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  1. #1
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    Member No: 69839 merlin0www is an unknown quantity at this point merlin0www's Avatar
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    suspension: $4k work

    Got a quote from a local mechanic here to do suspension work:
    front + back suspension + center link on 98 740iL.

    $2.5 in parts + $1.2k labor + 10% for the governor ~ $4k

    control arms, links, guide rod tie rod, ball joints, etc. basically the complete set.

    question regarding parts: some of you had done your suspension work, may have used non-oem parts. good/bad ? opinions ?

    i also mentioned to the mechanic that one can purchase LEMFOERDER parts (oem apparently) at 40% discount online - he immediately countered that these are often non real BMW parts and as long as they are not made in germany he sends them back.

    mechanic is good: i've had no problem with repairs in the past, but with $4k I'd at least let my fingers do some walking and get a 2nd opinion ...

    i am in sj,ca in case anyone has any good pointers locally.


  2. #2
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    Member No: 14509 m6bigdog is an unknown quantity at this point m6bigdog's Avatar
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    Re: suspension: $4k work

    The 740s are a never ending maintenance project is my experience.
    I love to drive my 740i with Euro SLS sport suspension and 3.38:1 diff. I installed the sport suspension at 75k mi.
    At 140k mi. I've done my complete F&R suspension on my 98 over the years starting at about 90K and I'd replaced everything by 120k. Front thrust rod & bushings, wishbones, center link and tie rod ends. Rear guide link, wishbone and ball joint. I did the complete front or rear when the suspension needed it since I DIY and labor is cheep.
    Typically there is no need to replace everything all at once since the wear rate is different on the various F&R suspension parts. I do my own work and I know I replaced a bunch of good parts when I replaced everything, but since I was unsure what was causing the problem it was easier for me to shotgun it with all new parts and be done with it.
    $2500 seems steep even with dealer parts which is what I used.
    If your car has a lot of miles and maintenance has been defered it is possible both axles need maintenance.
    My experience is, the car would be nearly undrivable and darting all over the road if all the typical items needed replacing, since if one of the components like the center link or rear wishbone is bad they really affect the tramlining and directional stability of the car.
    In the front the center links on the early E38's caused bad tramlining (the pitman arm ball joint goes bad) and I anticipate yours has already been replaced by now. The center link was the first thing to go on my suspension, I replaced mine at 90k mi.
    The front thrust rod bushings are a constant maintenance items however they typically only cause steering wheel shake.
    The rear wishbone is a maintenance item and causes real bad tramlining (the ball joint at the wheel carrier end gets loose), I replaced mine @ 110k mi.
    The rear suspension ball joint can have bad boots and in that case you will want to replace them.

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