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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY M3/OEM Upper & Lower Control Arms



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      10-10-2017, 09:39 PM   #111
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just in case anyone else is planning on doing this i would HIGHLY suggest NOT using the M3 lower control arms as they DO NOT FIT the e90 335i subframe. the subframe WILL need to be modified in order to accommodate the width of the bushing end of the lower control arms. the m3 tension struts are a DIRECT EXACT FIT which is wonderful. also, be aware that you MAY have to cut off the studs of the lower control arms (as i had to do) in order to get them out.

this job is EASY in concept, but was a NIGHTMARE in reality due to the fact that i had to use a dremel and hack saw to cut off both lower control arm studs and that i had to modify the subframe to get the bushing end in.

if anyone has questions on this just PM me.
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      10-20-2017, 02:00 PM   #112
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicehound View Post
just in case anyone else is planning on doing this i would HIGHLY suggest NOT using the M3 lower control arms as they DO NOT FIT the e90 335i subframe. the subframe WILL need to be modified in order to accommodate the width of the bushing end of the lower control arms. the m3 tension struts are a DIRECT EXACT FIT which is wonderful. also, be aware that you MAY have to cut off the studs of the lower control arms (as i had to do) in order to get them out.

this job is EASY in concept, but was a NIGHTMARE in reality due to the fact that i had to use a dremel and hack saw to cut off both lower control arm studs and that i had to modify the subframe to get the bushing end in.

if anyone has questions on this just PM me.
Just did this job following the guide last night.

You don't need to touch the subframe, 2 minutes with a dremel and stone on the lower control arm and it slides in fine.

My car has 115k miles and a 18V cordless impact drivers got all the bolts off fine.
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      07-02-2018, 09:27 AM   #113
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Stuck Bolts, or Dumb Mechanic

Hey guys, I am so close...that's what she said.

Can someone in detail explain to me how to get the red bolts out of the picture included. The ones in blue, piece of cake, came right off. But I can not get the red ones to budge.

Do I understand right, that you leave the nut and simply use the T40 to loosen the whole bolt, because that makes me VERY nervous about stripping it. I also looked at the nuts, and they appear to have little clips, so am I supposed to try and turn them.

VERY novice mechanic, but after a week in my garage, this is all I have left (assuming I can get a stripped caliper bolt out from the idiot who owned my car before me). Any help would be great! I'm addicted to fixin up my 1.
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      07-08-2018, 09:20 AM   #114
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Igor View Post
Just did this job following the guide last night.

You don't need to touch the subframe, 2 minutes with a dremel and stone on the lower control arm and it slides in fine.

My car has 115k miles and a 18V cordless impact drivers got all the bolts off fine.
We (a friend and me) just did this yesterday. Took us about 4 hours to put M3 control arms and replace the tie rods on an E90 sedan. Like others, we found the bushings on the lower control arms to be about 0.2-0.3mm too wide for the sub-frame. About a minute each on my bench belt sander solved the problem. Just took the extra off the longer [front] end of the bushings. Just enough so they were still snug in the sub-frame.

We did not loosen anything that didn't need to be loosened, such as strut tops, or the steering rack.

I bought a HF tie rod removal/installation tool for this job, and that needed to be modified slight to work. A few strokes with a coarse flat file on either side of the 1-7/16 adapter to make it fit. Worked great, except the passenger side tie rod outer and inner parts were rusted together. We had to use a big crescent wrench on that side to get that one off (and it was the reason we did this anyway, the inner ball joint was bad).

My only other comment is that an impact driver is not optional for this job, it is basically mandatory. The only way we could get some of the new ball joints in was with the impact wrench. They would simply spin in place. Any gear head should have one anyway.

We'll see how this works out when I get it aligned.
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      07-12-2018, 03:26 PM   #115
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jacoburn1304 View Post
Hey guys, I am so close...that's what she said.

Can someone in detail explain to me how to get the red bolts out of the picture included. The ones in blue, piece of cake, came right off. But I can not get the red ones to budge.

Do I understand right, that you leave the nut and simply use the T40 to loosen the whole bolt, because that makes me VERY nervous about stripping it. I also looked at the nuts, and they appear to have little clips, so am I supposed to try and turn them.

