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dkbaum 02-23-2008 12:13 PM

Control Arm - Self locking nut spins ball joint
I have a 1988 BMW 735 i. I am replacing the front lower control arms on each side of the car. I got the drivers side lower control arm off and began to install the new one which comes already loaded with new ball joint and bushing. The problem that I am having is when I go to tighten the self locking nut on the ball joint (lower one that attaches to the strut housing) the ball joint starts spinning and I don't have any way to get pliers or anything to keep the ball joint to stop spinning and the nut won't tighten. I am completely stumped! Any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you.

USP45 02-23-2008 12:25 PM

I had the same problem once on a truck. I used a piece of 2x4 and forced it over so the ball was snug to the seat, then tightened it. Worked good for me.

nap 02-23-2008 12:37 PM

this is where the "pop" "pop" "pop" with an impact gun cures the problem.

what you may need to do is place a support under the ball joint/control arm and let the car down enough to put pressure on the the system. You may need to whack the the spindle down so to create a binding pressure between the spindle and the taper of the ball joint.

the impact gun is the best and easiest method I have used though.
I want to edit because somebody may have accepted exactly what I wrote which is not what I intended it to mean.

NEVER EVER hit the actual spindle. You can damage it. I meant the prtion of the spindle (as the entire metal piece) that goes over the ball joint. Use caution to not damage any surrounding items (including thumbs)

wire_twister 02-23-2008 01:33 PM

use a standard(non-locking) nut to seat the taper in the ball joint, then exchange it for the self locking one, it should tighten without twisting the ball joint now. Make sure to support the cars weight on the lower control arm when you change out the nuts.

dkbaum 02-24-2008 11:56 AM

Thank you so much for your help. I guess I should have seen the logic in this. Anyway, back on and as good as new. Thank y'all!!

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