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  #1  
Old 08-07-2014, 09:58 PM
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Rear Ball Joints

So I have been driving my X5 for about a month now and allways had a "thud" from back end. Looking under the car I found a broken sway bar link. I installed 2 new links and still have a "thud". I jacked up the car and found movement with the control arms. Not to sure how to check the ball joints, I found a youtube video of a shop using a jack stand with a cross bar on top. He placed the jack under the spring perch to relieve spring pressure. I took my small bottle jack and welded a 3" bar across the top. With the car on blocks I used my modified jack under the spring perch and wow my ball joint move all over the place. I can move the top and bottom of the wheel more than 2". BTW I have standard suspension, no air bags. I have new ball joints and control arms on order.
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  #2  
Old 08-08-2014, 06:31 AM
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What do your tires look like? Lucky you don't have airbag suspension. To test properly, you have to relieve the airbag pressure and then check.
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Old 08-08-2014, 06:47 AM
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Or you can jack up the rear air spring to relieve preload on the suspension and check for play that way.

Yes the lower ball joints and upper control arms are a huge wear item on our rear ends.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:09 PM
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I do have inside tire wear. But with all my reading, allot of people complain about that. I do not have air bags so I had to use the jack trick to relieve pressure. BTW car has 150,000.
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Old 08-08-2014, 01:31 PM
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You can use the E39 DIY I wrote a while back:

DIY: 1998 BMW 528i Complete REAR Suspension Overhaul - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums
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  #6  
Old 08-09-2014, 04:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by davesx5 View Post
So I have been driving my X5 for about a month now and allways had a "thud" from back end. Looking under the car I found a broken sway bar link. I installed 2 new links and still have a "thud". I jacked up the car and found movement with the control arms. Not to sure how to check the ball joints, I found a youtube video of a shop using a jack stand with a cross bar on top. He placed the jack under the spring perch to relieve spring pressure. I took my small bottle jack and welded a 3" bar across the top. With the car on blocks I used my modified jack under the spring perch and wow my ball joint move all over the place. I can move the top and bottom of the wheel more than 2". BTW I have standard suspension, no air bags. I have new ball joints and control arms on order.
If the ball joints are that far gone, it's likely they are original, and the integral links probably are as well. The link pretty much has to come out to replace the ball joint, so it would be a good while-you're-in-there thing to replace.

Since you don't have air springs, you'll need to use some spring compressors to relieve tension on the suspension to get the link and ball joint out. You can usually get them from auto parts stores on their loaner programs. I've got a ball joint press tool that you could borrow if you like; pm me if you're interested.
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  #7  
Old 08-10-2014, 06:29 AM
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
<thread hi-jack>

cn90! You are here!
You don't know me personally. But your legendary E39 suspension DIY's on Bimmerfest has saved me, as well as many others, huge amounts of grief, working hours and money, back when i had my E39.
I'm more than thrilled that you are here on Xoutpost now.

</thread hi-jack>

Sorry for the hi-jack.. But those of you who are familiar with cn90's epic DIY's know why i couldn't restrain myself.


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  #8  
Old 08-10-2014, 10:17 AM
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I thought the same thing when cn90 started posting here, what a service to the community for sure!
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  #9  
Old 08-10-2014, 11:45 AM
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I have read his write up twice to make sure I have all the tools. I did not order the links. Once I have it torn apart I can make that call. I have spare cars, so I can let it sit for awile and waite for more parts.
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  #10  
Old 08-10-2014, 12:04 PM
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Just order the links. You have to remove them to get to the ball joint anyways and at 150k it would be silly not to replace with the ball joints. A pair will run you $80
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