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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 01-16-2016, 05:20 AM   #1
big bad jon
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Control Arms... I have been defeated...

Generally, even if it takes 4-5x the recommended time, I'm somehow able to get stuff done, but this time, I have to admit defeat...

I was able to remove the nuts on top of the lollipops (for some strange reason mine were 21mm for the inter and 18mm for the outer...) got a pickle fork, hammering with my claw hammer proved insufficient, so I went and got a 4lb sledge... Beat it like it owed my mom money.... Didn't do jack... Not a single budge or anything


After 2 days, finally admitted defeat, put everything back together, and will take it to a shop (slowly) on Monday.... Argh...
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:01 AM   #2
Mflara20
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You tried heating them up a little? That always help me whenever I'm stuck doing something.

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Old 01-16-2016, 01:50 PM   #3
big bad jon
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I don't have a torch, but I'm gonna take it to a buddy's shop on Monday... He said he'd try hearing it or worst case scenario, cutting it...
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Old 01-16-2016, 08:55 PM   #4
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PB Blaster and a scissor type ball joint separator worked wonders on my control arms. Might be another route to consider, as opposed to brute force with a pickle fork: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bal...cta-tools-4013.

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Old 01-16-2016, 10:33 PM   #5
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PB Blaster and a scissor type ball joint separator worked wonders on my control arms. Might be another route to consider, as opposed to brute force with a pickle fork: https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bal...cta-tools-4013.

This! These ball joint separators are amazing. You can pick them up at harbor freight for pretty cheap. I spent hours trying to get mine off with a pickle fork and a sledge, but I got them off in 5 seconds with these and my impact ratchet!
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Old 01-17-2016, 12:59 PM   #6
big bad jon
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I'm in Korea now, and as fast as shipping tends to be, it's still probably at least a 2-3 day wait to get tools (there aren't any big box hardware stores around), and having destroyed all the seals, and only having the one car, I don't feel that comfortable driving around too much...

I have seen these tools online here, but I think I'll just cut my losses for now...

I couldn't get the inners off with the sledge either...
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Old 01-18-2016, 08:39 PM   #7
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This! These ball joint separators are amazing. You can pick them up at harbor freight for pretty cheap. I spent hours trying to get mine off with a pickle fork and a sledge, but I got them off in 5 seconds with these and my impact ratchet!
+1. They're great, just wear eye protection. The first time I used one for a control arm replacement in my old E34 525, I needed to change my pants after the ball joint popped loose. Sounded like a gunshot went off in the garage.
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Old 01-23-2016, 01:21 PM   #8
big bad jon
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Just as a quick update... I took it to my buddy's shop, and his answer was basically, bigger hammer...

It helped to remove the tie rod joints first to get clearance to really whack at the knuckle, but the knuckle direct hits worked like a charm.

So from my own personal experience, the pickle fork was much less effective than the brute force method... The inner joints released with some well timed whacks to the bottom/side of the actual control arm, and a few whacks to the subframe area as well.
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