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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 12-14-2016, 06:34 AM   #41
yellowboss
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As I mentioned above (STEPS 17 & 18), I could not get the bearing to break free using the breaker bar at all. It just wouldn’t budge. I did not break BMW tool or the breaker bar but was worried something was going to snap. That's when I decided to remove the entire knuckle from the car and use my 20 ton shop press to the bearing out. It was much easier.

That’s what worked for me. I'm not sure how strong your “generic tool” is but I think the breaker bar would've snapped before the BMW version of the tool would’ve broken. If the wrench and breaker bar do not work for you this morning, you may be forced to remove the knuckle it and have the bearing pressed out. If we were closer to each other I’d offer you use of my shop press but I see we’re a few hours apart.

Good luck! I know it sucks to be without a car.

Steve
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Old 12-14-2016, 05:41 PM   #42
Mariner05
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Plus one on taking the whole knuckle to a shop and having the bearing pressed out. Mine bearings definitely were Loctite-retained, and if you don't use heat, you will need a 20 ton press or have to resort to a sledge hammer. The simplest and safest is the press.

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Old 12-15-2016, 09:23 AM   #43
sannouni
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Hey guys, thank you so much for the feedback. I managed to get the bearing out using the bearing extracting tool (the generic one). i needed a lot of force, and you guys are right, it almost felt like something else was going to give before the bearing started to budge. i did both front bearings, i actually had to do the job twice, because the first time i pressed the hub into the inner race of the bearing, i didnt do it correctly (thankfully i didnt drive the car), so i had to take everything out again to press the hub in properly (i was using the bearing installer tool, but i was using an incorrect adapter at the back of the hub, which was pushing against the hub housing and not against the back of the inner race of the bearing, so it moved one of the inner race out ever so slightly, and the hub was not pressed in fully against both the inner race)
thank you for all the input from Yellowboss, Mariner05, and everyone in this thread, i was able to do the work because of you guys.
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Old 12-27-2016, 09:15 PM   #44
atgatt
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The Story Continues

Putting the snow tires on the 325xi and found the outer boot on the cv axle cracked... meaning grease was everywhere.

In the process of replacing the cv axle. I must have cracked the boot when I was fixing the the wheel bearing. So... here we go again. I decided to replace the entire cv axle since it had 100k miles on it. Stay tuned. Waiting for the part.
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Old 12-30-2016, 09:07 PM   #45
atgatt
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Originally Posted by atgatt View Post
Putting the snow tires on the 325xi and found the outer boot on the cv axle cracked... meaning grease was everywhere.

I must have cracked the boot when I was fixing the the wheel bearing. So... here we go again. I decided to replace the entire cv axle since it had 100k miles on it. Stay tuned. Waiting for the part.
New cv axle in. I'm getting better doing this. Took the time to replace the hub (and so the wheel bearing again as well). It was getting hard to fit tires over the hub. Anyway... new axle went in easy. Having a serious impact wrench made the job MUCH MUCH easier as well.

Went with the GKN OEM axle. $319... fits fine and seems to be the same as the original... EXCEPT it has a different size nut (32mm) than the original.

Also... when jacking up the car in the front the jack pad just snapped off the frame and the car fell so safety tip: ALWAYS USE JACK STANDS. Happened before I took the wheels off so the only damage was that stupid plastic belly pan and it scratched the sway bar. Otherwise no damage.

Last edited by atgatt; 12-30-2016 at 09:10 PM.
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Old 02-05-2017, 05:03 PM   #46
04-E46
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Anyone else have to get the old bearing pressed out? Tried using a front bearing removal tool and even with 700 ft lbs impact the bearing did not move.

Last edited by 04-E46; 02-05-2017 at 10:01 PM.
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Old 02-06-2017, 07:59 PM   #47
bryanjb
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Originally Posted by 04-E46 View Post
Anyone else have to get the old bearing pressed out? Tried using a front bearing removal tool and even with 700 ft lbs impact the bearing did not move.
Those bearings are brutal to get out, even in the best of circumstances. I have a 12 ton press in my shop, and bent that in the attempt. A minimum 20 ton is what it took for mine, which was clean with no rust. Clearances were too tight for penetrating oil. This was as close to profoundly stuck as I've been working on my E46 wagon.

What I actually did was use a Greenlee hydraulic electrical punch with a punch a die set up. I pumped it up as far as I could get it, then beat on it with a 3lb hammer, rinse and repeat. The 12 ton put the replacement bearing back in just fine.

Be careful to get the inner and outer race orientation correct, as one of the shields has the impulse wheel for the ABS.

