Replace the the Front Control Arms on an E36 (1991-1999) BMW 3 Series
1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 BMW 3 Series Models
BMW 3 Series Includes: 316, 318, 320, 323, 325, 328, 330 and M3 .
In my continuing series of suspension technical articles for the BMW, I now bring you my article for replacing the front control arms on the E36 3 Series cars from 1992-99. With many of the E36 models now reaching well over 100K on the odometer, it’s not uncommon to start having suspension squeaks and loose handling up front. The front suspension on the E36 3 Series was a small improvement over the earlier E30 front suspension. The newer style suspension on these cars allows you the ability to replace the outer control arm ball joint whereas you could not on the earlier models. However the inner ball joint is the same as the E30 control arm and must be replaced along with the arm. Keep in mind that it is highly recommended that control arms always be replaced in pairs.
To begin, first chock the rear wheels to keep them from moving when the car is up on the jack stands then loosen (but do not remove) the lug bolts. You’ll find it nearly impossible to loosen them when the car is up in the air. Now begin to jack the front of the car up using a structural member or jack point. Wayne’s article on jacking up the front of the BMW E36 goes over in detail how exactly to do this. I recommend that anyone not familiar with jacking up the front of the car check the article out. Here is a link to the article.
View the full PelicanParts DIY: BMW 3 Series (1991-1999) Front Control Arm Replacement DIY