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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 03-27-2010, 08:43 PM   #1
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Join Date: Dec 2009
Location: SA TX
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2001 325ci
Talking Lower Rear Control Arm Replacement

To replace lower rear control arms on e46 (this was on a 01 325ci). Removing the inner bolts can be a biatch. I looked before going to adjustables and really did not find an answer to this problem. So now upon completion I will post this. If you take the rear mounting bolt out of the differental it is a the rear above the unit. You can this raise the rear end up about a half inch. You do have the car on jack stands right!!!! so your jack is available. Doing this gives just enough clearance to wiggle the bolts out. The driver side on is the main problem as it hits the axle mounting area, the passenger side can be removed (barely without the procedure). Passenger side has 3in clearance to the axle driver only has 2 1/2.

Hope this helps anyone doing this in the future.

Ohh if you are going with adjustables measure the oem control arms bolt hole center to center or edge to edge (use the same edge on both sides) set the new ones to that measurement and it will put camber in the ball park of what it was.

Good Luck

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Old 03-31-2010, 10:57 PM   #2
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Stillwater, OK
Posts: 6
My Ride: 2001 325i
Follow up on Lower Rear Control Arm Replacement

Hello Gary!
Thank you very much for your very well timed tip! I just did this same job tonight and came to the same conclusion you did regarding removing the rear differential mounting screw and lifting. I was not in a mood to drop the diff.

Anyway, the darn screw would almost come out, but not quite! I knew I couldn't be lacking a thread or two, so I tried prying the diff over a little bit and that did the trick! The screw came right out!

Perhaps this, too, will help someone!

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Old 05-27-2010, 12:22 AM   #3
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 10
My Ride: 2004 330i with ZHP
Guys, thanks much for sharing your experiences. My new Ground Control rear control arms and Meyle front control arm bushings should arrive from Bimmerworld via UPS tomorrow, and at some point this weekend I'll be making this upgrade happen. FCABs will not be too bad, I expect, and now reading this post makes me not dread (as much) replacing the rear control arms. This forum rules.
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Old 08-03-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Alpine, CA
Posts: 1
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325
Lower Rear Control Arm Replacement

What a biatch getting the Upper bolt out. How about getting the bolt back in? I am trying to put the new control arm on (driver's side rear) and need help. I cannot fit the bolt back in as it hits the differential.

Any tips are greatly appreciated.

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Old 02-02-2014, 12:50 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 119
My Ride: '02 330Ci, '92 345iC
Glad I bumped in to this thread, I'm stuck on the river's side LCA right now and was prepared to remove the axle and output flange to get to the bolt. I'll try this first and report back!
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Old 02-03-2014, 10:19 AM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2013
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 119
My Ride: '02 330Ci, '92 345iC
Yes, it works. It's tough and I had to get a hand from my neighbor to pry on the diff while i worked the bolt out, but it's do-able. Just make sure you have a jack under the diff, lifting it us as you pry. That helps a lot.
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