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-   -   E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics) (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=553794)

Radian 07-09-2011 04:10 PM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
6 Attachment(s)
Last year the car started pulling and settling into its suspension ever so slightly during braking. After inspecting the front end and reviewing the maintenance records I researched pricing and labor involved in replacement parts for the front end. Figured it was within my abilities. Last weekend I had the time to accomplish a front end change out.

I was going with Lemforder parts, so I could go with any bushing I wanted. After careful consideration, I chose M5 bushings. It's a daily driver and the roads here suck so I wasn't going with spherical replacements. The M5 type have plenty of very stiff rubber as you can see in the picture. They also appear to receive the least amount of complaints from owners over the long haul.

As I removed parts, it became evident the previous mechanics didn't really know what they were doing. All of the ball joint studs had anti-seize on them. :eek: Only the one shown in the video took any effort to remove. The other three could've been removed with a light whack from a ball peen. The steering arm to strut bolts had low-strength (purple) thread locker on them, where they are supposed to have high-strength applied. No washers on any of the nuts holding down the bushing-frame bolts.

The whole front end was a mis-mash of parts. Febi and Boge control arms. The Febi looked almost like an original part. It exhibited much more surface corrosion and the bushing was starting to get eccentric. I was pleased to find Meyle thrust arms. After 80,000 miles, the bushings were quite worn, but the ball joints and boots [on all the arms] were still holding up very well. The car was not shimmying at all.

Earlier in the year I had replaced the tie rods and sway bar links which were Karlyn. I would have to agree with other mechanics that they are utter trash. :thumbdwn:

If you look carefully at the non-M5 [535i] bushings with the plastic bumpers removed, you can see how eventually the corners wear through the rubber encompassing the inner surface of the bushing and can start knocking on the metal. At the end of the video, you can see that a worn bushing takes very little effort to deflect.

After everything was installed, I picked up some ballast to establish trim height, and torqued the bushing bolts to spec over the local quick-lube's pit. [thanks guy's :thumbup:]

BTY - There's a pic or two floating around the net of a guy using 50 lb. bags of Quikrete to establish trim height. Although I did that too...I wouldn't recommend it. Use bags of salt or other media that's not as messy. I covered everything in the car with trash bags because if you just look at a bag of Quikrete wrong, it'll pee dry mix on you. :ouch:

I would've liked to have made a better video, with close-ups and all, but I only had one day to pull off the front end fix. Good camera setup-execution can get very time consuming.

Cheers.

[youtube]xlTry-RClEY[/youtube]

Radian 07-09-2011 04:13 PM

9 Attachment(s)
More pics...

BMR_LVR 07-09-2011 07:34 PM

Very nice Radian. Thank You.

Steve

luckydog 07-09-2011 10:58 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Very nice film,pics and repair. Where did you find the parts? did the thrust arms come with the m5 bushings pre pressed into the part. Are all the parts the same make. Looks real nice. Were forks and pullers used ,or did the anti seize compond eliminate the need for them. Nice Jack by the way. I think ill start with upgrading my floor jack and continue from there. Thanks for sharing the repair That many of us need to do.

Radian 07-10-2011 09:01 AM

You're welcome guys.

Quote:

Originally Posted by luckydog
Where did you find the parts?

Pelican Parts.com
Quote:

Originally Posted by luckydog
did the thrust arms come with the m5 bushings pre pressed into the part.

These ones shipped with no bushing installed and I had to press them in. It worked well for my situation because I got to choose what bushing I wanted. I put them in using a hydraulic press at the machine shop. Hardest part was getting those little arrows on the arms and bushings to line up correctly on the first try.
Quote:

Originally Posted by luckydog
Are all the parts the same make.

They are now. The whole front end (as pictured) is completely Lemforder with the exception of the sway bar bushings, which are new factory BMW parts. Steering and braking response now border on telepathic. :thumbup: I can't imagine how much more accurate spherical joints must be from this. I'd have liked to gone with Racing Dynamics sway bar bushings because I like their design (similar to factory Honda and GM), but in order to do so I'd have to buy their bar too, which is way over-priced IMHO.
Quote:

Originally Posted by luckydog
Were forks and pullers used ,or did the anti seize compond eliminate the need for them.

