Before I bought my used '95 325i I brought it in to my local trusty
mechanic for a once over. He found very few big problems, but he did
find that the outer balljoints had been installed wrong in the control
arms, among a few other very minor issues.
After I bought the car (for a good price I might add) I decided that,
rather than press new balljoints into the old arms (the cheaper route)
I'd get new (remanufactured) control arms complete with both new inner
and outer ball joints. While shopping the 'net I was thrilled to find
that Bavarian Autosport (just down the roan from me in Portsmouth, NH)
had them for the lowest price even after including shipping charges.
Ordered 'em up, popped 'em in. No worries, mate...
'till now. After about 2 years and less than 15k miles I was having
some tire wear problems where the outside edge of the Front Right tire
was going like wildfire. Since the car had not been aligned in ages
even though I have replaced a lot of the suspension (shocks, struts, tie
rods, all OEM stuff) I decided to "bring it in". I can do toe-in with
my fishing line technique, but I don't have anything to check the
(unadjustable) angles of camber and castor.
The verdict comes back that my balljoints are trashed. Completely shot.
I'm aghast!! How could balljoints go in 2 years and 15k miles?
The shop pressed in new outers (like I should have before), did the full
alignment, and I swear to God, it feels like a brand new car!!
I'm not really looking for answers. More just wondering how they could
have gone bad in such short time and miles.
Perhaps an important clue is, about the time I replaced the control
arms, I swapped my 15" bottlecap wheels with a set of 16" Z-stars during
the summer (kept the bottlecaps with Michelin Arctic Alpins for the
winter). The wider tires really seemed to help the grip, but the they
wore strangely, and before too long became unbalanced.
I'm back to 15" wheels, with new balljoints and a fresh alignment and
all is right with this car. At least in the handling department.
Now to straighten out the noisy VANOS and fix the scary (cancerous
looking) rust bubble that appeared just behind the LR wheel well...
It's always something. But I sure do love that car...
Toys for sale, Hey get your toys here:
Click to see the full signature.