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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > DIY: Do It Yourself

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 08-17-2007, 07:42 PM   #21
Ivegotissues666
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No you dont use those.

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Old 08-20-2007, 09:25 PM   #22
Gdn330XI
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ok how much is this cost? with the arm? and without the arm? just bushing?
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Old 09-10-2007, 04:00 PM   #23
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Just did this Saturday. A few things:
1. I had some trouble pressing the bushing all the way onto the arm, so I hooked an 8 inch C clamp into the first web on the control arm, put an old brake pad on the face of the bushing, put the screw part of the clamp on the brake pad and torqued it down. It pushed the bushing easily onto the arm.
2. Pray that you don't have a seized ball joint. The outer ball joint on the passenger side took several hours to get off. Not fun. It would have been nice to have an air hammer with a pickle fork attachment.
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Old 09-10-2007, 05:40 PM   #24
BreakMyWallet
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hows the steering doing?need to do this soon
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Old 09-11-2007, 08:25 AM   #25
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It feels like new again. The wheel is tight, and you can feel the car move with even the smallest steering input. Even though this was a huge pain, it was actually worth it.
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Old 09-29-2007, 07:13 PM   #26
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Huge pain is right. I just did mine today, changed both control arm and bushing. With one of those rachet boxend wrench that's also have a swivel head (16mm of course), I was able to get to the rear bolt on the control arm bushing housing with out removing the subframe. Save me some time there.

The most annoying part is the inner ball joint nut on the passenger side! I use the open end wrench to twist it a little at a time. Took about 10 min or so to take just one nut out. And I even get sore neck trying to get to it. What a pain. Driver side I just took a long extension (abt 2 ft worth) and get to it from top of the engine compartment.

I still need front tires and alignment check. Also couldn't get to the RTABs today as it took much longer than I thought. Not sure if I have time to do it tomorrow... Might have to deferred that to next week.

Another plus is that I see how easy it is to do the sway bar now. Haha... giving me upgrade ideas.
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Old 10-23-2007, 09:03 PM   #27
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Is this doable with 2 hands?

Great DIY. I plan on doing this soon. Is this a one man job? I have no one to help if not. thanks.
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Old 10-23-2007, 10:24 PM   #28
peanut_man
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Yup, w/ right tools, definitely a one person job. That's what I did.
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Old 10-24-2007, 06:52 AM   #29
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Did you hand loosen/tighten all bolts/nuts?

I am totally inclined to do this myself, but have no power tools. I would hate for something to fall off just because I didn't hand tighten it properly.
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Old 10-24-2007, 08:53 AM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boogybren View Post
Did you hand loosen/tighten all bolts/nuts?

I am totally inclined to do this myself, but have no power tools. I would hate for something to fall off just because I didn't hand tighten it properly.
You shouldn't be using power tools to tighten anything anyways. Gotta use torque wrench.
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:08 AM   #31
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Where can I find the torque settings for each bolt/nut?

Last edited by boogybren; 10-24-2007 at 09:11 AM.
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Old 10-24-2007, 09:25 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by luckysnafu View Post
From the Bentley Manual:
Tightening Torques for REAR WHEEL DRIVE
- Control arm rear bracket (bushing bracket) to frame rails - 44 ft-lb
- Front end reinforcement to front subframe or body frame rails - 44 ft-lb
- Inner ball joint to subframe - 66 ft-lb
- Outer ball joint to steering arm - 48 ft-lb

Tightening Torques for ALL WHEEL DRIVE
- Control arm rear bracket (bushing bracket) to frame rails - 44 ft-lb
- Front end reinforcement to front subframe or body frame rails - 44 ft-lb
- Inner ball joint to subframe - 57 ft-lb
- Outer ball joint to steering arm - 48 ft-lb
- Inner ball joint to control arm - 59 ft-lb
Found it! Nevermind :-).
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:39 PM   #33
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I noticed a washer in both bags that hold the nuts. Where should it be used??
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM-MAN View Post
I noticed a washer in both bags that hold the nuts. Where should it be used??
When I got the Meyle control arms that washer was on the balljoint under the protective plastic cap that covered the balljoint. It is not supposed to be used when installing the control arms - at least that is what I was told when I asked the same question. I actually installed it under the nut on the inner balljoint first, but then took it off after finding out it's not supposed to be used.

