Ball Joint Replacement - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 03:00 PM
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While replacing the shocks I noticed a torn boot around the Ball Joint on the Control Arm at the location closest to the wheel . The parts shops sell an "outer ball joint" and an "inner ball joint" for the '87 325i. Does nanyone know which is the one closest to the break? ....I am guessing the "outer" but am not sure..

I am planning on replacing only the one bad joint .... a lot of folks seem to say that it is easier to replace the whole arm but getting the bushing on seems like a real project. And then you have to replace the bushings in pairs which means doing both sides......I think all the other ball joints are good.

Anyone know the name of the ball joint (inner or outer) closest to the wheel??

Thanks...
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#2 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 04:16 PM
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I just replaced both ball joints on the right side of my 325i. The ball joint closest to your steering knuckle is shorter and the ball joint at the elbow in your "A" arm is longer. Logically, the outer ball joint would be the one closest to your wheel. Make sure you can find a good machinist who's willing to spend some time pressing the old ball joint out. BMW ball joints are notorious for being a pain in the &*%# to remove.

While you have the "A" arm off, I recommend replacing both the inner and outer ball joints. If one has gone bad, it's likely the other is not too far behind. Plus, you're going to have to pound a pickle fork against both of them to get the arm off, possibly causing damage to the one good ball joint.
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#3 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 07:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by TrannyTrubl@May 20 2005, 12:16 PM
I just replaced both ball joints on the right side of my 325i. The ball joint closest to your steering knuckle is shorter and the ball joint at the elbow in your "A" arm is longer. Logically, the outer ball joint would be the one closest to your wheel. Make sure you can find a good machinist who's willing to spend some time pressing the old ball joint out. BMW ball joints are notorious for being a pain in the &*%# to remove.

While you have the "A" arm off, I recommend replacing both the inner and outer ball joints. If one has gone bad, it's likely the other is not too far behind. Plus, you're going to have to pound a pickle fork against both of them to get the arm off, possibly causing damage to the one good ball joint.
[snapback]346483[/snapback]
dont use a fork.. use a proper screw type seperator.

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#4 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 08:01 PM
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Thanks...

What is a "proper screw type" seperator?

(guess I am showing myignorance....) I am in way farther than I planned already.....started out as an oil pan replacement after my daughter knocked a hole in it (probably partly because of shot shocks.....)
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#5 (permalink) Old 05-20-2005, 10:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by irish@May 20 2005, 04:01 PM
Thanks...

What is a "proper screw type" seperator?

(guess I am showing myignorance....) I am in way farther than I planned already.....started out as an oil pan replacement after my daughter knocked a hole in it (probably partly because of shot shocks.....)
[snapback]346537[/snapback]

http://www.thetoolwarehouse.net/shop/AP-7828.html

its real name is a pitman arm puller or ball joint seperator.

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#6 (permalink) Old 05-21-2005, 01:47 AM
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Because it looks like I need to get the car back on its wheels quickly - needs to visit my mechanic because of possible serious engine problems - I just wanted to change the one bad ball joint - I used a hand press (rented free from O'Reilly's).

The press pushed the Ball out of the bottom of the assembly and left the housing in the control arm...I got a metal saw blade for my Skil Orbital Scroll Saw and cut three deep cuts in the housing starting on the inside and cutting outward toward the control arm (one cut at 12 o'clock one at 3 o'clock and one between them) ....I kept checking to make sure I didn't quite cut through to the control arm left, I left about a sixteenth inch - it really went pretty fast...then a couple of taps with a hammer and the housing fell out.

I cleaned the control arm and put WD-40 on the new ball joint and easily pressed it in with the same tool I had "rented" from O'Reilly's. I used about an 18" 1/2" drive bar rather than a ratchet, and used a little pipt extension at the end but could have really done it without the extension....... I pressed in nicely.

Now lets pray the engine isn't ruined due to no. 2 daughter driving it several miles after knocking a large hole in the oil pan.....
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