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-   -   Installing new control arms... (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=792644)

romancommander 09-18-2010 06:29 PM

Installing new control arms...
 
Hey all,

I am currently installing new control arms in my 325i and am having serious issues with the 21mm inner bolt and the furthest bolt on the bushing. I believe I have a reinforcement plate under my car that is making it almost impossible to remove the last bolt near the bushing. The only thing I can barely fit there is a hand wrench but its rusted on really tight. Do I need to remove the reinforcement plate to get at this properly? Is there a DIY for removing this plate?

Also there is almost no clearance for the 21mm inner bolt. Is there any easy way to add more clearance so that I can fit something bigger than a small wrench in there. This bolt is also rusted on tight.

THanks,
John

TxZHP04 09-18-2010 06:40 PM

You have to remove the plate to get to the bolts for CAB bracket. Just remove the 8 bolts that hold it in place. I'm at work so I don't have torque specs handy for re-assembly. Technically, these 8 bolts are supposed to be replaced and not re-used but a lot of people ignore this.

2BorNot2B 09-18-2010 11:56 PM

i used a 21" extension and went from the top of the engine.. go to princess auto and pick up cheap extensions.. helped me big time

also use PB blaster or wd-40 to loosen the bolts

where in canada are you?

romancommander 09-19-2010 12:09 AM

Hey, I'm in Mississauga. Thanks for the advice guys.

Are there 8 bolts that hold the reinforcement plate in place? Where are they located. For some reason I cant see how the plate is attached on but it's on tight at the moment

TxZHP04 09-19-2010 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by romancommander (Post 12253770)
Are there 8 bolts that hold the reinforcement plate in place? Where are they located. For some reason I cant see how the plate is attached on but it's on tight at the moment

8 bolts, 2 at each of the 4 corners. The heads of the bolts are recessed.

There are a couple of pics of the plate, both on and off the car, here in this post that might help you out.
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...&postcount=165

romancommander 09-19-2010 03:16 AM

Thanks!

I have 1 more issue that Ive discovered. There is this strange lever on the control arms which looks like a sensor or something. None of the DIYs addressed this and just wanted to know what to do with it. I have attached some pics of this, as well as the 21 mm nut that I'm having problems unscrewing. I dont think a 21' extension will fit on it from the top because something is in the way. I have a pic showing the view from the hood.

http://yfrog.com/0qimg20100919001607j

http://yfrog.com/3uimg201009190016261j

http://yfrog.com/mmimg20100919001635j

http://yfrog.com/evimg20100919001749j

romancommander 09-19-2010 03:21 AM

The first pic shows the strange lever. The second one shows my new control arm without any place to put this lever. The third pic shows the view from the hood and how there is something blocking the use of a 21' extension. Forth pic shows the 21mm nut but the pic doesnt do justice to how cramped it is in there. I can barely move a hand wrench let alone use a breaker bar.

Thanks for the info TxZHP04, Ill try to pop that plate off tomorrow.

TxZHP04 09-19-2010 10:13 AM

The lever you are referring to is the headlight auto-level sensor arm (fyi, there's another sensor at the rear of the car). Normally you would just disconnect it from the old arm and reconnect it to the new one but the new arm doesn't seem to be drilled with a hole for the bolt to affix the mounting bracket. What brand arms did you buy? You sure you got the correct parts?

Haven't needed to replace control arms yet so I don't have any experience to share. You might have to get creative to reach those inner nuts. Maybe you will find something here that will help:

http://www.flickr.com/photos/wmliu/3740236590/

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=421918

romancommander 09-19-2010 01:49 PM

I got the arms from a local store and they told me it's straight from the manufacturer. It had stickers saying German Teile on it. I might have to exchange that arm then.

TxZHP04 09-19-2010 04:23 PM

I would return both CAs and order replacements from a forum sponsor, either Meyle, Lemforder, or genuine BMW. If "German Teile" doesn't know enough to drill a hole for the sensor arm bracket, what else did they not manufacture to spec?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...uspension/OEM/

romancommander 09-19-2010 05:51 PM

I actually previously ordered my brake parts from a forum sponsor "Tisher BMW" and got burned really badly on shipping and a "brokerage fee" by UPS. My order was only around $300 and shipping came out as $75 and UPS charged me $101 for their brokerage fee and customs. Ended up paying almost $500. I doubt I will order my replacements from anywhere in the States.

Also, do you know how to take the headlight sensor off the old control arm. I took the nut off the bottom of it but the top is still stuck in the arm.

TxZHP04 09-19-2010 07:45 PM

Yeah, international shipping gets expensive but buying parts from a local dealership isn't exactly cheap either. Don't know what your local options are, just recommending that you stick with proven brands that won't fail again in 5-10k miles.

There is nothing securing the bracket to the arm other than the one nut, it's probably just stuck. Be very careful not to break the plastic arm or pull the little ball joints apart trying to free it.

romancommander 09-19-2010 08:15 PM

Ok, I've been trying to get this 21mm bolt off for hours and I feel terrible from being cramped up under my car (which is on concrete blocks). I also still cant figure out how to get the lever off (the little ball joints on the lever look really close to pulling off and thats probably an expensive part). I am just going to drive or get my car towed from my garage over to some local mechanic so he can finish this job. I've already broken the outer ball joint on one side with a pickle fork. Wondering if I can drive the car in this state or not...

Thanks alot for your help TxZHP04. Too bad this job seems a little out of my league.

mentalhawk 09-19-2010 08:33 PM

I had an issue with the nut before. This may be odd but it worked for me. I used a dremel and cut the nut in half. With that I was able to get a chisel and hammer and beat the hell out of it until it finally came off (hammering so that the nut would rotate counter clockwise). Keep in mind I replaced everything so no part was being reused.

2BorNot2B 09-19-2010 10:19 PM

sorry to hear you're having such a hard time.. i used PB blaster/wd40 and that helped a lot.. also, you need the swivel head connector to get at the bolt from the hood since it doesn't go directly straight to the bolt. The swivel head connector allows for the degree of tilt you need.

if you were closer i'd be more then happy to help as i did mine 3 weeks ago.

good luck

2BorNot2B 09-19-2010 10:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TxZHP04 (Post 12254307)
The lever you are referring to is the headlight auto-level sensor arm (fyi, there's another sensor at the rear of the car). Normally you would just disconnect it from the old arm and reconnect it to the new one but the new arm doesn't seem to be drilled with a hole for the bolt to affix the mounting bracket. What brand arms did you buy? You sure you got the correct parts?

correct. there's supposed to be a hole already drilled for the auto-leveling sensor bolt.. this control arm won't work unless you drill the hole yourself


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