Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: Cottage Grove, Oregon U.S.A.
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Rear Ball Joint Change on 1997 538i E 39
It was easier than I thought. I used the step by step guide on this link: Beisan Systems - Procedures - Swing Arm Ball Joints Procedure
I didnt use the $175 to $200 ball joint press tool. I borrowed some huge sockets from a buddy of mine the match up to the ball joints and used some threaded stock with nuts and huge washers to press the old ones out and new ones in.
To make it easier to press the new ones in I put them in the freezer over night and the outside diameter shrunk 2 thousandths of an inch.
Got the new ball joints from pelican parts for $76.50 for the pair and that included shipping.
The whole job took about 4 hours. I think I saved about $500 over going to the dealership.