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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 10-20-2007, 08:25 AM   #81
vert
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bamafanatic View Post
No way would I reuse the nylon nuts. For any application, they are intended to be single use items. I was asking about the bushing mounting bolts and the plate/tube reinforcement bolts. The bolts are probably OK, but vert is right about applying some threadlock (average strength, blue or red) to the bolts to make sure that they stay in. However, I do have some reservations about using threadlock because I have heard that it can effect your torquing of the bolt. I am doing the job this weekend and will probably torque the bolts down w/threadlock first to get a feel as if they need it and check up on it later if I decide on staying w/out threadlock. Easy to fix if they need it.
For what it's worth, the first time i had to remove the brace i did not replace the bolts and just applied some threadlock. When I removed the brace the second time a few months later and after a few thousand miles, the bolts were still nice and tight. I did use the new ones the second time around just because they were a cheap insurance. I don't think it was more than 10 bucks for all 8 at the dealer with a CCA discount. But if you search on this board, you will see that lots of people reuse with threadlock and everything is fine.
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Old 10-20-2007, 10:04 AM   #82
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I really need to get a CCA membership. I have had the car about 1.5 years now and have replaced the rear brakes, done an oil change, fixed my HK speaker rattle, fixed my droopy door seals, and now CA/bushings. My Inspec II is coming up as well and no way in hell am I going to pay $2K (I think thats what was quoted by my dealership a few months ago) to have somebody else do it. I have been buying all of my parts from Bavarian Auto, but I prefer real BMW parts. Too bad they are so damn expensive. If I had a discount, it may entise me more to buy them. This car is freakin' expensive to maintain even when you DIY alot of stuff. Anyway, enough of my rambling...

It's also a PITA to find a cheap set of 19-22mm wrenches for my CA project. Sears has a 26 Piece Metric set on Sale for $49.99 ending tonight. My local Sears did not have this set in stock, but it is available online. I'll go check Lowes or Walmart to see if I can do better, otherwise I'll have to wait until later to start.

Vert, what grade threadlock did you use on the bolts? Thanks for sharing your experiences.
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Old 10-20-2007, 01:53 PM   #83
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I used the red high strength loctite threadlock. The wrenches I got from from Sears. You can get to the driver side nut on the control arm with a long extension and a socket through the engine compartment which is a nice trick and saves a lot of time.
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Old 10-20-2007, 02:45 PM   #84
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Going back to the discussion of reusing bolts and nuts, you (vert) are saying that you reused the bolts but replaced the nuts. Is that right? I talked to a rep in the parts department of a dealer one time and was told they could be reused. However I don't remember if he referred to the CAB bolts only or both CAB bolts and CA nuts. Do you know the grade of the nuts used by the CA'
s? I am sure they have to be a high grade.
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Old 10-20-2007, 05:24 PM   #85
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Quote:
Originally Posted by celsoglima View Post
Going back to the discussion of reusing bolts and nuts, you (vert) are saying that you reused the bolts but replaced the nuts. Is that right? I talked to a rep in the parts department of a dealer one time and was told they could be reused. However I don't remember if he referred to the CAB bolts only or both CAB bolts and CA nuts. Do you know the grade of the nuts used by the CA'
s? I am sure they have to be a high grade.
I reused the bolts only. I believe nuts are self-locking on the CA's, so you definitely want to replace those. New arms should include the nuts.
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Old 10-20-2007, 06:12 PM   #86
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The reason I was asking if it would be ok to reuse the CA locking nuts is because I don't plan on replacing the CA's based on what I checked. I didn't detect any play while holding the wheel at the 12/6 position. However, at the 3/9 position there is a lot of play inside the CAB's. This leads to my next question, if I keep driving the car with the CAB as shot as they are, what are the chances I will damage the ball joints on the CA's? Both CAB's have a lot of play and need to be replaced for sure. I saw a DIY of a guy who replaced the CAB's without removing the CA's. All he removed was the triangular metal frame. If I end up having to remove the CA's, I will need to either reuse the nuts that are already there or replace them. If anybody knows the grade of those CA nuts, please let me know. There is no dealer where I live, so I will have to get them from a local hardware store.

Last edited by celsoglima; 10-20-2007 at 06:39 PM.
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Old 10-28-2007, 08:45 PM   #87
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Just did my CA and bushings today. I have no idea how people have been able to do this job in 2 hours......Anyway, the steps are as simple as described by others in previous posts but executing them is time consuming and tiring. Key points to re-iterate.

1. Take out the outer ball-joint first. I didn't on my right CA and I wasted quite a bit of time fighting it because the inner joint was flopping around (maybe 45 min-hour, it seemed like forever).

2. If the the joint doesn't pop out within a few good whacks, reposition the pickle fork try again. My left joints popped out right away using this technique.

3. The most challenging part of this whole project is the inner ball joint nuts. The only way that you are going to be able to tighten the left side is by using extensions and a pivoting ratchet joint (weird angle on the nut) to attack the nut from up top (you can see the nut if you look down next to the dipstick). You have room underneath on the right side to work, but it is still tedious.

4. Be patient. It takes a long time to loosen/tighten the inner control arm nuts. Take a break, have a drink if you get winded.

