Front Control Arms replacement - DIY - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-25-2020, 05:59 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Front Control Arms replacement - DIY

Just replaced wishbone and control arm on both sides of car. Car has 82K miles on it, and control arm bushings had been done at around 40K. I also plan to do full tie-rod assembly next, but I may take a detour and replace brake calipers first prior to finishing the front end. They are just plain ugly. cant stand them.

Car has 82K and was handling just fine, didn't feel any slop after replacing sway bar bushings and end links, BUT this definitely tightened up steering and I have no regrets on spending the money. When using hands to move ball joints around, you can tell the original ball joints had about 50% - 70% of the force of the new ones. Really kind of hard to gauge, and no way to tell how much the bushing had remaining.


Once again used all Lemforder parts, they have very similar markings to original BMW factory parts.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #2  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:01 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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The right side was done first. Here are the parts for comparison. Original Factory -vs- Lemforder.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #3  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:06 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I used this tool to separate shock. The tools value is dubious. You also need a BFH. on the right side, i was able to use a rubber mallet. the left side, had to get more creative. that beotch did not want to seperate. I spend at least an hour just being gentle. when I finally sucumbed to the fact that gentle wasn't going to do it, i pulled out the lead pipe, laid it on top of strut pinch to protect everthing from the blows of the really BIG BFH. That did the trick and no parts were harmed. Oh and getting that side back in, OMG, also very hard. finally used this tool and jammed it into the pinch opening so that the shock could get put back into place. The shock is pretty new, and gonna need some touch up paint.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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Old 01-25-2020, 06:15 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I did the right side first. And left the tie rod on. Well, this makes it harder to clean everything up. So learned that lesson and on the left side also removed tie-rod ball joint so I could haul the wheel bearing carrier out of the garage so it could be cleaned up with power washer and all the other great things like brushes, green cleaner, and aluminum cleaner for that, I found Duragloss 853 works great. Use the green stuff to get it as close as possible, and finish up with the Duragloss. it takes several coats of duragloss, when it starts foaming white, you know you are getting close. protect what bolts you are not gonna replace. I think the duragloss reacts with the zinc that is in the bolts.


Here shown, everything removed. Gotta say the front is much easier to do than the back. Except for the damn shocks!
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #5  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:20 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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One other hint, when you start using the BFH, what ever size, be ready for the bearing carrier to fall. once it breaks loose, it will fall. Here are some photos of everything ready to go back in after the duragloss treatment. Dang that hub and bearing are ugly. almost cant wait for them to go out so I have an excuse to replace them.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:23 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Here are some photos of everything back in. nice and new and pretty. but its not all about looks, BMW never was. it also handles great too!
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #7  
Old 01-25-2020, 06:31 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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while at it, replaced the mud flap underbody protectors and the tie-rod assembly protectors. Factories had seen better, cleaner days.


Tie-rods to follow, but may tackle those fugly brake calipers first, because I think I can get away with not aligning car yet (dont drive it much), but once those tie-rods go on, its going in for alignment. The car still drives straight after replacing rear and front suspension components, but none of the factories were broken, so for all those reasons I think I can get away with out aligning yet. I have some other things to do, that may require me to remove suspension parts again, and that would just bring me back to the alignment rack. for example, a pesky oil leak that I can't locate. think it may be the dip stick tube. if it is the upper oil pan, then the front sub-frame is likely coming off. Hopefully before any of that occurs, I'll have found my dream M6 and can use it to make parts store runs.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #8  
Old 01-25-2020, 07:02 AM
TheObjectivist TheObjectivist is offline
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Wow - I suspect youve one of the cleanest rides on the forum. Even your rotors look absolutely flawless/new

I agree with your take on the carrier spreader. Nothing more than a single purpose tool youll never use again (that doesnt even work as well as a thin pry tool which has many uses)

Great post too - I love when members document their journeys
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  #9  
Old 01-25-2020, 07:53 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Thx, I work from home or walk to my office, so I can stay out of the rain, that and having a lift helps keep it clean. Lol on the tool, it did save me on the reinstall tho. The rotors are brand new BMW rotors, recently did those. didn't bother doing a DIY because there is already an excellent one on this board that I could never match and had no additional tips that I could add. That is why I'm itching to get to the calipers, to match those pretty rotors!

