Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Suspension getting replaced - what else?

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Dec 9, 2008.

    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    My springs and shocks/struts are getting done on Saturday. It just occurred to me, however, that there might be other things that should be replaced while it's taken apart.

    What else should I be replacing "while in there"?
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Replace the rear shock mounts with heavy duty cabrio units. Be sure to replace the gasket that goes between the the mount and the car body. The nuts are the nylon lock type and probably should be replaced.

    If you front strut mounts are original you might want to replace them too. If I remember right your car has 200K + miles. These can go a long time, but at this miliage if they are orginial just replace them.

    When the rear springs are out, check and see what kind of rust is on the spring perchs. This would be a great time to sand rust off and repaint if needed. You might also want to replace the rubber gaskets/pads the rear springs sit on. Again at your milage they might be shot.

    Enjoy your new ride when you get those springs and shock on! Post pics!

    GR
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Do you have part #'s for these gaskets and mounts?
    I'm not the one doing the work. I'll see if the guy lets me work on it with him, but I doubt it. If not, I don't know what else he'll be doing while it's taken apart, but I think he's known to get things done right. I'll ask him about these things when I get there, but for gaskets and mounts, I'd like to order ASAP so I don't receive it too late...
    • Member

    John in VA

    Post Count: 624
    Likes Received:3
    Call Steve Haygood of Automobile Solutions (706) 647-0302, your source for replacement parts for your BMW at the best prices anywhere. He drop-ships the parts so you'll receive them quickly. He has great deals on suspension and other parts as well. He's also a pro mechanic.
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Botond:

    The good news is for the REAR axle this is the type of thing you can do on your own later if you can put your car on jack stands. But if you replace the front strut mounts have him do them now. No better time. But you might as well have him do the rear too. Why do the work twice!

    Bavarain autosport carries the heavy-duty rear shock mounts. Their part number is 33 52 1H. This part from BMW the p/n is 33521132104

    Here is the link to the realoem website with your rear suspension.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=1254&mospid=47308&btnr=33_0327&hg=33&fg=45

    I guessed at your manufacture date. If you go in yourself, it is under "rear axle" then "rear axle suspension". You can also see the spring pads here.

    Here is the front suspension.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=1254&mospid=47308&btnr=31_0211&hg=31&fg=10

    The strut mount is the item number 1.

    Hope this is helpful.

    GR
    • Member

    granthr

    Post Count: 1,583
    Likes Received:2
    Or just call the mechanic that is doing the work. Tell him what you want done and give him the part numbers. Most mechanics don't like it when you come in with your own parts. Unless they are special and they can't get them.

    GR
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,805
    Likes Received:143
    Since the strut housings have to be removed for r&ring the strut inserts, it's not a bad time to do tie rods/tie rod ends, if necessary. I suppose the same could be said for steering rack boots. Brakes are fully accessible w/ only the wheels off, so unless you need brake work, there's little extra to be saved by pursuing that because of the other work.
    • Member

    Brian A

    Post Count: 657
    Likes Received:7
    For what it's worth, here is the list of stuff I bought for a full suspension / steering renovation of my 1991 318i. It is now all sleeping peacefully in my garage waiting for a few quiet weeks in January for me to do the installation.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Follow Brian A's list to a T and add:

    Subframe mounts and Rear Trailing Arm Bushings.

    If you follow that, you'll have an E30 that drives as nice and tight as the day it rolled off the factory.

    Are you at least going back with say H&R Sports or Race (depending on what you do with the car) and Bilstein Sports?

    Autohaus guest

    Post Count: 1,571
    Likes Received:1
    Where are you getting the work done :rolleyes:. Botond, order the shock installation kit from Bavauto. If you order today by 1pm, they will be at your house either tomorrow or Friday. If you want, give Kamal a call 845-838-0717 for his opinion. When he does take your suspension apart, he will tell you what will need replacing (if you need it). Do you have all the parts for the job at your house yet?
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    I have all the parts I ordered. The current list:

    (2) Front cyrogenically treated rotors, vented
    (2) Rear cyrogenically treated rotors, non-vented (dunno why)
    Hawk HPS pads front
    Hawk HPS pads rear
    (2) Front Bilstein Sport struts
    (2) Rear Bilstein Sport shocks
    H&R Spring kit



    Please don't tell me I have to dump another $100 or so in parts... aren't bushings and other crap like that cheap?

