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Thrust Arm Ball Joint Tool

Discussion in 'E34 (1989-1995)' started by 123779, Aug 29, 2009.

    • Member

    123779

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    Hi all,

    I need a BMW tool 31 2 140, which is used to remove the ball joint at the spindle for the thrust arm. Looks like a "C" shaped puller. Does anyone have one, in the south SF bay area, that I could borrow? I've seen this tool also referred to a Strut Extractor, though I don't know why, since it has nothing to do with the strut.

    Thanks,

    Dave

    92 535i
    06 325i
    91 318is
    84 528e
    • Member

    CRKrieger

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    Actually, it probably does. The ball joints are not removable from the arm. They are difficult to remove from the bottom of the strut because they fit into a tapered socket. Thus, the existence of the tool. It is not a BMW-specific tool; I think Harbor Freight sells a workable puller.

    The usual workaround is to remove the nut on the ball joint, use some rust penetrant, put some pressure on the arm so the tapered end is being tensioned out of the socket, and strike the strut bottom plate from the side (perpendicular to the hole) with a hammer. This shock should be enough to dislodge the thing - at least it always is for me. Failing that, the usual methods for breaking such a joint loose apply: common 'pickle fork' (destroys the ball joint boot), brute force (destroys everything in the immediate vicinity) and/or heat (destroys the ball joint and might burn down your garage) :eek:.
    • Member

    123779

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    Thanks for your input. I've tried various methods, including pushing up on the bottom of the stud (nut loosened) with my floor jack, practically lifting the car off the ground, and then pounding on the side as you suggest; nothing... Also tried pickle forks, etc.
    • Member

    CRKrieger

    Post Count: 1,616
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    I have lifted the car with them ... and no, that generally doesn't work - at least by itself. A pickle fork is usually the last resort, so you've got one that's really stuck. A combination that has worked for me before is using heat at the same point where you'd hit with the hammer. Get the area around the socket good and hot so it expands and breaks the joint loose. Quickly shoot it with some penetrant ("HSSSSSSS!"), get the pressure on it, and then whack it with the ball peen until it gives up.

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