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Thread: Thrust arm success! Now: Center steering link

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default Thrust arm success! Now: Center steering link

    Thanks for all the help fellas!

    We got the thrust arm to break free of the steering plate. Took it to a friend that has a vise and a big air hammer. Braaap and pop! Game over. Beauty. I have that side all buttoned up and am now replacing the tie rods, idler arm and center link. I have all the nuts off and have broken the tie rods loose with the puller, but, how to get at the ball joints from the center link to the idler arm and the pitman arm? There is no space for the puller in there! I would pull the idler arm since it is being replaced, but I am thinking a I don't want to pull the pitman arm, do I? Wouldn't that really monkey up the alignment? Yes, it's going to be aligned anyway, but that seems like a no no.

    I just love the descriptions in the manuals "take of the nut, separate the ball joint". Riigggghhht!

    Really appreciate all the assistance!
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Gulf Coastal Mississippi
    Posts
    47

    Default

    well, you can do what I've done..... drop the entire cross member, then change it while it's down. It's a piece of cake OFF the car!
    Sorry that doesn't help one bit, just couldn't resist. I'm repainting the engine bay & engine, as I have it all apart. For real, I believe there is room to get a pickle fork (pneumatic/air version) in there and pop the joints loose. That's about the only idea I can come up with while it's all on the car. Good luck. Let us know if you have success another way.
    1991 535i 176k (under serious surgery: repaint, interior swap, manual conversion, etc.)
    1993 750iL 132k

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Gained space with heat shields off, there is more room, but my little puller is the wrong type to remove those ball joints between the center arm and the idler and pitman arms. It's just too thick to get it in between those parts.

    I'll have to figure another way.

    Damn. I'm so close!

    Really wanting to get the back together and get it aligned to see how much improvement has been made!
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    BMW tool looks like this:

    http://www.automotivetools.com/cgi-l...a2a+1088382468

    I'll have to try and find something similar
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    404

    Default

    JCWhitney has on that's a whole lot cheaper and very effective.

    http://www.bimmer.info/forum/showthread.php?t=2288

    Paul Shovestul


    Quote Originally Posted by Super90
    BMW tool looks like this:

    http://www.automotivetools.com/cgi-l...a2a+1088382468

    I'll have to try and find something similar
    .....Got to keep the loonies on the paath.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,148

    Default Checker auto parts here , which is advance auto in

    San Antonio has a loaner tool that consists of a kit with about 6 different nicely constructed pullers. One of which is a lever type that will remove your center link .. You pay the deposit and get your money back when you're done







    Quote Originally Posted by Super90
    BMW tool looks like this:

    http://www.automotivetools.com/cgi-l...a2a+1088382468

    I'll have to try and find something similar

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Advanced doesn't have anything. Your guys at Checker are far better. I checked with a couple of other parts houses and Sears. Nothing. My neighbor that is a Matco dealer might have something, but I can't reach him.

    Will also check Harbor Freight and Northern Tools tomorrow, but they don't usually have what I am looking for.

    Looks like we have to wait until Monday.

    Very disappointing. So close, yet so far.
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Gave up on the center arm for now. Re-assembled with all the old steering bits, put on the tires and dropped it on some ramps. Got everything settled in and tightened the bolts on the thrust arms. Not enough space under my ramps to get it to the 95 ft lbs. I probably have them at about 75 ft lbs and will have to find some taller ramps to really tighten things. I'm not really going anywhere until that happens.

    Will be looking for a tool to pull the center arm ball joints that connect to the idler arm and the pitman arm.

    More news later
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Dallas, TX
    Posts
    155

    Default

    Bill, is this the lever type puller I am looking for to pull the pitman and idler arms loose?

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...AT500_pg43.htm

    Going to gather tools and re-attack!!!

    Thanks!
    Robert Callaway
    Dallas, TX
    '94 530im 143k mi
    '94 Land Cruiser FZJ-80 202k mi.

    "If I could have back all the time and money I ever spent on cars.......I'd spend it all on cars."

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    4,148

    Default Robert since your's is kind of a one shot deal I would just

    mark the alignment of the pittman arm to the teeth on the steering box and also mark it for how far the pittman arm is slid onto the steering box shaft, then undo the pinch bolt that holds the pittman arm onto the shaft, then undo the bolts that hold the idler arm assy to the body and remove the whole assy so you again have room to get a puller on the pittman arm or you can grab the center link in the vise and use a picklefork to separate them if you don't have a puller that will fit... I don't think i'd buy a specialized puller just for this one job. Autozone has a number of loaner tool pullers also since you don't have a checkers nearby.










    Quote Originally Posted by Super90
    Bill, is this the lever type puller I am looking for to pull the pitman and idler arms loose?

    http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/cata...AT500_pg43.htm

    Going to gather tools and re-attack!!!

    Thanks!

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