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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 11-06-2012, 04:38 PM   #1
straight_beamin
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E46 control arms. Bushings failed, are ball joints ok?

Steering wheel shakes like crazy, loose feel in the wheel, i know the bushings are shot but how do the ball joints (actual arm) look? Thanks so much for help. I dont want to buy any unnecessary parts i have the fcabs, tie rods, and sway end links.

Thanks guys here is a video of the control arm
Video

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Old 11-06-2012, 04:52 PM   #2
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are the boots torn? if not they're probably ok. just make sure there's no play in them. grab wheel at 12 and 6 and listen for play or clicking coming from the ball joint.
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:10 PM   #3
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No they arent torn to my knowledge, i guess for the 350 dollar savings it is worth just plugging it all together and seeing how it is. Fcabs are shot thats for sure
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Old 11-06-2012, 05:25 PM   #4
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No they arent torn to my knowledge, i guess for the 350 dollar savings it is worth just plugging it all together and seeing how it is. Fcabs are shot thats for sure
how many miles do you have on those control arms?
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:05 PM   #5
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Well the car has 104,000 miles. The previous owner replaced them with oem control arms back in 2005 or 2006 so they are definately old
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Well the car has 104,000 miles. The previous owner replaced them with oem control arms back in 2005 or 2006 so they are definately old
That's not really that old.
If you have doubts replace them and forget about it for 8 more years. But if there's no play in the joints or rips in the boots they're good for now
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:39 PM   #7
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I dont want to not do them then have them fail in the spring on me. Might just do for reassurance i suppose
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Old 11-06-2012, 06:55 PM   #8
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I dont want to not do them then have them fail in the spring on me. Might just do for reassurance i suppose
Probably a good choice. It couldn't hurt.
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Old 11-07-2012, 07:33 AM   #9
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Anything else i should do? Maybe sway bushings? Rtab?
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Old 11-08-2012, 07:07 AM   #10
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whatever you do...DO NOT BUY CHEAPO Ebay ONES! i learnt that the hard way lol..

I have been through two sets of cheap control arms and bushes in less than 3k miles! first set failed an MOT, they got replaced under warranty and tracking was done immediately after...then less than 100 miles I could hear rattling from the driver side front...after jacking up this weekend the outer ball joint has gone already...bloody junk!

gonna replace them yet again but with Meyle HD parts this time round.

if you are doing this yourself, its not a difficult job...just one annoying nut to undo on the center ball joint on the exhaust side..you need to use an open ended spanner/wrench and move it 5 mm, then rotate the wrench, another 5mm....and so on and so on! it takes an age! the other side you can do in seconds using a load of extentions through the engine bay. if you buy a kit that doesnt come with the bushing bolts...buy some, they are stretch bolts!

as for RTABS, if you are in the UK and near me in Portsmouth..i have the special tool and you are welcome to borrow it.
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Old 11-08-2012, 09:28 AM   #11
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Thanks for input i am going to do:

Front end links - karlyn
Tie rod Assemblies - karlyn
Rtab- lemforder
Fcab- lemforder
Front and rear sway bushings - mtc
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