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Discussion Starter #21
They said specifically the ball joints and struts are wiped out. When I suggested just a front end refresh (10 piece Lemforder kit) they said I should do the struts which just lead me to “might as well do it all” front and rear, till I saw the price on all the parts. I’m not sure what to do my budget is 3k on suspension

I never bedded the brakes I always take it easy with new rotors in the beginning and gradually increase braking power over time. I’m never hard on my brakes anyway that’s not my driving style.
 

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You need to bed in your brakes, it is a must. It has been explained here many a time, find some of the old posts and read them. It is a must to heat the surface hot hot, let cool a bit and repeat. You are not babying them not doing it you are doing the opposite. Think of it this way by heating and cooling you are creating armor on the outside of the rotor.
 

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There are a couple of procedures you can find here. I don't like the riding the brake one but if you are not in the country I can see it being hard to go from 100KPH down to 10 then staying off the brakes for 2 or 3 mins hard, then repeating it several times. Just make sure you never come to a complete stop and hold the brakes while doing the procedure. That is how deposits form mainly, stopping and holding the brakes. Completely unavoidable in normal driving, that is why the front end parts allow for it.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
We have the 3 lane expressways but they’re never empty. It definitely feels awkward stopping the car aggressively multiple times with no one in front of me as cars are passing by looking at me trying to figure out what’s wrong with me.
 

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Years ago I had an e39 528i which seemed to warp the rotors with great frequency. After several replacement sets of rotors, it was determined that there was rust on the hubs which prevented the rotor from mating flush to the hub. After cleaning up the mating surface, I never had a problem again.
 

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Discussion Starter #28 (Edited)
Is it possible that bedding the brakes will solve this issue? Still haven’t gotten an opportunity to properly bed the brakes due to people being on the road. However, I’m noticing high speed slow downs make me cringe because I know the shake is coming. I truly believe it’s the rotors again, like I said before the hotter they got the worse the shaking becomes. If I’m slowing down from high speeds of 120Mph or so I have to light brake until I drop down to 70Mph and then once I firmly brake from 70 it’s terrible. I really don’t want to swap the rotors again I’ve already went through 3 sets in 3 months. Zimmerman, ATE and back to Zimmerman again 3 weeks ago along with a front caliper rebuild. Hubs are also free of rust and debris, lugs torqued to specs. I’m afraid if I bed the brakes and heat them up like that the shaking will become violent during the bedding process. Which happened to me when I tried to bed my first set of rotors. I seriously ran out of ideas on how to solve this that I find my self relying on the downshifting more to stop than the actual brakes. New rotors only solve my
Issue for about 1500 miles
 

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You said the shop said your ball joints were shot, hint hint. Fix the front end first if it is dangerous to brake hard. Personally I would park it if it is that bad until I fixed the front end.
 

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Uneven deposits or a hot spotted rotor will cause a nasty vibration even if your suspension is 100%. An out of spec suspension part can cause vibration under breaking (depending on which parts are worn) with rotors that are perfect. A brake rotor should not be causing vibration (this indicates a problem, either uneven deposits, likely because you didn’t bed them, or a hot spot because you cooked them). The suspension cannot mitigate that, nor is it designed to; it is designed to work with all parts within spec and functioning correctly (brakes, wheels, tires, and obviously suspension components).

Since you never bed in your brakes you introduce a variable into the mix, you need to isolate the issue, you likely have both or maybe just one. Are you not bedding when the rotors are new because of vibration, or are you only getting vibration on hot rotors with at least 1500 miles on them? Big clue in whatever that answer is but my guess is you have multiple issues.

If it were me I would have the rotors checked for runout, if there’s an issue address it before you start throwing parts at the car (if out of spec I would have the rotors turned to remove the deposits, they are basically new, then bed them properly).

Have the shop detail exactly which parts in the suspension are out of spec, visually confirm this by having them show you, and replace those and any parts that need to come out while those are being done.

If your shop did not instruct you on how to bed the brakes and insist you do it, or do it for you when they installed the brakes, I personally would find another shop Immediately. I’m sure you can ask for a recommendation in your area.
 

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Uneven deposits or a hot spotted rotor will cause a nasty vibration even if your suspension is 100%.
Not like this man is explaining. It vibrates so bad he is afraid to hit the brakes. He has had a pro tell him the ball joints are shot. He needs to get his front end fixed first. You trying to kill him? Once he has a nice tight front end he can worry about the brakes, and likely all he will need to do is bed them in properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #33
The shop Said the rubber on my thrust arms are shot. Also said my ball joints and struts are wiped out. I’m waiting for a parts list and I’m going to start with the front end first and then save up and do the rear. I’ll have them check the rotors too. I’m not really driving the car too much until it’s taken care of

I definitely get more vibration on hot rotors and I’ve always had that sudden jolt in the steering wheel if I stab the brakes. For what it’s worth it’s a great car that I’ve made great progress with since I’ve purchased it. I’d love to re do the whole suspension and get the driving experience it was designed for.
 

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You trying to kill him?
Haaa. Last I heard having the rotors pulled off the car and checked for run out is pretty safe, unless the garage's waiting room is a covid hot spot...

