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  1. #1
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    335i tension strut nuts seizing

    I was doing the M3 tension strut and control arm upgrade last week when I found that the nuts on the tension strut where it mounts behind the brakes (called the knuckle? idk) have seized.

    I was able to open them a bit to where they began spinning the bolt inside the ball mount. I used a Torx T40 bit on the bolt end to hold it steady. On the driver side, I was able to loosen it after a lot of hard turning. Upon removing the nut, it looks like there was loctite applied to the threads at some point.

    But on the passenger side, I have BROKEN two torx bits and one torx socket (sheared them in half) trying to loosen this nut. I'm thinking that since it's seized that I'm going to have to cut this bolt from the side using a jigsaw or something because the torx bits are just so tiny that they're not made for this sort of torque.

    Is this the best course of action or is there another way of removing this bolt that I'm not seeing? I'm thinking I can either jigsaw it to make a slot where I can use a mini crowbar to hold the bolt in place while I crank the nut off, or just cut through the whole bolt. The nut is loosened enough to where there is some play and room to cut.

    Looking for any last minute advice before I tackle it this evening.

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    Let's see if we can get you some help.

    @Itsbrokeagain

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    1 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Perhaps try heating with a blow torch.

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    Jam a large prybar inbetween the top of the arm and the hub somewhere, or leverage off another arm. Common issue with these cars. You also need a good impact gun to spin them off. If they still refuse to come off you will need to get out a cutting wheel of some sort and slice the nut long ways, split it with a hammer and chisel.

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    I have one of the bolts that came off of my car on my desk right now, complete with broken Torx bit still inside.
    They grinded it off the sway arm when the bit broke and ther was no way to get it out.
    It was not that bad.
    You need to replace the bolts anyway, and the arms were to get replaced in the process as well.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Laguna3 Click here to enlarge
    Perhaps try heating with a blow torch.
    Not a good place to use a blow torch so close to the wheel bearing...
    There are two theories to arguing with women. Neither one works

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    Pics or it didn't happen:


    Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge
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    Maybe use some anti-seize lube when you reassemble?

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    I have one of the bolts that came off of my car on my desk right now, complete with broken Torx bit still inside.
    They grinded it off the sway arm when the bit broke and ther was no way to get it out.
    It was not that bad.
    You need to replace the bolts anyway, and the arms were to get replaced in the process as well.

    Not a good place to use a blow torch so close to the wheel bearing...
    Yeah I've got the new nuts and new arms; so not worried about the act of cutting it; just wondering if there's another way to get it.

    I tried putting leverage onto the arm and bolt, but it still just spins. I think I can cut the bolt with a jigsaw, or at least notch it so I can wedge a mini crowbar in there.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    . I think I can cut the bolt with a jigsaw
    An angle grinder with a thin disk will do the trick nicely.
    You will need a reallignment after the switch. You will end up with over 7 degrees of toe-in, which makes driving a whole new experience...
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    did anyone else feel a little off reading nut seizing?
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    Definitely avoid blow-torching.
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    Forgot to mention, I took a cut-off wheel to the nut and made several cuts that went through the nut and hit the threads. The combined heat and the release of those threads on the bolt made it come right off. Woot!

    I've got everything torqued back down, bolted up, and the undertray re-installed. Taking it to get aligned this afternoon.

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    Aligned and drives well. The problem is that I've got a distinctive clunk sound. It never happens when driving straight or turning. Only occasionally when braking and always when going over significant bumps (like the bump from my driveway into my garage (about 1/3 inch). Usually it sounds like its coming from the passenger-side of the car but when it happens during braking, you can hear it happen from both sides. It's VERY annoying.

    I've tightened all the bolts to spec, nothing appears loose at all. I think its the wishbones themselves. On the part where it bolts to the subframe, the wishbone metal surrounding the wishbone bushing can twist with a bit of pressure (is this normal?). When I'm under the car, turning the wishbone makes a metal on metal sound that might be a clunk at higher speed/force.

    I find it odd that the bushing can flex like that. Any advice? @Itsbrokeagain @DavidV

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    On my car it sometimes gives a slight clunk on the passenger side front only, when going over a speed bump for instance, but only under light braking.
    It is not at all consistant, mostly happens when I just start driving, residential area, low speed, but the car never made that sound with the original whishbones.
    It does not bother me though.
    And I'm the only one that seems to notice the sound at all...
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by DavidV Click here to enlarge
    On my car it sometimes gives a slight clunk on the passenger side front only, when going over a speed bump for instance, but only under light braking.
    It is not at all consistant, mostly happens when I just start driving, residential area, low speed, but the car never made that sound with the original whishbones.
    It does not bother me though.
    And I'm the only one that seems to notice the sound at all...

    Maybe mine will quiet over time to be more like yours. I'm going to contact ECS regardless though. I highly doubt BMW would let an M3 sound like that.

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    The bushings start to flex like this after only a few K on the road. Normal. (Not nice, normal)
    This won't cause a clunk.

    If you removed your sway bar, check that it is installed properly, check for contact marks on the ends.
    Check your sway bar end links for play.
    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    Aligned and drives well. The problem is that I've got a distinctive clunk sound. It never happens when driving straight or turning. Only occasionally when braking and always when going over significant bumps (like the bump from my driveway into my garage (about 1/3 inch). Usually it sounds like its coming from the passenger-side of the car but when it happens during braking, you can hear it happen from both sides. It's VERY annoying.

    I've tightened all the bolts to spec, nothing appears loose at all. I think its the wishbones themselves. On the part where it bolts to the subframe, the wishbone metal surrounding the wishbone bushing can twist with a bit of pressure (is this normal?). When I'm under the car, turning the wishbone makes a metal on metal sound that might be a clunk at higher speed/force.

    I find it odd that the bushing can flex like that. Any advice? @Itsbrokeagain @DavidV
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  17. #17
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    I didn't touch the sway bar at all; saving that for future upgrades. If that's the case (with the bushing flex being normal), I'm going to go loosen and retorque all the bolts/nuts again. I don't think I checked the subframe bolts, just the steering knuckle nuts.

    Thanks for the replies, I appreciate it. Other than the clunk issue, having these upgraded was nice; I can really feel the difference when taking corners now, the steering response is very smooth and direct, whereas you could feel uncertainty-like symptoms with the old 335i hardware.

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    Did you make sure the car was on the ground and level when you tightened the arms up?

    The lower control arm doesnt matter because it has an inner heim joint, but the thrust arms will need to be set To Avoid destroying the bushing. Control arm bolts tight? Not just to spec but tight?

  19. #19
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    The first time I tightened, I had it on ramps under full load as I can't get to them when it is on the ground. Does it need to be level? I can jack the rear end up and do this again if so.

    Yes, the bolts are so tight that getting them to this point was a huge chore as the wheel would turn on the ramp.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Sered Click here to enlarge
    The first time I tightened, I had it on ramps under full load as I can't get to them when it is on the ground. Does it need to be level? I can jack the rear end up and do this again if so.

    Yes, the bolts are so tight that getting them to this point was a huge chore as the wheel would turn on the ramp.
    I thought something might be off here, but I realized I don't have a steering wheel lock; and it turns out that its a common thing for MT 3 series?

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Ok, figured out the problem after finally getting some time to really look at it.

    It was the tension struts. The bolt that connected them to the subframe had come loose on both sides; I'm guessing because I didn't torque them down with full suspension load. After tightening them, car drives great with no clunks!

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