First, here are a few pics (Sorry they kinda suck, forgot my camera and these were taken with my Droid in a dark garage)
So you've all see the writeup on taking the suspension apart. What a pain to use the spring compressors when they are all the way up in the wheel well. I recommend a ratcheting wrench Took me forever to get the bent strut out of the knuckle, but with the help of a small sledge, it's out. Next step is to remove the caliper, rotor and dust shield.
You are left with the two control arms and tie rod to take off, which are simply 21mm nuts. The tough part is the stud of each one spins, so you need a hex key or something to hold it in place. What I did was put the hex key in a ratchet and spin that, but hold the nut in place with an adjustable wrench. Works fine as long as the ball joint isn't at a weird angle.
The ball joints slip right out after the nuts are off and the knuckle is free. Oh, don't forget the ABS sensor, which you need a torx socket (not bit). Now you have to deal with the 4 bolts holding on the wheel bearing. Like I said before, I put the knuckle in a vice and went at it with a 1/2" ratchet and it ended up stripping. Gotta take that back to Sears for a new one lol. Went to a friend's house and he had the bolts out and the wheel bearing attached to the new knuckle in all of 5 minutes. A good impact gun works wonders. It would have taken me at least an hour with a breaker bar to get those out.
Not sure why the numbers on the back are different. You can see the old knuckle was made by Alcoa, which is awesome, but the new one isn't I guess. On a side note, it's amazing how light the knuckle is. I'd guess only 2-3 lbs at the most. The wheel bearing probably weighs 3 times that much.
And here is what you are left with in the wheel housing.
Once the wheel bearing is on the new knuckle, reinstall everything reverse of how it came out.
Control arms and tie rod
Brake rotor and caliper
Put strut assembly together and compress spring a lot
strut assembly back into knuckle and strut tower
sway bar and any wiring that was displaced
Oh, and the BMW performance strut/shock kit came with all new bumpstops, spring isolators, dust covers, nuts, bolts, all kinds of stuff. I used a bunch of it where I saw fit.
Originally Posted by bmw6953
GOOD Work! However now I am double thinking if I should replace the steering knuckle. since they recomended it maybe I will I dont know yet. I have air tools so thats good to know.Did you crompresse the spring and if you did what did you use? Some pics would be great! I have'nt done it yet but I will very soon. How does your car feel? does it feel like it needs to be re aligned?
I'm not sure what to say about replacing the knuckle. I guess I feel better that I did it, but I still call BS on them being able to tell it was bent just from looking at it on the car.
I used the normal strut type spring compressor that has a bar with hooks on each side of the spring. I guess it's necessary to get the top of the strut out from under the fender because you really can't push the control arm down far enough.
The car feels good, about the same as before except body roll has diminished with the H&R springs. Big bumps are much harder on the car now, but I'm sure that's partially because of the runflats still. Wish I could have gotten all new non-RFT's. Not sure if the car needs an alignment, but I'm definitely going to get one. Taking that much apart and introducing that many new parts surely threw off something.