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Old 01-09-2006, 11:05 AM
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drex drex is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Spacecoast, USA
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Changing Lower Control Arms

Contributed by: Drex

Changing the control arm appears to be something daunting for the most X5 owners. However, most people don't realize the ease with which this can be done. If you can change a tire, you can change the control arm. Total time, about 30 minutes per side.

Tools needed:

22 mm socket
18 mm socket
22 mm wrench
18 mm wrench
3/4" breaker bar with universal joint and short arm extension
3/4" torque wrench
jack stands
mechanic's gloves

Jack the car up. Use a jack stand on the frame support as shown. Remove the tire. Wear gloves.

Unwrench the 18 mm bolt and nut first. Do not take it completely off yet. No need to support either the control arm or the rotor -- its still supported by an anterior wishbone, steering mechanism, drive joint, and another bar. Then completely undo the 22 mm bolt and use either a ball joint tool or a slide-sledge or equivalent. Knock the control arm from its mount to the rotor. Remove the nut and bolt on the 18 mm side, and the control arm just gently wiggles free from its attachment to the frame support.

Order a new 22 mm and 18 mm locknut (parts below #12 and 13) and the appropriate control arm. They now come with the bushings loaded and ready to go. I used the 760 275 on my '03 4.6is. That is for the driver's side. Use the 276 for the passenger side. Each side should be about $59 (includes a 10% BMW CCA discount). Part retails about $65. The two nuts are less than $2.

Here's the TIS:

The tool is not needed. A simple ball joint fork will work. Tap it gently with a hammer to separate the parts.

Now place the control arm back, and replace the bolt and new lock nut to the frame side first. Then replace the rotor side, and use the 22mm wrench to tighten the bolt down to metal. Use the 5.5 allen key to the top of bolt going through the rotor assembly mount. This keeps the inner bolt from rotating while you cinch down the mount/articulating mechanism. See below.

Once the bolt is set and the bottom is dug into the metal base of the rotor, use the socket wrench to tighten the bolt to the torque specs below.

Then replace the tire, and make sure you tighten it to 103 ft-lbs. Then you are done! Thanks to Jeff (UCrewX5) for talking me through it!

Parts list:

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