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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
As part of my future projects for TAB I am looking for a suspension refresh. Having gone through the Best Links, the first 500 of 997 results with the search term "suspension", and all of BlueBee started threads, I don't think there is a definitive posting on the specific levels of front suspension refresh. So for my education, the forum, and in the spirit of BlueBee:

  1. This thread is to understand the different levels of front suspension refresh, elements associated, and considerations for these levels. Specifically we will answer the following
    • What considerations go into a suspension refresh?
    • What would drive purchase of a suspension "refresh kit level" as presented below?
    • What symptoms drive refresh of certain suspension elements or "levels"?
  2. I assume there will be the equivalent for the read suspension elements (but this will vary more as I know the Tourings have a different rear suspension).
  3. As I am trying to identify the levels for the e39, I will be avoiding putting in specific part numbers as there are different part numbers for the different models. I believe the elements are the same throughout all models. I have an 03 540i, so that is the starting point.
  4. This is NOT a thread to debate the manufacturer or type of suspension parts. (e.g. Meyle HD vs. Lemforder)
  5. This is NOT a thread to source the parts from vendor (who has best price, etc.).
  6. This is NOT a thread to state what should be done while "in there". See BlueBee's thread on typical tandem DIY repair jobs for that sort of discussion.
  7. This is NOT a thread to state how to do this refresh. See CN90's DIY thread for that.
  8. For potential DIY testing of elements see Suspension diagnose & DIY basics for beginners.
  9. Help improve this thread by identifying additional details, levels, considerations and other factors.

If your e39 is exhibiting the following symptoms you should consider the below elements and levels to correct your suspension. If replacing any part of your front suspension, it is best to either do it in pairs (both left and right sides). Additionally take the time to examine other suspension elements.
  • Popping, clunking, or clicking sounds while traveling over bumps or dips in the road
    • Examine the control arms, sway bar bushings, ??Anything else?? for failure and replace as required.
  • A disconnected feeling between the steering wheel and front end of the car such as if recirculating steering is wonky
    • Examine the Steering Tie Rod Ends, Steering Center Link, Steering Idler Arm, Sway Bar Links and bushings for failure and replace as required.
    • Steering Center Link and Idler Arm are less likely to have failed from limited rubber elements.
  • Vehicle is slow to respond to steering inputs such as if recirculating steering is vague
    • Examine the Steering Tie Rod Ends, Steering Center Link, Steering Idler Arm, Sway Bar Links and bushings for failure and replace as required.
    • Steering Center Link and Idler Arm are less likely to have failed from limited rubber elements.
  • Vehicle wanders on the highway or will not drive straight
    • Is this symptomatic for Level 3 or 4?
  • Vehicle cannot be aligned properly due to play in front suspension
    • Is this symptomatic for Level 4 or 5?

Suspension Elements:
  • Bushing
    • Insert description of bushing and how it is incorporated into nearly every element listed below and is separately replaceable.
  • Front Tension Strut
    • This element keeps the entire strut assembly under constant tension.
  • Upper Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (aka Thrust Arm)
    • This element is used to ensure alignment and ride comfort.
    • Signs of failure include alignment issues, vibrations at speed or while braking.
    • Bushing service life is 60 +/- 20k miles.
    • Recommended to change entire element as ball joint has expected maximum service life of 100k. Otherwise this may result in only partial "use" of bushing.
  • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly
    • This element is used to ensure alignment and ride comfort.
    • Signs of failure include alignment issues, vibrations at speed or while braking.
    • Bushing service life is 60 +/- 20k miles.
    • Recommended to change entire element as ball joint has expected maximum service life of 100k. Otherwise this may result in only partial "use" of bushing.
  • Steering Tie Rod End
    • This element is used to ensure steering is transferred to the wheels.
    • Signs of failure include play and vagueness in steering response.
    • Tie Rod service life is 90 +/- 20k miles.
    • Alignment is strongly recommended anytime these are replaced; just short of mandatory requirement.
  • Suspension Stabilizer Bar Link
    • This element acts as a connection between the lower control arms and is used to prevent front body roll while steering.
    • Some signs of failure include clicking and rattles over bumps and decreased cornering stability.
    • Bushing service life is 60 +/- 20k miles.
    • Recommended to change entire element as ball joint has expected maximum service life of 100k. This may result in only partial "use" of bushing.
  • Steering Idler Arm
    • This element is used to provide steering accuracy.
    • Signs of failure include lack of steering accuracy, play and vagueness in steering response.
    • The expected service life is 80 +/- 20k.
  • Steering Center Link
    • This element is used to convey steering input to the other steering elements.
    • The expected service life of this element is 100k.
    • Alignment is required after replacement.
  • Front Strut Assembly
    • The strut assembly dampens the recoil of the coil spring from dips and bumps in the road.
    • Some signs of a failed strut includes knocking sounds, leaks, poor road holding, or broken brackets.
    • The service life of the OEM strut assembly is 70-120k with the lower end expected for US vehicles due to average road conditions.
  • Strut Mount
    • This element is used to secure the strut to the chassis and also acts as a pivot point.
    • With high mileage the strut bearing can fail affecting steering performance. In addition the rubber in the mount can crack causing play and other issues.
    • Replace strut mounts when installing new strut assemblies.
  • Strut Boot
    • This element is not applicable and is only identified as a potential separate item to procure based on specific Strut
  • Spring Pad
    • This element is used to ??What is this element for??
  • Collar screw
    • This element is used to ??What is this element for??
  • Self-locking collar nut
    • This element is used to ??What is this element for??
  • Front Spring
    • This element is should only be replaced if broken or failed.
    • If one (or more) of this element is broken or failed, the entire set of vehicle springs should be replaced.
    • Specific use of springs to adjust ride height for style purposes is not addressed in this thread.

