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

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:39 AM   #1
noobsthename
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Lower Control Arm Bushing Problems

I recently purchased a 330i and have been slowly working my way through the recommended renovations. This weekend I had planned to replace the lower control arm bushings/brackets. After pressing on the new bushings/brackets I bolted on the driver side with ease then moved on to the passenger side. I spent >6 hours trying to line that thing up and it just wont reach. The bolt holes are impossibly far from the bracket... If I leverage the bracket over I can usually get one bolt in, but the bracket is too twisted to use the bolt to pull it up.

Has anyone run into this problem before? Is it possible I have a bent control arm(I visually inspected and it seems OK)? Any tricks or suggestions to get it all lined up? Could my bushing not be in far enough (I have the control arm sticking out maybe 1/4 cm of the bushing)?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:48 AM   #2
Stinger9
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Sounds like you need to use a jack to get the steering knuckle up in a position where the CAB housing will be in the correct position.

Pics? for us to see what is going on.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:50 AM   #3
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
Sounds like you need to use a jack to get the steering knuckle up in a position where the CAB housing will be in the correct position.

Pics? for us to see what is going on.
That's probably a good tip. It'll get the geometry closer to what it is while on the ground. Just make sure you don't take too much weight off your jack stand.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:50 AM   #4
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Is your control arms OEM or after market? The after market parts sometimes won't fit in very well.
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #5
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maybe its the wrong bushing carrier? maybe got 2 lefts by mistake?
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Old 03-18-2013, 10:56 AM   #6
noobsthename
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I did try jacking up the bracket itself but not the steering knuckle. The control arms(as far as I can tell) and bushings are OEM. I'll post pictures later today once i get home. The 2 brackets are mirror images of each other and they are identical to the ones I removed.

Last edited by noobsthename; 03-18-2013 at 11:06 AM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:24 PM   #7
Megalocnus
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Are your front wheels pointing straight? If they are turned right, the passenger side bushing carrier won't line up easily with the mounting holes.

Last edited by Megalocnus; 03-18-2013 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:34 PM   #8
taibinhvuong
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You can go to hardware store and get a same thread longer bolt, put the original bolt in first then use the longer bolt to guide the bushing in place, tighten up the original bolt, then replace the longer bolt with the other correct one, done. This method help you to bolt the bushing to the frame a lot easier.

The bushing will correct itself to the correct position after driving for awhile unless your arm is bend.
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:41 PM   #9
terzinator
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I found I had to turn the wheels in the opposite direction. If you're doing the passenger side, turn the wheels to the left (driver side).
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Old 03-18-2013, 12:59 PM   #10
Dave1027
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When I did mine neither side lined up exactly. I put a screwdriver through one hole into the bolt hole and flexed the cab into position and hand threaded the other bolt/bolt hole. Simple. Is it possible you did not line up the cab properly when you pressed in onto the CA?
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Old 03-18-2013, 04:14 PM   #11
noobsthename
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Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
When I did mine neither side lined up exactly. I put a screwdriver through one hole into the bolt hole and flexed the cab into position and hand threaded the other bolt/bolt hole. Simple. Is it possible you did not line up the cab properly when you pressed in onto the CA?
I tried that but its just way too far, i broke a pretty thick screwdriver trying to line it up. I'm pretty sure I put the bushing on correctly, I mean there is even groves to guide it and I put it on exactly as I took the other one off.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:02 PM   #12
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My control arm bushing brackets always lined up pretty well with the bolt holes, whenever I have replaced only the bushings or the control arms as well. In fact, they usually click in and stay there even if I'm not holding them in place anymore. Of course if the front wheels were turned left or right (which helps when extracting the outer ball joints) one of the control arm bushings wouldn't line up until I turn the wheels to face forward or the opposite side.

OP, If your control arm ends are protruding 1/4 cm (2.5 mm) out of the bushings, I don't think you pushed them in too far.
There's the possibility that the car had been in an accident which resulted in a bent control arm or frame. Did you notice anything out of the ordinary when driving?

Last edited by Megalocnus; 03-18-2013 at 10:57 PM.
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Old 03-18-2013, 06:04 PM   #13
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i hope you didn't mix up L/R
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Old 03-18-2013, 07:34 PM   #14
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Is it possible to press the bushings on too far onto the control arm?
That'd cause it to be too far.
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Old 03-18-2013, 08:48 PM   #15
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You cant mix them up unless you can make cold fusion.

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Old 03-18-2013, 10:51 PM   #16
noobsthename
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Thanks for all the help guys, seems all I had to do was turn then steering wheel then just click them in place using a screwdriver and a bit of elbow grease. I also had to run out to the hardware store to get a tap because I messed up one of the threads using the initial screwdriver method. Lesson learned: turn the damn wheels.
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Old 03-21-2013, 11:47 AM   #17
noobsthename
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Bumping this again... While replacing my LCAB I realized that I do NOT have a reinforcement plate (pn: 51717028433). My car is a 2001 production date 05/2000, realoem tells me that no such part exists for my car:

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...00&hg=31&fg=05

However, when I change the production date to 05/2001 I get the part (link below)... I have not driven the car since and I am wondering if this part may have been ruined in an earlier accident and never replaced or if my production year didn't come with a reinforcement plate... Anyone have any idea?

http://realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?...00&hg=31&fg=05

Last edited by noobsthename; 03-21-2013 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 03-21-2013, 12:02 PM   #18
Stinger9
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Some early cars have a triangle like pipe reinforcement unit.
Possible you have that?

Take a good pic for us!

Last edited by Stinger9; 03-21-2013 at 12:02 PM.
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