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      05-24-2011, 04:59 PM   #1
AlanAZ
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Review: Meyle HD Front Upper Control Arms (Tension Struts)

I installed Meyle HD (Heavy Duty) Front Upper Control Arms (aka Tension Struts) recently.

I'm at 75,000 mls, and I'm sure there was still life in my original control arms, but since I'll be keeping this car for a few more years, and they're not going to last that long, and the Meyle HDs have become available. I wanted the benefits of a stiffer bushings now, so I went ahead and replaced them (I had a excellent experience with Meyle HD control arms and bushings on my E46.)

When I took the originals off, I found both ball joints were leaking oil down the bolt, the action was still good, but when the oil was gone, that would change quickly.

Update: someone in the business suggested that it's grease in the ball joint, and if water were to enter the boot, given that it's pointing downward, it would cause an oil like coating on the bolt -- and suggested further that water could affect the grease remaining in the boot.

On the new arms, I could see the rubber bushing was more solid, and the metal (steel?) surround of the bushing that pushes into the aluminum arm was twice the thickness of the stock. At the other end, the ball joint: the metal pressing, was larger than stock, as the ball joint is larger, and the boot was more securely fastened.

http://www.meyle.com/EN/Spare-parts/MEYLE-HD.html

Quote:
MEYLE-HD parts mean improved reliability and durability thanks to engineering innovations. Experts at Wulf Gaertner Autoparts AG have re-engineered OE designs to optimize part performance. HD parts feature a more robust design, higher-grade materials or optimized rubber-to-metal geometries. And this is why many MEYLE-HD spare parts outperform their counterparts from original equipment suppliers.
About the same cost as stock 3 series (not M3), ~$100 ea, and they come with a 4 year warranty; BMW replacement parts are 1 year?


The result: the steering is weightier, more precise, with more road feel, and more control and tighter when cornering. I'm guessing maybe halfway between stock and M3 control arms (bear in mind that both control arms are different on the M3.) I not suggesting getting these if you're looking for a M3 like setup, but if you're looking for a step-up from stock.

Update (from the same person as above): I believe, as in the past, the M3 front suspension control arms are designed with certain track angle modification that allow the M3 to corner better at high speeds. I see that both the normal control arms and the strut support arms [lower control arms and tension struts] are specific to the M3's only.

Pretty easy to self-install, the only challenge was at the end, torquing the bolt that goes through the bushing (I replaced the nuts here with a new BMW part, new nuts for the ball joints are supplied with the arms.) Bentley manual says to do it with the car on the ground and the suspension correctly loaded, except then it then didn't have clearance for the torque wrench. I tightened them as much as I could with a box wrench (aka ring spanner for us Aussies), jacked it a bit to get the torque wrench in. In retrospect, the better way to do it would be drive the car up onto bricks or blocks under the front wheels, it shouldn't take much extra height, and then use the torque wrench. From the Bentley:

Tension strut to steering knuckle (replace [nut] with new) 122 ft-lb 165 Nm

Tension strut to subframe (replace [nut] with new)

M12 8.8 50 ft-lb 68 Nm +90 degrees
M12 10.9 74 ft-lb 110 Nm +90 degrees

A wheel alignment is necessary, and AZ Bimmer Motor Werks' (Mesa) Hawkeye was able to get every value exactly mid-point.


http://www.a-and-f.com/

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalo...57/8615922.htm
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Last edited by AlanAZ; 01-06-2012 at 07:52 PM. Reason: updates
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      05-24-2011, 05:48 PM   #2
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Great info, thanks for posting.

An aside... in order to torque the bolts down with a load on the car, you can simply jack up the hub to simulate a load on the wheel. You probably don't need to get it to the point of lifting the car, but until the suspension parts are just about fully loaded and you should be able to torque everything down to spec with the wheel still off and have plenty of space to work.
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      05-25-2011, 10:43 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowbow View Post
Great info, thanks for posting.

