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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 03-10-2013, 05:39 PM
martinav martinav is offline
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Location: Pottsboro, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i
Suspension Refresh for 1995 540i - what and which brand to buy?

My 1995 E34 540i is in need of a good suspension refresh. Its going on 130,000, and I'm having some vibrations during braking and around 55mph. I have replaced struts/shock, brakes & rotors. Its time to invest in the bushings, etc. There are a lot of kits out there from different manufacturers. I'm a bit perplexed on which one to get. While I dont want to spend a fortune, I only want to do this once, and I want to get what I need, not a ton more. I have looked on FCPGroton and they have several kits. Meyle, Lemforder, etc. Meyle by far has the most "discount" off of their retail, but that doesnt really mean anything to me because they could be cheap, and just has an overinflated retail value. I bought a tie rod link a while back "on the cheap" and it was so bad, I kept the old one just in case. The boot retention bands were a cheap rubber-band. So, I want to know I'm putting on good parts, but not breaking the bank. Can I achieve both criteria? Or, do I have to go broke to do this right??

Advice?

Thanks!

Rod
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  #2  
Old 03-10-2013, 05:59 PM
martinav martinav is offline
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Location: Pottsboro, TX
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i
It looks like I need to reply to my own post... apparently, I mispelled something in my search before I posted this. I just did another search to fine a plethora of arguments regarding Meyle and Lemfoerder. I dont want to start a new debate, but if there is anything new in the last couple of months or so regarding this issue, please post! Otherwise, it looks like I'm going Lemfoerder to stay safe. Thus, my next question...

Where is the best place to buy Lemfoerder parts??? FCP Groton? Others??
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  #3  
Old 03-10-2013, 08:10 PM
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Radian Radian is offline
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Mein Auto: '91 535i 5-spd
Quote:
Originally Posted by martinav View Post
Otherwise, it looks like I'm going Lemfoerder to stay safe. Thus, my next question...

Where is the best place to buy Lemfoerder parts??? FCP Groton? Others??
Pelican, EAC, and the dealership get my patronage.

+1 going with Lemfoerder on the front end. Easily get another 90K out their product. What I also like about them is that many of their items arrive complete with new, coated fasteners.
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  #4  
Old 03-11-2013, 10:54 PM
Mr._Graybeard Mr._Graybeard is offline
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Mein Auto: '95 540i, '87 325ic
IMO, you want Lemfoerder thrust (upper) arms with 750il E38 bushings unless you plan to track or autocross the car regularly. I've got 100K miles on my 750il thrust arm bushings and they're holding up fine. These are the arms/bushings that take a beating in your suspension because of the geometry, and you want to go with the best. Other people may vouch for m5 bushings, or aftermarket poly or spherical. You'll get a 7-series ride from the 7-series bushings.

The control (lower) arms are under less stress. If you want to save a nickel, forgo the original aluminum arms and opt for steel. Meyle will be OK. I've been driving on a set for 50K miles.

As for vendors. I like BMA. One time my fuel pump went out and I ordered a new one and asked them to rush it. Got a phone message the next day -- there was a glitch with my credit card (they had an old expiration date on file, IIRC). I called back late in the day, expecting they'd put my order on hold till I cleared the red tape. But no -- they had already shipped the pump before I called.

I got the pump the next day with no extra charge for rush (calif to wisconsin) shipping. I was impressed. These people care about the customer.

Last edited by Mr._Graybeard; 03-11-2013 at 10:58 PM.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:57 AM
snowsled7 snowsled7 is offline
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Location: SW Mountains
 
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I don't think there is anything wrong with the Meyle parts, especially considering the lower price. That is where you want to stop however. I would advise against FCP brand parts or the cheapo stuff on ebay.

I read all the stories as well before doing the front end. I'm not convinced the Lemforder parts are any better than the Meyle but they are OE, and they do last by all accounts.
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  #6  
Old 03-12-2013, 10:30 AM
rdc rdc is offline
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Location: Lexington, KY
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 881
Mein Auto: 1995 525iA
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr._Graybeard View Post
IMO, you want Lemfoerder thrust (upper) arms with 750il E38 bushings unless you plan to track or autocross the car regularly. I've got 100K miles on my 750il thrust arm bushings and they're holding up fine. These are the arms/bushings that take a beating in your suspension because of the geometry, and you want to go with the best. Other people may vouch for m5 bushings, or aftermarket poly or spherical. You'll get a 7-series ride from the 7-series bushings.

The control (lower) arms are under less stress. If you want to save a nickel, forgo the original aluminum arms and opt for steel. Meyle will be OK. I've been driving on a set for 50K miles.

