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Old 07-31-2007, 01:45 PM   #1
jonni325

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Control arms replacement?

I have a 1995 325 IS just hit 200,000mi Still in pristine shape runs great and has been well maintained, What are the signs of the front control arms and associated bushings and ball joints being worn ?
I put new tires on it about 3,000 mi ago and it handles perfect but the steering wheel wobbles left and right between 40 - 50 mph I had the tires rebalanced and it made no difference, the front end feels solid but it looks like they are origional equipment. (from all "every" service records the past origional owner kept)
Any help would be great, I do not want to just start changing parts.
Thanks
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Old 07-31-2007, 08:39 PM   #2
3050rpm
 
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I think the wobbling you're experiencing despite having the wheels balanced is one indication that the ball joints or bushings or both are in need of replacement. Similarly, vibration and wobbling when braking from high speed (not a panic stop, just braking such as coming to a toll booth or something like that). A rule of thumb that I've found to be fairly accurate is that the ball joints last about 50,000 miles, and that's with easy to moderate driving.

It'd be worthwhile to take it to a reputable mechanic or alignment shop to get a good look at the undercarriage, at 200K there are probably a lot of tired, cracked, worn bushings and whatnot. You should also check your engine and transmission mounts, if they're worn they can also send vibrations throughout the car that might be interpretted as wheel related, but aren't.
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Old 08-01-2007, 06:55 AM   #3
jonni325

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Thanks,
I just did caliper rebuild, Green Stuff pads and rotors, brakes are smoooooooth. also checked for bent rims and they are running true, so I gues its off to the front end shop.
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Old 08-01-2007, 08:23 AM   #4
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I would recommend doing your balloints, control arms, and tierods. Good luck
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Old 08-02-2007, 11:29 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by 94bmw325i
I would recommend doing your balloints, control arms, and tierods. Good luck
I agree, tierods are a common culprit for wiggling wheels. in some cases, you can actually see failed tierods in action as the wheels wiggle side to side a bit when the car is rolling to a stop.
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Old 08-21-2007, 12:17 PM   #6
jonni325

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Well I changed teh control arms, control arm bushings and the tie rods, had the local stealer do a all wheel alignment and its back to perfect, Thanks for all your input,
BTW at 200,000 they were the origional and pretty worn, It took 3 hours start to finish ( a pickel fork is a must)
Thanks again
John
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