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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 04-08-2013, 06:01 PM   #301
bmwTuner1
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Theres a clunking sound coming from my front end. I just replaced the FCAB's about 6 months ago and I have never replaced the control arms so im guessing thats the problem (Ill get in there and have a look tomorrow). I hear the FCAB's need to be replaced along with the control arms regardless of how long theyve been on the car. Were any of you guys able to reuse your FCAB's? Im not trying to cheap out, it would just suck if I had to buy new FCABs all over again.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:12 PM   #302
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Check your sway bar links first. Tighten them up to 48 lbs-ft.

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Old 04-09-2013, 07:33 AM   #303
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Originally Posted by bmwTuner1 View Post
Theres a clunking sound coming from my front end. I just replaced the FCAB's about 6 months ago and I have never replaced the control arms so im guessing thats the problem (Ill get in there and have a look tomorrow). I hear the FCAB's need to be replaced along with the control arms regardless of how long theyve been on the car. Were any of you guys able to reuse your FCAB's? Im not trying to cheap out, it would just suck if I had to buy new FCABs all over again.
Don't try to reuse the bushings.
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Old 04-10-2013, 02:15 AM   #304
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Check your sway bar links first. Tighten them up to 48 lbs-ft.

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I was supposed to look into it today but got called into work so I only replaced the VCG and fan. I'll check these out tomorrow. Thanks

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Don't try to reuse the bushings.
That's all I needed to know. thanks!
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Old 04-11-2013, 11:32 AM   #305
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In case it helps you, I have a new set of pre-pressed AKG poly FCABs for sale here...


http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...810&highlight=
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Old 04-11-2013, 08:42 PM   #306
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In case it helps you, I have a new set of pre-pressed AKG poly FCABs for sale here...


http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...810&highlight=
Thanks but I think im going to keep oem. I'll let you know if I decide to go AKG.
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Old 05-30-2013, 10:24 AM   #307
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Just finished this DIY this morning. This write up was super helpful. But even so it was a total PIA getting the outer ball joint off. I had bought a ball joint remover press type thingy and that broke right quick. Bought a pickle fork, and that was a lot easier. The passenger side inner ball joint was no fun removing either- no way to get a socket on it. I took the car for a quick test ride and no more clunking over bumps
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Old 06-19-2013, 02:42 PM   #308
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DIY: Meyle Control Arms w/replaceable balljoints

I'm currently in the process of replacing my control arms. From what I have experienced so far. Remove the nut on the upper ball joint first, if it's corroded and your having a tough time, use a secondary jack to support it right under the upper ball joint. Next remove the nut on the lower joint and use the pickle fork to remove it while the upper is still supported. Also unlocking the wheel and turning the rotor can help the process of removal of the lower joint. Once you get it free (it doesn't have to e completely free) remove the jack from the upper then remove the bolts on the bushing bracket. Lastly tap out the upper joint! Success.


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Old 09-05-2013, 08:04 PM   #309
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DIY: Meyle Control Arms w/replaceable balljoints

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Old 09-15-2013, 06:50 AM   #310
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I just finished this job and used a full Meyle CA kit with pre-fitted bushings.
Couple of tips, particularly for those with RHD cars.
As expected, inner ball joint nuts were difficult to gain access to but removing the anti-roll bar completely, as others have suggested, gave more room but also unbolting the power steering rack and sliding it forward made a big difference.
NB pipework on a RHD steering rack is different to LHD and it gets in the way of the driver's side (RH) inner BJ nut so sliding it forward helps.
Outer ball joints were also a PITA and would not budge with a pickle fork.
In the end, some heat and decent whack with a centre punch and 3lb hammer got them out.
I have since read though, the trick to removing this sort of thing is to not hit the object you're trying to remove, but to hit the housing that holds the object.
So with the outer ball joint, perhaps hitting the carrier rather than the actual ball joint pin is the key?
Obviously not really an option with the inner ball joint.
Thanks to the OP too.
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Old 09-15-2013, 07:21 AM   #311
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Re: DIY: Meyle Control Arms w/replaceable balljoints

Prelube
Prelube
Prelube

Planning on doing your arms(or anything for that matter) in a week?

