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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 03-20-2008, 12:52 PM   #61
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Well, you don't just BANG on it. You need to pry it loose too.

ok wise ass, lol
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Old 03-24-2008, 05:42 PM   #62
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ok, so ended up paying to do these.the guy did them in 1hr, charged me $80 + tax.

conversating with him, i learned a few cool tricks
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Old 03-24-2008, 06:01 PM   #63
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he didnt use soap and water, he used "Terpentine" he soaked it in there for 15 minutes, then took it out, picked up the arm, stood it up on its side, and used his body weight and pressed the bushing unto the arm, BAM! done. then he mounted it. this solvent he says is what the factory manual recommends and it softens the rubber and lubes it. pretty cool huh.

also he DID NOT use the pickle fork and hamme rmethod. He used this... and popped off the ball joints. easy as pie, he said sometimes you have to tighten it and leave it a few hours, but he rarey uses that fork, if at all

then he bolted it together. no torque specs, just a impact wrench, since hes been doing this for over 30 years and works on race cars, im cool with it. plus i got a receipt ya dig.


i asked him about the vanos seals, and says hes familiar with the beisan seals and stuff, says a good way to check for bad vanos if theyre not throwing a code, like mine, is while its doing it, just tpa the vanos unit, and if it stops bugging out, thats your sugn.

needless to say im using this guy from now on. Race Prep Motorsports, FTW
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:00 AM   #64
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he didnt use soap and water, he used "Terpentine" he soaked it in there for 15 minutes, then took it out, picked up the arm, stood it up on its side, and used his body weight and pressed the bushing unto the arm, BAM! done. then he mounted it. this solvent he says is what the factory manual recommends and it softens the rubber and lubes it. pretty cool huh.

also he DID NOT use the pickle fork and hamme rmethod. He used this... and popped off the ball joints. easy as pie, he said sometimes you have to tighten it and leave it a few hours, but he rarey uses that fork, if at all

then he bolted it together. no torque specs, just a impact wrench, since hes been doing this for over 30 years and works on race cars, im cool with it. plus i got a receipt ya dig.


i asked him about the vanos seals, and says hes familiar with the beisan seals and stuff, says a good way to check for bad vanos if theyre not throwing a code, like mine, is while its doing it, just tpa the vanos unit, and if it stops bugging out, thats your sugn.

needless to say im using this guy from now on. Race Prep Motorsports, FTW
The tool that you recommended using to remove the CA's can be rented for free from Advanced Autoparts. I'm glad to hear that it works. Using a fork tears the boots which can be a problem if you want to reuse the CA's.

You can also rent a tool from Advanced that is designed to remove the balljoint from the CA. I've never used it, but am curious if it would work because my replaceable Meyle balljoints are worn out again.

Anyone ever replace the ball joints with the free tools from Advanced?
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Old 03-25-2008, 09:05 AM   #65
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Thanks for this great DIY! You just saved me $$$ since I have to replace mine soon!
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Old 03-25-2008, 11:43 AM   #66
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he didnt use soap and water, he used "Terpentine" he soaked it in there for 15 minutes, then took it out, picked up the arm, stood it up on its side, and used his body weight and pressed the bushing unto the arm, BAM! done. then he mounted it. this solvent he says is what the factory manual recommends and it softens the rubber and lubes it. pretty cool huh.
Actually, not cool. In fact, very bad.

It's simply a terrible idea to soak rubber parts in solvent. By doing so, he has dramatically shortened the service life of your bushings.

Secondly, soaking the parts in turpentine is NOT what the factory manual recommends. The factory manual explicitly calls for soap and water. See post #40.

The generic stuck the bushing on the arm approach he did for you is also bad. Here's what the factory instructions have to say about that -
Quote:
* Mark out measurement (A) at bottom at control arm pin.
A = 290.9 1 mm
* Installation: Outer edge (B) of rubber mount must be flush with marked measurement (A).
* Caution! If the position of the rubber mount is not strictly adhered to, this will result in impaired vehicle handling and early rubber
mount wear!
Do you really think he got the bushing installed on the arm at the correct measurement +/- 1mm?

Finally, why do you think they even bother producing torque specs? Is an impact wrench good enough? People have problems after wheel bolts are installed using only an impact wrench, so do you really think it is a good idea to install suspension parts that way?

Last edited by jpr; 03-25-2008 at 11:45 AM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 12:57 PM   #67
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Actually, not cool. In fact, very bad.

It's simply a terrible idea to soak rubber parts in solvent. By doing so, he has dramatically shortened the service life of your bushings.

Secondly, soaking the parts in turpentine is NOT what the factory manual recommends. The factory manual explicitly calls for soap and water. See post #40.

The generic stuck the bushing on the arm approach he did for you is also bad. Here's what the factory instructions have to say about that -
Do you really think he got the bushing installed on the arm at the correct measurement +/- 1mm?

