E46Fanatics - View Single Post - Control Arm Replacement Experience
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Old 04-21-2006, 06:23 AM   #46
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: taking a ride with my best friend.
Posts: 386
My Ride: 2001 325Ci
Don't get too wrapped-around-the-axle looking for specific "DIY" instructions. This job, essentially, is removing and replacing four nuts and four bolts. I'd say having the proper tools is much more important than having instructions from some slob like me. Staszek and I could have had this done in two hours total if we had actually had the right size wrenches. Anyway, that being said, here's my list of tools one might need:

-torque wrench, good for up to about 100 ft-lbs
-1/2"-drive ratchet wrench.
-17mm "long" socket - for taking off lug nuts
-16mm socket for removing bushing carrier bolts
-18 and 21mm flat/open wrenches, for removing nuts from ball joints.
-possible 19 and 22mm flat/open wrenches for re-installing control arms with new ball joints/nuts. when you do receive your new control arms, it's very worthwhile checking the size of the nuts on top. make sure you have good flat wrenches in those sizes.
-a pickle fork. small/medium ones are fine, say 10-15 inches long.
-a big darn hammer. think 5 to 10 pound sledge. we used a 10-pounder, hammering slowly and accurately. no problem at all.
-allen keys, 5mm and 6mm. again, double-check that your new ball joints have sockets in sizes that you have keys for.

Staszek/Tim/anyone, wanna add whatever I've forgotten?

When I do this job again, I will also make sure I have:
-knee pads. seriously.
-ratcheting flat wrenches, like these "Gear Wrenches."

Anyway, if somebody really wants to write up a DIY and lives in NY/NJ/PA (or wants to fly me to Cali ) then PM me. I'd be happy to help.
r0x is offline   Reply With Quote