removal is a cinch, if you cut the bolt to keep the tool opening smaller. It won't slip off as easily that way. An hour or two for each side for a newbie taking their time. Here's the DIY:

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...307&highlight=
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  #27  
Old 05-05-2012, 12:09 PM
Jass Jass is offline
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I have the TRW arms with the Meyle HD bushings. I have only put on about 1.5k miles on them but all seems fine so far. I really didn't see the justification of buying the OEM arm with the HD bushing. I'm happy with the front, now it's time to do the rear.
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  #28  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:36 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jass View Post
I have the TRW arms with the Meyle HD bushings. I have only put on about 1.5k miles on them but all seems fine so far. I really didn't see the justification of buying the OEM arm with the HD bushing. I'm happy with the front, now it's time to do the rear.
JASS,

Did you do your entire suspension, or just the left and right arms?
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  #29  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:50 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Thank Fudman! much appreciated. When I do my brake lines soon, I'm going to check the brake rotors for movement to see how bad/good the control arm/joints are. I plan on doing them no matter what given the bad seal/boot, but will be curious to see/learn how to gauge wear on a control arm. When you say, "when twisting on the brake rotor," was that an up/down twist, left/right, or both?
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  #30  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:51 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Ok, I'm done for the day...working four issues in parallel is overwhelming (research that is). :-)
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  #31  
Old 05-05-2012, 01:54 PM
Jass Jass is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mjbennett9 View Post
JASS,

Did you do your entire suspension, or just the left and right arms?
I did the 95% of the front suspension. Did everything except the sway bar links, and the L/R sway bar bushings.


On another note:

A basic quick way to test your front end "play" is to lift the front of your car equally on both sides. Grab your front tire at the 12 and 6 positions and try to move the wheel vertically (pushing in at 12 and pulling out at 6 - and vice versa). Then grab at 3 and 9 o'clock positions and attempt to move horizontially using the same process.

Lastly, with a friend, drive your car slowly at about 5mph. Brake, and have your friend see if your wheel moves forward when you brake (from side view).

If any significant movement occurs during any of these tests it's recommended that you start the process of replacing your suspension parts.

Last edited by Jass; 05-05-2012 at 02:02 PM.
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  #32  
Old 05-05-2012, 09:39 PM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Using eactuning's website, I found that the part that matched what I'm seeing is a tie rod, not the control arm. off to search for DIY on control arms. :-) I'm sure it's similar to the control arm.
http://www.eaceuroparts.com/parts/pa...10/2002/E39525

UPDATE: Found a bluebee posting, referring back to CN90 complete overhaul--which I did find earlier, but ignored because it was for a 1998. But in looking at it again, it looks close if not identical to my 2002 525i e39, so I think it'll help me. And those tie rods aren't too expensive. Lemerford (not spelled right) are about $65 each. The Karyn's are half that. Seems consensus is LEmerford so I'll probably go that route. Also, if I read correctly, I don't have a major job ahead (relatively). Brakes, the tie rods, and about a dozen projects after that. :-) Did I say a dozen? I mean two dozen. :-)

Last edited by mjbennett9; 05-05-2012 at 09:48 PM.
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  #33  
Old 05-06-2012, 08:49 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Go OEM (Lemforder or TRW) on all suspension parts. Using other makes often results in premature failure. This is not something you wish to make an annual event, especially if you pay someone else to do the work.

When it comes to suspension repairs, there are two schools of thought:

1. Replace what is broken. That is much cheaper and easier. However, the suspension is never like new and the car will have a compromised ride and handling, whether you can detect it or not.

2. Go all in and replace everything. Somewhere between 75K and 100K, the front suspension needs a complete overhaul. Unlike the cooling system, this can be done piecemeal (see #1 above). However, if you decide to do this, your car will be transformed to near new like ride and handling. I went this route after a control arm failed and then a sway bar link followed. I got tired of piecemealing the repairs and just replaced it all. A huge difference but pricey ($1,200 for parts alone).

Either way, it's your call.
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  #34  
Old 05-10-2012, 10:13 AM
mjbennett9 mjbennett9 is offline
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Thank you again-excellent recommendations. Somewhat on topic, have you, or anyone, used a air wrench for tge wheels lugs, and/or suspension work? there are far better ones for quadruple the cost, but for less than $50 delivered, would you recommend this air wrench?

http://www.powerequipmentdirect.com/...0296/p185.html

amazon is $46 delivered (with prime).

Sent from my VS910 4G using Bimmer App
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  #35  
Old 05-10-2012, 10:49 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Not bad but the torque does not seem that high (380 ft lbs). I have the Harbor freight 1/2" that claimed somewhere around 650 ft lbs (I think this is generous*) and a 3/8" that has less than 100 ft lbs. I use the air wrench to remove lug nuts/bolts but I would urge caution when tightening lug bolts. Make sure they are threaded properly (otherwise you will cross thread them in a blink of an eye). Also use the lowest torque setting and then perform the final torquing with a manual torque wrench.

* I say this because it occasionally has difficulty removing a lug bolt that was hand torqued to 95 ft lbs.
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  #36  
Old 05-10-2012, 05:42 PM
onex1day onex1day is offline
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Ready for work??

I have only owned my e39 for 9 months and believe it drives well. However, I am a BMW newbie so I probably don't really know how it should drive. It has 227K miles on it and as far as I am aware has never had any suspension work. I don't know whether I need to refresh the suspension or not. If so, what to do?

Thanks
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  #37  
Old 05-10-2012, 06:25 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Do a search for cn90's front suspension overhaul. More importantly, you need to make sure your cooling system is operating properly and has been replaced.
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  #38  
Old 05-10-2012, 08:07 PM
onex1day onex1day is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
Do a search for cn90's front suspension overhaul. More importantly, you need to make sure your cooling system is operating properly and has been replaced.
Thanks for the cn90 info. Everything is good with cooling - just had it all done. Also, just had motor replaced with 81K motor. I don't notice anything with suspension, just thought with the mileage it may need it. Honestly, if a suspension refresh improves the ride, I can't imagine how good it must be.
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  #39  
Old 05-11-2012, 05:45 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onex1day View Post
Thanks for the cn90 info. Everything is good with cooling - just had it all done. Also, just had motor replaced with 81K motor. I don't notice anything with suspension, just thought with the mileage it may need it. Honestly, if a suspension refresh improves the ride, I can't imagine how good it must be.
You will simply be shocked how well the car will drive with a new suspension at that mileage. Even with a worn out suspension (relatively speaking), the E39 still handles and feels better than most sedans.

When these cars were rolling off the dealer lots, they were highly praised for their handling, even to this day.
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