VERY novice mechanic, but after a week in my garage, this is all I have left (assuming I can get a stripped caliper bolt out from the idiot who owned my car before me). Any help would be great! I'm addicted to fixin up my 1.

If I understand what you are saying, you have it backwards. The nut turns to loosen and the T40 (which goes into the ball joint) does not. The ball joints have a tapered fitting that goes up into the seat that helps hold it securely in place and ensure its alignment. But, that taper is otherwise smooth and will allow the joint to spin in the seat sometimes. Hence, the T40 is there to help you keep it from spinning.

We used an impact wrench which worked for most of them. Saves gobs of time.

Since I replied after your post, I should have answered this before. Sorry.

For the rest of my story, I had the car aligned today and now it feels great. We actually had it pretty close using a tape measure, but were off by a couple of tenth degrees.
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      07-29-2018, 06:19 PM   #116
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Thank you so much for the tutorial! Gave me the confidence to do this myself.

Just a note that the torque depends on which grade bolt you're supplied with.

Check out the TIS here, good resource:
https://www.newtis.info/tisv2/a/en/e...eneral/5bUExgU
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      09-29-2018, 08:15 AM   #117
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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Igor View Post
Just did this job following the guide last night.

You don't need to touch the subframe, 2 minutes with a dremel and stone on the lower control arm and it slides in fine.

My car has 115k miles and a 18V cordless impact drivers got all the bolts off fine.
First thought is that this is an incredible thread thereís so much info here. A couple of questions come to mind...

I took my car in yesterday for an alignment and they told me they couldnít align it because the control arms are shot...I have 90k miles so that seems sensible. Now to my questions...

Will the shop have any trouble aligning the car if I use the M3 arms and tension struts? Iím reading about the negative camber and grinding edges of the bushings...and Iím concerned that the m3 arms might cause issues...

What about my tie rod ends? I havenít checked them out but the shop said they were still tight. Should I plan to change them anyway while Iím in there?

Thanks for the help...

Last edited by Bimmer_Engineer; 09-29-2018 at 08:29 PM..
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      10-13-2018, 12:44 PM   #118
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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.

Sorry for rising back up old thread. Was searching and couldn't find answer but. Can anyone tell me if where I can get replacement bushing and ball joint for my upgraded M3 control arm for the E90 335i ?

Wondering if I still have to but the complete set or can get bushings and ball joints and replace them. I have access to machine that presses them back in.
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      10-19-2018, 08:13 PM   #119
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sparkee View Post
If I understand what you are saying, you have it backwards. The nut turns to loosen and the T40 (which goes into the ball joint) does not. The ball joints have a tapered fitting that goes up into the seat that helps hold it securely in place and ensure its alignment. But, that taper is otherwise smooth and will allow the joint to spin in the seat sometimes. Hence, the T40 is there to help you keep it from spinning.

We used an impact wrench which worked for most of them. Saves gobs of time.

Since I replied after your post, I should have answered this before. Sorry.

For the rest of my story, I had the car aligned today and now it feels great. We actually had it pretty close using a tape measure, but were off by a couple of tenth degrees.
I installed mine today. I tried to go without an impact at first, but after several attempts at the first ball joint I decided to go to harbor freight...I would say that an impact is a necessity for this job. I got a 20V battery impact with 450 ft-lbs of torque and it was just enough for this job...so i wouldnít go any smaller if you buy one like I did...

Also as far as the install want...I didnít have to drop the steering rack, loosen the alignment pins, or jack up the suspension. I did have to shave the control arms ever so slightly...I used a dremel for most of it and finished it with a file to get it level. I would say the dremel is about as critical as the impact.

You can do this job without either of these tools but itís going to take a lot longer and require a lot more patience...

UPDATE: I got my alignment done today and what a difference that made. Idk if Iím as impressed with the handling as most of the other posters seem to be. There is most def more NVH coming through from the front suspension, but I donít think that the handling is much different...although I havenít driven the car hard yet.

Last edited by Bimmer_Engineer; 10-22-2018 at 09:51 PM..
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      11-04-2018, 01:42 AM   #120
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Thanks OP

Just installed M3 lower and upper control arms today.
Many thanks to OP.

