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Did my control arms - should I be pissed?

3407 Views 13 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  TerraPhantm
EDIT - Note the later posts - there was a generally happy ending here.

So I did the front control arms this morning. Decent job that went well. I have some concerns with the parts I bought and installed. I was not fully aware that there was an issue until the first original control arm was off the car, and since it was removed with a pickle fork, there was no going back and reinstalling at that point - the boots were ripped. The new arms had to be installed and are now on the car. Given that the old arms had 80K miles on them, the new arms feel better, though I don't think they are the right dang part.....

I bought the arms from Pelican. They have as good a reputation for German car parts as anyone. Going against what I see as the forum's consensus opinion, I bought the ZHP original-part-number-arms, which Pelican carries as a Lemforder part. The correct part number was clearly printed on the bags holding the parts. The arms did not have the little blue M stickers, but I didn't figure that was all that big of a deal. I did not buy the Meyle HD arms (which are a few bucks less expensive). That part number is supposed to have the all-metal ball joint, certainly if you buy it from BMW.....

Then the original arm came off and I could compare the two. The outer ball joints on these are supposed to be all metal. The original arm clearly is all metal. The new arm does not appear to be all metal. See the first picture attached, the steel of the shaft on the original arm carries through to the mounting surface of the balljoint. This is clearly not the case on the new arm. Part number match or not, the new arm does not seem to have an all-metal outer ball joint.

In addition, the outer ball joints on the two arms appear to be different, or certainly have different housing cast into the arm for the outer ball joint. See pics 3047 and 3048 which show the bottoms of the two arms (one lying on the floor, one installed already). The right-side arm has a big external sleeve looking bit on it. Is it me, or does it look like a reman?

So do I open up a call with Pelican and pitch a bitch, or is this not actually a problem?

Thanks for the insights ---
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