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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 11-03-2012, 07:47 PM   #1
Arnezie
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Can I replace just one control arm?

I have a bad ball joint outer on drivers side. My question is can I just replace the control arm on the one side for now and re use the inner ball joint and bushing ? I know someone will say you should spend the $600 and replace it all but with Christmas around the corner $180 sounds much better.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:08 PM   #2
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Yes, you can replace just one control arm. The ball joints are integrated; don't reuse them.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:25 PM   #3
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Yes. But you can't reuse the stock bushing. Buy one arm and powerflex fcabs.

Last edited by Kubica; 11-03-2012 at 08:25 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:48 PM   #4
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How essential is a press to remove the bushing? I don't have one
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Old 11-03-2012, 08:54 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnezie View Post
How essential is a press to remove the bushing? I don't have one
You don't replace any bushings. They are all preinstalled into the control arm so that you don't have to use a press, and would likely be damaged if you did try to reinstall.

If you are talking about extracting the threaded end of the ball joints from the subframe and spindle, then yes, an extracting device is essential for removal and cannot be done without. Do not use a pickle fork, use the screw type extractors.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:31 PM   #6
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You don't replace any bushings. They are all preinstalled into the control arm so that you don't have to use a press, and would likely be damaged if you did try to reinstall.

If you are talking about extracting the threaded end of the ball joints from the subframe and spindle, then yes, an extracting device is essential for removal and cannot be done without. Do not use a pickle fork, use the screw type extractors.
Not the ball joint but the bushing, what do you mean you don't replace any bushings ?
http://www.oembimmerparts.com/produc...9063163e46.htm
Or there are urethane ones , this is what I'm referring to when I say can I remove the control arm from the stock bushing without a press.

Last edited by Arnezie; 11-03-2012 at 10:36 PM.
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Old 11-03-2012, 10:39 PM   #7
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Not the ball joint but the bushing, what do you mean you don't replace any bushings ?
The ball joints are preinstalled in the new control arm, so you don't replace them.

The rear of the control arm slips into a rubber bushing. That is a separate piece and you can usually just wet with some soapy water and hit it on or off with a soft face mallet.

I hope that answers your question because I'm having a hard time understanding what you are asking.
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Old 11-03-2012, 11:10 PM   #8
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The ball joints are preinstalled in the new control arm, so you don't replace them.

The rear of the control arm slips into a rubber bushing. That is a separate piece and you can usually just wet with some soapy water and hit it on or off with a soft face mallet.

I hope that answers your question because I'm having a hard time understanding what you are asking.
Yes I know the ball joint is pre installed in the control arm the control arm then slides into a bushing. I was asking if I had to have a press or will it slide out and new one slide in, read my post again not sure what's not to understand I'm asking a simple ?
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:09 AM   #9
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I'll repeat the answer. The question is simple but your ability to explain things isn't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
The ball joints are preinstalled in the new control arm, so you don't replace them.

The rear of the control arm slips into a rubber bushing. That is a separate piece and you can usually just wet with some soapy water and hit it on or off with a soft face mallet.

I hope that answers your question because I'm having a hard time understanding what you are asking.
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Old 11-04-2012, 12:12 AM   #10
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If it's hard to get off, then a 2 jaw puller or a press could be used.
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:20 AM   #11
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If it's hard to get off, then a 2 jaw puller or a press could be used.
And then I can reuse the original one correct on new control arm
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Old 11-04-2012, 09:41 AM   #12
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I had a hard time removing the bushing from the control arm, its impossible to do it by hand. You will need a puller for that, however i improvised a home made tool because didn't feel like paying 40 bucks for the puller. Or if you remove both control arms you can beat them out with a hammer.

Last edited by e46alfonso; 11-04-2012 at 09:42 AM.
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Old 11-04-2012, 10:07 AM   #13
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Do not buy those oem rubber bushings they are garbage. I wouldn't put them on my car if the dealer installed them for free. Powerflex has made a new bushing now.
Once you have the bushings out take them to your local shop to press them out of the lollypops. My shop removed them in 3 minutes and didn't charge me anything .
Also check out this thread.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...=942053&page=3
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:24 PM   #14
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You CAN NOT re-use the Lower Control Arm Bushing(s). You will have to replace the Bushing with the new Lower Control Arm. I would also recommend you springing for the PowerFlex Urethane Lower Control Arm Bushings, same cost as the stock rubber bushings, last longer, easier to install and are re-useable. Once you get your old control arm off, you can carefully cut the old bushing off without damaging the "lolly-pop" OR you can place in a vise and with a good punch and hammer, slowly work around the old bushing to push it out Will be a bit harder to replace on the other side with the Lower Control Arm still on the car. OR you can opt to purchase the Lower Control Arm, 2 "lolly-pops" and the PowerFlex Urethane Bushing Kit, but you will still have to remove the old bushing from the Lower Control Arm that you are not replacing.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:31 PM   #15
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Will it be ok to run the poly bushing on just the drivers side ? Or should I plan on installing the passenger side at the same time. .
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:34 PM   #16
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If you go with the PowerFlex Urethane Bushings, you WILL have to change both of them.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:40 PM   #17
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Will it be ok to run the poly bushing on just the drivers side ? Or should I plan on installing the passenger side at the same time. .
No.

All fcabs should be changed in pairs, with few exceptions.
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Old 11-04-2012, 07:48 PM   #18
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Yes. But you can't reuse the stock bushing. Buy one arm and powerflex fcabs.
Or get one arm and OE cabs. The cabs often get damaged when removing them from the control arm.

CAs don't always come with bushings mounted, but you can get them that way. If you do, you really want to get the same bushing as you have on the other side. If you buy the bushings separately, you'll need to slip them on yourself.

But, as said, the ball joints are not serviceable...nor reusable/swappable.

Lemforder is OE, but you'll want to get what you have on the other side...so hopefully you can confirm that they're original and/or figure out what brand is on the other side...this advice I offer just thinking that minor variations from one side to the other would significantly affect handling.

Read lots of diys on control arm replacement before you begin.

GL!
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Old 11-04-2012, 08:54 PM   #19
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Dmax, if you had PF bushings in your own car you would recommend them to other people as well. You should try them, it would be the best improvement you've ever done to your car, well second best behind green wheels.
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