Yours is in the bag though which is weird... maybe you should contact Meyle and ask? There is actually a Meyle rep here on the forum that you can probably PM - he goes by meyleman. I saw him in this thread http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=510527

EDIT: Actually i got this advice in this thread - take a look at my post #20 on the first page.

Last edited by vert; 10-31-2007 at 09:02 PM.
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:54 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by BM-MAN View Post
I noticed a washer in both bags that hold the nuts. Where should it be used??
I don't think the washer is supposed to be used in the installation I think they're used to hold the blue plastic protector on the inside ball joint. Take a look at the first or second photo in the OP's DIY and you'll see how it might do this. I'm not sure what else you'd use it for.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:57 PM   #36
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^^^ Thanks for the replies guys. I called bimmerworld and was told not to use these.

Any of you guys have an aluminum plate instead of engine brace bar underneath? If so can I replace the control arms without removing the plate?
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Old 11-02-2007, 09:46 PM   #37
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Why not to use grease on the bushings...

I'm scheduled to do this tomorrow, and have been thankful to all including the OP for the help and info I've been able to get here.

One thing to correct on the OP's detailed and otherwise informative instructions however, is his recommendation to use grease to put the bushing onto the arm on re-installation. While I'm replacing the CA's and bushings this time, I did the bushings alone earlier (hoped that would solve my problem, but it didn't) and in my research for that discovered this subject of "lubrication" was much discussed, and what follows is what I found...

Both BMW and the Bentley recommend using soapy water as a lubricant to install the bushings. (This worked easily for me to install new bushings onto the old control arms) The reason to use the soapy water, and not grease, is that the soapy water evaporates briefly after installation, thereby allowing the bushing to seat on the arm. The bushing gets put under a lot of torque and stress under load and if it's not properly seated it can slide up and down excessively on the back of the arm allowing too much in and out movement. In fact, BMW even suggests not driving the car immediately after completing the install to allow the bushings to dry and seat completely. (It's this "seating" of the bushing on the aluminum arm that makes removal of the old bushings so tough to do, requiring a gear puller or other extreme method) Grease on the other hand would remain slippery for an almost indefinite amount of time and prevent proper seating of the rubber onto the arm. Additionally, some greases can tend to attack rubber and may also prematurely degrade the bushing itself.

I suspect that part of the confusion may come from the frequent use of the Powerflex urethane bushings which come with a pack of grease. But while I've not used these personally, from what I understand, this grease is used between the bushing and the carrier to allow it to spin without creaking, and not to insert the bushing onto the arm.

Hope this helps for any future installations.
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Old 11-04-2007, 01:43 AM   #38
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Well grafiksguy you got it right. Two month's ago I replace my CA bushings with OE bushingings and I had to replace them again a week ago. I have now Powerflex bushings placed and this installation is a walk in the park. I had a pair of Meyle Bushings ready in case this powerflex bushings were a PITA to install. Back then I installaled the OEM Bushing with a bit of WD40 to get this bushings on my CA, but as you said this will make the bushing slide over de CA and will not have a proper fix and after a few weeks they will break. So if you you place the OEM or Meyle CA bushings not the powerflesx just use a bit of water and soap and beat them with a hamer on the CA. Make sure your CA is clear of any dirt and grease.

Last edited by co3deron; 11-04-2007 at 01:46 AM.
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Old 11-15-2007, 04:27 PM   #39
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this DIY is great, going to try this soon with a friend.

a local shop quoted me $960 today to replace the control arms and outer ball joints
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Old 11-15-2007, 06:58 PM   #40
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Here's the TIS version of how to do it - nothing new actually, but some might find it interesting.

And it does specifically call for installation with soapy water.
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