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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 02-01-2011, 07:44 AM
cambrian123456 cambrian123456 is offline
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Who sells a BMW ball joint press? (31 2 240)

Anyone know where I could buy a BMW ball joint press or alternatives to it?

Here's a picture of the tool from Beisan Systems:

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  #2  
Old 02-01-2011, 07:52 AM
kyle540i kyle540i is offline
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I got mine from Harbor Freight. $20.

I used a grinder to modify the fork so it would push on the ball joint stud in a straight line (as opposed to pushing it to the side & requiring more force).

It worked GREAT!

http://www.harborfreight.com/automot...tor-99849.html

Last edited by kyle540i; 02-01-2011 at 07:55 AM. Reason: add link to tool at harbor freight
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:12 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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The O.P. is from Canada, so no Harbor Freight.
Search ebay, you should be able to find one for $20 or so.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:31 AM
kyle540i kyle540i is offline
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Bummer, didn't know they didn't sell online to Canada.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:03 AM
cambrian123456 cambrian123456 is offline
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Just got a quote from a local BMW dealership . . . $305.93 CAD!
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:24 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Amazon has it.

Sears has it:
http://www.sears.com/shc/s/search_10...all+joint+tool
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:07 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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You might be able to improve upon what is in the VERY best of E39 Links
- How to make your own ball joint replacement tool (1) (2) (3)

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  #8  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:30 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Bluebee,

The OP referred to the Front suspension ball joint tool.
The Rear ball joint tool is a different ballgame.
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:50 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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This is funny! I have the front ball joint tool and swear by it. I've changed many ball joints and tie rods in my day without it, and just shake my head in how easy it is now. My humor comes from the fact that I am looking for the rear ball joint tool Bluebee mentioned. I too can't find it but in frustration walked over to the socket section at Napa. I found a socket that fits over the large collar to use as a receiver and a small one to use as a pusher. All I need now is the threaded rod which I plan to buy tonight. The two sockets were under $40 total. Now THAT is a home made tool!
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2011, 12:58 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cambrian123456 View Post
Just got a quote from a local BMW dealership . . . $305.93 CAD!
That is for the official BMW ball joint tool. The BMW ball joint tool is superior to the Harbor Freight tool but for the $285 cost difference, it is not THAT much better. The BMW tool is pictured in the original post. That tool allows you to adjust the pivot point by shortening the middle bolt to keep the two arms parallel to improve purchase on the ball joint bolt. The Harbor Freight has a two position swivel only. Since the ball joint bolt is fairly long on the BMW (for sway bar links, control arms, & thrust arms), the HF tool tends to slip off the end of the bolt when tightening. Cam identifed a great trick: Leave the nut on the end of the bolt to increase surface area and improve tool purchase. An alternative, if you plan to toss the old part, is to cut the ball joint bolt about 3/4" - 1" from the end using a grinder. This shortens the bolt and allows much better purchase by the HF tool. Bottom line, get the HF tool and save the $285 for a different tool.
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  #11  
Old 02-01-2011, 02:11 PM
kyle540i kyle540i is offline
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I didn't like the Harbor freight tool out of the box. The geometry wasn't right - looked like it wanted to push the stud sideways or slip off.
So I used a grinder to shorten the fork & to open the slot a bit at the end so it would fit without the need for a hammer & without damaging the rubber boot.

It worked GREAT after that! I was able to get a straight push on the stud & they popped out with a lot less drama than I was expecting.

All that said, the quality & consistency of harbor freight tools isn't known to be the greatest. . . .
So, your mileage may vary . . .
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  #12  
Old 02-01-2011, 02:55 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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I'd agree that the quality of HF tools is somewhat inconsistent but you can't beat the price! Most are serviceable but you find the occasional junk tool. I bought the HF spring compressor tool and it bent under load! Kinda scary!! But for the weekend warrior, I must say that most HF tools do a decent job and offer great value. You can use them once or twice and not worry about a $100 tool collecting dust in your box because it only cost you $20! I have a much larger tool collection now that I discovered HF!

Last edited by Fudman; 02-01-2011 at 03:18 PM.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2011, 11:07 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The Rear ball joint tool is a different ballgame.
Thanks Cam,

I never removed ball joints so I wouldn't know the difference.

Should I change this bestlinks reference:
- How to make your own ball joint replacement tool (1) (2) (3)
To?
- How to make your own FRONT ball joint replacement tool (1) (2) (3)

Note: This picture below is from the #2 thread listed in the links above.

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Last edited by bluebee; 02-02-2011 at 11:10 AM.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2011, 03:20 PM
rdl rdl is online now
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Princess Auto sells 2 of the scissor type ball joint tools. One is ~$32 and similar to the Harbor Freight pictures. I bought the $45 tool which has more range & adjustment as well as a pocket in the lever arm to locate the ball joint stud end. This one worked well for me. I recommend you grease the screw thread well. The lube as sold was not sufficient.

http://www.princessauto.com/view-all...rd1=ball+joint

Princess has half a dozen locations in Alberta, including two in Calgary.

Regards
RDL
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  #15  
Old 02-02-2011, 05:40 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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The $45 tool looks nice. Those two extra pivot points should allow you to open up the jaws extra wide. It also looks like there is a little socket for the ball joint bolt to reside in. That'll help keep it from slipping off. Nice find!
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  #16  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:00 PM
cambrian123456 cambrian123456 is offline
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Thanks RDL!
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  #17  
Old 02-02-2011, 06:34 PM
helpmyfive helpmyfive is offline
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F! I picked up a stainless carriage bolt, a few nuts, a 3 inch long nut, a threaded rod and a bunch of washers. I tried the carriage bolt first, but it started to spin, so I switched to the rod. Using the 3 inch long nut was a good call as it would never strip out. I cranked and cranked on the setup for quite a while with NO movement. I did get it to budge a little, but still wasn't going. I repositioned everything when it finally started to move. I got the one side out, got the new one in and stopped for the day. I am confident I can get the other side in in under an hour. My biggest mistake was the position of the huge socket on the back side to receive the joint. I had it just barely over the lip on the joint causing it to bind at first. The total cost of everything was under $70. I got the two sockets (only used one) for $20 each, and the threaded rod and all the parts were under $30. My joints were really frozen in there.
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  #18  
Old 03-16-2013, 05:43 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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For the record, this was asked today:
Quote:
Originally Posted by bin01123 View Post
Does anyone have a BMW Rear Ball joint tool for an E39? Or does anyone know of another tool that will work to remove and install a rear ball joint?
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Each repair should invariably add to our knowledge base by the process of inexorable incrementalism.
Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #19  
Old 03-17-2013, 06:33 AM
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Flybot Flybot is online now
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Just for reference, Ive changed the tension struts on two E39s and didnt use the special tool. I just unscrewed the ball joint nut to the top of the stud and whacked it a few times with a 2 lb hammer. Popped right off. So one may not always need the tool. Sometimes you get lucky.
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