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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I am focusing on a FRONT end refresh of components that have a ball-joint, bushing or bearing assembly.
So far, I have these parts in my cart (both left and right sides):
1. Tie Rod Outer End (API)
2. Control Arm Upper (Ultra Power)
3. Control Arm Lower (Ultra Power)
4. Stabilizer Bar link. (SKP)

The total comes to $150 on rockauto.com; I picked the lowest priced item for each part.

A standard "package" kit from Lemforder hits around $800 on most websites.

BEFORE i commit to buy, i will take out these 4+4 parts from the front-end and check each one to see which one is worn out or wiggles more.

Does anyone have any positive experience with these low priced items ? I am on a super tight budget all the time, and would rather spend $6 on a tie rod end than $11. Thanks !!

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Assuming your ball joints are ok(as long as the rubber boot around the balljoint is ok and hasn't let dirt in or grease out), you could consider just buying replacement bushes for the arms - maybe polybushes and have those pressed in to your existing arms. I've had this done recently and it's tightened the front up.

The ARB(you might call it a sway bar?) drop links and tie rod I'd only bother changing if there was play in the balljoints, check by levering them with a pry bar to see if there is any movement.
Consider replacing the ARB rubber bushes, mine were pretty worn and the bmw parts were not too expensive.
Then a 4wheel alignment.
 

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If you are on a tight budget just inspect and replace what needs to be replaced. There are lots of videos on suspension inspection especially BMW's. The only adjustment on the front is tow which can be checked with a string.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am not a "cheap" guy, but am focused on working on a tight and efficient budget. Instead of building my own basket on rockauto.com, i found this on ebay that also gives a 10 YEAR WARRANTY.
The components appear to be refurbished; Die casting these parts isn't a cheap investment from an engineering perspective. It may be easier to order this package and save my oem components for a later date.

My theory is: if the metal parts are taken from old OEM parts and refurbished with new bushes/joints/bearings, they should have the same fit on the car.
Can't neglect this experiment for $148.19 lol.

BTW: FCP Euro has an amazing lifetime replacement gurantee on all their items; including parts that wear like rotors and pads. Just return the rotor and pads and you get new free ones (you have to return the old parts to get refund).

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
If you are on a tight budget just inspect and replace what needs to be replaced. There are lots of videos on suspension inspection especially BMW's. The only adjustment on the front is tow which can be checked with a string.
; very helpful suggestion 🙏
 

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Take it from me. Indian to another. Do not cheap out on suspension pieces along with the brakes. I rather not put my car in danger for my family if anything fails. Stick to fcp euro for all parts once. On my old E38, I went with cheap ones, and they lasted 4 months before needing replacement. I went for higher quality parts and that made my front end much tighter.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Take it from me. Indian to another. Do not cheap out on suspension pieces along with the brakes. I rather not put my car in danger for my family if anything fails. Stick to fcp euro for all parts once. On my old E38, I went with cheap ones, and they lasted 4 months before needing replacement. I went for higher quality parts and that made my front end much tighter.
I don't see these as cheap parts. They have the same specs and are specifically designed for this car. I can't mould that all aluminum control arm in my basement, or get someone in China cast it for me without knowing the market. One would need a significant investment into all of this. The cheapest part has the same dimension, and WEIGHT as the most expensive part. It tells me a lot from an engineering perspective, i.e., they are made from probably the same place and sold off to different resellers.
A lot of pictures i see on the internet for these control arms appear to show refurbished components, they have significant scratches on them; the bushing displayed from Lemforder itself has tons of scratches.

Let me cite another part from another one of my cars: the thrust arm bushings; which one should i buy ? The most expensive part obviously should give the most comfort right ? Sadly, that isn't the smartest decision. Cheers !

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
On my old E38, I went with cheap ones, and they lasted 4 months before needing replacement.
What parts were these ? Did you have warranty on the items ? On my current M5, i have 5 ignition coils, that i bought on ebay for $20 each, (BMW branded ones cost $150 each i think), and discovered them to be 100% identical in specs, weight, and characteristics, and been using them for nearly 20,000 miles now. Zero misfires.
I guess each experience may vary, we just have to invest our time and figure out. If these ignition coils didn't hold up, i would have returned them for a full refund. An important lesson learned here, which I am sharing also on the forum.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Cheap VS Genuine parts, this is an interesting topic.
Lets look at this:
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At some point in time, BMW stopped printing "MADE IN GERMANY" on their cars. It didn't matter as profit was more important. My 1995 850CiA feels lot tighter than my 2008 M5, period ! The 1995 car doesn't even have a squeak from its seats, dash, or the doors. The M5 is a different story lol; one has to sit in it to understand the sounds.

Everything is blindly made in china, or some assembly line in east europe. All these parts are put into some buckets and some are stolen, some are wrapped in bubble wraps, and some sold to resellers. Nearly every single part on any car has 100s of suppliers. Just check out the vast list of components on rockauto.com.
Cheers !
 

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Please, please - do yourself a favor, and don't buy cheap suspension parts. You will be replacing them in a month with Lemforder. This lesson has already been learned by countless others.

