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'04 E53, New Owner Initiation, Supension phase

Discussion in 'E53 X5 (2000-2006)' started by Bunky, Jan 31, 2011.

    Bunky guest

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    Bought a used 3.0 manual with 101K now. I'm undergoing my first-time BMW- owner-initiation/ hazing/ torture at the shops (dealer and indi).

    After having both front CV joints and boots replaced for around $900, (and belts for $180 or so) ;
    the latest "Ouch!" is:
    - lower thrust arm bushing: $350 (for only 1 I think)
    - both front lower control arms $294
    - both upper rear wishbone arms $1080 (!?!?!)

    Since it seems the entire suspension is in the process of being replaced;
    1) Are there any heavier duty/upgrade options I should consider?
    2) Which jobs can I / should I do myself that are worth the bother or major savings?
    3) What's the best tech info on disc available out there?

    Dealer has been quite good and actually competitive or better than independent shops", so I think I'll let him do the thrust arm bushing and the control arms to get rid of the intermittent soft "clunking" and sharp "clicking" up front.
    Hopefully it will be worth it to be able to enjoy the car again, save the tires, and not damage any related components. That will also buy me some time to find a tech.manual disc. and get some coaching from you guys before entering the next phase of comittment and intimacy in this car relationship of mixed blessings.

    Thanks for letting me vent,

    This is my first post.
    • Member


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    With the proviso that X5's are hardly anything I have much experience with -

    It looks like Bavauto (I imagine others do as well) is offering some powerflex urethane bushings to fit your vehicle - perhaps consider those? Can't tell you how they'll affect the nvh or ride quality, though, or what other downsides for those w/ your model. With any luck, someone who's used 'em will pipe up.

    As to your #2 question - in a sense, it kinda depends - what are you willing to tackle? If you've got a great workspace with lots of tools, and you're mechanically experienced car & BMW-wise, maybe there's a lot of projects you'd want to dig into. Depends on time & money, too, plus local resources (like, do you have anyone local to quiz when you have a question about something, for instance).

    Speakin' for myself, I usually draw the line at stuff that I don't have tools for, or the tools are so specialized I'd only use them once, or too big to keep on hand, or projects that are too dangerous. (Sure, a press might be handy, but is that really a good use of floorspace, for how much _I_ might use it). I'm not so keen on wanting to deal with spring compressors for instance - lots of stored energy there, and if something goes awry when compressed, well - let's just say I'm not a big fan of self-inflicted decapitation, or even the potential for same, or any other injury. Balanced with safety considerations, obviously any job you can do yourself saves labor - as long as you have the time to do the job. I often find tackling something I've never done before involves figuring things out and creative problem solving, and it ends up taking way longer than the shop mechanic who's got all the experience, tools, and information at hand to do the job. If you think to yourself, oh, this will only take a couple hours, and it's something quasi complicated you've never done before, better double (or more) your time estimate. So, depends what your time's worth too.

    I don't know about disc info (see what you can google up), but if there's a Bentley manual for your X5, that'll be a very useful resource for many projects. Bavauto & other Roundel advertisers will have those available.

    Service life on suspension components obviously vary, but I don't find what you're having to do out of the ordinary, at least from my experience with different, older models.

    Time for the long-haul X5 owners to add their 2¢....!

    Bunky guest

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    Thanks for the good counsel. That puts things in prerspective. Remembering past experiences of taking on unknown procedures are coming back to me now. Dealer prices probably worth it.
    • Member

    Satch SoSoCalifortified

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    Welcome to the asylum!

    You say:
    Think you get hazing and torture from THOSE guys?! Wait till you've hung around here for a while! ;)
    • Member


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    I share your pain

    Wow, sorry to hear about the torture. I had to do a similar front suspension "reconstruction" on our '05 4.8 shortly after we bought it preowned. Sure, wish we had bought it as a CPO car in this instance.

    Anyway, in addition to the control arms on both sides and bushings. I also wound up having to replace the steering rack and the driver side front strut tower because of an airbag rupture. Since I was replacing the driver's side, I went ahead and did the passenger side strut tower as well to avoid having that airbag blow out down the road.

    If you haven't already looked, check under the front wheel wells to see if there is any degradation of the rubber air bag at the top of the strut. It may look like a dry rotted tire. Another symptom of a problem is if the truck seems to be leaning slightly to one side on a flat surface.

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