An aside... in order to torque the bolts down with a load on the car, you can simply jack up the hub to simulate a load on the wheel. You probably don't need to get it to the point of lifting the car, but until the suspension parts are just about fully loaded and you should be able to torque everything down to spec with the wheel still off and have plenty of space to work.
I did mine a month ago, this advice would have made a big difference then. Was such a pain in the ass when it was back on the ground.
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      05-25-2011, 12:45 PM   #4
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Quote:
you can simply jack up the hub to simulate a load on the wheel. You probably don't need to get it to the point of lifting the car, but until the suspension parts are just about fully loaded and you should be able to torque everything down to spec with the wheel still off and have plenty of space to work.
We tried that, but it proved difficult to get the weighting right, and since this bolt is able to be torqued with the wheels on, putting it on the ground was the better choice. For suspension parts that can only be gotten to with the wheels off, then jacking it is the only choice.
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      05-25-2011, 01:06 PM   #5
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Yeah it's definitely not the best scenario but most of the time it's enough to simulate a load on that arm that you can torque it down correctly. The best way is definitely to have the full weight of the car on that corner if possible.
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      06-09-2011, 01:34 PM   #6
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How long was the install? Difficulty?
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      06-09-2011, 03:21 PM   #7
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I was a bit confused until I saw the pics. OP, I believe those are the front tension rods you installed. Technically, our cars don't have upper control arms up front (they labeled them wrong on their website). Thanks for the review.
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      06-10-2011, 06:32 AM   #8
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Great post!
i'm getting read to do the M3 setup and wanted to know the torque specs?
Would doing the torqueing on car ramps work?
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      06-11-2011, 06:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
How long was the install? Difficulty?
Quite easy, and you only need a torque wrench, jack, a couple bricks or wood blocks. I did it while also putting in lowering perches, but I'd say 1.5 hrs or less. The Bentley does say to check the alignment after. I did it after other suspension changes, so an alignment just for this was not necessary.


Quote:
I believe those are the front tension rods you installed
Correct. The Bentley calls them "Tension Struts", but they are often referred to generically as control arms.. I'll update my original post.


Quote:
wanted to know the torque specs?
Would doing the torquing on car ramps work?
Yes, ramps would work fine. Put the subframe bolts in so there's just a slight gap, and drive up onto the ramps.

From the Bentley:

Tension strut to steering knuckle (replace [nut] with new) 122 ft-lb 165 Nm

Tension strut to subframe (replace [nut] with new)

M12 8.8 50 ft-lb 68 Nm +90 degrees
M12 10.9 74 ft-lb 110 Nm +90 degrees
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      06-12-2011, 06:36 PM   #10
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thank you!
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      01-21-2012, 11:36 PM   #11
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Just installed these on my vehicle today. 335I 89,000miles. Makes a huge difference over stock, and is a much tighter feel, with a much more smoother ride.

I replaced mine because while I did want a more tighter feel at the track (without the added negative camber of the M3 control arms & tension struts), I had a clunking noise on my vehicle, which turned out to be the front sway bar, which wasn't bolted back, after my water pump/thermostat change.
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      02-04-2012, 12:06 PM   #12
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***UPDATE***

-My oem front upper and lower control arms were gone upon further examination with the fluid leaking out of one of them like the OP noted. I ended up throwing them away.

Here is the brochure where they describe the leakage of the hydro fluid, a sign of wear:
http://www.meyle.com/_download/techn...10-2010_en.pdf

I was so impressed with the Meyle HD control arms, in the way they smoothed up my ride quality, and improved handling (since I'm a track junkie), that I ordered up the meyle HD tie rod end:

http://www.meyle.com/_download/techn...10-2009_en.pdf

and HD sway bar endlinks from: www.oembimmerparts.com

I will install both the new tie rod ends, and swaybar links in early march, and report back. I'm sure it will further tighten up steering, and handling, which should all told, make for some much needed improvements this summer at the track.
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      02-04-2012, 01:20 PM   #13
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Good info here.
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      11-12-2012, 05:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Turkeybaster115 View Post
...I will install both the new tie rod ends, and swaybar links in early march, and report back. I'm sure it will further tighten up steering, and handling, which should all told, make for some much needed improvements this summer at the track.
So, did you install these and how did they turn out?

