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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 06-23-2019, 10:19 PM   #1
77'911
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Replaced lower control arms, ball joints, bushings....


Replaced the lower control arms, upper ball joints, and pressed in new bushings this weekend. All of the stuff was factory and installed to spec. Shimmy(when braking, high speed) has now disappeared and steering is much tighter. Previous owner had aftermarket stuff installed which went bad quite quickly. One thing the previous shop had screwed up, was the offset for the control arm bushing(way off from 18mm) and the ball joints were shot.
I'll warn others, the passenger side was tight. Since I have a 20 ton press in the garage, pressing in the bushings was not too bad. If you don't have one, you might need a machine shop, or the like to press them in. Hope everyone had a good weekend.
Regards

Last edited by 77'911; 06-24-2019 at 09:00 AM. Reason: pic
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Old 06-25-2019, 01:43 PM   #2
jmo69
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Year: 2003
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I press centered e36 M3 bushings into my carriers with a home built 8 ton press. The same press that I use to press in the e36 non m outer ball joints. Makes things replaceable on a budget. My guess is the poly bushings I have in my e36 would fit too. I can do out ball joints and bushings for <$70. I should do the inners one of these days but the car drives just fine.Click image for larger version

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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 06-25-2019, 03:22 PM   #3
77'911
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I'm going to see how these wear. Since I now have an extra set of lollipop brackets, I might prep them for urethane on the next go-round. My experience, is, the factory stuff tends to last much longer. I used a 20 Ton Arcan shop press which was adequate.
Regards
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Old 06-25-2019, 11:08 PM   #4
jmo69
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Year: 2003
Model: 325xi
Transmission: Steptronic
I use the Lemforder bushings and Meyle HD all metal ball joints. Holding nicely so far, ball joints have been in for a few years and the bushings for a year.
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 06-26-2019, 01:58 PM   #5
the fly
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Originally Posted by 77'911 View Post
I'm going to see how these wear. Since I now have an extra set of lollipop brackets, I might prep them for urethane on the next go-round. My experience, is, the factory stuff tends to last much longer. I used a 20 Ton Arcan shop press which was adequate.
Regards
The statement about factory stuff lasting much longer is true for FCABs across most BMWs. However, the XI units are fluid filled unlike the solid rubber used in the FCABs for other variants. That means there's less rubber to resist deflection and it wears much quicker.

PM me if you're interested in selling your lollipops. I do an FCAB pre-pressing service for forum folks.
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Old 06-29-2019, 11:48 AM   #6
77'911
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Originally Posted by the fly View Post
The statement about factory stuff lasting much longer is true for FCABs across most BMWs. However, the XI units are fluid filled unlike the solid rubber used in the FCABs for other variants. That means there's less rubber to resist deflection and it wears much quicker.

PM me if you're interested in selling your lollipops. I do an FCAB pre-pressing service for forum folks.
The bushings in our lollipop brackets had no fluid, but definitely less rubber then a M3 unit. Thanks for the offer, but I'm thinking of keeping the brackets around as insurance if I go the urethane route on the next go-round.
Regards
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Old 06-29-2019, 05:03 PM   #7
infoboy
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Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I press centered e36 M3 bushings into my carriers with a home built 8 ton press. The same press that I use to press in the e36 non m outer ball joints. Makes things replaceable on a budget. My guess is the poly bushings I have in my e36 would fit too. I can do out ball joints and bushings for <$70. I should do the inners one of these days but the car drives just fine.Attachment 778289Attachment 778291

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Can you do the same with non xi cars?

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Old 06-29-2019, 10:58 PM   #8
jmo69
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Originally Posted by infoboy View Post
Can you do the same with non xi cars?

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Not that I'm aware of. The non xi control arms are quite different from the xi. Aluminum compared to steel for one.
__________________
Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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Old 06-30-2019, 10:28 AM   #9
infoboy
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Not that I'm aware of. The non xi control arms are quite different from the xi. Aluminum compared to steel for one.
Okay thanks for the reply.but im curious whats is the fitment difference between the xi control arms vs non xi arms

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Old 07-01-2019, 11:14 AM   #10
the fly
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Originally Posted by infoboy View Post
Can you do the same with non xi cars?

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I offer the Z4M solid rubber bushings for non-XI / non-M e46. They are offset which adds a bit more caster angle, but are solid rubber.

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1000825
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Old 07-01-2019, 10:10 PM   #11
jmo69
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My Ride: 03 325xi 98 328is
Year: 2003
Model: 325xi
Transmission: Steptronic
Quote:
Originally Posted by infoboy View Post
Okay thanks for the reply.but im curious whats is the fitment difference between the xi control arms vs non xi arms

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You need to google some pictures of the 2 chassis' to see the differences. These are the xi control arms. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...6xi4piececakit and the RWD look like this https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...-e46-e46arms-l
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Alternative to expensive xi control arm bushings https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1231503

Bad outer xi ball joint? https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1127077


2003 325xi auto Stahlgrau

1998328is 5sp
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