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Discussion Starter #1
I hope this isn't a repost, but since I can't do a decent advanced search here anymore...

FCP contacted me a couple days ago to tell me that the center steering link I got from them last winter might be affected by a recall from the manufacturer. Apparently the balljoints aren't up to spec. They are proactively offering to replace it and pay for install/alignment if my part is affected, so kudos to them. They provided pretty concise documents about where to look on the balljoint for a date stamp and what date codes are affected.

So, I got under the car earlier today to take a look. As I'm sure the more experienced E39'ers around here will know, it turns out that the "bottom" of the balljoints (where the date codes are) faces UP towards the underside of the car and you can't see them since there's like one inch of clearance in there. I tried sticking my phone in between to use the camera but it won't focus on something so close to it. I also don't think that turning the wheel all the way left/right will move it enough to see it.

So - I've emailed FCP back but won't hear back before Monday at the earliest. Since nice driving weather is fast disappearing, could anyone give me some ideas on how to get a good look at the date codes without removing the center link from the car? I did the whole suspension refresh myself in February but right now I don't have time to mess with it and I only got under there today 'cause I had just changed the oil in my daily driver and already had the ramps etc out.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Hmm, this is why when I ordered a Lem center link I received TRW instead. Good to know.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I got a mirror. My brain engaged a couple hours after I posted. Somehow in 20 years of playing with various cars I never purchased a dental mirror - until today. Did the trick nicely.

Thanks for the input. Sadly my part is affected, so I'll be initiating the recall procedure tomorrow. Hopefully it'll be relatively painless.
 

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Correct.
 

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Hmm, this is why when I ordered a Lem center link I received TRW instead. Good to know.
I just went through my order history, and it looks like I ordered TRW because TRW was the OEM for this part for BMW (at least per FCP).

I assume we (TRW owners) are in the clear?

I don't even see a Lemforder option for this part on FCP...

I got this from ECS, before I knew about FCP, so not confident they'd contact me!
 

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I just went through my order history, and it looks like I ordered TRW because TRW was the OEM for this part for BMW (at least per FCP).

I assume we (TRW owners) are in the clear?

I don't even see a Lemforder option for this part on FCP...

I got this from ECS, before I knew about FCP, so not confident they'd contact me!
TRW is indeed OE, and that is exactly the part that was on the car from the factory.
However, Lem is cheaper than TRW, and since Lemforder parts are usually just as good, that is what I ordered from FCP to save some $$.
When I received TRW instead, I wasn't about to complain, but now it makes sense. I'm sure Lemforder told FCP to stop selling these until the situation is sorted out.
 

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Hey what are you guys paying to have this replaced and alignment done? Local shop (new to me) asking $310. For those not familiar, FCP is offering $200 with receipts.

I did the install as part of a full refresh (DIY) and if I spend any more time under the car my wife may push it off the stands...
 
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