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Discussion Starter #1
Just rained last night in SF Bay area, and driving my car after the rain stopped, noticed a "loose" sounding clunk coming from the front left suspension that I never experienced before. It came when driving over the speed humps in my apt complex - an everyday experience.

My wife took the car into BMW Concord this morning, and they took it for a test drive. They think it is a control arm busing. They are trying to diagnose and get it fixed by 2pm today (great service).

Question to others - is this common? I don't recall too many failures at such a low mileage. My previous 2000 323ci didn't have this issue, even after 3 years 35K miles.

Strange...
 

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The bushings are a common failure on the e46. But, you're right, they usually last longer than 15k. I think people typically have to replace them around 50k.
 

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2001 330Ci with 28K, just had them replaced. Honestly, I thought I was just be a little crazy, the clunking sound was really light....barely noticable, I just mentioned it because it was (suppose to be) my last service. They replaced my bushing. :dunno:
 

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chrischeung said:
Just rained last night in SF Bay area, and driving my car after the rain stopped, noticed a "loose" sounding clunk coming from the front left suspension that I never experienced before. It came when driving over the speed humps in my apt complex - an everyday experience.

My wife took the car into BMW Concord this morning, and they took it for a test drive. They think it is a control arm busing. They are trying to diagnose and get it fixed by 2pm today (great service).

Question to others - is this common? I don't recall too many failures at such a low mileage. My previous 2000 323ci didn't have this issue, even after 3 years 35K miles.

Strange...
Do you have sport or standard suspension?
 

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They start going bad around 10K, but will last a lot longer, depending on how tolerant you are of front end slop. A lot of the time, they aren't diagnosed until you start getting gunshot noises.
 

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I have a '00 323i with standard suspention. 62k and both front control arms are in need of replacement. I went to the local Import place to order the parts. The parts guy started smiling. He said he gets this request so much he knows the part #'s by memory.

Fist thing I noticed was a rubbing/grinding front suspention type noise when going over speed bumps slowly in the parking lots.

I'm going to replace the control arms while I'm at it. They are just a few more bucks and the ball joints are built into the control arms. Total estimate with parts is less than $700.00. Bushings alone would cost over 400 with out the control arm install.
 

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Chrischeung. I replaced the right side control arm a few months
ago. The left control arm was replaced by the privious owner.
I didn't have any noises or loose feeling steering. The service
technition noticed it when I had the car in for a oil change. I
thought they corrected the problem by now. :dunno:
 

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Pure Natural BMW Muscle!
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Just some helpful note to all the control arm in need guys.


I need to replace my cars bushings as well, and after doing some research I found the following interesting things:

1. Control arms and control arm bushings are made by ..bling bling Lemforder.
A control arm + bushing costs $210+VAT from the BMW dealer.

Lemforder sells the EXACT THING(hey,they make it, and pass it to BMW to use) for abit more than half the price.

I am talking about the latest control arm + the improved bushing.

So, I am sure that I wont be taking my car to the dealer to do the job.

I will take it to a local specialist, and to a good alignment place after that to fix the alignment.

Those who need to know the correct alignment figures of the E46 they are here:
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=72444

Those who wanyt to contacl Lemforder to find their nearest agent, you can find them here:
http://www.zf-trading.com/direkt.php?link=owx_9_31644_2_6_0_00000000000000.html


I hope that I helped.
Also, the following models get THE SAME control arms, so at e or another, all will have a control arm issue:

some tim<TABLE cellSpacing=2 cellPadding=1 width="100%" border=0>*******><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 318 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>87/ 118</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1895</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 43 B 19</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>02/98 - 09/01</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 328 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>142/ 193</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2793</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 28</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>02/98 - 06/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 320 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>100/ 136</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1951</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 47 D 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/98 - 09/01</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 323 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 25 (Vanos)</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/98 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 320 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1991</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B (20 6 S3) Vanos</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/98 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 316 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>77/ 105</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1895</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/98 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 330 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>135/ 184</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2926</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 57 D 30</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>10/99 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 330 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>170/ 231</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2979</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 320 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2171</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 325 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 316 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>77/ 105</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1596</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 43 B 16 (16 4 E3)</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 318 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>105/ 143</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 320 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 318 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 116</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1951</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 316 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 115</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1796</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 18</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>02/02 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 (E46) 330 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>150/ 204</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2993</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Modell --><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 323 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 25 (Vanos)</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/99 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 328 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>142/ 193</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2793</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 28</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/99 - 06/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 320 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1991</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>08/99 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 318 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>87/ 118</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1895</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 43 B 19</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>11/99 - 09/01</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 330 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>170/ 231</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2979</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 320 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2171</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 325 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 316 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>77/ 105</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1596</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 43 B 16 (16 4 E3)</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 318 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>105/ 143</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 330 Cd</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>150/ 204</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2993</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Coupe (E46) 320 Cd</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>11/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Modell --><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 320 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1991</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B (20 6 S3) Vanos</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>10/99 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 318 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>87/ 118</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1895</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 43 B 19</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>10/99 - 09/01</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 328 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>142/ 193</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2793</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 28</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>10/99 - 06/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 320 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>100/ 136</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1951</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 47 D 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/00 - 09/01</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 330 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>135/ 184</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2926</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 57 D 30</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>10/99 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 330 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>170/ 231</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2979</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 320 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2171</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 325 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 320 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 318 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>105/ 143</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 316 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 115</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1796</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 18</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/02 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 318 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 115</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1951</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/02 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Touring (E46) 330 d</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>150/ 204</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2993</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Modell --><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Cabriolet (E46) 323 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>M 52 B 25 (Vanos)</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>04/00 - 09/00</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Cabriolet (E46) 330 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>170/ 231</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2979</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Cabriolet (E46) 320 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>125/ 170</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2171</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Cabriolet (E46) 325 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/00 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Cabriolet (E46) 318 Ci</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>105/ 143</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Modell --><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Compact (E46) 316 ti</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 115</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1796</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 18</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Compact (E46) 325 ti</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>06/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Compact (E46) 318 ti</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>105/ 143</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>N 42 B 20</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Compact (E46) 320 td</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>110/ 150</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>09/01 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>3 Compact (E46) 318 td</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>85/ 115</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>1995</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>03/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Modell --><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>Z4 3.0 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>170/ 231</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2979</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>02/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><!-- Typen --><TR><TD vAlign=top noWrap>Z4 2.5 i</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>141/ 192</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>2494</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>-</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap>02/03 - /</TD><TD vAlign=top noWrap></TD></TR><TR><TD colSpan=7>
</TD></TR>********></TABLE>
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I have the sport suspension

Car came back - good as new!
 
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