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Thread: Removing the Thrust Arm Ball Joint

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    162

    Default Removing the Thrust Arm Ball Joint

    Hi,

    I'm getting mentally prepared to replace the thrust arms on my E34 535 (parts on their way from, whom else, bma). Two questions come to mind:

    First, is the BMW ball joint puller available for rent from any of the major parts places? Has anyone had success using a generic puller?

    Secondly, Bentley does not offer a torque spec for the nut on the ball joint for the thrust arm (perhaps I missed it?) but does mention 68 lbs-ft for the ball joint on the control arm. What should one torque to, 68?

    Thanks for your input,
    Adnan

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,148

    Default

    I was going to make a strut arm change page but very few people expressed any interest when i asked about it so it got shelved. At any rate you can remove the bottom bolts that attach to the strut as seen here and then remove the sway bar link on one end. Then remove the tie rod from the steering knuckle with a conventional puller Then remove the bolts that attach the thrust arm to the frame and the lower control arm to the frame. Then you remove the whole thing as a unit as pictured. I was going to show you how to separate the thrust arm ball joint in a vise with a hammer but I thought that a number of you might not have a vice of sufficient size to support it... so I thought about it and decided to come up with an easy field fabricated method that anybody could separate the joints with. By supporting the knuckle on a couple of impact sockets (Improvise here) I supported it solidly so it couldn't deflect or more and then I hit the ball stud one whack, didn't even take a very hard whack and they pop right out when supported as shown..





    and yes the torque is 68.5
    Last edited by shogun; 11-16-2018 at 08:03 AM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    221

    Default

    That's pretty slick Bill R. I have a question though. If I just replace the bushings, couldn't I just take that assembly to a shop and have them pressed out, without removing the ball joints?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,148

    Default

    mileage, if you check them after removing the assy. you'll find that both ball joints will have play in them. So for this reason if i were doing my own i would just go ahead and replace both the thrust arm and the control arm if I planned on keeping the car for quite a while yet....Patrick can give you a pretty good price on the thrust arm with the bushings installed, the ones in these pics had 90k something miles on it and the boots were torn and the joints were loose , so at you're mileage i would probably just replace the assy. unless the ball joints felt nice and tight which is unlikely.
    Last edited by shogun; 11-16-2018 at 08:02 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Japan
    Posts
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Japan
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    Default


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