PB blaster(WD40 for the faint at heart) everything and anything that is going to be removed everyday for a few days. I'm weak I spray everyday for a week.

My arms almost slid out. And I'm OCD so I sanded the contact points and channels where the ball joints go into and where the faces touch the underbody prior to installation. Just to get crud and surface rust off.

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Old 09-15-2013, 12:08 PM   #312
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The best method is to use the proper puller on the outer ball joints and drop the subframe for the inners using an engine brace. This way you don't have to beat the crap out of your car with a pickle fork.

Also install new motor mounts while you have it down.

Last edited by Dave1027; 09-15-2013 at 12:09 PM.
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Old 09-24-2013, 05:08 PM   #313
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Nice,I gong to try this soon thx for the dyi
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Old 10-27-2013, 07:33 AM   #314
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Did this today as part of suspension refresh. Installed the Meyle control arm and Meyle bushing. Had already replaced struts, steering coupler, and sway bar bushings and end links. This made the biggest difference. Steering is tight and no more vibration when I brake.

My CABs were in pretty good shape as I'd replaced them less than two years ago but three of the four ball joints were shot after 165,000 miles. (I hadn't changed control arms before because an indy mechanic told me they were fine and only my CABS were shot)

DIY was great as well as input from other posters.

AutoZone pickle fork worked fine with a 5 lb hammer. Just had to drive it in all the way and then the bolts popped off.

Best tip was to remove the driver's side inside ball joint nut going in from the top. I connected three extensions for a total of about 24" and put a swivel in before the last four inch piece as I couldn't get a straight shot down to the nut. Came off easy with 22mm socket and I was able to put the new nut on and torque it this same way.

The other inner ball joint was a pain. No problem getting it off, but the nut turned on the reinstall, so I couldn't use my ratchet. Must of taken me an hour to figure out how to hold it with an Allen wrench and use an open end 22mm wrench. Might have been worth it for this one to remove the sway bar brackets to get more room to maneuver tools. This was the only nut I couldn't torque.

The other problem I had was lining up the CABS so they were seated properly in their mounts on the body of the car. I put them on the arms in the same place as the old ones, but they wouldn't seat until I moved them a little further down on the arms than the old ones. I think this good of been easier and taken less time if I had pushed them down a bit further AND seated the CABs before I pushed the ball joints into place.

Anyway this was a very gratifying DIY as the results are great!

Last edited by edjerum; 10-27-2013 at 07:34 AM.
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Old 12-01-2013, 12:37 AM   #315
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I was working on this today but ran out of time because I didn't have a 22 mm box wrench to get in there. Now I could swear that the existing nut on the inner bearing is 22 mm when I tested it and I even bought the 22 mm wrench. However since I already have the car back down I checked it against my new arms and that nut is a 21mm.......(Original are BMW ZHP and replacements are Lemforder ZHP.....go figure) So looks like I'll have to get a 21 mm now too.

The main problem I see is that no one is torquing the bearing nuts with the exception of the drivers side (left hand side) by going through the top with the extension. I have one of those so this should be handy even if it is off slightly with the bits I'll need to make the angles. I did notice however that there is a hole, rather small hole in the passenger side (right hand) motor mount bracket, however I don't really see a way all the back up to the top that is clear.

So how does BMW technicians do it then? What special tools do they have to get this done? I'm a torque kind of guy so I want to make sure this is tight to prevent coming apart and rattles.

I have the BWM TIS but it is very poor when it comes to doing this, basically it tells you to unfasten and then fasten and oh by the way here are the torque values.....no mention on how this is accomplished. As Dave1027 mentioned above, the easiest way would be to remove the engine support bracket, like I did before to replace the motor mounts. I considered this earlier while laying under the car looking at things but I know no one here has done this.

