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Old 01-03-2012, 04:59 PM
Rchhockey68 Rchhockey68 is offline
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Location: Raleigh
Join Date: Feb 2011
Posts: 2
Mein Auto: 540I/6
I'm aware of how old this thread is but it was a great asset when replacing my thrust arms. I wanted to recommend a tool that can be purchased locally and for cheap for popping the ball joints loose.

If you have a Harbor Freight store near you, simply purchase their ball joint separator, Part # 99849.

"3/4" Forged Ball Point Joint Separator

Item # 99849 Manufacturer: U.S. General"

When I went to the local store in Raleigh, they had 9 of these in stock and they only cost $18 out the door. Using this tool made popping the ball joints out the easiest part of the job. I turned the hub to where the wheels were mostly straight, positioned the tool and held it in place while I began tightening the drive bolt. This was done after liberally applying PB Blaster(or your choice of penetrating spray). After a moderate amount of rotations on the bolt, I gave each ball joint around 2 minutes to sit. Even with only moderate pressure(nothing near excessive) with turning the bolt on the tool, both ball joints popped quickly.

It was a great relief to have this part of the job out of the way. The part where I got hung up is adjusting the spindle up and down on the shock/strut tube. Make sure you utilize a decent sized chisel and apply torque to it with the closed end of a wrench. Be careful to mark the original location of the shock/struts.

After finishing, Ive come to realize that my front ride height has inadvertently been raised by about half an inch. This, in turn, has messed with my headlights with the auto-leveling headlight feature.

Just thought id throw out some advice as this seems to be a very ubiquitous repair.

Last edited by Rchhockey68; 01-03-2012 at 05:01 PM.
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