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BMW E90 Control Arm Bushing Replacement DIY 325xi, 328xi, 330xi, 335xi, X-Drive

In this article I will show you how to replace the control arm bushings on your 2006-2013 325xi, 328xi, 335xi, 328i X-Drive and 335i X-Drive.  A good way to diagnose failed control bushings on you AWD BMWs is by simply unbolting the control arms and inspecting the bushings, it is hard to tell the condition of the bushings when the control arms are bolted up to the subframe.  Another way to tell if the bushings are bad is by performing a test drive.  If the bushings are worn out you will feel too much play in the front suspension when abruptly engaging or releasing the brakes.  

The procedure for replacing BMW control arm bushings is fairly simple but you will definitely need a hydraulic press, or will need to find a shop that will press the bushings out and press the new bushings in for you.  If you don't have access to a hydraulic press, consider getting new control arms with bushings already pressed in.  New control arms are not terribly expensive for these cars.  

1.  Start out by removing parts of the plastic fender liner and underpanel to gain easy access to the bolt that mounts the control arm to the subframe.

BMW E90 328xi Removing Fender Liner 

2.  Remove the bolt for the control arm bushing. 

BMW E90 328xi Control Arm Bushing Bolt Removal

3.  Here you can see the cracks in the bushing.

BMW  E90 328xi Cracked Control Arm Bushing

4.  Using a two jawed gear puller press the ball joint out of the control arm and remove the control arm.  Do not unbolt the ball joint from the spindle.  If you notice in the picture I unbolted the ball joint.  Don't do that, the ball joint isn't easy to remove from the spindle.  It is much easier to pop the ball joint out of the control arm.

BMW E90 328xi Removing the ball joint from the control arm

5.  Using a hydraulic press, press the bushing out of the control arm.  Press in the new bushing and be sure to align it properly.  The bushing has an arrow on it and the control arm has a notch.  The two must be aligned.

BMW E90 328xi Pressing out Control Arm Bushings

6.  When installing a nut on the ball joint, the ball joint will spin. Prevent it from spinning by inserting a torx bit into it while tightening down the nut with a wrench.  Torque the ball joint nut to 80Nm and torque the bolt/nut that goes through the control arm bushing to 68Nm initial torque and a 90 degree torque angle.  Before tightening down the control arm bushing bolt reinstall the wheels, lower the car down on to the ramps and tighten the nuts with suspension at its normal preloaded position.  If you do not torque down the control arm bushing bolts with the suspension settled, the bushings will be preloaded and will fail in a very short amount of time.  

BMW E90 328xi Reinstalling a Control Arm Ball Joint

Once everything is installed it is not a bad idea to take the car to a BMW dealer and get it realigned.  BMW dealers don't charge that much more than independent shops for alignment and you will be sure your alignment was done properly with the car preloaded with specified weights.

Keep in mind, this article is for information purposes only.  Use at your own risk.

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