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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 11-28-2011, 05:40 PM   #281
hemi6
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Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: earth
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My Ride: M3
Just installed my Meyle CAs from www.oembimmerparts.com this weekend, easy job with an air hammer as previously stated. I bought the pickle fork with air hammer attachment a couple years ago and I am glad I did, took all of 5 min to air hammer the ball joints off, both arms fell off instantly. 2001 330i 128k, car feels fantastic now.
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Old 12-02-2011, 02:07 PM   #282
MikeyV89
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My Ride: 2001 330i
how come the arms didn't fit into the bushings, because I want to get the HD arms but I just got treehouse racing eye bushings, do they fit with the meyle hd arms?
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:36 PM   #283
Danoff
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TxTorqueMade View Post
My feeling is this. If you want truly do the job RIGHT then the following must be done:

1. New control arms
2. FCABushings
3. New tie rod ends
4. New sway bar end links
5. New sway bar bushings and brackets
6. If over 75k miles, new struts and shocks
7. New RSMs and Front strut mounts
8. New steering flex disc. (steering guibo)
So my question is what to put in that won't need to be replaced again (for any of the above - especially control arms and bushings). Lots of people in here have done the Meyle control arms. How long do they last? How long do the replaceable balljoints last and how hard are they to replace?

I've been scouring the website for a solution that won't break in another 60k miles and I don't see it being discussed (though I'll admit it probably is here). I don't like the idea of buying another set of OEM CABs just to see them fail and have to do it again. I'm at 37,000 miles and I've already done a fair bit of damage to the OE CABs. Don't see much point in putting those back in. Meyle seems to be another favorite, but how long do they last?
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Old 12-25-2011, 01:58 PM   #284
alpine325coupe
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Used this diy today on the passenger side. I will attempt the drivers side tomorrow. I have a feeling the driver's side will be more difficult because of the placement of the inner ball joint bolt. Merry Christmas!
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:21 PM   #285
DJ Mabe
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I just did this install and it wasn't too bad. I had a hard time with the two outer ball joints but did finally get them apart. The problem I have now is that the passengers side inner ball joint is spinning on the new CA and I can't get it torqued down tight enough. Any suggestions?
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Old 02-26-2012, 09:31 PM   #286
Nervous
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On the top of the ball joint's 'axle' there is a place where you can insert a hex allen wrench to hold it off spinning.
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Old 03-11-2012, 10:25 PM   #287
astonmartini03
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In trying to measure the correct location of my FCABs on my new Meyle FCAs, and the 290.9mm mark didn't even reach the part of the FCA where the diameter is consistent, i.e. not far enough. Anyone else have this problem?

I'm thinking about just installing them bushings, driving a few feet, and then letting the soapy water evaporate at whatever position the bushings settle at.
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Old 03-31-2012, 05:44 PM   #288
ELCID86
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Done.

Completed this morning on our '02 330Ci with Meyle HD arms and CABs. Well everyone that said that you have to knock the ever living snot out of the pickle bar (tie rod tool) was absolutely right. The hardest, most annoying part was trying to get the 22mm top nut off and then back on. You can only turn the wrench about 1/8 of a turn each time. On the drivers side, I'd really recommend the extensions on a socket from the top. I didn't have a 22mm 3/8 drive so I did it the hard way. Car does drive quite a bit better. No alignment seems to be needed. Struts are next... Probably this summer when my son gets back from college.
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:09 PM   #289
pifane
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It's been 3 years I followed this post. Just want to said If money is not an issue, get OEM control arms. lemforder last longer.
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Old 08-12-2012, 02:01 AM   #290
e30mike
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Just gonna bump this, put some Meyle Hd's and CABS on my friends 325 today. Took a couple trips to the store for longer pickle forks and to replace the ball joint separator I broke This job is pretty difficult on a high mileage car but very rewarding as far as steering feel goes. Thanks for the write-up!
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:47 AM   #291
Yaraphon
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I'm part way through this diy and having some major issues with my passenger side outer ball joint. 8lb sledge has seemingly no effect. My pickle fork looks like melted butter now too. The other side came off after I got angry with it but this last one is welded on. Before using the pickle fork I tried a cheap ball joint remover tool but that snapped in half.

My plan is to go donkey kong on it tomorrow and if that doesn't work.. out will come the hacksaw, dremel/grinding disc etc.

Side note.. There is one inner nut that is a PITA. One side has access with extensions from above but the other is blocked by the engine mount. Of course my spanner set had no 21mm but wouldn't have worked anyway. I used a 21mm 3/8" socket with a ratchet with a really small head. To get the leverage/angle needed I had to use the handle from my trolley jack.

Favourite tool so far: massive 1/2" drive breaker bar
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:00 AM   #292
SeanC
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^ have you soaked it with pb blaster for at least 15 minutes? Then use a quality ball joint separator. Pickle fork is not the right tool for the job anyways. If it doesn't work, you'll need a propane torch to heat it up. That should do it. Do not cut anything, or else you might have bigger problems.

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Last edited by SeanC; 01-07-2013 at 10:01 AM.
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Old 01-07-2013, 03:56 PM   #293
Yaraphon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeanC View Post
^ have you soaked it with pb blaster for at least 15 minutes? Then use a quality ball joint separator. Pickle fork is not the right tool for the job anyways. If it doesn't work, you'll need a propane torch to heat it up. That should do it. Do not cut anything, or else you might have bigger problems.