For the rest of you considering this, I found pretty good pricing on the Meyle HD Control Rods and Tie Rod assemblies at fcpeuro.com

From another thread, HP autoweks thinks the OEM sway bars are just as good (but the Meyle HD versions are only $40 for the set so I just may go ahead and get them).
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      10-16-2013, 08:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
I installed Meyle HD (Heavy Duty) Front Upper Control Arms (aka Tension Struts) recently.

I'm at 75,000 mls, and I'm sure there was still life in my original control arms, but since I'll be keeping this car for a few more years, and they're not going to last that long, and the Meyle HDs have become available. I wanted the benefits of a stiffer bushings now, so I went ahead and replaced them (I had a excellent experience with Meyle HD control arms and bushings on my E46.)

When I took the originals off, I found both ball joints were leaking oil down the bolt, the action was still good, but when the oil was gone, that would change quickly.

Update: someone in the business suggested that it's grease in the ball joint, and if water were to enter the boot, given that it's pointing downward, it would cause an oil like coating on the bolt -- and suggested further that water could affect the grease remaining in the boot.

On the new arms, I could see the rubber bushing was more solid, and the metal (steel?) surround of the bushing that pushes into the aluminum arm was twice the thickness of the stock. At the other end, the ball joint: the metal pressing, was larger than stock, as the ball joint is larger, and the boot was more securely fastened.

http://www.meyle.com/EN/Spare-parts/MEYLE-HD.html



About the same cost as stock 3 series (not M3), ~$100 ea, and they come with a 4 year warranty; BMW replacement parts are 1 year?


The result: the steering is weightier, more precise, with more road feel, and more control and tighter when cornering. I'm guessing maybe halfway between stock and M3 control arms (bear in mind that both control arms are different on the M3.) I not suggesting getting these if you're looking for a M3 like setup, but if you're looking for a step-up from stock.

Update (from the same person as above): I believe, as in the past, the M3 front suspension control arms are designed with certain track angle modification that allow the M3 to corner better at high speeds. I see that both the normal control arms and the strut support arms [lower control arms and tension struts] are specific to the M3's only.

Pretty easy to self-install, the only challenge was at the end, torquing the bolt that goes through the bushing (I replaced the nuts here with a new BMW part, new nuts for the ball joints are supplied with the arms.) Bentley manual says to do it with the car on the ground and the suspension correctly loaded, except then it then didn't have clearance for the torque wrench. I tightened them as much as I could with a box wrench (aka ring spanner for us Aussies), jacked it a bit to get the torque wrench in. In retrospect, the better way to do it would be drive the car up onto bricks or blocks under the front wheels, it shouldn't take much extra height, and then use the torque wrench. From the Bentley:

Tension strut to steering knuckle (replace [nut] with new) 122 ft-lb 165 Nm

Tension strut to subframe (replace [nut] with new)

M12 8.8 50 ft-lb 68 Nm +90 degrees
M12 10.9 74 ft-lb 110 Nm +90 degrees

A wheel alignment is necessary, and AZ Bimmer Motor Werks' (Mesa) Hawkeye was able to get every value exactly mid-point.


http://www.a-and-f.com/

http://www.oembimmerparts.com/catalo...57/8615922.htm

Okay so I'm reviving a real old thread and I'm asking a stupid question! Hopefully someone can see past all that and chime in.

I just received a set Meyle HD upper control arms, and the came with a blue boot/cover. I noiced in the pic above the cover is removed. Is there a reason for this? I tried searching and read it can be removed to max out on camber? Can anyone clear this up for me. I'm getting them installed on Friday and would like to know before I talk to the shop.
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