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      06-11-2016, 10:55 AM   #1
MTM
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DIY: How to replace lower control arm

EDIT 24 August: added reply with DIY steps

The bushing on my lower control is degrading so I am looking to replace it.

Two questions:

1. Does anyone have a guide on how to remove / install? I don't do much suspension work and am not that familiar with this kind of activty.

2. For daily driving and Occasional track use, should I bother with the upgraded bushings? Am thinking of just buying a replacement control arm from ECS or GetBMWParts...is an upgrade worth it? Am a little worried about pressing out the old bushing and pressing in a different one as opposed to just swapping out the assembly.

Thoughts?

Last edited by MTM; 08-23-2016 at 06:11 PM.
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      07-05-2016, 10:08 PM   #2
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Hello? Is this thing on?
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      07-05-2016, 10:18 PM   #3
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I would rephrase the title. I doubt people read the title and can tell you have a question.
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      07-08-2016, 07:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EJT86 View Post
I would rephrase the title. I doubt people read the title and can tell you have a question.
Good call...will see if the rephrased title gets a little more air time.
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      07-24-2016, 08:05 PM   #5
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Is this what you are referring to (red arrow)? I bent mine at the last track day i was at. Ordered one yesterday, should be here Wednesday. Planning on replacing it this weekend. If that's what you are talking about let me know and ill make sure to document the process.

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      07-25-2016, 08:10 PM   #6
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Yes, that's the one!
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      08-07-2016, 10:41 AM   #7
vm
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There is a guide in the e90 3 series forum and should be very similar to your M.
www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788761

Also this one for the "Tension Strut"
www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=778726
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      08-23-2016, 06:36 PM   #8
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DIY Edits

So I did the job this weekend. Assuming I did it correctly, the job was actually very easy.

Tools Used:
21 mm box end wrench
18mm box end wrench
18mm ratchet (open socket wrench or a deep socket)
T-40 Torx bit
(Small sledge to break loose the nuts)

Overall Steps to Remove:

Jack up car, be sure to keep wheel supported (don't let it hang loose)
Loosen 21 mm nut on vertical stud of control arm (near wheel)
When stud begins to spin, grasp 21mm nut and use T-40 on top of stud
Remove 18mm nut near car frame (the bushing end of the control arm)

Reverse the above to install.

CAUTION: the left and right lower control arms look nearly identical! The only difference is which end the offset bushing protrudes from the arm. I missed this and got to do the passenger side two times (ugh!).

Once you know what to do, the job only takes about 30 minutes. Maneuvering the bushing end of the control arm in and out of the frame bracket can take a little patience.

The pic below shows the 18mm box end wrench and the 18mm open end socket on either side of the bushing stud.
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      10-02-2016, 11:18 PM   #9
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One thing very commonly overlooked, is any bushing needs to be tightened when the car is on its own weight.

If you tighten everything up when you are in the air, you are preloading the bushing, which creates a number of unintended consequences.
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      11-23-2016, 10:13 AM   #10
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Part number for lower forward control arm?
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      03-18-2017, 01:27 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwankel View Post
One thing very commonly overlooked, is any bushing needs to be tightened when the car is on its own weight.

If you tighten everything up when you are in the air, you are preloading the bushing, which creates a number of unintended consequences.
Would that still apply if I am installing control arms with mono ball bearings instead of bushings?
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      03-18-2017, 01:35 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drwankel View Post
One thing very commonly overlooked, is any bushing needs to be tightened when the car is on its own weight.

If you tighten everything up when you are in the air, you are preloading the bushing, which creates a number of unintended consequences.
Uh oh. I did NOT do this when I installed my Bimmerworld lower control arm bearings. Havnt felt any negative side effects in the last 500 miles of street driving though.

Not quite sure how I would even get under it to tighten it if the car was on its own weight.
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      03-18-2017, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamber View Post
Not quite sure how I would even get under it to tighten it if the car was on its own weight.
I was thinking the same thing, but came to the conclusion that it should be possible if the front wheels are up on ramps.
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      03-18-2017, 01:41 PM   #14
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Hrm, true. I only have access to a 4 post or 2 post lift and have never worked with ramps before. Hopefully it's a non issue since our new bearings do not flex like the stock bushings can.
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      03-18-2017, 01:46 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamber View Post
Hrm, true. I only have access to a 4 post or 2 post lift and have never worked with ramps before. Hopefully it's a non issue since our new bearings do not flex like the stock bushings can.
Ha! Finally a win for the weekend warriors on ramps/jack stands!
Lol but for real I want a lift so bad, I'm jealous.

But anyway, you're probably right.
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      03-18-2017, 02:30 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kamber View Post
Hrm, true. I only have access to a 4 post or 2 post lift and have never worked with ramps before. Hopefully it's a non issue since our new bearings do not flex like the stock bushings can.
Drive that side of the car onto the curb from a driveway apron
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      03-18-2017, 03:52 PM   #17
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Ok, FWIW, I just talked to my friend who's a Nissan master tech and he was saying the reason you aren't supposed to torque down a rubber bushing without load is because the control arms will twist/turn slightly once you set the car down and since rubber bushings are not made to turn inside the "socket" the rubber will just twist which can cause them to crack/break prematurely due to constant stress. But since bearings are made to turn, then it's no issue!
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      03-18-2017, 05:10 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3MPH1S View Post
Ok, FWIW, I just talked to my friend who's a Nissan master tech and he was saying the reason you aren't supposed to torque down a rubber bushing without load is because the control arms will twist/turn slightly once you set the car down and since rubber bushings are not made to turn inside the "socket" the rubber will just twist which can cause them to crack/break prematurely due to constant stress. But since bearings are made to turn, then it's no issue!
+1, the arm twist once the car is back on all 4's.

What I do is lower the front onto ramps, crawl under and torque it down.
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