BMW Cars 1999-06

Lower Ball Joints

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Inspection



With the lower control arm supported, check for looseness between the control arm and steering knuckle. Inspect the ball joint boot for cracking or damage. If looseness is noticed, or if the boot is open and the lubricating grease has been lost, the ball joint should be replaced.

Removal & Installation




NOTE
Special tools are needed to press the ball joint out of and in to the lower control arm. If suitable tools are not available, have a BMW dealer or certified repair facility with proper equipment replace the ball joint.

  1. Remove the lower control arm from the vehicle as outlined in this section.
  2.  
  3. Matchmark the control arm-to-ball joint for installation reference purposes.
  4.  
  5. Using suitable press tool, press the bearing out of the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Align the replacement ball joint with the matchmark.
  8.  
  9. Using suitable press tools, press the ball joint into the control arm.
  10.  
  11. Reinstall the lower control arm as outlined in this section.
  12.  
  13. Test drive the vehicle and check the wheel alignment and align as necessary.
  14.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front tire and wheel assembly
     
    Rear control arm bushing bracket where it connects to the body by removing the bolts
     
    Nut and disconnect the link on the front stabilizer bar where it connects to the control arm
     
    Nut that attaches the control arm to the crossmember, and remove the nut from above the crossmember. Then, use a soft faced hammer to knock the stud out of the crossmember.
     
    Nut to the point it contacts the strut housing
     
    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 a suitable tool.
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Clean the threaded holes in the hub. New micro-encapsulated hub mounting bolts to the strut: 58 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Be 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. Ball joint nut: 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). Control arm to subframe nut: 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the control arm bushing bracket. Bolts: 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar link and tighten to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  8.  

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the precautions in the beginning of this section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front tire and wheel assembly
     
    Rear control arm bushing bracket where it connects to the body by removing the bolts
     
    Nut and disconnect the link on the front stabilizer bar where it connects to the control arm
     
    Nut that attaches the control arm to the crossmember, and remove the nut from above the crossmember. Then, use a soft faced hammer to knock the stud out of the crossmember.
     
    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 a suitable tool.
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Clean the threaded holes in the hub. New micro-encapsulated hub mounting bolts to the strut: 58 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Be 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. Ball joint nut: 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). Control arm to subframe nut: 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the control arm bushing bracket. Bolts: 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar link and tighten to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  8.  

The lower ball joint is serviced with the lower control arm as an assembly.

  1. Before servicing the vehicle, refer to the Precautions section.
  2.  
  3. Remove or disconnect the following:

    Front tire and wheel assembly
     
    Rear control arm bushing bracket where it connects to the body by removing the bolts
     
    Nut and disconnect the link on the front stabilizer bar where it connects to the control arm
     
    Nut that attaches the control arm to the crossmember, and remove the nut from above the crossmember. Then, use a soft faced hammer to knock the stud out of the crossmember.
     
    Nut to the point it contacts the strut housing
     
    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 a suitable tool.
     

  4.  

To install:

  1. Clean the threaded holes in the hub. New micro-encapsulated hub mounting bolts to the strut: 58 ft. lbs. (80 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Be 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. Ball joint nut: 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm). Control arm to subframe nut: 61 ft. lbs. (85 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the control arm bushing bracket. Bolts: 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the stabilizer bar link and tighten to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  8.  

The lower ball joint is serviced with the lower control arm as an assembly.

 
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