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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 10-02-2012, 08:14 AM   #41
GSherbs
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Quote:
Originally Posted by szinski View Post
Inner ball joints look easy to remove in this video
I believe that they are easier on an xi.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:16 AM   #42
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http://media.toolking.com/catalog/pr...rying_Tool.jpg

we used the tool in the above link, a pry bar, and a 3 lb hammer and it seemed to do the trick.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:19 AM   #43
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Originally Posted by lsteg View Post
http://media.toolking.com/catalog/pr...rying_Tool.jpg

we used the tool in the above link, a pry bar, and a 3 lb hammer and it seemed to do the trick.
Nice. Never seen that tool before. It looks like it would be gentle on the rubber boot.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:27 AM   #44
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Nice. Never seen that tool before. It looks like it would be gentle on the rubber boot.
You actually place the flat part on top of the CA so the ring provides a prying point for your bar. I pulled down on the CA while my friend hit the CA a few times and out it came.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:59 AM   #45
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Use a bigger hammer.
I found the secret wasn't in the size of the hammer, but the quality of the pickle fork. Made all the difference for me.
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Old 10-02-2012, 09:10 AM   #46
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I used a Pickle fork set from Advance Auto parts. It had 3 different sizes. I had to use the largest one. 3 wacks with a 3lb sledge and they came right off. Oddly enough, my inner joints just fell out while i was working on the outter joints haha.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:47 AM   #47
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But, THERE IS A MUCH EASIER WAY TO REMOVE/INSTALL THE INNER BALL JOINTS OF THE FRONT CONTROL ARMS.

I have done this myself! No pickle forks. No mauling of your front cross brace. No prying against parts that aren't designed to be pryed against! No cussing. No cut up or bruised hands. No meltdown!

The pictures are worth 1,000 words. Done this way, let me just say, the job is really easy. Really, really easy.

Questions?

Scott
Hi Scott,

I want to use your method for replacing the control arms. I don't have the engine brace though. Would an engine hoist work? I have a complete 1/2 inch impact set. Would that be strong enough for the bolts on the subframe? I think I'll need to get a couple of torx impact sockets?

Thanks,
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Old 02-18-2013, 11:54 AM   #48
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Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
Hi Scott,

I want to use your method for replacing the control arms. I don't have the engine brace though. Would an engine hoist work? I have a complete 1/2 inch impact set. Would that be strong enough for the bolts on the subframe? I think I'll need to get a couple of torx impact sockets?

Thanks,
Dave

Dave, yes, an engine hoist would work. The only thing I think you'll have to be careful about is that the engine doesn't swing off to one side when using the hoist. As you can see in my pictures the brace keeps it centered.

Understand, this should not be a problem. Even it the engine shifted slightly to one side a helper could push it back while you were underneath so the bolt holes would line up.

Have a small bottle jack handy. You can use this to adjust the tilt of the engine if need be. Of course, don't use the bottle jack to support anything near the full weight of the engine. Use the bottle jacket as a fine adjustment tool.

A 1/2 inch socket set is more than enough.

You're good to go! The hardest part of the job is freeing up the outer ball joints, and that shouldn't be difficult.

Scott
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:45 PM   #49
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What about bracing the engine by placing a floorjack under the front of the oil pan?
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Old 02-22-2013, 02:53 PM   #50
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Do not support the engine with the oil pan.

You stand a chance of distorting the pan, cracking the pan, stressing the lip at the gasket enough to start a leak, or disturbing something attached to the inside bottom of the pan.

Take a shot if you want to take the risk. Do you know the engine brace is on sale regularly at Harbor Freight for about $60? Is that the amount of money you're trying to save?

Last edited by Stinger9; 05-08-2014 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 02-22-2013, 03:36 PM   #51
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Do not support the engine with the oil pan.
Then what about all the posts I found where people replaced their motor mounts by actually lifting the engine 3 inches by the oil pan?
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Old 02-22-2013, 06:47 PM   #52
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Those people took that risk. But since there is a $60 option, why risk it?
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Old 02-22-2013, 08:57 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SLO Town View Post
OP, Kroh, and all others:

First, OP, glad you were able to complete the job.

But, THERE IS A MUCH EASIER WAY TO REMOVE/INSTALL THE INNER BALL JOINTS OF THE FRONT CONTROL ARMS.

I have done this myself! No pickle forks. No mauling of your front cross brace. No prying against parts that aren't designed to be pryed against! No cussing. No cut up or bruised hands. No meltdown!

The pictures are worth 1,000 words. Done this way, let me just say, the job is really easy. Really, really easy.

Questions?

Scott
I don't think this is easier. Dropping the subframe means you need to re-fill and bleed the steering system, not to mention the fact that reconnecting the steering column to the rack is a PITA.

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Originally Posted by m5ccie View Post
This is great Scott,

When you remove the rack and pinion, do you actually disconnect the hydraulic hoses, remove the tie rod ends, etc, and completely remove the rack? Or do you just remove the rack mounts and there's enough room to move the rack and pinion out of the way without the need to disconnect everything else?

Also, when you remove the crossbar with the old control arms on it, how do you remove the old inner ball joints, especially if there are rusted and stuck?

Thanks,
Jim
You can just hit the balljoints from the top if the subframe is out. Doesn't matter if you damage the balljoints since they're being replaced anyways
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Old 02-22-2013, 10:20 PM   #54
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Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post

You stand a chance of distorting the pan, cracking the pan, stressing the lip at the gasket enough to start a leak, or disturbing something attached to the inside bottom of the pan.
That's a good point. I don't want to make the engine start to leak. That's the one thing about this car that works well. No Leaks. I'll get the brace.
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Old 02-23-2013, 01:18 AM   #55
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Remember the reason we ultimately advise one another. We want everybody else to succeed.
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:55 PM   #56
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Took Scott's good advice, bought the $60 engine brace from harbor freight. Everything went good. Hardest part was separating the outer ball joints. Pic below shows the subframe with new CAs and CABs ready for install.

Thanks for all your great advice, Scott.


Last edited by Dave1027; 03-17-2013 at 01:56 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 02:35 PM   #57
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Nice pic.
Brace even matches car color!
Glad it worked out well for you.

Do you have the jack stands under the frame rails?
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:18 PM   #58
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Nice pic.
Brace even matches car color!
Glad it worked out well for you.

Do you have the jack stands under the frame rails?
Thanks. No. I have the jackstands on the jack points. Is that OK or are the frame rails a better place?
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:43 PM   #59
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Thanks. No. I have the jackstands on the jack points. Is that OK or are the frame rails a better place?
Hey, I'm still learning! That's why I asked.

I've used the jack points too, but have seen others use the frame rails. That always intimidated me, but it might be more convenient, and stronger?

Last edited by Stinger9; 05-08-2014 at 05:39 PM.
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Old 03-17-2013, 05:07 PM   #60
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Hey, I'm still learning! That's why I asked.

I've used the jack points too, but have seen others use the frame rails. That always intimidated me, but it might be more convenient, and stronger?
Me too. When you posted about the jackstands I thought that maybe that might not be as secure as the frame rails. You know those rails aren't going any where. Who knows what's above those jack points.
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