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
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.
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.
I agree with Floyd. Tires would be the first thing to check.
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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