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-   -   Thrust arm bushings. (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/113383-thrust-arm-bushings.html)

X5chemist 06-20-2021 11:09 AM

Thrust arm bushings.
 
6 Attachment(s)
It's been two weeks since new thrust bushings were installed. The X5 drives better. The X5 feels raised a little bit too. Can some one tell me the fender height with stock style 130 and 235/35R17 tires?

Ball joints were replaced three weeks prior to bushings. The X5 had brake shudder on hard braking. New ball joints helped a little. New thrust bushings fixed the problem. The right side was really bad. I started to press them out. However without a vise, it was hard to do. Instead, I went down the street to a shop. The shop had them pressed out and new ones in quickly. I was surprised one was off o'clock. Both new bushings are clocked correctly. I was able to remove the arms by putting the X5 on ramps. New ball joints made them easy to take off. To reinstall the arms, I had to remove the ramps and wheels. From info here, I used my 3 ton jack to lift it off ramps. The arms were installed and left slightly loose. Once the full weight was on the suspension, ball joints and thrust arm bolts were tightened down. Bushings are from FCP. If they fail again, replacements will be free. Probably at 200,000 miles, they'll need replacing again.

Henn28 06-20-2021 11:34 AM

Nice work! I took the easy route and just put new arms in a few years ago.

Redoing all the rear suspension bits was a pain too.

X5chemist 06-20-2021 12:17 PM

The rear will be done eventually. My rear X5 tires lean in a little at the top. Tire wear is not bad yet. The rear shocks look OEM. It's sad. I'm surprised the previous three owners didn't replace them. I plan to install new rear Bilsteins before new tires go on. I'll get one more rotation out of the tires. The previous owner put on the lowest priced 17" Discount Tire had available. Working on getting it done before the next tire rotation at 5,000 miles.

upallnight 06-20-2021 01:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Hopefully, you had the full weight of the X on the ground or ramps before tightening up the bushing to the sub-frame. If not, the bushing will wear a lot quicker. I went with PSB polyurethane bushings when I did my X. I used a Sawzall to cut the bushing so that it relieves the pressure on the arm and just fell off. Even if you nick the arm, no problem but I didn't nick the arm. No need to use a press to press in the PSB bushing and no need to clock them.

X5chemist 06-20-2021 01:51 PM

Yes, all the weight was on bushings. I even pressed it up and down a few times. Even moved forward and back a few feet. I had room to tighten the arms with the wheels on. I used a wrench and socket. The ride is so much firm. I can't wait to do the rest of it. If I can't press bushings out, I have an air hammer. The old air hammer inherited from a friend does some crazy fast damage. I used it to take off the mechanical fan off a few months ago.

An old neighbor once did bushing on a Ford small car. I let them borrow a few tools. When he finished, I walked over to take a look. The front end was like 4" higher than the rear! I asked if had tightened the bushings with full weight on. He said, "no". He gave me the look like WTH. Yea, tear it apart again and do it right. Took him another half afternoon to correct it.

andrewwynn 06-20-2021 04:22 PM

Thrust arm bushings.
 
165 Nm on those did you fully torque?

I changed my bushings recently and was able to press in OEM style bushings with my front bearing press tool.

I cut the old with Sawzall like uan mentioned to make easy to remove. The angle chosen to reduce concern of nicking the arm.

X5chemist 06-20-2021 06:20 PM

If they were 165 N-M, they came off easy. I put them on a lot more tight. I'll check this week with a torque wrench. A friend gave me a new torque wrench. I'll be replacing a head and timing chain on his '83 F150 300 I6.

andrewwynn 06-20-2021 08:46 PM

Very few people torque anything properly working on cars especially suspension.

I just replaced mine that's how I remember. I have a torque multiplier making that job far easier.

The shock tower bolts 250 and the axle nut 420 also are a couple nobody sets.

I way way over torqued my ball joint to tension strut and paid dearly for that one: fused those together like they were welded!

andrewwynn 06-21-2021 01:25 AM

I need to check the torque on my right tension strut as I didn't have my torque multiplier when I installed and prob just impacted. My torque adapter goes to 200 Nm though I may have used I forgot.

Replaced right outer CV joint tonight and that means two 16mm bolts at 250 Nm and the axle nut at 420 Nm. My new torque wrench only goes to 138 so 138*3=414 was the "set" value but that is close enough and very awesome to finally get close to having a real set torque

Blowout 06-26-2021 03:32 PM

I have 2 thrust arms that have been sitting in the garage for years and now time to install them on a 2003 X5. What did you use to pop the thrust arm off the ball joint? I hear that's the toughest part of the job and why I haven't done it yet.

