BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Thrust Rod



1986-88 5 and 7 Series Models

See Figure 1

The 5 Series BMW uses a multi-link type suspension. There is a lower control arm to support the strut housing and a thrust rod to control fore and aft motion. The thrust rod is not used on 3 Series vehicles.

Always replace the strut rods in pairs. If the strut rods are not replaced in pairs, uneven driving response may result.

  1. Raise and safely support the front end on jackstands. Do not place the jackstands under any suspension parts. Remove the wheel.
  3. Remove the thrust rod ball joint nut and press the stud out of the steering knuckle with a ball joint remover tool.

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of 5 and 7 series control arm and thrust rod assembly

  1. Remove the nut and bolt at the subframe end of the strut rod. Remove the strut rod.

To install:
  1. Install the strut to the subframe using a new nut and washer on both sides. Do not tighten at this point.
  3. Clean the grease and dirt off of the ball joint stud and bore. Install the ball joint stud into the steering knuckle and tighten the new nut to 67 ft. lbs. (93 Nm).
  5. 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. Tighten the control arm to subframe bolt to 92 ft. lbs. (127 Nm).


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.