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Rear Upper Control Arm Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Upper Control Arm Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Flathead screwdriver, 18mm wrench, 18mm socket, 21mm wrench, 10mm wrench, floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan/Wagon (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

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

BMW E60 rear suspension components are primarily made of aluminum alloy, thus reducing weight and helping improve fuel-efficiency. Rear wheel bearing carriers are suspended to the rear subframe using three control arms (or links): two uppers and one lower. Of the two upper links, the one in the rear is called the control arm. The front link is called the traction strut or guide arm.

The springs and shock absorbers on sedan and sports wagon differ. Sedan models are equipped with conventional coil springs and shock absorbers combined in strut assemblies. The sports wagon is designed with a flat floor in the cargo compartment. To achieve this, the sports wagon rear suspension is equipped with compact air springs and shock absorbers. In addition to space-saving, the air springs height is electronically controlled, allowing the rear of the wagon to stay at a relatively stable height regardless of the load. This maintains constant suspension geometry and adds stability. This self-leveling suspension is referred to as electronic height control or EHC.

The outer connection of the upper rear control arm uses a rubber bushing to attach to the wheel bearing carrier. 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 the arm and connects to the subframe. 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.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve, as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear control arm on BMW E60 vehicles.

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

The rear control arm is the rear most upper control arm (red arrow).
Figure 1

The rear control arm is the rear most upper control arm (red arrow).

Working at the rear control arm, detach the ABS wheel speed sensor harness bracket (red arrow).
Figure 2

Working at the rear control arm, detach the ABS wheel speed sensor harness bracket (red arrow).

Start by unclipping the rear-locking tab.
Figure 3

Start by unclipping the rear-locking tab.

Then pull the harness out of the front mount.
Figure 4

Then pull the harness out of the front mount. 

Next, use a flathead screwdriver to lever open the front most locking tab (red arrow).
Figure 5

Next, use a flathead screwdriver to lever open the front most locking tab (red arrow).

Slide the harness with the bracket off the control arm.
Figure 6

Slide the harness with the bracket off the control arm.

Working at the rear of the control arm, counterhold the 18mm nut (red arrow) while removing the 18mm bolt (green arrow).
Figure 7

Working at the rear of the control arm, counterhold the 18mm nut (red arrow) while removing the 18mm bolt (green arrow).

Remove the mounting bolt from the control arm.
Figure 8

Remove the mounting bolt from the control arm. You may need to lever it out using a pry bar or large flathead screwdriver.

Loosen the 21mm nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the 10mm hex boss (green arrow) on the ball joint.
Figure 9

Loosen the 21mm nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the 10mm hex boss (green arrow) on the ball joint.

Remove the control arm from the wheel carrier.
Figure 10

Remove the control arm from the wheel carrier. It will pull straight out, as it is not an interference fit. Install the new control arm into the vehicle and install the subframe fasteners finger tight. Then install the fastener at the connection to the wheel bearing carrier and tighten. Load the suspension to the normal ride height using a floor jack and tighten the subframe connection fastener. Have the vehicle alignment checked if you had a tire wear problem. Torque the control arm to subframe fastener to 100 Nm. Torque the control arm to wheel bearing carrier fastener to 175 Nm.


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Comments and Suggestions:
akbar Comments: is this the front of the vehicle or the rear of the vehicle because i was told that i need my rear control arms done in the rear of my vehicle...bmw 550i e60 2007..thanks if you can help..
June 21, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: This is the rear. Give The Pelican Parts parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can figure out what part or repair kit you need.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:44:01 AM