The Initial Endeavor

If you read my last post about how I got such a good deal on the car, you will know that there were a large number of brand new parts included in that sale. To be more specific:

  • Front driver side axle
  • Front passenger side axle
  • New seals for each axles
  • Front passenger side control arm
  • Front driver side control arm
  • Rear driver side shock
  • Rear passenger side shock
  • Aluminum Radiator
  • New headlights and bulbs

So clearly there’s a large laundry list of items I need to work on. I decided to work on what I expected to be the easiest change, which is that one of the rims was basically a spare, and it was bald beyond belief. The owner had included the rim that matched the other 3 on the car, which was stowed in the trunk. I took it out and looked at the rubber tire, which looked brand new with the factory labeling still on it. I aired it up and went to take the current wheel off the car.

After getting the wheel off, I noticed the tire I just aired up was looking flat. Turns out there’s a crack in the aluminum rim, and it’s not the first time as there are two other welds made on the inside of the rim for the same reason.

Great, it’s likely shot. Since I had the rim off of the rotor, and the owner mentioned I needed to get a wheel bearing (he wasn’t joking, the amount of play in the wheel was actually frightening), I decided I should look into that too.

Before going into the work following this, I want to go over some of the items that I really could not fathom finding on this car. Mainly:

  1. There are no sway bar links on the front wheels
  2. There was no axle nut or cover, just some odd weld beads on the end of the axle
  3. Again, the amount of play in the hub was terribly
  4. The headlights were wired so badly, the only time I could get any light from them was by turning on a turn signal. Which flashed the high beams. Of course it did!

This is where things began to spiral deeper and deeper. I should have taken advice from Hoovies Garage (link), where he leaves one thing constantly broken on his cars, as every time you go to fix something, another items start to pop up.

I started to take off the rotor and realized the rotor alignment screw was stripped and rusted in place, common for this style of Bimmer. That’s fine, I’ll just drill it out and replace the whole hub and bearing, it’s actually cheaper as a unit.

But then I thought, “Well I have this apart already, I should just switch out the axle since I am already taking the whole rotor and bearing out.” Sure, makes sense, no reason to take it apart again. But to get the axle out, I basically had to remove the control arm, which I had to replace anyway.

All in all, honestly the only thing that wasn’t getting replaced was the shock and the brake rotor. And since I am not the most experienced with this, the process of taking everything out took most of the day, so the actual assembly of everything is for tomorrow or Wednesday.

And I am not looking forward to doing this all again on the drivers side.

About the author

Jameson Toper

I am a Computer Science Student at the Rochester Institute of Technology, and I have a strong passion towards the field of electric vehicles. When I am not working on this project, I teach a Computer Science course and make music.

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