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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 03-07-2013, 05:46 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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Could use a little advice - Steering/Suspension/Brake related

I have a 2005 325i sedan with a manual transmission (odo 68k miles). I was on the fence to sell it and get a new one, but then I drove them and just didn't love them enough over my beloved E46 to undergo years of sizable car payments. Particularly since I have low miles. But my E46 is due for some TLC...

In the past I've done rotors and pads and one caliper (rear) because it had seized up. I've also done brake fluid, oil and filters. That's it in 5 years (2008 - 2013). I am experiencing some general wobbles in the suspension/steering. When I brake going down hill it shimmies and pulsates. It does not do that on the flat, so I don't think it is rotors warped. Finally it yanks to the left briefly when I apply the brakes. It's a gentle yank and has no hold on te direction of the car but feel it in the steering wheel.

I bought some 17" alloys that are pretty nice from tire rack with continental summer tread tires. I'd like to address these steering and suspension issues and any other maintenance items and then I'll be set to love my car for another year.

What should I change? Control arm bushings? Whole control arm? Other bits? Please tell me everything you'd recommend for a good and thorough "Come-to-Jesus" maintenance for the old girl. I very much value your opinions and am grateful in advance for the time you take to answer my questions.
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  #2  
Old 03-07-2013, 06:27 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Diagnose!
There are tests laid out on youtube for ball joints and CAB's. Do the tests to learn exactly what you need. I'd guess CAB's at a min, but don't you guess. At 68K miles I'd guess you do not need ball joints. Prob CAB's will cure what ails you.
Check shocks too to make sure you have no leaks.

Oh, and BTW, I'd recommend polyurethane CAB's for crisp steering and a long life.

Where in PA?

Have you read the important points in the Wiki?

Last edited by GoForthFast; 03-07-2013 at 06:30 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-07-2013, 06:40 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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Hi, I did read the WiKi and it is awesome. I've yet to get at it as it is still cruddy weather and cold. Can I do those tests with just one corner jacked up? I'm about an hour north of Pittsburgh.

Thanks!
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  #4  
Old 03-08-2013, 05:27 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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If you use an indy mechanic, I would ask them to put the car on their lift. Best way to diagnose all suspension issues and see if you have any leaks, etc. You can then decide to have them fix it or do it yourself.

BTW - I suspect control arm bushings as well. If you decide not to go with poly bushings, the Meyle HD CABS are a good value for the money. I put them on my car and have been very pleased.
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  #5  
Old 03-08-2013, 09:43 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Meyle good too!

You could put your car up on JackStands in the front to do the tests. NOT the car jack.
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  #6  
Old 03-08-2013, 09:55 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I don't mean to hi-jack this thread, but where do you buy the Meyle HD CABS? Excellent topic!!
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  #7  
Old 03-09-2013, 10:15 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Lot's of places: http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-18...dels-pair.aspx

Not highjacking; we were talking about CAB's.

And in the future, bookmark www.furiousmethod.com for a list of actionable vendors to search for parts.

Last edited by GoForthFast; 03-09-2013 at 10:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old 03-10-2013, 05:12 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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I bought my Meyle HD CABs at oembimmerparts.com. Cost was $84.95 and free shipping.
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  #9  
Old 03-10-2013, 08:17 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Would replacing the front CABs helps the front suspension tighter? My car drives straight and no shimmy of any kinds, but sometimes, I feel as though I am driving on ice. Yes, like I am driving icy road when it's only water. I would have to have both hands on the steering wheel when driving... The previous owner replaced the lower control arms and ball joints and did not have the alignment done. So the first thing that I did after purchased the car, I sent it in to have the alignment done. No indications from the alignment shop that I needed anything else done.

Oh, he did not replaced the sway bar end links.... I would wondering if this would help with my case?

Thanks,
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  #10  
Old 03-10-2013, 11:28 AM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Interesting! I've never heard of or experienced the feeling of driving on ice (when there wasn't any.) My CAB issues were sort of a wobble and a bit of a lag - you would step on the gas and it might take a second for the front wheel to move. Is that the feeling you are getting?

New CABs tighten things up quite a bit - removes a lot of wheel movement/slop.

Last edited by vandyboy; 03-10-2013 at 11:31 AM.
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  #11  
Old 03-10-2013, 12:15 PM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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I do get that slight lag when stepped on the gas pedal as well. I get this weird steering when I turn hard left or right... It feels like the power assist steering pump sort of went to sleep for a moment or two and then everything feels fine again.

Is is easy to replace the CABs?

Thanks
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  #12  
Old 03-10-2013, 02:27 PM
GoForthFast GoForthFast is offline
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Check out the youtube DIY
Depends upon your experience whether you'd consider easy.
Do you own tools?


