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Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 06:57:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Matt Henson <>
Subject: Rear lower control arm replacement

Hey Gang,
As a result of an autocross mishap I've recently been given the opportunity (?) to replace the left rear lower control arm in my '95 M3. I read the procedure in the Bentley manual and searched the archives at Unfortunatly the procedures at both sources were wrong so I thought I'd write my own. Feel free to use and distribute it as you wish..

The Bentley procedure was to remove the two bolts and pull the arm off. Well that's great except you can't remove the inner bolt because the diff is in the way.

The other procedure I read (from a dealer, I believe) involved dropping the entire rear suspension carrier.

I found a solution that falls somewhere in between.

0. Remove wheel raise car on jackstands/lift.

  1. Remove the lower control arm outer bolt (that goes to the trailing arm, I believe). This also has a special washer and an eccentric nut. I think that the nut is supposed to be replaced but my parts guy said to just use loctite..
  2. Loosen the inner bolt. Make sure to catch the special nut when it falls.
  3. Loosen the rear sway bar by removing the bolts/nuts at the two inner brackets. This will allow you to push the rear sway bar up.
  4. Place a jack under the diff.
  5. Remove the three diff mounting bolts. There are two in the rear previously obstructed by the rear sway bar and one on the right front side.
  6. Jack the diff up and push it sideways out of the way so that you can remove the control arm bolt. (Push it to the right for the left control arm and visa versa).
  7. Install new lower control arm and re-insert the inner bolt and the funky shaped nut. Don't tighten the bolt all the way yet.
  8. Re-connect the diff and rear sway bar. Torque to spec.
  9. Position the outer end of the control arm on the trailing arm. You might need to use a helper or a well poitioned foot to push the bottom of brake/hub out to install the control arm.
  10. Tighten control arm to spec (sorry, don't have these with me).

Optional - 11. Take bent control arm inside to show your wife. Looks like a hockey stick.

Total repair time was about 2.5 hrs for me (and no lift). Shouldn't take more than 1.5-2 now that you have directions.

Cost of the lower control arm was around $80. Dealer even had it in stock!


'95 M3 Turbo

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