Finally, why do you think they even bother producing torque specs? Is an impact wrench good enough? People have problems after wheel bolts are installed using only an impact wrench, so do you really think it is a good idea to install suspension parts that way?


well, the measured it to where the old bushing was, and he used that, to get the distance.
how does turpentine shorten the i read about it last night and it really doesnt seem that harmful, in either case, im not worried about it, it doesnt seem very different from using oil. he says he does it on all his cars, so it must work


as for the torque specs, well, that one was kinda on my mind, i plan on going back under there and tightening them to specs later, maybe next week when i know its fully settled in.

the thing about torque specs tho, from what ive seen on my bike, screws can still back out even when you torque em to spec, i see this all the time on my bike, my personal trick is,, to loctite everything.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:01 PM   #68
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In looking for a reference, there does seem to be some wiggle room on turpentine depending upon just what type of rubber the bushings are made out of - here's a compaitbilty chart - http://www.efunda.com/designstandard...Turpentine#mat
The catch is, of course, I don't think we really know what type of rubber is used in the bushings. So the default answer is to avoid mixing rubber and solvents, stick to the soap and water as BMW recommends.

As for the torque, the main concern would be damage from over-torque. You can always check and retighten a bolt that's a little too loose, but once the threads are damaged the options are painful.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:08 PM   #69
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In looking for a reference, there does seem to be some wiggle room on turpentine depending upon just what type of rubber the bushings are made out of - here's a compaitbilty chart - http://www.efunda.com/designstandard...Turpentine#mat
The catch is, of course, I don't think we really know what type of rubber is used in the bushings. So the default answer is to avoid mixing rubber and solvents, stick to the soap and water as BMW recommends.

As for the torque, the main concern would be damage from over-torque. You can always check and retighten a bolt that's a little too loose, but once the threads are damaged the options are painful.
yeah, but most impact wrenches dont twist that tight. from what ive seen impact wrenched usually arent tight enough. he ones he used the impact wrench for are the cross brace and bushing carrier mount. for the ball joints he hand tightened them with a wrench or socket
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Last edited by Snik; 03-25-2008 at 02:10 PM.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:42 PM   #70
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In looking for a reference, there does seem to be some wiggle room on turpentine depending upon just what type of rubber the bushings are made out of - here's a compaitbilty chart - http://www.efunda.com/designstandard...Turpentine#mat
The catch is, of course, I don't think we really know what type of rubber is used in the bushings. So the default answer is to avoid mixing rubber and solvents, stick to the soap and water as BMW recommends.
Unfortunately, there are other products that are substitutes for true "Turpentine"... some places are selling "Turpatine", which isn't really Turpentine. Turpentine is distilled from tree resin, while Turpatine is a petroleum distillate... so you've really got to watch what you're using! Which is why I'd stick to the factory recommendation of using soap and water.
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Old 03-25-2008, 02:49 PM   #71
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Installed mine at noon. Took about an hour. Great results.
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Old 03-26-2008, 11:43 PM   #72
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Just did mine today, took me 6 hours start to finish...well 4 of the hours I was at the dentist getting a root canal done so it really only took about 2 hours. I did the drivers side then went to the dentist. The drivers side was a ***** of a ***** but the passenger side was cake, took me a total of 27 minutes start to finish. Thanks for the write up-it definitely made it a lot easier.
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Old 03-27-2008, 02:25 AM   #73
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What is the recommended life of usual stock OEM control arms?
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Old 03-27-2008, 01:23 PM   #74
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60k miles, maybe 80k if your city has smooth ass roads.
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Old 03-27-2008, 09:43 PM   #75
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yeah, but most impact wrenches dont twist that tight. from what ive seen impact wrenched usually arent tight enough. he ones he used the impact wrench for are the cross brace and bushing carrier mount. for the ball joints he hand tightened them with a wrench or socket
What did you base this observation on? You can buy impact wrenches that are capable of over 1000ft-lb of torque. BTW, to retorque the inner ball joints as you suggested, you will have to remove the support brace which requires two stage torquing upon installation. It pays to have have things done correctly the first time.
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Old 03-28-2008, 09:12 AM   #76
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Anyone here ever replace the ball joints?
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Old 03-29-2008, 01:38 PM   #77
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Old 04-04-2008, 01:23 PM   #78
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Old 04-21-2008, 11:31 AM   #79
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Replaced both control arms yesterday in about 2 and a half hours (outer ball joint gave me a little trouble, ended up breaking a pickle fork). Steering is much tighter, and feels much more solid over bumps. I put the CA bushings/housing on the arms with soap and a rubber mallet... worked perfectly. Great write-up!
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Old 04-23-2008, 07:40 AM   #80
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BMW does in fact use a 'special lubricant' for the installation of the control arm bushings. I don't have an E46 Bentley yet but the E30 Bentley talks about this.

The part number is 81 22 9 407 284 I believe. It only comes in enormous containers though so good luck actually ordering some.

The 'Special Lubricant' is in fact Turpentine. It provides just enough slipperiness and evaporates quickly. Though I would be highly wary of actually soaking a bushing in the stuff.

Greases or things like that are a no no as someone has already mentioned. You want the inner race of the bush to basically bond to the arm which is why it's such a pain in the ass to remove. This bonding is what lets the bushing do its work which is also why they fail, eventually the twisting will break down the rubber.
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