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Old 10-04-2007, 07:47 PM   #1
Brandon_Ottawa
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Meyle Control Arms

Anyone have a Meyle control arm do this after 5 km's of road use?



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Old 10-04-2007, 07:58 PM   #2
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I've had mine on for well over 10k miles and no issues - yours is in fact the first documented failure I've seen. Please keep us up to date on how Meyle treats you in the warranty process.
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:04 PM   #3
Brandon_Ottawa
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Wait a sec. Are the ball joints suppose to pop out? With a bit of searching through the archives, I'm confused on whether these are "replaceable balljoints".
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:06 PM   #4
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You are supposed to be able to press them out for replacement later on when it's worn. But it should not come apart while on the car like that. Scary thought.
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:12 PM   #5
Brandon_Ottawa
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You are supposed to be able to press them out for replacement later on when it's worn. But it should not come apart while on the car like that. Scary thought.
So, is it a defect with the control arm? Or did my local installation shop bend me over when they sold me an OEM control arm to replace the Meyle? I needed my car operational asap so I didn't have the luxury to re-order over the internet.

I guess the install shop took me for the stereotypical BMW owner. Rightly so too, I see.
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Old 10-04-2007, 08:41 PM   #6
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It is a pressed in, replaceable ball-joint. But under no circumstances should it be popping out on it's own while driving. If that's what happened, then something is definitely wrong.

FWIW, I emailed a link to this thread to Meyle USA at http://www.meyleusa.com/suggest.htm
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Old 10-04-2007, 09:23 PM   #7
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I'm running Meyle too. Replaced during the summer and already have about 6k miles on them. I'm really hoping this is competely abnormal and not indicative of something that will eventually become a recall item.

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Old 10-05-2007, 08:14 AM   #8
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what did it feel like when that happened?
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:28 AM   #9
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Cool Inner Ball Joint becomes loose in E46 Control Arm

I am the MEYLE Technical Rep in North America and this is the first time I have seen this problem. Since the inner ball joint itself is pressed through the bottom of the arm and the ball joint itself has a big lip on it. By looking at the posted pictures it looks to me that the ball joint became loose in the hole and started to wobble back and forth making the hole oblong. It was also probably accompanied by some noise. It does not look like the ball joint was pulled completely through the hole and was completely separated from the arm because there is still material in the hole to stop the ball joint retaining lip from coming through.

Since it was detected only 5km after being installed it was either caused by a manufacturing flaw or an installation abnormality. It would be good to know if there were other products installed on the vehicle in conjunction with the control arm. What type of control arm bushings were being used. Were both the ball joints moving freely in the ball pin housing cups? I definitely would like to inspect this arm.
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Old 10-05-2007, 11:49 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by meyleman View Post
I am the MEYLE Technical Rep in North America and this is the first time I have seen this problem. Since the inner ball joint itself is pressed through the bottom of the arm and the ball joint itself has a big lip on it. By looking at the posted pictures it looks to me that the ball joint became loose in the hole and started to wobble back and forth making the hole oblong. It was also probably accompanied by some noise. It does not look like the ball joint was pulled completely through the hole and was completely separated from the arm because there is still material in the hole to stop the ball joint retaining lip from coming through.

Since it was detected only 5km after being installed it was either caused by a manufacturing flaw or an installation abnormality. It would be good to know if there were other products installed on the vehicle in conjunction with the control arm. What type of control arm bushings were being used. Were both the ball joints moving freely in the ball pin housing cups? I definitely would like to inspect this arm.
Thanks for joining in! I think it's absolutely fantastic to be able to get the straight dope direct from the manufacturer and bypass all the typical rumor, innuendo, and other BS.

One question I've got that I wasn't able to find an answer to on the Meyle website is just how much force does it take to intentionally press out an old ball joint and press in a new one? Also, is there a limit on how many times a balljoint can be replaced on a given control arm?
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:17 PM   #11
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what did it feel like when that happened?
I was going under 20 km/hr at the time while making a right hand turn. I went over a small bump in the pavement during the turn. An unusual clunk sound came from the driver's side front wheel well. After that, my toe in/out alignment was so far out that I had to tilt the steering wheel @ 1-2 o'clock or about 45 degrees from centre in order to drive straight.
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Old 10-05-2007, 01:34 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by meyleman View Post
I am the MEYLE Technical Rep in North America and this is the first time I have seen this problem. Since the inner ball joint itself is pressed through the bottom of the arm and the ball joint itself has a big lip on it. By looking at the posted pictures it looks to me that the ball joint became loose in the hole and started to wobble back and forth making the hole oblong. It was also probably accompanied by some noise. It does not look like the ball joint was pulled completely through the hole and was completely separated from the arm because there is still material in the hole to stop the ball joint retaining lip from coming through.

Since it was detected only 5km after being installed it was either caused by a manufacturing flaw or an installation abnormality. It would be good to know if there were other products installed on the vehicle in conjunction with the control arm. What type of control arm bushings were being used. Were both the ball joints moving freely in the ball pin housing cups? I definitely would like to inspect this arm.
Suspension is an H&R Cupkit with about 20,000 km. Control arm bushings are powerflex with the pre-pressed housings that bimmerworld sells. These were straight out of the box brand new.

Yes, you are correct. The ball joint did not go through the hole because of the retaining lip and the that fact that it was held by the ball joint nut. I have this control arm in my lap right now, and both ball joints can be moved freely by hand with a bit of force.

