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E34 (1989 - 1995)

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  #1  
Old 08-14-2014, 05:19 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
How to inspect tie rods on 525it

The front tires are wearing excessively on the outsides.
I suspect tie rods are bad.
Do I need to have both front wheels off the ground at the same time
to properly inspect the tie rods?
Do I hold the tire at 3 and 9 o'clock and wiggle?
How much movement is acceptable?
The upper and lower control arms have been replaced.
New sway bar links also. 2 years ago.

I understand that the only alignment adjustment possible
on the e34 is the toe in.
The tires began to wear even after an alignment.

I would have expected the mechanic to inspect the tie rods when
the alignment was done.
They usually are hoping to find an item to replace.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2014, 09:16 AM
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TheEinstein TheEinstein is offline
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I had one slightly worn tie-rod end. Caused pre-mature wear which gave it away. I too have replaced control arms (upper and lower), along with the sway links, still had a slight rattle up front hitting bumps. Never got much movement with the wheels-off-the-ground-shake-it-trick, but when I took it to have it aligned it was busted. Both figuratively and literally. They called, and said they couldn't align it due to a worn passenger tie-rod end. They thought they could just, more affordably I'd like to add, replace the ball joint. Ended up busting the joint off it's stem leaving it rusted in the tie-rod. So after replacing my tie-rod, and handing me my requested broken pieces, I checked the joint out myself. It didn't give me, by hand, any lateral movements, but it was able to pretty much flop around if you shook the joint.

I'd like to add that any play, whatsoever, in suspension should be thoroughly checked immediately. You do not want to be one of those people, rounding a corner and your wheel folds under your car. Seen it more than a couple times lately. Try to imagine your finger in that ball joint hole as you make a turn and how much pressure is there. You should be able to feel the stress on that joint, and know it wouldn't take much weakness to snap.
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1995 E34 540ia
155,000 Miles
VIN# ...GF32404
Hellrot Red

Fuelly

My Basic Repair History (Edited 4/7/2014)

Ongoing comparison between two E34 540ia's

OBC4 Hidden Functions : Link 1, Link 2

Last edited by TheEinstein; 08-15-2014 at 09:22 AM. Reason: I'd like to add..
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  #3  
Old 08-15-2014, 01:43 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
I will check the entire front end next week.
I assume everyone recommends the changing of
the left and right tie rod assemblies, the center tie rod assembly and the idler arm at the same time.

If all those components look good…. could the camber be off?
That would require a "kit" to correct?
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2014, 01:55 PM
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TheEinstein TheEinstein is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Larrick View Post
I will check the entire front end next week.
I assume everyone recommends the changing of
the left and right tie rod assemblies, the center tie rod assembly and the idler arm at the same time.

If all those components look good….. could the camber be off?
That would require a "kit" to correct?
I would agree with the changing of all if it's an available option to you. They have definitely suffered all of the same wear and tear. That said, I didn't change both and my alignment is in good shape according to the shop that just rotated for me.

Regarding the "kit," that's how I understand it also. Toe, I thought some camber.. Definitely not caster. Now that I think about it, I think you need one of those strut tower mount plates to do anything but toe. My rule of thumb from what I've read, is to only finger tighten when replacing any of the suspension. Then with the suspension loaded, if possible (ie: full tank, maybe someone in each front seat, car on ramps) tighten to torque spec. Someone correct me if I'm wrong here.
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1995 E34 540ia
155,000 Miles
VIN# ...GF32404
Hellrot Red

Fuelly

My Basic Repair History (Edited 4/7/2014)

Ongoing comparison between two E34 540ia's

OBC4 Hidden Functions : Link 1, Link 2

Last edited by TheEinstein; 08-15-2014 at 01:56 PM.
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  #5  
Old 08-18-2014, 01:37 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I was able to get under the car today.
There was a bit of play in the steering box.
I tightened the adjusting screw and the play has been removed.

With both tires in the air an assistant wiggled the wheels back and forth
with hands at 3 and 9 o'clock.
I could see no play in the tie rod ball joints.
They can be rotated by twisting the connecting arm but there is not and slop when the wheel is wiggled.

I did see a bit of motion at the pitman arm.
I tightened the 17 mm nut. It took about 3/4 of a turn.
That really made the steering tight.

There is visually no play now.
However…. one of the boots on an outer tie rod is ripped and another is cracked.

In researching Pitman arm, I came across some threads which indicate that there is a proper height adjustment.
It should be equal to the idler arm or the alignment can be off.
Bentley does not mention it.
Has anyone dealt with this?

I do not think I need new tie rods at this time but maybe I do.
I may just get the new tires, have an alignment and see what happens.
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  #6  
Old 08-18-2014, 05:55 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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In further investigation, I found that the Nut on the steering column
can become loose.
Is this an easy access?
When I google, I cannot find its location.
Some sites show the removal of the steering wheel for access.
Other sites do not describe it that way
I have the manual telescoping column.
Anyone with knowledge of this adjustment?