Maybe find a local indy garage with a big press. Good luck
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Old 02-06-2017, 08:55 PM   #48
04-E46
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So I went wrong somewhere. With the supper bowl yesterday I did not have the brakes and wheel back on. Got it all together tonight after work. The wheel is activating the antilock on every stop. Pulled the fuses and it drives great. Did I mess up a sensor or is there something else that could have happened?
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:15 PM   #49
bryanjb
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Originally Posted by 04-E46 View Post
So I went wrong somewhere. With the supper bowl yesterday I did not have the brakes and wheel back on. Got it all together tonight after work. The wheel is activating the antilock on every stop. Pulled the fuses and it drives great. Did I mess up a sensor or is there something else that could have happened?
If you messed up the sensor, I think you would get an ABS code. Speculating, but maybe you put the bearing in with the inner race turned out. The ABS system thinks the wheel is not turning.

How sure are you that the bearing went back in correctly? Did you move the ABS sensor in the steering knuckle? Did anything metallic, like rust, get in the sensor area?
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:32 PM   #50
04-E46
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Little more info. I have now read about megnetic end on one side of bearing. Which could be issue. However I never have brake light or abs light come on until I pull fuse 53 to disable it
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Old 02-06-2017, 09:34 PM   #51
04-E46
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Originally Posted by bryanjb View Post
If you messed up the sensor, I think you would get an ABS code. Speculating, but maybe you put the bearing in with the inner race turned out. The ABS system thinks the wheel is not turning.

How sure are you that the bearing went back in correctly? Did you move the ABS sensor in the steering knuckle? Did anything metallic, like rust, get in the sensor area?
Had to take it to a shop to press bearing out and they pressed it back in also. Easy way to find out bearing sides?

I did remove the sensor to pull the spindle.

Last edited by 04-E46; 02-06-2017 at 09:35 PM.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:01 PM   #52
GCoop
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Originally Posted by atgatt View Post
Also... when jacking up the car in the front the jack pad just snapped off the frame and the car fell so safety tip: ALWAYS USE JACK STANDS. Happened before I took the wheels off so the only damage was that stupid plastic belly pan and it scratched the sway bar. Otherwise no damage.
Since we are on the subject of that thing I think this bears repeating.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GCoop View Post
Glad you were not hurt!
Do yourself a favor and increase the safety of that front jack point on the XI. As you found out there is only a tiny nub (~3/16") of plastic holding that jack point to the front subframe.




Here is my improvement to this "German engineering" widowmaker.

Get yourself a JackNut
1/4-20 worked for me



Then get a 1/4-20 x 1" Stainless steel socket cap screw and lock washer that fits the hole in the jackpad (#12 I think -- 1/4 was definately too big). You need the small size the allen head offers for this reason too.


Tighten down/install the jacknut to the front subframe hole and throw a final coat of paint on it if you can't find one in stainless or other non corrosive metal then attach the jack pad to the frame using the allen head cap screw and lock washer to screw into the instaleld jacknut. You may have to grind the plastic a little so that the jack pad still stays flush with the subframe tube.

It still isnt the poster child for OSHA after this but IMO it is a far sight safer than before.
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Old 02-08-2017, 07:05 PM   #53
atgatt
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Originally Posted by GCoop View Post
Since we are on the subject of that thing I think this bears repeating.
Good advice! Thanks for the tip!
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Old 02-08-2017, 08:03 PM   #54
bryanjb
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Originally Posted by 04-E46 View Post
Had to take it to a shop to press bearing out and they pressed it back in also. Easy way to find out bearing sides?

I did remove the sensor to pull the spindle.
The bearings I bought look like this:
https://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-3...odels/?pdk=AwE
If you look closely, you'll see the encoder ring steps on the black seal. This side has to go onto the spindle facing inward, toward the ABS sensor. On some bearings, this is pretty hard to see.
A friend of mine did the same job, and argued up and down that the encoder ring was some other part - but this seal is where it is. These seal / encoder ring on these bearings should not be exposed to a magnet - it will kill them.

Last edited by bryanjb; 02-08-2017 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 02-20-2017, 01:09 AM   #55
psyki
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I spent all weekend and got most of the drivers side removed except for the inner race still stuck in the spindle. Resigned myself to removing the spindle and having a shop remove it and press in the new bearing/hub so I popped the ball joints off, that spindle is good to go. Btw the pinch bolt came off but with a struggle. The parts that do not engage threads are corroded beyond belief so I will need a new bolt.

Moved on to the passenger side, right away the head on the pinch bolt snapped off. At this point I'm perfectly willing to have a shop do the rest of the bearing work for me but I need to know how to remove the spindle with the strut still attached. Is it possible to spread the pinch enough to free the strut? Like the driver side, the bolt is probably corroded all the way through the pinch housing. Is it possible to cut the bolt through the gap without touching the strut tube with my angle grinder? I thought if I could free the control arm ball joint and detach the strut from the body I could move the spindle enough to pull the axle out but there isn't enough room to get my puller on the control arm joint with the axle in the way.

