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BMW_Cholo
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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone had to change control arms yet on their F30? I read that the bushing often fails and the whole arm needs to be replaced. Couple questions i was wondering. Are the TRW parts decent or should i go strictly with the BMW replacement part. Difference in part price is about $100. And recommended to replace both at same time even if only one has failed. I included pic of the bad driver side lower forward control arm. Could this be a DIY replacement job? Two bolts and pins per side. Or after replacing the control arms does a full alignment need to be completed? Thanks for your input. 01e39d91-ef3a-40b2-9909-faa7eee6be33.jpg


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TRW and Lemfeorder are OE for suspension parts, so no need to spend the extra $ for BMW branded. Technically you can replace just the bushings, but you need a hydraulic press, but for the same money you can replace the whole arm yourself. And yes, this is def a DIY job. Replace both sides and replace the bolts as they are a single use item. No alignment is needed; all alignment adjustments are done at the strut tower.
 

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Since you need to replace them, you could take this opportunity to upgrade to M3 control arms for better handling. Check out Keis Motorsports channel, as he has show how to do the job.
 

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BMW_Cholo
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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the responses

I will definitely go for the TRW and do this job DIY. Anyone know if I will need to compress or raise the wheel hub in order to remove and reinstall the control arm? I also like the advice on upgrading to the M3 control arms but may save that upgrade for my 335 for the looks and handling I would imagine would be more appreciated in the 335. Thanks Again!
 

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Tighten the bolt at the wheel carrier, then tighten the bushing side bolt with the wheel at ride height.


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I will definitely go for the TRW and do this job DIY. Anyone know if I will need to compress or raise the wheel hub in order to remove and reinstall the control arm? I also like the advice on upgrading to the M3 control arms but may save that upgrade for my 335 for the looks and handling I would imagine would be more appreciated in the 335. Thanks Again!
The first is the M3 control arm upgrade video, which shows how to remove, so installation will be reverse.

Do note that M3 control arm can fit non-M RWD only, as evident by 2nd video describing $2800 mistake by installing M3 control arm on a 335i XDrive(sad DIY story).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zaEcGa2lAMY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iL_Xgl-Hb-s
 

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BMW_Cholo
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Discussion Starter #7
Ok so got both control arms replaced with TRW new arms. I inspected the original arms (kept them) that have 123K miles on them. Only one looked to be going bad and wasnt fully blasted at the bushing. The other looked fine but I took the recommendation to replace both at the same time. Here is my question about the original arms. Is there a place anyone can recommend that would replace both sets of bushings? Maybe ship off arms, the company replaces both bushing sides on each arm and ships back? I have another 3 series Bimmer and would like to have a spare set when those arms go bad. Has anyone ever done that? I would hate to toss the original arms but at the same time if brand new arms cost as much as replacing the bushing then so be it. Has anyone ever done this before Thanks!
 

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Is there a place anyone can recommend that would replace both sets of bushings? Maybe ship off arms, the company replaces both bushing sides on each arm and ships back? I have another 3 series Bimmer and would like to have a spare set when those arms go bad. Has anyone ever done that? I would hate to toss the original arms but at the same time if brand new arms cost as much as replacing the bushing then so be it. Has anyone ever done this before Thanks!
If the bushings are available separately, I'd think any quality independent shop with a hydraulic press could do the job.
There's a guy from Atlanta on the E46 forum that offers the service - maybe he can help you:
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=892544&highlight=control+arm
 

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BMW_Cholo
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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the quick reply. I found the bushings online but what about the ball joints on the control arms cant seem to find them? The original arms have the ball joints intact and they seem connected but they have a lot of play in them and not sure how much play those ball joints on the other side of the control arm should have resistance. Im referring to the side of the arm that connects to the wheel. I will also reach out to the guy you referred he seems to move a lot of them control arms so he knows what he is doing for sure.
 

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IMO, it's nore trouble and expense then it's worth to replace the ball joint and bushing. Swapping out a whole new arm, especially if you're doing it yourself, is the way to go.
 
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