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  1. #1
    jayb
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    front swing arm support broke

    Ok, just received new Bilstein Shocks under the warranty. They have 95K on them and one is badly leaking, the other one has too much bounce on it when pushing down on fender. Just found out that the front seing arm support that connects to the shock broke and needs to be replaced. Also need to replace the boots at top of shock. How common is it for swing arm support to break. 195k 2000/328i. Getting both replaced.
    Also, when changing to snow tires, I noticed that one side of the front is slightly lower in the last year, maybe 1/4 to 3/8 inch (needed to raise car on that side to get floor jack under it). I was thinking this might be the time to change Springs--I have Eiback in the car now with about 100k on the springs. But maybe I will just live with it and hope it does not get worse. I do not see how that would have anything to do with the swing arm support or leaking shock, even though it is on the same wheel. Any feedback is appreciated.

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    Unfortuneately you're kinda in the position

    to give us advice rather than receive it. Not many ever get to the point where they find out what parts last to 195,000 miles without breaking.
    Could you please ID better what a swing arm support is in an e46 suspension? On the front of an e46 the bottom of the shock bolts into the steering knuckle or 'king pin' as realoem.com seems to call it.

    And for clarity, you received new Bilstein's; are they on the car yet? Or is it the old Bilstein's that are leaking and worn?

  3. #3
    jayb
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    Re: Unfortuneately you're kinda in the position

    The new Bilsteins are ready to be put on the car, and they look fine. The leaky one is the right side, same side as theswing arm support. I seem to remember it is part #5 in some diagram I saw a while back. The upper portion attaches to the shock about 3/4 the way up the shock it has a attachment point for it. It is about a foot long. At the top end of the shock is a boot that goes over it, that needs to be replaced also. Even though the right shock definitely show leaking, the left does not. So--even though both have about 95k, I suspect that Biltstein will give me problems with the left because it shows no leak, resulting in me paying for the left (I think it was about $170). But no way I change only one side at that mileage on it.

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    I'd be very disappointed with Bilstein if they did

    not follow the completely universal advice to replace shocks only in pairs.
    If they live up to their warranty properly, you will get two front shocks from them.
    The attachment point up on the side of the strut is for the anti-roll bar link to be attached. While you have everything apart, consider the cheap replacement of putting in new sway bar links.

  5. #5
    jayb
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    Re: I'd be very disappointed with Bilstein if they did

    Singer
    great thought--only change in pairs. I need to find that on their web site to point that out to them. I may be wrong, but I am thinking they are going to say NO LEAK, NOTHING WRONG. I am sure they will also take the position that in pairs means the SAME TYPE of shock. Let my look up sway bar links

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    front swing arm support broke ???

    you must have hit one HELLAVA POT HOLE!!?

    to break that arm and blow out the shock

    better look closely at the tops of your inner
    fenders where the top strut mount is connected by the 3-nuts

    that area maybe balloned up in a dome shape instead
    of the original flat top shape.
    When you hit something with that great of an impact,
    you push and distort the dome. That is why on the X all
    wheel models they install a reinforcement plate on top of the strut
    before it's inserted up into the wheel house

  7. #7
    jayb
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    Re: I'd be very disappointed with Bilstein if they did

    Did a little review of front end diagram. We are looking at #5, which I believe is all the same part that attached to front shock (stut) going by name roll-bar as you say, or sway bar, or (as in offical diagram "SWING". I will change both front, but not rear at this time. Thanks Stinger--do you still live upper west side in 60's? Hopefully you do not keep that car on the street. How much does a garage space go for now--where do you get space to do work on car?

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    Still live in the Lincoln Center area and it would

    be way too much of a challenge to work on my car in the city. Go to my friend's house in PA with a driveway to work in. Big jobs a neighbor let's me put the car up on jack stands in his garage. I've done shocks, brakes, clear bra, alarm and CD install, window tint, new battery, headlight protection, complete cooling system replacement with underdrive pulleys, and oil changes there.
    Monthly garage rent in my area goes anywhere from $300 to close to $800 per month. Everything on the street gets front and back bumpers really scratched (at the very least), so I keep the car parked between steel columns in my garage where no one can park next to me. Paranoid, yes!

  9. #9
    jayb
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    Re: front SWAYarm support broke

    Just got my 328i back from the shop. He installed the Biltstein Sport struts (warranty replacement), new sway link arms (what I call Swing arm supports) (they attach to the strut about 3/4 way up) and upper boots at top of strut. His time was 3.5 hours (including fuel filter) at $315. The sway link arms and boots extra.
    Major difference in car handling, and now unable to push down manually on fenders with new Bilsteins. Tomorrow the old bilsteins get mailed back--they better honor their warranty and refund my 50% deposit. Both old bilsteins were dead.
    I post previously that I paid about $36 with discount for the BMW fuel filter, and thought that was good based on a $48 list. He showed me his cost for quality bands--$12, $18, $20. I could have shopped the internet andsaved a few dollars.

  10. #10
    jayb
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    POT HOLES IN NJ--c.c iesel

    SIZE OF POT HOLES IN NJ (1 view)

    Message: c.d.iesel--Unlike Connecticut (where I think I recall you live) in New Jersey the pot holes are so big that cars have been know to fall into them and never be found. Driving down the highway is like a game you play on the PC, see how many you can miss by steering around them. In any other State, a police officer following your car would instantly recognize that you must be a DWI, swerving around these abstacles. I probably miss 90% of the pot holes, that comes with practice. BUT there are those that seem to be either non-stationary, or cloaked (a Star Trek term) that cannot be avoided. I cannot remember one that was the killer. The mechanic said that the reason that the sway arm broke is probably mileage (195k) and the stress with additional broken stut (95k). Not sure. How is the roads in Connecticut--I almost never see them except for 95 north and south, sometimes 84 or 91.


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