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E28 Front End Overhaul

New Steering Parts tighten up this 25 year old Bavarian Bimmer.

Peter Tarach
Jun 11, 2013

From the way they drive to their unique styling, there’s something special and nostalgic about 80’ s era BMWs. That’s why I’ve been using this 1987 BMW 528e as my daily driver for the past few years. Not only does it get great gas mileage but I can’t help but prefer the way it drives over some of the newer cars on the market.

However, owning a 25-year old BMW with almost 200,000 miles on it means that in order to keep it reliable and running, worn parts replacement is critical and after having already replaced (and upgraded) the suspension the next task at hand was taking care of the steering.

The e28 has lots of ball-joints in the front steering system and they tend to be one of the few wear items that needs to be replaced every few years depending on how much driving you do. I’m a stickler when it comes to steering and suspension as the slop that is associated with worn parts numbs the driving experience quite a bit.

Therefore, when doing a job such as this, I prefer to replace all the parts at once rather than picking one off every other month when it starts to show signs of play. It can seem more expensive when buying all the parts at once but I say do it entire setup and you’ll be better off then replacing them one at a time.

BMW Steering 006 Photo 2/23   |   BMW Steering 006

Sourcing parts can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you think about going to the dealer (Don’t!). Thankfully, businesses like BMP Design have made it easy and trouble free to order everything you need through the Internet. BMP Design’s website (www.bmpdesign.com) is very intuitive and once you’ve entered the year and model of your BMW, a list of all the parts broken up into categories becomes available so all you do is select what you want, add it to the cart and pay for it. A few days later it arrives at your doorstep. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

BMP Design offers OEM tier parts from German manufacturers so you can rest assured that the control arm or tie rod you just ordered are more than likely built and supplied by the same company BMW used as original equipment.

BMW Steering 001 Photo 3/23   |   BMW Steering 001

So what parts will you need to overhaul the steering system on an e28? Here’s what I ordered:

  • 1 BMW Front Control Arms (11448) Driver (Left)
  • 1 BMW Front Control Arms (11448) Passenger (Right)
  • 1 Upper Stabilizer Arms (97110) Driver (Left)
  • 1 Upper Stabilizer Arms (97110) Passenger (Right)
  • 1 Stabilizer Arm Bushing Kit (set of 2) (45276)
  • 1 Center Tie Rod (11968)
  • 2 Left/Right Tie Rod (45284)

I had replaced my sway bar end links when doing the shocks and struts but I would recommend doing them if they have not been replaced: Sway bar front links (87823). I also ordered a set of replacement front brake rotors (12988) since my current set was starting to shimmy.

I had replaced my sway bar end links when doing the shocks and struts but I would recommend doing them if they have not been replaced: Sway bar front links (87823). I also ordered a set of replacement front brake rotors (12988) since my current set was starting to shimmy.

With parts in hand, the job itself isn’t too difficult but you’d better make sure you have some proper tools, otherwise you’re going to be fighting with always hard to remove balljoints. Renting a ball joint separator kit from the local parts store is a great idea if you don't own those tools. Otherwise, they can be purchased for relatively cheap from BMP Design. Didn’t I tell you these guys have everything you need to get the job done right!

By Peter Tarach
351 Articles

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