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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 08-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #1
b spot
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Knuckle Stuck On Strut

I'm trying to do CV boots on my fiance's 325Xit and it's been a bloody nightmare so far.

The lower strut bolt sheared off, and I broke a cobalt bit off inside of it.

I'm trying to get the who knuckle off so I can get it on a bench or to a machine shop to get the sheared bolt off.

I've got a strut spreader in there which has opened it to the point the knuckle will wobble around on the strut a bit, and it probably moved down about 2mm.

It almost seems as if the control arm won't drop any further though. I've beat on the knuckle, jumped on top of the hub, nothing.

What's the deal? Should I separate the ball joint and see if that gets me anywhere?
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:25 PM   #2
SamDoe1
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Undo the upper strut mount to drop the strut assembly down. Then get some sort of tool to bash the strut up and out of the knuckle. BTW, you have disconnected the sway bar end link correct? If not, I suggest you go buy a new one after doing all of this...
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:36 PM   #3
b spot
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Sway bar end link is disconnected. If I drop the strut I'll need an alignment after, correct? I was hoping to avoid that....
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:53 PM   #4
Kubica
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^ you need an alignment after jumping in the hub anyway. Just look where the top nuts are now so you can ballpark it.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:54 PM   #5
b spot
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So every time you do CV boots you need an alignment??
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:55 PM   #6
Kubica
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So every time you do CV boots you need an alignment??
No.
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Old 08-14-2012, 01:00 PM   #7
b spot
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Can you explain a little more for me?

"Jumping the hub" does that mean removing the knuckle/spindle completely? Dropping the knuckle from the strut and separating the ball joint, tie rod end and sway end link all don't have any room for adjustment, so what part ends up messing your alignment?

Any more tips of how to get the hub off the strut without dropping the strut?
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:58 PM   #8
frostlane
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Leave the top bolted in, Air chisel the hub down off the strut with the spreader in the slot. If that doesn't work air chisel down on the hub in the slot (if that makes sense). FYI you're too far now but in the future you don't need to separate the two. You can remove cotter-pin/lower nut on the entire assembly to move it out enough to have the axle slide out/in. Again...sorry if this doesn't make complete sense I've had a long day. Good luck! I've spend hours drilling those bolts out. Once you get the bolt out you can use a longer bolt and double-nut to prevent having to deal with this again.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:08 PM   #9
b spot
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Awesome! Thanks for the tips, I will try tonight. If you can describe the cotter-pin/lower nut part a little more that would be fantastic, as I still have the driver's side to go and don't want to touch that strut bolt again.
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Old 08-14-2012, 05:59 PM   #10
Kubica
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Remove axle nut
Unbolt endlink
Revome strut pinch bolt
Pop strut from knuckle
Push axle out of hub
Pull axle from diff

If you don't undo the tie-rod or three top strut nuts you won't need an alignment.
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Old 08-14-2012, 06:21 PM   #11
b spot
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^ That method is what I was trying for this side, but I mistakenly popped the tie rod joint. I'm hoping to figure out this other method as I'm sure the other side has a seized strut pinch bolt as well, and that added days and $ to what shouldn't be that long of a job... Cobalt drill bits are $
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Old 08-15-2012, 12:17 AM   #12
b spot
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So ball joint is separated and the control arm dropped a bit further no problems. The strut is ridiculously rusted to the knuckle. I think I'll just give it the multi-day penetrating fluid treatment and see if I can get it. Any harm in banging away at the knuckle now that the strut is loose (attached at the top but not attached to the control arm)?
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:29 PM   #13
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The strut has a slight groove where the pinch bolt rests, hence making a interference fitting, when you try to remove the bolt the head usually shears off and the stem of the bolt being slightly larger diameter than the distal threaded part it grabs the strut and keeps the pinched part of knuckle tight on the strut. You choices are limited since drilling out the hardened bolt is very difficult (you will need to drill out the threaded end of bolt without damaging the female threads on knuckle) , you can use a grinder to sacrifice either the strut or the knuckle. I had similarly frustrating experience in trying to remove this bolt. Just keep in mind that if you sacrifice the knuckle ( since it is cheaper of the two) you will also need new wheel bearing. Good luck and keep us posted.




When you enlarge the image you will see the groove just below the pin.
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Old 08-15-2012, 05:46 PM   #14
b spot
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Thanks for the reply! I think I'm going to take an angle grinder to it and see if I can get just the bolt and not have to buy a new knuckle or strut. Sounds like it may be a bit of a difficult task.
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Old 08-15-2012, 06:59 PM   #15
sidct
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The url for second image :
http://www.autopartsnetwork.com/imag...1663100OES.JPG
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Old 08-16-2012, 01:36 PM   #16
b spot
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oh boy. looking at that, this is going to take some precise angle grinding... haha
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:21 PM   #17
Rickna
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I have an extra knuckle (L ) if you need.
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Last edited by Rickna; 08-29-2012 at 08:06 AM.
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Old 08-21-2012, 07:24 PM   #18
xixixi
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You clearly need a bigger hammer sir!
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Old 08-21-2012, 08:33 PM   #19
b spot
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Thanks for the offer Rickna, I should have taken you up on that. $100 to get it drilled out and put a through bolt in there... only to discover the bearing is toast... haha. I should have just bought a used hub instead of getting it drilled out. Oh well. $60 for a bearing, and I'll have a good as new hub.
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