I was using a ball joint separator at 1:31 in the video. I don't do pickle forks. :thumbdwn: I also had a pry bar on standby, but I only use that strategically as its really easy to bend sheet metal with that thing. Only one control arm needed a little encouragement, the rest dropped out by hand.

The anti seize did make it ridiculously easy to remove the other 3 ball joints, but it's not supposed to be there. It becomes very easy to lose all confidence in previous maintenance when you start finding things like that. The studs and lock nuts should by dry for very good reasons. Not cool.

Quote:

Originally Posted by luckydog
Nice Jack by the way. I think ill start with upgrading my floor jack and continue from there.

It's an AFF (American Forge and Foundry) 200T. Solid epoxy covered steel tip to toe, and worth every penny. Hardest part about buying it was coming to terms with shipping, as the thing is roughly 100 lbs. When I first got it, I disassembled as many of the moving parts as I dared [wheels, handle, lifting block] and lubricated everything real well with Moly grease. The roller parts that were pinned or staked got shot with lots of penetrating chain lube. Doing that made a tremendous difference in how smooth it rolled and operated, naturally.

We can start another thread for tool talk. :bigpimp:

luckydog 07-10-2011 10:39 AM

1 Attachment(s)
Oh yes the the joint separator with the nice sound sound of separation.Yes Pelican Parts .com is the real deal for a variety of parts. I agree you get what you pay for. On the threads ,I remember the book calling for various locking compounds for obvious reasons. I defiantly need sway bars , and strut cartridges and more on one car. My other is tight as a drum .Ill get a few quotes from a few shops ,then probably end up doing myself with a handful of purchases and Bentleys. I cant dive in until I get a floor jack upgrade. :guitar:

supertech777 07-10-2011 11:24 AM

Thank you Radian what a very proffesional job . it's the best diy I have seen !!!!!:thumbup:

DanM5 06-26-2013 12:51 AM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
Radian I wonder if I could pick your brain about your thrust arm bush replacement..

I plan on doing mine this weekend but I plan on bringing my new arms and bushes into work tomorrow and pressing them in...

Now my question: the arrow located on the bush, does it line up on the arm anywhere, or, is there a specific way it should be pressed in?

Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated...


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BMR_LVR 06-26-2013 06:49 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanM5 (Post 7673619)
Radian I wonder if I could pick your brain about your thrust arm bush replacement..

I plan on doing mine this weekend but I plan on bringing my new arms and bushes into work tomorrow and pressing them in...

Now my question: the arrow located on the bush, does it line up on the arm anywhere, or, is there a specific way it should be pressed in?

Any advice you could give me would be much appreciated...


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Hello Dan. I know you didn't ask me, but I pressed my thrust arm bushings in, so I hope you don't mind my input. The thrust arm has a mark on it. The mark on the bushing has to be aligned with this when pressed in. Also, this is covered in the Benetly manual on page 310-10 for further informaion including a drawing.

Good luck with it.

DanM5 06-26-2013 07:02 AM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
I appreciate any input from anybody mate, cheers, last thing I wanna do it make a b#lls of it.. I'll do them tomorrow and fit them on Saturday!!


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Pela84 06-26-2013 06:39 PM

This really helped... thanks

DanM5 06-26-2013 09:11 PM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
Bushes are now pressed nicely into the new thrust arms and ready for installation :thumbup:


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BMR_LVR 06-27-2013 06:18 AM

Good deal :thumbup:

snowsled7 06-27-2013 05:49 PM

You can also consider a slightly different method. I removed the bolts from the bottom of the strut, popped the inner tie rod and unbolted the upper and lower arms at the chassis.

This allows you to remove the whole assembly making removal at the ball joint end much easier if you do not have a nice seperator like Radian. On the bench the ball joints are easy to remove from the lower strut mount. One whack with a hammer over a wood block and mine popped right out. Even if you have the tool, it is usually still easier just to remove it from under the car to work on.

Lots of work going into the car lately:thumbup:

DanM5 06-27-2013 09:39 PM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
I like the sound of that method, I'll give it a try on 1 side and if all goes smoothly I'll do the same on the other.. I'll take pics for the next guy doing them!