Suspension Elements in "correct places"


Expected Service Life of Elements: based on additional information below, these need to be validated from manufacturers data if possible


****If you execute more than Level 0 below, the BFest Community "Recommended" Front Suspension Refresh is Level 4****

  • Level 0: Replace Parts as Required
    1. This is merely replacement of specific elements. These elements are identified in the additional levels.
    2. Level 0 is used as general maintenance and is not truly a refresh. This may be used to address specific issues as identified in the above symptoms. Most often, this is taken upon specific identification during maintenance (e.g. Service I or II).
    3. Replacement of any element (e.g. left thrust arm or bushing) should be matched with the paired element (e.g. right thrust arm or bushing).
    4. Alignment is not required for this as long as appropriate steps are taken.

  • Level 1: 4 Piece Control Arms
    1. This is a replacement of the front control arms.
    2. Level 1 is the smallest refresh and is used to as a quick reset to the suspension. Often failure of one or more control arms results in vibrations while at speed, during braking, or pops and clunks when going over bumps.
    3. This is generally recommended for "high mileage" vehicles.
    4. Alignment is not required for this as long as appropriate steps are taken. It is recommended.
    5. The following elements are associated with this refresh:
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)

  • Level 2: 6 Piece Control Arms
    1. This is a replacement of the front control arms and steering tie rods.
    2. In addition to the previous Level(s), Level 2 is used to provide correct sluggish steering responses.
    3. Alignment is recommended after conducting this refresh.
    4. The following elements are associated with this refresh:
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (left)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (right)

  • Level 3: 10 Piece Control Arms
    1. This is a replacement of the front control arms, tie rod, suspension stabilizer bar links, and steering idler arms and center link.
    2. In addition to the previous Level(s), Level 3 is used to ensure stabilization during turns and correct all steering issues presented by the front suspension.
    3. Alignment is recommended after conducting this refresh.
    4. The following elements are associated with this refresh:
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (left)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (right)
      • Suspension Stabilizer Bar Link (left)
      • Suspension Stabilizer Bar Link (right)
      • Steering Idler Arm
      • Steering Center Link

