Date: Tue, 6 Jun 2000 06:57:19 -0700 (PDT)
From: Matt Henson <hensonator_at_yahoo.com>
Subject: Rear lower control arm replacement
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
bimmer.org. 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.
- 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..
- Loosen the inner bolt. Make sure to catch the
special nut when it falls.
- 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.
- Place a jack under the diff.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
- Re-connect the diff and rear sway bar. Torque to
- 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.
- 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
Cost of the lower control arm was around $80. Dealer
even had it in stock!
'95 M3 Turbo
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