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Thread: Live with it, fix it, or sell it....

  1. #1

    Default Live with it, fix it, or sell it....

    I have a '95 540ia w/ 155,000 miles. I love the way it looks (I still think the E34 is the "classic" BMW), and I love the power rush of the V8. But I'm growing tired of replacing and re-doing the various parts & systems on my car.

    I hate the way it rides and handles. I think the PO screwed up the suspension with some questionable mods, and I've undone most of them, but I think the only way to get it right is to start over and rebuild the steering & suspension at all 4 corners. I got the shimmy-shakes under braking, loose on center steering, and zero dampening suspension. (No need to re-hash all the possible solution.... believe me, I researched high & low about the probable causes)

    Given the age and value of the car, and the fact that it's not a daily driver. Should I just live with it? Assuming I DO NOT replace the steering box, how much should it cost me to rebuild the front end and rear suspension (probably with an indy, not DIY). I would like to do a tasteful lowering, but I want a setup that works (READ: Not BavAuto springs & Bilstein Sports)

    I think if it handled better and rode better I could justify the expense to do it, but if only marginal improvement I'd just as soon live with it or sell it and maybe get another 3 series.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by myblack540i; 04-29-2005 at 04:47 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Wellington,New Zealand


    i have had no other car that can compare the ride and handling of my 535,admitidley mtech suspended,at times i feels like i am riding a magic carpet,but when the road gets twisty everything seems to firm up.It is harsh over expansion strips,it does tramline,and it is jiggly over uneven surfaces.I dont think you have three options,fix it or sell it,it doesnt sound like you can live with it
    Gone but not forgotten

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    baton rouge, loserana


    i don't see why about $1000 wouldn't do just about anything that the suspension/brakes needs on both ends if you shop around for the parts and can get a decent deal on labor
    all america wants is cold beer warm cat and a place to take a poop with a door on it

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004



    By the way, why would you keep a "driving" car for how it looks? I'd rather keep it for how it drives, otherwise -- put it in a museum. The attractiveness element is about 45% of the game for me.

    best, whit

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Tampa Bay, Florida, USA


    If the engine and drive train are holding up, and all that's wrong is the suspension/steering, I'd go ahead and spend the bucks to fix it.
    You'll be getting more car for the bucks even if you don't lower the front end and only replace the struts with Bilstein HDs. Do the steering, centerlink etc. If you do the work yourself, you'll save a pile of bucks and you can pickup all the tricky stuff off of this board. If you can find a local shop that will let you source your own parts, order them from BMA and let them do the install.
    1994 540iA Nikasil EAT Chip
    Tampa Bay, Florida USA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004


    If you are doubting about getting a 3 series, then it seems to me youīre really fed up with the car. Think real good if this is the car you want to be driving for a couple more years before spending any money on it. If I could give you some advice, it would be, find a E36 325i or even better an M3 you could drive in a couple of hours and get directly in your car afterwards and thrash the puppy, I think you will be fixing your baby up. V8 or straight six ? You' ll be missing the torque too much!!!!

    As for suspension, why not try Koni adjustables with H&R springs or maybe even the H&R, KW coilover kits, height and damper adjustable.

    Best of luck in diciding.

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