BMW 3 Series (1999-2005) Control Arm Bushing Replacement DIY

Replace the Control Arm Bushing in a 1999-2005 3 Series (E46)

Works For:
1999 BMW 3 Series
2000 BMW 3 Series
2001 BMW 3 Series
2002 BMW 3 Series
2003 BMW 3 Series
2004 BMW 3 Series
2005 BMW 3 Series

3 Series Includes:  316, 318, 320, 323, 325, 328, 330 and M3 .

Source: Bimmerforums

My dealer warned me all sort of things when the bushing cracked at 60k miles and it would cost nearly $800 parts + labor. ($250 for parts, $500 for 2 hours of labor, some tax). I was not ready to give up that much. So I waited until 88k miles where the clicking noise is louder when I hit the brake or release the brake. This is when the bushing is completely gone.

This job wont take more than 2hrs to do so.

Step 1) Check up to see if it’s really bad.

Driver Side. (water infiltrated in that’s why there are some yellow stuffs and same for the passenger side)

Step 2) I dont believe those aftermarket stuffs. I purchased BMW genuine parts. a pair of bushing for $49 +tax = $54.07. SO I saved big time as most as $500 here (I have to reward myself for 2hrs of working with some beer ….)

Step 3) Prepare tools – they are look straight forward – only 1 thing to keep in mind that these screws are size 16. It’s the only size you need.

Step 4) After all the routines to get the car up. Look for these 3 screws that hold the plastic cover, unscrew them so you have space to remove the metal cover.

then look for 6 (size 16) screws and remove them. This is where the metal cover falls off.

look at the bottom edge and you see 3 holder that attached to the plastic part in previous step.

Step 5) Beware that these sensors on both side are very weak so do not try to pull the control arm out too far or out of the sensor reach.
(Passenger side)

(Driver side)

Also watch out for this oil sensor

Remove 2 main bolts that holds the bushing to the frame

the bushing holder immediately fell off the control arm.

the below picture showed the remain rubber part still strongly holdon to the control arm. I have to use W40 and plyer attempted to spin it around to remove it.

finally it has been removed

On the other side, it is still partially intacted. So you either have a choice to cut off all the rubber or use tool to remove.

Step 6) – You might want to put some of the dish soap or something to make slippery (definitely no engine oil, lube) to put the new part in. Beware!!! watch for the 2 edges on the 2 side of the control arm when put the bushing in.

Step 7) Once it’s in, align to the foundation tight.

Do the same thing to the other side.

Finally just put the plate cover back with 6 screws and 3 screws for the plastic cover.

Have fun.

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