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Old 06-24-2009, 10:43 AM   #16
Ceeker
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You can use a bmw tool if you wish or you can use a hammer. But it is HOW you use the hammer. I have seen bmw tools "hacked" by technicians because they didn't know how to use to tool correctly or they simply didn't give a shit. So.....
Here is how to remove control arm from knuckle without damaging ball joint shaft or boot.
Don't put the nut back on; you'll mushroom the nut and may damage the shaft thread.
Don't hammer on the end - you'll damage the shaft thread forsure and possibly mushroom it which means you'll have to cut it off rendering it useless.
Get a pry bar to wedge against the strut bottom and press down on the control arm. Take the hammer and pound on the "CONTROL ARM" edge just below where the ball joint sits. avoid hitting the ball joint. A good few swings should let it drop out. This has worked for me - humility is admitting you made all the mistakes and learning from them. Helped alot having a bmw tech around to teach me. *wink*
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1 87 325is red - parts
1 89 325i vert grey - parts
1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
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latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.

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Old 06-24-2009, 01:08 PM   #17
Max_VQ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ceeker View Post
You can use a bmw tool if you wish or you can use a hammer. But it is HOW you use the hammer. I have seen bmw tools "hacked" by technicians because they didn't know how to use to tool correctly or they simply didn't give a shit. So.....
Here is how to remove control arm from knuckle without damaging ball joint shaft or boot.
Don't put the nut back on; you'll mushroom the nut and may damage the shaft thread.
Don't hammer on the end - you'll damage the shaft thread forsure and possibly mushroom it which means you'll have to cut it off rendering it useless.
Get a pry bar to wedge against the strut bottom and press down on the control arm. Take the hammer and pound on the "CONTROL ARM" edge just below where the ball joint sits. avoid hitting the ball joint. A good few swings should let it drop out. This has worked for me - humility is admitting you made all the mistakes and learning from them. Helped alot having a bmw tech around to teach me. *wink*
Thanks for the quality post and back up plan.
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Old 06-24-2009, 01:29 PM   #18
Max_VQ
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Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
A well placed hammer is not a hack job ... it is the right tool in many occasions (try crewing for a race team without a hammer!). Like I said, if you use the nut on the stud, you won't damage anything except the nut, which needs to be replaced anyway. The idea is not hammer at it 30 times. All it takes is a couple of well placed whacks to break the binding metal. The amount of time you spent looking for the tool you could have changed 30 control arms

Not knocking you for trying to do it the "right" way ... just offering a far easier way to accomplish the same task. Some jobs you don't "hack" (like say skipping using a torque wrench) .... this is not one of those jobs.

Btw, I happen to like The Big Lebowski ... sue me
Thanks for clarifying the process. I had visions of smashing the top of threaded part of the ball joint.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:19 AM   #19
Trouble65
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Originally Posted by ScotcH View Post
A well placed hammer is not a hack job ... it is the right tool in many occasions
Don't forget vicegrips and pry bar.
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Old 07-01-2009, 10:47 AM   #20
nachos23
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I have recently replaced all my springs, struts and brake lines (installed H&R Springs, Bilstein sports shocks and SS Brake lines. Also work on cars for other folks as well, and have NEVER used a bal joint tool. A well placed tap on the side of the ball joint (metal frame) will cause the ball joint to separate. Thats it!!! My buddy who is a full time mechanic (runs a full time garage) doesn;t own a ball joint removal tool. His method; a hammer......!!!!
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Old 07-02-2009, 10:51 AM   #21
Axxe
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Lol @ hammer = hack. The key is to hit the whatever the ball joint is sitting in first with doubled up hammers, and then everything will come apart. Ever heard of "impact" tools? Hammer was the first one................
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Old 07-03-2009, 08:40 AM   #22
nachos23
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Ya, actually use them all the time..... Actually an impact is what I use, but, I've used a hammer many times as I do work on vehicles on a regular basis and sometimes an impact is just not available. If their looking for the perfect solution; be prepared to pay $$$ for the tools required and for 1 or 2 times; not worth it. Was just saying that the parts separate quite easily (did mine recently @ 170Km and the parts separated with a couple of whacks)....... using a hammer.... I was just offering an alternative. A hammer is not a regular part of the tools I use, but still very useful in certain applications....
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Old 07-03-2009, 10:23 PM   #23
325isdan
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Canadian Tire rents them ( free but with deposite) I believe.
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