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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 06-23-2014, 05:00 PM   #41
BavarianBeast
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 5
My Ride: 04' 330xi
HEY THERE so been readin for years but kept from posting cause most of these threads turn into a pissing match cause someone wants to think about doing something other than just bolting on an OFF THE SHELF part which brings me to my first post-- i am a BMW lover, a certified auto tech of 15+ years, & autoX & trackday my car/cars. but more than anything i hate to just bolt on another part that will likely fail cause on my aggressive style driving (not on the streets) so anywho the ball joint/control arm issue that us XI owners all face quite regularly-- i couldn't find absolutely YES answers for this when i was doing it either??? so i bought the MEYLE ALL METAL BALL JOINTS/Heavy Duty Ball Joint for the NON "M" E36 cars & its just a straight forward ball joint replacement like any other car i'v replaced a ball joint on over the years. they press out (usually in more than 1 peice) like any other & the HOLE THING, outter sleeve & all get pressed out, chiseled out, or burned out JUST LIKE ANY OTHER BALL JOINT REPLACEMENT... i am sorry for not having pics cause i know i hate when u'all dont post pics but FINALLY we have YES ANSWERS on the outter ball joint & NO MORE CONTROL ARM PURCHASES!!! so E36 NON "M" outter ball joint heavy duty or not but if ur doing this I'd opt for the all metal heavy duty ball joint -4 YEAR WARRANTY also. so GOOD LUCK bmw lovers.


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Old 08-11-2014, 03:58 PM   #42
camadella
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ithaca, NY
Posts: 7
My Ride: 2001 330xi
Doing this replacement

I'm doing this job now. Meyle HD joints (part number referenced in an earlier post on this thread) are on their way. I didn't want to order them until I was sure the arms were OK.

I'm wondering if these control arms are actually BMW parts - I kind of suspect they're not. The ball joints were junk - rubber filled, and loose as could be. I don't think that will stop me from pressing in the new joints, however - since this car has 220,000 miles, I'm trying to save a few bucks.

Once I fabricated a press mandrel of the correct diameter (I'm lucky enough to have a lathe), pressing the joints out of the arms was trivial. Use a bearing separator (shown in a post above) to hold the arm in place, and first use a small diameter tool to press the joint apart (i.e., press the middle out). Once you've done that, and the rubber is out of the way, use an appropriately sized tool to press the race out of the control arm. Voila.

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Old 08-11-2014, 05:38 PM   #43
BavarianBeast
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Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: CT
Posts: 5
My Ride: 04' 330xi
WOOOHOOO... im happy to see more of us doing & posting this fix/upgrade & its a complete $$$ saver. i replaced my control arms at 90k & by 130k-ish the ball joints were giving some play again BUT this is MANY autoX sessions & a few track days later, after dissecting them for they'r HD upgrade its surprising they last as long as they do, & i think it was around $500-ish for the pair of control arms compaired to $50 for the pair of ball joints with 4 yrs of warranty ANYHOW good work. NOW the next fix/upgrade we need to figure out is the inner ball joints???


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Old 08-12-2014, 02:27 PM   #44
Dr.frankinstein
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: elkhorn
Posts: 81
My Ride: 01 330xi and more
What is the inside diameter of the control arm where the ball joint goes. I forgot to measure it when I had mine apart.


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Old 08-14-2014, 10:56 AM   #45
latitude39
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Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: United States/Colorado
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My Ride: 2002 325xi
[QUOTE=Dr.frankinstein;16279239]What is the inside diameter of the control arm where the ball joint goes. I forgot to measure it when I had mine apart.

I believe that's 49mm as stated in the first post.
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Old 08-14-2014, 11:03 AM   #46
camadella
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Location: Ithaca, NY
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Those new joints will be here today, and I'm planning to press them in when I get home.

I'll post some photos of that operation and take a measurement as well.

Cheers,

CC
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Old 08-14-2014, 02:46 PM   #47
camadella
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Done

Hi all,

OK - this job is about as simple as they come. As other posters above have said, order the Meyle all-metal joints (P/N above) (I got them from FCPEuro), and away you go.

The ID of the bores in the arms is approximately 48.4mm. The new joints pressed in very nicely with a normal shop press (I have a 20-ton, but a 12-ton would do this job just as well). When pressing in, be sure to support the arm using a round mandrel by the ring around the joint only - that way, you are sure to press the joint straight in. No chamfering or other modification of the joint is necessary - they are a direct fit replacement.

Once I dug through my "assorted press tools" box and found a mandrel of the right size, this job took all of ten minutes per arm. I'm ready to bolt them back on.

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