You can do all of the things on your list for the $1000 price, if you can do the work yourself. I dont want to harp on you or anything, but you MAY want to consider either DIY work or to sell the car if you are on a $1000 annual budget.
2) brakes. ONLY IF you are really sure they need replacing. Maybe do just the front, then the rears later in the year if they have life for it. Shaking is most likely not an issue with the rotors IMO, but lower control arms. The fact that there is play in the steering means there are loose componets and those may be causing the shaking.
3) If the brakes look like they have at least 10K miles left on them, I would look into replacing the tie rods and center link as this may make the shaking issue worse, and if yu know these are worn, its a good place to start.
Thats a good idea. I was planning on doing the same, waiting for the front end to get sorted before changing rotors.
The diff/trans oil I will either replace in the very near future or wait till March/april when I can get the seals done at the same time. I drive about 500 miles a month so I am hoping the 1-2 month delay wont hurt too much
Thank you for the link.I had to do pads and rotors on the 540iT last summer, I'd never done pads and rotors save for my '76 MG midget about 25 years ago, and they were a PITA. However, after doing the Touring's, I WILL NEVER PAY ANYONE TO DO PADS AND ROTORS AGAIN!
Here's what I used for a guide... Doug's Domain :: BMW Brake Replacement DIY just have the right tools, some card board for under each wheel when you change them to catch all the brake fluid & dust and some anti-seize to coat the wheel hub before putting the new rotor on. You can put each end of the car on blocks or simply do each wheel with a jack lifting the wheel up.
It is a dirty job [all the brake dust] but after the first wheel is done, subsequent wheels will be easier and faster. It really is a simple straight forward job. Just be very careful about the brake sensors or you will break it when pulling it off. Use needle nose pliers *carefully* and if you do break it, just order in another one, you can run the car without it installed. Bet you can do the job on all four wheel for under $350.
Your knowledge and advice is always spot on brother, but I respectfully disagree with this. The shop will WAY overcharge for that work. It is a simple enough DIY that there is no need to pay anyone to do it. The 5-10 miles driven to the shop on a terrible alignment won't hurt anything. I take my car to Firestone to have the alignment done, taking advantage of their lifetime alignment. I paid $130 and can take my car there as many times as I want to get it aligned for free. They know me well enough that I can name my specs, and they set them. Find a shop and form a relationship with them. Makes life easier.The tie rods and center link arent bad, but honestly, id probably pay a shop with an alignment rack to do it, reason being, if you do it yourself, you'll end up driving it there to get an alignment anyways, they may give you a good deal if you get it all done at once. Tie rods and center links are not hard to replace.
EXCELLENT advice here. Fixing the suspension might make the shimmy go away. I couldn't believe the difference after changing my thrust arm bushings.The diff seal is the only one that a DIY may have a bit of trouble with. But i would keep an eye on the level and just make sure it doesnt get low, untill you can afford to fix it.
Are you sure its not the thrust arms causing the shake at higher speed?