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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-13-2017, 10:08 AM
Beemit Beemit is offline
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E60 Thrust Arm ball joint

Hi all,
Any body got any idea how long/miles typically the ball joint on the E60 thrust arm lasts, I know the rubber bushing at the other end of it goes around 80K.
Thanks
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Old 07-13-2017, 10:41 AM
twh twh is offline
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If you got 80K miles, likely your lower arm bushings are leaking (lower control arm is aka trust arm aka tension strut) . The bushings are not solid rubber, they are filled with hydraulic fluid. If you replace those it makes sense to replace the ball joint at the same time. In my experience with two BMWs, you can't tell they are leaking unless you saw the fluid when the leak first happened.

Last edited by twh; 07-13-2017 at 10:42 AM.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:24 AM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is offline
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A symptom of a defective hydro bearing is a front end shake when you apply the brakes at low speed. It's possible to press out the old one from the thrust arm and install a new unit to save money but you need a 10 ton press at the minimum. This can only be done once per arm.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:46 AM
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gmak2012 gmak2012 is offline
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OP is asking about ball joints not bushings. OP: You don't mention the mileage on the thrust arm.

Usually the ball joints last longer than the bushings but YMMV. I've seen numerous threads where the bushing is swapped out implying that the ball joint is left as is. If your bushing is good, you can still get a vibration from the ball joint if it is toast. I know that this doesn't answer your question - but there is really no answer. If you're driving with a bad bushing, then the ball joint is getting pounded and will not last as long. It doesn't hurt to swap out the ball joint as well as the bushing. If one wants to ascribe a motive as to why the ball joint is replaceable separately in the "XI" cars, my guess would be that it wears out faster than the bushing due to the all wheel drive.
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Old 07-14-2017, 06:53 AM
pocholin pocholin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
A symptom of a defective hydro bearing is a front end shake when you apply the brakes at low speed. It's possible to press out the old one from the thrust arm and install a new unit to save money but you need a 10 ton press at the minimum. This can only be done once per arm.
My hydro bearings never leaked but did have vibrations. At work I have access to a 20 Ton press, so I changed the bearings myself, easy enough, just make sure you align it in the proper ways (there are markings) and you need to tighten the bolts with the car on a ramp (not in jack or stands). Made a big difference, it made a bigger difference when I replaced the front lower control arms as well. My car has 110k miles, I do believe their useful life is 80-90k.
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Old 07-14-2017, 07:59 AM
twh twh is offline
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As gmak2012 said, the ball joint will probably last longer. When my bushings ruptured, I drove on them for a year. Not a big deal. Finally changed them and the ball joints. The old ball joints seemed fine, but they are cheap enough that, if you're already going to all that trouble, just replace them. As for the bushings...just get the TRW control arms off Amazon. They were the *exact* same part used by the factory on my car and, at $70-ish a side, they were much less expensive than going Lemforder. Heck, you can't buy the bushing alone for less than $35-40 a side.
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Old 07-14-2017, 05:53 PM
chamilun chamilun is offline
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you'll get that characteristic sort of pops over bumps or concrete changes in the road. my experience is they tend to just loosen over time. they dont pop until they are really really worn
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