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DIY M3/OEM Upper & Lower Control Arms
Published by robc1976
01-06-2013
DIY M3/OEM Upper & Lower Control Arms

Note: Not responsible for any damage to you or your car, this worked on my car so will work on yours.

***This tutorial assumes you know how to get your car secured on jack stands, if in doubt do NOT attempt this DIY!

Tools Need not in pic (2 jacks if possible & block of wood, (1) for a safety catch in case jack stand fail (I saw this happen and will NEVER forget it)....safety 1st). The 2nd jack is for jacking up suspension up to ride height.

Torque specs:

upper & Lower control arms to knuckle 122 ftlb (165 Nm)
upper & Lower control arms to subframe 74 ftlb (100 Nm)

Suggestions:

Alignment is 100% neccessary, no ifs about it! your car will ride like a POS afterwards.

I suggest coating all bolts with bolt penatrating formula, applying anti-seize to all bolts and replacing your tie-rods with these below so you only have to do a lignment once. (see link)

http://www.hpashop.com/BMW-E8X-E9X-Z...Rod-E8x-9x.htm


Tools: (besides jacks and block of wood):



Pic of M3 Control arms:



Pretty sure "M" Logos where here LOL!




Step #1: (Jack suspension up to ride height (18.7" from bottom of hub to fender)




Step #2: Take off under belly and take loose the headlight adjusting rod (use 2-10MM wrenches) so you do not accidently forget



Pic of where to tighten/loosen rod:




Step #3: (Optional step, I did this to get a bit of "wiggle room" You can also take out your adjusting nipple...mine was already removed prior:




Step #4: Drop steering rack




Step #5: Loosen all bolts to Upper & Lower Control Arms & remove old POS!



If impact is not used or bolts just spins use this method:





A shop that installed my springs cut a slot in the stud to stick a screwdriver in for leverage and did not use the correct T40 in the end. This prevented me from being able to use the correct method and the bolt was stripped on there....luckily a impact lifted it just enough so I could get a hacksaw blade under it to cut it off (lost 2 hours of time) I was a bit PO!



M3 Upper & Lower control arms compared to OEM:







Movement of the M3 Lower control arms at subframe:




Step #6: Reverse all steps (dont forget to put new leveling rod in):






M3 arms installed: (I will be replacing my Tie-rod ends also with these linked below)

http://www.hpashop.com/BMW-E8X-E9X-Z...Rod-E8x-9x.htm



More camber at bottom!



Very easy tutorial, hope this is of help to somone!

Rob
__________________
JB4 G5, WEDGE flash, 455 LPFP, HFS-4 meth kit, BMS OCC, RB turbos W/3.5 N20 sensor, RB valve, BMS DCI, 3" AR Dps, Custom OC W/ SS lines, ER FMIC, ER CP W/HKS BOV, M3 control arms, M3 guide rods, M3 upper links, M3 front & rear sway-bars, Meyle HD tie-rods, HPA rear toe arms, Wavetrac LSD, DEFIV kit, KW clubsport coilovers, Power-Flex subframe bushings, stoptech rotors, Rogue Tranny Mounts, 1M bumper, M3 CF hood, MORR VS8.2 rims 245/295
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  #1  
By hugus311 on 01-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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very clear and concise
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  #2  
By robc1976 on 01-06-2013, 06:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hugus311 View Post
very clear and concise
thanks! Will add alignment specs before and after also.
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  #3  
By cypis007 on 01-06-2013, 06:46 PM
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Thumbs up

Awesome DIY. You're a champ!
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  #4  
By robc1976 on 01-06-2013, 08:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cypis007 View Post
Awesome DIY. You're a champ!
thans man!
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  #5  
By froggy47 on 01-06-2013, 09:12 PM
Is there anyone who makes just a bushing kit, so you don't need to buy the whole arm?

On my other cars I always find out later, that someone does make a kit.

Is the increase in neg camber from the actual dimensions of the M arm or is it a camber adjustment allowed by the M arm? Noob question.

My lower bushings a leakers on wifes 07 e92 coupe, but she doesn't need M stuff or the extra tire wear that may result.

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  #6  
By robc1976 on 01-06-2013, 09:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froggy47 View Post
Is there anyone who makes just a bushing kit, so you don't need to buy the whole arm?

On my other cars I always find out later, that someone does make a kit.

Is the increase in neg camber from the actual dimensions of the M arm or is it a camber adjustment allowed by the M arm? Noob question.