New CAB's make steering wheel feel connected again.
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  #13  
Old 03-11-2013, 07:31 AM
Jat007 Jat007 is offline
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Yes, I own quite a bit of tools... Any link to the DIY on youtube you can send?

Thanks for your time.
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  #14  
Old 03-11-2013, 09:20 AM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r0gue View Post
I have a 2005 325i sedan with a manual transmission (odo 68k miles). I was on the fence to sell it and get a new one, but then I drove them and just didn't love them enough over my beloved E46 to undergo years of sizable car payments. Particularly since I have low miles. But my E46 is due for some TLC...

In the past I've done rotors and pads and one caliper (rear) because it had seized up. I've also done brake fluid, oil and filters. That's it in 5 years (2008 - 2013). I am experiencing some general wobbles in the suspension/steering. When I brake going down hill it shimmies and pulsates. It does not do that on the flat, so I don't think it is rotors warped. Finally it yanks to the left briefly when I apply the brakes. It's a gentle yank and has no hold on te direction of the car but feel it in the steering wheel.

I bought some 17" alloys that are pretty nice from tire rack with continental summer tread tires. I'd like to address these steering and suspension issues and any other maintenance items and then I'll be set to love my car for another year.

What should I change? Control arm bushings? Whole control arm? Other bits? Please tell me everything you'd recommend for a good and thorough "Come-to-Jesus" maintenance for the old girl. I very much value your opinions and am grateful in advance for the time you take to answer my questions.
This is all you need: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=932561
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  #15  
Old 03-12-2013, 04:33 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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I haven't heard anyone mention alignment in this thread or the linked threads or WiKi. Do you need to have an alignment done when you do BA Bushings? Or how about the entire Control Arm? Thx

BTW - that last link is super!
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  #16  
Old 03-12-2013, 05:33 PM
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av98 av98 is offline
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FCABs- No. A(Control)-Arms- Yes, an alignment is needed.
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  #17  
Old 03-13-2013, 03:11 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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After reading that link, I'm starting to wonder if I should just do the whole suspension (shocks/struts) since I have 68,000 miles. The author said they are generally worn out at 50k miles. Is that the general consensus for lifespan?

BTW - I am over toward Pittsburgh (Western PA). I just noticed that I hadn't answered that question. Sorry.
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  #18  
Old 03-13-2013, 04:53 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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I personally have never had struts or shocks go bad at 68k, but I live in the South. Our mild winters do not damage the roads like the weather would in the Midwest or Northeast. Having lived in the NYC/NJ area for a while, I was amazed at how badly the roads get messed up by winter.
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  #19  
Old 03-23-2013, 05:51 PM
r0gue r0gue is offline
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I did the swap today. I wanted to stop back and let you all know how I made out.

It was murder to get the old ones off, but I have rheumatoid arthritis. It wouldn't have been nearly as bad without RA. I really wish I had a lift..... but who doesn't.

I went with the Meyles and I believe they were easier to get on because they were rubber. When I pulled the old ones off, I wasn't convinced they were bad. They certainly weren't falling apart like some you see on Youtube. Anyway, I was a little worried that I was doing this for nothing. But NOPE! All fixed. I hit the brakes and the steering wheel does not wobble. And that transition bump into my garage no longer jerks the steering wheel either. I am very pleased. oembimmerparts was spectacular at getting me the parts in astoundingly - NEXT DAY! The price was excellent too and included the mounting bolts.

I did not get new bolts for the metal reinforcement plate as I didn't catch that someone recommended that (due to crash integrity) until after the fact. I may order up a set and swap them out one at a time just to feel better about the job.

My sincere thanks to all of you that helped advise me.
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  #20  
Old 03-23-2013, 06:55 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Sorry to hear about the RA - that certainly complicates any DIY job. But I am glad you liked the Meyle bushings (they were recommended on here to me, too) and they fixed your problem. Nice to get that steering tightened up, isn't it?

There are a lot of good parts places on the web, but I really like oembimmer's prices and service. Happy that you had a good experience.
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  #21  
Old 03-23-2013, 07:06 PM
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SJBimmer SJBimmer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoForthFast View Post
Diagnose!
There are tests laid out on youtube for ball joints and CAB's. Do the tests to learn exactly what you need. I'd guess CAB's at a min, but don't you guess. At 68K miles I'd guess you do not need ball joints. Prob CAB's will cure what ails you.
Check shocks too to make sure you have no leaks.

Oh, and BTW, I'd recommend polyurethane CAB's for crisp steering and a long life.

Where in PA?

Have you read the important points in the Wiki?
This^^^ Except I like Meyle, agreed with by GFF further down. Correction up. LOL
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