Home Forums Articles How To's FAQ Register
Go Back   Xoutpost.com > BMW SAV Forums > X5 (E53) Forum
Arnott
User Name
Password
Member List Premier Membership Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Xoutpost server transfer and maintenance is occurring....
Xoutpost is currently undergoing a planned server migration.... stay tuned for new developments.... sincerely, the management


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 01-14-2021, 12:59 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 2
SBBimmer is on a distinguished road
Can't get the control arm to subframe bolt back on. Help!

I am replacing the rear upper control arms on my e53 X5. I did the left side without major problems (just some minor inconveniences) but I am now on the right side and completely stuck. I am putting the new wheel carrier to subframe arm back in and I can't for the life of me get the bolt back into the subframe. It is supposed to go from the front to the back, but between the axle, the brake line and the wheel carrier there is no way to get my hand up in there (I got it out with a pry bar). I have tried needle nose vice grips and coating the bolt head in electrical tape to keep it on a wrench, but neither provides the combination of leverage and precise direction I need. I can get a smaller diameter bolt through, so I know the arm is close to being lined up, but it's hard to tell if the proper bolt will even fit through the hole in the subframe (it almost seems too big, but of course it's not).

From the side of the car the coil spring is in the way and if I use an extension to get around it then I am bumping up against the wheel well before I can get a straight angle. Has anyone done this? Do you have a trick or tool that you use? It seems to me that the bolt needs to be perfectly lined up to go in. I've spent a full day on this one bolt and I need my car back! Don't know why i didn't have the same problem on the left side.

My car is a 2001 X5 3.0i with the standard coil spring rear suspension. Picture of the hole I'm trying to get the bolt through below. Thanks.
Attached Images
 
Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links

  #2  
Old 01-14-2021, 01:18 AM
crystalworks's Avatar
Premier Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2014
Location: SA, TX
Posts: 5,184
crystalworks is on a distinguished road
My wife's has sport spring/strut front suspension. I don't remember having a hard time (for long) lining things up. But I do have multiple jacks and a wide selection of pry bars at my disposal. Have you tried a jack under the wheel carrier (knuckle) to see if you get the inward movement or some necessary play?

Edit: Just realized this is e53 not e70. I bounce between the 2 sub forums as we own one of each. My wife's is the e70. The suggestion should still apply though. I remember that control arm bolt now on mine (the e53) and it definitely took a combination of Jack and pry bar to get it lined up. Though at the time I did the front end rebuild the truck still had front air suspension.
__________________
2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)


2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)

Last edited by crystalworks; 01-14-2021 at 02:55 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 01-14-2021, 01:26 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2019
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 335
Effduration is on a distinguished road
Would it help to remove the coil spring with a set of spring compressors (they have to be on the thin side) and then reinstall them afterwards?
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 01-14-2021, 01:41 PM
upallnight's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cook County
Posts: 7,065
upallnight is on a distinguished road
don't need to remove the coil spring or anything else. I replace the thrust arm also on my E53 3.0 and you just need to mess with it until it goes in. If you need a pry bar to get it out, you know you are in for some swearing when it is time to put it back in.
__________________
2006 Infiniti G35
2001 BMW 3.0I E53 X5 Build date 08/2000 SOLD
Lotus Europa 1970 Destroyed by fire
Lotus Europa 1970 S2 Renault Powered
Lotus Type 52 1970 Twincam Webers Powered
PORSCHE 911 Targa 1982 The Garage Queen
Audi Avant donated to Kars for Kids
BMW 525IT Sold
Audi 4000CS Quattro Sold
Jensen Healey Lotus Powered Sold
Opel 1900 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1971 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1968 Sold
Plymouth "Cuda" 340 Six pack SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-14-2021, 01:55 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,157
oldskewel is on a distinguished road
+1 on the general trick mentioned by @crystalworks

With the car on jackstands, set the parking brake and you can easily jack up the suspension at the brake rotor top-hat. Do this carefully to get yourself the adjustment or free-play you need. Especially on these cars, without doing that, the spring will have things under so much stress that it will be near impossible to make adjustments.

Or if you find one of the coils in the spring exactly in the wrong place, blocking your bolt insertion, careful jacking will move it out of the way so you can thread the needle.

Jacking the suspension like this is a general trick to be used all the time. Such as ... the spec for suspension bushings is usually that they be torqued only once the suspension is fully loaded as if the car is on the ground. That is so the rubber bushings are not pre-loaded to tear easily; they're to be locked in at the middle of their range of motion.

Doing that can be tough if the bolts are buried deep. But what is easy is to have the car on jack stands and jack up the suspension so the geometry matches whatever it is when the car is on the ground. You can confirm this by measuring the hub to fender distance, or you can just jack until the car starts to unload the jackstands - same position either way, generally (although it does vary depending on exactly what point you are jacking the suspension at).
__________________
2001 X5 3.0i, 190k miles, AT, owned since 2014
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 01-14-2021, 04:00 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Finland
Posts: 614
Clavurion is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by oldskewel View Post
But what is easy is to have the car on jack stands and jack up the suspension so the geometry matches whatever it is when the car is on the ground. You can confirm this by measuring the hub to fender distance, or you can just jack until the car starts to unload the jackstands - same position either way, generally (although it does vary depending on exactly what point you are jacking the suspension at).
Remember that you should disconnect stabiliser link when jacking the hub. Otherwise part of the weight is distributed to other axle via stabiliser and the vehicle rises off the stand before the hub is in neutral position.
__________________
E39 530dA -02 M-Sport Messing metallic
E53 X5 3.0dA -06 Sport Stratus grey
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-14-2021, 05:51 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2021
Location: Santa Barbara
Posts: 2
SBBimmer is on a distinguished road
Thanks for all the suggestions. I finally got it back together, largely using a combination of jacking under the wheel carrier, more swearing and a bit of McGuyver. On the left side I had to lower the hub (with weight) to get the ball joint bolt back in so this time I had left the ball joint disconnected assuming that would make it easier to get the subframe bolt in. But for reasons I can't explain, on the right side I had to jack up the wheel carrier to get the ball joint connected and then jack it further up to get the subframe bolt through (which was still tough, but mostly accomplished with a socket on a flexible extension inserted from in front of the coil spring (electrical tape on the bolt head to keep it in place).

