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      10-08-2010, 10:41 AM   #1
binaryagent
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How To Remove Lower Control Arm (need help)

My bushings are way shot (dips to the right when braking) so I purchased some new traction control arms from getBMWparts.com:

31126768984 Front suspension, Suspension components, Rear cntl arm, Rear cntl arm Right - Awd - Awd
31126768983 Front suspension, Suspension components, Rear cntl arm, Rear cntl arm Left - Awd - Awd

I thought it was going to be a simple job but I could Not get the control arm to release from the ball joint. I used a "pickle fork" tool but it wasn't wide enough to fit around the joint without tearing the rubber boot. I banged and banged to no avail. Now I'm considering using a bushing press tool borrowed from Autozone to remove the bushing from the new control arm and install on the old while still attached to the car.

Anyone with experience that can help me out? Is there a special tool to break the grip? Thanks.
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      10-08-2010, 01:01 PM   #2
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I can't recall specifically off the top of my head, but I think I used the largest pickle fork autozone had. I think I put the jack under the knuckle and jacked the knuckle up a bit to reduce stress on the control arm to make it easier to release. Might give that a try.
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      10-08-2010, 01:08 PM   #3
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On my E38, i sprayed the ball joint bolt with wd40...let it sit for a couple of hours and then started pounding on the bolt from above with a dead blow hammer. 9 or 10 solid wacks got it to pop loose. You could also try pounding on the control arm itself to hopeful loosen up the ball joint.

My advice is not to reuse the old control arm. The ball joints also go bad and then you double your work. I tried that on my E39 and it was a mistake that I did not repeat on the E38.
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      10-08-2010, 08:06 PM   #4
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My Dad always said, "You got to have the right tool to do the job". I stopped by Autozone again and found a "OEM tie rod puller" for $14.99. I got each side done in about 15 minutes.

From the pic you can see how I mounted the puller. I tightened it, hit it with a small sledge, tightened a bit more, another hit and the control arm popped off.

Only one screw removal needed to pull back enough plastic to get to the bolt on the other end of the control arm. The plastic covering has a cavity for the bolt to back into before lining up correctly. Two 18mm wrenches needed for each end of the bolt and an 8mm for the screw that holds the plastic. When you're putting the bolt back don't tighten until you secure the ball joint nut. The rubber bushing doesn't spin when the bolt is tight (duh). Tighten the nut as tight as you can and then tighten some more from the head of the bolt while keeping the nut secure.

You'll need a T40 torx to hold the ball joint while you tighten the nut with a crescent wrench. As soon as you get it snug you can continue with a 24mm socket. That's about it. I still have to take it to NTB for an alignment now that everything's solid up front.
Attached Images
  

Last edited by binaryagent; 10-08-2010 at 09:25 PM.
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      10-08-2010, 08:14 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by albo View Post
My advice is not to reuse the old control arm. The ball joints also go bad and then you double your work. I tried that on my E39 and it was a mistake that I did not repeat on the E38.
This car has 60K miles on it and my budget is very limited. All in all, this fix cost me about $270. Not only that but I've got a stack of chores waiting and this job had to get done. Most likely I'll sell this car before the ball joints ever go bad. <mitch crosses fingers>
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      10-09-2010, 12:15 AM   #6
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So what part did you replace?

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...40&hg=31&fg=05
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      10-09-2010, 05:50 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sneaks View Post
So what part did you replace?
08 LEFT TRACTION STRUT WITH RUBBER MOUNTING 31126768983 $147.05
08 RIGHT TRACTION STRUT WITH RUBBER MOUNT 31126768984 $147.05
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      04-28-2011, 11:38 AM   #8
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Hello,

I've a question regarding your shot control arm bushings.

My car is a 09 335ix,
it dips right left when on full throttle and hard breaking, and the steering is very loush (imprecise) at the middle,
but the dealer tells me that the bushing are ok.

Car is under warranty, I even let them check before my suspension upgrade
and they told me everything is ok, but now they refuse to work on the car as it's modified with
a KW v3 suspension, seems as the problem was there even before the install,
i thought that the alignment was wrong with the stock suspension, but seems not so.

I run about 1' camber on the front,
but the front wheels degrade quickly on the outer side,
as if I where driving like crazy but that's not the case.

Optically the bushings seem intact, but can be moved about 0,5-1 cm by moving the wheel with my hands.

How did you diagnostic that yours where shot? How did they look?

I'm about to order 2 control arms and replace them to become happy again,
the car is undriveable and makes me scary for the moment.

