Well my car didn't have a good weekend - pulled away on sunday to a crunch and the car sitting somewhat funny, stop and get out to see a chunk of the front drivers side spring coil on the floor and the wheel quite tucked away. A quick check and it didn't seem to be rubbing. Thought I could nurse it a couple of miles to where I needed to be.
I was wrong. Maybe a minute down the road and I'm aware of quite large plumes of smoke billowing from the front wheel. Find somewhere to pull over, and the inside edge of the tyre has a huge gouge from the spring. Decide I have no choice but to turn around and head home. I had decided that tyre was dead, and didn't want to kill the spare, so carried on nursing it at 15-20mph. Just before I turn into my road the tyre finally gives up.
Call my mate who I was going to help with the decorating, and he offers to come down, and I ask him to bring a trolley jack.
Try to start lifting the car to at least get it sat on 4 inflated tyres. I can't get the jack under the sill.
Once he arrives we managed to get the car in the air, and the bottom of the spring has snapped off so badly that the spring is no longer in the cup. No way to fix it right then, so cable tie the spring out of the way as best I can, get the space saver on, and car on the ground. Still need the 2nd jack to get the front one out. Looking at the fragment I don't think it is the first time a bit has come off.
Obviously the car hasn't moved since.
Now i'm still unemployed, so need to get the car fixed as inexpensively as possible, without completely bodging it.
My options that I have thought of so far:
- OE springs from HF (haven't even asked for a quote yet)
- Whatever spings ECP or similar have in (£30-£60 per spring, and I know I really should do both)
- 2nd hand springs (wanted ad posted here)
- pair of 2nd hand complete strut assemblies from ebay £50+ £20 carriage
- springs off ebay - a bit of a minefield but possibly as cheap as £15 each
- set of ebay "lo suspension" 50mmF/40mmR lowering springs - £70 free shipping ( BMW 3 SERIES SALOON E46 98-05 320D LOWERING SPRINGS 50/40mm | eBay Lowering springs & suspension. Exceptional prices & TUV approved. LO Suspension)
- coilovers - ECP had them advertised as from £165, but i think that was part of the 50% off weekend and really beyond my budget
I have access to a set of spring compressors, and my wonderful father will help me if he has time. What are people's opinions on the options above? Have I missed anything?
It does look mean with the wheel tucked right up, so it would be nice if I could get it a little lower, but 50mm sounds like a big drop on the ebay cheapies on standard shocks, despite them claiming that it isn't a problem, and I would have to do the rears too. I have concerns about the quality (of product and ride) too.
On a side note, would any members local to High Wycombe also come and lend a hand? Bacon sarnies and plentiful tea/coffee can be provided (when I'm not working on the car).
I'll try and get out there with the camera tomorrow and get some pics of it for you all