E36 M3 Front Lower Control Arm Ball Joint Replacement
This article covers the DIY approach to pressing in new ball joints into an e36 front control arm.
Many Enthusiasts aren’t aware you’re able to press in new ball joints to the e36 M3 Control arms. By pressing out your old ball joints, reusing the control arm, and pressing in new e30 ball joints, you can save yourself hundreds of dollars vs buying a whole new assembly.
You’ll need the following parts:
2x Lemforder Ball Joint #1
Torin T51201 Shop Press – 12 Ton
We recommend the ball joints shown above, as they are Heavy duty replacements with metal inserts. They’re also from the cheapest location we could find online.
You’ll first need to remove the front control arm. You can find DIY e36 Control arm removal instructions here.
With the arm removed, mark the indentations on the control arm from the ball joints. It’s important the new ball joints are aligned in the same manner as the old. Use paint or a sharpie to mark the location of the ball joints before pressing them out.
Press the old ball joint out in a similar fashion as show here.
Here you can see the control arm with the old ball joints pressed out. Note how on some e36 models the ball joints used plastic braces which fail easily. The new Lemforder balljoints we are replacing them with are an all metal construction.
Now simply press in the new ball joints in the same manner as you removed them, pay attention to the orientation marks you created earlier. Finally install the control arms in the reverse order they were removed, and marvel at your work. By simply pressing in new bushings, the total cost of the repair not including a press is only around $120. Cheaper than one complete control arm assembly.
If you want to go all out consider our DIY Powder Coating Guide.