Or is simply drilling out the broken bolt my only option at this point? Can I start drilling at the far end just enough to drill the threads off and then hammer the bolt out? Or do I need to drill the whole thing out? Left hand drill bits?
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Old 02-21-2017, 01:59 PM   #56
atgatt
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I spent all weekend and got most of the drivers side removed except for the inner race still stuck in the spindle. Resigned myself to removing the spindle and having a shop remove it and press in the new bearing/hub so I popped the ball joints off, that spindle is good to go. Btw the pinch bolt came off but with a struggle. The parts that do not engage threads are corroded beyond belief so I will need a new bolt.

Moved on to the passenger side, right away the head on the pinch bolt snapped off. At this point I'm perfectly willing to have a shop do the rest of the bearing work for me but I need to know how to remove the spindle with the strut still attached. Is it possible to spread the pinch enough to free the strut? Like the driver side, the bolt is probably corroded all the way through the pinch housing. Is it possible to cut the bolt through the gap without touching the strut tube with my angle grinder? I thought if I could free the control arm ball joint and detach the strut from the body I could move the spindle enough to pull the axle out but there isn't enough room to get my puller on the control arm joint with the axle in the way.

Or is simply drilling out the broken bolt my only option at this point? Can I start drilling at the far end just enough to drill the threads off and then hammer the bolt out? Or do I need to drill the whole thing out? Left hand drill bits?
Wowy wow wow. That pinch bolt is a fairly beefy bolt to just snap off. That's just bad luck it happened to you. The easiest thing to do is get that entire knuckle out if at all possible. Then you can work on getting the bolt out much, much more easily. Get the axle nut off and the top of the strut unbolted... see if you can't pull the entire thing out. Then take a breath. The knuckle itself is fairly pricey (~$350) so try to drill that bad boy out first.
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Old 02-21-2017, 02:32 PM   #57
psyki
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Originally Posted by atgatt View Post
Wowy wow wow. That pinch bolt is a fairly beefy bolt to just snap off. That's just bad luck it happened to you. The easiest thing to do is get that entire knuckle out if at all possible. Then you can work on getting the bolt out much, much more easily. Get the axle nut off and the top of the strut unbolted... see if you can't pull the entire thing out. Then take a breath. The knuckle itself is fairly pricey (~$350) so try to drill that bad boy out first.
I had zero problems getting the axle nuts off both sides with air but even after soaking the driver side in PB I had to use a breaker on it. The threaded portion at the end was fine but the part that passes through the pinch joint was just nasty, presumably because the gap in the pinch joint let in 220k miles of who knows what. And yeah, the passenger didn't budge with air and the breaker just snapped the head right off.

Like I said I'm stuck at removing the knuckle though. I can unbolt the top of the strut and move the brake dust shield out of the way enough to pop off the tie-rod ball joint but the control arm ball joint is directly underneath the axle so I'm not sure how to get it off with my Pittman style tool. I suppose I could use a pickle fork but that would mean a new ball joint in that location, or worse a new control arm off they aren't replaceable

Or I just bite the bullet and drill it out in place using my brand new set of Irwin left-hand drill bits I just got from Amazon prime thanks to one day shipping.

Last edited by psyki; 02-21-2017 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 02-21-2017, 10:16 PM   #58
Mariner05
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Try to rent/borrow/buy one of the screw-and-lever style ball joint tools.

Search : "amazon.com OTC 6297 Ball Joint Separator Automotive"

AutoHauz has a Hazet brand for about 2X the cost, but it looks more adjustable. I have the OTC tool, and it only just fits, but I got my ball joints apart without tearing the boots. Still challenging, but can be done in place. There may be clearance issues just loosening the nut on the ball joint.

Good luck!

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Old 02-22-2017, 04:22 AM   #59
atgatt
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Good luck with the left handed drill bit. I hope it works... but given the bolt head snapped off it's unclear to me if your drill will have the torque required to back that bolt out. A screw extractor ("easy out") with a long spanner to get some torque might be a decent plan B. Otherwise I guess you would need to drill it out completely and then tap it... which would suck. Let me know how you make out.
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Old 02-23-2017, 03:43 AM   #60
psyki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mariner05 View Post
Try to rent/borrow/buy one of the screw-and-lever style ball joint tools.

Search : "amazon.com OTC 6297 Ball Joint Separator Automotive"

AutoHauz has a Hazet brand for about 2X the cost, but it looks more adjustable. I have the OTC tool, and it only just fits, but I got my ball joints apart without tearing the boots. Still challenging, but can be done in place. There may be clearance issues just loosening the nut on the ball joint.

Good luck!

Mariner05
Oh right, I bought the harbor freight version of that tool a few years ago to disassemble an E36 and it lasted 3 ball joints before the threads jammed up. Could have been because I used my air gun on it but more than likely it was just junk to begin with. Crud. I've already got the drill bits and an ez-out kit, I think I'll try that first before buying yet another tool.
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