Wheel Shake

I just bought a 1995 540. I new it had suspension problem when I got. I am trying to find out what it will take to fix it. Drives like a dream untill
about 50 mph then the stearing shakes badly; then comes out of it and is fine above that range. I think two owners ago the car was lowered; however the next owner put stock springs back on. I am thinking that it is the balljoints but I don't want to start replacing parts without having it pen pointed.
Thanks
JD
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I am thinking it is the control arm bushings. You'll have to get under and see if the rubber is rotten, torn, cracked, or pulled loose.
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Uh, guys? "Control arm bushings" and "ball joints" are synonymous. (Although tie-rod ends also have ball joints/bushings.)
You should first carefully inspect the front tires for defects and balance, and the rims looking for a bent one. I have had shaking of the front end caused by simply rotating rear tires to the front. Tires worn 50% or more should first be replaced (the front end of BMWs can be upset by tire wear), and rotation should not be done, in general, on these cars.
Only then should you start deeper repairs; and then the first thing to do is replace the upper and lower control arm (bushings/ball joints), as you have posited, and been affirmed by Bob.
FloydR
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wrote:

Control arm bushings are the rubber grommets where the control arms are atttached to the frame/body. Ball joints are where the tire assembly is attached to the control arm. There are upper and lower ball joints, one each at the top and bottom of the steering knuckle.
Control arm bushings and ball joints are not the same thing.
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I beg to differ. The upper and lower control arms have ball joints pressed into them. That is what I am referring to.
FloydR
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wrote

Yes, they do. But they also have bushings where they are connected to the frame. That's what the rest of us are referring to. Bushings and ball joints are not the same thing.
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I would look at two things, wheel balance and control arm bushings. I would not suspect bal joints, yet.

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

Agree. Shift front and rear wheels and see if there's a difference. While the front wheels are off, check the hardness of the bushings using a screwdriver.

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Damaged or underinflated tyres. Wheel balance. Track rod ends. Other bits of steering geometry (depending on what it is). Wheel bearings. etc.
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Some places will do a tire rotation for free. It's an easy way to rule out tires that have been worn into a cone shape by lowering the vehicle.
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