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Affordable e36 m3 Control Arms DIY

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    Affordable e36 m3 Control Arms DIY

    $100 e36 m3 Control Arm Solution

    Parts Needed:
    1. Used '96+ e36 m3 control arms. These can be had for free from your local BMW stealeship's scrap bin.
    2. e30 Ball Joints. All four cost well under $100, even for Lemforder brand. I spent $72 on Lemforders, and that was from Carquest. I'd get name brand here, you wouldn't want shitty no name ball-joints in this application. You're not saving money when you're risking your life.

    Tools Needed:
    1. Press and a good large socket selection to use with press.

    IF YOU DON'T HAVE A PRESS, go to a machine shop and pay $20 to have this done for you.


    In pictures:

    DONE.

    Result:
    1. You've saved at least $200
    2. You have Original Equipment BMW parts on your car.



    Hope you enjoy and be able to use this and come support my e30/DIY/Project site, Torque-Bound, and as always I'll continue being loyal r3ver and answer all questions that come my way that I have answers for.
    Last edited by Aptyp; 04-19-2010, 06:50 PM.

    #2
    I don't know what is more unbelievable, how awesome this is or that no one thought of it before now. I was just about to put a set of arms on my car with split boots just cuz new ones are expensive, now I have an alternative. You rock man, will definitely be checking out your new site.

    Comment


      #3
      yeah, I actually took e30 and e36 m3 control arms to machine shop and pressed out both ball joints and made 100% sure they were same dimensions in every respect. They were. This would be too selfish of me to keep to myself :).

      Comment


        #4
        I have a Right side E36 M3 control arm with worn balljoints if anybody wants it for this... Aptyp this is a good find, and not that it really matters in our E30s, but dont the E36 M control arms use a stronger metal encased balljoint where the normal E30 balljoint uses plastic?

        Comment


          #5
          Great jobbie, but clarify the point of doing this...The e36 M3 control arms should be free (because there are so many of them), you just pay to have the ball joints pressed in & for new ball joints?

          So in the end, one effectively pays about $45/control arm vs. $115/EACH for a new Lemforder, right? While still maintaining OEM BMW quality & fit?

          Comment


            #6
            Originally posted by bimmer630 View Post
            I have a Right side E36 M3 control arm with worn balljoints if anybody wants it for this... Aptyp this is a good find, and not that it really matters in our E30s, but dont the E36 M control arms use a stronger metal encased balljoint where the normal E30 balljoint uses plastic?
            You're thinking Meyle (spelling?) ball joints and arms. You can get those heavy duty ball joints from BavAuto, but there's absolutely nothing wrong with Lemforder joints, and they're proven quality.

            Originally posted by Cha Ching View Post
            Great jobbie, but clarify the point of doing this...The e36 M3 control arms should be free (because there are so many of them), you just pay to have the ball joints pressed in & for new ball joints?

            So in the end, one effectively pays about $45/control arm vs. $115/EACH for a new Lemforder, right? While still maintaining OEM BMW quality & fit?
            Welcome aboard...

            • You NEED '96+ e36 m3 control arms for 5-lug swap
            • Those control arms cost at least $180 a piece
            • Used control arms with worn out joints are free
            • Press new ball-joints in to have brand new control arms
            • Total cost is forth of the price of new control arms while retaining factory quality and fit with OE ball-joints.

            Comment


              #7
              1. Used '96+ e36 m3 control arms. These can be had for free from your local BMW stealeship's scrap bin.


              What's the best way to go about securing a set of these 'scrap bin' e36 M3 control arms? Should I just inquire with the service advisor at my nearest BMW dealer?

              Comment


                #8
                Great question ^, was wondering the same thing.
                Alex 88 m5 | 91 318is | 19 Subaru Ascent
                BMW Tool Rentals & Fender Roller

                Comment


                  #9
                  are you serious?

                  Check with all performance and repair shops in your area. Ask around. Check Craigslist for e36 m3 part outs. Possibilities are really endless here, just takes research. I've secured two sets just by bugging all shops.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    ^thanks.
                    Alex 88 m5 | 91 318is | 19 Subaru Ascent
                    BMW Tool Rentals & Fender Roller

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Kinda old news :)

                      http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/show...3&postcount=11
                      Current:

                      BMW 320i 2d 2.0 m20 -88
                      BMW 325i Cabriolet 2.5 m50 -88
                      BMW 316i touring 1.6 m40 -90
                      BMW 320i 4d 2,2 m54 -01

                      Comment


                        #12
                        it deserved it's own thread, and for such old news, I haven't seen a single person on r3v that actually did it successfully. Big difference between theoretical knowledge and actually doing it.

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Rocla View Post
                          Yes, e30 joints to e36 M control arms. Can be done.
                          Originally posted by etxxz View Post
                          i'ma give it a try. i have a 95M CA (w. fucked up ball joints) and a e30 inner ball joint just laying around. any special tips?
                          Originally posted by Rocla View Post
                          I was talking about outer joints, no idea if e30 inners will work...

                          Apply some force in hydraulic press and wait for few minutes, pump some more force and wait on, repeat untill the joint comes off with a bang.

                          Insert new joint in same as the old was postion(it's marked with 2 slots) and start pressing it in. If the new joint is not going in straight start over.
                          All out of my old thread following you linked post. For such old news, you're surely filled with uncertainty and doubt.

                          Also post all info, not just some. These old news are what community needs with proof, not hypothetical statements and half info.

                          Comment


                            #14
                            ^You are doing everyone a great service when it comes to 5 lug info.

                            Now hurry up and do your front write-up. Although, I spoke to Ground Control earlier and they just custom modifty the struts to not need the 96+ M3 control arms......
                            Need parts now? Need them cheap? steve@blunttech.com
                            Chief Sales Officer, Midwest Division—Blunt Tech Industries

                            www.gutenparts.com
                            One stop shopping for NEW, USED and EURO PARTS!

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Originally posted by z31maniac View Post
                              ^You are doing everyone a great service when it comes to 5 lug info.

                              Now hurry up and do your front write-up. Although, I spoke to Ground Control earlier and they just custom modifty the struts to not need the 96+ M3 control arms......

                              HM, interesting, I'm not sure how they do it, but if it works, I'd love to figure it out.

                              I am also trying to figure out a way make a solid steel plate that would allow use of e30 control arms. Machine shop could possibly machine them fairly cheap. Something to consider.

                              Comment

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