As for vendors. I like BMA. One time my fuel pump went out and I ordered a new one and asked them to rush it. Got a phone message the next day -- there was a glitch with my credit card (they had an old expiration date on file, IIRC). I called back late in the day, expecting they'd put my order on hold till I cleared the red tape. But no -- they had already shipped the pump before I called.

I got the pump the next day with no extra charge for rush (calif to wisconsin) shipping. I was impressed. These people care about the customer.
+1 for BMA. Call or e-mail for personalized service. I use them for at least 90% of my parts.
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  #7  
Old 03-12-2013, 04:19 PM
JayzBimmer JayzBimmer is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: 95 525i
Im also new to these cars, and did alot of searching here for info regarding this re-fresh...Ill be going the Lemfoerder upper/Meyle lower route as well on my 525i...I ordered a Bentley through Bavarian Autosport in NH, and when UPS messed up the shipping the first time, a simple phone call and they had a replacement sent that day...recommendations regarding vendor will always hinge on customer service experiences....B.A.S was my first, and Im happy with them...anyone have suggestions for a more performance based upgrade? I also have a 95 540i that I just picked up, but it needs some attention..kind of a slow going driving project
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  #8  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:17 PM
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Radian Radian is offline
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Originally Posted by JayzBimmer View Post
..anyone have suggestions for a more performance based upgrade?
For the suspension?
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  #9  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:16 PM
JayzBimmer JayzBimmer is offline
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Mein Auto: 95 525i
yes, didnt wanna hijack, but figured since we were on the topic of front suspension.......my 525 is getting stock type replacements, its my DD, but the 540 will be more a weekend type, so dont mind if the ride gets stiffer....gonna run through the front end after the usual used car purchase routine of changing all fluids/fiters/tuneup.already have HR springs and Bistein Sports ordered for it...

Last edited by JayzBimmer; 03-12-2013 at 06:21 PM.
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  #10  
Old 03-12-2013, 06:20 PM
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Energy Suspension sway bar bushings would be the next logical step.
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  #11  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:05 PM
JayzBimmer JayzBimmer is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: 95 525i
thx for the replies....I was actually looking at the Racing Dynamics bars...had or know of anyone with experience with these?....gonna completely do the front end as well, arms,bushings, tie rods..the whole kit....was looking at the powerflex bushings from B.A.....the car has 145k on it, so I figure its probably due, no record on when it was done last or ever, so I figure do it once and be done with it..thanks for the help

Last edited by JayzBimmer; 03-12-2013 at 07:13 PM.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:23 PM
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Radian Radian is offline
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The RD bars are fantastic by all accounts...OTOH actually finding them nowadays could pose a serious problem. I see them on their website, but I don't know if they're still stocked.

I would not recommend PowerFlex thrust and control arm bushings.
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  #13  
Old 03-12-2013, 07:33 PM
JayzBimmer JayzBimmer is offline
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thx again....yh, figured its gonna take some hunting for the bars if they dont have them (which they prob don't)....enjoy the thrill of a good parts hunt, a near 20 year old BMW should be almost as much fun as finding stuff for a 50 yr old Stude....
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  #14  
Old 03-12-2013, 09:58 PM
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But the really cool thing about the E34 is that with a fresh suspension, the car rides and handles better than all but the finest crop of today's vehicles. It was a state-of-the-art passive design that is as relevant today as it ever was then.

It's the only used car I've ever piled in three adult passengers plus baggage and can still handle like it's empty....with the larger motor variants, it's a dream to drive at whatever speed with whatever load. Everyone gets a first-class ride without the 7-series girth.
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Last edited by Radian; 03-12-2013 at 10:02 PM.
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2013, 03:07 AM
JayzBimmer JayzBimmer is offline
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Location: Rhode Island
 
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Mein Auto: 95 525i
definitely inclined to agree....these are my first BMW's and .even with worn stuff in the 525 and pretty shot stuff in the 540 you can feel how ahead of its time they were.....
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  #16  
Old 03-18-2013, 04:35 PM
imae34driver imae34driver is offline
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Location: Orange County , CA
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i SPORT /6 spd
I concur! My 540i/6 with light mod's has ruined the days of many friends, co workers, and other takers who have paid much much more for there newer sportier cars...

It's especially funny when you see that look, were you can tell they had not even had considered loosing as a possibility... "you know, that butt hurt /raped face.."

I have gave some seriously fast cars a close call or too were we were both kinda like WTF this is close? as well..


**** Honda
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  #17  
Old 04-19-2013, 01:02 PM
cohen5230 cohen5230 is offline
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Location: indiana
 
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Mein Auto: 1995 540i
I love the butthurt face! My 540i/6 that I got for 3000 has beaten friends in cars that cost ten times that......and my car handles better, Is more roomy, more comfortable, and imo more beautiful .
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