Any help is greatly appreciated

Steve

Last edited by serotoninsteve; 04-28-2011 at 11:45 AM.
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      04-28-2011, 02:58 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by serotoninsteve View Post
How did you diagnostic that yours where shot? How did they look?
NTB initially told me about the worn bushing when I was having it aligned. Then it got worse and you could easily feel when braking. As a final confirmation I put my phone under the car with the video camera on and facing up toward the suspect bushing. Then I jumped in, held the brakes tight, put it in Drive and gave it just enough gas to make the parts move around a bit. The video easily showed the excess movement.
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      04-28-2011, 03:03 PM   #10
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Pittman arm puller is what you need.
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      04-28-2011, 03:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by binaryagent View Post
NTB initially told me about the worn bushing when I was having it aligned. Then it got worse and you could easily feel when braking. As a final confirmation I put my phone under the car with the video camera on and facing up toward the suspect bushing. Then I jumped in, held the brakes tight, put it in Drive and gave it just enough gas to make the parts move around a bit. The video easily showed the excess movement.
Thanks,

thats a good idea, I'll check the trick with my phone tomorrow.

I'll try to upload the results for diagnostics.

Steve
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      04-30-2011, 12:04 AM   #12
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Here are some quick videos I took yesterday,
sorry quicktime only:

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10690520/Busching335ixLeft.mov
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10690520/Busching335ixRight.mov
http://dl.dropbox.com/u/10690520/Bus...35ixRight2.mov

I think they are completely dead,
went back to the 1st dealer and they still want to tell me that this is completely normal,
then went to a different dealer and the service man immediately said they where shot,
but refuses to do them in warranty because of my KW v3 setup.

Let me know what you think.
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      02-07-2013, 07:34 AM   #13
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Hey guys

I hVe to change the same parts as the op. I have a few questions

First those new control arms include the bushings? On real oem it seems like the bushing is seperate and is called the hydrobearing?

Those arms seem like they dont include ball joints so how did u press them into the new arm? Is it as simple as popping them off with that tool and when putting it back on the car just keep tightening itl pop it self back in? Please let know km getting some rediculous quoyes for labor and on top of everything I have to replace the position motor on teansfer case I hate xi
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      02-07-2013, 03:41 PM   #14
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They contain the bushing.
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      02-07-2013, 03:45 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killakill View Post
Hey guys

I hVe to change the same parts as the op. I have a few questions

First those new control arms include the bushings? On real oem it seems like the bushing is seperate and is called the hydrobearing?

Those arms seem like they dont include ball joints so how did u press them into the new arm? Is it as simple as popping them off with that tool and when putting it back on the car just keep tightening itl pop it self back in? Please let know km getting some rediculous quoyes for labor and on top of everything I have to replace the position motor on teansfer case I hate xi
I also have these for sale.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=794790
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      02-08-2013, 11:40 PM   #16
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The best way to tell if your arms are bad is to put the car in gear and gas it then brake really hard and have someone stand at each front wheel and that person will see the wheel move forward and back when brakes are applied.
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      02-10-2013, 06:00 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaytonM_330xi View Post
The best way to tell if your arms are bad is to put the car in gear and gas it then brake really hard and have someone stand at each front wheel and that person will see the wheel move forward and back when brakes are applied.
+1
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      05-25-2013, 05:37 PM   #18
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Those arms seem like they dont include ball joints so how did u press them into the new arm? Is it as simple as popping them off with that tool and when putting it back on the car just keep tightening itl pop it self back in? Please let know km getting some rediculous quoyes for labor and on top of everything I have to replace the position motor on teansfer case I hate xi[/quote]

1+ I also will like to know this if any body know? I will put my tomorow.
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      05-25-2013, 05:41 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by avenger2540 View Post
Those arms seem like they dont include ball joints so how did u press them into the new arm? Is it as simple as popping them off with that tool and when putting it back on the car just keep tightening itl pop it self back in? Please let know km getting some rediculous quoyes for labor and on top of everything I have to replace the position motor on teansfer case I hate xi
1+ I also will like to know this if any body know? I will put my tomorow.[/quote]

Yes they just pop in by screwing the nut onto the ball joint

If the nuts turns without tightening , slowly place a jack underneath and slowly jackup under balljoint but not too hard then tighten then tighten the nut. It becomes pretty hard to tighten

Last edited by killakill; 05-25-2013 at 06:46 PM.
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      05-25-2013, 06:46 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by killakill View Post
1+ I also will like to know this if any body know? I will put my tomorow.
Yes rhey just pop in by screwing the nut onto the ball joint

If it the nuts turns wirh tightening slowly place a jack underneath and slowly jackup unberballjoint not too hard then tighten. It become pretty hard to tighten[/quote]

Thanks so much man,that info will help me alot,no body has been done a video for this installation,maybe I will when I do my installation,thanks again.
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      06-10-2014, 10:05 PM   #21
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OK, I want to resurrect this thread instead of creating a new one.

I am about to change my front lower control arms and ball joints on my '10 335xi.

Only things I miss are the torque specification for:
- the 2 screws holding the ball joint to the spindle [ #13 in the diagram]
- the nut holding the control arm to the ball joint [ #14 ]
- the screw/nut in the control arm bushing [#10 ]



Thanks for the help. I could not find anything in the search related to the xdrive torque spec.
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