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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know that this has been discussed. Yet, many times it is unclear to people what might be wrong with their rear end: vibrations, tire wear etc.... The DIY of rear ball joint replacement has also been documented in parts on this forum and elsewhere. The part number for the special tool has changed. I also thought I'd share a list of symptoms I noticed. The more on the list one has, I'd say the more likely the ball joint is at fault (I had all of these). In no specific order:

1. Inside tire wear.
2. Tramlining.
3. The feeling that the front and rear of car are disconnected.
4. Vibration/clicking type noise almost mistaken for exhaust notes on acceleration.
5. Vibration to rear on high speed turns >50 mph (caused by lateral loading).
6. Ability to shake the rear tire when on lift by grabbing at 6 and 12:00 positions.
7. Wheel hop on hard acceleration.
8. Rear toe going out of alignment (mine toe'd out 1/8" on two successive alignments).

The special tool (press) is available in two parts and both are needed. The recent cost was $120 and $184.

Good luck!
 

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wheel hop

L upper control arm and both ball joints. The wheel hop issue is markedly improved (although I can still get her to jump if I am ham-fisted on the shifting.)

ssomed
 

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mmm, I've always had some wheel hop when spinnng up both wheels in 1st gear, even after the joints were changed, but not noticed at all in a 2nd gear powerslide exiting corners?
very smooth & flat then.
 

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I bought that tool from BMW Special Order Parts to have one in my tool box as I have mutiple e39. I have rented a tool from a Boardmember on another forum and used it in the past successfully and easily I might add. It was the Rear Ball Joint Tool from Baum Tools. I figured the BMW tool would be better since it was a BMW tool afterall.

When I attempted to use the BMW tool I found that the original Threaded Shaft did not thread into the Pucks and I needed to exchange the Threaded Rod for several others until I found one that fit. Upon using the tool - remember I had done one of my other cars before - Drive nut stripped the threads on the threaded rod and became unmovable. I had re-purchase the Threaded rod again from BMW since my car was disassembled in the Garage. And the part was not in country with a delivery date of 3 weeks out.

I finally ended up re-renting the Tool from KBSilver on Bimmerforums to finish the work. The new BMW Threaded rod finally arrived last Nov after 2 months time. I will be buying the Baum Tools Ball joint press. It has a red Plastic case to hold the Rod; Drive Nut; and all the pucks secure while in storage.

I would suggest folks at least take a look at both tools before making a purchase decision. FWIW - JT
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I bought that tool from BMW Special Order Parts to have one in my tool box as I have mutiple e39. I have rented a tool from a Boardmember on another forum and used it in the past successfully and easily I might add. It was the Rear Ball Joint Tool from Baum Tools. I figured the BMW tool would be better since it was a BMW tool afterall.

When I attempted to use the BMW tool I found that the original Threaded Shaft did not thread into the Pucks and I needed to exchange the Threaded Rod for several others until I found one that fit. Upon using the tool - remember I had done one of my other cars before - Drive nut stripped the threads on the threaded rod and became unmovable. I had re-purchase the Threaded rod again from BMW since my car was disassembled in the Garage. And the part was not in country with a delivery date of 3 weeks out.

I finally ended up re-renting the Tool from KBSilver on Bimmerforums to finish the work. The new BMW Threaded rod finally arrived last Nov after 2 months time. I will be buying the Baum Tools Ball joint press. It has a red Plastic case to hold the Rod; Drive Nut; and all the pucks secure while in storage.

I would suggest folks at least take a look at both tools before making a purchase decision. FWIW - JT

The pucks are threaded the same as the nuts provided. However as opposed to the nuts the pucks only thread onto the short end of the shaft. I believe this is since the height of the threads on the long end of the shaft are slightly taller and prevent someone from threading the pucks onto the wrong end. I really don't know why the pucks need to be threaded since an extra nut is supplied which can be positioned after the puck to hold it. Nevertheless there are drawbacks to the tool but for those uninitiated in the change-out BMW's tool is machined perfectly for the application and takes a little of the guesswork out. Still it's possible to screw things up as I found out. The tool's threads should be lubed for use as one example. A write-up of this in pictorial form for generic E39s is available on another website (Beis-------tems) and should be followed to the letter.
 

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autozone has the same tools you could rent.

too late now.
OK, I'll bite. Same tools as what? Are you sugggesting they have a tool that works perfectly for rear ball joint change job? What is the part#?

Auto Zone rents generic OTC service tools that occasionally work if you're lucky, but they are never "same as" and seldom equivalent to BMW model-specific specialty tools.
 

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OK, I'll bite. Same tools as what? Are you sugggesting they have a tool that works perfectly for rear ball joint change job? What is the part#?

Auto Zone rents generic OTC service tools that occasionally work if you're lucky, but they are never "same as" and seldom equivalent to BMW model-specific specialty tools.
They have franklin tools for rent at the one near me. One of which is very similar, if not the same as the baum ball joint replacement tool.
 

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I think I might be experiencing this issue on the right rear of my car. I have a vibration at higher speeds that I can feel in the floorboards, under the dead pedal, and in the seats. I can also watch the passenger-side front headrest vibrate. On top of that, my right rear tire had extensive inside wear that my left rear tire did not exhibit.

So, the conclusion is that the right rear is out of alignment, and the question is why? I wonder if I should just have the alignment done, then see if it holds? I doubt it, but would that be a good first step?
 

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I think I might be experiencing this issue on the right rear of my car. I have a vibration at higher speeds that I can feel in the floorboards, under the dead pedal, and in the seats. I can also watch the passenger-side front headrest vibrate. On top of that, my right rear tire had extensive inside wear that my left rear tire did not exhibit.

So, the conclusion is that the right rear is out of alignment, and the question is why? I wonder if I should just have the alignment done, then see if it holds? I doubt it, but would that be a good first step?
How many miles do you have on your rear ball joints, Mike? Replacement of rear ball joints every 35k-40k miles is probably best for optimal handling.

--Peter
 

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WOW! I bet you would notice quite an improvement in handling with new bushings/ball joints/control arms!

--PEter
I have replaced the lower control arms and the thrust arm bushings twice and the one rear ball joint - everything else tight. - my tech said that until he felt play in any of them, he didn't think they needed replaced.

Handles good I guess - over this amount of time though, it would be difficult to feel the slow progression.
 

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How many miles do you have on your rear ball joints, Mike? Replacement of rear ball joints every 35k-40k miles is probably best for optimal handling.

--Peter
Peter - I have 67K on the OEM suspension components, front and rear. I haven't raised the rear yet to see if I can move the wheel, or done much else in the way of troubleshooting, but I'm betting it's the ball joint.
 

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Peter - I have 67K on the OEM suspension components, front and rear. I haven't raised the rear yet to see if I can move the wheel, or done much else in the way of troubleshooting, but I'm betting it's the ball joint.
Yeah, I don't think the rear ball joints last that long, Mike. At least, not typically. They're pretty cheap and not altogether difficult to install, particularly if you borrow the right tools from Raza or whomever. I'd also get ready to replace the front thrust arm bushings.

--Peter
 
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