Now if I could just figure out how hard it to get to the dip-stick tube retaining bolt. it appears it is on back side of engine block, not sure if it can be accessed very easily.
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2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #10  
Old 01-25-2020, 02:54 PM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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That front end is going to feel nice and tight.

Question:

When I replaced the sway bar up links in my e60 recently I drove the car up on Rhino ramps to do the job.

Regarding the lower control arms you replaced, is it mandatory for the vehicle to be on frame jack stands with "NO" load on the lower control arms in order to replace them?

Could you have replaced the lower control arms with a load on the lower control arms by driving the vehicle up on Rhino ramps?
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2020, 07:31 AM
twh twh is online now
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You cannot tighten the control arm bolts unless the control arm is pre-loaded. If you do, the rubber in the control arm will be tightened too far from it's "normal" position while sitting on the ground. The result will be subjecting the rubber in the control arm to excessive movement and subsequent failure. Driving the car up on to a Rhino ramp and tightening it is fine. That how I did mine as well.
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  #12  
Old 01-26-2020, 08:28 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twh View Post
You cannot tighten the control arm bolts unless the control arm is pre-loaded. If you do, the rubber in the control arm will be tightened too far from it's "normal" position while sitting on the ground. The result will be subjecting the rubber in the control arm to excessive movement and subsequent failure. Driving the car up on to a Rhino ramp and tightening it is fine. That how I did mine as well.
Good point, I forgot to mention that key thing. I didn't mention torque specs either. Both of these can be found in the on-line TIS, which one should definitely refer to a minimum. I use that and the Bently manual and study both before ever removing one bolt. Usually back at home at the desk. Then order parts, all new bolts and nuts as specified, and sometimes new ones anyway because I am going for a total factory restore (with-in reason).

This thread was more to help fill in what the TIS and Bently leave out, which is nice clean photos, and some of the issues you'll run into along the way, that they never mention.

What I did for that torquing down the points which attach to the subframe, is to measure ride height before lifting the car. It was 14" from center of hub to fender lip. (it may vary, so be sure to measure it). When I was ready to torque, I moved car closer to earth, and jacked up the hub back to a 14" measurement. From there, torqued. Ramps would work great too, or even better, a 4 point ramp car lift. That would give you plenty of room to get leverage for those big torque values. Did the same on the rears as well, forgot to mention that in that DIY as well.
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2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #13  
Old 01-26-2020, 09:00 AM
twh twh is online now
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Good job
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  #14  
Old 02-03-2020, 05:59 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Finished up with the front end today. Got the tie rod assemblies done. This is a very easy job. My biggest concern was having access to the tie-rod boot, but that is not an issue. Here are a few of the tools you'll need
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:01 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Here are some comparison shots. Factory on left, new Lemforder on right. Everything nearly identical except slit in outer tie rod end and the nut, which is smaller. My measurement came in at 9-1/2" on both sides. Good enough to get me to the alignment rack.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue

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Old 02-03-2020, 06:04 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Here is a shot of the right side taken apart. I was curious what was inside the steering hole, so these are a few shots using the boroscope. wanted to make sure anti-seize wasn't gonna make its way into other fluids. all safe to apply.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:06 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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O-Ring replaced. Couldn't find a part number, so ended up buying Uro boots just to get the o-rings. figured they were about the cost of what BMW would have charged anyway. Factory is the thin one. Probably just worn down after all these years of being compressed.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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Old 02-03-2020, 06:08 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Here are 3 examples of the boots and hardware. Uro on left, Lemforder middle, factory right. The uro hardware was not at all similar to factory which used the normal aluminum stuff, Lemforder very similar. Probably why the Uro was much less. The Uro boot plastic is also thinner and feels cheaper.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue

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Old 02-03-2020, 06:10 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Some shots of the final installation with all Lemforder parts except the o-ring seen above. Also a couple of shots of the left side, much better photo than what is in the TIS or Bently!
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue

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Old 02-03-2020, 06:17 PM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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I have replaced all the suspension and steering parts now. The tires are making a bit of a howling noise going down the road. Time for an alignment. Had mentioned previously that I thought I could get away w/o alignment if I didn't touch tie-rods, but that wasn't true. Was just really tired when I drove the car home from the garage, and didn't notice the tires howling. They sound like over-sized pick-up truck tires that someone puts on for heavy duty four wheeling. not normal.


Rear suspension rebuild:

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1359785


Sway bar endlinks:
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1358537


Brake calipers next

https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sh....php?t=1366369
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue

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  #21  
Old 02-04-2020, 07:53 AM
scottalexander scottalexander is offline
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Your car has 82,000 miles on it. I saw your old tie rods pictures.

