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  #11  
Old 01-03-2014, 04:19 AM
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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:
Harborfreight's
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.
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'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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  #12  
Old 01-03-2014, 10:18 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: Kentucky
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Bright Red is on a distinguished road
Well done!

Well done! Thank you for posting.
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  #13  
Old 01-05-2014, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Germantown, MD
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ngcreese is on a distinguished road
Quick follow up on this work...
Took the X3 to my favorite BMW dealership for an alignment and inspection of the work. The alignment is now dead on. Overall mechanic thought my suspension & control arms install went well. However, he mentioned that he thought he heard what could be a failing wheel bearing in the rear somewhere. I dismissed this since I just installed new bearings for all four wheels...

It occurred to me later that I made one install mistake:
A) When pressing the bearing into its carrier, press by the outer (larger) race of the bearing.
B) When pressing the hub into the bearing, press by the inner (smaller) race of the bearing.

I did these two things properly for my front bearings. But I didn't press my hubs in by the inner race on the rear. So, I guess I'll be heading back in there next weekend for another go at. This time, I've ordered the bearings from Pelican Parts. So, roughly 110.00 for two bearings vs roughly 850.00 (after discounts) for the dealer to do it. I think that's worth a day out in the cold.

Funny enough, my wife bought one of those 10x10 ez up shelters for one of her projects. I think I'm going to set it up and work on the car inside it... lol!

I'll take more detailed pics this time...
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'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 10:12 PM.
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  #14  
Old 05-01-2014, 09:24 AM
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ngcreese is on a distinguished road
Just following up from work done at Christmas time...
The reinstall of new rear bearings went well, second time around.

I have to apologize for not taking pics. I just wanted to get in and out as quickly as possible... it was COLD out there in the drive way.

In hind sight, I wish I had done the suspension work before buying new tires and wheels. The old suspension wore out the pair of new tires mounted in the rear.... BADLY. So badly that I ended up buying two brand new tires to replace the pair that had worn out pre-maturely .... sheesh.

Before replacing the pair of tires, I held onto hope that driving might wear-in the tires such that the loud thumping sounds would go away.... no such luck.

After two snowboarding road trips totaling 2000 miles... i couldn't wait to get those grumpy noisy bably worn tires ripped off the car.

After changing those two tires... all is well.
__________________
'07 e83 x3
'91 e30 325i



BMWCCA Member... 20% off BMW Parts, 10% off BMW Labor... best $50 / year you'll ever spend!
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  #15  
Old 05-01-2014, 09:32 AM
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Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Germantown, MD
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ngcreese is on a distinguished road
Had the dealer replace the sunroof seal around my suv's moonroof... I can now hold a conversation with my wife with the moonroof's sunvisor open... lol.

This was basically not possible/practicle before this fix...

The difference in the level of quiet is dramatically different! There now seems to be nearly no difference in noise level weather the sunvisor is open or closed.

Wow! It wasn't a cheap fix but it was worth it.
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'07 e83 x3
'91 e30 325i



BMWCCA Member... 20% off BMW Parts, 10% off BMW Labor... best $50 / year you'll ever spend!
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  #16  
Old 05-22-2014, 12:16 PM
Z@T Z@T is offline
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Great thread and updates..
Keep em going!!!

I did the Mediabridge as well on my wife's ex X3, my Z4 and the M3.
Best audio gadget!
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  #17  
Old 07-10-2014, 03:53 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MAdison, WI
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alichak is on a distinguished road
awesome DIY! I'm planning to do the same, just 3 questions:

1.how you managed to initially wrap the cargo strap around the old spring while it was already there? I mean, seems hard to reach .

2. did you check maximum tensile stress, or load the cargo strap can handle? or just trusted your gut feeling on it ?

3. my car's coil spring seems to have a part number of 33533413080, do you know if it is different from 33533413081 that you used? any thoughts on that?

Thanks a lot!
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  #18  
Old 07-21-2014, 12:17 AM
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Hi man sorry for the delay in respoding.

1) I disconnected my rear anti-sway bar from my swingarms. Then used my floor jack to raise the swingarm to compress the spring. While compressed, i snaked in some cargo straps, wrapping the coils several times.

2) I was aware of the large tensile strength of a typical cargo strap, easily 2000lbs plus. So i over compensated by wrapping the straps more than six times on two opposite sides of the compressed coil.

3) The part number I used, is the heavier duty version. Helps with towing and homedepot runs.
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'07 e83 x3
'91 e30 325i



BMWCCA Member... 20% off BMW Parts, 10% off BMW Labor... best $50 / year you'll ever spend!
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  #19  
Old 07-21-2014, 12:00 PM
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Join Date: Jul 2013
Location: MAdison, WI
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alichak is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by ngcreese View Post
Hi man sorry for the delay in respoding.

1) I disconnected my rear anti-sway bar from my swingarms. Then used my floor jack to raise the swingarm to compress the spring. While compressed, i snaked in some cargo straps, wrapping the coils several times.

2) I was aware of the large tensile strength of a typical cargo strap, easily 2000lbs plus. So i over compensated by wrapping the straps more than six times on two opposite sides of the compressed coil.

3) The part number I used, is the heavier duty version. Helps with towing and homedepot runs.
thanks a bunch, will see how I will do mine...
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