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1999 323 convertible, 109K miles. Front control arm bushings are shot. A lot of slop in each. But the car drives great! No shimmy, no shake, steers straight and maintains direction even with no hands on the wheel. No abnormal tire wear. So.....Do I fix it when it ain't broke? I'm nervous about tampering with a great handling car.
 

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Yes you should replace them. Most likely you can feel the ‘slop’ or play on initial application of the brakes, especially as you are coming to a stop at lower speeds.


1995M3 offset Forward Lower Control Arm Bushings (FLCAB) work well, but best combined with Forward Lower Control Arms with solid outer ball joints. E30, 1995M3, or Meyle FLCAs all work well with these.


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Yes, replace them and get an alignment afterward. It's worth taking a close look at the rear trailing arm bushings, too. When my FCABs failed, my car didn't have any vibrations or other tracking issues, but I could feel a thud in the steering wheel when I tapped the brakes at low speed. This was because the control arm was moving in the bushing housing. With 109k miles, if the suspension hasn't been overhauled, your rear trailing arm bushings are almost certainly shot, too. Mine were complete toast when I bought the car with 94k miles on it.
 

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It wont vibrate,but the alignment will shift while turning. Could be trouble in hard rain or ice and snow.


With bad RTABs, the alignment will shift under moderate straight line acceleration/decelerations in the lower gears, causing the car to ‘shift’ to one side under acceleration and ‘shift’ back on throttle ‘lift’.


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