How to Replace: BMW E39 Wheel Carrier Ball Joint (Rear Sway Bar End Link, Integral Link) FCP Euro

How to Replace: BMW E39 Wheel Carrier Ball Joint (Rear Sway Bar End Link, Integral Link) FCP Euro

hey everybody it’s scared with FCP today
I’m going to take you through the steps and how to replace the rear ball joint
on an e39 also good replacing the rear end upper link as well as the rear sway
bar link so let’s get started first thing to do is remove the through
bolt that goes from the outside of the swingline to the inside the spring arm
this goes straight to the middle bull joint and the integral link there’s 24
millimeter self locking hex nut on this side towards the inside of the car and
this 18 limit on the outside now there’s a decent amount of tension on this bolt
because the swing on due to the inner bushings here so take a hammer it’s not
running now the the occasional loose you might have the sway bar link is when
you’re trying to spin the lock nut off of it you’ll notice that the actual ball
joint is spinning with it I can see this one moving on the inside sometimes the
slaver link will have like an allen key or a torx key on the outside that you
can put some sort of socket in to hold it in place for bmw’s is usually a flat
spot that you can put a box wrench on in this case it’s only two sixteen
millimeters 4039 and there’s a little bit of a gap in the bathroom line where
you can simply latch onto it the theory is you want to pull this down
so you can gain access to the ball joint because we have to press that out I do
not like to pull this down reason being you’re stressing the inside bush is more
than you normally will the other thing is if you remove these inner eccentrics
you also do run the risk of changing your alignments so what you can do this
is where I person prefer to do is to clean this down and I’m going to mark it
where the eccentrics are lined up because I’ll actually be removing this
bolt now by loosening the bolt here which is a 16 millimeter and this entire
swing arm will to droop right down but BMW says that if you’re doing this rear
ball joint you should have alignment checked anyway so to me it doesn’t
really matter one way or the other I’d rather spare the bushings on a $400
part and take a short cut and take a vice grip and damage the remaining area
here like I said I’m gonna have this car in line anyway after this but for now
I’m going to mark it as close to where it is right now to make it easier later
you do this with a sharpie eighteen millimeter box wrench et
millimeter socket they’re going to remove this bolt let’s see as I turn the
bolt it’s pulling this arm in it’s done by this washer here this off that washer
kind of cool make sure you keep these together you’ll be needing them later
when you put the car back together then with a sixteen millimeter socket you’re
just gonna loosen this bolt here there are no alignments for this one so don’t
worry about it loosen it up with an 18 millimeter socket go in to unbolt the
integral length the top of the interval length from the wheel here now we can go ahead remove the integral
link simply be hooked on the ball joint a little bit so you may have to wrestle
with it but comes right out this right here is called an integral link now then
go ahead and let the swing arm hang so now I have easy access to the ball joint
right here as you can see there’s quite a bit of play in this one this is really
bad actually but it’s on a 34,000 miles original ball joint so it definitely
lived its purpose on the back of the ball joint there’s a snap ring which
secures it in place prevents it from backing it out these can get pretty
stuck on so I’m going to hit it with a little bit of penetrant I’m trying to
put a ton on it what’ll happen on these is you’ll have a
lot of corrosion that builds up behind you can see the rust just sort of seizes
it if you can find like a small screwdriver chisel and if as you get
behind this then you started sliding it up eventually they’ll let go of its grip
I’m gonna go ahead and remove this boot it’s not needed anymore simply prise
right off and then you can see all the grease that’s packed inside essentially
the reason why they call this a ball joint not a bushing is because this
piece is allowed to move independently what happens is that grease will start
to push out and I’ll get this where so once that happens you need to replace it
now there’s a specific BMW tool to remove this joint I know many of the
viewers we’re going to watch this video or not going to spend the 250 300 400
hours for that tool some places you can rent them from but availability some
questionable but you can’t go down your local auto parts store and pick up a
tool like this basically giant C clamp with a bunch of adapters you have to
play around these to find the right sizes but trust me the right sizes are
normally in the box and you should be able to press out the old ball joint and
pressing the new one so I’ll show you how to do it using this tool the BMW