My lower bushings a leakers on wifes 07 e92 coupe, but she doesn't need M stuff or the extra tire wear that may result.

there may be, but better replacing the arm. The negative camber of the M arm is in the arm.
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  #7  
By robc1976 on 01-07-2013, 12:09 PM
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Alignment specs:



Car handles unbelievably, roughness is gone. Great mod!!
Last edited by robc1976; 01-07-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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  #8  
By robc1976 on 01-07-2013, 06:23 PM
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Update:

Did some spirited driving and must say there is a HUGE difference....car handles without effort and this is with bad struts! This is one upgrade I would highly suggest, especially for higher mileage vehicles.
Last edited by robc1976; 01-07-2013 at 06:29 PM.
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  #9  
By robc1976 on 01-11-2013, 11:18 AM
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Also suggest getting these HD Meyle inner/outer Tie-Rods from Harold@HPAutowerks:





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  #10  
By DallasBoosted on 01-11-2013, 03:30 PM
Not that its difficult, but why drop the steering rack? I didn't do this when I did my suspension.
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  #11  
By robc1976 on 01-11-2013, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DallasBoosted View Post
Not that its difficult, but why drop the steering rack? I didn't do this when I did my suspension.
I did it to get the lower control arm bolts out easier
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  #12  
By simscott on 03-23-2013, 10:11 PM
Do you need a puller to pop the ball joint out or can I just use a fork and hammer?
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  #13  
By Efthreeoh on 03-24-2013, 08:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simscott View Post
Do you need a puller to pop the ball joint out or can I just use a fork and hammer?
Nice write up to the OP. Just one clarification: What the OP is calling the "Upper Control Arm" is actually referred to as the front "Thrust Arm" in the Bentley service manual and BMW calls it a "Tension Strut". It can get confusing.

Regarding popping the ball joints. I can't speak to the lower control arm (BMW calls it a "Wishbone" BTW), but I did replace the Thrust Arms and mine literally fell out of the steering knuckle. This on my car at 183,000 miles. I'd imagine the wishbone ball joint would be just as easy, or need a bit of finesse with a ball peen hammer.
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  #14  
By BLKLYZ on 03-24-2013, 12:30 PM
Great write up. I also purchased the M3 upper/lower control arms, Meryle tie rods, and M3 e93 front sway bar. I'll be getting it all installed in May upon my return from Afghanistan. Can't wait to feel the results!!
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  #15  
By robc1976 on 03-24-2013, 01:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Efthreeoh View Post
Nice write up to the OP. Just one clarification: What the OP is calling the "Upper Control Arm" is actually referred to as the front "Thrust Arm" in the Bentley service manual and BMW calls it a "Tension Strut". It can get confusing.

Regarding popping the ball joints. I can't speak to the lower control arm (BMW calls it a "Wishbone" BTW), but I did replace the Thrust Arms and mine literally fell out of the steering knuckle. This on my car at 183,000 miles. I'd imagine the wishbone ball joint would be just as easy, or need a bit of finesse with a ball peen hammer.
there all the same, upper/lower control arm is easier lol! I just go by what the kit calls it that way people know....I agree with what you are saying as it does state this in the manual. Top is the same pulls out by hand.
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  #16  
By mannytabloid on 04-01-2013, 01:43 PM
Dude, you left off a 18mm socket for the bolt to the subframe! Made for a very pleasant, but impromptu walk to Ace Hardware. Haha, no hard feelings, just wanted to let you know so you could update your DIY. Other than that, this guide was a godsend.
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  #17  
By mannytabloid on 04-01-2013, 03:17 PM
Oh and a quick question - for the lower arms, how did you manage to get the new arm bushing into the slot in the subframe? I cannot for the life of me seem to fit in it.
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  #18  
By robc1976 on 04-01-2013, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mannytabloid View Post
Oh and a quick question - for the lower arms, how did you manage to get the new arm bushing into the slot in the subframe? I cannot for the life of me seem to fit in it.
I ran into this issue the other day an another install...take a file and smooth out the mating surface. ..it will go right in! There is more than likely burs causing your issue.
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  #19  
By fdawg4l on 04-11-2013, 11:39 AM
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Any idea why the M logos were scrubbed off your parts?
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  #20  
By robc1976 on 04-11-2013, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fdawg4l View Post
Any idea why the M logos were scrubbed off your parts?
they are TRW brand so are a lot cheaper...as you can see they are M brand with logos just scrubbed off. So basically no reason to get OEM M arms at a much higher price when the TRW brand is clearly the same part.
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  #21  
By fdawg4l on 04-11-2013, 03:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robc1976 View Post
they are TRW brand so are a lot cheaper...as you can see they are M brand with logos just scrubbed off. So basically no reason to get OEM M arms at a much higher price when the TRW brand is clearly the same part.
I wish you told me that 2 weeks ago. :-)
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