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How to Replace Rear Upper Control Arm 97-06 BMW 325Xi

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  1. step : Removing the Wheel (0:22)
    • Loosen the 17 mm lug bolts
    • Raise and support the vehicle
    • Remove the lug bolts
    • Remove the wheel
  2. step : Removing the Rear Upper Control Arm (1:08)
    • Support the lower control arm
    • Remove the 18 mm lower shock mount bolt
    • Remove support from the control arm
    • Remove the brake pad sensor wire from the retaining bracket, and move it aside
    • Remove the 18 mm nut and 18 mm lower control arm bolt
    • Remove the wires from the retaining brackets on the trailing arm
    • Remove the three 18 mm trailing arm mounting bolts
    • Remove the coil spring, using a pry bar if necessary
    • Use a pry bar to separate the upper control arm from the knuckle
    • Remove the 13 mm nuts from the 17 mm sway bar link bracket bolts
    • Remove the sway bar link bracket from the upper control arm
    • Remove the 18 mm inner bolt, holding the 18 mm nut
    • Remove the upper control arm
  3. step : Installing the Rear Upper Control Arm (6:27)
    • Install the inner upper control arm into position
    • Install the 18 mm inner bolt, with the 18 mm nut
    • Tighten the nut onto the bolt with the control arm sitting at ride height position
    • Torque the 18 mm nut and bolt to 60 ft-lb with the control arm sitting at ride height position
    • Install the sway bar link bracket
    • Install the 17 mm sway bar link bracket bolts with the 13 mm nuts
    • Install the Coil spring
    • Use a pry bar to push down on the lower control arm to fit the spring onto the control arm
    • Install the 18 mm control arm bolt and tighten the 18 mm nut onto it
    • Torque the 18 mm nut and bolt to 81 ft-lb
    • Raise the trailing arm
    • Install the three 18 mm trailing arm mounting bolts
    • Torque the three 18 mm bolts to 57 ft-lb
    • Reposition the wires onto the retaining clips on the trailing arm
    • Raise up the trailing arm to install the lower shock
    • Install the lower shock bolt
    • Torque the 18 mm lower shock bolt to 74 ft-lb
  4. step : Installing the Wheel (15:02)
    • Lift the wheel onto the wheel hub
    • Install the five 17 mm lug bolts and tighten them by hand
    • Lower the vehicle with minimal weight on the wheel
    • Torque the 17 mm lug bolts to 95 ft-lb in a crossing pattern
    • Lower the vehicle completely

What's up guys? I'm Andy from 1A Auto. In this video I'm going to show you how to replace the rear upper control arm on this 2001 BMW 325xi. If you need parts for your vehicle, click the link in the description. Head over to

I'm going to loosen up these lug bolts. I'm going use a 17 millimeter socket and a breaker bar. Now I'm going to raise and support the vehicle. We're using a two post lift. If you're doing this at your house, you can use a jack and jack stands.

Now I'm going to take the 17 millimeter socket and extension just to take the lug bolts out. Now when I go to take the last one out, I am going to hold the wheel so that the wheel doesn't fall. Take that one out, set it aside and grab the wheel. Shake it off. After I get the wheel off, I'm just going to support the lower control arm because I want to remove the shock and just ... I'm going to support right here. If you're doing this on the ground and you can use a floor jack to raise this up a little bit. Once you get it to move a little bit, should be able to take the shock bolt out. Now with the lower control arm supported, I'm just going to take an 18 millimeter socket and an air gun. I'm going to take this bolt out.

If you don't have any air tools you can always use a ratchet or a breaker bar. Take that out. Slide the bolt out. Now I can lower the control arm. It's going to take the tension off the coil spring. Just going to move this brake pad wear sensor wire. Just pull it out of that clip right there. Just move it out of the way. That's fine. Like that. Alright, that's good. Now we're going to remove this bolt right here. There's a nut on the inside here, so I'm just going to use an 18 millimeter wrench. Hold that nut. 18 millimeter socket and then an air gun. You can use a ratchet if you don't have an air gun.

Loosen that up. Take the nut off. Carefully remove this bolt. Oops. Now that can separate. All right I want to take these three 18 millimeter bolts out right here. That's of the lower trailing arm. But first I want to take off some of these wires. I don't want to give them a little more slack because I don't want break them when I'm taking those out. Slide those out of the clips and those are the ABS wires in the brake sensor wires. Brake pad sensor wire. Now I'm going to use an 18 millimeter socket and my air gun. You can use a breaker bar if you don't have an air gun.

I'm just going to loosen these up a little bit first. I'm not going to take it out completely. Once they're all loose, then I'll take them out. Pull that out. That's why I left one of them in. So if this falls, it's not going to hit anything or hit myself. Now I can support this. Take this last one out. There we go. Now I'm just going to get a pry bar. Get underneath this spring. Try to slide this out. Just be careful, you don't want it to hit you. Just like that. With the spring out, it makes it a little bit easier to get this upper control arm out of the way. Just take the pry bar, get underneath here. On the top side of the bolt, I'm going to use a 17 millimeter wrench to hold the bolt and then underneath the car I'm going to use a 13 millimeter socket extension and an air gun or you could use a ratchet and take the nut off.

