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Thread: Rear Ball Joint Bushings Replacement - DIY-Pics

  1. #1
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    Rear Ball Joint Bushings Replacement - DIY-Pics

    Recently I've been working on my e39's whole suspension (Koni/Intrax insall). part of it was front thrust arm bushings and rear swing arm ball joint replacement. Here I would like to show you how I replaced rear ball joint.

    Lets start with what you will need to do it:

    1.Beside jack, jack stands, set of metric wrenches and sockets and replacement part of course (recommend bimmerzone.com)

    2.Ball joint removal tool and/or additional items. I got BJ press tool loaner from local AutoZone ($100 deposit) that consists of 3 tubes, 2 disks and kind of C-clamp.

    unless you can get hold of BMW BJ removal tool, what you will really need of that removal/press tool are
    a. 2 tubes: 1st one small enough to go through the BJ hole in hub bearing knuckle but big enough to slide (barely) over rubber boot and press onto smaller sleeve, 2nd one just big enough to clear the BJ inside
    b. 2 disks that could be substituted with something like metal pipe flange (not too big though)
    c. that C-clamp like press will not be used due to it's size. I substituted it with bolt and nut. I bought four of these bolts 5 to 8 inch long, because this high strenght bolts have about 1,5inch of thread only, and I wasn't sure what lenght I will end up using. Get the thickest one that still goes through BJ and disks
    d.nuts, different size washers, grease


    Problem: lack of BMW Ball Joint removal tool > substituted with other tools > clearance issues


    to get the job done you will need to remove lower shock mounting bolt and detach shock from hub bearing carrier (knuckle)

    note#1 if you don't have any idea how to get to that point do yourself a favor and skip this thread
    note#2 don't forget to loosen shock to body mounting nuts. I did the whole thing during suspension swap...
    note#3 there will be a lot of exercising to put that lower shock mount back inside the carrier.

    detach siwng arm (A arm) from hub bearing carrier and BJ assembly

    prepare for BJ removal

    you can see in this picture tools necessary for this job.
    they are (from the left to right):
    1. strong long bolt that will clear all the parts
    2. washers
    3. disk
    4. tube (bigger one) that will clear BJ inside
    5. new BJ (in this pic you see old one from my car)
    6. smaller tube (marked with rubber band for illustration purposes) that will slide over rubber boot (you may need some grease and/or slide off that boot here), but smaller that the diameter of the main sleeve
    7. another disk (note that big hole in it, that's why I needed 2 bigger washers next to it)
    8. nut
    9. grease to lubricate bolt threads
    10. oversized nut (as washer), in case you don't want to buy few, different lenght bolts, and don't know what size you will need (as I said before, bolts of that strenght had only about 1,5inch of threads)


    you can substitute disks with metal pipe flange. there is no real substitution for correct size tubes


    get set


    ready


    go (again, threads need to be lubed with grease, not WD40)


    uhhh

    now clean it, put a thin film of grease on the inside and get ready for heat 2


    this time bigger tube on the rear side of the carrier


    and the smaller on the front. here we get the clearance issue. there is not enough space for disk on this end of the tube. I used two bigger washers and keys to support them. something like that


    funny, hah?


    but worked great for me. one more pic (BTW patent pending)


    new ball joint installed. don't forget about new snap ring!


    attach A-arm (swing arm) to ball joint assembly/bearing carrier. Be carefull not to damage rubber boot on the new ball joint!!!

    maybe it's time for a new shocks? you should have known that before you started BJ replacement.

    I didn't know my shocks were shot so bad until I took them off


    new shock/spring assembly


    it's a reall PITA to slide lower shock mount into the hub bearing carrier. stand on the side of the rotor with your one leg and using your whole body weight press/kick on it pulling bottom of the shock toward the carrier. it's a hit or miss. takes some coordination and luck!


    alright! put the shock lower mountng bolt in and tighten. the rest is history.


    put everything back, tighten all the bolts/nuts. put the wheels on. get the car proffesionaly aligned. pat yourself on the back. mission accomplished!!!


    front thrust arm (front upper control arm) bushings replacement thread soon.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by jamesdc4; 01-27-2011 at 08:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    wow excellent write up!
    -Aurash

  3. #3
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    My Ball Joints ar on their way. I will be changing them this weekend.
    "Once You Go BMW You Never Go Back"
    Tom S.


  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slupie
    My Ball Joints ar on their way. I will be changing them this weekend.
    should you have any questions, let me know. been there, done that

  5. #5
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    Thanks for the offer but I should be fine. I did the whole suspension thing in February and the ball joints were still good. Last time I took my car in the dealer told me that the passenger sside ball joint is little loose. It's not bad but I'm replacing both of them befere they completely go bad.

    Great write up.
    "Once You Go BMW You Never Go Back"
    Tom S.


  6. #6
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    Great writeup, Pener & thanks.

    In your opinion, was it worth the extra dissassembly steps to save buying the factory BMW or Sir Tool/ZDMak bushing and ball joint separator tools? In your opinion, how much extra effort was it to use your methods?

    I like your "Location: right here"....made me gag in laughter.

  7. #7
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    What size bolts did you end up using? Ball joints are here, hopefully I have time tomorrow to replace them if not then next weekend.
    "Once You Go BMW You Never Go Back"
    Tom S.


  8. #8
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    Lscman,

    the cost of ball joint press tool loaner from AutoZone is $0 (zero USD, just refundable $100 deposit)
    dealer lists about 3.2 hours for the labor (totals about $300 here)
    ZDMak tool is about $200-300 (wright?)

    as far as repair is concerned, it doesn't matter which tool you are going to use. the repair procedure remains the same my method substitutes the tool only, used during press-out/press-in phase. everything goes by the book generaly. however, if you have lowering springs installed, you should be able to do it w/o compressing spring in order to put lower shock mount back into the carrier.

