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Discussion Starter #1
Last spring I did a suspension refresh: all control arms, sway links, outer tie rods, center link, idler arm, rear ball joints, integral links. Car had ~144K when I did this. Shortly after that I bought an F150 for a DD, so the M5 stayed garaged most of the time. I've put just over 5K on the M5 since.

This weekend I took it out for a drive and the front end felt funny again -- real squirrelly. I hadn't rotated the tires in a while so I decided to take care of that while checking the issue out. Pulled the front wheels and grabbed the tie rods. Passenger side was solid. Driver's side I could rotate quite easily by hand. What the heck? Has this happened to anyone else? The tie rods are Meyle and came in a 6 piece kit w/ the 4 control arms.

Thankfully I got all the parts from FCP Euro. I ordered another tie rod Sunday, received it today, swapped tonight, and took for a quick drive. Felt much better.
 

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wait the tie rod spun around the threaded center link? It sounds like the alignment shop didn't tighten the pinch bolt. Glad you caught it and FCP Rocks.
 

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I rebuilt complete front and rear suspension on 4 cars so far: 97 528i, 98 540i6, 03 X54.6is and recently 03 M5. Every time I used Lemforder exclusively. Between these 4 cars there is probably 100k miles or 10 years of trouble free operation. Some reported here and on other forums issues with Lemforder but I never had one. IMO, going with anything else except Lemforder or BMW genuine is a risk.
 

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I rebuilt complete front and rear suspension on 4 cars so far: 97 528i, 98 540i6, 03 X54.6is and recently 03 M5. Every time I used Lemforder exclusively. Between these 4 cars there is probably 100k miles or 10 years of trouble free operation. Some reported here and on other forums issues with Lemforder but I never had one. IMO, going with anything else except Lemforder or BMW genuine is a risk.
^^ what he said. Although FCP does offer their lifetime warranty, the prices for Lemforder aren't that much more than Meyle, and at least they're likely not made in China like the Meyle stuff.

My pet peeve has always been the damned "Meyle Germany" boxes, and then in the tiny fine print on the label it clearly says "Made in China." Some sellers actually put a new stock label OVER the fine print made in China label as if to hide it. Happened to some rotors I ordered once, never again.
 

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^^ what he said. Although FCP does offer their lifetime warranty, the prices for Lemforder aren't that much more than Meyle, and at least they're likely not made in China like the Meyle stuff.

My pet peeve has always been the damned "Meyle Germany" boxes, and then in the tiny fine print on the label it clearly says "Made in China." Some sellers actually put a new stock label OVER the fine print made in China label as if to hide it. Happened to some rotors I ordered once, never again.
Same as the above and above. Been there before, will never use anything other than Lemforder or BMW parts. Had to redo work many times, lesson learned.
 

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Meyle usually are good parts. But I agree, Lem probably is a safer bet, especially for suspension bits.
 

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As the others said, what brand did you go with?

Even with the FCP warranty, I wouldn't replace with anything other than Lemforder or OE-- it's just not worth the hassle of constantly swapping, even for free (FCP) parts.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
It was a mix of Meyle and Lemforder parts. When I did the research last year before purchasing, both of those were consistently recommended.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Guys, I'm struggling to figure out what's going on w/ my car. The front end is still squirrelly. Nearly the entire front suspension has been replaced. Last spring @ 144k I changed the 4 ctrl arms, sway links, tie rods, center link, & idler arm. A couple weeks ago I had to change out a tie rod again (as mentioned above) and replace the pass wheel hub. Got an alignment and the steering wheel centered. I have 149k now, so roughly 5k miles on the new suspension.

Not too long ago, I noticed my steering wheel does have a bit of free play (~1") -- could that be it? Yesterday I flushed the PS fluid. I've seen posts about adjusting the feel on the steering box. Does the column have bushings or joints that need replacement?

My tires are Conti Xtreme Contacts w/ 16k on them and about 4/32" of tread. Are these a factor?

Maybe it's the struts? They seem original, but my car doesn't have uncontrolled bouncing over bumps.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
What do you mean by squierlly and when you had it aligned was the front and rear toe?
Yes a full alignment. Squirrelly - I'm driving straight down a level road and it feels like the front end is moving around in every direction.

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sorry I meant in the spec what was the toe vaules.

Is there play in wheels? Ie if the front is off the ground are you getting any free play?
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Likely tramlining. What size tires are you running up front?
Stock wheels and tire sizes.

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Don’t discount wear in the rear suspension - particularly the small upper control arm ball joints which control the rear toe. If they’re worn the rear will be self-steering which results in you having to make constant steering changes.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
sorry I meant in the spec what was the toe vaules.

Is there play in wheels? Ie if the front is off the ground are you getting any free play?
Front .1 & .1 each
Rear .05 & .05 each

I haven't tried it w/ the front off the ground. Standing outside my car, I can move the steering wheel ~1" before I feel resistance and see the driver wheel start to move.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Don’t discount wear in the rear suspension - particularly the small upper control arm ball joints which control the rear toe. If they’re worn the rear will be self-steering which results in you having to make constant steering changes.
I did the rear last spring as well - all ctrl arms, sway links, integral links, ball joints.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I do have a GoPro type camera. I could try attaching that somewhere in the wheel well and record what's happening. I guess the sway link might be the best mount point.
 

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I do have a GoPro type camera. I could try attaching that somewhere in the wheel well and record what's happening. I guess the sway link might be the best mount point.
This is a good idea, but won't capture the viewing angles you'll need to look at closely. Alternately, pull the trays so you can see the suspension/steering components, then look over everything while an assistant moves the steering wheel only in the range of the play. Look especially close at the non-OEM components you've previously fitted. While the rear wishbones may be worn and contributing to the road feel, but wouldn't be the cause of the play in the front end.
 
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