BigBody 06-26-2021 03:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Blowout (Post 1205849)
I have 2 thrust arms that have been sitting in the garage for years and now time to install them on a 2003 X5. What did you use to pop the thrust arm off the ball joint? I hear that's the toughest part of the job and why I haven't done it yet.

With all the bolts holding the thrust arm loosened, bang on the top of the arm with a hammer, and it will pop off the ball joint. The thrust arm is so beefy, that I highly doubt it would cause any damage. Furthermore, if your doing a complete replacement of the arm and bushing, it shouldn't matter if you damage it (though you wont) anyway.

upallnight 06-26-2021 05:20 PM

1 Attachment(s)
I used a ball joint tool like this guy in this video.

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

Blowout 06-26-2021 05:49 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BigBody (Post 1205850)
With all the bolts holding the thrust arm loosened, bang on the top of the arm with a hammer, and it will pop off the ball joint. The thrust arm is so beefy, that I highly doubt it would cause any damage. Furthermore, if your doing a complete replacement of the arm and bushing, it shouldn't matter if you damage it (though you wont) anyway.


I wish it were that easy... all the vids I've watched they either skip that part (the joint is already loose) or they used a ball joint tool and said the tool was necessary for the job. Trying to determine a cost effective option.



From posts I've read elsewhere, the HF and autozone tool doesn't fit because there wasn't enough span to fit this ball joint.

Blowout 06-26-2021 05:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by upallnight (Post 1205855)
I used a ball joint tool like this guy in this video.

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


Do you recall the source and part number for that tool?

upallnight 06-26-2021 06:19 PM

Tool available on Amazon and Harbor Freight

Blowout 06-26-2021 06:36 PM

Thanks, just ordered from Amazon.

upallnight 06-26-2021 07:12 PM

1 Attachment(s)
If you are using it to remove the tension/thrush arm from ball joint label 15 in the diagram it will work. If you are using it to remove the ball joint on the wishbone labeled 10 in the diagram, then it will not work.

X5chemist 06-26-2021 08:27 PM

Assuming you are not going to use the installed one, easy. Turn the wheel so you can get a good look it. Take the wheel off. Take a 2 lb hammer and whack it at the ball joint. After a few hard whacks it will pop off. If you wont have a big enough hammer, take the weight off the suspension. Unbolt the ball joint. Next, loosen the big bolt side. With weight off, the arm will just hang there.

andrewwynn 06-26-2021 10:29 PM

I just did these exact joints and one popped off with a simple pry with crowbar. However in my haste ten days earlier when I put the new tension strut on, I hit with the impact without torque and I clearly over torqued onto the Morse taper pin and stretched the eye of the strut possibly cold welded because no amount of force was working to remove it.

I was replacing ball joint so it didn't matter how hard I banged on it so I got a pickle fork in there and pounded until it wouldn't go in more and it still didn't come loose.

Eventually I put floor jack under the knuckle and 40-50 more hits with 4# copper hammer and it eventually came free.

That was the first one.

To prepare for the second I bought a 3/4-16 grade 8 bolt and was going to use a plate from my bearing press and was going to push down from bottom of shock tower.

I can tell you from experience the little ball joint separator would have broken in half long before mine would have come loose.

I suspect similarly the joint which is only supposed to have 80 Nm applied was likely over torqued like I did: I did it to myself!

Persistence will pay off you'll get it off.

If you can. Find a position to apply a bolt from bottom of shock to the strut you can apply a lot of force to preload then hit from the side to "ring" the bar they usually pop right off with that method.

Blowout 06-27-2021 06:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by upallnight (Post 1205862)
If you are using it to remove the tension/thrush arm from ball joint label 15 in the diagram it will work. If you are using it to remove the ball joint on the wishbone labeled 10 in the diagram, then it will not work.


I'm removing #6 from #15. :thumbup:


I've sprayed some PB blaster at the top of the taper pins to hopefully soak in and make the job go easier.

The tool is suppose to come on Monday. Probably won't get to taking the thrust arms off until next weekend.


Thanks for all the replies on this!

upallnight 06-27-2021 08:14 AM

I have used that tool on my PORSCHE, Lotus, G35 and my daughter Honda Fit and the wife’s minivan with no problems. Perhaps the other user that used that tool bought a cheap tool or didn’t know how to use it. My tool was made by OTC.

X5chemist 06-27-2021 09:03 AM

My ball joints were new. I installed them three weeks prior. With the X5 on ramps, the left one popped off with 2 hammer hits. The right ball joint side was on tighter. I removed the ball joint so I wouldn't have to take the wheel off. For installation, I took off both wheels. I turned the ball joint so could insert the cotter pin with wheels on. Once the the arm was in place (loosely), I put the wheels with full weight to snug them up. I then removed the ramps and drove it a few feet back and forth. With full weight and settling, I tightened them using my 1/2" ratchet.

andrewwynn 06-27-2021 11:07 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X5chemist (Post 1205499)
The rear will be done eventually. My rear X5 tires lean in a little at the top. Tire wear is not bad yet. The rear shocks look OEM. It's sad. I'm surprised the previous three owners didn't replace them. I plan to install new rear Bilsteins before new tires go on. I'll get one more rotation out of the tires. The previous owner put on the lowest priced 17" Discount Tire had available. Working on getting it done before the next tire rotation at 5,000 miles.