I said the suspension should be inspected and parts replaced (this may be 100% suspension related); my point was there are a potentially a multitude of different things going on, any one of which on its own (or in combo) could be causing the issue, and that by not bedding the brakes he was adding another potential source of vibration that can be completely separate from the suspension.

I've driven cars that will remove your fillings under braking from hot spotted rotors with perfect suspensions, I've also seen plenty of shops that are very happy to replace parts that don't need to be replaced. I like to have any tech show me the reason why something needs to be replaced, it's simple. For someone who doesn't know a lot about their car it's also a great way to learn more.

I am making the assumption this work was all done but the same shop, I may be wrong. In my opinion a "pro" who has happily rebuilt a caliper, and replaced rotors three times on a car (without ever ensuring the brakes were bedded by the shop or the customer), and didn't check thrust arm bushings and connecting links in the front end of an e39 when the customer complained of vibration under braking on new rotors is one whose opinion I miiiiiiight treat with, well, some skepticism. Maybe this is a new shop, maybe poster never brought it up to them, original post said suspension checks out, hard to say.

Good luck Itrucknyc, let us know when you get it sorted.
 

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Discussion Starter #35
Would one be able to give me a list on a full front end suspension refresh? I wanna do the Lemforder 10 piece from FCP. What else do I need? Do they sell struts and springs already assembled? Not too familiar with what else I would need along with the 10 piece control arm kit from Lemforder
 

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Would one be able to give me a list on a full front end suspension refresh? I wanna do the Lemforder 10 piece from FCP. What else do I need? Do they sell struts and springs already assembled? Not too familiar with what else I would need along with the 10 piece control arm kit from Lemforder
Do your ten piece first and double check what he was saying some call parts by different names. I have heard many people call parts of the front end a strut. Maybe you can decide before they finish the front end and have it all done at once, but rushing a choice on suspension might not be good. Even if it means parking it, I have no idea how bad they are. Nor am I sure how they are measuring it with all the play they say is in the front end. There are a lot of choices for replacing the springs and shocks, do your research, each has there advantages, it depends on what you want to have the car feel like. I did coil overs once but a year later I went back to stock springs and slightly different shocks. I love the sporty feel but that gets old on long highway trips and the roads in Newfoundland. It will all depend on what you want. There are many threads on the board for you to read on that topic.
 

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Discussion Starter #37 (Edited)
Yeah I’m talking about the front shocks and springs I have no clue what I’m looking for with all the different names of parts in searches (strut, shock, spring, coil) Maybe some one can break it down for me on what I need all together parts wise in general (not a specific brand) do they sell the front shocks and springs already assembled? Can I keep my old springs? I’ve been searching and reading I can’t seem to come up with exactly what to order I’d prefer the ride to be stock height and not too harsh. My plan is to get the front shocks done the same time I get the 10 piece done
 

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Dinan setup is common but a little more expensive. Another common option is Bilsteins B8’s and spring of your choice based on how big of a drop you want. You could do coilovers too.

If you do the front struts you’re gonna want to do the rear shocks at the same time. Its not cheap but you’ll definitely notice the difference when its all done.
 

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Discussion Starter #39
Yeah I was thinking about that too. Only being able to do the front 10 piece and front shocks right now without doing the rear at the same time was my concern that the car would feel off. 3K is my budget right now.
 

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Unless you want to lower your car, keep the stock springs. Coil overs are fine if you feel the need to be able too adjust your ride height (they are essentially the same thing except they have a threaded spring perch so you can move the lower perch up and down, total overkill on a street car but that's only my opinion). If the stock ones haven’t snapped a coil there’s no need to replace them.

The front end of the e39 uses a macpherson strut design, so you have struts in the front. The front shock/damper goes inside the strut assembly (sold as a whole) rear is a shock/damper with a lower spring perch attached to the body of the shock. The strut is part of the steering system, as the piston rod of the shock rotates in a bearing and the lower part of the strut is attached to the hub carrier. When replacing shocks/dampers and or springs you should do all 4 at the same time (so front struts and rear shocks).

These are what I used as a resource when completely redoing my front suspension and steering, I replaced everything at 70k, because I'm nuts.

When doing front struts and rear shocks, replace rear upper mount, front strut bearing (support bearings), and lower spring pads on both, also get new locking nuts for the tops of the shocks (check and see if whatever you order has them, I cannot recall if the Bilsteins come with them or not but I think they do). Here is the rear setup RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog
and front RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog

The rest of the suspension/steering you can replace items that are broken only, you don't need to replace something that is still good, get a detailed list from your shop of what needs replacing.
For thrust arms (traction strut) and lower control arm (wishbone) see this diagram. RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog
You are interested in #12 and #5. Consider doing a more robust thrust arm bushing (#6) when replacing. I like a rubber bushing as I prefer a smooth ride, so I replaced those with the bushing from the e53 X5. Lemforder bushing is praised by many. Can get the arm from Turnermotorsport with a solid monoball already pressed in.

Tie rods (parts 10 and 11). Highly doubtful the center rod, pitman and trailing arms have any issues, they don't take as much of a beating.

Poke around those diagrams until you feel confident in the assemblies. Control arms are named different things by different people.

It's an investment but you'll really know your car and it will feel great after you are done!
 
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