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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 12-14-2004, 10:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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The car I bought for my GF needs new ball joints. My mechanic said he wasn't sure if you could just buy the ball joints or the whole control arm assembly. He said with e30s for sure you have to just buy the whole assembly. I've found ball joints so he's wrong about that, but can these be installed without doing the whole assembly?
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:42 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Sure can. I replaced mine with full metal ones (like on M3s). They cost about 50 bucks a pair on Ebay.

E.g., http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAP...sspagename=WDVW
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Old 12-14-2004, 10:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by jrhaile@Dec 14 2004, 10:36 AM
The car I bought for my GF needs new ball joints.* My mechanic said he wasn't sure if you could just buy the ball joints or the whole control arm assembly.* He said with e30s for sure you have to just buy the whole assembly.* I've found ball joints so he's wrong about that, but can these be installed without doing the whole assembly?
[snapback]250248[/snapback]

I think what he meant was that the outer control arm bushing on the control arm is not replaceable. He probably mistook that for the balljoint. The balljoint and inner control arm bushing is definitely replaceable. If you're outer control arm bushing wears out, you would have to replace the entire control arm.

So part closest to the wheel hub (balljoint), part furthest from the wheel hub (inner control arm bushing), middle part of the control arm (outer control arm bushing)

Meyle makes a good half metal half rubber balljoint which lasts much longer than stock balljoints. I use to go through balljoints like oil changes.

Bryan
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Old 12-14-2004, 02:55 PM   #4 (permalink)
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replacing ball joints is a relatively easy DIY - you might as well do the bushes at the same time if they are old - sorted my ride out totally -

You will definitely need a press to get the new ball joint and bushes in

2 pairs of hands is helpful and so is a spare jack to get your control arm back in position easily when replacing

hope this helps

J...
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:47 PM   #5 (permalink)
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As far as I've heard, the outer ball joints can be replaced, but the inner ones are integral to the control arm - am I incorrect in this assumption?

If this is the case, you might as well switch out the control arm - because if the outer ones are gone, you can be sure the inner ones will follow shortly.
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Old 12-14-2004, 05:52 PM   #6 (permalink)
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so does someone have a link to the whole control arm assembly with inner and outer ball joints? or a part # would be helpful too...

thanks fellas.
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:29 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I meant a direct link :P I know all of the websites to go to, but I need part numbers because there are so many different control arm parts and what not...
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:37 PM   #9 (permalink)
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O my bad
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Old 12-14-2004, 06:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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no I appreciate your help :P
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Old 12-14-2004, 11:04 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Here are the part numbers for the front lower control arms - looks like Bavauto.com has the best prices on em too

31 12 1 140 957
31 12 1 140 958
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