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luckydog 06-27-2013 11:33 PM

Well that can cost up to 2k for that repair in labor at a supension shop. It not a walk in the park . I would use 3 ton jack stands and a good floor jack. I would do you r shocks wile your there.Key word -"Tie rod fork" at wheel ball joint

snowsled7 06-28-2013 05:18 AM

Actually, it really IS as easy as the video makes it look. It took me 45 minutes per side to do uppers, lowers and tie rods, on my garage floor, by myself.

I am pretty sure Dan has a friend with a shop and hoist. His version should go pretty smoothly.

If you need shocks, by all means, this would a be a better time than most. Quality shocks last a long time in these cars, at least on decent roads. Pulling the strut isn't much more work but you have to remove the spring too. This adds a lot of time to the suspension job, there is no going quickly with springs.

DanM5 06-28-2013 07:38 AM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by snowsled7 (Post 7678189)
Actually, it really IS as easy as the video makes it look. It took me 45 minutes per side to do uppers, lowers and tie rods, on my garage floor, by myself.

I am pretty sure Dan has a friend with a shop and hoist. His version should go pretty smoothly

I'm a mechanic, I only asked about the job before I started to see if there is anything I should look out for or be weary of.. It will save me learning the hard way, and speed up the job for me, and who better to ask then people who've done it before me!

We have hoists in work and I have every tool I need to do the job, I am in no way phased by this job, like I said i'm just asking to save myself any hardship. I'm not goin to change the shocks, they are fine for now, if it ain't broke don't fix it :)



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rdc 06-28-2013 09:14 AM

Well done. I may do this myself. sure wish i had a lift though.

MySatinDoll 06-28-2013 06:46 PM

Excellent info Radian.
Video has been bookmarked.
When mine decide to take a crap I'll probably go with moosehead spherical bushings or Poly.

DanM5 06-28-2013 11:34 PM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
4 Attachment(s)
Attachment 384060
Attachment 384061Attachment 384062
New arms
Attachment 384063

This is taking Sled's advice, very easily done.. Probably can't see it but all the ball joints and bushes were completely shot, especially the drop links..

Drove it, she feels 20years younger already and haven't even started the rear yet..

Happy Pilot :)


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BMWFatherFigure 06-29-2013 01:33 AM

I thought it would be ok to use anti sieze on the tapered parts of the joints but not the treads. I need to do my E32 so maybe I'll get Dan5 to give me some pointers. How's it going Dan?

Dionte 06-29-2013 09:45 AM

Re: E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
Are you the one who posted the video Radian?

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DanM5 06-29-2013 09:51 AM

E34 535i control & thrust arm replacement (vid & pics)
 
Piece of Piss BMWFF, give me a shout


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Radian 06-29-2013 10:24 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DanM5
Now my question: the arrow located on the bush, does it line up on the arm anywhere, or, is there a specific way it should be pressed in?

Dan, I realize I'm late to the party. Glad you found the thread insightful, and if anyone else would like to know, there are arrows molded into the thrust arm boss and on the bushing that need to be pointing directly at one another when assembled.

The issue arises, "How to insure they perfectly aligned before pressing the bushing?"

What I did was took a sharpie (or other fine-tip permanent marker) and a steel rule and drew a line across the external surface of the bushing that connected the indicating arrows on each side of the bushing, following the longitudinal axis. That left a nice reference line across the entire face of the bushing end-to-end that I used to index it correctly to the arm while setting up in the press.

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMWFatherFigure
I thought it would be ok to use anti sieze on the tapered parts of the joints but not the treads.

It's over-torquing the nuts that causes the problem of difficult to separate joints, and applying "lube" is an improper correction to problem induced by shoddy practice.

The pins are tapered for a reason...interference fit. Without the fit (when lube is used), the reaction forces developed in the joints run the risk of ending up in the threads and nuts which is not good.

The use of lube arises because people don't use torque wrenches for re-assembly, which typically results in over-torquing the fastener, making the joint nearly impossible to separate by the correct method (ie. not a pickle fork and / or heat). It's a band-aid fix to a problem caused by bad maintenance practice.

If you use a torque wrench and the specified fastener load (which isn't all that much), then the joints will later separate without any extra drama...even if having sat corroded for several years.

"Can you get away with it?" Well heck, I drove on my front end for almost four years like that, but that doesn't imply it's safe. :dunno: When I discovered mine were like that, my heart skipped a few beats. :eek:

Dry fit using the correct torque in combination with a brand new nut is the right way. :thumbup:


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