    I just replaced my right front control arm last year. I know exactly what day too, October 29, 2007, because it prevented me from attending my first driver's school. Booooy was I pissed.

    At this point, looking at Brian's list, I'll be paying for labor again after this is done, because I didn't get both control arms or any of that other stuff that isn't in my list... I seriously doubt all this stuff would arrive by tomorrow or Friday. I guess that other stuff will have to wait 'till later when I have more money. :(

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    More than $100. Complete tie rods just for both sides are going to check in at just over $110 shipped.

    Still need OEM M3 CAB's (Control Arm Bushings) and I'd replace the left control arm if you didn't do it when you did the right.

    There is a guy on R3vlimited.com right now making adjustable sway bar end links front and rear for $100 shipped for all 4 links (I have some coming to me right now).

    As previously mentioned, your upper strut mounts are probably due for being replace, I'd do camber plates, but you sound like you are on a budget.

    These cars are cheap to buy, but not really cheap to keep in top form. I can only imagine what the E36/E46/E90 guys spend, actually I don't want to imagine! :D
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
    Likes Received:20
    Because nobody overheats rear brakes ... and your calipers are only wide enough for nonvented disks.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    THe only E30 with vented rears is the euro touring.
    • Member

    az3579

    Post Count: 3,270
    Likes Received:3
    Ah.


    Well, I got the call today that the swap isn't going to be happening this Saturday, but next Saturday instead. Good and bad; bad because I soooo wanted to get it done this weekend, and the parts are taking up very valuable space in my room. Good because it gives me extra time to order anything else that I would need.

    But also bad because it looks like I won't be getting unemployment over my Christmas break, so no paycheck for two weeks. I need to save up so I have something to live on for two weeks... :(




    I think I'll get the extra parts though, probably on credit. I'll pay it back later when I get paychecks again after the holiday.


    So, what's missing is:

    * left front control arm
    * tie rods left and right (these are front suspension pieces, correct?)
    * shock/strut mounts front and rear
    * control arm bushings (don't control arms come with them?)

    Z31, why do I need M3 control arm bushings? Are they really that much better?
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    The tie rods are steering related. You don't really have to get those "while you are at it" because the only duplcate labor is removing the wheels and lifting the car. Definitely rear upper shock mounts. Check condition of your fronts to see if any cracking is evident in the rubber at the top of the shock tower, but this is the best time to replace them. I would get bushings for the control arms, it makes good sense. I don't replace control arms in pairs, though, only as needed, but I have a tool to do the bushings on the car, so that makes it easier.

    z31maniac guest

    Post Count: 186
    Likes Received:1
    Well you don't NEED them persay, but they'll give you some added camber/caster and from what I understand the rubber in the M3 CAB's are a bit stiffer as well to give you some more feedback. Worn CAB's also contribute alot to brake shimmy/shudder as well.

    However, I run a much more aggressive setup for a car that see's daily use then most people:

    Ground Control coilovers, GC camber plates, Koni SA's, GC control arm bearings (no compliance), Eibach adju sways, adj end links (about to put them on), and GC Rear Shock Mounts.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

    Post Count: 1,880
    Likes Received:15
    M3 CABs only increase caster, not camber. They are solid rubber. You can get E36 M3 centered bushings if you don't want to increase the caster but want the sharper steering response.
    • Member

    MGarrison

    Post Count: 2,805
    Likes Received:143
    Isn't that the other way around? If you install E30 M3 offset control arm bushings, assuming they're pushed into the brackets identically to the factory originals, and oriented identically to the M3, wouldn't they be moving the control arm outboard, only? A caster change would be fore/aft adjustment, as opposed to inboard/outboard, ya?

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caster_angle

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camber_angle

    (as an aside - the camber car shown in the 2nd link used to be here in a shop near me, although it may be in England now; cool car!)
    • Member

    Brian A

    Post Count: 657
    Likes Received:7
    I've been wondering the same thing myself.

    I think MooseheadM5 is right though: the offset bushing pulls the back of the control arm outboard which pivots the wheel balljoint end forward. Since this end is below the axle, moving the control arm ball joint forward moves the bottom of the wheel forward which increases castor (... I think) (either that or my control arm bushing is installed incorrectly).

    This is very much an optional upgrade. For the 318i (my car), the steering is a little light and adding castor is a recognized way to improve steering feel.

    Here is a picture of one of my new control arms and offset bushing to help visualize the offset bushing's effect on castor:

Share This Page