Tool Works in a very similar way though there’s any they cup that’s wider than
the ball joint coming out and then another cup which is just about the
right size to sit on the back of the joint and push it out all right depending on the type of tool
you’re using you’ll have to use different socket sizes so I can’t really
help you on this but in this case 1/2 millimeter and we’re just gonna start
cranking on here’s the old joint like I said you can see the amount of play in
it that’s going to cause uneven tire wear
also some handling issues and I feel like the rear end is kind of skating
around so if you have any kind of play like this in the rear suspension check
your ball joints like I said this is one hundred thirty four thousand miles which
probably shouldn’t replace a long time ago but this is an example of early worn
one I’m just going to take some 80 grit sandpaper here and clean out the inside
of the board here where the ball joint is pressed into this will make
installing the new ball joint a little bit easier and also prevent the new one
really stuck in you now need to press this bat in the bore the flange part
sits on the outside here so I’m just going to let it sit in there for now
you’ll need to find a cup to press it and a cup to receive it in this case I’m
using the exact same ones I used to press it out this one should fit right
over the dust boot like that before you start pressing this in you’re
just going to make sure that the ball joint is sitting evenly if it’s a little
off-center it might be difficult to press in or might not press it at all so
just make sure that it’s sitting fairly flush before doing anything else just
making sure that this has been pressed it evenly it has it’s completely flush
all the way around so the bottom bevel is meaning the wheel carrier perfectly
so we’re all setting that and they have to consult snapping just clean up any
excess corrosion around where the snap ring is going to go you could use a pair of snap ring pliers
but because there’s no hole to get the snap ring pliers into you need a very
specific set just use a screwdriver and keep pushing in around as you go around
eventually it’ll see it itself alright be sway bar links are okay kind of we’ll
go ahead replace them anyway might as well since I have easy access to it once
again signal at the top of 16 millimeter box wrench on the flat spot just have to
find it real quick sorry if my hand is blocking the camera and obviously give her a question now
orientation stubble check the other side see the flat spots easily right there if
if I’m talking about you can get a fast wrench on that we’ll also be installing
a brand-new one integral length you can see there’s a little lip on the ball
joint here the interval link simply fits over that and then it’s going to bolt
the top piece but I’m gonna bring the swing ball the swing arm back up into
place now you’re gonna need to run this long
bolt back through should stay in place once it’s lined up take the bolt and
start wiggling it in and then you need up make up sure it lines up on this side important to be able to see is you
shouldn’t place this locking nut I’m going to take the interval length bolt that’s just the interval length bolt
right there I’m not going to tighten it fully yet we
still have to torque that with the vehicle ride height later so I’m just
going to start threading this in my hand just needs to be hand tight for now now this eccentric washer can only go on
one way it’s going to match the other side every time this is our locking nut
that goes on the outside I’m going to thread that now so I’m going to bring it
into alignment I made sure the other mark the other side is where it needs to
be I’m going to move it right there into place and using my rations of count hold
I’m sending a tightening knot and that will hold the alignment in place usually
new sway bar links come with hardware she’s gonna salt a new 16 millimeter nut
once again you probably have to use a 16 millimeter box wrench as a counter hold now with the rear axle ride height we go
ahead and torque the spec here oh this is right here is supposed to be torqued
at a hundred and eighty-nine foot-pounds of torque this is why it’s really important to
tighten the suspension parts at ride height because this was tied up in the
air it’s not gonna be tight I ride I take a lot of the stress off the bolt plastic at least you have to torque the
integral link bolt to 77 foot-pounds of torque we’re tight alright guys and that’s how
you replace the rear ball joint on an e39 5-series this process would be
fairly similar 38 Andy 60 a lot of the newer t-90s pretty much any newer BMW
for that matter so if you have some winter tire wear come from the rear or
you notice that the handling isn’t quite there they’re like the rear end is
wobbling back and forth it’s probably because of that ball joint but as always
if you do have any questions please feel free to give us a call we can be reached
at eight seven seven six three four zero zero six three thank you for watching