Sent from my SGH-I997 using Bimmer App
I've only tried wd40.. not sure where to find pb blaster in Australia. I asked the local mechanic for advice and he said not to bother with different sprays and tools made in china. His tip was to shock the joint somehow. I'm reluctant to hit the actual spindle with a hammer but he assures me that's what to do..

My plan with the cutting was to remove the control arm material away from the joint and then grind some flats somewhere so I can twist it off. It will be a last resort but unlikely to damage anything... Just tedious work I'd prefer to avoid.

At any rate I might take the day off as the weather report says it'll be 43 degrees C today (109.4 degrees F).
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Old 01-07-2013, 10:24 PM   #294
JoeFriday
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Go to Harbor Freight

I was having similar problems with a pickle fork. 3/4 came off fine, but one would not budge. I went down to Harbor Freight and got a proper ball joint separator for $19.99 and it came of in about 5 seconds. Sears sells them also, might be a couple bucks more.

I got this one http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qua...tor-99849.html

And it's only $16.99 now.

Last edited by JoeFriday; 01-07-2013 at 10:28 PM. Reason: added link
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Old 01-08-2013, 01:16 AM   #295
Yaraphon
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That tool looks almost identical to the one I used which snapped in half. I think all ball joint tools aren't created equal. The store I bought it from offered to let me replace it for free but for the same price they had a 3 jaw gear puller which they said would be much stronger. Only problem is that it won't fit without removing the hub from the strut. I've also got my hands on a propane torch so I might try that too. Where would be the best place to apply heat? Underneath, On the thread above, or the spindle itself?
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:05 AM   #296
WDE46
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You sure the pickle fork you used was wide enough? The shaft of the ball joint is tapered. It gets larget towards the bottom. Get the biggest pickle fork attachment in a kit you can rent at the auto parts store and use that. I popped all my joints off with a pickle fork and a 3lb hammer in 3 blows or less. That was after trying a wrong sized pickle fork and a MUCH larger sledge (10-15 lb).

Last edited by WDE46; 01-08-2013 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:39 AM   #297
Yaraphon
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I've got two pickle forks that came as a set for $25. One is wide but short the other is thinner but longer. They both have been useful in different spots for the other three ball joints. I actually think my main problem is that I'm right handed. On my drivers side(your passenger side in the US) I was able to tee up big hits starting from diagonally in front of the car angling back. It was this angle that finally freed my first outer ball joint. It feels really uncoordinated to do the same on the other side and I'd be risking hitting the bodywork so my biggest swings come from the opposite angle ie diagonally towards the front of the car. Maybe I just need a lefty to help me out

I've got a few different sized hammers but none have worked so far. I have a 3lb with a short handle that's good for swift sharp blows. I've got a 4lb sledge that's also getting some good fast hits in then I've got my big 8lb sledge which seems to work the best. I can swing it out like a pendulum then accelerate down and hit with ALOT of force and because it's heavy It's quite accurate. I've hit with enough force now to mushroom the ends of my pickle forks.
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Old 01-08-2013, 07:46 PM   #298
Yaraphon
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Success! Removed brake calliper, brake disk, ABS sensor, tie rod and removed the whole business from the strut. Took it out and set it up with some wooden blocks to support it. I beat straight down on it with my pickle fork and 4lb hammer and it popped off.
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Old 01-09-2013, 06:28 AM   #299
ELCID86
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Congrats! Id does feel good once you finally free them.
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Old 02-25-2013, 06:03 PM   #300
Cvale127
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Anyone know how long ZHP control arms typically last before they need to be replaced? I know the ball joints are all metal, supposedly last much longer and are more durable than the regular E46 arms, but have not read anything about the mileage range where people start encountering problems with these.

I bought my ZHP coupe back in June with 62K miles and I noticed steering wheel play and a loose feeling since day one. Especially while driving 40MPH +. I now have 70K on the clock.

Last week I went to get a wheel alignment after purchasing new wheels and tires, and was told my front tie rods were seized and therefore the alignment could not be performed. So yesterday I installed a pair of tie rod assemblies I purchased from BAV Auto, and got the alignment shortly after. Although I think I do feel a slight improvement after replacing both tie rods, I'm still getting that loose steering wheel feel and play.

I took a look at the CA bushings while installing the tie rods and they looked fine. The only thing I did notice was that the passenger side was missing a piece of rubber and was showing some metal. Yes I know this sounds bad but I did not see any creases in the rubber elsewhere, or impressions on either side of this bushing.

When I moved the tire side to side while holding in the 9 and 3 O'clock position, i did notice alot play and clunking noise. Based on info I've read published by BAV Auto, they say this could be failing wheel bearings.

I'm thinking of replacing the bushings anyway even though the PO told me he had replaced worn bushings (IDK if he replaced both or just 1). The driver side bushing does look newer than the drivers side which I did find odd.

What do you guys think? These ZHP arms are expensive and I don't want to replace them unless I really have too. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks guys!

Last edited by Cvale127; 02-25-2013 at 06:06 PM.
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