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From digest.v7.n381 Sun Oct 5 08:57:44 1997
Date: 05 Oct 1997 10:21:49 +0400
Subject: Front Suspension Work - E30/5

It is my time to contribute!

I have just completed a full suspension overhaul for my '89 E30 325i Touring (177K). I replaced the shock inserts, bump stops, guide supports and bearings, control arms, control arm bushes, ball joints, anti-roll bar rubbers and anti-roll bar to control arm lever things, steering rack. New brake disks and pads. I have a few learning points to share with you.

(1) No special tools (read BMW) are required at all for these jobs except for a vice and two standard spring compressors.

(2) Useful to release the strut shocker nut (slightly) before raising up the car.

(3) To get the shock insert out a large pair of stilsons works a treat on the strut shocker retainer (device with four holes in for BMW special tool, has threads on).

(4) I used the later control arms made of Aluminium NOT steel. The steel ones were superseded by aluminium 10/89 according to the parts CD-ROM. The alloy ones are lighter and easy to work with. I also used M3 control arm bushes - these are firmer.

(5) To get the old bushes off I simply hacksawed through the outer metal ring and once through could push out the old bush. To separate this from the arm itself I cut through the inner rubber, thereby releasing tension.

(6) I found that pressing in the new bushes was easy if you first cleaned up the holder (the part that bolts to the body) and then greased the holder and out metal ring of the new bush. Place these in a large vice (equivalent to a press) and use plenty of arm muscle making sure it is lined up correctly. To allow the bush to protrude you need to use packing washer either side for the last bit.

(7) To get the new bush on the arm I found that spraying the arm and the bush with WD40 it just would go in with a plop and you could turn it around to line it up correctly. I carefully marked mine before hand but in fact it is easy to get the correct alignment.

Overall a good mornings work and it transformed the front end, I just had the wheel alignments done at the dealer (due to rack and tie rod end replacement). I was not far out as I had measured the old rack with tie rods and set the new one as near the same as I could.

Very happy with the results and I can really recommend the aluminium arms, (I am told these will fit the E36 but that BMW does not show this because they do not have removable ball joints). (BTW the price is the same over here for steel or alloy).

Only one problem, over here it was 36 degrees centigrade and I am now recovering from the heat!


(E39 & E30)


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