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Old 02-19-2012, 12:41 PM   #18
325iA
1st Gear Newbie
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Ancaster
Posts: 30
I believe the control arms between the E36 3-Series and the M3 are the same in the sense that they are interchangeable; the M3 ball joints may be more like the Meyle HD, but the control arm bushings are different---that's why most people replace theirs with the M3 bushing--there's just more rubber to reduce deflection of the control arm during braking and cornering, but still comfortable for street use.

Also, on the M3's the stabilizer links connect to the strut, not the control arm like on the 3-Series, but there's nothing to say you can't do the same. You'll notice that on some struts (like Bilstein Sports) that they have the eyelet to connect the stabilizer link to it, depending if you're using it on an M3 or not---same strut for both M and non-M cars. Mind you, you do have to use the longer M3 stabilizer link if you use that setup.

I have come across postings in the past that have claimed that you can also use the aluminum E30 M3 control arms on our cars, but dunno if it's true, or if you can bolt it up that the suspension geometry is the same. E46's use the same ball joints, but dunno if their control arms are the same---haven't worked on those generations so I can only speculate.

The photos are of a 95 M3 control arm bushing (used on my 92 325i) and a Bavarian Auto Urethane bushing for comparison---that type of urethane I don't believe is sold anymore by Bavarian Auto.

Last edited by 325iA; 02-19-2012 at 12:54 PM.
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