BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Control Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



3 Series Models

See Figures 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5

  1. Raise and safely support the vehicle on jackstands. Remove the front wheel assembly.
  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.  



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Fig. Fig. 1: Remove the stabilizer bar retaining nut attached to the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 2: Remove the nut securing the center portion of the control arm



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Fig. Fig. 3: Remove the nut securing the ball joint



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Fig. Fig. 4: Remove the ball joint from the strut/steering knuckle assembly



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Fig. Fig. 5: Use a soft-faced hammer to loosen any control arm mounts which will not come free

  1. 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.
  2.  
  3. 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.
  4.  

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. Tighten 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. Tighten 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 tighten the bolts to 30 ft. lbs. (42 Nm).
  4.  
  5. Install the stabilizer bar link and tighten to 43 ft. lbs. (59 Nm).
  6.  

320i Models
  1. Raise the vehicle and support it safely, remove the wheel. Disconnect the stabilizer at the control arm.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the control arm at the front axle support.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut.
  6.  
  7. Press the control arm off the steering knuckle with special tool BMW 31 1 100 or equivalent.
  8.  
  9. Install the control arm to the steering knuckle using the special tool.
  10.  
  11. Install the castle nut and cotter pin. Connect the control arm at the front axle and connect the stabilizer bar.
  12.  

528e, 530i, 533i and 633CSi Models

See Figure 6

  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely on jackstands. Remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the stabilizer bar at the control arm.
  4.  
  5. Remove the tension strut nut on the control arm.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the control arm at the front axle support and remove it from the tension strut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the lock wire, remove the bolts and take the control arm off the spring strut.
  10.  
  11. Remove the cotter pin and nut.
  12.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 6: When replacing the locknut, use a new locknut (1) and washer(2)

  1. Using special tool BMW 00 7 500 or equivalent, pull the guide joint from the tie rod arm.
  2.  

To install:
  1. Install the guide joint to the tie rod with the special tool.
  2.  
  3. Install the control arm to the spring strut and connect it to front axle support. Install the stabilizer to the control arm.
  4.  

524td, 535i, 635i, M5, M6, 635CSi and 735i Models
  1. Raise and support the vehicle securely on jackstands. Remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Remove the 3 bolts that fasten the bottom of the strut to the steering knuckle.
  4.  
  5. Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut. Use a ball joint remover (BMW 31 1 110 or equivalent) to press the ball joint end of the control arm off the steering knuckle.
  6.  
  7. Remove the self locking nut. Then, remove the through bolt and the 2 washers, slide the inner end of the strut and bushing out of the front suspension crossmember.
  8.  
  9. Install the control arm to the vehicle, noting the following points:
    1. Make sure both washers are replaced to cushion the bushing where it contacts the suspension crossmember.
    2.  
    3. Replace the bushing if it is worn or cracked.
    4.  
    5. Use a new self-locking nut on the bolt fastening the inner end of the strut.
    6.  
    7. Align the bottom of the strut with the steering knuckle so the tab on the arm fits into the notch on the bottom of the strut. Install the bolts with a locking type sealer.
    8.  
    9. When installing the arm ball joint onto the steering knuckle, tighten the nut until a castellation lines up with the cotter pin hole and then use a new cotter pin in the nut.
    10.  
    11. Final tighten the through bolt for the inner end of the arm after the car is on the ground and at normal ride height.
    12.  

  10.  

733i Models
  1. Raise the vehicle and support safely. Remove the wheel.
  2.  
  3. Disconnect the vibration strut from the control arm.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the control arm from the axle carrier.
  6.  
  7. Disconnect the tie rod arm from the front strut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the cotter pin and castellated nut. Press off the control arm with special tool BMW 31 1 110 or equivalent.
  10.  
  11. Install the control arm onto the vehicle. Connect the tie rod to the front strut and connect the control arm to the axle carrier.
  12.  
  13. Use new self-locking nuts on the connections at the vibration strut and axle carrier. On 1983-88 models, when reconnecting the arm to the tie rod arm, use a bolt tightener BMW No. 81 22 9 400 086 and make sure the threads and bolt holes are clean.
  14.  

BUSHING REPLACEMENT



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. Because of the difficult nature of this job, it is recommended that a BMW or professional mechanic perform this job.

 
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