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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-26-2008, 01:01 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
Ball joint replacement

I'm thinking about starting the job on these power bushings on the front end--What I'd like to do is take the control arm out and replace the ball joint first and have piece of mind about the bushings knowing that the ball joints are going to last awhile.
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  #2  
Old 01-27-2008, 06:16 AM
Jase007 Jase007 is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 528it
I would replace the front tension strut [aka - F control arm or thrust arm] with a new one which includes a new pressed in ball joint (#4 in pic). You can buy the tension strut with / without the "thrust arm" bushing installed. Obviously, getting one without the thrust arm bushing installed will allow you to install the powerflex thrust arm bushings more easily.

The middle or perpendicular to the direction of travel control arm is also called the "wishbone" or rear control arm (#11 in pic).

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When I did this, I replaced the tension strut and the control arm with factory OEM bushes to get new ball joints already pressed into the arms. I did this for a couple of reasons. I have pressed in ball joints on other aluminum BMW suspension pieces and I believe that after doing so the grip on the ball joint end is compromised [as compared to new aluminum control arms]. Also, these pieces see a lot of wear / shock / stress and aluminum isn't the strongest metal as you know. I assume that the aluminum pieces have a useful life of X and when I have dug into these projects ... the pieces typically have at least a 100K on them. To me, that warrants a new piece of metal . Of course, YMMV.

I am a big fan of powerflex and am running them on my E30s. I will install the thrust arm bushings in the tension struts [like you are planning on doing] when the OEM fluid filled ones fail .... which I anticipate them doing in about 20-30K miles

Good luck.
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  #3  
Old 01-27-2008, 10:15 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Thanks 007
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  #4  
Old 01-27-2008, 12:30 PM
xaff xaff is offline
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Wishbone is located ahead of the Thrust arm, yet wishbone is called 'rear control arm'. I don't get it. oh well.

By the way, I have already ordered Powerflex for both front and rear control arms. But I have doubts about powerflex going into wishbone. The original bearings look kinda like the ones that go in swing arms at the back. How would replacing them with the powerflex ones work? anyone done that?
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  #5  
Old 01-27-2008, 01:44 PM
Garrison5 Garrison5 is offline
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Xaff,

I believe your mistaken. The wishbone is in the back, and thus the name rear control arm.

In the picture above the front end is to the left and the rear to the right.
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  #6  
Old 01-27-2008, 02:14 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by xaff View Post
Wishbone is located ahead of the Thrust arm, yet wishbone is called 'rear control arm'. I don't get it. oh well.

By the way, I have already ordered Powerflex for both front and rear control arms. But I have doubts about powerflex going into wishbone. The original bearings look kinda like the ones that go in swing arms at the back. How would replacing them with the powerflex ones work? anyone done that?
Regardless of whether it's front/rear or upper/lower, the principle is the same. The arms have a bushing that is within a sleeve pressed into the arm. In any situation, the bushing needs to be pressed out of the sleeve. Good analogy is a roll of paper towels it has the cardboard tube in the middle. You need to push out the tube which is the equivalent of a bushing, and then replace with a new "cardboard tube". However, in the case of Powerflex, the bushings equal to the tube comes either split down the middle or in two pieces to make reinserting the "tube" easier. Hope that visualization helps. I wouldn't get caught up in the description of upper/lower front/rear wishbone etc. It would matter if you were only planning to identify one or the other but since you are getting both, it's less of a concern as stated the principle of pressing out and replacing is the same. For our 540I, I think there are only 4 options front/lower and Upper/rear bushings along with front and rear sway bar bushings. It also will become more clear when you get the bushings and get under the car and see where they will fit. Hope that helps.

Last edited by dvsgene; 01-27-2008 at 02:17 PM.
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