79 thoughts on “How to Replace: BMW E39 Wheel Carrier Ball Joint (Rear Sway Bar End Link, Integral Link) FCP Euro

  1. Great video!  You make it look easy.  I guess having a lift helps, eh?

    I did this job on my e38 a few months ago and pressing out the ball joint was a major pain – the removal tools I borrowed from AutoZone wouldn't fit, and trying to make one with plumbing materials was a big waste of time.  I finally capitulated and bought the specific tool – about $110 new off ebay, it's a China knockoff but worked PERFECTLY and pressing out/in the balljoint was a breeze with it.  Worth every penny.  My ball joints were shot, but not nearly as bad as the one in this video.  BTW – I did the control arms and struts too, just to make things complicated and expensive 😉    '99 e38 180,000 miles.

  2. Great video! Unfortunately for me this job has been one giant PITA. The universal press sleeves for the ball joint doesn't clear the wheel carrier. Now that I've given up and trying to get everything back together to take it to the Indy the swing arm is giving me fits. Any secret to getting the swing arm over the integral link bushing? On mine the edge of the swing arm makes contract with the edge of the bushing keeping it from sliding into place.

  3. Looks easy, and probably is with the right tools and a Pro doing it for the 1000th time. Excellent DIY video Garth. Gonna do this after my Vanos seal job next week. 

  4. This was very very useful, its a shame I didn't see it before I changed mine. I had over 300,000 on my car before I think they were changed for the first time. I purchased the same C-clamp kit as well, from Harbor Freight. I turned mine from a "C" to an "I" clamp. It was so rusted in I used the cups that came with it and a large grade 8 bolt to remove them and broke a bolt on the second one trying to get it out. I had to heat mine up and let them cool a couple of times as well before I was able to get them to break free. 

  5. You can just saw through the bush so it collapses on itself no special press tools needed then just taps back in with hammer and socket

  6. I have a real pain with the tension of the spring, which puts everything under pressure and makes every thing really difficult. Any tips on this? (I have a touring, maybe that is worse) It is really hard to fit spring compressors in there. Was this on an air suspension car? 

    Two more comments:
    1. Make sure to read the ride height before you start.
    2. Should not also the two inner swing arm bushings be tightened at ride height?

  7. Are the ball joint wheel carriers the bastards that make these awful squeaky sounds when the car is going through uneven surfaces? Great video and also a very nice quality!

  8. Would this be the same for a 1995 BMW 740i? I think it's the E38. Also can you point me in the direction of what is causing rear inner tire wear? Thanks.

  9. do u know where to get a bmw torque spec book ?
    also would you plz do a full front control arms and rods for e39 ?

    thank you

  10. Hello,

    first of all, I would like to say thank you for the video. I am currently in the process of doing a rear suspension overhaul on my M5 and this video has been a godsend. I do have a question though: Is there any trick to getting the swing arm back into alignment with the ball joint and integral link?

    thank you

  11. I'm replacing My integral link on 06 530xi and not the ball joint I watched your video it was helpful but will it effect anything if I take the threw blot on the control arm out to remove the link ?

  12. i had no idea rear sway bar end link is so small compared to front one….also rear is much more complicated to replace that you cant really DIY it if you dont have tools like that.

  13. Great tutorial!
    My E39T rear suspension has developed a creaking noise recently. I suspect the lower ball joint. Do you know the exact diameter of the two cups used? thanks.

  14. my rear sway arm broke…thats right broke, so if you find your car twerking when you hit a pothole or uneven surface you might wanna check it.

