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E63 / E64 6 Series (2003 - 2013)
The E63/E64 BMW 6 Series builds on BMW's sporty heritage with aggressive lines and an incredible motor to back the design up. Available in coupe and convertible trims with a standard 4.8 liter engine producing 360 horsepower and 360 lb-ft of torque, the 6-series is a popular choice that exceeds expectations.

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2011, 01:28 PM
thalsey thalsey is offline
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Control Arm Bushings

Took my car in for a routine oil change and was told that one control arm bushing was torn and leaking fluid. Quoted $450 to replace both. Is this a relatively easy DIY and if so, can anyone point me in the direction of a thread that explains the process?


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  #2  
Old 10-14-2011, 05:57 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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There are a few names for the thrust arm on the E63/E64:
1) BMW calls it a Tension Strut
2) Many parts stores call it an Upper Control Arm or Front Control Arm
3) But the majority of people call it a Thrust Arm

Changing the fluid filled bushing is a bit of work and requires that you make a few tools to press out/in the bushing. You can replace the bushing only once according to the BMW TIS. Look for a small triangle stamped into the bottom of the arm near the bushing, if you see one then you need to replace the entire arm. BMW recommends a single bushing replacement because the ball joint on the arm will wear out by the time two bushings are worn. Bushings cost about $100 for a pair.

The easier thing to do is change the complete arm. These go for about $160 each (get Lemfoerder or OEM from Tischer if you go this route)

Here are the TIS instructions for the bushings (very high level): TIS Thrust Arm Bushing
A DIY for the 5 series, basically identical for the 6er: DIY with a few homemade tool ideas

TIS for the complete arm: TIS for Thrust Arm Replacement
DIY for E39, which is similar enough: E39 Thrust Arm DIY
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Last edited by Yorgi; 10-14-2011 at 06:01 PM. Reason: formatting
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  #3  
Old 10-15-2011, 06:09 AM
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645/333 645/333 is offline
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Hi Yorgi ! I remember from a previous post that you are considering replacing these parts and doing one of your excellent DIY's. I have both left and right tension struts, and I am awaiting to complete the task, however I was waiting for you to do the task as I feel my competency is better as follower in these instances..... and I want to do it correctly....
Many thanks
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2011, 06:16 AM
JlMMY JlMMY is offline
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My Indie shop replaced the arm for $89.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2011, 08:56 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JlMMY View Post
My Indie shop replaced the arm for $89.
Wow, for $89 it is definitely not worth doing ti yourself. Epecially since you have to buy a tool for $15 to $25.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
Hi Yorgi ! I remember from a previous post that you are considering replacing these parts and doing one of your excellent DIY's. I have both left and right tension struts, and I am awaiting to complete the task, however I was waiting for you to do the task as I feel my competency is better as follower in these instances..... and I want to do it correctly....
Many thanks
Michael
Yorgi graciously posted this DIY, which he said is close enough. Take a read, it is excellent, almost like Yorgi's brother from a different mother.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho....php?t=160274&
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  #6  
Old 10-15-2011, 09:12 AM
JlMMY JlMMY is offline
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To be clear, they charged $233 for the part and 1 hour labor at $89. I saw the car on the lift and it looked like two bolts to me but I was happy to pay the $89. I am sure, as Yorgi mentioned, the part can be had for less than $233. It seemed fair enough to me though.
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  #7  
Old 10-15-2011, 10:06 AM
tampamark tampamark is online now
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Yeah, I got that. Since the part is $160 online, then you have to ship it so most likely $15 or $20. So all and all that is not a bad cost to replace via indie repair, I am not sure about the other guys but if I wouldn't do it myself if I didn't have to. Time is valuable!
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  #8  
Old 10-15-2011, 10:46 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 645/333 View Post
Hi Yorgi ! I remember from a previous post that you are considering replacing these parts and doing one of your excellent DIY's. I have both left and right tension struts, and I am awaiting to complete the task, however I was waiting for you to do the task as I feel my competency is better as follower in these instances..... and I want to do it correctly....
Many thanks
Michael
I still have not got around to installing the bushings I have ordered, I've been too busy. You can drive on the old ones for a while even after the fluid leaks out.