After removing the tie rods you would have examined the ball joint at one end of the tie rod. Did you move the ball joint with your hand and get a feel for the play, wear, damage to it?

If so, how badly worn was it?

Did you say to yourself I could have replaced these tie rods at 50,000 miles?
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  #22  
Old 02-04-2020, 08:05 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottalexander View Post
Your car has 82,000 miles on it. I saw your old tie rods pictures.

After removing the tie rods you would have examined the ball joint at one end of the tie rod. Did you move the ball joint with your hand and get a feel for the play, wear, damage to it?

If so, how badly worn was it?

Did you say to yourself I could have replaced these tie rods at 50,000 miles?
Yes, I did compare movement. I'd say they had 50-80% of the force of the new ones. really hard to tell w/o proper test equipment. my car has seen mostly highway miles, so those joints are not seeing a lot of hard forces placed on them. The entire car is very tightened up compared to what it was. Probably the sum of the parts. Did every suspension component and steering component that I could get my hands on, including sway bar bushings. If anything, I'd say the sway bar bushings are the biggest bang for the buck, easy to do and don't cost much. that will get you hooked!
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2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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  #23  
Old 02-04-2020, 08:16 AM
drumbeat drumbeat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheObjectivist View Post
Wow - I suspect youve one of the cleanest rides on the forum. Even your rotors look absolutely flawless/new
I'll have to second that statement! Where the heck do you live? There is not a speck of rust anywhere! My car is from Florida, but I can still find some oxidation in places. That thing is like new!
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:28 AM
SunglassesGuy SunglassesGuy is offline
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Originally Posted by drumbeat View Post
I'll have to second that statement! Where the heck do you live? There is not a speck of rust anywhere! My car is from Florida, but I can still find some oxidation in places. That thing is like new!
Ya, its in good shape. I started restoring it about a year ago. At that time, I decided I could let it go at a fraction of what it was really worth, and buy a new car, or have fun restoring it and drive a Certified Pre-Owned at a fraction of the price. Started with rear window gaskets, sunroof gasket, headlight retainers, floor mats, roundel, misc little missing part, windshield cowl, driver heated mirror, front fender liners, headlight gaskets, probably missing a few things. It just kept looking better and better!

Then on to brakes/rotors where I discovered a bad rear wheel bearing. That's what triggered the suspension rebuild. That, and a road trip to look at an old car for sale and I could feel the car wandering a bit at highway speeds. Mentioned to my wife I was probably in need of suspension parts. At the time, knew nothing about BMW suspensions and figured I was in for a trip to the Indy. Far easier than I imagined that day, thanks to this board. One thing just led to another. I'm looking forward to getting the headlight lenses cleared up. They are not bad, but not looking factory fresh either.
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Jim from Austin
2004 BMW E60, N62, GA6HP26Z, Dynamic Drive, Sport Pak, Logic 7, Bilstein B8's, Ti Silver
2009 BMW E63 M6, Sapphire Black
1990 Pontiac Firebird Formula, T-Tops, 305 TPI, Maui Blue
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Old 02-04-2020, 08:35 AM
alphaphoenix alphaphoenix is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SunglassesGuy View Post
Ya, its in good shape. I started restoring it about a year ago. At that time, I decided I could let it go at a fraction of what it was really worth, and buy a new car, or have fun restoring it and drive a Certified Pre-Owned at a fraction of the price. Started with rear window gaskets, sunroof gasket, headlight retainers, floor mats, roundel, misc little missing part, windshield cowl, driver heated mirror, front fender liners, headlight gaskets, probably missing a few things. It just kept looking better and better!

Then on to brakes/rotors where I discovered a bad rear wheel bearing. That's what triggered the suspension rebuild. That, and a road trip to look at an old car for sale and I could feel the car wandering a bit at highway speeds. Mentioned to my wife I was probably in need of suspension parts. At the time, knew nothing about BMW suspensions and figured I was in for a trip to the Indy. Far easier than I imagined that day, thanks to this board. One thing just led to another. I'm looking forward to getting the headlight lenses cleared up. They are not bad, but not looking factory fresh either.
Your whip is in REALLY good shape! This is exactly what I am doing with my e60. Everything is getting updated, upgraded, rebuilt, buffed and much more.
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