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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 04-24-2017, 10:22 AM   #1
NickyDaFish
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E36 Metal Outer Ball Joints

I know folks replace the outer ball joint rather than the entire control arm, anyone use this metal one? Was hoping it might last a bit longer but not sure if it will fit. Seems the same as the rubber one just upgraded. Link below to specs:
http://www.rockauto.com/en/moreinfo....sn=394&jsn=394
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Old 04-25-2017, 12:51 AM   #2
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Yes I am

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Old 04-25-2017, 06:46 AM   #3
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Marvelous, thanks Tip!
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Old 04-27-2017, 02:28 PM   #4
90turbo1
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wish I would have known this at the dealership, I would have saved the hundreds of control arms we tossed and fixed them...
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Old 04-29-2017, 10:52 AM   #5
jmo69
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I wouldn't use the Uro ball joint, I prefer and used the Meyle joint. https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw...-31126758510my I'm leery of Uro parts except their Premium window regulators.
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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


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1998328is 5sp
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Old 05-10-2017, 09:29 AM   #6
WilloCO
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The Meyle HD drops right in. Getting the original out is a pain thanks to the flange on the bastard. A bearing separator would probably help a bit. I cut the base to get the flange out, popped the ball then cut and beat the heck out of it.

If I need to do it on stock arms again, I'll rig up a better jig to press them out.

I actually effed up a Meyle but I already had a spare. It was much easier to press in and out thanks to the smaller ball joint base.
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I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build
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Old 05-16-2017, 04:26 PM   #7
jmo69
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The Meyle HD drops right in. Getting the original out is a pain thanks to the flange on the bastard. A bearing separator would probably help a bit. I cut the base to get the flange out, popped the ball then cut and beat the heck out of it.

If I need to do it on stock arms again, I'll rig up a better jig to press them out.

I actually effed up a Meyle but I already had a spare. It was much easier to press in and out thanks to the smaller ball joint base.
I had a friend help me with mine. He used an air chisel on the flange to push the old joint out and then used a ball joint press to get the new one in. I removed the ball joints from some old e36 arms and used my air chisel for some and needed my vise, torch and various pieces of metal to get the others out.
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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 12-27-2017, 09:48 AM   #8
deadtvs
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Sorry for the newbie question. Why does everyone talk about just replacing the outer BJ? Is the inner one the same, and/or is it reasonable to do the same thin with it, or does it just never go bad? I have major clunkiness going on, and I'm 99% sure it's BJs and/or FCABs (probably both), maybe even tie rod ends or sway bar. In other words, looking to replace a bunch of stuff on a budget! I think I can handle this procedure, and much prefer the idea of the Meyle BJs vs. stock.
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Old 12-27-2017, 11:27 AM   #9
WilloCO
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadtvs View Post
Sorry for the newbie question. Why does everyone talk about just replacing the outer BJ? Is the inner one the same, and/or is it reasonable to do the same thin with it, or does it just never go bad? I have major clunkiness going on, and I'm 99% sure it's BJs and/or FCABs (probably both), maybe even tie rod ends or sway bar. In other words, looking to replace a bunch of stuff on a budget! I think I can handle this procedure, and much prefer the idea of the Meyle BJs vs. stock.
The inners don't move nearly as much. They only move when the suspension flexes up and down OR the motion allowed by the control arm bushings. The limited motion means very little wear over time. They do wear out, but not for a loooooooong time.

The outers move quite a bit and every time you turn the steering wheel. They see much much more movement and thus wear much faster. They are pressed into the control arms and are more of a pain to replace too. (The inners bolt through the control arm and to the frame.)

I personally suggest the Meyle HD for the outers (if you have access to a press) and then Lemforder for everything else.
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I bedded my pads when I switched from ceramic to my PDF-Z pads. They actually caught fire during bed in.
05 330xi 6 speed
RIP: 86 e30 w/E36 M3 suspension build

Last edited by WilloCO; 12-27-2017 at 11:27 AM.
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Old 12-27-2017, 06:48 PM   #10
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Thanks WilliCo! That's more or less what I assumed. I'll just order the Meyle units and go with that. I did check underneath today (finally) and it actually seems that it's just the outers that are bad. I may or may not replace the bearings - there did not seem to be any play at all there. I also need to tackle struts fairly soon, as the right is weeping, so may just go with the outer BJs for the time being.
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Old 12-27-2017, 07:16 PM   #11
jmo69
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The inners are not part of control arm and are easily replaced. Just be careful removing the control arm bushing carrier bolts, more than one person has had them break and they are not easy to remove.
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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 12-27-2017, 11:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmo69 View Post
I had a friend help me with mine. He used an air chisel on the flange to push the old joint out
+1 on it being a pain to get the original out. My coworker went at it for probably 5 legit minutes with a professional grade air hammer. They are not messing around with this. I wouldn't attempt this unless you have access to an air chisel and a quality ball joint tool





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Old 12-28-2017, 08:40 AM   #13
deadtvs
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Well I ordered them. I do have a BJ separator, though it's Harbor Freight quality. I have a friend who has a press and many other tools, I think we can get there somehow! Thanks for the responses.
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Old 12-28-2017, 09:13 PM   #14
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good luck! let us know how it goes
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Old 01-01-2018, 11:37 AM   #15
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good luck! let us know how it goes
I've done outer ball joints on e36 arms, very similar to xi arms, pressed them in with my home made press. I've got a ball joint tool to but the press was easier with only 2 hands lol. Gotta do bushings too


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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 01-01-2018, 11:39 AM   #16
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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 01-01-2018, 08:32 PM   #17
Rickna
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jimo69. Very good job on the press. I like your innovation.
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Old 01-14-2018, 09:13 AM   #18
deadtvs
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So if anyone cares, I did the job. Removing CAs was fairly uneventful, though that passenger side, inner FCAB mount bolt is indeed a PITA to reach with the heat shield in the way, took maybe 20 minutes just for that. I beat on the old BJs with a sledge and punch for maybe 15 minutes before giving up and dropping them off with my friend who has proper tools. He didn't get to them for a week, but I got them back and bolted right up, no issues. I think I read somewhere I'm supposed to re-torque the BJ nuts after a settling period - is that correct?
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Old 01-15-2018, 06:55 PM   #19
thereem
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Absolutely no moog or uro parts. Meyle hd is the only acceptable part

The air hammer should arrive soon, I hope this one is powerful enough to get them out

https://www.amazon.com/Ingersoll-Ran...rds=air+hammer
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Old 02-15-2018, 06:45 PM   #20
jmo69
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadtvs View Post
So if anyone cares, I did the job. Removing CAs was fairly uneventful, though that passenger side, inner FCAB mount bolt is indeed a PITA to reach with the heat shield in the way, took maybe 20 minutes just for that. I beat on the old BJs with a sledge and punch for maybe 15 minutes before giving up and dropping them off with my friend who has proper tools. He didn't get to them for a week, but I got them back and bolted right up, no issues. I think I read somewhere I'm supposed to re-torque the BJ nuts after a settling period - is that correct?
I bent the heat shield out of the way for more clearance and bought a flexhead 5/8" ie 16mm wrench for the next time. It won't hurt to recheck the torque on the ball joint nuts. Can you even get a torque wrench on that nut?

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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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