  • Level 4: 10 Piece Control Arms & Struts
    1. This is a replacement of the front control arms, tie rod, suspension stabilizer bar links, steering idler arms and center link, and struts with associated elements.
    2. This level is recommended in intervals of 80k.
    3. Alignment is recommended after conducting this refresh.
    4. Level 4 is normally referred to as the "Complete Overhaul".
    5. In addition to the previous Levels, Level4 is used to reset suspension to a "near perfect" ride.
    6. The following elements are associated with this refresh:
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Front Tension Strut Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (left)
      • Lower Control Arm Suspension Control Arm and Ball Joint Assembly (right)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (left)
      • Steering Tie Rod End (right)
      • Suspension Stabilizer Bar Link (left)
      • Suspension Stabilizer Bar Link (right)
      • Steering Idler Arm
      • Steering Center Link
      • Front Strut (left and right)
      • Strut Mount (left and right)
      • Strut Boot (depending on specific brand of strut used)
      • Spring Pad UPPER
      • Spring Pad LOWER
      • Collar screw
      • Self-locking collar nut
Description
540i​
QTY
52#/530​
QTY
Master Part #Kit Part #Master Part #Kit Part #
Repair Kit, Wishbone Set 31-12-2-157-597
1​
space
Repair kit, wishbone, left31-12-2-339-999
1​
Wishbone, left31-12-1-141-961
1​
31-12-2-341-219
1​
Collar screw31-30-3-450-534
1​
Self-locking collar nut33-32-6-760-668
1​
SELF-LOCKING HEX NUT31-10-6-769-443
1​
Washer31-10-6-779-382
1​
space
Repair kit, wishbone, right31-12-2-339-998
1​
31-12-2-341-296
1​
Wishbone, right31-12-1-141-962
1​
Collar screw31-30-3-450-534
1​
Self-locking collar nut33-32-6-760-668
1​
SELF-LOCKING HEX NUT31-10-6-769-443
1​
Washer31-10-6-779-382
1​
space
Lft traction strut without rubb.mounting31-12-1-092-609
1​
31-12-1-141-717
1​
Rght traction.strut without rubb.mountng31-12-1-092-610
1​
31-12-1-141-718
1​
LEFT TIE ROD32-21-1-091-723
1​
32-11-1-094-673
1​
RIGHT TIE ROD32-21-1-091-724
1​
32-11-1-094-674
1​
Steering arm32-21-1-141-592
1​
TIE ROD,CENTER32-21-1-096-059
1​
Stabilizer link31-35-1-095-664
2​
</ </ </ </
 

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Glutton for punishment
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So, is this going to be a sort of FAQ?
Or are you asking a question? Not sure if I understand the exact premise of the post.
 

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Terrific decision matrix TAB!

I like this a lot, and this will definitely help people.

I see that you have done a lot of work researching and putting this together. It must be hard deciding on what to use as the solution sets, and in this case, the solution sets are in "levels" with increasing components. Another may to to separate control arms from steering from springs and dampers.

This is going to be a lot of good, thank you TAB!
 

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Agree with StPike75, nice summation of front end components!

You ask the question, "Why would you do this." Perhaps I'm missing something or miss-reading, (I do that quite ofte) but the answer as I see it is, because the parts specified in each level are no longer in spec. Suspension components wear at differing rates. Replacing all the level 4 stuff when all that is needed was a level 1 work would not be cost effective for the owner.

For me, the difficulty is in knowing what parts are at what % of service life. That takes experience replacing/working on many, many cars. Exp I do not have. So, I'm left to go to an expert shop and let them tell me what parts need or are close to needing replacement. This, when getting an alignment usually. Sometimes I can feel a problem, like say, the steering wheel no longer gives an immediate response to input. Or you get a car up in the air and move the front tires L $ R and can feel the slop in the joints, then diagnosis is much easier than knowing when something is at say, 3/4's of it's service life and might as well be replaced now as later.

Jim
 

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This is an attempt to use logic to deal with an issue that comes down to $$/time. Owners need to make some educated decisions where to put the $$ and effort necessary. Obviously, replacing everything leads to best results, but costs most. Same thing with doing the work yourself (free except time) or having a mechanic do the job ($$).

On higher mileage cars, four control/thrust arms on a 540i would need replaced, along with front struts at the least (assuming they are original). This gives good bang for the buck.

In addition, if your recirculating steering is a bit wonky and vague, then do the tie rods, incl. center rod. Steering arm and idler arm, less so, because the rubber in there is minimal. The sway bar links and bushings most likely will also needed replaced.

Do these things (and hopefully work on the rear as well), and your car will once more be rock-solid at triple digit speeds. ;)
 

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Since the degradation of most suspension components occurs very gradually over a long period of time, you typically cannot tell how much your suspension has degraded until it begins to exhibit a specific symptom. Many times, no obvious physical symptoms are apparent. While you have taken a commendable approach to grouping various suspension parts together in an attempt to to address certain symptoms, you may not necessarily experience any symptoms in order to benefit from changing a group of suspension parts. In addition, the suspension is a system of components. Changing some of the components may address a single symptom but it may not address all the deficiencies. Hence, I believe you either take the Level 0 approach or you take the Level 4 approach (replacing springs are not necessary unless they are broken). I guarantee that if you have over 80K on your current suspension parts, the Level 4 approach will transform your car back into the Ultimate Driving Machine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
So, is this going to be a sort of FAQ?
Or are you asking a question? Not sure if I understand the exact premise of the post.
You provide a good point, I do need to be more clear in what I am asking. How about
1) What considerations go into a suspension refresh?
2) What would drive purchase of a suspension "refresh kit level" as presented below?
3) What symptoms drive refresh of certain suspension elements or "levels"?

