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Old 10-12-2008, 08:24 AM   #1
loko-moko
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Cannot remove inner ball joint - help please?

I am trying to replace my control arms and bushings with the Meyle HD.

The nut is still on the top of the ball joint bolt, and I cannot get it off. When I use a 22 mm wrench, the nut and the entire ball joint bolt spin.

I have the passenger side completely off, but on the driver's side, the inner ball joint is stuck. Luckally the nut is 3/4 inch off (but not completely) and the arm is hanging down (only stuck by the nut on the top from completely coming off the car) so I have access to the bolt underneath.

I tried using vice grips on the bolt but they just slide around (the circle bolt and grease does not help).

I tried to cut the bolt with both a hack saw and electronic saw, but they are not even making any progress.

I then drilled thru the arm into the ball (or so I think) and inserted an allen key in it to try to force it from moving but I still cannot get the nut to move.

I am working from underneath with a 22 mm wrench, I was not able to get a socket down thru the top.

Any ideas? Torch?

Thanks!
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Old 10-12-2008, 08:57 AM   #2
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Shouldn't there be a slot for allen key on top of that bolt?
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:45 AM   #3
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Yeah, there's a slot for a 5mm hex key in the middle of the inner and outer ball joint bolts. Use a box wrench and the 5mm hex key on top of it. I'm also pretty sure though that the inner ball joint nut is 21mm, not 22mm if yours is still original. I just did this yesterday.
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Old 10-12-2008, 10:04 AM   #4
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Thanks, I will give that a try. It will be a tough fit to get a hex key in there along with the wrench.

I think these are the original, but when I put the passenger side nut in the wrench (after removing it) it seems to be a perfect fit. I will pickup a 21 MM and try that as well.
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Old 10-12-2008, 04:19 PM   #5
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hmm, mine were fairly easy to get off and there were the original control arms. The drivers side one was a ***** to get to though. Good luck
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Old 10-12-2008, 05:02 PM   #6
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So I cut thru the ball joint nut and was hoping i can push it up thru the frame, but it doesn't fit!!!!! arg!!!

The bolt looks like it is the same size for most of the way and i cut it at that point (the bottom part is wider).

I was not able to get a hex key in the top and turn it with a wrench... now I think I am totally screwed.
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:15 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by loko-moko View Post
So I cut thru the ball joint nut and was hoping i can push it up thru the frame, but it doesn't fit!!!!! arg!!!

The bolt looks like it is the same size for most of the way and i cut it at that point (the bottom part is wider).

I was not able to get a hex key in the top and turn it with a wrench... now I think I am totally screwed.
Can you welt a nut on the bottom? I hope you didn't cut the bolt flush with the arm.
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-12-2008, 07:25 PM   #8
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Ahhh you should have just used a jack to force the bolt into the frame so it didn't spin. Try jamming the bold up into the subframe, use the cut off part, put a jack under and try to get it to bind in the hole. Once you get the nut off you can hammer the bolt out.

If that doesn't work can you get a nut splitter in there?

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...70_34573_34573

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Old 10-12-2008, 09:21 PM   #9
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No luck with pushing the bolt up and holding it. Might have to try the nut splitter, although this is a 21 mm nut so that will be fun I am sure.

Hopefully there is enough clearance up there to hit it.
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Old 10-12-2008, 09:28 PM   #10
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As I asked before, did you cut the bolt flush with bottom part of control arm. If you haven't then weld a nut and you will be set. Even if you cut it flush, you should be able to weld a nut and get the weld in thru inside of the nut (get a bigger one)

Hope this helps
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-13-2008, 09:12 AM   #11
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The standard way to do this is to use a floor jack to push the ball joint up. This keeps it from spinning. But, if you have greased it up already, this may not work.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:35 AM   #12
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Wedge a pickle fork, also known as tie rod separator, into inner ball joint. The force will hold down the bolt while you work on the nut.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:37 AM   #13
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Here is the picture.
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Old 10-13-2008, 10:44 AM   #14
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Excellent Lbert, I logged THAT DIY to do my own FCAs and bushings soon. (Why would anyone cut a bolt on a chassis DIY?) OP... come here and research prior to starting the job bro')

Lbert, sent you a PM btw... just a bit ago
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Old 10-13-2008, 02:03 PM   #15
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No, the bolt is not cut flush with the frame, there is a little left. The arm is off, the only thing left on the driver's side is about 2 inches of bolt and the nut on the top.

I did not receive a PM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 03:32 PM   #16
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No, the bolt is not cut flush with the frame, there is a little left. The arm is off, the only thing left on the driver's side is about 2 inches of bolt and the nut on the top.

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OK. So now you either weld a nut to it or as somoene else suggested, jack up that bolt into the frame with a jack and that should keep it from spinning.
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 10-13-2008, 04:14 PM   #17
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I am not sure how you can have a jack underneath the control arm and also be underneath the car to access the nut. The jack will be on obstructing your access.

I may go underneath the car today to verify why you are not able to use a hex nut to hold down the bolt. The hex nut is the way to go.

Side note: Before dislodging the control arm off the frame, always completely remove the nut before disconnecting the arm from the frame. Usually the bolt will be frozen to the frame due to age when you do this job. You will need to use this to your advantage when you remove the nut.

Last edited by Lbert; 10-13-2008 at 04:35 PM.
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Old 10-13-2008, 08:21 PM   #18
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I think there is a little confusion, let me try to clarify.

The control arm is no longer on the car, I cut the inner ball joint bolt which released the arm from the car.

The only thing left on the car is about 2 inches of ball joint bolt and the 21 mm nut on the top of it.

The ball joint fell loose from the car (it was not siezed on) while I was starting to unscrew the nut. I drilled directly into the "ball" and inserted an allen key to hold it in place while I tried to remove the nut - no success, it would not budge, even when hitting it with a hammer. The nut seems to be siezed onto the bolt.

I then cut the bolt knocking the arm off to give me more room to work, also thinking I could just push the bolt up thru the hole and be done with it.

So now I have a bolt with the nut on the top of it and about a half inch of bolt sticking thru the bottom of the frame.

Somehow I need to get to the top of the bolt to either split the nut or cut the nut off. I do not think welding something onto the bolt will help much as I had the hex key inserted into the ball to prevent it from spinning and still could not get the nut to spin off. All the others came off with no problem but this one will not budge.

Right now the car is sitting on jack stands at home, I am out of town so I will need to wait until next week to mess with it some more.

Thanks all for any suggestions. I know I made some mistakes in this process which I learned from.
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Old 10-14-2008, 09:35 AM   #19
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The bolt is tapered, so it will not push out from bottom to top. Have you tried the jack yet? Clean the bolt very well with degreaser and put a jack under it. Jack it up till the weight of the car is starting to bear on the jack. Spray PB Blaster or other penetrating oil on the nut, let it sit, then crank the SOB off.
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:22 AM   #20
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I was able to jack the car up more and then get a hack saw in the top to cut the nut off and the bolt out.

The new arms and bushings are installed. Thanks all for your suggestions!

I have 2 new questions now. I did not have a torque wrench to torque everything to spec. I just made it as tight as I could and then went to a mechanic and asked them to torque it to spec. They told me they just tighten them as tight as they can so I am confused. Is it ok to tighten then as tight as I can by open end wrenches / socket wrench or does it need to be at spec?

I also have a clunking sound when I drive at slow speeds and over bumps (Pittsburgh roads are very bumpy and tons of potholes) which seems to only be coming from the passenger side. On the highway and smooth roads I do not hear it. From what I see on searches this is usually due to something not be tight enough - possibly the end link?

Can anyone think of anything else that may not be tight enough?
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