In Reply to: Just did this on my M5... posted by KJK on October 27, 2000 at 12:40:16:
I have a 1991 535i, and need to replace the upper/lower control arms, center track, tie rod, etc. Is this an easy job for a weekend mechanic, or should I have a shop do it?
not real difficult but I was at a friend's house who had air tools and pullers. If you are relatively handy it is not so difficult but could be very hard without these tools.
Basically, detach the strut to steering arm bolts, this exposes the nut holding the control arm on the steering arm. Unbolt it there and unbolt it at the frame. This is where it could get tough. The ball joint needs to tapped out of the steering arm. I know I used a puller on one side. The ball joint has a tapered stud that goes into the steering arm so it does get tight as it is pressed in.
Re-attach the new one, put some weight on the tires and torque it down. Taking out the strut would make it easier to access the steering arm bolt but I did it with the strut in. I also did the thrust arms and centerlink at the same time so I had it all apart. Took me six hours by myself. Torqueing down those frame bolts on your back under the car with about 2" of room to turn the wrench is a bitch. I was sore for two days but saved myself some serious cash.
Thanks for the information. I can do stuff like brakes, and tuneups, so I think I can work the the control arms. I have to agree air tools is a must for this job. I heard the M5 uses Alumminum lower control arms. Is that what you replaced yours with?