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Go Back   E46Fanatics > E46 BMW > E46 Xi Forum

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 07-16-2010, 01:21 AM   #21
loginfailed
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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.
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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, 10:33 AM   #22
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Ok. Ok. There is a very easy way to do this without special tools:

1) Remove the nut on the ball joint.
2) Replace the same nut, but only tighten one or two turns.
3) Hit the nut with a big hammer so the ball joint drops 1/2", but will still be attached with the nut.
4) Remove nut again. Balljoint should come free. Replace nut.
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Old 07-16-2010, 11:21 AM   #23
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would it be ok to lower my car on that strut tower or should i leave the jack under the car?
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Old 07-16-2010, 07:09 PM   #24
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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.
Unless you want to reuse the ball joint, don't want to risk damaging the (aluminum) control arms, or just don't want to be arsed to swing a BFH around.

A little bit of finesse goes a long way. Some safety goggles and the HF tool will set you back under $30.

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Originally Posted by xecure View Post
would it be ok to lower my car on that strut tower or should i leave the jack under the car?
No.
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Old 07-17-2010, 10:14 PM   #25
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Unless you want to reuse the ball joint, don't want to risk damaging the (aluminum) control arms
He said in the OP he was replacing his control arms. Most E46 control arms come with new ball joints. Nothing being re-used in this case.
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Old 07-19-2010, 10:55 AM   #26
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On mine it took a day of torch/PB Blaster cycling on the outer bj's. Then the next morning they finally popped with AZ pickle fork and an 8lb sledge (That was all I had BFH-wise).

They did finally pop though. I was replacing everything so I did not care about wrecking the seal on the CA's.

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Old 07-19-2010, 11:39 AM   #27
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I posted a recent DIY on Xi control arms and bushings here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=778979. The content about the outer ball joint is similar I assume for non-xi's.

Don't use a pickle fork unless you're replacing the control arm. You'll ruin the boot on the ball joint. If you want to reuse control arms purchase a decent puller/separator as others have pointed out. You might also be able to get away with something like this http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...t=embedwebsite, but again, go with the right ball joint separator.
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Old 07-19-2010, 12:10 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by mcopenha View Post
I posted a recent DIY on Xi control arms and bushings here: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=778979. The content about the outer ball joint is similar I assume for non-xi's.

Don't use a pickle fork unless you're replacing the control arm. You'll ruin the boot on the ball joint. If you want to reuse control arms purchase a decent puller/separator as others have pointed out. You might also be able to get away with something like this http://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo...t=embedwebsite, but again, go with the right ball joint separator.
Or you can use my simple method below that works like a charm and doesn't damage anything, besides the nut.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
Ok. Ok. There is a very easy way to do this without special tools:

1) Remove the nut on the ball joint.
2) Replace the same nut, but only tighten one or two turns.
3) Hit the nut with a big hammer so the ball joint drops 1/2", but will still be attached with the nut.
4) Remove nut again. Balljoint should come free. Replace nut.
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Old 07-19-2010, 01:26 PM   #29
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You need a pickle fork and a nice sledgehammer and that baby will get loose

As for your strut mount, it was probably failing already
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:31 PM   #30
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On the Xi's (unless someone makes a new version) the control arms have the ball joints as part of the unit, so nothing is going to be reused.

I had the same problem when I did mine. I had the pickle fork but did not have a big hammer. I sprayed PB all over the thing and let it sit over night. Next day I bought a big ass sledge and it came apart with 2 swings.
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Old 10-19-2010, 10:27 PM   #31
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Yeah, I recently had difficulty separating this ball joint on my 325xit. I didn't want to use the pickle fork because it would ruin the ball joint boot. So I used the hinged, ball joint squeezer tool from Harbor Freight, like above. Worked on the ball joint for about three days. I though the squeezer was going to blow up in my face after tightening it so hard. With the squeezer on and tightened, I banged all around the joint, put some heat on it, doused it with 50/50 ATF/Acetone, etc. I was just about to give up when suddenly I heard a gun shot which made me jump. Thought I had broken something drastically. It was just the ball joint popping off, finally! No damage, but what a royal pain that was.

By the way, there is very little room to work on this ball joint. You can't even fully remove the nut until the joint has separated. I found it did help to custom grind away a bit on the Harbor freight tool to get it to fit better.
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Old 10-20-2010, 10:30 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by iclimb513 View Post
On the Xi's (unless someone makes a new version) the control arms have the ball joints as part of the unit, so nothing is going to be reused.
Actually the XIs have a completely separate non-integrated INNER ball joint as compareed to our non xi bretheren. These can be reused if they are not damaged upon removal. The outer ball joint is integrated into the control arm and not replaceable. You damage that one you need another control arm.


Last edited by GCoop; 10-20-2010 at 10:31 AM.
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Old 10-26-2010, 05:05 PM   #33
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This worked for me-

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Old 10-26-2010, 06:17 PM   #34
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I just used a pointy bit on an air chisel... A couple burps of air and the balljoint falls out. I did that when doing front wheel bearings on my xi.

Of course I had already removed the axle shaft and unbolted the strut bearing so I had a clear shot...

Last edited by rew7602; 10-26-2010 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 10-27-2010, 09:53 AM   #35
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I still think loosening but not removing the nut and nailing it with a ten pound hammer is the best way to do it.

Need a new nut though.
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Old 10-27-2010, 10:29 AM   #36
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This worked for me-

Where did that set come from?
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Old 10-27-2010, 11:41 AM   #37
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This worked for me-

I don't see how you can use that without removing the axle from the steering arm. That's fine, but adds a fair amount of work to the job.

EDIT: wait...that one in the top right would work.
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Old 10-27-2010, 01:08 PM   #38
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Where did that set come from?
Harbor Freight Tools
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Old 10-28-2010, 09:46 AM   #39
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Here is a really stupid question... once you get the ball jiont apart, how do you get it back together?
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Old 10-28-2010, 10:46 AM   #40
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Here is a really stupid question... once you get the ball jiont apart, how do you get it back together?
Never mind... it looks like when you tighten the nut down everything will snap into place.
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