    I will post front thrust arm bushing replacement little DIY soon, where I changed the repair procedure a bit to get away from using BMW tool.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slupie
    What size bolts did you end up using?
    I used either 7inch or 8inch (or both) long. I could use 8inch only and use oversized extra nuts (instead of lots of washers) if needed. but it all depends on the lenght of the tubes and thicknes of the disks you are using.

  10. #10
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    just posted the thread for thrust arm bushings replacement

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by PENER View Post
    new shock/spring assembly
    What exact spring compressor tool is this one you used? Who makes it?

  12. #12
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    For those who don't want to spend $200 on the BMW tool or deal with a rental, Pener's method works well. I just got done doing my rear swing arm and all it cost me was $7 in parts from Home Depot.

    You'll need a 1/2" pipe flange like Pener points out. $6 at my local Home Depot (2) 3/4" washers (30 Cents each) and a 1/2" Nut (15 cents)

    For the bolt, I went to Autozone and got the spring compressor in Pener's post (Autzone part number 27023) but unscrewed the threaded spindle from one of the spring compressors. Since most carriage bolts at the hardware store I came across had threads for the first 3 inches only this severely limits how far you can work with the carriage bolt. Since the spring compressor spindle has thread the WHOLE 10 inches and is hardened steel, it is perfect for pressing out the ball joint as it can handle the torque without fear of snapping or running up against the end of the threads. Also the diameter of the spinlde slips perfectly into ball joint center bore.

    As Pener points get the Ball joint press from Autozone and use the smallest sleeve to press the ball joint out. The smallest one is the perfect diameter to fit through the wheel carrier ball joint mounting hole. However, in my case, I had to cut 1/2 of rubber boot on the old ball joint as the rubber became bloated over the years and despite greasing the inside of the sleeve and twisting an turning the sleeve kept slipping off. By cutting 1/2" of the boot, this allowed the sleeve to slip completely over the remaindeof the boot. The second smallest in the Autozone set is slightly larger than the ball joint diameter and is perfect for receiving the pressed out ball joint on the other side.

    Now to avoid Pener's clearance issues, I took the 1/2" pipe flange to a grinder and ground down about 1 1/2" to 2" of the edge of the pipe flange. By orientating the notch I ground down against with the wheel carrier protrusion, the pipe flange was able to slide directly against the larger sleeve.

    So the order of the tools to press it out is spindle: 3/4" washer, small sleeve. On the receiving side: sleeve, notched pipe flange, 3/4" washer and 1/2" nut.

    To press the new ball joint in, I found a sleeve from Autozone in the 4WD ball joint adapter kit 27165. It's a very deep sleeve which also helps to minimize the clearance issues Pener encountered. Just reverse the order of the tools and replace the small sleeve with the 4WD sleeve.

    Utilizing this method, it took 2 mins to press it out and 1 min to press the new one in.

    The only issue some of you guys may have is access to a grinder. If you do not have a grinder, you can use a large rasp or file to file down the edge.

    While this method does take some prep time, it does save you some money and is just as quick as the BMW tool.

    Thanks to Pener for giving me the foundation for developing this method.

    Hope you guys find it just as easy.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by dvsgene; 08-21-2008 at 04:45 PM. Reason: added pics

  13. #13
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    DIY Ball Joint Tool

    The nut and washer sizes needed are 5/8". I just got the spring compressor and ball joint kits from Autozone, and am in the process of removing the rear ball joints. So far no luck.. You really have to make sure the receiving sleeve is properly aligned, as the clearance between it and the ball joint is tight. The ball joint is stuck in there pretty good, so I doused it with PB Blaster and will let it sit overnight. If that doesn't work, I will try heating the carrier with a torch.

  14. #14
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    Subscribed!
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by PENER View Post
    2.Ball joint removal tool and/or additional items. I got BJ press tool loaner from local AutoZone ($100 deposit) that consists of 3 tubes, 2 disks and kind of C-clamp....
    Follow-up,

    PENER is correct, I dropped by Autozone and Advanced Autoparts to ask, the Rear Balljoint tool is normally for sales @ $100. To rent it, you need to deposit $100, make sure you have all the pieces in the set before going home.
    When you return the tool, you get $100 back, so it costs you nothing to rent.

    On the other hand, I am working on a $10-15 DIY tool using exhaust reducers and simple bolts/nuts for those who live far away from Autozone/Advanced Autoparts. I will post exactly what parts you need to do this job. Should not cost more than $15 @ local hardware store, and you will be the proud owner of a new El Cheapo ball joint tool set...LOL!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cnn View Post
    Follow-up,

    PENER is correct, I dropped by Autozone and Advanced Autoparts to ask, the Rear Balljoint tool is normally for sales @ $100. To rent it, you need to deposit $100, make sure you have all the pieces in the set before going home.
    When you return the tool, you get $100 back, so it costs you nothing to rent.

    On the other hand, I am working on a $10-15 DIY tool using exhaust reducers and simple bolts/nuts for those who live far away from Autozone/Advanced Autoparts. I will post exactly what parts you need to do this job. Should not cost more than $15 @ local hardware store, and you will be the proud owner of a new El Cheapo ball joint tool set...LOL!
    Wow. A DIY from "04.

    Pener,

    I hosted your photos and merged all your single posts into one coherent post. I'm also going to tow your thread into the main E39 section for comments and eventually into the E39 DIY section.

    Nice job!

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