535 Xi Control arm/ball Joint separation
I'm planning to replace worn control arm bushings on my '08 535xi and took a look this weekend to start the planning. My main concern is separating the aluminum control arm from the ball joint. I've done this job on numerous older BMWs but the thickness of the Al control arm makes it seem difficult to find a location for my trusty Harbor Freight Ball joint separator tool. I definitely don't want to use a pickle fork or sledge hammer.
How have people addressed this? The Bentley Manual casually says to use the BMW ball joint separator tool, but even with the specific BMW tool, access looks difficult.
The X drive cars have the removable ball joint, and there is easy access to one of the torx screws while attached to the control arm, the other screw is blocked by the control arm itself. Would it be possible to simply unscrew the ball joint, then separate on the bench?
Any advice is appreciated.