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top-down or bottom-up, that is the question... (archive)

[ Follow Ups ] [ E30 M3 Message Board ] [ Msg. Board FAQ ]

Posted by Jon R. Lewis on May 16, 2001 at 16:18:12:

In Reply to: I need a list to replace worn out front end parts posted by to reduce vibration. Scott 325i (89m3) on May 16, 2001 at 15:38:45:

you can either start at the strut bearing and work down or you can start at the control arms' bushings and work up. either way, the suspect parts include:

strut bearings, strut cartridges, strut housing (doubtful but could be bent), wheel bearing (also doubtful unless groaning), control arm (likely culprit) with integral ball joints, tierod (also likely), control arm bushing (even more likely)

the more of this that is replaced, the tighter your car's steering will feel - but you'll likely never get completely back to the original tolerences unless you are fanatical about replacing every chain in the system (including the steering rack and the linkage).

if you go far enough into the above, you might also consider replacing the brake pads (rebuild the calipers too unless they are pristine), the brake lines (especially if they're original), the springs (again, if original), the strut boots (cheap), and even the spring pads (cheaper still).

it all depends upon your budget - both time and/or dollars. don't make the mistake of replacing the control arms, their bushings, and the tie rods if the strut inserts are suspect. the new pieces will just wear out faster and you'll have to pay for duplicate labor to replace the inserts later.

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