E30 control arm installation
Do you ever get stumped working on your car? I do. All the time.
When reassembling the front end of my E30—after upgrading to Powerflex bushings on the lower control arms (LCABs purchased from eEuro) and upgrading various other components under the car—I couldn’t get the lower control arm ball joint into the spindle on the strut assembly.
After a lot of trial and error, asking for help, and then trying some more, I got it sorted. Now, let’s start by realizing that every car is different. For whatever reason, it may work easily on some cars where you won’t have a problem, which is why I assume they don’t mention it in the Bentley manual. But judging by other posts or questions like mine, I know I’m not the only one. So here’s what I did:
I just put it on backwards.
Seriously. Just make sure there’s nothing connected to the strut assembly—wires, steering links, etc.—and rotate the assembly 180 degrees so it’s facing the wrong way. It may help to do this before the LCABs (lollipops) are bolted to the car as well. Put the LCA ball joint in the appropriate hole on the spindle, then, with the joint in the hole, rotate it back so that’s in the proper orientation. Ta-da!
Rotating the spindle allows the mounting point to be raised about an inch—just enough to be able to clear that pesky ball joint so it can be slipped in. It’s such an easy solution, doesn’t require any extra tools, elbow grease, or dangerous methods.
Moving on to the E30 Wheel Bearings and Hubs
After that was done I was able to connect the rest of the front end and finally get the new hub/bearing assembly on the front of this E30. This is another easy job—just make sure everything is clean and straight, push it on, and tap when necessary using a large socket that only puts contact on the inner race of the bearing. Tap it lightly until it slides home. Add the nut, a new dust cap, and mount your brakes, and you are in business.
The front of my e30 is now completely rebuilt. It should be tighter and more responsive for years to come. But in order to find out how it feels, first I have to rebuild the back of this car…