How to change steering idler arm bushing - Page 2 - BMW M5 Forum and M6 Forums
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post #11 of 30 Old 27th March 2010, 06:14 PM
firebird400
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I couldn't get the idler arm to come off the ball joint, without ruining the joint. I got all the bolts/nuts off and struggled with it for a good 40 minutes. I tired to find a way to press out the bushing under the car to no avail. Just ended up putting it back together.

Another reason I put it back together rather than pushing onward was that the bushing didn't seem worn. I couldn't get and movement from the idler arm one way or another. Might give it another go on my buddies lift. But I suspect this isn't the root of my steering slop, I think its in the steering box itself.

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Last edited by firebird400; 27th March 2010 at 11:32 PM.
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post #12 of 30 Old 27th March 2010, 06:20 PM Thread Starter
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post #13 of 30 Old 27th March 2010, 11:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantaam5 View Post
You didn't get it off with the puller?

What kind of tool did you use?
looked pretty much like this:



Honestly, I probably could have done it if I wanted to still, but the bushing still seemed pretty solid. I pretty confident that its not what's causing my steering play.

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post #14 of 30 Old 10th March 2011, 02:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantaam5 View Post
Had a bit play in the steering wheel and hunted it down to a worn idler control arm bushing.
A friend borrowed me his workshop to change it today.

Promised Doug to do a short write up,so here it is...

Get the car up,remove tranny cover.
Remove bolt through the bushing(bolt and nut 13 mm socket,tightening torque:62NM),remove nut of the center linkage joint(18mm socket,tightening torque:65NM).

Remove idler arm from joint.Found out a two arm puller works best.






Press out old bushing and replace with new one.

Bolt everything back in.

Whole procedure took about 25 min.


TIS now say something about leveling pitman arm and alignment.
Given the fact that the high of the new bushing is the same,I don't think steering geometry changes.
Someone might correct me,if I am wrong here.
Anyway had a fast look on his alignment computer,toe was the same that it had the last time it was there 4 month ago....
I have been quoted (and I Planned on doing soon) $1310 for both tie rods and center link (at 66K Miles) and my only symptom is play in steering wheel. I have no creaks, squeaks, clunks or any noise what so ever.
I will surely have the bushing checked out soon as I may not need to replace the center link and tie rods.

Thanks Vantaam!

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post #15 of 30 Old 10th March 2011, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by desmotesta View Post
I have been quoted (and I Planned on doing soon) $1310 for both tie rods and center link (at 66K Miles) and my only symptom is play in steering wheel. I have no creaks, squeaks, clunks or any noise what so ever.
I will surely have the bushing checked out soon as I may not need to replace the center link and tie rods.

Thanks Vantaam!
You may want to shop around, that sounds quite high for what you're listing. I recently had tie rods, center link and idler arm bushing done for about half of that...

You have roughly $400 in parts, which means they are charging you about $900 for labor and tax.
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post #16 of 30 Old 7th March 2012, 04:49 PM
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post #17 of 30 Old 17th June 2012, 11:34 AM
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Just an update to this, if anyone is considering doing it without a press to change the bushings its not to bad.

1) Put arm with bushing in a vice
2) Saw off the large bit of sleeve that is sticking out from the arm
3) Place hacksaw blade through the bush. Bush is a metal inner sleeve, rubber middle, and alloy outer sleeve, cut through the first two and 90-95% through the alloy sleeve
4) Repeat the cut some 45 degrees round the bush
5) Using a small chisel, screwdriver extra, fold the cut section away from the arm, it'll probably sheer at the cut allowing you to peel it back
6) With the cut section folded away from the arm, the pressure on it is minimal, and it'll tap cleanly out.
7) Clean up the inside of the arm ready for the new bush, which can be pressed in with a large (30-32mm) socket and a vice.

Takes about 15 mins.
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post #18 of 30 Old 17th June 2012, 11:56 AM Thread Starter
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post #19 of 30 Old 18th June 2012, 02:00 AM
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A great way of getting a really stuck in bush out.
If I recall correctly, it took 7tons of pressure on the press to get the bush out on mine, quite a bit!

I got a new bush from GSF on ebay for something like £12, way cheaper than BMW but it had to be slackened off a bit. There's hardly anything to it, so getting a 'pattern part' hardly affects things and it was infinitely better that the old part!

I'd recommend everyone to change the idler bush at about 100,000miles. The difference in mine was astounding, I couldn't believe how tight the old one had become. If anyone thinks their steering is heavy, change this bush (or check it at the very least).

Here's my little bit about it (from my rod bearing post, here: Rod bearing change ):

Quote:
Originally Posted by ger View Post

The idler arm got some attention as well. During the days I waited for the parts, I cleaned up all the removed parts. When I looked at the idler arm, I decided I'd investigate a little further and popped it in a vice, squashing the central pin in the jaws. The first time I tried to rotate the arm, the pin twisted out of the vice! I tightened it more and I could barely get the thing to move. I drifted out the pin and was really surprised to see that it was all corroded and caked up. After some scraping and cleaning I managed to get the pin to move freely, but it was too free. I decided I'd get a new idler arm bush. I discovered that BMW would want about £50 for the bush or a little over £60 for a complete arm/bush. I had a quick look on ebay and found GSF selling idler arm bushes for the e39 for less than £12 ! Seeing that it can't be a complicated part, I took this as a 'no brainer' and ordered one!

VantaaM5 posted up about sorting this here:
http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/152335-how-change-steering-idler-arm-bushing.html

When the new bush arrived, obviously I went ahead to fit it. I wanted to ensure I didn't damage anything so I decided to remove the central pin from the bush. I was again surprised to find that it was very tight (though not quite as bad as my old one) and it was completely dry, no lubrication at all. It might be that the brass/bronze bushes inside don't need lubrication, but a smidge of grease never caused any harm. Miraculously, I discovered an adjustable reamer in the 'bits and bobs' drawer, it was a 3/4" or 18mm one, just what I needed, so I reamed out the new bush until the pin would rotate smoothly but no slack whatsoever.
It took 7tons of pressure to get the old bush from the arm, it was tight in. I pressed the new one in and all seems well. In fact, I'm certain that the steering has improved considerably. 'Normal' mode now has feather-light steering, whilst 'Sport' mode is now lighter than my previous normal mode! Previously, the sport mode was uncomfortably heavy, I now know why. Much easier to drive and how it should have been. I have a post about this here: http://www.m5board.com/vbulletin/e39-m5-e52-z8-discussion/163522-steering-wobble-only-upon-braking-im-loss-help-please-4.html#post2086395

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post #20 of 30 Old 18th June 2012, 07:12 PM
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Thank you for resurrecting this threat again.


I had completely forgotten about this.

Called and ordered the part from NAPA - they can get the one made by FEBI for $32.00

vantaam/Others who have done this:

Is this a DIY for an average person if I rent a puller?

By "average" I mean I do regular maint, brake jobs, sway bars etc - Have never done control arm bushings or any other bushings that need to be pulled.

Its seems that all I need to do is remove trans cover, remove # 7 and 8 and "pull" the bushing out - am I correct?


Thank you

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Last edited by desmotesta; 18th June 2012 at 07:14 PM.
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