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Up to speed...



I bought the Touring in readiness for baby number two.

I checked a couple out before going for this one and I'm glad I held out. It came up for reasonable money to start with but I highlighted a couple of issues during the test drive and managed to get another £300 off the price so a good buy. Issues being a knocking from the front end suspension and a problem getting into 5th gear.

First job was to replace the front lower arms as one of them was causing a massive rattle and play in the steering. I did both at the same time along with the lollipop bushes and ARB stabilisers, all using Meyle HD parts.

Secondly I bought all the usual parts to sort the play in the gear selection but limited access dictated I could only replace half the parts. As such the play hasn't been fully rectified. Annoyingly, the issue with 5th gear selection (when cold) also remained, I've since learnt that the fix for this is simple but you need the box off to sort for another day then.

Unfortunately, replacing the front lower arms didn't resolve the wondering front end so I opted to replace the worn budget front tyres with PS3's along with booking the car in for a session at The Wheel Alignment Specialists in Southampton. This made further improvement but the car still suffers from tram lining / bump steer...

Next on the list was to replace the steering union joint between the rack and column, I did the more common lower joint, new from BMW around £60. Again a slight improvement but it still hasn't sorted the steering. I checked the old UJ part and it did have some play there so not a completely wasted effort I guess.

The rear tyres were also budget and one was worn heavier so I bit the bullet and put another two PS3's on the back. Still the handling issues remain!!

Finally, today, I have gone all out and put an order in for Sachs shocks all round, Eibach Pro Kit lowering springs, Lemforder top mounts all round and Lemforder tie rod ends. Lets see what different that lot makes! I'm hoping a big difference as I can't see any history of the suspension components being refreshed at any point during the cars 150k life to date.

If this lot doesn't sort it then I guess I need to look at the upper steering union joint assembly and possibly even look at swapping out one of the front MV1's as it looks a bit suspect with damage and possible buckling.

Other than that I guess it could only be the rack or column itself although I can't say I've felt any play in the rack when I've gone looking for it under the car.

Along the way I have also fitted a nice shortened weighted club sport gear knob, resprayed the centre sections with plastidip and also fitted some new ARB bushes on the front.

Apart from the wayward handling, I really like this car. The straight six diesel lump is so much nicer than my 320d daily. I'm really hopeful I can get it handling the way BMW intended and will persevere with that in the meantime. I have read that people say the 18 inch rims bring on tram lining but i struggle to believe it should be this bad....

Time will tell....


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