It's about time to replace my rear tires on my 1999 540, and so today in preparation for that I replaced my rear swing arm bushings (ball joints). I am at 113K and the dealer noted back in March that the left rear ball joint was worn.
The "book" on the job is 3 hours per side and it took me every bit of that, but I am slow; I think a competent BMW tech, using a lift, should be able to complete the job in 3 hours for BOTH sides. The local dealer quote of $700 for the job is borderline criminal...
There are many details to the job, but the one essential component was the bushing press tool (multiple BMW part nos), which i purchased from Crevier, about $200 total. The ball joints themselves were found at All OEM autoparts.com for $50 each. So now I have a cool tool and the whole job cost only $300 instead of $700. I may resell the tool as used on eBay since I doubt I'll need it ever again.
Now that it is done, I think the car "feels" a little better on the road, but I am not seeing a "dramatic" difference as some have stated. I'll get more of a chance to road test it tomorrow...
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater