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Thread: Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

  1. #1
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Per the established wisdom, I try to replace my front lower control arms every ~5 years or so with track and autox use.
    I guess I haven't been shopping in a while, because it's looking like the OEM/Lemforder 96+ e36 M3 castered control arms are out of stock or on "indefinite backorder" almost everywhere.
    I'd rather not use Meyles, the quality really isn't up to snuff next to the OEM ones.
    Is this becoming a real issue now? I know club racers recommend replacing the LCAs every ~2 seasons, What are people doing for control arms?

  2. #2
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    Are u sure? Have you tried fcpeuro?
    https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...z3-31122228461

    You could also replace the balljoints with e30 balljoints if they truly are NLA.

  3. #3
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Yikes!!!
    Meyle FLCA replicates the 1995 E36 M3 FLCA geometry (and non-M3.)
    The 1996+E36M3 FLCA geometry is different than the 1995E36M3 FLCA geometry.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 02-27-2019 at 03:10 PM.

  4. #4
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    Just use Meyle arms with offset fcabs or replace the ball joints with e30 lemforder joints.

  5. #5
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    The Lemforder arms have been MIA since early 2018. Meyle HD are available at FCP and Turner (only in kit-form as of yesterday when I ordered them). OEM arms (the link above) are crack money at > $300 each!
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  6. #6
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    I see some on-line retail outlets have replaced Lemforder with MTC. Any chance they are the correct geometry for 1996+ E36M3 and at least as good as Meyle?


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  7. #7
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by John in Houston View Post
    The Lemforder OEM arms (the link above) are crack money at > $300 each!
    Makes the Lemforder lightweight aluminum E46 arms look inexpensive.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 03-26-2019 at 11:05 AM.

  8. #8
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by John in Houston View Post
    The Lemforder arms have been MIA since early 2018.
    LOL!!! The $300+ 1996+M3 BMW/Lemforder OE FLCAs are on ‘national backorder’, supposedly till mid-May.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 03-26-2019 at 11:06 AM.

  9. #9
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    I use the Meyle HD arms with offset LCABs. Work great and is what Bimmerworld recommends on race cars. They use the larger ball joint with no rubber isolater like the M3 ones. Only $110 each.

    Don't forget to replace them every few seasons.

  10. #10
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    I just did the E30 ball joint swap. If you have access to a press, it's not a very difficult job. Also, it's quite cheap. I think I paid about $30 (x4) for the ball joints.

  11. #11
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  12. #12
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by hc1001 View Post
    Are u sure? Have you tried fcpeuro?

    You could also replace the balljoints with e30 balljoints if they truly are NLA.
    Most likely these MTC FLCAs are the 1995M3/non-M3 FLCA geometry, though the FCP page (linked from above post) they do indicate 1996+, I’d like get conformation of the geometry.

    IF that is the case, they should be coupled with the 1995M3 FLCA Bushings to replicate the 1996+M3 caster.

    Does MTC also have FLCAs for the 1995M3?

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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 03-26-2019 at 01:44 PM.

  13. #13
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    Suppose I'll replace the ball joints from the old worn control arms I have in storage

    Are these Lemforder E30 inner ball joints good for E36 M3 control arms?
    https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...r-31121126253l
    -Phil

  14. #14
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Z-Thrizzle View Post
    Are these Lemforder E30 inner ball joints good for E36 M3 control arms?
    https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...r-31121126253l


    Yes, you should be fine, though I have heard that the E36 got a larger Inner Ball Joint.

    FYI - E30 FLCAs are same geometry as ALL E36, except 1996+M3.
    Non-M FLCAs for E36 have rubber isolated Outer Ball Joint.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-18-2019 at 08:39 PM.

  15. #15
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    Bumping because I bent an arm and MTC appears to be the only option - has anyone tried them, or at least confirmed they are correct geometry? All the usual sites are listing the OEM arms as NLA.

  16. #16
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    1995 M3 FLCAs plus Offset FLCABs should work.
    Meyle HD FLCAs (w/solid Outer BJ) with Offset FLCABs should also work.

    Jury is still out on MTC.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-18-2019 at 08:40 PM.

  17. #17
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
    I use the Meyle HD arms with offset LCABs. Work great and is what Bimmerworld recommends on race cars. They use the larger ball joint with no rubber isolater like the M3 ones. Only $110 each.

    Don't forget to replace them every few seasons.
    OE 1995M3 and OE 1996+M3 FLCA both have solid outer BJs, unlike the OE (and most aftermarket) 318/325/323/328 FLCAs, that contain the rubber isolated outer BJ.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-18-2019 at 08:46 PM.

  18. #18
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    As a data point, BMW's internal parts ordering system has had 500 left and 500 right FLCAs listed as arriving in three months since at least Feb. Each month it get kicked outwards so delivery is always three months out. While they are not listed as NLA, I think we can count these as dead.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluptgm3 View Post
    1995 M3 FLCAs plus Offset FLCABs should work.
    Meyle HD FLCAs with Offset FLCABs should also work.

    Jury is still out on MTC.


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    Yeah, I'm aware other arms will work but I am trying to stay class legal. I might just try an MTC if I can't find some used arms to put new balljoints in.

  20. #20
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by Crustashio View Post
    Yeah, I'm aware other arms will work but I am trying to stay class legal. I might just try an MTC if I can't find some used arms to put new balljoints in.
    Are the 1995M3 FLCAs plus offset FLCABs not class legal?
    I would think alignment sheet should be good for showing similarities to 1996+M3, in light of the ‘shortage’.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-18-2019 at 08:42 PM.

  21. #21
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    For SCCA street touring autoX LCAs must be OE if you use camber plates. Someone on another forum indicated they bought MTC and were actually 96-99 geometry, so I am going to try them.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluptgm3 View Post
    1995M3 and 1996+M3 FLCA both have solid outer BJs, unlike the 318/325/323/328 FLCAs, that contain the rubber isolated outer BJ.
    Unless its a Meyle HD control arm which has the solid outer balljoints just like the M3 ones.

  23. #23
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by TXBDan View Post
    Unless its a Meyle HD control arm which has the solid outer balljoints just like the M3 ones.
    True.


    Quote Originally Posted by Crustashio View Post
    For SCCA street touring autoX LCAs must be OE if you use camber plates. Someone on another forum indicated they bought MTC and were actually 96-99 geometry, so I am going to try them.
    Curious to see how the MTC FLCAs pan out on a 1996+M3 w/Centered Bushings.
    How are the BJs?

    BMW 1995M3 FLCAs w/BMW Offset FLCAs are OE.


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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-18-2019 at 08:47 PM.

  24. #24
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    For clarity, the closest alternative to the 96+ M3 arms that will still work with centered FCAB are the HD Meyle ones, yeah? IE, these - https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...36-fcp-e36arms

  25. #25
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    Front Lower Control Arms NLA?

    Quote Originally Posted by BlackHawkRacing View Post
    For clarity, the closest alternative to the 96+ M3 arms that will still work with centered FCAB are the HD Meyle ones, yeah? IE, these - https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...36-fcp-e36arms
    You should use Offset FLCABushings with Meyle HD FLCAs for 1996+M3 to get (close?) to same geometry.

    There has been a suggestion that the MTC FLCAs are the 1996+M3 geometry, but I’d like to get firm conformation.

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    Last edited by bluptgm3; 10-20-2019 at 01:47 AM.

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