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Thread: Control Arm Diagnosis

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005

    Default Control Arm Diagnosis

    I have some questions about the front end of my 1989 535i (250,000km)

    I've been hunting through the posts, but would like a definitive answer... When the car is jacked up, should there be any movement in the ball joint of the lower control arm?

    There doesn't appear to be any movement on the right side, but my left side lower control arm ball joint moves a lot! I get a lot of clunking when traveling over smal bumps but haven't noticed the clunking when stopping symptom of worn out upper/thrust arm bushings.

    Car is beginning to get vague handling at 80 - 90 km/h

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2006


    There should be no movement in any of the ball type joints, including the tie rods. There can be detectable, but very small movement in the rubber bushings if pryed with a long prybar.

    Some manufacturers accept up and down movement as acceptable in a ball joint, but any side to side or in and out is not acceptable.

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