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      06-12-2012, 04:41 PM   #1
cwidjojo
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bent rear arm / camber link

hey guys, i just discovered that my rear arms/camber links are bent when i took my car in to install my exhaust. do you think this is going to be covered by the warranty? what could have happened that would result to this? i live in sf, so it might be the ghastly potholes. the weird thing is, the car drives normally, and i dont notice anything out of the ordinary when i drive it.
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      06-12-2012, 04:46 PM   #2
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A pothole would likely destroy the wheel before it would a suspension component. To me it looks like it's been pried on/against
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      06-12-2012, 05:03 PM   #3
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Has your car ever been towed or transported?
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      06-12-2012, 05:48 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by TXmtrhed View Post
Has your car ever been towed or transported?
yes... do you think this is a result from the towing?
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      06-12-2012, 06:12 PM   #5
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Looks like towing/transport damage to me.
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      06-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #6
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Those are not your camber links..these are

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The rear trailing arms are what you describe and they are designed to crush on impact (for safety reasons)..did you or someone before you hit something..curb, pothole..thats the likely culprit..they need to be replaced

If a tow operator hitched you car to those he should be flogged..literally
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      06-12-2012, 11:04 PM   #7
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Just posted a few weeks ago about this - mine look the same, and the car has never hit anything aside from potholes. They are the sacrificial part of the rear suspension and designed to bend.

I see you've got 19s just like me...I bet there are a lot of other cars out there with trailing arms that look the same, the drivers just don't know it yet. Chances are your rear wheels are pretty toed out right now.

The arms are about $50 each.
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      06-12-2012, 11:22 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
Those are not your camber links..these are

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The rear trailing arms are what you describe and they are designed to crush on impact (for safety reasons)..did you or someone before you hit something..curb, pothole..thats the likely culprit..they need to be replaced

If a tow operator hitched you car to those he should be flogged..literally
oh my bad. yeah what i meant was that the bent trailing arms lead to the unevenness of the camber links to the rear axle(?). you can see in the picture of the camber links that its not dead center to it, and might even be rubbing
do you think the dealer would replace them under warranty?
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      06-12-2012, 11:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwidjojo View Post
oh my bad. yeah what i meant was that the bent trailing arms lead to the unevenness of the camber links to the rear axle(?). you can see in the picture of the camber links that its not dead center to it, and might even be rubbing
do you think the dealer would replace them under warranty?
Do you have a good SA?..I think you have a chance they are not a high dollar item and quick labor time..but you will most likely also need an alignment and they will probably ding you for that..
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      06-12-2012, 11:26 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apecush View Post
Just posted a few weeks ago about this - mine look the same, and the car has never hit anything aside from potholes. They are the sacrificial part of the rear suspension and designed to bend.

I see you've got 19s just like me...I bet there are a lot of other cars out there with trailing arms that look the same, the drivers just don't know it yet. Chances are your rear wheels are pretty toed out right now.

The arms are about $50 each.
yeah the weird thing is, my car drives normally. i really hope nothing serious will result from it
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      06-13-2012, 09:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cwidjojo View Post
yeah the weird thing is, my car drives normally. i really hope nothing serious will result from it
I had my car aligned and have very uneven rear toe (0.5 deg out/0.1 deg in) and the car tracks straight - since both of your arms look pretty bad, there is a chance the toe is close on both sides.
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      06-13-2012, 03:27 PM   #12
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Dealer likely won't warranty that. Bent usually means not covered.
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      06-13-2012, 04:53 PM   #13
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I had that rear trailing arm bend in half on me. Dealer did not cover under warranty due to the Eibach springs. They could not explain what would have caused it. Mine was bent in half like a V when it happened. Luckily I was on a crowded City road and not on a freeway when it happened. It just felt like the back end wanted to break loose all of a sudden.
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      06-13-2012, 05:27 PM   #14
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The appearance of those arms doesn't instill a lot of confidence - they are very thin stamped steel (though probably fairly high-strength). Given the stiffness of the rest of the arms (solid aluminum) it isn't surprising that they are deforming. They are carried over directly from other 3-series cars where the suspension linkage is likely quite a bit more compliant, not to mention higher profile tires - perhaps they are there to protect a weakness of the subframe.

Like I said before, I'm pretty sure this issue is more widespread than most believe, since a very small percentage of us actually inspect the suspension components on our cars closely enough to see the damage shown in the pictures.
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      06-13-2012, 07:55 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apecush View Post
The appearance of those arms doesn't instill a lot of confidence - they are very thin stamped steel (though probably fairly high-strength). Given the stiffness of the rest of the arms (solid aluminum) it isn't surprising that they are deforming. They are carried over directly from other 3-series cars where the suspension linkage is likely quite a bit more compliant, not to mention higher profile tires - perhaps they are there to protect a weakness of the subframe.

Like I said before, I'm pretty sure this issue is more widespread than most believe, since a very small percentage of us actually inspect the suspension components on our cars closely enough to see the damage shown in the pictures.
Like others have said, it is the weak link because it is designed to be that way. The way it fails is actually a safety feature which keeps you from losing control of the car. The OPs situation definitely doesn't look normal and does appear to be caused by someone prying on it which I have heard is common for some inexperienced installers to do when installing springs.
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      06-13-2012, 08:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apecush View Post
The appearance of those arms doesn't instill a lot of confidence - they are very thin stamped steel (though probably fairly high-strength). .
No they are not high strenght...thats the whole point they are designed to crumple easily..

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Originally Posted by 808MGuy View Post
Like others have said, it is the weak link because it is designed to be that way. The way it fails is actually a safety feature which keeps you from losing control of the car.
Yep
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      06-13-2012, 10:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 808MGuy View Post
Like others have said, it is the weak link because it is designed to be that way. The way it fails is actually a safety feature which keeps you from losing control of the car. The OPs situation definitely doesn't look normal and does appear to be caused by someone prying on it which I have heard is common for some inexperienced installers to do when installing springs.
His car looks exactly the same as mine, hence me posting in this thread.

It boils down to this - if you strengthen everything else in the suspension and leave the weak link the same, the weak link will deform at a lower load than the overall weaker system (i.e. in the non-M).

Last edited by apecush; 06-13-2012 at 11:01 PM.
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      06-13-2012, 10:56 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
No they are not high strenght...thats the whole point they are designed to crumple easily..
High strength steel, not high strength by design.
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      06-13-2012, 11:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by apecush View Post
His car looks exactly the same as mine, hence me posting in this thread.

It boils down to this - if you strengthen everything else in the suspension and leave the weak link the same, the weak link will deform at a lower load than the overall weaker system (i.e. in the non-M).
You have a choice. Replace a cheap control arm that is easy to install or allow the load to be transferrred to the subframe mount points and then have your rear floor area get torn up.
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