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BMW Rear Upper Control Arm Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Rear Upper Control Arm Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, 18mm wrench, 18mm socket

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 upper control arm

Hot Tip:

Replace bolts

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty control arm and prepare vehicle for alignment

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The rear control arm on BMW E90 models, connects the rear sub frame to the rear wheel bearing carrier. The outer arm connection is made using a rubber bushing. The rubber bushing is a pretty solid part and does not create too many problems. The inner connection is made using a ball joint, similar to earlier cars except the ball joint is now part of arm and connects to the sub frame. This ball joint wears out over time and creates a number of problems from uneven tire wear to a noise in your rear suspension. To inspect it, jack up the rear of your vehicle and push the top of your tire toward the ball joint connection. The suspension should have zero free-play. If free-play is found in the control arm, replace it.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear control arm on BMW E90 vehicles.

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

Place a jack stand under the lower control arm.
Figure 1

Place a jack stand under the lower control arm. This will support the rear wheel bearing carrier when you remove upper control arm.

Working at upper control arm on brake rotor side, remove 18mm control arm fastener.
Figure 2

Working at upper control arm on brake rotor side, remove 18mm control arm fastener. (green arrow)

Using a flathead screwdriver, open wiring harness mounting clips (green arrow).
Figure 3

Using a flathead screwdriver, open wiring harness mounting clips (green arrow). There are two.

Move wiring harness aside to prevent damage.
Figure 4

Move wiring harness aside to prevent damage.

Working at rear of upper control arm, hold 18mm fastener (green arrow) while loosening 18mm nut (yellow arrow).
Figure 5

Working at rear of upper control arm, hold 18mm fastener (green arrow) while loosening 18mm nut (yellow arrow). Remove fastener from control arm.

Remove control arm from rear wheel bearing carrier.
Figure 6

Remove control arm from rear wheel bearing carrier. When installing new control arm, install into sub frame and install fastener finger tight.

Then push brake rotor toward sub frame to align fastener and fastener hole.
Figure 7

Then push brake rotor toward sub frame to align fastener and fastener hole. Use a socket and thread fastener in by hand, be careful not to cross-thread. Once both fasteners are installed finger tight, load suspension to normal ride height using a floor jack and tighten fasteners. Reinstall wiring harness and have vehicle alignment checked if you had a tire wear problem.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Yangorang Comments: Why does one have to load the suspension to normal ride height when reinstalling suspension components? What happens if one neglects to do this?
January 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To get the bushings in the most neutral position before tightening them into position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Daffyduck Comments: Has upper arm to be replaced as an Assy or can inner joint be replaced , is this a ball joint or bushing , if so what are part numbers
October 12, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: As assembly. I’m not the best with part numbers.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
jimbo Comments: do you know the torque specs for the bolts?
April 18, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have them handy.

I would grab a repair manual. It will have the procedure, special tools and torque specs.

Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. - Nick at Pelican Parts
 
matt Comments: do you have a diy for rear lower control arm for an e90?
March 3, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This tech article will help you get it done: http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/BMW-3-Series-E90/SUSPEN-Rear_Ball_Joint_Replacement/SUSPEN-Rear_Ball_Joint_Replacement.htm . 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  

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Page last updated: Fri 11/17/2017 02:26:40 AM