Spec on rear camber is -1.5 to -2.1 they are supposed to lean in on top enough to "look broken".

Inner edge rear tire wear comes from the ball joint and/or the outer joint of the rear control arm (aka wishbone) the car can have 3+ degrees of neg. camber with no appreciable tire wear.

X5chemist 06-27-2021 12:41 PM

Interesting, I'll have to put my iPhone on the wheels. The rear inner wear is not too noticeable. Even without rotation. The cheap tires have 10,000 plus miles. The previous owner had free rotations and balance but didn't do it according to records at Discount Tire. I can move rear suspension maintenance down the list if it's within specs. The shocks have to go though.

andrewwynn 06-27-2021 12:49 PM

Take a photo from far behind (to remove parallax), and post it. I can measure the angles with Photoshop far more reliable than iPhone level (though I used to check mine occasionally that way).

The inner tire wear from the worn joints will be much more extreme with wider tires. My 255s lasted 2 weeks once I noticed the fast image wear. My 235s lasted 4 months. (the preload on the joint pushed the opposite direction)

Blowout 06-27-2021 03:04 PM

The tool already came this morning. It's beefier than other ball joint separators I've used in the past.



https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...a6de4cb4bc.jpg


From Amazon, made by Gearwrench - https://www.amazon.com/GEARWRENCH-39...4820720&sr=8-6

andrewwynn 06-27-2021 03:06 PM

I recommend using it to pretension and hit the arm with a hammer vs. just the tool. I broke the end of a steel prybar and broke the fork off my new picklefork in the process. You will prevail.

Blowout 06-27-2021 03:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewwynn (Post 1205917)
I recommend using it to pretension and hit the arm with a hammer vs. just the tool. I broke the end of a steel prybar and broke the fork off my new picklefork in the process. You will prevail.


Hopefully since I already hit it with PB blaster it will come apart without too much drama, but I understand what your saying... I'll get at it next weekend.



Thanks for the insight and taking the time to post your experience on completing this job.

andrewwynn 06-27-2021 03:46 PM

Heating to 600F and pb and time didn't help just more pounding until it came off.

Actually I recall what finally worked and may play into your fix;

I already had the fork part of my pickle fork broken off in the joint pushing a few thousand pounds of force maybe 8-10000.

I then used the handle of the picklefork that broke off (moral of the story: only hit on the handle axis don't pry sideways).

I used the handle as a very large drift pin and I could hit the tension strut from above the brake disk! That gave me much much better hammer swing!

If the thing doesn't pop off with relative ease, tension with the new tool good and snug: limit torque using a reasonable size wrench not a long breaker bar then copy my drift pin concept so you can apply the strikes much more effectively.

Did you say you already changed the ball joints? That same method is how I removed the swaged in ball joints.

Blowout 06-27-2021 04:28 PM

I haven't changed out the ball joints. I thought about doing those too and not bother separating the ball joint from the thrust arm. Then I read more posts about the ball joints being a PITA to remove because they get rusted in place often.



Good news is this car has been in CA all its useful life and away from the ocean. We are second owners and picked it up at the end of a lease.



I haven't encountered any rust anywhere on the vehicle. It's garaged too, so even the paint looks great after 18 years.

X5chemist 06-27-2021 04:57 PM

Go ahead and replace the ball joints. $23 for Moog. Replacing both parts on mine stopped brake shudder. You'll need a T50 socket. Tap it in. Bolts are not very tight.

andrewwynn 06-28-2021 10:27 AM

Thrust arm bushings.
 
T50 for aftermarket ball joints; OE will be E torx and if the pressed in type like my '01 a total bitch to remove. look and see if the bolts have T50 or E10. If T50 (replacement) they should be ready to remove.

The E10 (possibly E12) of my original the inside bolt head twisted off on both sides. I had to drill out the old bolt.

X5chemist 06-28-2021 11:30 AM

Bolt ball joints with bolts will come off easy. For leverage, use the thrust arm if not being reused. First remove the ball joint bolts. Next, loosen the big inner thrust bolt. Take the suspension weight off. Remove the wheel. Remove the inner bolt and use a pry bar to drop the inner thrust arm. With it down, if the ball joints does not come down freely, whack the arm. Use the arm for leverage. Both ball joints with bolts on mine dropped freely.

