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      02-28-2016, 01:06 PM   #1
squidge
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M3 control arm install - question re: locking steering

I need to lock the steering so that I can actually get some torque on the tension strut and wishbone fasteners at the knuckle. If I lock the car doors with the front end up on jackstands, assuming that'll make the steering lock, is the factory anti-theft (I don't have the optional alarm) going to go off while I'm jerking on the car and blast the horns in my ear? The steering refuses to lock with the car unlocked but turned off.

I really don't need that extra stress... my V70 did this to me while I was changing a flat and now I'm paranoid.

On my way to the store to grab a couple missing tools. TIA.
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      02-28-2016, 04:39 PM   #2
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Okay, after dicking around with it some the steering doesn't seem to lock whether the car is locked up or not. Interesting. I was able to get the driver's side arms swapped by turning the wheel all the way to one side or the other when loosening the nuts at the knuckle (since the tension strut nut is on the bottom and the control arm nut is on the top, different directions to loosen).

Buying a beefy 1/2" breaker bar and the proper deep 21mm and 18mm sockets made the difference. The T40 torx and 21mm wrench are a must too. Grab a spare T40 too, as you're likely to twist the bit. Finally, PB Blaster always helps, even on my nearly new, corrosion-free car.

One trick regarding the control arms being a tight fit where they slide into the frame rail: 30 seconds with some fine sand paper inside the frame rail and on the edge of the new part where it contacts the frame rail makes it slide into the proper alignment for the bolt hole much more easily. It's a tight squeeze and smoothing it out made the difference for me. I was struggling to align the bolt before.

Anyway, making progress.
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      02-28-2016, 05:37 PM   #3
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Glad you got it to work. This link will help with torque specs for all the bolts...

http://www.e90post.com/forums/attach...2&d=1342813525

You'll want to pull the toe in before driving to get a proper alignment. I was able to manage by shortening the toe links by 1.5 turns on each side (in other words 540 degree turn on each side). Some people thought 3 turns did the trick, and it's only temporary so just pull it in equally on each side. Don't freak if the steering wheel is a bit crooked. The toe is very sensitive on these cars and a proper alignment will fix the steering wheel.
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      02-28-2016, 06:41 PM   #4
squidge
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Thanks for the tips -- I'm working on torquing everything down at ride height now and will do the toe adjustment last.

I'm having trouble with the steering straightening itself out when I jack it up at the hub, meaning I can't get the massive 122/lb-ft of torque on the nuts without feeling like my jack is going to roll out from under the hub. I reallllly wish the stupid steering would lock. Still figuring that one out.

Jacking it up from the brake rotor/hub feels scary anyway as you're pushing up on a round surface that spins freely. Can I just jack it up at the control arm or the knuckle instead?
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      02-28-2016, 06:48 PM   #5
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I could be wrong but I think in 2006 when they released this platform there was a recall on the electric steering lock and their fix was to remove it. I don't think the steering locks on these cars.
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      02-28-2016, 07:01 PM   #6
squidge
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Yeah, this thread seems to correlate with that: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...t=41366&page=2
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      02-28-2016, 07:50 PM   #7
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Got all the fuckers torqued down. I tossed the wood block and used a hockey puck at the bottom of the rotor, trimmed on one edge to run parallel to the dust shield. The puck allowed the rotor to turn slightly without losing its grip and slipping. A+ would mangle hockey puck again.
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      02-28-2016, 10:19 PM   #8
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Pig Farmer, I think you might be remembering the toe adjustment backwards. Pulling the toe in (shortening the tie rod) exacerbates the problem introduced by the longer control arms, pointing the wheels inwards. The tie rod needs to be extended to straighten out the wheels. I followed your suggestion since it was the freshest in mind and the wheels were pointed massively inwards. I undid my 3.5 rotations, then did 3.5 in the opposite direction, and that gave me too much toe out. Settled on 2 rotations out and it looks fairly normal and drives decently enough to get me to the alignment shop on Tuesday.

This was 3.5 turns in (both wheels were like this equally): http://i.imgur.com/AzHg548.jpg

Last edited by squidge; 02-28-2016 at 11:47 PM.
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      02-29-2016, 07:00 PM   #9
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      03-01-2016, 01:17 PM   #10
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Getting my alignment today and then taking the car for a drive through some twisties, will post impressions soon. I did the Whiteline RSFB inserts, front tension struts and control arms in this round.
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      03-01-2016, 06:17 PM   #11
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Alignment done; results attached.

I only got -1.0 up front with the pins punched and the M3 control arms. A touch less than I'd hoped. I'm probably going to rock it like this for a while, then do fixed camber plates and springs/shocks at the same time later on down the line.

Steering feel is absolutely better. I can feel the texture of the road through the wheel, and the response is pretty direct. The car as a whole feels more planted and firm, probably in large part to the subframe bushing inserts and swapping the RFTs for runflats. The canyon road I drove on outside of Milpitas was fun but had a mediocre, dirty surface so I didn't push it too hard.

I know it can be made better, but it's pretty damn good as it is. I'm happy with my efforts and am continuing to love this car.
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      03-01-2016, 07:10 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by squidge View Post
Pig Farmer, I think you might be remembering the toe adjustment backwards. Pulling the toe in (shortening the tie rod) exacerbates the problem introduced by the longer control arms, pointing the wheels inwards. The tie rod needs to be extended to straighten out the wheels. I followed your suggestion since it was the freshest in mind and the wheels were pointed massively inwards. I undid my 3.5 rotations, then did 3.5 in the opposite direction, and that gave me too much toe out. Settled on 2 rotations out and it looks fairly normal and drives decently enough to get me to the alignment shop on Tuesday.

This was 3.5 turns in (both wheels were like this equally): http://i.imgur.com/AzHg548.jpg
Whoops. Sorry about that. It was a couple years ago when I did the M3 control arms on my second 1-series, and actually swapped the OE control arms back to my first 1-series. I clearly had it backwards, but glad you got it sorted. Again, my apologies.
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      03-01-2016, 07:14 PM   #13
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No worries at all, just wanted to correct the info for future readers.
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