Yes, Effduration, it would be much easier to get to if I removed the coil spring, but I have never done that, don't have a spring compressor and have no idea how difficult that would be. Thanks Oldskewel and Clavurion for the tips on jacking for torquing. Yes, upallnight, I knew when I pried it out there would be cursing putting it back, but I didn't know it would be days of cursing over one bolt.

Now I just have to reinstall the forward camber arm, but that looks easy (famous last words).

Thanks again to all.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-14-2021, 06:58 PM
upallnight's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Cook County
Posts: 7,065
upallnight is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by SBBimmer View Post
Thanks for all the suggestions. I finally got it back together, largely using a combination of jacking under the wheel carrier, more swearing and a bit of McGuyver. On the left side I had to lower the hub (with weight) to get the ball joint bolt back in so this time I had left the ball joint disconnected assuming that would make it easier to get the subframe bolt in. But for reasons I can't explain, on the right side I had to jack up the wheel carrier to get the ball joint connected and then jack it further up to get the subframe bolt through (which was still tough, but mostly accomplished with a socket on a flexible extension inserted from in front of the coil spring (electrical tape on the bolt head to keep it in place).

Yes, Effduration, it would be much easier to get to if I removed the coil spring, but I have never done that, don't have a spring compressor and have no idea how difficult that would be. Thanks Oldskewel and Clavurion for the tips on jacking for torquing. Yes, upallnight, I knew when I pried it out there would be cursing putting it back, but I didn't know it would be days of cursing over one bolt.

Now I just have to reinstall the forward camber arm, but that looks easy (famous last words).

Thanks again to all.
I was right about the swearing. Been there done that.
__________________
2006 Infiniti G35
2001 BMW 3.0I E53 X5 Build date 08/2000 SOLD
Lotus Europa 1970 Destroyed by fire
Lotus Europa 1970 S2 Renault Powered
Lotus Type 52 1970 Twincam Webers Powered
PORSCHE 911 Targa 1982 The Garage Queen
Audi Avant donated to Kars for Kids
BMW 525IT Sold
Audi 4000CS Quattro Sold
Jensen Healey Lotus Powered Sold
Opel 1900 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1971 Sold
Triumph Spitfire 1968 Sold
Plymouth "Cuda" 340 Six pack SOLD
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 01-17-2021, 01:33 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: SF Bay Area
Posts: 1,157
oldskewel is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by Clavurion View Post
Remember that you should disconnect stabiliser link when jacking the hub. Otherwise part of the weight is distributed to other axle via stabiliser and the vehicle rises off the stand before the hub is in neutral position.
It's true that leaving the stabilizer links connected will mean that the link is pulling the side you're working on down, assuming that the other side is in the air as well, so the stabilizer bar is torqued.

But what you are actually aiming for here is not to match the grounded force by each component, but rather the resulting on-the-ground bushing geometry. So measuring hub center to fender lip distance is what you acutally want to be matched, regardless of what forces and torques put it in that position.

If the car is off the ground and the suspension is jacked up so that distance matches, then the suspension bushings will be in the same geometry as if they were on the ground, and you can torque them safely.

So rather than take the extra step of disconnecting the sway bar link, I jack a little further out to compensate for leaving that extra force on the suspension. And BTW, it's not just final torquing - the bushing bolts should be loose enough that they can freely find their stress-free rest positions.

I actually just replaced my guide links and did an alignment, so I went ahead and measured things so I could provide solid info.

With the car on the ground, I measured 18-1/4" from hub center to the underside of the fender lip. When jacking the suspension prior to final torquing, I had the jack contact point about one inch inward of the outer edge of the brake rotor top hat (so this is further outboard vs. where the effective force center from an installed wheel on the ground would be, so the same force would give more torque, giving a little extra spring compression and suspension movement). I jacked until the car just started to lift off the jack stand.

I measured the hub-fender distance at 18-1/8", so actually a little more compressed, but within measurement error, so I'll call it the same. And not needing to touch the stabilizer link was nice.

Simplified summary: the stabilizer link is pulling upward, but due to choosing a further-outboard jacking point, the lifting torque is greater, and they offset if you do it right.


- also, well done @SBBimmer. And I'll say it was a good move to not try to compress the springs. I think that step has caused many people a lot of problems since it is very difficult to find spring compressors that will fit in the tight space there. I am lucky (or not) to have some really old compressors from back when cars weighed half what my X5 weighs. Those barely fit, and I use them only to hold the spring in a compressed state, not to compress it further. Very tough to find new ones that fit, as far as I know.
__________________
2001 X5 3.0i, 190k miles, AT, owned since 2014

Last edited by oldskewel; 01-17-2021 at 01:39 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 09:44 AM.
vBulletin, Copyright 2021, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
2017 Xoutpost.com. All rights reserved. Xoutpost.com is a private enthusiast site not associated with BMW AG.
The BMW name, marks, M stripe logo, and Roundel logo as well as X3, X5 and X6 designations used in the pages of this Web Site are the property of BMW AG.
This web site is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with BMW AG or any of its subsidiaries.