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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Stumped!! Lower control arm stuck!!



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      06-05-2016, 08:35 PM   #1
Crunch
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Stumped!! Lower control arm stuck!!

Looking for help.... I set out to replace my shocks/springs on my e90. Front is done, but stymied on the back. I've released the lower control arm, removed the shock, and have new spring and shock ready to go. BUT... But, the control arm will not, repeat, will not go back up into position because it is bumping into the wheel assembly. I loosened the bolt on the inside near the exhaust. It seems the geometry has changed because I have a conflict when I push/swing the control arm up it bumps into the wheel bearing carrier. Probably need a quarter-inch of relief to make it past and then into position. FYI, Bentley manual says that the control arm carrier has "eccentric washers" on the bolts that secure the lower control arm. I have no idea if that contributes to the problem. I remain reluctant to fully remove the control arm as I believe I'll be trading one set of issues for a different problem. Any insight or help welcome!! Thanks!
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      06-05-2016, 09:02 PM   #2
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      06-05-2016, 09:26 PM   #3
Dhillon92
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You gotta lower it onto the arm, jack up the arm a bit, lift and push down on the rotor hat to build some momemtum and itll slam right in.

Lining up that hole is definitely a wrestle after!
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      06-06-2016, 10:16 AM   #4
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I used two jacks to make my life easy, there's a sweet spot where holes on the lower control bolt line up with the edges of control arm. The tiny metal clip you pointed to with the red arrow will contact the lower control bolt housing a bit so try applying WD40(Lube) to the side of that lower control bolt housing and jack the control arm metal clip past it, it'll contact and slide a bit and go above it and then you can go from there! A measuring tape helps when you do the other side, take measurements so you know where the control arm and rotor sit above the ground to get the bolt in, it's a sweet spot, have a couple beers and patience you'll get it. Also, don't jack from the wheel hub like I did here, I had no issues though could have, I believe the safer spot is the black rotor hub cap.

Last edited by ssdara; 06-06-2016 at 10:30 AM.
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      06-06-2016, 01:23 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunch View Post
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You could also loosen the top control arms at the knuckle to get more movement at the LCA bushing. This is how i get mine to slide pass the red arrow.
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      06-06-2016, 08:55 PM   #6
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Gents,
Let me say thanks for the inputs! I will finally be able to get back to the car tomorrow and you have armed me with good ideas. I also found and talked to a certified BMW mechanic and he suggested inserting a pry bar. So I have four courses of action to consider ...

Will keep you posted on progress...

And again, a huge thank you!!

Andy
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      06-07-2016, 11:45 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crunch
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that spindle hole with the steel sleeve tends to bind up while youre trying to match up the slot and put the bolt thru. keep in mind that sleeves moves out of axis.. just make sure its straight and it should slide into the control arm with ease.
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      06-07-2016, 05:38 PM   #8
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Success, sweet success! First thing I did was lube up the binding parts with grease. Yes, grease. Didn't think that would hurt in the long run. Then I tried the "lift and bounce" (thanks Dhillon92). A few tries and I was sure that wouldn't get me across the finish line. I used two jacks and various bits of wood (thanks SSdara) and made sure things were aligned (as noted by #Tee). But to no avail.

Then my wife started asking about the bolts on the rear of the LCA. Remember how I mentioned in the first post they have an "eccentric washer"? Well, at her urging I rotated those several times and YES, at a certain point they cause the entire LCA to move in and out. (Will post pic soon.) That is when the LCA slid by the sticking point on the wheel carrier assembly AND that is how we got the holes to align in that plane (as opposed to the other plane which we moved up and down with jack).

So, for future reference and others who may need this info, the back / rear bolts on the rear LCA do move it in and out. That is essential info.

After that the shock went in without a hitch!

Admittedly, I could not torque the LCA bolts tight enough with my limited clearance despite scoring a Craftsman torque wrench (for only $40!!) that goes well over the requisite 121 ft-lbs. Furthermore, I don't know exactly what position the eccentric washer should land in at the end of the job. But I will get help on all that as well as the necessary alignment.

Huge shout out to you gentlemen who helped, as well as to my nephew Greg who was incredibly helpful. And of course to my awesome wife for pushing me to try rotating those bolts on the LCA!!
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