Like Mark said that 5er DIY is excellent and basically identical to the procedure required for the 6 series.

Personally I enjoy doing my own work, it's like a hobby for me. If I don't have the time or the repair requires a lift I will use an indie mechanic.
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  #9  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:12 PM
vegas645 vegas645 is offline
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Took the 6 in to have the Thermostat replaced and was told my front control arm bushings were shot. I was quoted $820 for the whole job. Does this sound like a fair price?
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  #10  
Old 01-26-2012, 04:22 PM
vegas645 vegas645 is offline
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$820 for both Thermostat and bushings from my Indy.
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  #11  
Old 01-26-2012, 07:59 PM
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If they are changing the thermostat and only the bushings that's $200 in parts - so VERY expensive considering how simple the labor is. If they are changing the thermostat and complete thrust arms (not just the bushings) that is $500 is parts and not a bad deal.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2012, 01:15 PM
vegas645 vegas645 is offline
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Thanks Yorgi. I was charged $69 for Thermostat and $135 for bushing kit. 6 hrs labor@100/hr. $820 total w/tax. Big difference in handling.
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  #13  
Old 01-27-2012, 03:52 PM
JamesA JamesA is offline
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An another data point, my indie just replaced my control arm bushings for ~$425 when I had my car in for service. I don't remember the exact breakout, but is was $100+ for the bushings and the rest was labor.....this in SoCal.....
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  #14  
Old 03-20-2013, 09:40 AM
shan904 shan904 is offline
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Took my car in to the stealership to have it inspected the other day and they said I need to have my front tension strut bushings replaced that they are very worn and it is causing my front tires to wear abnormally and a loose suspension feel on braking and cornering. They quoted me $1212.70 for replacing them and doing an alignement which they said it would need after replacing these parts. It looks like thats pretty steep for this job based on this post. Are we talking about the same thing here?

Last edited by shan904; 03-20-2013 at 09:48 AM.
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  #15  
Old 03-20-2013, 11:21 PM
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Nitrogen Nitrogen is offline
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I changed both tension struts myself. Not that hard but I needed a press to get the bushings out (had one at my work) as I only purchased the bushings. I tested the ball joints and both were fine. Took me only 1 hour to do both sides.
After replacement it made a world of difference in breaking and steering. Sorry I didn't do a DIY.
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Last edited by Nitrogen; 03-20-2013 at 11:23 PM.
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  #16  
Old 03-21-2013, 12:05 AM
ammobmw ammobmw is offline
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I had mine done as well, When I hit the brakes it would KNOCK. The sound was most obvious when I went into reverse and hit the breaks. I purchased the parts from an internet site out of Arizona ($60 German made)and I'm sorry I dont remember the name of the store. My indi charged me $100 for replacement of both parts and it took the dude 1 1/2 hours or so. Seems like this is a popular fix, BTW I didnt know they were liquid filled. I also did a small wite up..nothing close to Yorgi's but if you search this site you will find it.
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  #17  
Old 07-21-2013, 03:22 PM
Dami916 Dami916 is offline
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Hi,
does anyone know why I can't access TIS Thrust arm bushing?
And by the way what TIS stands for?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorgi View Post
There are a few names for the thrust arm on the E63/E64:
1) BMW calls it a Tension Strut
2) Many parts stores call it an Upper Control Arm or Front Control Arm
3) But the majority of people call it a Thrust Arm

Changing the fluid filled bushing is a bit of work and requires that you make a few tools to press out/in the bushing. You can replace the bushing only once according to the BMW TIS. Look for a small triangle stamped into the bottom of the arm near the bushing, if you see one then you need to replace the entire arm. BMW recommends a single bushing replacement because the ball joint on the arm will wear out by the time two bushings are worn. Bushings cost about $100 for a pair.

