Thread: E39 Faq....
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Unread 09-08-2007, 09:08 PM   #55

Name: Dudesky
Title: Run Far
Status: Offline
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Jersey City, NJ
Rate My Car: 106 / 340
Your Ride: E39 530iA
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Replacing Thrust Arms on E39 530i

I just did this today, what a PITA. Though I'd share some of my experience. Replacing the thrust arms, or as BMW calls them "tension struts", on a 530i is similar to the 540i DIY in post #51 of this thread, except for a few key differences:

--The arms are installed in reverse from that of the 540i; that is, the ball joint sits above the steering knuckle, not below. This means that you have to slide the steering knuckle down even further than on the 540 to get the ball joint out.

--Also, the 530 has a metal cylindrical insert pressed into the steering knuckle where the ball joint's stem goes in. If you're not using the ball joint tool as shown in post #51 above, and are trying to pop the stem out with a hammer, this insert will pop out instead with the ball joint stem still intact. I had the tool, but its jaws weren't wide enough to grab the ball joint. It's possible that the 525/528/530 arms have longer ball joint stems. Once the thrust arm is off the car, you can use a puller to remove the insert- but be very careful where you attach the puller jaws or you'll end up destroying the insert, which you need to reattach to the steering knuckle.

--On the 530, the sway bar link needs to be disconnected from the steering knuckle, instead of the sway bar bushing in the case of the 540i . . the two are mounted differently, and the 530's bushing assembly does not interfere with the removal of the thrust arm. However, the link has to be disconnected in order to slide the steering knuckle down the strut shaft.

--In order to pull out the bushing bolt on the 530's thrust arm, you must remove the brake ducts as well as the front fender well liner. There is also a plastic cover that goes over the bushing assembly that has to be removed.
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