Non OEM components for front end ??? - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums

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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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Old 01-01-2013, 06:06 AM
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diggyd357 diggyd357 is offline
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Location: Louisiana
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Mein Auto: 97 528I
Non OEM components for front end ???

Okay, Im sure I will get blasted for this, but here goes....
Im considering doing something against my better judgement and Im just curious as to if anyone has any EXPERIENCE with using non OEM parts on a front end. I obviously know everyone's opinion on the subject, but wanna know if anyone here has actually installed these parts....and if so will they admit it here lol.... As much as I can't stand the idea of ridding around on cheap; Chinese made tie rods, control arm and balljoints Im at a point where continuing to drive my car like it is may be a worse idea than the cheaper parts. I can get a complete set for front end rebuild for $209 on ebay verses $1000 for OEM. Under normal circumstances Id just save up or charge it on the old American Express, but I have 2 teenage kids....Christmas was expensive and I am broke lol....
So what Id like to know from somebody that has installed the non OEM parts is :
did they fit good ?
Is there a noticeable difference in the "ride" of the car ?
How long did they last ?
If they're still on your car , for how long ?
what's your overall opinion of them ?

Thanks guys....and try not to rip on me too bad. Happy NEW YEAR !!!
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Old 01-01-2013, 06:59 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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If you do a search, you will find many examples of alternative aftermarket front end suspension parts. When new, I doubt many could tell the performance difference. The primary difference appears in durability, or the lack thereof. Sometimes the low cost parts fail within 20K, usually one or two balljoints and not a complete system failure. If you DIY, this is a good stopgap measure, since OEM will run $1200 for the entire front end. If you send it out, stay with OEM, as the cost of labor for redoing work will offset any parts savings. Another thing to consider is a midrange part. Meyle makes suspension components for about $500 (FCP Groton). These may last a bit longer than the eBay clones you get for $200 (you get what you pay for). You may also want to consider replacing the struts and selective suspension arms (those with signs of failure) to maximize ROI.
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Old 01-01-2013, 09:31 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 530iA
The 200$ parts will cost you around 350$ if you do the alignment as well.

If only the bushing are bad, you could get by, by pressing Meyle HD bushings in. They were around 60$, not sure what the price is now.
The balljoints usually last a very long time.

And Happy New Year to you too.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:14 AM
vavet5308 vavet5308 is offline
Location: Mechanicsville, VA
Join Date: Dec 2005
Posts: 631
Mein Auto: 2002 525it
I recently rebuilt both the front and rear end using mostly Moog components I bought on amazon. The exceptions were the tie rods and the front control arm for the rear suspension (the one adjusted for toe setting). These parts are not made my moog, so I used alternate suppliers.

The moog components appear to be high quality and fit well. The only issue I had was with the ball joint stud on the thrust arm. It had no recessed hex head to allow the stud to be held while the nut was tightened like the OE part.

I can't comment on longevity because I only have a couple hundred miles on the parts so far. One of the other members here reo11, told me he installed moog a few years ago and they've held up well.
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Old 01-01-2013, 10:53 AM
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Flybot Flybot is offline
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Mein Auto: '98 528
I personally would not go with ebay cheap sets. I think the rubber bushing is where the quality gets hurt.

I think a lot of suspension follow up reviews where they say the bushing failed after 15K miles or so may be at least partly due to improper installation. Most (all?) of the bushings are clamped in place and the suspension part rotates around them flexing the rubber with it. It is essential that you tighten the bushings in their resting (weight on wheels) position. If you tighten them with the suspension fully hanging down, then lower the car, they will be in a twist while at rest and failure will come quick.

An easy way to accomplish this is to measure from the wheel arch to the center of the hub while on the ground. Then use a jack to raise the suspension to the prescribed hight while you tighten down the bushings. There is a whole debate related to this task, as far as taking the measurement with X amount of gas, sandbagging the weight of driver and passengers, etc. to capture the correct ride height.


Last edited by Flybot; 01-01-2013 at 10:56 AM.
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