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Thread: E36 control arms, are E30 able to be used instead?

  1. #1
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    Default E36 control arms, are E30 able to be used instead?

    Hey, first time i've tried this. i have just replaced the control arms and bushes on my E36 (1995 signature). After seeing the price of new control arms ($350 + $90 for second ball joint) i was told the geometry on the E30 control arm is the same. No floating ball joint on the outer, but i couldn't find what difference that was anyway. i seem to be having some problems getting an alignment. The place where i got the alignment done is saying my rack is in need of repair, my mechanic (who was working for BMW so he knows his stuff) says there is nothing wrong with anything but the alignment. He doesn't know (cos BMW would never use E30 parts in a E36) if the parts are compatible. does anyone know if these parts can be used, or have i got to spend another $900.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
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    google found these threads
    e30 vs e36 control arm - e30tech.com Forums
    E30 control arm vs. E36 M3 control arm question - BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)

    96-99 M3's have different geometry, but all other e36 are the same.
    will E36 front control arms fit E30? answers asap plz - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum
    e36 M3 Control Arms Compatible to e30 Control Arms - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum
    E30 Lower Control Arms / Balljoints into E36
    $100 e36 m3 Control Arm Solution

    Parts Needed:
    1. Used '96+ e36 m3 control arms. These can be had for free from your local BMW stealeship's scrap bin.
    2. e30 Ball Joints. All four cost well under $100, even for Lemforder brand.
    Affordable e36 m3 Control Arms DIY - R3VLimited Forums

    http://www.treehouseracing.com/new/
    Last edited by shogun; 12-14-2012 at 09:31 PM.

  3. #3
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    Thank you. I also found the answer to my Q about the difference in the floating b joint. Its a rubber joint instead of a plastic one, giving smoother handling, im sure i will cope with it being a little more stiff.

  4. #4
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    let us know, how it works, pics would be appreciated, I also have an E36 M3 1998/02 M3 US specification

  5. #5
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    Will do. I have to wait for the new guy to get his camera fixed. im pissed off that Beaurepaires at 113 Breakfast creek Road newstead qld, i took the car back to them saying that something was wrong, they did a second test and said the alignment was fine, it was the rak that was damaged. Both the mechanic and the alignment guy said they could see it wasnt right. $68 down the toilet. Sounds like you really know whats going on with these cars. Thanks again.

  6. #6
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    May 2004
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    Japan
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    more info
    E36 M3 Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement with E30

    E36 M3 Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement with E30 - Bimmerforums - The Ultimate BMW Forum

    car - 97 m3 sedan. genuine BMW stamps all over the various parts of the arm.
    31 12 1 126 254 x2 small one
    31 12 1 126 253 x2 tall one

    or

    31 12 1 126 254 outers and
    0133-1626314 inners, all Lemforder

    Only the e30 balljoints fit in the e36 m3 arms.

    31 12 1 126 254
    31 12 1 126 253

    That's it, those are the part numbers. Order from autohausaz or call any bmw parts supplier and talk to him on the phone with those numbers.

    Also Non-M control arms are different and use a larger outer ball joint.
    -----------
    That thread adds always new info, so better check latest status

  7. #7
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    Thanks for the info, i'm not sure if the info is relevant to my car. i have a 1995 e36, i believe its an m43 or m40. I'm still waiting for the guy to get his equipment repaired so he can do my alignment again. The ball joints and control arms are installed, along with new bushes. i do have to get the suspension replaced, however my mech says they arn't contributing to the problem....yet. It's a little unstable and the return for the steering wheel isnt functioning very well at all. Im still trying to get pics onto my computer so you can see the car. thanks again, its all good information.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Location
    Japan
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    to find out which engine you have and all options the car was originally ordered, use the last 7 numbers of your car VIN here and you get all the details
    BMWVin.com
    Enter last 7 characters of your BMW VIN, our VIN decoding service will analyze your vehicle's serial number and generate a report that describes the information the VIN contains. This VIN decoder can extract such information as : year, make, model, trim, engine, transmission,manufacturer, country of origin and options.

    Also when you want to know if a part was also used in other BMW odels, use RealOEM.com Online BMW Parts Catalog and search by the VIn for the correct part number you need, then return to page one of realoem and use that p/n and paste it into search by part number and all BMW which use that number will pop up. That is fr example good when you want to check for used parts.
    As I live in Japan and prices are also as high as in Australia for the parts, I buy a lot from USA, even with shipping cost it is still cheaper than here.
    But as you have RHD drive, be careful with parts numbers, also a lot of other parts will not fit your AUS spec RHD BMW, as they are USA spec cars. Some links
    USA
    Auto Parts at AutohausAZ - OEM Auto Parts - Discount Replacement Parts, Resources and Car Care Tips
    BMA Auto Parts | Bumper to Bumper since 1978 | Oem auto parts, vw parts, sachs boge, mercedes benz parts, honda auto parts, saab parts
    Pelican Parts - Porsche Parts & BMW Parts - Automotive Parts and Accessories - Porsche & BMW
    all of them ship overseas, use or select in their online order forum USPS priority parcel or something like that, USPS takes a bit lomger than FEDEX or DHL but is much cheaper.

    U.K.
    CAR PARTS from Mister Auto - Your Parts at discount prices
    Cheap Bmw Car Parts From 247 Spares Save Up To 80% NOW
    BMW Car Parts, Spares, Accessories, Motormec, UK
    BMW Parts From BMW Parts Online

    there are of course more, just some listed here.

  9. #9
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    Thanks again, the engine type is a M43. All the info you gave will be useful to me. i didnt think of the rhd, that could have been a costly mistake. i get most of my parts from imparts. i live in Brisbane city, and imparts are fairly close. They also have the best prices i have found. Some parts they sell there new are better prices than the wreckers are offering for 2nd hand prices. Cant blame people for trying to make a dollar, however, now that i have found imparts, i never go to the wreckers anymore.

  10. #10
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    Hey Shogun, finally i got the alignment done. The guy was great, he explained what he did, and gave me a few pointers on what to check if things arnt right. he did change the tire pressure away from what the specs said. but im just happy to have my nice ride back again. I'm sorry i still have no pics for you yet. They will come, i'm having problems with my phones connection to my computer. Thanks again for all your help.

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