325is REAR SUSPENSION

The guy I bought my '94 325is from swears it's never been wrecked. Besides after market glass and the missing front end bottom plastic, I noticed damage under the car that looks like it's from a curb. Anyways, my rear
suspension feels rough and makes a rumbling sound. My question is this, I see a big difference in the left and right lower arms especially in the amount of curvature.The camber appears off but it's hard to tell with the naked eye.Are they different or is one bent, how can I quickly check without spending money?
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wrote:

Rumbling sounds like wheel bearing, shot damper is more of a clonk. Broken springs can make some odd sounds too.
Is the back end of the car sitting level, or does one side sit lower than the other?
If you want to check things for free, get the tape measure out and start comparing like with like between the sides. Front to rear wheel base, wheel centre to arch top/front and back. Camber can be checked if you can park on the level with a spirit level and a ruler. Just measure how far the wheel is from the vertical and compare between sides.
There are wildly varying definitions of being wrecked... Most people define it as major body panel damage, but you can side swipe a curb and near enough destroy the sspension, drive shaft and diff without scratching a panel.
I know a man who did 1800 of damage to a Skyline GTR just by clipping a curb at 10mph... Crack alloy wasn't cheap, but the wishbone and drive shaft really added insult to injury.
Dodgy.
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Alignments aren't that expensive. Why guess?
-Russ.
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If the lower control arms are bent, the car cannot be aligned. If they look different, one or both are probably bent. (yes, I learned this the hard way)
Don Taylor 92 318is
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Very true, and any decent mechanic doing an alignement will immedately see and report this condition when he sees the readings and looks under the car. Why guess?
-Russ.
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because a lot of "alignment shops" around here, that's all they do is alignments. I was told "we can't do anything with it, you'll have to go someplace else to get the control arms fixed". My point was, if he was going to an "alignment shop", and he knew the control arms were bent, he would be wasting his time.
Don Taylor 92 318is
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That's the mistake then, don't take it to an "alignment shop". Take it to a proper garage that also does alignments. My statement "any decent mechanic doing an alignment" doesn't include somebody that works at a shop that *only* does alignments.
The mechanic should tell you which one(s) is(are) bent, and by how much. He should quote you on a replacement part and labor also. He should also notice other things that may be wrong -- it takes a pretty good impact to bend a control arm, so I'd wager something else in there is amiss also.
-Russ.
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Sorry to miss out on such a lively bunch. First off, just because I have a nice car doesn't mean that I can afford to take it to a specialist every time I hear a noise. My choices are A)The dealer B)This old German dude who installed a new alt. & battery on my car and the next day all the belts shredded and left me stranded miles from home. C) The local "High Performance" shop D) My garage.
I prefer my garage when ever possible. I like to work on my car and at least I know it's done right. But I did take it to a "high performance" place and they couldn't nail it down. Yes it leans a little so I decided to replace the rear shocks, which helped quite a bit. But if the rear lower control arms are supposed to look the same, I'm curious as to how they managed to get the alignment even close considering just how much more the one side is different then the other. Any input on that? OK, GO............

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I'm so sorry, you are correct, I'm totally clueless on everything, I will shut up now.
Don Taylor
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