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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E36 (1991 - 1999)

E36 (1991 - 1999)
The E36 chassis 3-Series BMW was a huge hit among driving enthusiasts from the first moment the car hit the pavement. The E36 won numerous awards over the years it was produced and is still a favorite of many BMW enthusiasts to this day! -- View the E36 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-01-2012, 03:13 PM
Bimmer325ipat Bimmer325ipat is offline
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front suspension

i just have a few questions about what i should get, my right front inner ball joint is starting to go it has some play in it and it clunks occasionally so im planning on getting it replaced. im just not sure what control arms i should buy. im going to go ahead and replace both front lower arms which obviously come with both ball joints on each i just dont know what kind to get i know meyle are supposed to be the best but im not sure if pying the extra is really worth it, i found a kit on ******************.com that is 120 bucks for both control arms tie rods and sway bar links whcih is incredibly cheap but i have no idea if theyre any good if anybody has any input it would be great thanks.
http://www.******************.com/sk...gs+Best+Seller
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  #2  
Old 11-01-2012, 03:16 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Firstly, Meyle is not regarded as the best available. They're the 2nd best, and Lemforder is the top of the heap. Secondly, do NOT buy cheap no-name control arms. They will fail prematurely and you'll be right back where you started. A number of us (myself included) did just that and had to re-do our suspensions because of faulty parts. Meyle isn't bad, but if it were my car, I'd use only Lemforder for the control arms.

Left control arm: LINK
Right control arm: LINK

You'll probably want to replace your control arm bushings and sway bar links while you're in there. Possibly your tie rods, too. If those parts all have a lot of miles on them, it makes a lot more sense to just replace them all at once and pay for only one alignment, rather than replacing one part now, paying for an alignment, and then having something else fail on your a few months down the road and have to pay for another alignment (and deal with the added inconvenience of replacing the part).
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Last edited by ZeGerman; 11-01-2012 at 03:20 PM.
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  #3  
Old 11-01-2012, 03:38 PM
Bimmer325ipat Bimmer325ipat is offline
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thanks you really just confirmed what i already believed with the cheap parts i have no desire to be right back at square one in 6 months needing new control arms. im definitely going to do the bushings and probably the sway bar links they have to come off anyways do you know anywhere online to get the bushings already in a new bracket that are decent bushings?
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  #4  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:34 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Hmmm... You can get an overhaul kit here with Meyle parts with the bushings installed into the carrier brackets:

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/dealoftheday.asp

But like I said, I prefer Lemforder parts for this kind of thing, and I don't know off the top of my head where you can get a Lemforder kit with the busings pre-installed. But, you can get them at FCP without the bushings pre-installed:

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...e36-e36cakit8l

Another thing to note is that if you think you can hold off, I bet there will be a lot of big sales on parts between Thanksgiving and Christmas. That's when all the vendors roll out their big holiday deals to entice people to buy. That said, if your ball joint is making noise, I would consider that to be a safety issue, so it's probably smarter to replace it now for the sake of being safe on the road.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #5  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:47 PM
Bimmer325ipat Bimmer325ipat is offline
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yea im a little worried about the ball joint i had one fall out on me on a grand marquis a few years ago it never made any clunks or showed any signs that i noticed luckily i was turning into my driveway when it happened. im not too willing to tempt fate a second time
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  #6  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:52 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Better safe than sorry. Time to get them replaced.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #7  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:54 PM
Bimmer325ipat Bimmer325ipat is offline
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im going to buy the lemforder kit on fcpeuro that comes with the sway bar links then get the bushings separetely, thanks for the input.
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  #8  
Old 11-01-2012, 04:56 PM
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Smart choice.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #9  
Old 11-01-2012, 07:51 PM
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r33p04s r33p04s is offline
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quick question...recently replaced my arms with meyle hd units...why would you say the lemforders are better than the meyle? i had read somewhere that the meyle hd had a better ball joint design...may be making it up in my head just curious (a little too late for my car, but it went on without issue and had great fit n finish no issues so far)
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  #10  
Old 11-02-2012, 03:56 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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The Meyle HD control arms do have a ball joint which is different than the Lemforder units, but that doesn't necessarily make it better. Despite Meyle's claims of producing "HD" products, I know numerous people locally who've experienced Meyle products failing considerably sooner than Lemforder parts. Lemforder is just regarded as being of higher quality, which is why they cost more than Meyle parts.
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #11  
Old 11-02-2012, 05:07 PM
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r33p04s r33p04s is offline
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true different =/= better

and i actually did a quick check and the lemforder bits are priced equal to meyle hd on fcp...doh!

Last edited by r33p04s; 11-02-2012 at 05:09 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-02-2012, 05:19 PM
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ZeGerman ZeGerman is online now
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Yeah, I wouldn't worry about it too much, though. Meyle control arms are pretty decent, just not the absolute best. They should last you a good while, likely up to 65-75k miles, whereas the Lemforders will last closer to 90-100k miles (based on what I've heard).
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1998 BMW 328is
1966 Pontiac GTO
2007 Subaru Impreza 2.5i 5-door
View my photos: Caught in the Wild
For sale: E30/E36 front sway links
For sale: OEM E36 328 catback
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2012, 06:13 PM
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r33p04s r33p04s is offline
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I'm not too bothered by it I just prefer to buy the best once, set it and forget it...when I put them in, they show like properly made bits so I'm not too worried about longevity (though that extra 15-35k buffer would be nice)

o well
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  #14  
Old 11-02-2012, 09:03 PM
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Meyle HDs have been touted as having an all metal construction, something the Lemforders cannot claim. I would use either without concern.
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