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Thread: OT: e46 front end question

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004

    Default OT: e46 front end question

    i am doing a bit of work for a family friend, on a 2000 323i, which i LOVE compared to my 535i, anyways, they live on michigan dirt roads, so needless to say the fron end suspension is shot. i took the fron wheels off, and decided id put on new struts, and control arms. first question is, is there a noticeable differance between getting the OEM bilstine struts vs. say KYB or Sachs? because theres a large price differance. second, the control arms on e46's have two ball joints, and one pivot bushing. if i buy the control arms, will it some with that bushing, or will i have to purchas new ones, because those are shot. i guess i have one more question also, i can see the on the front sway, that the bushings are loose, like i can see through to the other side of the bushing, there is about a 3mm space. is this a problem that need to be adressed, and how would you buy that part, any part numbers, and info would be great

    thanks a ton


    and i know about the red x, but dont know how to fix it

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Montreal, Canada

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004


    I install the OEM ones from the dealer, and they don't come with pressed bushings -- we do that. I don't know if BMA or someone similar delivers them with pressed bushings, but a machine shop should be able to take care of it right quick for you.

    Replace the strut based on what the owner/primary driver wants out of the car. Cushy OEM ride? Boge Gas. Something sportier? Whatever's available via aftermarket.

    You may have already done this, but use a big pair of water pump pliers to test the inner ball joints. Compress and release the joint, checking for play. If we're talking about the outer joint, some play is inherent in the design. Grab the top and bottom of the tire and push back and forth to check for play (like on a GM light truck with torsion bar setup on the front, or pretty much any car with a double A arm type setup)

    best, whit

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