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  #1  
Old 04-29-2021, 09:08 AM
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Front Lower Control Arms

Shop tells me I知 in need of new control arms and wants to replace the entire part on both sides with OEM equipment at around $450 each. Now based on a quick search I知 finding these parts for around $100 a piece.

My question is, is it necessary to replace the whole control arm because of a small amount of play or is it more effective to replace the bushings with something like a polyurethane bushing from Energy suspension?

Q#2. How difficult would it be to perform a bushing replacement in the driveway?

Based on me being the second owner the lower front control arms have never been serviced.

2004 E53 X5 3.0 completely stock.

Thanks in advance
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2021, 09:38 AM
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Are you maybe talking about the tension struts ?
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalahariBX5 View Post
Shop tells me I知 in need of new control arms and wants to replace the entire part on both sides with OEM equipment at around $450 each. Now based on a quick search I知 finding these parts for around $100 a piece.

My question is, is it necessary to replace the whole control arm because of a small amount of play or is it more effective to replace the bushings with something like a polyurethane bushing from Energy suspension?

Q#2. How difficult would it be to perform a bushing replacement in the driveway?

Based on me being the second owner the lower front control arms have never been serviced.

2004 E53 X5 3.0 completely stock.

Thanks in advance
What type of mechanic ability do you have? Do you have specialty tools like air tools, a ball joint separator tool, a hydraulic press? I installed polyurethane bushings on the lower control arms in my driveway, but I'm a pretty knowledgeable mechanic (my father was an ASE certified mechanic) and I have a lot of tools including air tools. If you are just looking to save money, buy a Toyota or Honda next time instead of a BMW.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
Are you maybe talking about the tension struts ?
No I am talking about the front lower control ams.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:17 AM
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fairly capable and have access to the tools, I'm just trying to get a gauge on time and whether the entire control arm is needed or I can just replace the bushing.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:38 AM
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A few people have done the bushing replace on the sideways front control arms you can find on xo of you search.

When you can get OEM complete for $80 a pair from fcpeuro.com that's the route I take.

I have impact tools so 20 yr old rusty nuts aren't a hindrance. The job is a good starter job for competent DIY mechanic.

Have a second car handy for "gotcha" happenstance.

Loosen the bushing side first, any twist on the ball joint side can make it really hard to remove.

The trick of apply pressure with a crowbar then hitting the wishbone with a hammer not to pound out but to "ring" like tuning fork is a good tip.

I have to do this same procedure and I don't recall doing a write up.

Alignment is required after the new ones are installed. You can get close with string alignment but getting the tie rods loose can be 8/10 difficulty.
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:40 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalahariBX5 View Post
fairly capable and have access to the tools, I'm just trying to get a gauge on time and whether the entire control arm is needed or I can just replace the bushing.
If you have access to the tools it's not that bad.... But it sure as hell isn't enjoyable!!

Of course my frontend takes a beating over here. It seems as if you're talking about an independent shop and not the stealership, so they should be open to installing your parts (bought on sale not chinesium) and that way you save some money and your time.

Sent from my SM-A730F using Tapatalk
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Old 04-29-2021, 10:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KalahariBX5 View Post
No I am talking about the front lower control ams.
The lower control arm is called a tension struts. Images and descriptions taken from Realoem.

How can people on this Board help you if you don't know what you are talking about.
Attached Images
  
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2006 Infiniti G35
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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
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2021, 10:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by andrewwynn View Post
A few people have done the bushing replace on the sideways front control arms you can find on xo of you search.

When you can get OEM complete for $80 a pair from fcpeuro.com that's the route I take.

I have impact tools so 20 yr old rusty nuts aren't a hindrance. The job is a good starter job for competent DIY mechanic.

Have a second car handy for "gotcha" happenstance.

Loosen the bushing side first, any twist on the ball joint side can make it really hard to remove.

The trick of apply pressure with a crowbar then hitting the wishbone with a hammer not to pound out but to "ring" like tuning fork is a good tip.

I have to do this same procedure and I don't recall doing a write up.

Alignment is required after the new ones are installed. You can get close with string alignment but getting the tie rods loose can be 8/10 difficulty.
Unlessd you change the inner and outer tie rod distance you shouldn't have to do a realignment.

An X5 does not have a "wishbone" suspension. My Lotus has upper and lower wishbones in the front suspension.

Oh, look someone made a video of removing the tension struct and changing to polyurethane bushing all while doing it on a driveway.
Hey Andrew you have that old set of tension structs that I sold you that can put polyurethane bushing in.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7_ekrGlb6To
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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

Last edited by upallnight; 04-29-2021 at 10:57 AM.
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2021, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by upallnight View Post
The lower control arm is called a tension struts. Images and descriptions taken from Realoem.

How can people on this Board help you if you don't know what you are talking about.
sorry about that. I am using the terminology that my mechanic, and the other mechanics I have spoken with here in Canada use. Also, any search I have done looking for these parts has referred to them as control arms. so I guess we are all wrong then?
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