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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 01-24-2014, 07:08 AM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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Partial refresh on front suspension

Im turning the heat on in the garage tomorrow, because I'm replacing my front track rods and thrust arms with my powerflex bushings. Is there anything that i should look at or pay close attention to? Thanks


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  #2  
Old 01-24-2014, 07:33 AM
JKRIT JKRIT is offline
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When removing the ball joints from the aluminum knuckle, try to avoid pulling the steel tapered inserts along with them. This simply requires careful positioning of the tool used to pop the joints. I use the BMW tool. Make sure that the strut is properly aligned (pre-marked) and fully seated in the knuckle before tightening the pinch bolt.
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  #3  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:31 AM
e39-rijder e39-rijder is offline
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Mein Auto: e39 530d Touring 2002
socket

I think you will know more about it than I, but here are my thoughts:

When removing the nut after popping loose the conical bearing shaft, there is (sometimes) an allen key hole in the tip of the bearing to keep the bearing from spinning.
This one easily gets damaged during the popping if done wrong. Also if the nut starts to turn heavy further down the shaft this allen key pocket might not be strong enough to keep the bearing shaft from rotating. On my car there was also (difficult to see) an outer hex on the tip of the shaft. Also quite weak. Too weak for spanners, but strong enough for a socket. So I ended up using a ring type spanner for the big nut and a socket for the tip of the conical bearing shaft.
I screwed the nut so that it extended over the tip of the shaft so I could apply the force of the tool to the nut and not damage the internal allen key hole.

The popping needs quite some force. I borrowed the BMW tool from the local BMW dealer, and was surprised about the amount of force needed and the bang when it popped loose.

Don't forget to mark the location of the macpherson strut relative to the wheel when loosening.

Quite some covers needed to come off on my car to reach the front arms bushing sides.

Only use stainless steel wire brush when cleaning area to prevent corrosion of aluminum parts. No steel or copper.

Don't reuse the aluminum nuts. Get new ones.

For some suspension parts it is necessary to have the car's weight applied when tightening
the bushes, but I don't know if this is needed for the front suspension as well.

Don't forget to re-align the car afterwards.

good luck,
cheers
e39-rijder

Last edited by e39-rijder; 01-24-2014 at 08:32 AM.
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  #4  
Old 01-24-2014, 08:39 AM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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Thanks guys, when i'm done ill let you guys know whet i think of the powerflex bushings. Im super excited about them.


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  #5  
Old 01-24-2014, 11:26 PM
jnyost jnyost is offline
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The powerflex don't work well in the E39. They transmit a lot of road noise, wear out your other components, require frequent greasing, and will eventually squeak. There's a reason they aren't popular, at least for the thrust arms. The thrust arm is under too much stress for solid poly bushings.

If you whack the knuckle with a mallet you might be able to knock the ball joint loose. If you are reusing your arms it isn't a big deal if the sleeve come out with the arm.
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  #6  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:04 AM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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So right now I'm stuck at the control arms, I cant get the ball joint out of the steering knuckle with the ball joint tool i bought. Is there another tool that i need to remove it?


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  #7  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:29 AM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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My ball joint tool doesn't want to press the balljoint from the from the steering knuckle, it just wants to slide off.


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  #8  
Old 01-25-2014, 09:48 AM
k.w.crater k.w.crater is offline
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You could take it to AutoZone they may have a loaner tool to press out. Maybe a different style than the one you currently have

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  #9  
Old 01-25-2014, 10:43 AM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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Using the tool, neither the control arm or thrust arm balljoints will come out. Im running out of ideas and patients.


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  #10  
Old 01-25-2014, 02:06 PM
k.w.crater k.w.crater is offline
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Take a picture of what your working with. That would help greatly

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  #11  
Old 01-25-2014, 02:07 PM
k.w.crater k.w.crater is offline
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And take a break. Don't let that thing beat you.

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  #12  
Old 01-25-2014, 02:17 PM
BobTheRetiree BobTheRetiree is offline
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Matt: I replaced the entire front end on my 525 back in June. I used a ball joint separator from US General (99849) I bought at Harbor Freight. Here's a link:
http://www.harborfreight.com/3-4-qua...tor-99849.html

CN90 (I think that's the user name) did an excellent write up on replacing the front end. Not sure if it's in this forum or Bimmerforums - still looking for it.

Good Luck!
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  #13  
Old 01-25-2014, 02:26 PM
BobTheRetiree BobTheRetiree is offline
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Found it! Front end rebuild DIY from CNN: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...nsion-Overhaul
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  #14  
Old 01-25-2014, 03:52 PM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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Thanks guys. I got one side completely done, the ball joint separator that i got is the same as the one for harbor freight, i just bought it from advanced auto parts. It kept slipping off the steering knuckle for the thrust arm, and didn't open up wide enough for the control arm balljoint. After about an hour of getting nowhere with a mallet and a punch i was ready to give up till my brother and stepfather came by to help. We used a torch and an air chisel they came off. I did read cn90's Diy and many others and cross referenced with my Bentley manuals. Ill be attempting the other side tomorrow. Hopefully it goes quicker.


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  #15  
Old 01-25-2014, 05:50 PM
k.w.crater k.w.crater is offline
e66
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Good to hear you got it. Excellent :beer:

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  #16  
Old 01-26-2014, 01:26 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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This is a classic problem when using the HF and other similar tools. The jaws on these tools pivot and the jaws do not open wide enough for BMW ball joints. They tend to slip off the ball joint bolt when opened wide and when force is applied. The BMW tool allows their jaws to open in parallel, which prevents the tool from slipping off. There are two fixes. One is to screw the ball joint nut onto the bolt until it is flush with the end of the bolt. This increases the surface area for the tool to bite onto, increasing purchase. The other is to cut the ball joint bolt shorter. This reduces the opening angle for the jaws of the HF tool and prevents the tool from slipping off. However, this approach is usable only on a control arm that will not be reused (unless you rethread the end of the ball joint bolt). Either way, use lots of PB Blaster.
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  #17  
Old 01-26-2014, 02:38 PM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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Well both sides are now complete and the test drive went good, the drivers side was immensely quicker then the passenger side. I ended up using a map torch and an air chisel to get the control arm ball joint out. The tool worked for the thrust arm i just had to use a mallet to secure it to the steering knuckle and lots of WD40. I Took a test drive and everything went well, albeit it has been snowing and i couldn't take turns too hard like i wanted to. Im going to get my alignment checked tuesday by my indy.


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Last edited by matt540; 01-26-2014 at 02:42 PM.
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  #18  
Old 05-02-2014, 12:11 PM
WannaBeamer WannaBeamer is offline
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Thanks for the insight, matt540.
Do you have any tips or pics, maybe a brief how to in regards to installing the powerflex bushings? and pressing out the old OEM`s?
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  #19  
Old 05-02-2014, 12:28 PM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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I didnt press the bushings in myself, because I didnt have the tools. I took them to my indy and they removed the old ones and put the powerflex in.

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Old 05-02-2014, 12:33 PM
WannaBeamer WannaBeamer is offline
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Cool!
Are the powerflex two piece bushings or one piece like the OEM, but with a steel sleeve insert?
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  #21  
Old 05-02-2014, 01:20 PM
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matt540 matt540 is online now
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The control arm bushings are two piece, thrust arm is one piece. Both have steal sleave inserts.

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