The easier thing to do is change the complete arm. These go for about $160 each (get Lemfoerder or OEM from Tischer if you go this route)

Here are the TIS instructions for the bushings (very high level): TIS Thrust Arm Bushing
A DIY for the 5 series, basically identical for the 6er: DIY with a few homemade tool ideas

TIS for the complete arm: TIS for Thrust Arm Replacement
DIY for E39, which is similar enough: E39 Thrust Arm DIY
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2013, 03:36 PM
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I did mine a couple weeks ago. $55 x 2 or $110 for the bushings from BMW dealer. Pulled the arms (very easy) myself and had Pep Boy's press them in for $130.
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Old 07-21-2013, 03:56 PM
Dami916 Dami916 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulchman View Post
I did mine a couple weeks ago. $55 x 2 or $110 for the bushings from BMW dealer. Pulled the arms (very easy) myself and had Pep Boy's press them in for $130.
Do you have to do allignment after that?
How hard was to remove the arm on the wheel side? Do you need some special tool for that?
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:20 PM
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You shouldn't need one. There is no adjustment available on the Thrust Arm. No special tools. Get the tires off and get out your larger wrenches / sockets and a breaker bar. I think the torque was only about 60 ft/lbs on one and 72 on the other. It was amazingly simple. I was going to wait for my indy but decided to do it myself after reading TIS.

Oh and TIS is a German acronym that mean Really Good Manual.
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Old 07-21-2013, 04:31 PM
Dami916 Dami916 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mulchman View Post
You shouldn't need one. There is no adjustment available on the Thrust Arm. No special tools. Get the tires off and get out your larger wrenches / sockets and a breaker bar. I think the torque was only about 60 ft/lbs on one and 72 on the other. It was amazingly simple. I was going to wait for my indy but decided to do it myself after reading TIS.

Oh and TIS is a German acronym that mean Really Good Manual.
Thanks,
Do you have a link to that TIS?
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Old 07-22-2013, 04:13 AM
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Sorry, TIS is an electronic workshop manual for all BMW models (up to a certain year I'm sure). It used to be online at spaghetticoder.com, but I think that is gone. Look on eBay for BMW TIS. It shouldn't cost much at all.
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Old 07-23-2013, 04:36 PM
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Yorgi Yorgi is offline
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Originally Posted by Dami916 View Post
Thanks,
Do you have a link to that TIS?
The TIS is BMW's official electronic shop manual. It was available online for years before BMW forced the owner of spaghetticoder to shut down the site. (TIS stands for Technical Information System).

Another great resource is the ETK (Electronic parts catalog) This is the system you see the guy working in parts department using to look up part numbers when you go to the dealer. It is still available online at realOEM.com and another site that seems to get blocked for some reason on bimmerfest. The site bmwfans dot info is like realOEM but it uses a newer version of the ETK.

If you are a DIYer then you should buy a copy of the TIS and ETK (combo DVD) off eBay for less than $20. Or you can get them off torrents if you know how to use them.
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Old 07-24-2013, 06:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yorgi View Post
The TIS is BMW's official electronic shop manual. It was available online for years before BMW forced the owner of spaghetticoder to shut down the site. (TIS stands for Technical Information System).

Another great resource is the ETK (Electronic parts catalog) This is the system you see the guy working in parts department using to look up part numbers when you go to the dealer. It is still available online at realOEM.com and another site that seems to get blocked for some reason on bimmerfest. The site bmwfans dot info is like realOEM but it uses a newer version of the ETK.

If you are a DIYer then you should buy a copy of the TIS and ETK (combo DVD) off eBay for less than $20. Or you can get them off torrents if you know how to use them.
Another pearl from Yorgi. Now I need a copy of ETK and a link to the "other site". Thanks man! Not that there's anything wrong with realoem, but to have a local copy would be great.
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