Terrific decision matrix TAB!

I like this a lot, and this will definitely help people.

I see that you have done a lot of work researching and putting this together. It must be hard deciding on what to use as the solution sets, and in this case, the solution sets are in "levels" with increasing components. Another may to to separate control arms from steering from springs and dampers.

This is going to be a lot of good, thank you TAB!
Thanks for the encouragement! Based on this and following comments, we may want to consider another organization schema such as suspension elements and when to combine them.

Agree with StPike75, nice summation of front end components!

You ask the question, "Why would you do this." Perhaps I'm missing something or miss-reading, (I do that quite ofte) but the answer as I see it is, because the parts specified in each level are no longer in spec. Suspension components wear at differing rates. Replacing all the level 4 stuff when all that is needed was a level 1 work would not be cost effective for the owner.

For me, the difficulty is in knowing what parts are at what % of service life. That takes experience replacing/working on many, many cars. Exp I do not have. So, I'm left to go to an expert shop and let them tell me what parts need or are close to needing replacement. This, when getting an alignment usually. Sometimes I can feel a problem, like say, the steering wheel no longer gives an immediate response to input. Or you get a car up in the air and move the front tires L $ R and can feel the slop in the joints, then diagnosis is much easier than knowing when something is at say, 3/4's of it's service life and might as well be replaced now as later.

Jim
Jim - great point and input.
the parts specified in each level are no longer in spec.
I see this as being a primary driver in executing Level 0 (as currently defined) and selecting specific parts (e.g. tie rod) for replacement.

Are there any ideas on "rules of thumb" or actual estimates for service life? I have seen people state that suspensions should last for 60k but not sure if that is the entire setup or only specific elements.

This is an attempt to use logic to deal with an issue that comes down to $$/time. Owners need to make some educated decisions where to put the $$ and effort necessary. Obviously, replacing everything leads to best results, but costs most. Same thing with doing the work yourself (free except time) or having a mechanic do the job ($$).
Spencercat - exactly! Using logic to assist in determining what should be replaced when.

On higher mileage cars, four control/thrust arms on a 540i would need replaced, along with front struts at the least (assuming they are original). This gives good bang for the buck.
I like your idea of bang for the buck but am not sure how to work that in right now. As for the four control arms & struts, is this based on prior experience? estimated life of those elements? other?

In addition, if your recirculating steering is a bit wonky and vague, then do the tie rods, incl. center rod. Steering arm and idler arm, less so, because the rubber in there is minimal. The sway bar links and bushings most likely will also needed replaced.
Great information! I will place this under specific element consideration and expand on the descriptions of the initial symptoms.

Since the degradation of most suspension components occurs very gradually over a long period of time, you typically cannot tell how much your suspension has degraded until it begins to exhibit a specific symptom. Many times, no obvious physical symptoms are apparent.
Are there other examples of known symptoms like Spencercat has identified or should we estimate service life of components/systems?

While you have taken a commendable approach to grouping various suspension parts together in an attempt to to address certain symptoms, you may not necessarily experience any symptoms in order to benefit from changing a group of suspension parts. In addition, the suspension is a system of components. Changing some of the components may address a single symptom but it may not address all the deficiencies. Hence, I believe you either take the Level 0 approach or you take the Level 4 approach (replacing springs are not necessary unless they are broken). I guarantee that if you have over 80K on your current suspension parts, the Level 4 approach will transform your car back into the Ultimate Driving Machine.
Great information and something I can definitely work in. And I think even more importantly this gives larger credence to not organizing this information "as is" but rather identifying the symptoms (or desired improvements) and identifying the parts.

This does lead to the question of: why are the suspension refresh kits sold in these sort of levels (or packages)? Is this from service life expectancy? common symptoms? related parts to symptoms?

Would everyone agree that a "rule of thumb" would be 80k miles for Level 4?

I will be adjusting the first post with this information, there may be a lag...
 

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Under the lift arms
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Am i going to get shot for saying you can get the front struts out of the v8's with out separating the lower ball joints(s)?
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Am i going to get shot for saying you can get the front struts out of the v8's with out separating the lower ball joints(s)?
I don't think so but I might not know enough...
So you agree we should work the components and see what (if any) combos make sense?
And do you have any ideas on the assemblage of the "kit levels"?