Oops. I'm going to take that side off and then also this other side right here. There we go. Right, now there's a bolt right up here. It's not this bolt, I'm going for the upper one. I'm going to take an 18 millimeter socket and an extension. I'm going to go over the axle on the CV axle and then I can use a breaker bar. I'm going to break it loose free and then switch to a ratchet. I can't get that bolt out because there's a nut spinning on the other side, so I'm going to take an 18 millimeter wrench and try to get this on the nut on the front side.

Just slide that bolt out. Have the nut right there. And slide the bolt out. Now can you just grab the arm, slide it out.

Take the control arm. Slide it back in position. Now that part ... This rubber piece on this bushing, the thicker part goes towards the back of the vehicle. Just slide it right there. We need to take the bolts, slide the bolt from the back of the vehicle. I might have to wiggle the control arm a little bit. And get this to line up. Sometimes the axle bolts get in your way, you can twist the axle a little bit if you have to. See it starting. All right, so it's sticking out there a little bit. Now I still have the nut stuck on the wrench, which it's going to actually help me out. I'll just be able to fish it in there. If the nut isn't stuck on the wrench, you could actually take some masking tape and tape it to the wrench. Might make it a little easier for you to get it started.

Just start it by hand first. All right, so now I'm just tightening this up with the ratchet while I'm still holding the wrench. Get that snug. Then I can get a torque wrench. All right, now with the wrench there, I'm going to have to hold the wrench while I use the torque wrench to torque this. I'm going to torque this to 60 foot pounds. What you want to keep in mind, you want this arm to rest where it would be while driving down the road. Ideal, if you put this all back together and were able to tighten this bolt up last while it's at regular ride height, that would be ideal, but that's not always that easy. So we're just going to do the best we can.

Tighten it up just like this, and that's about where it would be ride height wise, 60 foot pounds. Now I'm going to install these bolts for the sway bar link. Now I'm replacing the bolts because the bolts were pretty rusty, so the size is going to be different. Normally you'd have a 17 millimeter on top and a 13 down below. I have 12 and 12 here, so I'll just put these on. So I'm just going to use an electric ratchet and tighten these down and then use a wrench underneath. Do the same on the side. Then I'll just snug these down with a regular ratchet. That's good. Same on this side. That's good.

You take the spring, make sure you have this cone bushing on the bottom, and then the open one up top. And now for taking the spring out and putting it in, we had this bolt out right here and then the bolts out for this lower control arm here. It just made this a lot easier to get the spring in and out. I have seen other people take and put a floor jack in between here and push down on this upper control arm. But I feel like that puts a lot of strain on the rear axle and I feel like it might do some damage. So be careful doing that. Not to say it's impossible to do it that way but ... So we get this lined up. Press this in. I'm going to take a pry bar, try to slide this into position. I'm just going to take a longer pry bar. Pry right above the sway bar link and the frame. Just pry it down. Just try to get over that piece right there and push the spring in.

There we go. Be careful with your fingers and that's good. And that's good down below. It's good up top. Now we want to get this lined up with the upper control arm. Take a bolt. I put a little copper anti-seize on the bolt, so sometimes you can take a pick or a screwdriver pick works a little bit easier. Get that to line up and then take your bolt. Get your bolt started. There we go. Then I can just take a 18 millimeter socket, electric ratchet. Tighten this down. That's all the way through. Then we can put the nut on the other side. Get that nut on. Take an 18 millimeter wrench. Just tighten this up.

That's good. Then I'll take a torque wrench, 18 millimeter socket, 18 millimeter wrench, and torque this to 81 foot pounds. All right, now I'm going to raise this trailing arm into position right there and then put the bolts in. Let's get the bolts started. Got those other front two bolts in, and now I'll raise this up, get this back one in. Then I can snug them all down with a 18 millimeter socket and a air gun. I'll just loosen this pull jack, get that out of the way. And I'll take a 18 millimeter socket and a torque wrench. Tighten these to 57 foot pounds.

There we go. Now we'll take these ABS wire and brake sensor wire and reposition these back in the clips. And same with the clips on top. You can get these from above if you can't get them from down below. With a screw jack, I'm just going to get underneath the trailing arm right here. You could probably put a floor jack underneath right there. I'm just going to raise this up a little bit more so that I can get the shock bolt in. Get that lined up. Get that started. I'm going to tighten this bolt down with a torque wrench and a 18 millimeter socket. Tighten this down to 74 foot pounds.

Anytime you do any kind of suspension work like what we did today, it's a good idea to go down to your local shop and have the vehicle aligned. That way the tires go down the road straight and you don't have premature tire wear. Now I'm going to take the wheel, slide it in position, make sure the holes lined up, and hold the wheel. I'm going to take my 17 millimeter socket and the lug stud and get one started. Then I can grab the other ones. Now I'm going to use a 17 millimeter socket and a torque wrench, and I'm going to torque these lug bolts in a star pattern to 95 foot pounds. Go right around again, just make sure everything's tight. And you're good to go.

Thanks for watching. Visit your place for DIY auto repairs, for great parts, great service, and more content.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Pick

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Torque Wrench
  • Ratchet
  • 1/2 Inch Breaker Bar

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 13mm Socket
  • 17mm Socket
  • 18mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 17mm Wrench
  • 18mm Wrench

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