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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 10-23-2012, 08:22 AM   #21
GSherbs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TwoDuckDad View Post
I need a refresh kit for my 01 330xi too but hate to replace a perfectly good control arm to get new ball joints. The guy who designed this should be shot. Too bad we don't get the same offering as our 2WD brothers who can buy a control arm with replacement ball joints.

Since mine is my daily driver and I plan to keep it for a while I'm likely going to buy the whole kit ready to bolt on to my car. Bavauto sells the entire kit including control arms, inner ball joints, new lolly pops with bushings pressed for $766.85. A far cry less expensive than a dealer or indy shop as I won't have to pay for any labor. Since everything is ready to unbolt and bolt on it should be a no brainer. BTW, if you buy the lolly pop brackets and bushings Bavauto presses them in for free.
This is the route I went. Although I purchased my kit from TMS rather than BavAuto... Price is about the same... I think I paid about $800 shipped.

It was a no brainer. Tedious & very very dirty however.
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Old 10-31-2012, 12:59 AM   #22
ZiMMie
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Originally Posted by 325xittt View Post
Zimmie
Great thread by the way You say the e36 ball joint was offset front to rear. The ball joint in my xi arms are concentric and don't appear to have any offset. I'm assuming that the e36 ball joint you used is not concentric in the housing? For clarification did you insert the BJ with the ball more toward the front or more toward the rear? Or am I missing something? Also would this effect the alignment in anyway.

Thanks
For the clarification, the e36 balljoint (92-98 Non M) ball joint its centered. But the OE IX balljoint was an offset ball joint. u cant tell until u remove the rubber boot. it's installed in the control arm in a way to reduce caster in the front.

Since the e36 ball joint is center it actually brought the wheel a tiny bit more closer to the front bumper. It really hard to tell unless you have 2 stock ix next to each other.

I still haven't had a chance to get an alignment done. Hopefully by the weekend ill get it done. But from what i see, it added more caster which is good for turn in.

as for those wanted to know the part # of the ball joint used is,
31126758510, lastly make sure you press in the balljoint in the correct position. use the picture i posted for reference.
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Old 10-31-2012, 07:32 AM   #23
bikesandcars
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Awesome Zimmie, thanks! More caster is generally good, though the xi seems to steer well as it is. I'm hoping they didn't take some caster out with the XI to deal with a wheel-turned torque-steer issue..

I'm looking forward to a quick brief on how it alignes and more importantly how it drives
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Old 10-31-2012, 11:29 AM   #24
Kubica
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I think I should chime in here:

The ball joint that OP used is not an all-metal ball joint like OE xi ball joints. It's a substantial downgrade and will not last as long as an all-metal ball joint. I believe Meyle makes an all-metal e36 outer ball joint. I would experiment using the all-metal Meyle, not the OE plastic e36 ball joint.

http://www.ecstuning.com/Search/31126758510/ES240561/
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Old 11-01-2012, 05:51 AM   #25
ZiMMie
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OE ix ball joint its not all metal. I should taken pictures when i complete disassembled them. as another member described, The xi outer ball joint is surrounded by a rubber damping sleeve which in turn is captured by the outer casing and a bottom cap. Even the base where the actual "round ball" sits in its plastic. Please disassemble one before "chiming" in. it bottom base just looks like that on the outside so it makes it harder to press out. the ball joint you posted its an HD version of the same ball joint. which i didn't feel like going for them when i found out that they sat in plastic.

Now how long they will last for, we live to see.

On another note, ill be doing the alignment today and will post results later on today.
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Old 11-01-2012, 11:51 AM   #26
ZiMMie
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Alignment Done!

Everything looks good.

Before adjusting.


After adjusting..


Very happy with the results. Camber, caster in the front are dead on. As for toe being off slightly in the back and front, the machine is very sensitive to little minute changes, but that should do.
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Old 11-01-2012, 04:14 PM   #27
mcopenha
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This is super cool, I salute you. Wish I had investigated this before attempting my DIY a while ago.
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Old 11-01-2012, 06:36 PM   #28
Kubica
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"All metal" refers to the the ball and cup only.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ZiMMie View Post
Even the base where the actual "round ball" sits in its plastic.
I was told by a very reliable source this was not the case. Please prove him wrong.
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Old 11-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #29
ZiMMie
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Sorry bud, I dont have time for this dick measuring contest.
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Old 02-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #30
Dr.frankinstein
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i was searching google for ball joints and saw this and wanted to ask a question or two.

how hard was it to get it out? i only have access to a 12 or 20 ton press. i would really like to give it a try seeing as control arms are very expensive i have e36 ball joints in the garage somewhere
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:20 AM   #31
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Are these still holding up well for u?
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Old 01-15-2014, 10:43 AM   #32
Dr.frankinstein
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I tried this early last year and my ball joints are still good. It worked out well for me.


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Old 01-15-2014, 01:27 PM   #33
Koffinb
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I tried this early last year and my ball joints are still good. It worked out well for me.


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does the car handle any different?
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:42 PM   #34
Dr.frankinstein
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Not that I can tell


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Old 01-15-2014, 01:43 PM   #35
Koffinb
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Not that I can tell


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Ok, and you went with the HD's right?
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Old 01-15-2014, 01:45 PM   #36
Dr.frankinstein
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I just used an oem ball joint


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Old 01-15-2014, 01:47 PM   #37
Dr.frankinstein
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Just make sure that you grind a chamfer. On the side you press from so it goes in straight. It does not need much but makes it easier to press one in.


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Old 02-23-2014, 09:20 PM   #38
330xijonny
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Thanks for the thread, I finally removed the old ball joints today, What a mother! I finally used an air chisel to peel the back of the ball joints away, cut the rubber and then they came out relatively easy. Glad to be done with that!

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Old 02-23-2014, 09:31 PM   #39
Dr.frankinstein
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The extra work is well with the savings


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Old 06-19-2014, 01:24 PM   #40
325xi_trini
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Just wanted to chime in here and again confirm that this works. I replaced the outer ball joints with these Meyle HD's 31 12 6 758 510 MY (31126758510MY) See images. The only visual difference as was mentioned in previous post is the caster, which seemed justify the wheel approx 2 inches closer to the front of the wheel well. Got the alignment done and all checked out as well. In regards to the removal do whatever you must to get a hold of heavy duty presses, etc. Everything except the removal of the outer ball joint was relatively easy (job difficulty rating 4... Im not a mechanic just love DIYing. Also, see the removal video that I used as my reference Shout-out to zack! I have repaired a lot of things thanks to his reference vids)

.











I took my arms to the machine shop guys at my job and had them replace the outer ball joints as well as my bushings on both arms. One of the images shows the seat/base of one of the old ball joints stuck in the arm. They got it out with some gentle aggression

Only things left is to see how long these last.

Lastly, shout out to Zimmie (Although he never responded to my PM ) for pioneering this effort. Definitely worth the savings and gratification.


Bless,

Last edited by 325xi_trini; 06-19-2014 at 01:28 PM.
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