  15. Great video! Thanks for taking the time to make these helpful videos. I was wondering if you could make a video on how to replace the rear lower control arm bushings?

  16. A little dab of grease also helps putting it in if you are using a homemade version of this tool. I want to exchange mine (E36) but with poly… anyone ever used that for the rear out balljoint?

  17. my dad has an e39 and his rear left makes noise when driving and tyre is worn from inside. could this be his problem?

  18. When you torque the integral bolt/nut and put the car under load to get the ride height, where did put the jack pad exactly? Swing arm? Thanks…

  19. how did you get the car to "ride height" with the wheel off as I'm going to attempt mine soon you made it look easy 🙂 thanks

  20. Hey you guys, I just saw the video in german with the same theme and shall I tell you something? You did it much better in every respect! Thanks a lot, great job.

  21. My 2001 530i doesn't have the small sway bar links. I checked both sides and they aren't there. Is that bad?

  22. Thanks for the video. I've been struggling with the ball joint tonight and I noticed that even though you said that you should keep the ball joint nice and straight, yours ends up really crooked at 9:10 and you just force it through and it straightens. I've been stopping when mine got crooked because I didn't want to break anything. Interesting to see that you can just force it through and it'll be ok.

  23. Best video ever! Planning on doing same job on the rear right wheel as I feel skidding when I do a sharp turn and of course the squeaky noise coming from that wheel that is sooo annoying…. Streets of LA completely ruined my control arms

  24. Thank you for this! I have one question and I have been trying for a couple of days now. It's the very last step. For some reason I can't get the control arm and the knuckle to come together to get that final really long bolt through. The control arm keeps getting caught up on the ball joint. The only thing I can think of is that the ball joint was pressed too far. It did go about an 1/16 of an inch too far, the aluminum is pretty soft. Can you help!?! 2001 x5

  25. I have an annoying squeek when it's dry outside, some balljoint i guess. It's gone when raining. Any ideas?

  26. Great vid. Quick question . I have squeak from the top right side of my rear suspension when going over bumps or turning into driveways . I did replace the rear struts and the strut mounts seem to go away for a while then came back . The right rear strut mount I took out was broken. Any thoughts on this . Thank in advance.

  27. Awesome video. I just have two questions. 1. What where the symptoms this car suffered from? 2. When loading the suspension to ride height, can it be achieved by placing the car on ramps with the wheels attached?

  28. One question.. The bolts of swinarm on the back where you remove one bolt.. Where you mark it i dont have to jack up first and then torck itdown same like the side where the ball joint is.?

  29. Thanks for making this video! I have an 05 645ci. 139k miles. Just replaced the struts and now want to replace the rear UCA w new SPC rear camber kit installed into the UCAs. I guess I should really replace the ball joint due to the mileage. The reason I am replacing the UCA w the kit is b/c I have 19×10 STR 607 rear wheels and the tires last about 6-7 months due to inner tire wear. I want zero camber zero toe if at all possible. I am already at max'ed out alignment. Just need more.
    What is the average cost at an indy for replacing the rear UCAs, and this joint? I can tackle it myself but I will need the car towed to get the alignment anyway. No easy win with these 6 series. My e36 328i is way easier to maintain!!!
    Thanks for your time.

  30. Thanks for the video, I am about to undertake this task. As far as ride height when torquing, do you measure the hub center when it is on the ground and replicate that with the jack?

  31. For the snap ring, if you can get a pair of needle-nose pliars to open it enough, you can get a flat head screwdriver between the opposite side of the ring and the ball joint – pull the screwdriver to the side and it’ll pop off.

  32. FCP Euro has some of the best DIY videos for BMW, even the older models which need the most work.

  33. When you go around a corner, hit a bump and the rear feels like breaking out (Or worse if it is actually breaking out.) those two are toast and need to be replaced asap.

    I'll do that very repair this week, thanks a million for your instructional video!

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