Cheap VS Genuine parts, this is an interesting topic.

At some point in time, BMW stopped printing "MADE IN GERMANY" on their cars. It didn't matter as profit was more important. My 1995 850CiA feels lot tighter than my 2008 M5, period ! The 1995 car doesn't even have a squeak from its seats, dash, or the doors. The M5 is a different story lol; one has to sit in it to understand the sounds.

Everything is blindly made in china, or some assembly line in east europe. All these parts are put into some buckets and some are stolen, some are wrapped in bubble wraps, and some sold to resellers. Nearly every single part on any car has 100s of suppliers. Just check out the vast list of components on rockauto.com.
Cheers !
That is simply not true. I used to work a lot with automotive suppliers and manufacturers, and I know for a fact that every single OE supplier is highly scrutinized and every part that goes into these cars is triple certified, and very few, very few of them are made in Asia.

The parts that you linked to are non-licensed, not certified, reverse-engineered junk.

BMW stopped putting "made in Germany" on their cars because according to German law, if the product does not meet a certain % of the parts being manufacturer in Germany, it can not be called that. Since many of the suppliers are for EU, US, and Canada, they can't legally put it on the car.

Finally, I owned an E31 8-series, and if its tighter than your M5, than that speaks more about your M5, than the 8. E31 had dreadful assembly quality, and their interiors were absolutely one of the worst in BMW history.
 
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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
This lesson has already been learned by countless others.
Countless others have mentioned that TAs fixed with the "cheap" plastic fails and the solution to all of that is to buy refurbished entire units. My experience is different !
Countless people said don't buy that cheap ignition coil, 20K miles later, I am still ripping them with zero issues.
I will be happy to share my experiences !

We will know in a week if these bushes hold up:
Thrust arm bushing (2 of them):
Genuine BMW: $155.
Lemforder: $49
Meyle: $31
Vaico: $46
Delphi: $48

You tell me which one makes sense lol. They all give the same warranty on their products; that is why i find it surprising some parts failed in 4 months; was it bad installation ? Were things not torqued correctly ? (The full weight of the car should be on the bushings before torquing)
Was it a DIY failure ? I have many questions !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
E31 had dreadful assembly quality
The initial ones starting in 1989 were agreeably of dreadful quality, but it was all ironed out and by 1994, their flagship 850CiA was pristine with some of the best technologies in automotive engineering ; the 1994 850CiA was the first car to have the DSC invented by Bosch. In the meantime, the 2008 M5 is definitely a low quality; some of the greatest features from my 1995 are not even in the 2008 M5 lol. Quality has suffered more; anyway, we are going off topic by now :D
 

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Cheap VS Genuine parts, this is an interesting topic.
Lets look at this:
View attachment 953936

At some point in time, BMW stopped printing "MADE IN GERMANY" on their cars. It didn't matter as profit was more important. My 1995 850CiA feels lot tighter than my 2008 M5, period ! The 1995 car doesn't even have a squeak from its seats, dash, or the doors. The M5 is a different story lol; one has to sit in it to understand the sounds.

Everything is blindly made in china, or some assembly line in east europe. All these parts are put into some buckets and some are stolen, some are wrapped in bubble wraps, and some sold to resellers. Nearly every single part on any car has 100s of suppliers. Just check out the vast list of components on rockauto.com.
Cheers !
Countless others have mentioned that TAs fixed with the "cheap" plastic fails and the solution to all of that is to buy refurbished entire units. My experience is different !
Countless people said don't buy that cheap ignition coil, 20K miles later, I am still ripping them with zero issues.
I will be happy to share my experiences !

We will know in a week if these bushes hold up:
Thrust arm bushing (2 of them):
Genuine BMW: $155.
Lemforder: $49
Meyle: $31
Vaico: $46
Delphi: $48

You tell me which one makes sense lol. They all give the same warranty on their products; that is why i find it surprising some parts failed in 4 monyths; was it bad installation ? Were things not torqued correctly ? (The full weight of the car should be on the bushings before torquing)
Was it a DIY failure ? I have many questions !
:) You are a glutton for punishment.
I'd go with Lemforder, but none of the others. Genuine BMW E60 suspension parts are made by Lemforder.
 
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If you came into my QUALITY parts store where we only offered high quality, I'd have to politely ask you to leave so we can use our time to serve other customers who appreciate quality and are willing to pay for it. You can find some Lemforder parts at RockAuto, sometimes. Their close-out parts are sometimes missing bolts and stuff, that MUST be replaced for a safe suspension setup. Or sometimes rusted or have other issues, obvioiusly someones return. Sometimes they are fine. Its a crap shoot. I buy that crap for Toyotas, but not BMW's. Anyway, be sure to get those missing bolts and nuts. My 2004 E60 is rock solid. But I only use quality parts.
 
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I've never had any issue on the rare occasion I've gotten Rockauto closeouts. If buying non close-out 'fresh' parts then rockauto still beats everyone else pricing by a good margin. And their service is on par with Amazon.

But also agree that they offer shady brands like most of the names on this thread. To each his own.
 

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Just to point I have no issue with Rockauto, their store or service - I have never ordered anything from them.
 
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