BMW 3 Series E36 Ball Joint Replacement

by NinjaX on June 16, 2010

Ball joint removal and installation applies to the following BMW 3 series vehicles:

  • 316i, 316is, 318i, 318is, 318ti, 320i, 323i, 323is, 323ti, 325i, 325is, 328i, 328is, M3,

Ball Joint Removal

1. Raise and support front of BMW vehicle. Remove front wheel assembly. Disconnect stabilizer bar link from control arm.

bmw 3 series e36 stabilizer
2. Loosen control arm-to-steering knuckle ball joint nut (1) until it contacts strut.
3. Using a hammer and special tool (31 1 430), with slant of fork (2) facing downward, separate control arm from steering knuckle.
bmw 3 series control arm steering knuckle
4. Mark ball joint installation position for installation purposes.
bmw 3 series marking ball joint
5. Remove nut and discard.
6. Pull axle assembly outward and place a bar or similar device in place to hold assembly out for ball joint access.
bmw 3 series e36 ball joint access
7. Using Ball Joint Remover/Installer (31 1 441/443/445/446), remove ball joint.
bmw 3 series e36 ball joint remover installer


1. Using a scraper or wire brush, clean rust from ball joint lower mating face of control arm. Clean ball jointbore in control arm.
2. Screw Ball Joint Guide (31 1 448) onto NEW ball joint as far as it will go.
bmw 3 series ball joint install e36
3. Align match marks and insert ball joint in control arm. Ensure turning lock points toward middle of vehicle.
bmw 3 series e36 insert ball joint
4. Using Ball Joint Remover/Installer (31 1 441/443/447), install ball joint.
bmw 3 series e36 install ball joint
5. To complete installation, reverse removal procedure. Force wheel guide joint upwards using a car jack. This simplifies the tightening down of the nut. Replace all lock nuts. Use washer (2) for stabilizer connection on control arm.
6. Tighten fastener and wheel lug bolts to specification.

Torque Specifications

  • Brake Caliper Bolts: 81 Ft. Lbs. (110 N.m)
  • Collar Nut: 214 Ft. Lbs. (290 N.m)
  • Control Arm Ball Joint-To-Steering Knuckle Nut: 66 Ft. Lbs. (90 N.m)
  • Control Arm Bracket Bolts: 35 Ft. Lbs. (47 N.m)
  • Control Arm-To-Steering Knuckle Bolts: 48 Ft. Lbs. (65 N.m)
  • Front Suspension Assembly Bolts: 10 mm Bolts: 35 Ft. Lbs. (47 N.m), 12 mm Bolts: 77 Ft. Lbs. (105 N.m)
  • Shock Absorber Piston Rod On Thrust Bearing: 47 Ft. Lbs. (64 N.m)
  • Stabilizer Bracket Bolts: 16 Ft. Lbs. (22 N.m)
  • Stabilizer Link On Spring Strut Shock Absorber & Stabilizer: 44 Ft. Lbs. (59 N.m)
  • Stabilizer Link-To-Control Arm Nut: 31 Ft. Lbs. (42 N.m)
  • Steering Gear To Front Axle Carrier: 31 Ft. Lbs. (42 N.m)
  • Strut Shaft Nut: 48 Ft. Lbs. (65 N.m)
  • Strut-To-Steering Knuckle: 79 Ft. Lbs. (107 N.m)
  • Strut-To-Strut Tower Nuts: 18 mm Nut: 17 Ft. Lbs. (24 N.m), 21 mm Nut: 25 Ft. Lbs. (34 N.m)
  • Tie Rod End Nut: 24-29 Ft. Lbs. (33-40 N.m)
  • Wheel Lug Bolts: 81-96 Ft. Lbs. (110-130 N.m)

Got questions or comments on our BMW 3 series ball joint removal and installtion? Let us know below!

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