I am surprised that there are so many places to adjust the front end (steering).
I guess that is good….at least we can adjust them.
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  #7  
Old 08-19-2014, 10:41 AM
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TheEinstein TheEinstein is offline
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Personally, I would replace the tie-rods before going to the trouble of an alignment. It will just have to be re-aligned. If the ends are cracked, it's just good practice to replace them. You have no idea how much or how little corrosion has occurred within the joint.

Regarding that nut, I too sought it for adjustment. Found that it was just fine for mine. I attempted to tighten what I thought was some slack in it, only to bind up my telescoping wheel. So I backed it off to where it was tight and didn't sound like it was binding at all. Considering your efforts, I will try to get under mine this weekend to look at the pitman vs. idler alignment and whether or not any play is there.
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1995 E34 540ia
155,000 Miles
VIN# ...GF32404
Hellrot Red

Fuelly

My Basic Repair History (Edited 4/7/2014)

Ongoing comparison between two E34 540ia's

OBC4 Hidden Functions : Link 1, Link 2
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  #8  
Old 08-19-2014, 12:17 PM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I am thinking of replacing the left and right tie rod assemblies and leaving the center rod assembly alone.
I agree that things will go bad with ripped and cracked boots.
Everything is so tight right now, I am tempted to adhere to the "If it ain't broke don't fix it" axiom.
I can order Lemforder tie rod assemblies for $46.25 each from autohausAz.

The center assembly they have is Pex brand for $134.25
Changing only the left and right tie rod assemblies would be easy and inexpensive.
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  #9  
Old 08-27-2014, 06:08 AM
capricornbmw capricornbmw is offline
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For suspension components, stick to Lemforder, Meyle, Meyle HD (where available), BMW, and nothing else. Not worth it.
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  #10  
Old 08-27-2014, 07:32 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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I agree. Pex gets mixed reviews.
I do not understand why AutohausAz does not carry a Lemforder center tie rod but only the outer.
The Lemforder center is about the same price.
I used Meyle for the thrust arms.

I am researching tires now.
Have the cheap Primewell,s from Wheel Works on now. They did not wear well.
Michelin Pilot Exalta A/S are getting good reviews.
225/60-15 is the original equipment size.
Any suggestions for reasonably priced tires?

I am still contemplating doing nothing to the tie rods.
There is no play, that so ever…..even though a boot is torn.

I will have an alignment when the new tires go on and ask for a full inspection and an opinion.
You get unlimited alignments for a year after the initial one.
I may use that option to monitor the tie rods and if I decide to instal new ones , I will not have to pay for an alignment.
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  #11  
Old 08-27-2014, 08:07 AM
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TheEinstein TheEinstein is offline
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Mein Auto: E34 540i
Agreed on the, often higher priced, OEM brands of suspension parts. Material compositions, tolerances, experiences, those are things to pay for.

As for tires, I ended up getting Pirelli P4 tires recently. Had two or three sets of P.O.S. Khumo tires. DO NOT USE KHUMO!! Thank me later. The P4's were substantially cheaper, but I had to drop to 205 instead of 215. I figure 5mm either side of tread probably wouldn't compromise the safety of my average drive. And being in CO, I thought it may help with deep snow traction. So far, those tires are wearing great. Oh, I think they were something like $65 a tire, maybe closer to $50. I'd have to look, it was about a year ago, and my recent rotation inspection said everything was wearing on pace with mileage.

Edit, got curious so I checked.

TireCrazy.com - Pirelli P4

I paid $63 when I got em.

Those interested in tires: Tire Crazy.com - 215 60 15
__________________
1995 E34 540ia
155,000 Miles
VIN# ...GF32404
Hellrot Red

Fuelly

My Basic Repair History (Edited 4/7/2014)

Ongoing comparison between two E34 540ia's

OBC4 Hidden Functions : Link 1, Link 2

Last edited by TheEinstein; 08-27-2014 at 08:25 AM. Reason: Receipt found
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  #12  
Old 08-27-2014, 12:35 PM
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E34ZombieHunter E34ZombieHunter is offline
Nothin like an E34
Location: Lillington NC
 
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Mein Auto: 95 540i B/B
For stock tire size i have Faulken tires from discount tire and LOVE them, installed 350$ lifetime balance rotation and all that jazz. Plus they remounted the spare with the best tire from the ones i was replacing and balanced it.
They have a great amount of grip, low road noise, and an all around great tire, does very well in the rain. Had them for almost 7k now.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2014, 11:15 AM
Larrick Larrick is offline
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Mein Auto: 1994 525it
I called Discount tires and they are pushing UniRoyal Tiger Paw as their best suggestion
for my needs. $99 + $15 balance an mount.
Big O wants $117 + $20 balance and mount. (they are literally around the corner)
I asked Big to match price and am waiting to here.
Pirelli P4 only go to 215 and I want to have all the same size. I may only get new front tires since rears have considerable life left in them.
Discount tire said they can get anything I want but recommend the UniRoyal.
Has anyone used them?
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2014, 02:37 PM
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sea6speed sea6speed is online now
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Discount tire said they can get anything I want
Tell them you want high performance summer tires and see what they say...
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