I used a quickjack, and all the rest of the tools needed from OP's post.
Even without alignment my car feels good. The wheel vibration is gone, and turning feels smoother. It is for sure not as stiff steering as the non M3 wishbones. But this is due to the m3 having ball joints at each end where the non m3 has one ball joint at the outboard end and a rubber bushing at the inboard end.

The interesting part in the entire post is the torque of 122. How did everyone tighten the outboard ends ball joint bolt and nut at torque specs?
Or did you just tighten until your muscles start hurting... ?

for alignment specs do I tell the guy to use m3 specs?
I will be pulling the pins tomorrow to maximize negative camber
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      11-08-2018, 09:40 PM   #121
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melloww22 View Post
Just installed M3 lower and upper control arms today.
Many thanks to OP.

I used a quickjack, and all the rest of the tools needed from OP's post.
Even without alignment my car feels good. The wheel vibration is gone, and turning feels smoother. It is for sure not as stiff steering as the non M3 wishbones. But this is due to the m3 having ball joints at each end where the non m3 has one ball joint at the outboard end and a rubber bushing at the inboard end.

The interesting part in the entire post is the torque of 122. How did everyone tighten the outboard ends ball joint bolt and nut at torque specs?
Or did you just tighten until your muscles start hurting... ?

for alignment specs do I tell the guy to use m3 specs?
I will be pulling the pins tomorrow to maximize negative camber
I told them to use e90 m3 specs...no issues here...
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      06-09-2019, 12:51 AM   #122
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Quote:
Originally Posted by melloww22 View Post
Just installed M3 lower and upper control arms today.
Many thanks to OP.

I used a quickjack, and all the rest of the tools needed from OP's post.
Even without alignment my car feels good. The wheel vibration is gone, and turning feels smoother. It is for sure not as stiff steering as the non M3 wishbones. But this is due to the m3 having ball joints at each end where the non m3 has one ball joint at the outboard end and a rubber bushing at the inboard end.

The interesting part in the entire post is the torque of 122. How did everyone tighten the outboard ends ball joint bolt and nut at torque specs?
Or did you just tighten until your muscles start hurting... ?

for alignment specs do I tell the guy to use m3 specs?
I will be pulling the pins tomorrow to maximize negative camber
Yeah, i second that, i tried torqueing the two bolts on the hub using the t40 and an open ratchet, snapped two at around 80lbs. Eventually i used the open ratchet while using a 3rd t40 to prevent spinning but maybe got another 1/4 turn if that. I have no way getting even in the neighborhood of 100, let alone 120. I will take it in for an alignment nearby and have them cinch it down.
Hopefully this pays off, i found the first side to be a total pita but cut down the duration to about a 1/4 of the time on the second set.

Couple of takeaways:
1. To get the wishbone bolt out of the subframe, i removed the connection at the hub to take the tension off the bushing at the subframe, jacked the hub up so the tie rod was near level and pushed the boot on the rack out of the way.
2. I was a little freaked when the t40s snapped off but they came out pretty easily even though they where below the waterline: i jostled them with a drill bit by hand and then used scotch tape to fish them out.
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      06-26-2019, 07:23 PM   #123
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Will this conversion work on a 318D?
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      06-28-2019, 03:37 AM   #124
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juicehound View Post
but was a NIGHTMARE in reality
in reality it took me like 3mins per side to get them in, just use proper tools... table grinder or simple hand fill do the job... just shave off couple of mm of each side of the arm joint and it slipped right in...
btw best mod ever, it transforms the car from dull heavy boat into a eagerly steering joy machine
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      06-28-2019, 03:42 AM   #125
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Originally Posted by Bimmer_Engineer View Post
I installed mine today.
UPDATE: I got my alignment done today and what a difference that made. Idk if Iím as impressed with the handling as most of the other posters seem to be. I donít think that the handling is much different...
Bad alignment, make sure you have parameters for M3 not the regular M tech.
The handling is way different, no chance that you won't notice it...
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      08-17-2019, 12:21 PM   #126
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I hate to ask but can someone send a link of what parts to buy? FCP has a 5 piece set or 11 piece.
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