General FYI- will update the first post to tonight.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Updated the post with the information provided thus far and by going through the BF sponsor sites to obtain information on the elements and signs of failure. Will continue to update information but appreciate the inputs, thoughts, and advice this community is able to provide.
 

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Under the lift arms
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well ... you can get the front struts out of the v8's with out separating the lower ball joints

very easy
 

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Glutton for punishment
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"You provide a good point, I do need to be more clear in what I am asking. How about
1) What considerations go into a suspension refresh?
2) What would drive purchase of a suspension "refresh kit level" as presented below?
3) What symptoms drive refresh of certain suspension elements or "levels"?"

TAB: I am posting a long winded answer, at least I think it's an answer to your questions. I hope this helps. If it's cluttering the thread I can remove it...

Well, here's my .02. Please bear in mind that I am not a trained mechanic and all of my experience is self taught trial and error.

1. My thoughts on a suspension refresh is that everything should be replaced in a refresh. When I say everything, let me clarify... Suspension items come in pairs at the very least right? So, let's say you have a worn shock on the left driver's side. You wouldn't just replace it, you'd want to replace the right one as well. Just as you would do for wheel bearings or brake rotors, etc...

Additionally, if you were replacing a shock you would inspect the spring and all the ancillary bits (of which there are more than I had anticipated)- And replace in pairs as necessary.

As for the suspension stuff (tie rods, control arms etc.), I would think that they are all wearing at the same time to a similar extent. I would be loathe to replace pieces in a patchwork pattern as a part that is 100% new may be affected by a part that is still good but has 40% life left (maybe I'm mistaken- what do I know?)

Besides, after having completed a 100% suspension replacement, I can say with confidence that it is much easier to pull and replace everything at one time.

2. What drives the purchase of a refresh? I think a thorough inspection is adequate... In my case, the car rode just fine. I'm not doing autocross so I'm not flinging the car into hairpin turns and so forth. The car, for me, is a commuter. I drive like a normal person. After purchasing the car we felt that the front shocks seemed worn. (it was a bit bouncy) We inspected further and saw that most, not all, of the rubber boots were damaged on various suspension bits. Even after inspection, we discovered other issues- Both rear springs were broken! I had noticed one being broken but not both.

Even with an inspection we did not anticipate the level of wear we discovered. ALL of the shocks were worn to the point that I could compress them and they would stay compressed.

I think that an inspection and a small dollop of guidance from folks like CN90 (and his awesome DIY posts) is necessary in determining what to do and when.

3. I don't think that there should be levels. If you're in there, replace all of it so that it all seats and wears evenly over the years. It takes the guess work out of patchwork part replacement.

I think you can split front and rear if budget is a concern but my preference is to do it all at the same time. Just because you "hear" a clunk in the front does not mean it's in the front.

All that being said, I am VERY budget minded and I did ALL of my suspension for what I feel was a reasonable price. Some of it is cheaper and some is not (I have Eibach, Koni, Lemfoerder, TRW, Meyle and some Karlyn). Even if the "cheaper" items failed, it's all new so it's easy to replace and since all my parts have lifetime warranty I'll never have to worry about them again.

As I stated earlier, I am merely posting to try and answer the questions that TAB posted. I figured that since I just did all of these things within the past few months, I would be able to "add value" to folks who are considering tackling this issue on their cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
TAB: I am posting a long winded answer, at least I think it's an answer to your questions. I hope this helps. If it's cluttering the thread I can remove it...
I don't mind at all, the more information shared the better!

1. My thoughts on a suspension refresh is that everything should be replaced in a refresh. When I say everything, let me clarify... Suspension items come in pairs at the very least right? So, let's say you have a worn shock on the left driver's side. You wouldn't just replace it, you'd want to replace the right one as well. Just as you would do for wheel bearings or brake rotors, etc...
Agreed and I am/have adjusted the posting to reflect the "pairing" of replacements.

As for the suspension stuff (tie rods, control arms etc.), I would think that they are all wearing at the same time to a similar extent. I would be loathe to replace pieces in a patchwork pattern as a part that is 100% new may be affected by a part that is still good but has 40% life left (maybe I'm mistaken- what do I know?)
Great point and one that I am trying to identify through the life expectancy of the parts. Looks like most of the bushings and ball joints have similar life expectancies but the struts have a little longer (or more varied by type - sport, standard, etc.)