Currently I have 149K on the clock with the original arms. I changed every part up front with the exception of the control arms. My steering feels tight, I don't have any play while trying to rock the wheels back and forth and a year ago when I had an alignment, the placed check all of this and found nothing wrong (no wear on tires, no pulsations under braking, no movement in the tires at 3/6/9/or 12 o'clock positions.

Recently I was getting a lot of noise up front, banging and clanking over speed bumps and in the last couple of days a bump while backing out of the driveway. The control arm bushing have been replaced about five hundred miles ago and my struts and all have been replaced probably within 1500 miles. I did find that I had a busted Meyle HD Sway Bar Link boot. Also compound that with the same side also had the connection between the link and the strut was very loose. I blame myself for this because when I did the struts, I jacked up one side of the car and did them then the other. Everytime I drove the car up on ramps and checked these components it was good and tight. What happened is that once the entire front end was off the ground I found the loose sway bar link. Apparently with everything twisted it made it feel as though it was all torqued down. So I replaced the sway bar links with original BMW.

As a side note comparison, both the Meyle HD and the BMW are made with steel balls and plastic "cups". So they are the same in that department. The difference is in the size of the ball, bigger in the HD version and the connecting rod between both housings are also a tad bit thicker than the BMW ones.

So I already changed the motor mounts about one to two years ago and I may wait a bit longer untill they compress again before I change out the control arms with the engine support bracket. Only question to this is I drop the support and torque down the inner bearing this will be done without a pre-load. From what I read you should really do this with a pre-load.

If there are any BMW Techs out here, I would love to hear how this is done the BMW way in getting all of this done to proper torque...........

Mango......how did you do this?
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Old 12-19-2013, 04:14 PM   #316
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I started the Meyle control arm and CAB replacement process yesterday. The driver's side went well. On the outer ball joint I used a tool similar to the one in post # 250 that had worked well on another vehicle.

However, on the passenger's side, the bolt on the tool bent. I picked up the Harbor Freight tool and some PB Blaster this morning. Still no joy and I have been periodically re-spraying with PB and cranking the bolt on the spreader a turn or two over the course of 3 hours or so. I hope that at some point the steady force and the repeated PB applications will break it loose.

I am reluctant to apply heat with a torch since at this point I could still tighten up everything and drive the car to a shop. I have tried a pickle fork and sledge to no avail. I did purposefully destroy the rubber boot on the top of the ball joint to make it easier to get the bottom of the spreader into place.

Any suggestions? Thanks.
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Old 12-19-2013, 08:12 PM   #317
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Well, patience and experimentation paid off. I finally got the outer ball joint off.

I took ABS sensor, caliper, and brake pads off to give me more working room. This also enabled me to adjust the Harbor Freight tool to its lowest setting and to better position it. I kept tightening it and the ball joint finally popped free.

If I were to do this job again, I would follow the suggestions of those who prepped the joints for several days in advance with PB Blaster.
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:30 AM   #318
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there is now way to get a socket and tq wrench on the inner or outer bj nut, doing these now, so ho exactly did you guys tq em?
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Old 05-03-2014, 11:45 AM   #319
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there is now way to get a socket and tq wrench on the inner or outer bj nut, doing these now, so ho exactly did you guys tq em?
Tight is tight.. To tight is broken!

Some swear by a calibrated wrist and never use a TQ wrench.

Find a easy access nut. Torque it using your wrench to your spec. Replicate the force you used on the easy access nut on the control arm nut using the tool that fits.

It's not exact but it works.

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Old 05-03-2014, 11:57 AM   #320
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just curious, cuz everyone is saying tq to spec, clueless how ,only thing that will fit in there is a box wrench
2 that i don't have of course #@#$##$^$%^$%$%&^
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