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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 11-01-2005, 06:26 AM   #1
PASH
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Control arm DIY please?? (I've already done my bushes)

I have searched but can only find them for the bushes.

I replaced the bushes a few weeks ago for the powerflex ones but now seem to have a knocking noise over bumps which I think is the other joints on the arm itself.

I found the bushes pretty easy to replace but the whole arm looks like it could be very hard to do!!!
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Old 11-01-2005, 09:43 AM   #2
tim330i
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I suggest you get the Bentley manual for this one. I know there is a fair bit to get this done.

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Old 11-01-2005, 09:50 AM   #3
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I was hoping it was just a matter of removing the big bush (and housing) then bolt 8 and 7 ???

unbolt, replace and bolt back up.

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Old 11-01-2005, 11:50 AM   #4
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Removing the CA requires a ball joint separator as well as some extra Metric tools (and some brute force too). Depends on your skill level - not for the faint of heart though.

I thought there was a DIY here - if not, refer to the one I wrote for my "local": http://www.tuningemotion.com/forum/s...ead.php?t=1990. The info is down around post #17.

Mark
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Old 11-01-2005, 12:04 PM   #5
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slightly off topic, but how do you like the powerflex bushings? I purposely did not get them last year an replaced my bushings with oem 66mm ones due to problems that people were having with the center portion of the powerflex units pulling out. Now, it appears that the oem ones may already be going bad again.

I have heard (unsubstantiated rumors) that powerflex made a change to their bushings to prevent these problems, but cannot confirm. How do you like them so far and do you know if they are a newer design? Where did you pick yours up? Thanks.

Oh, and just to stay on the topic of the original post...i agree with what others are saying here. The control arms are something that can be done by a DIY'er, but onyl if you have all of the correct tools and plenty of room to get good leverage. A lift comes in real handy when replacing these.

Chris
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Old 11-01-2005, 01:39 PM   #6
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Thanks for replies.

deviant94ex - I live in England and the Powerflex bushings are actaully made here so I definitely bought the latest versions.

The steering does feel sharper however Im having problems with knocking noises/sensations coming through the wheel over poor road surfaces (80% of roads here in UK). Im hoping its just the other joints on the control arm that are worn and been amplified as it were by the stiff bush.

If I replace them and its still the same then I guess thats just how they are. For me its too hard (not the suspension as such, the way the wheel feels over bumps etc) and I will remove them and replace with OEM ones!!


ps. sorry the pic didnt work above. I think I have the idea now. I just need to buy one of these:

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Old 11-01-2005, 03:38 PM   #7
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Someone also posted in the ///M3 ball joint thread (a couple down in the DIY forum) that there is a DIY for control arms on the forum, you just need to search (didn't look around so I don't know if this is true or not).

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Old 11-01-2005, 03:56 PM   #8
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Thanks Tim. I honestly did do a search tho! Problem is you type control arm and it says 'arm' is too short so only searches for control and you get all-sorts back - or just about the bush, not arm.
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Old 11-01-2005, 04:05 PM   #9
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Here you go -

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...control+arm%2A

You can search by using 'control arm*' The * is a wild card and makes the search work (the searching is really limited, sorry).

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Old 11-01-2005, 04:08 PM   #10
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Cheers
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Old 11-03-2005, 04:50 PM   #11
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Well, Ive just spent the last 4 hours trying to get one side off... and failed

It was all going well until the last balljoint. I used my fork thingy and after hours of hammering didnt move it one single mm.

Looks like it will be going to the garage for them to do it ASAP.

Contrary to one of the DIY's its 19mm and 22mm spanners you need not 18 and 21!!
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Old 11-03-2005, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PASH
Contrary to one of the DIY's its 19mm and 22mm spanners you need not 18 and 21!!
Well, alrighty then, but I have a spankin' new 21mm wrench in my toolbox now that begs to differ with you! 22mm would have been too loose, and likely would have rounded off the flats.

EDIT: I thought you were correct about the 19mm, but NO it IS 18mm. I just went out to the car and checked. I will still however think twice before posting any more DIYs here.

Mark

Last edited by Canuck328i; 11-03-2005 at 07:22 PM.
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Old 11-04-2005, 04:41 AM   #13
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Canuck328i - sorry if my last post came accross as having a go at you (or anybody else), becasue it wasnt.

Maybe the Europe cars are different because mine is 100% 19 and 22.
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Old 11-07-2005, 02:29 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PASH
It was all going well until the last balljoint. I used my fork thingy and after hours of hammering didnt move it one single mm.

YOu need the ball joint separator... after which, it should take you 5mins. Yea, me and my dad spent a while trying to remove the f8cker.... pitch forks, hammer, etc... there were no good stores that carried it in champaign. Had to drive to chicago and get it!!!
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Old 11-09-2005, 01:57 AM   #15
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bushes

Quote:
Originally Posted by PASH
I have searched but can only find them for the bushes.

I replaced the bushes a few weeks ago for the powerflex ones but now seem to have a knocking noise over bumps which I think is the other joints on the arm itself.

I found the bushes pretty easy to replace but the whole arm looks like it could be very hard to do!!!
hi pash just read that you did the bushes yourself,were they the rear bushes on the front wishbone? if so what did you do cos mine have gone and main dealer wants 300 quid to sort and the parts are less than 100.
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Old 11-09-2005, 04:24 PM   #16
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It was the front bushes. They are pretty easy really unless you want to swap them for powerflex ones. If you do then you have to hammer/drill/beat the hell out of them to get the old bush out of its housing.

If you want to swap for OEM which I can HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend (see below) then you buy them already in the carriers and its just bolt off bolt on really. There are a fair few DIY's on here about it.


note on powerflex -

I changed my bushings to the powerflex and instantly had knocking/crashing through the steering wheel (not rest ofcar) over bumps and bad road surfaces. I then replaced the entire control arms which made it a lot better but today I decided it was still too harsh for me. I bought some new OEM ones and replaced them tonight.

I would say the PF ones give maybe a 5% sharper turn-in (over brand new oem, not warn ones) and no other beneffits. They do however increase hrashness by about 30% even with new arms.

After fitting the OEM ones tonight the car feels so much nicer to drive. Wish I had never changed them in the first place!!!!
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Old 11-10-2005, 02:52 PM   #17
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Thanks for the feedback on the PF bushes. Did you source your OEM parts from a main dealer?

Last edited by phelix; 11-10-2005 at 02:56 PM.
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Old 11-11-2005, 05:19 AM   #18
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Yes, I just went to the local BMW dealer.
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Old 11-11-2005, 09:34 AM   #19
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I'm relatively new to bmw but ball joints usually come off when you "ring" the top of the ball joint stud and bottom connection (at the arm). "Ring" means to take two hammers, a 3 lb. and a 5 lb. more or less, and hit the top and bottom at nearly the same time to get a natural harmonic that makes the relatively clearest ringing sound possible. Then the hammer force works effectively and quickly.
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Old 11-12-2005, 09:49 PM   #20
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i bought the powerflex bushings when they were brand new, it was probably a year or two ago. mine have not fallen out.
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