Here's another closeup pic...

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Old 10-05-2007, 01:40 PM   #13
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I'm trying to visualize what caused the toe change - did the taper end pop out of the control arm bushing?
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:12 PM   #14
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I'm trying to visualize what caused the toe change - did the taper end pop out of the control arm bushing?
No, the tapered end on the control arm was still in the powerflex control arm bushing. Was it all the way in? I can't remember, but I do recall checking to see if the powerflex bushings had worked their way out if the pre-pressed housings (I recall a few threads about that). The bushings were fine.

Basically, the ball joint remained in its installed position. It was the control arm that tilted to a higher position when the centre ball joint popped loose. After a visual inspection from a head-on view, my driver's side rim was noticeably pointed outward while the passenger's side was straight (with steering wheel centre)

Last edited by Brandon_Ottawa; 10-05-2007 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 03:35 PM   #15
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No, the tapered end on the control arm was still in the powerflex control arm bushing. Was it all the way in? I can't remember, but I do recall checking to see if the powerflex bushings had worked their way out if the pre-pressed housings (I recall a few threads about that). The bushings were fine.

Basically, the ball joint remained in its installed position. It was the control arm that tilted to a higher position when the centre ball joint popped loose. After a visual inspection from a head-on view, my driver's side rim was noticeably pointed outward while the passenger's side was straight (with steering wheel centre)
I think I see it now - the tilt was with the outer ball joint higher than the lower ball joint?
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Old 10-05-2007, 04:24 PM   #16
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I think I see it now - the tilt was with the outer ball joint higher than the lower ball joint?
Yeah, sorry...centre ball joint = outer ball joint. Here's a pic posted by Ivegotissues666 that I stole from another thread to illustrate what happen (and it's the wrong side, but oh well).

Basically, the pre-pressed ball joint came loose out of the control arm. Since the ball joint has a nut torqued down on the threaded end, it could not go anywhere but pivot. The control arm is what really moved to throw off the alignment. The control arm tore through the black rubber on the ball joint's threaded end and came to rest in a tilted position (higher than the lower ball joint).

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Old 10-05-2007, 06:15 PM   #17
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My apologies, I'm still confused - let me try this again -
* the ball joint in the middle of the arm, being closer to the centerline axis of the car, is the "inner" ball joint. This joint bolts to the subframe, pc 1 - http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...04&hg=31&fg=05
* the ball joint on the end of the arm is the "outer" ball joint, and this piece bolts to the kingpin by the wheel.

With the inner ball joint no longer firmly attached to the subframe, I'm picturing the car squatting a bit at the subframe support with the arm sloping upwards from the inner balljoint towards the outer balljoint. Or is it the opposite?
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:15 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brandon_Ottawa View Post
So, is it a defect with the control arm? Or did my local installation shop bend me over when they sold me an OEM control arm to replace the Meyle? I needed my car operational asap so I didn't have the luxury to re-order over the internet.

I guess the install shop took me for the stereotypical BMW owner. Rightly so too, I see.
So you are saying the indy shop you took it to put on OEM Control Arms and not the Meyle HD's?

If Meyle's were put on, your Control Arms should be stamped with the Meyle logo:






Last edited by DesertMotorWorks; 10-05-2007 at 07:21 PM.
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Old 10-05-2007, 07:58 PM   #19
Brandon_Ottawa
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Originally Posted by jpr View Post
My apologies, I'm still confused - let me try this again -
* the ball joint in the middle of the arm, being closer to the centerline axis of the car, is the "inner" ball joint. This joint bolts to the subframe, pc 1 - http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...04&hg=31&fg=05
* the ball joint on the end of the arm is the "outer" ball joint, and this piece bolts to the kingpin by the wheel.

With the inner ball joint no longer firmly attached to the subframe, I'm picturing the car squatting a bit at the subframe support with the arm sloping upwards from the inner balljoint towards the outer balljoint. Or is it the opposite?
My apologies too. It is the inner ball joint that we are talking about. Sorry for my lack of basic terminology. It would be more accurate to say that the control arm popped free from the inner balljoint (since the balljoint remained fastened securely to the subframe). There is an aluminum retaining lip on the balljoint and control arm, so it is not possible for the control arm to dip towards the ground with the balljoint fastened to the subframe. Instead, it is only possible for the control arm to move to a higher position when separated from the ball joint. This is what happend. The control arm came to rest in a higher position at the inner balljoint and sloped downward to the outer balljoint.

This is the bottom of the control arm (this side faces the ground). The aluminum retaining lip in the control arm doesn't allow the control arm to fall to the ground if it pops free from the balljoint.

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Old 10-05-2007, 08:15 PM   #20
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So you are saying the indy shop you took it to put on OEM Control Arms and not the Meyle HD's?

If Meyle's were put on, your Control Arms should be stamped with the Meyle logo:
For clarification: I had a set of new Meyle HD's put on Oct 3rd. I went back on Oct. 4th to have the left Meyle HD changed out for a Lemforder control arm since they did not sell Meyle and I could not wait 2 weeks for a replacement. They disposed of my old arms so I could not revert to what I previously had. I now have a car with a right Meyle HD and a left Lemforder. I had no choice since I needed my car asap.

$475.27 CDN for the Lemforder and labour. That's $484.62 US now.

I suck.

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