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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 07-15-2010, 02:48 PM   #1
xecure
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how can i separate outer balljoint from steering arm? (E46 Xi)

I was in the middle of replacing my control arms for my XI and kind of got stuck removing my control from where the outer ball joint connects to the steering arm. I tried banging it with a hammer and sticking a chisel in there and banging that with a hammer. No luck.

Please give me some more ideas, thanks guys.
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Old 07-15-2010, 02:49 PM   #2
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Don't you need a specialized tool for that?
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:44 PM   #3
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Use a tool called a "pickle fork" and a hammer.
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Old 07-15-2010, 03:56 PM   #4
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You need one of these and a big hammer:

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...rator/_/N-264r
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #5
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You need one of these and a big hammer:

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...rator/_/N-264r
just rented one of those been banging on it but no luck, I'm gonna go back out and bang it a few more itmes and see what happens.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:31 PM   #6
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Use a very heavy hammer and whack the crap out of it. It will come apart.
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Old 07-15-2010, 04:59 PM   #7
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Alright guys, after whacking a few times I noticed that my front strut is completely detached from the mount. did whacking it make that come off?

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Old 07-15-2010, 05:17 PM   #8
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um, wtf? You tore the upper strut tower attachment off? wow.

Ok, you will need a new Strut Tower now unless you can weld those bolts back on (not reccomended).

Sry dude, should have read the instructions, you were supposed to keep everything bolted on while using the pickle fork.

Start shopping for a whole new shock and strut. You are not removing that spring yourself, so you will need a whole new assembly. Maybe i can find you one cheap on ebay. brb.

Note: Sometimes its a bad idea to get high before attempting something you have never done before. I have made similar mistakes myself.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:22 PM   #9
xecure
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um, wtf? You tore the upper strut tower attachment off? wow.

Ok, you will need a new Strut Tower now unless you can weld those bolts back on (not reccomended).

Sry dude, should have read the instructions, you were supposed to keep everything bolted on while using the pickle fork.


You will need a tapper to get those bolts out now, and start shopping for a whole new shock and strut. You are not removing that spring yourself, so you will need a whole new assembly. Maybe i can find you one cheap on ebay. brb.

Note: Sometimes its a bad idea to get high before attempting something you have never done before. I have made similar mistakes myself.
LOL, I wasn't high though. Just new to this trying to save some $$. I was planning on doing my suspension soon anyhow so I guess this was my push. Is it safe to lower my car or no?
thanks.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:23 PM   #10
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Ok I found a potential cheap fix.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Used-...Q5fAccessories


I am not at all sure how to attach this piece, we will need more expert help on this topic.
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:31 PM   #11
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Lowering has more negatives than positives, if you can find OEM parts you might be better off.

Ok you should buy a pair for the front

Driverside $115

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Strut...Q5fAccessories

Passenger Side

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Strut...Q5fAccessories
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Old 07-15-2010, 05:37 PM   #12
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Just buy new OE mounts and be done with it. They were probably falling apart anyhow. What you want for the ball joints is a hinged separator.

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Old 07-15-2010, 07:43 PM   #13
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Just buy new OE mounts and be done with it. They were probably falling apart anyhow. What you want for the ball joints is a hinged separator.

so just replacing the mounts should fix the problem?

Where can i get one of those tools?
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Old 07-15-2010, 07:53 PM   #14
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I replaced my control arms last week and had the same problem as you.. Hammered it for hours and it wouldn't budge.

Then I bought a pickle fork end for a pneumatic hammer and got it separated in less than a minute. Try it, It'll work.

Last edited by maximepetit; 07-15-2010 at 07:55 PM.
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Old 07-15-2010, 08:06 PM   #15
xecure
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I replaced my control arms last week and had the same problem as you.. Hammered it for hours and it wouldn't budge.

Then I bought a pickle fork end for a pneumatic hammer and got it separated in less than a minute. Try it, It'll work.
Where did you buy it from? Would autozone have something like that?
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Old 07-15-2010, 11:48 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by xecure View Post
Where did you buy it from? Would autozone have something like that?
To get ball joints to come loose, this is what I do. Set up the pickle fork in whatever orientation you need to get a clear shot at it. Use a short ~4 lb hammer. Swing the hammer hard using both hands. Just like in most sports, the most important thing to remember during your swing is FOLLOW THROUGH.

It will come loose. 4 lb hammer, use both arms, follow through...

Also, sometimes you don't even need a pickle fork. I don't recall how the XI looks under there. But a lot of the time you can just hit the spindle itself with the hammer (right where the ball joint goes through the spindle)
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:10 AM   #17
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so just replacing the mounts should fix the problem?

Where can i get one of those tools?
Fleebay. I can't vouch for the quality, but that's the type of tool BMW (and Benz I think) calls for. What you'll typically find at autozone are tools that look like a pitman arm puller. These should work too (I've not done ball joints on an E46, AWD or no) without needing to swing a big sledge or risking damage to the ball joint or its dust boot.

If all you've done was tore the strut out of its rubber, then, yes you should only need a new strut mount (but, as mentioned, you might as well do them in pairs).
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:07 AM   #18
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STOP BANGING YOUR CAR!!!! IF YOU ALREADY TRIED BANGING YOUR CAR FOR MORE THAN 5 TIMES AND STILL NOT LOOSE, FORGET IT. TRUST ME, JUST BUY A BALL JOINT SEPARATOR FROM NAPA STORE, SEARS, EBAY. AUTO ZONE DOESNT EVEN KNOW THIS TOOL EXCEPT FOR THE PICKLE FORK. YOU CAN TRY KRAGEN.
[/
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Quote:
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you have to understand the people that jump from car to car often have NO MONEY

they are usually making poor financial decisions and rolling over debt.

No offense to some members on the group but there are dudes making less than $35K driving in fairly new cars - lol like leasing a $40k car - wtf - the car is worth more than what you make in a year!

OP just be sensible - good luck!
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by IntegGeezer2Bimmer View Post
STOP BANGING YOUR CAR!!!! IF YOU ALREADY TRIED BANGING YOUR CAR FOR MORE THAN 5 TIMES AND STILL NOT LOOSE, FORGET IT. TRUST ME, JUST BUY A BALL JOINT SEPARATOR FROM NAPA STORE, SEARS, EBAY. AUTO ZONE DOESNT EVEN KNOW THIS TOOL EXCEPT FOR THE PICKLE FORK. YOU CAN TRY KRAGEN.
[/
I'll agree to disagree. I work on all different makes of vehicles every day at work. For ball joints ->Big hammer, both hands, follow though, FTW.
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Old 07-16-2010, 01:18 AM   #20
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Looks like Harbor Fright has a similar tool on sale now:

http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qua...tor-99849.html

Discussion of said tool:

http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39...separator.html
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