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Old 09-28-2007, 01:10 PM   #1
zipwax

Name: zipwax
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How to get control arms off?

I'm replacing the control arms on my 1999 M3, the bushings are bad and I suspect the ball joints have some slop. I CANNOT figure out how to get the inner ball joint nut off!! There is a metal tube that goes right past the nut on top of it (I think power steering?) and there is some huge THING right next to the nut to the rear that prevents using a box wrench. I don't think I can get a socket down from the top of the engine compartment (though the local service place says this is possible), and I can't use an open ended 21mm wrench down below because there's no place to turn it. Stubbies don't work because there's not enough torque to get the nut undone. What am I missing here?!

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Old 09-28-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
xsperf
 
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i did this on my e36 and i used a wrench to get it off, and actually when i was putting it back on(well the guy who was helping me, actually) was even able to get a ratchet and socket on there, there is no reason to try to come from the top

EDIT: and yes, for the wrench, it took me FOREVER. there is barely any room, but slowly and steadily it can be done, and there is something called a crowfoot, where its like a wrench except you hook up a ratchet to it, it helps sometimes but can still be a pain
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Old 09-28-2007, 10:55 PM   #3
zipwax

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I figured it out. I finally figured out you CAN use a THIN box-wrench down below, especially if you drop the sway bar (which I didn't need to do). I still couldn't use the open-end wrench part because it didn't angle right. But the spindle started turning so that was no good. No hex slot in the top, so I can't keep it from turning. So took out 2 13mm bolts in oil resevoir and literally pushed on the metal power steering line above the ball joint nut until it would slightly move out of the way and I could drop 2 foot extention + 21mm rachet socket down from above, and have friend crank on it while I squeezed the **** out of the spindle with some needle-nosed vice-grips. Finally the nut spun off, thank god. The inner ball joint dropped out like it was greased but I had to really REALLY pound the outer ball joint with a pickle-fork (got a Sears) and finally when I thought it couldn't take a larger beating, it popped off. I have no idea how people do this normally but that spinning spindle was a real beast.
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:02 PM   #4
xsperf
 
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yep, that happened too, actually it happened with both the outer and the inner ball joint, although i was doing it on a lift so i just took this tool/lift/really tall screw thing(sorry i have no idea what its called, but its like a tall jack, about as tall as a person, except its not hydraulic, its just a screw) and you take it and you push up on the ball joint and it stops it from spinning
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Old 09-28-2007, 11:19 PM   #5
zipwax

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Odd all the DIY articles you see don't mention the spindles spinning but your solution of pushing up on the ball joint is interesting and I hope useful to other people. Hope this article helps somebody else out cause it took me 3 days to figure this out.
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