do i have to change the front wishbones or just buy new bushes


Asked by Jun 01, 2013 at 01:44 PM about the 2000 BMW 3 Series 318i

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

hi im dave I have a 318ci e 46 yr 2000 bmw ive been told my wishbones are bad and have to change the lot ive asked a bwm main dealer parts depot and he told me that my yr car and being e 46 I have to renew the whole wishbones can u help is that true

6 Answers

Tom Demyan

Most times you can just replace the Control Arm bushings, but the control arms incorporate the ball joints and those tend to wear out. If you have higher mileage and wear, then it's advisable to replace the arm vs pressing in the individual components.

Lars Cats

If the wishbones are bad it is probably due to the balljoints being worn, these cannot be replaced seperately and will require replacement of the wishbone assemblies as a whole.

Robert Charlson

You have an early model e46 and the was a design change in the later e46 wishbones and bushings and you can not get the older ones any more and do have to upgrade to the later model ones. Plus like mentioned above ball joints are not replaceable seperate.


Shop around and buy after market to save, Check ECS, Bavauto, and Turner motorsports. The balljoint is built into the control arm, so they get replaced together regardless. Your year is odd though, I thought the 318ic was an E36 and its last production run was 1998? I could be wrong though, havnt dug too deep on that factoid././.


It depends. How many miles in your odometer? are you original owner?


If your current mileage is in the 40k range you may be able to just replace LCABS. They fail at around 40 to 75k +, - sooner you suspect a bad LCAB replace asap for better chances that both ball joints in arm dont take all the beating. Check tension of arm when LCABS are off. If there is good resistance when moving arm up or down thats a good sign. Do not install aluminum plate just install LCABS to drive around. If it feels right with no weird noises, car doesnt veer to the side when applying brakes then your fine. Install plate and cover. Fit zerts directly on base of all your balljoints and refill everytime you change your oil. Sealed balljoints fail because lubricant seeps out. Even with OEM components. It's a great way to extend the useable life of your suspension. Good luck

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