Russianblue 06-28-2021 12:49 PM

free autozone puller worked for me.
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Blowout (Post 1205849)
I have 2 thrust arms that have been sitting in the garage for years and now time to install them on a 2003 X5. What did you use to pop the thrust arm off the ball joint? I hear that's the toughest part of the job and why I haven't done it yet.

FWIW, here is a video I made myself 7 years ago. WITH the free autozone puller.

it barely fits, but it fits. you have to finagle it a bit to get it in place. Whenever someone says it won't work, i have to go back and look at my youtube video to make sure I'm not crazy, lol!

https://youtu.be/AcfmMqWxUPw

a number of times I've had an assload of tension on this puller....thinking the tool or my wrench is going to break and I've whacked it and whacked it with a BFH 20 times and worn myself out. then i take a 5 minute break, get some water, and then it comes out on the very first whack after that. really odd.

but that's how i do em now. i put mid to high tension on that tool. whack it really good about 2-3 times. then wait 5 minutes. whack it one more time.

lots of variables here though obviously. no rust and no salt on the roads here.

X5chemist 06-28-2021 02:40 PM

Peeps may not have the tools in my garage. If it's pressed in or stubborn, a long barrel air hammer does wonders. Especially on rivets. A long wide or round punch and 4 lb hammer work too.

Blowout 06-28-2021 02:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Russianblue (Post 1205958)
FWIW, here is a video I made myself 7 years ago. WITH the free autozone puller.

it barely fits, but it fits. you have to finagle it a bit to get it in place. Whenever someone says it won't work, i have to go back and look at my youtube video to make sure I'm not crazy, lol!

https://youtu.be/AcfmMqWxUPw

a number of times I've had an assload of tension on this puller....thinking the tool or my wrench is going to break and I've whacked it and whacked it with a BFH 20 times and worn myself out. then i take a 5 minute break, get some water, and then it comes out on the very first whack after that. really odd.

but that's how i do em now. i put mid to high tension on that tool. whack it really good about 2-3 times. then wait 5 minutes. whack it one more time.

lots of variables here though obviously. no rust and no salt on the roads here.


Not sure how you were able to hold the camera that still while wrenching at the same it. You didn't even drop the bushing end first to get more access to the knuckle. I'm surprised that tool fit with all the posts I've read in the past. I would have done this a long time ago if I'd known....



The tool I picked up should have some advantage with leverage compared to the type you used. I need all the help I can get these days having torn both rotator cuffs. Hopefully there won't be much drama and can always get my son to provide more muscle if needed.

Blowout 07-12-2021 04:58 PM

Replaced the thrust arms without any difficulties using the Amazon tool. I did have to open up the forked end with a grinder to make it fit. Didn't take long to modify it.

It looks like these thrust arms may have been replaced before.There was a hole in a plastic piece that gets in the way when you try to remove the bolt holding the bushing in place. The hole allows a socket extension to be used and the bolt to be removed from the front bushing.



https://live.staticflickr.com/6553/5...b86a7013a2.jpg


https://live.staticflickr.com/65535/...3fd4e00ff8.jpg



https://live.staticflickr.com/6553/5...5e67eb5632.jpg



The rubber bushings on the old thrust arms were cracked and I could move the thrust arm around just using one hand. These were over do to be changed.

andrewwynn 07-13-2021 01:35 AM

I've got access holes cut on both sides to access those front bolts.

Blowout 07-29-2021 05:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by andrewwynn (Post 1206656)
I've got access holes cut on both sides to access those front bolts.


Interesting... On the passenger side there was nothing in the way when extracting the bolt.



Driver side it looks like a squirrel chewed a hole in the plastic to get access to the bolt head. It sure didn't look like a factory job. :dunno:



As a follow up, the wife says the steering is much more solid now. In the past she would comment on it being sloppy and I kept checking the steering pump fluid. I had changed the steering fluid lines and thought it might be associated with that, but glad to find out the problem is fixed by replacing the thrust arms and bushings.

Attacking Mid 09-25-2021 10:57 PM

2 Attachment(s)
I just replaced these today and have a couple notes to mention.

First, that duct that someone whacked a hole in to get access to the bolt on the driver's side is only held in place by two screws and a plastic rivet. No need to make a hole.

I was replacing the ball joints, so I just removed the torx screws and took the ball joints out attached to the arms. Once out, I just whacked on the end of the ball joint threaded part a few times and it fell out easily.

I saw where several people used hacksaws to slice through the outer wall of the bushing in order to remove it. I found it much easier to just push the old bushing down until flush, then push the inner rubber portion down maybe 0.5" just for clearance. Now you can use the new bushing to push out the old one. Plus, the new bushing is installed at the same time.

Attachment 80939

Attachment 80940

AM.


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