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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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Old 04-09-2006, 08:53 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Replacing lower ball joint

do i really have to replace the ENTIRE control arm if i've damaged the outer/lower ball joint? haynes says i have to, and so does bently. but i rented a press and i have the replacement ball joint. i really don't want to have to replace an entire control arm (arm, bushing, outer and inner ball joints).
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Old 04-09-2006, 09:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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No, you can buy them and press them in. Just make sure that the person that is doing it knows what he is doing and/or has the correct adapters...
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Old 04-09-2006, 10:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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ok. that guy..is me. the box has simple direction on it. let me know what i should do. i can type out the directions if you need it. thanks man
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:54 AM   #4 (permalink)
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You're looking at this the wrong way. Listen, you're replacing the control...which includes inner and outter ball joints. it has nothing to do with the rear bushing. When I first did mine, I thought like you, but then I realized...I have to take the damn control arm all the way off the vehicle to replace the balljoint, why not do them both and just swap out the part? The price really isn't that bad, autohauz lists it at $67 shipped, and that's assembled with both balljoints. Having replaced a few balljoints in my time, I'd rather pay the $67, trust me.
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Old 04-10-2006, 05:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Scotsman
You're looking at this the wrong way. Listen, you're replacing the control...which includes inner and outter ball joints. it has nothing to do with the rear bushing. When I first did mine, I thought like you, but then I realized...I have to take the damn control arm all the way off the vehicle to replace the balljoint, why not do them both and just swap out the part? The price really isn't that bad, autohauz lists it at $67 shipped, and that's assembled with both balljoints. Having replaced a few balljoints in my time, I'd rather pay the $67, trust me.
I would really like to have that part number and where I could find a autohauz here. Considering just the ball joint is $40 alone and you are saying that the whole control arm is $67 I'll be all over that like white on rice...
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Old 04-10-2006, 06:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Hotdog! I found it, damn that's the cheapest I've ever seen them. I think I'll buy a pair just to keep as a spare! (I have to wonder about the quality considering the price) PN 31121127725 www.autohausaz.com
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Old 04-10-2006, 07:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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so the consensus is, i should just replace the entire control arm instead?
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Old 04-10-2006, 08:07 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WardJ
so the consensus is, i should just replace the entire control arm instead?
yea. I have done it three times so far...easier to replace the entire arm.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:36 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Starmavin
Hotdog! I found it, damn that's the cheapest I've ever seen them. I think I'll buy a pair just to keep as a spare! (I have to wonder about the quality considering the price) PN 31121127725 www.autohausaz.com

I've used parts from autohauz any number of times, both on my BMW, and on my wife's volvo. There has never been a quality problem, as most of the parts are from the same maker you'll get if you order from Bavarian, or BMP, just cheaper. and the free shipping on all orders over $50 is sweet.
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Old 04-11-2006, 05:43 AM   #10 (permalink)
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...so if i order a control arm,i don't have to order a new bushing? sorry for the 20 questions
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Old 04-11-2006, 03:32 PM   #11 (permalink)
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no, the bushing is completely seperate from the control arm....er..alright, the rear of the control arm is a simple round shaft that slides through the middle of the rear bushing. spray a little PB blaster, or WD40, or whatever, on the shaft. Then unbolt the balljoints, and work it free slowly. slide new control arm into bushing, slide new balljoint studs into place, torque as specified. and you're home free. I'm guessing if you do the job with the entire new control arm, you're looking at like a half an hour job.
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Old 04-12-2006, 12:14 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WardJ
...so if i order a control arm,i don't have to order a new bushing? sorry for the 20 questions
when i got my arms they had the bushings in them already. just had to swap out the old part with the new.
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Old 04-12-2006, 05:27 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Numark318i
when i got my arms they had the bushings in them already. just had to swap out the old part with the new.
I'm sure you mean that they had the new BALL JOINTS in them already. The control arm BUSHING is NOT bolted to the control arm, and will not come with it. It's a seperate part, and you don't need it to replace the control arm.
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Old 04-12-2006, 07:24 AM   #14 (permalink)
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alright it sounds like i'll order two new control arms. hopefully my LAST question: if its that easy to take the control arm out of the bushing, how easy is it to remove the inner ball joint? it doesn't look like it would come out without a fight.
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Old 04-13-2006, 04:33 PM   #15 (permalink)
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The inner balljoint is a bit of a bitch, I believe the last time I did it, I used a ratchet wrench in the correct size, and that seemed to be the persuasion it needed. I've been involved with others who simply used a smoke wrench (torch) to persuade it to come off, and that worked pretty handily as well. Just have to be carefull not to torch the flat surface of the subframe. with a little work, maybe starting out with a regular wrench and a cheater bar, or a ratchet with an extension and universal joint, you can get it loose, then finish up with whatever seems right to you. Good luck.
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