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Old 01-03-2014, 04:19 AM
ngcreese ngcreese is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Germantown, MD
Posts: 37
ngcreese is on a distinguished road
Finally went and did it...

Installed Bilstein HD shocks and struts, control arms, tension struts and ball joints, along with 4 new wheel bearings.

You would think I was keeping my dad out late... but it was actually the other way around! lol!!

All finished...

The most useful tools for the work:
Slide Hammer kit (60327) -- for pulling hubs off.
Large Bearing Seperator (3979) -- for pulling an inner race off hub.
Front Wheel Bearing Adapters (66829) -- this kit fits PERFECTLY over BMW x3 wheel bearings and pressed them in and out, with ease!!! In fact, my compressor died when I was on the last wheel bearing, and press on and off was still way easy using my torque wrench.

Sears' small 2 jaw puller came in handy for separating out the tension strut from it's ball joint.

Some good healthy whacks from a 5 pound mallet separated the control arm from the steering knuckle.

I left the tie rods connected to the steering knuckle since I wasn't replacing them with new ones at this time.

None of the actual ball joint tools I had, would fit properly. Bavauto's tierod puller (266H) seemed to be too small. Harbor Freight's front end kit (60306) had ball joint seperators in it that were either not thin enough or oddly shaped. Harbor Freight does sell an individual ball joint seperator (99849) that looks like it would fit... but it was out of stock when I needed it.

I used Sears' large (7 ton) 2 jaw puller to press out the rear CV axles, mainly cause I already had the tool and you can grip the back side of the hub. I ended up renting a Powerbuilt hub puller tool from Advance Auto to bolt onto the hub using lugs and press out the front CV axles. Because of the dust guard around the front hubs, you cannot grip them with a 2 jaw puller. In hind site, I might keep an eye out for a more complete slide hammer/hub puller set that can do both axle pressing and hub pulling. Or, find a center bolt that fits my slide hammer's flange.

Sears' MAX Axess kit came in handy for dealing with ball joints and strut nuts. The hollow centered nuts extensions and ratchets, allowed for long allen keys and star bits to pass through the center to prevent threaded shafts from spinning.

Found an awesome dual tank top radiant heater by Dyna-Glo, fueled by propane, at Homedepot. That thing put out about 30,000 BTUs on high. It generated so much heat, that it never got set above medium. I don't think I could have done the work, or had my father hang out with me so long, without it.

Would have waited until the summer but it's not often that so many things like encouragement, time off, a great autoparts sale, and money, line up so perfectly.
'07 e83 x3
'91 e30 325i

BMWCCA Member... 20% off BMW Parts, 10% off BMW Labor... best $50 / year you'll ever spend!

Last edited by ngcreese; 01-05-2014 at 10:11 PM.
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