E46Fanatics - View Single Post - DIY: Replacing front control arm balljoints
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Old 07-23-2019, 07:09 AM   #11
Registered User
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Long Island NY
Posts: 199
My Ride: 2003 330xi
outer ball joints

My sons 04 325xi needed some love however money was a major factor. Unfortunately for him so was the fact that he could not pass a NYS inspection due to worn rear brakes and worn front outer ball joints. I have been turning wrenches for quite some time and he is learning although does not have quite the willingness to devote the time it takes to keep up with these cars.
I priced out what it would take to replace LCA bushings, outer ball joints, inner ball joints, torn outer l/h cv boot and rear brakes. It came to around $400 from FCP. I have had a 20 ton press for quite some time so we were not intimidated by performing the job you guys have laid out for us.
I must say it went as smooth as could be. The so called unremovable outer ball joints put up little resistance after using a cutting wheel to remove the lower cap. The one tool I did miss having was an air chisel or small electric chipping gun to remove the ball joint. I used an large hand chisel and my trusty lump hammer and the ball joint put up little resistance in being removed. The new e36 out ball joint went in smooth as silk.
My son performed 85% of the labor as I am suffering some knee issues and all in all he did very well. I cannot say we raced through the repair as we had a few days to perform this and in addition we did it during those extremely hot days last week in our driveway but for the most part it was a good experience for both him and I.
Thank you fellow fanatics for your input on this DIY as you guys were instrumental in helping him save a few bucks and PASS HIS NYS INSPECTION.
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