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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 12-06-2008, 06:28 PM   #1
peanut_man
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Question Need help removing front struts.

Hello,

I'm trying to remove the strut to install the camber plate. I remember when I first replace the strut, I can undo the pinch bolts and the strut mount nuts and with a little wiggling, the struts will come out.

Now that I have Meyle control arms in place, I don't seem to be able to get enough clearance to wiggle the strut out. Any idea? Do I have to disconnect the control arm also? Trying to avoid doing so.

Here's after the king pin is dropped to the lowest point (pinch bolt is loosen):



From the bottom, you can see it didn't drop nearly enough.



** EDIT **
Lots of question on this... so here are the steps I followed:

1) Lift the car put jacks on both side, remove the wheels, soak the pinch bolts with PB Blaster
2) Unbolt the sway bar endlinks from the strut
3) Detach the wires from the bracket that attached to the pinch bolt.
4) With the jack supporting the brake, loosen 3 strut mount bolts
5) Loosen the pinch bolt
6) wiggle loose the strut from the king pin, which is fine, it's loose
7) Lower the jack

And this is where I'm stuck. I simply can't get enough clearance to wiggle out the strut. Help.

Last edited by peanut_man; 12-07-2008 at 12:15 PM.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:03 AM   #2
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help?
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
Paul180
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Just want to make sure that the swaybar endlink is also disconnected. Second, back the bolt out completely, since there are threads on both sides, it is still applying pressure. Make sure that you are supporting the control arm when it does finally come out.

http://www.bmw330ci.net/projects/suspension.php
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul180 View Post
Just want to make sure that the swaybar endlink is also disconnected. Second, back the bolt out completely, since there are threads on both sides, it is still applying pressure. Make sure that you are supporting the control arm when it does finally come out.

http://www.bmw330ci.net/projects/suspension.php
Yes, the swaybar endlink is disconnected. Also the pinch bolt is threaded on the opposite side only (I tripple checked that one). Besides, the pinch bolt is non-issue, the strut is loose, just that it doesn't have enough clearance to wiggle out.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:00 AM   #5
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From step 8 above, the clamp wont' slide all the way off the shock. Not nearly enough to wiggle out.
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Old 12-07-2008, 10:18 AM   #6
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The 18mm bolt should be loose enough to allow the bracket to "expand." From your pictures, it seems the thread still makes it to the other side. Make that bolt more loose. Then, get a jack stand and place it about 2 inches below the hub as if it were to catch it. Stand next to the car and using your foot give the hub a little downward kick or use your own body weight to release it. The jack stand with "catch it" to it will not go straight down. Now you should be able to wiggle it out.
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Old 12-07-2008, 02:17 PM   #7
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I'm defeated. It's simply not coming out. I tried all the above. Even tried to put spring compressor into the wheel well and compressing the spring. I don't remember it being this difficult when I installed the Koni FSDs. The only difference between now and 2 years ago was the Meyle HD control arms. Either that or I have became a complete suspension idiot.

Ugh. I'll have to try again next week. If all else failed, I'll have to remove the steering knuckle also. But I need to get a ball join remover that won't damage the seal. The joint separator fork that I have will completely kill the rubber boot on the joint.

BMW:1 - Me:0, to be continued...
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Old 12-07-2008, 08:44 PM   #8
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try tightening the 3 upper strut bolts (13mm) and repeating the process I described above. I find it hard to believe the control arm can be that tight.

You could also use one of those small hydraulic jacks and seat it on the control arm. Point the top end of the jack towards the sway bracket on the stut and use the hydraulic pressure to release the control arm. (I've never done this but it just popped in my head)
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:35 PM   #9
peanut_man
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pat View Post
try tightening the 3 upper strut bolts (13mm) and repeating the process I described above. I find it hard to believe the control arm can be that tight.
Yeah I can't believe why it's not coming out either. I have done this before on my car. This is not the first time. The only difference between now and the last time I did it was the Meyle control arm.
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Old 12-07-2008, 09:39 PM   #10
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Maybe turning the steering wheel all the way (I dont remember which side) will help with the clearance. I had to do this in order to remove the strut.
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Old 12-08-2008, 01:47 AM   #11
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I just did this tonight and had the same problem. I just tightened the three top nuts up ( I had loosened them first). I put a big socket underneath the strut to use as spacer and used some big channel locks to push the strut up. Good luck!
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Old 12-08-2008, 12:10 PM   #12
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Turning the steering wheel all the way sounds like a good idea. I guess you could turn it towards the wheel you are working on to get more clearance.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:35 PM   #13
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I know this is an old thread but, I thought I would share in case anyone else has the same problem. I had the same problem. Meyle HD control arms just don't have enough flex to get the strut out. Maybe oem or older control arms have enough flex. I had about 1 1/4 inches of strut left in the knuckle. I end up renting an arm puller for compact cars from Autozone to disconnect the control arm outer ball joint from the steering knuckle.

This is it:



I used it one I had already dropped the control arm as much as I could. Otherwise clearance between the top of this tool and the bottom of the strut becomes an issue.
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