I think that an inspection and a small dollop of guidance from folks like CN90 (and his awesome DIY posts) is necessary in determining what to do and when.
3. I don't think that there should be levels. If you're in there, replace all of it so that it all seats and wears evenly over the years. It takes the guess work out of patchwork part replacement.
This seems to be a common theme throughout the community (of who have chimed in thus far) so this may be the default recommendation. Of course this doesn't seem to assist the "budgeted" drivers as much. I think that is the "purpose" of the levels, to allow for partial replacements of the most common elements. Hopefully my research I am still doing will confirm this...
 

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May want to mention this is for the 540/m5 unless you are adding in alt sections for the I6 steering racks

Some of those ball joints and bushings are easy to visually check for failure, ie leak or crack. I would not use a x mile service interval, I know all of my tie rods except the outer ends are still original with 200,000 miles on them. the ball joints are easily tested for play with a C clamp or visually for torn boots, but that requires unhooking them from the carrier, that's half the work replacing them.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
May want to mention this is for the 540/m5 unless you are adding in alt sections for the I6 steering racks

Some of those ball joints and bushings are easy to visually check for failure, ie leak or crack. I would not use a x mile service interval, I know all of my tie rods except the outer ends are still original with 200,000 miles on them. the ball joints are easily tested for play with a C clamp or visually for torn boots, but that requires unhooking them from the carrier, that's half the work replacing them.
Thanks, I will try and make it clearer this is for the 540 and I am trying to supplement for the others...
Interesting on the rods, will have to double check my numbers.
Thanks!
 

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Under the lift arms
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Don't you have to pop the tie rod ball joint out to do this, though?
no.. pry bar the lower control arm down enough swing the top of the strut from under the fender and pull it out

The abs line and the caliber have to be detached though and on the one side the head light level switch if you have auto adjusting headlights
 

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AngryBear. EXCELLENT POST!!!

I would like to add that many drivers (of all makes and models) do not perform the recommended all-wheel alignment every two years. I hypothesize that by not doing so, this may speed up wear and tear on some parts of the suspension. This is just a hypothesis with zero data so I am open to opposing views and corrections.

What I am about to request may be too much but here it goes:

  1. What is the ballpark cost of the parts for a Level 4 maintenance?
  2. Ballpark, how much would a good indy charge for Level 4 labor? Maybe a better question is how many hours would an indy charge for Level 4 maintenance?
  3. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it appears that to get a quote, it would be best to print out the the Level 4 list and present it to a shop versus trying to verbalize each item (for us novice that is).
  4. On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being anyone who has successfully DIY) what skill level would it take to do it in a normal time frame (very subjective ballpark)? Due to the safety implications add a point or two to your thought.

This is definitely a Bluebee level post and she set the bar pretty high. I love it! :thumbup:

.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I would like to add that many drivers (of all makes and models) do not perform the recommended all-wheel alignment every two years. I hypothesize that by not doing so, this may speed up wear and tear on some parts of the suspension. This is just a hypothesis with zero data so I am open to opposing views and corrections.
Great point and probably something to add as a "don't forget" section.
  1. What is the ballpark cost of the parts for a Level 4 maintenance?
    I think that is beyond this thread as I am specifically excluding manufacturer discussions and that impacts pricing to a large degree.
  2. Ballpark, how much would a good indy charge for Level 4 labor? Maybe a better question is how many hours would an indy charge for Level 4 maintenance?
    Not sure about this but from the DIYs I am going through it looks to be a pros 6hr book job(?) from my non-expert opinion. And the rates will vary to location, so probably beyond scope here.
  3. Please correct me if I am wrong, but it appears that to get a quote, it would be best to print out the the Level 4 list and present it to a shop versus trying to verbalize each item (for us novice that is).
    That is one of the things I am working on: a complete OE parts listing for these elements on a "printable" page. OE as anything else and you are manufacturer specific numbers. And yes, one for the 540 and one for the "others" who seem to share all the elements.
  4. On a scale of 1 - 10 (10 being anyone who has successfully DIY) what skill level would it take to do it in a normal time frame (very subjective ballpark)? Due to the safety implications add a point or two to your thought.
    Again, a little out of scope but check out the cn90 thread I have linked in the intro. Doesn't look "difficult" just time and tool intensive. Adding in the safety factor I would guess 4-5 (10 being easy by your scale).

This is definitely a Bluebee level post and she set the bar pretty high. I love it! :thumbup:.
thanks and am trying. But I can't be BlueBee with the cross linking, I just don't have that time...
 

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book times would be great if you have them, that way people know if they are getting ripped off or how hard a job is, book times assume you have all the right tools and have done the job before

doing any of this work without an air hammer pickle fork SUCKS
 
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