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BMW Rear Ball Joint Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Rear Ball Joint Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$200

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdrivers

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is/xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Rear wheel bearing carrier ball joint

Hot Tip:

Replace shocks while they are removed

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty ball joint and prepare vehicle for alignment

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear control arms

The rear wheel bearing ball joint on BMW E90 models connects the lower swing arm to the wheel bearing carrier. The ball joint wears out over time and creates free play in the rear suspension. This free play results in poor handling and tire wear. You can check ball joint free play by wiggling the rear wheel, grab at the bottom of the tire and push tire in and out. If free play is felt, have someone place their hand on ball joint and repeat. Replace ball joint if movement is present.

Always replace these ball joints in sets, driver and passenger side.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear wheel bearing carrier ball joint on BMW E90 vehicles.

Lift and support rear of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Remove rear shocks. See our tech article on rear shock removing.

Place a jack under the lower swing arm. This will support the rear wheel bearing carrier when you remove lower swing arm fastener.

Working at upper control arm on brake rotor side, remove control arm fastener.
Figure 1

Working at upper control arm on brake rotor side, remove control arm fastener. (green arrows) Nut and bolt are both 21mm.

Next, mark the eccentric washer on the opposite end of the rear swing arm.
Figure 2

Next, mark the eccentric washer on the opposite end of the rear swing arm. (green arrow) Then loosen the nut about 3 turns. The nut is 18mm the bolt head is 21mm.

With swing arm fasteners removed, slowly lower jack until swing arm pressure is relieved.
Figure 3

With swing arm fasteners removed, slowly lower jack until swing arm pressure is relieved.

Pull down on swing arm until coil spring drops out of upper mount.
Figure 4

Pull down on swing arm until coil spring drops out of upper mount. Then lift coil spring up and out of swing arm to remove.

Pull swing arm down and out of the way.
Figure 5

Pull swing arm down and out of the way. (green arrow)

With swing arm out of the way, measure insertion depth of ball joint.
Figure 6

With swing arm out of the way, measure insertion depth of ball joint. (green arrow)

Using a bushing press tool, remove bushing from wheel bearing carrier.
Figure 7

Using a bushing press tool, remove bushing from wheel bearing carrier.

Clean ball joint mounting hole thoroughly.
Figure 8

Clean ball joint mounting hole thoroughly. (green arrow)

I like to place the old and new ball joints next to one another and mark the depth of the old one on the new one.
Figure 9

I like to place the old and new ball joints next to one another and mark the depth of the old one on the new one. This helps with installing the new ball joint to the correct depth in the wheel bearing carrier.

Then press into wheel bearing carrier until it's at same depth as ball joint you just removed.
Figure 10

Then press into wheel bearing carrier until it's at same depth as ball joint you just removed. Install coil spring into swing arm and raise rear swing arm into place. Install rear swing arm and tighten fasteners. Then repeat steps for opposite side of vehicle. See our tech article on rear spring replacing for tips on installing the rear spring. Have vehicle professionally aligned.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Sveinis. Comments: Hi when Looking at my car one side the joint seem to be in The middle while the other side like your picture. Should i mark the depth or put it in middle. Other side is swapped at a bmw shop the Day before i bought it. Need to sort the squeek.
May 25, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Keep it the way it comes out. Just be sure to have the vehicle aligned once complete. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Marz Comments: Would you be able to provide any part numbers that pertain to the bushing press tool you used? thanks.
April 28, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: That is a BMW factory tool. Pelican Parts can get you a better priced model. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what tool kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
BillyG Comments: Can the Loaner Kit #46 from Advance Auto Parts P/N 648617, Powerbuilt Tools Ball Joint/U Joint Service Set 23 Piece be used to replace ball joints on 2007 BMW e90 328xi?
February 18, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't know. Ask the rental service provider. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
EagleRock Comments: Hi,
i tried to replace this today and got the part from BMW but i'm having the exact same problem as Island road. Any idea on what it could be please ?
January 26, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: maybe the wrong part or damaged vehicle.- Nick at Pelican Parts  
island road Comments: I did this over the weekend and used lemforder replacement part. When i went to go press in the new bushing to my surprise it just slipped in to the point i could take it out with my hands. I am guessing this is a part defect seeing as the tolerances are off? Have you ever seen this happen before?
August 10, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No I have not. You may have the wrong part. Double check the number. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
matt1267 Comments: Hi - is it necessary to remove the shock completly ? can i just release it from the bottom mounting ?
July 8, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: If you do not remove it, it will be in the way. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
SkipCity Comments: My left rear had a 2 inch camber wear on the inside of my tire. My mechanic says i need shocks. How do I know its not the Ball joint?
2007 335i BMW 130,000 miles
Thank you for any help.
May 5, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Check the rear end for tightness. Something may be loose, at the minimum, have the alignment checked. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
index1489 Comments: Is it necessary to preload the suspension before tightening the ball joint side of the control arm? I know your suppose to on the bushing side with the eccentric washer.

I'm assuming since its a ball joint it will just rotate into a neutral position when loaded even if tightened on full droop.
September 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No, not the ball joint, only the bushing.

Like the article mentions, support the control from below with a jack if the ball joint spins. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
hideehoo Comments: Which press tool did you use for this? I haven't found any that claim to work on an e90.
May 5, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: It was a BMW factory tool kit. Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799 and they can help figure out which part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Fernando Sanchez Comments: Whats the purpose of this?

Next, mark the eccentric washer on the opposite end of the rear swing arm. green arrow Then loosen the nut about 3 turns. The nut is 18mm the bolt head is 21mm.

July 22, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The eccentric washer is an alignment component. You are marking the eccentric washer in order to reinstall it in the correct position without changing the alignment. This allows you to transport the vehicle for alignment without having an issue.- Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:23:03 AM