BMW 318/325/M3/525/535/M5 1989-1993 Repair Information

Lower Control Arms

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



E30 3 Series
  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly. Use a piece of wire to prevent the strut from extending to far and damaging the brake hose.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the rear control arm bushing bracket where it connects to the body by removing the bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut and disconnect the link on the front stabilizer bar where it connects to the stabilizer bar.
  6.  
  7. Unscrew the nut which attaches the control arm to the crossmember and remove the nut from above the crossmember. Then, use a plastic hammer to knock the stud out of the crossmember.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the nut and press off the ball joint where the control arm attaches to the lower end of the strut, using the proper tool.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Make sure the ball joints studs and the bores in the crossmember and strut are clean before inserting the studs. Replace the original nuts with replacement nuts and washers. Torque the ball joint nut to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) for 2 wheel drive and 61.5 ft. lbs. (93 Nm) for 4 wheel drive. Torque the control arm to subframe nut to 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm) for 2 wheel drive and 72 ft. lbs. (100 Nm) for 4 wheel drive.
  2.  
  3. Install the control arm bushing bracket and torque the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the stabilizer bar link and torque to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  6.  

E36 3 Series

See Figures 1 and 2



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Control arm bracket mounting. Matchmark the control arm position before pressing the bushing off during replacement-E36 3 Series shown, E30 3 Series uses the same design



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Fig. Fig. 2: Control arm to subframe mount ball joint-E36 3 Series shown, E30 3 Series uses the same design

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle. Remove the front tire and wheel assembly. Use a piece of wire to prevent the strut from extending to far and damaging the brake hose.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the rear control arm bushing bracket where it connects to the body by removing the bolts.
  4.  
  5. Remove the nut and disconnect the link on the front stabilizer bar where it connects to the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Unscrew the nut which attaches the control arm to the crossmember and remove the nut from above the crossmember. Then, use a plastic hammer to knock the stud out of the crossmember.
  8.  
  9. Unscrew the nut to the point it contacts the strut housing. Remove the bolts connecting the hub to the struts. Press off the ball joint where the control arm attaches to the lower end of the strut, using the proper tool.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Clean the threaded holes in the hub. Install new micro-encapsulated hub mounting bolts to the strut and torque to 58 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Make sure the ball joints studs and the bores in the crossmember and strut are clean before inserting the studs. Replace the original nuts with replacement nuts and washers. Torque the ball joint nut to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm) for 2 wheel drive. Torque the control arm to subframe nut to 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm) for 2 wheel drive.
  4.  
  5. Install the control arm bushing bracket and torque the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar link and torque to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  8.  

E34 5 Series
  1. Raise and safely support the front end. Do not place the jackstands under any suspension parts. Remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 3 bolts holding the steering knuckle to the bottom of the strut.
  4.  
  5. Remove the ball joint nut and press the stud out of the steering knuckle with a ball joint remover tool.
  6.  
  7. Remove the nut and bolt at the subframe end of the control arm. Remove the control arm.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Install the control arm to the subframe using a new nut and washer on both sides. Do not torque at this point.
  2.  
  3. Clean the grease and dirt off of the ball joint stud and bore. Install the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle and torque the new nut to 67 ft. lbs. (93 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Clean the threads and bores of the steering knuckle mounting bolts and the strut housing. Install the bolts, using threadlocker, and torque to 80 ft. lbs. (110 Nm). There is a groove that will align the strut and knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Install the wheel and lower the vehicle to the ground. Load 150 lbs. into each of the front seats and in the center of the rear seat. Torque the control arm to subframe bolt to 56 ft. lbs. (77.5 Nm).
  8.  

BUSHING REPLACEMENT



See Figures 3 and 4



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: With the vehicle loaded and at normal ride height, the gap at A in the lower control arm bushing should be 0.028-0.067 in. (0.7-1.7 mm)-E30 3 Series



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Fig. Fig. 4: The lower control arm bushing arrow should match the cast boss on the bracket-E30 3 Series

The bushings must be pressed out of the housing bores. BMW bushings are notoriously hard to press out of the housings. Use a high capacity hydraulic press, penetrating lubricant and the proper sized mandrels for the press. Do not use sockets to try to replace the bushings. Mark the relationship of the bushing to the bore for correct replacement positioning.

 
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