I installed Meyle CAs and Meyle HD bushings. The car feels alot tighter on the road now (My tires are severely feathered because of the old CAs). From ramps to finish (w/cleanup) took me about 5 hours. I suspect if I had to do it again it would take me about 3-4 hours. I am exhausted now and hope that I don't have to do this again for a LONG time. My steering rack is leaking so I am going to have the dealer replace it under my CPO warranty. Too bad CAs and bushings aren't covered under CPO warranty.....

Good luck to others doing this. I am tired, but I saved about $600 doing it on my own.
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Old 10-30-2007, 05:29 AM   #88
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I'm planning on the job this weekend. Will report back on how it goes. I must say I look forward to a tighter steering feel. Per the inner joint nuts, it looks like it might be possible to attack the passenger's side nut from above as well. Anyone done this successfully?
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Old 10-30-2007, 10:42 AM   #89
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Confirm, I was able to reach both inner nuts from the top. I simply linked up every extension I had.
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Old 10-30-2007, 01:57 PM   #90
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Confirm, I was able to reach both inner nuts from the top. I simply linked up every extension I had.
Wow, how? When I did it, there was no way I can reach the passenger side inner CA nut from top. Would like to find out how you did it.
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Old 10-30-2007, 08:08 PM   #91
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Confirm, I was able to reach both inner nuts from the top. I simply linked up every extension I had.
Great. I've got a 20", 10", 8" and a universal, I'm figuring that outta be enough. If I can get to it, I'll post a pix of how.
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Old 10-31-2007, 12:45 PM   #92
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Peanut Man,

I stand corrected. I only got to the driver's side from the top.
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Old 10-31-2007, 09:00 PM   #93
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Peanut Man,

I stand corrected. I only got to the driver's side from the top.
Hmmm. Bummer. I'll still give it whirl and see if it's possible.
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Old 11-01-2007, 07:43 PM   #94
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I checked my car and noticed it did not have the Engine/chassis brace bar instead it has the aluminum plate front end reinforcement. Did anyone run into any issues installing 66mm bushings since they are bigger, on a coupe with this aluminum plate? I'm not sure if I have 60mm or 66mm on right now. I do however have the new 66mm that I am going to install tomorrow.

edit: see pic below

Last edited by BM-MAN; 11-01-2007 at 07:55 PM. Reason: added pic
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:12 AM   #95
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM-MAN View Post
I checked my car and noticed it did not have the Engine/chassis brace bar instead it has the aluminum plate front end reinforcement. Did anyone run into any issues installing 66mm bushings since they are bigger, on a coupe with this aluminum plate? I'm not sure if I have 60mm or 66mm on right now. I do however have the new 66mm that I am going to install tomorrow.

edit: see pic below
The suspension reinforcement plate does make it more difficult to get the LCA+LCAB assembly into position but it's not impossible - I've done it a couple times on my coupe. Just make sure that you've lubed the LCAB end of the LCA with lots of dish washing liquid (I used Dawn, but any liquid will work). This permits the LCAB to rotate slightly in case it doesn't line up perfectly with the mounting holes in the chassis.
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Old 11-02-2007, 11:14 AM   #96
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BM-MAN View Post
I checked my car and noticed it did not have the Engine/chassis brace bar instead it has the aluminum plate front end reinforcement. Did anyone run into any issues installing 66mm bushings since they are bigger, on a coupe with this aluminum plate? I'm not sure if I have 60mm or 66mm on right now. I do however have the new 66mm that I am going to install tomorrow.

edit: see pic below
The suspension reinforcement plate does make it more difficult to get the LCA+LCAB assembly into position but it's not impossible - I've done it a couple times on my coupe. Just make sure that you've lubed the LCAB end of the LCA with lots of dish washing liquid (I used Dawn, but any liquid will work). This permits the LCAB to rotate slightly in case it doesn't line up perfectly with the mounting holes in the chassis.

Make sure you use new bolts for mounting the LCAB's to the chassis. There's a specific torque and twist spec for these bolts. Also, if you have to remove the suspension reinforcement plate you'll need to install it with new bolts for the same reason.
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Old 11-03-2007, 09:34 PM   #97
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For the record, after many attempts and different experimenting, It is impossible to access the right (passengers) side inner nut from the top.
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Old 11-06-2007, 11:46 AM   #98
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Since I'm reading this for installation tips I'll offer this info:

Bolts with a torque + degree are preloaded/strenched. Replace.

Bolts with just a "standard" torque should be fine. But I'd replace them since the threads could be fowled enough to damage the chassis threads....and this would be BAD. Also, it's just plain easier working with new bolts.

Nylock nuts should be replaced.
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Old 11-30-2007, 07:47 PM   #99
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Bringing back the issue of insufficient clearance to torque the inner ball joint, has anyone tried using a crowfoot wrench on the torque drive ratchet? Here's a pic.
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Old 12-01-2007, 10:21 PM   #100
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Control arm

Need Help. I live in Fort Lee. I need to replace Front Control Army Bushing . Do I need to replace Comtrol Arm too? Can you post a DIY? thank
Rey
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