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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have the dreaded, but expected, bushing issue with the Tension Strut (driver's side) on my '05 745Li. I hadn't really noticed any drivability problems, only a very slight noise (wouldn't really call it a clunk) when going over a speed bump from time to time. But now when I apply the brakes fairly hard, the steering wheel moves to the left slightly and then moves back when I let off the brakes hard (but the car doesn't pull to that side). I jack up the car last night and inspect the suspension to find what I expected. Parts of the Tension Strut bushing look like they are coming out of the arm. I am getting ready to order the parts and am probably just going to order the bushings for both sides rather than replace the entire arms. It looks like a pretty straightforward DIY once I get some of the plastic covers out of the way of the bushing bolt areas, but I have a few questions:

1. What are the torque specs for the bushing bolt and the ball joint bolt for the Tension Strut Arm

2. Is there anything I should tell the shop when they remove and press in the new bushings?

3. I know that I should lower the car's weight onto the suspension before I put a final tighten on the bolts. How loose should I leave them, before I lower the car? Do I leave both bolts loose on each arm or is it important to only leave either the bushing bolt or the ball joint bolt loose?

4. Am I potentially missing something in my diagnosis? I know without inspecting you can't really answer well, but it seems obvious to me and that is where I would hate to have tunnel vision and miss the forest for the trees (or however that saying goes). When the steering wheel moves to the right under sudden braking, it moves a very specific amount (like the tension strut is now loaded under braking force, but the bushing is worn and allowing the suspension to travel forward). The vehicle does not have to moving at hardly any speed to recreate this effect. I can get the steering wheel to move just as much by hitting the brakes hard while just rolling in my driveway. Am I off base, or should I look for other issues that may have been either contributing to this problem or additionally caused by the bushing coming apart.

I will try to put together a detailed DIY with photos for the procedure.

Thanks All,

----Walt
 

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1.) 100 Nm (73.75 Ft. Lbs.) with a 90 Deg Torque Angle

2.) They should know to re-install the bushing with the same orientation as the bushing they remove, but be sure the keyway on the center bore of the bushing is pointed toward the ball joint on the other end of the arm.

3.) Just get the first few threads down to "hand tight." In other words, try not to have the nut and bolt head touching the bushings, or just make sure there is very light contact with the bushing ends. Another trick is (with the car on jack stands) to jack one wheel up to ride height at a time, so you can tighten to full torque right away. That way you wont have to access the bolts more than once.

4.) It is possible you're missing something having taken just a cursory glance. You may want to do a two man inspection. grab the ball joints and bushings while a buddy rocks the front wheel about. You may find someting other than bushings. You may also want to consider more than just bushings, as the ball joints are likely not far behind. You wouldn't want to do the same job more than once. Though you do your own work, time is valueable. That's up to you though. you need to ask yourself things like "how many miles are on the car?" and "how many miles do have left with this car?"

-John
 

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John is right on..75 ish foot pounds...i used the jack the wheel up trick on my e38 so i didnt have to get under the car again. it's a diffrent car (obviously) but check e38.org and do a search and you can see the overall process.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
On the fence about buying arms complete or just replacing bushings

1.) 100 Nm (73.75 Ft. Lbs.) with a 90 Deg Torque Angle

2.) They should know to re-install the bushing with the same orientation as the bushing they remove, but be sure the keyway on the center bore of the bushing is pointed toward the ball joint on the other end of the arm.

3.) Just get the first few threads down to "hand tight." In other words, try not to have the nut and bolt head touching the bushings, or just make sure there is very light contact with the bushing ends. Another trick is (with the car on jack stands) to jack one wheel up to ride height at a time, so you can tighten to full torque right away. That way you wont have to access the bolts more than once.

4.) It is possible you're missing something having taken just a cursory glance. You may want to do a two man inspection. grab the ball joints and bushings while a buddy rocks the front wheel about. You may find someting other than bushings. You may also want to consider more than just bushings, as the ball joints are likely not far behind. You wouldn't want to do the same job more than once. Though you do your own work, time is valueable. That's up to you though. you need to ask yourself things like "how many miles are on the car?" and "how many miles do have left with this car?"

-John
John,

I understand completely and that is what i am concerned about. I am all about saving money, but I don't want to shortchange myself by replacing the bushings only to have to replace the ball joints on the arm in a short period of time. The car just turned 100K miles and we plan on keeping it for a long time. We planned on keeping our E34 and E46 for a long time as well, but my now 18yr old son totaled both (yes both) of them in a span of 11 months. Just like Sammy Hagar, he lost his license, now he can't drive. I still have the 10 piece, FCP Groton Control Arms Kit (still in the box in plastic in my workroom) from your company for the E34 that I didn't have the chance to install before he wrapped it around a tree (at 65 mph sideways no less - no injuries) That being said:

Assuming I find out (after further inspection) that it is nothing more than the driver's side Tension Strut bushing, I had planned on replacing both because, as I have always heard and assumed, the passenger side would not be far behind. Is this, in your opinion, where I am making my mistake: Should I also assume that the ball joints on each Tension Strut are probably also realistically not far behind and I should go ahead and invest the money now and just buy the Tension Struts complete and be done with it? I am not a guy that likes to spend the money just because "it might", but I will always spend the money if it makes sense. I value the opinion of people that obviously know more than myself about these parts and surely have a lot more experience in their typical lifespan.

I look forward to your input.

Walt in Nashville.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
How often are the ball joints bad as well -- or not too far behind ??

John,

I understand completely and that is what i am concerned about. I am all about saving money, but I don't want to shortchange myself by replacing the bushings only to have to replace the ball joints on the arm in a short period of time. The car just turned 100K miles and we plan on keeping it for a long time. We planned on keeping our E34 and E46 for a long time as well, but my now 18yr old son totaled both (yes both) of them in a span of 11 months. Just like Sammy Hagar, he lost his license, now he can't drive. I still have the 10 piece, FCP Groton Control Arms Kit (still in the box in plastic in my workroom) from your company for the E34 that I didn't have the chance to install before he wrapped it around a tree (at 65 mph sideways no less - no injuries) That being said:

Assuming I find out (after further inspection) that it is nothing more than the driver's side Tension Strut bushing, I had planned on replacing both because, as I have always heard and assumed, the passenger side would not be far behind. Is this, in your opinion, where I am making my mistake: Should I also assume that the ball joints on each Tension Strut are probably also realistically not far behind and I should go ahead and invest the money now and just buy the Tension Struts complete and be done with it? I am not a guy that likes to spend the money just because "it might", but I will always spend the money if it makes sense. I value the opinion of people that obviously know more than myself about these parts and surely have a lot more experience in their typical lifespan.

I look forward to your input.

Walt in Nashville.
---Bump
 

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Sorry for the delay Walt,

Glad to hear your son is ok after all that.

If you're at 100K Looking to make it to 175 or 200K, then yes, you will undoubtedly be back under the car for the other bushing and all the ball joints. It is not only logical to assume that bushings should be replaced in pairs, it is actually an official BMW Service procedure. Suspension services must remain symmetrical. Your best bet is definitely to replace the entire control arms with bushings. Not only does this make the service easier, but it makes it the last time you'll have to deal with the job.

Since you're obviously looking for the best bang for the buck, you'lll want a set of Meyle HD Control arms.

Give Miker a call about these at (877) 634 0063 X206 (part numbers 31126774831MY and 31126774832MY).

-John
 
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