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Major thanks to Fudman and Hotswimmer

603 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  seemyad
Just replaced the thrust arms on my wife's 02 530i. Hotswimmer's article was painstakingly well written and very helpful while Fudman took the time to read my call for help, add his own advise and lead me to the article. Again, many thanks and some antidotes on my own experience with this procedure.

The driver's side arm came off without even applying the ball joint breaker tool. It was (probably not by coincidence) the broken one - as evidenced by leaking fluid at the bushing end. The passenger side, however, fought me to the death (I won).

I used a breaker tool from NAPA that looks very similar to the ones recommended in this forum. However, after massive torquing and some 11 hours of waiting for the joint to pop...... nothing. Finally, and I hate to admit this, I removed the tool from the joint, applied a brass drift, drilling hammer and took out my frustration by pounding the threaded stud sticking out below ball joint. Know what happens when you do that? In this case the entire socket that the ball joint stud fits into (at the very bottom of the steering knuckle) pops out! :( No worry. Just time to break out the cutting wheel, 4" C clamp and (thanks to friend) hydraulic press. It takes a bit of finesse but you can cut through the thick end of the ball joint without harming the socket. This thing was jammed so firmly into the socket that even the 12 ton press took a lot of pumping. Just when I was starting to get really frustrated, I stepped away from the press to reevaluate my circumstances and POW! The stud finally shot free. The C clamp was all it took to re-install the socket into the steering knuckle and, viola - back to the tail end of the procedure in Bentley and/or Hotswimmer's article.
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Glad you were able to fix it! A somewhat different but resourceful approach too!
Knowledge is contagious. Way to go!
Glad you were able to fix it! A somewhat different but resourceful approach too!
1 - 3 of 3 Posts
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