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-   -   RTAB replacement - special tool and some questions (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=397836)

vert 08-31-2006 09:59 AM

RTAB replacement - special tool and some questions
 
Does anyone have a special tool for RTAB replacement and if yes - can I rent/borrow it from you? I was looking around and found the Victory tool but it's around 100 bucks which seems like a waste for a one-time (hopefully) job.

In addition, is 50K miles too low to worry about replacing the trailing arm bushings? I just replaced front control arms/bushings/tie rods/sway links and was going to get an alignment done. But then i was thinking that i might want to replace RTABs as well since this requires an alignment too. Bushings are cheap and DIY does not look that bad if you have the tool.

And finally, anybody knows where i can buy Meyle heavy duty RTABs?

ganseg 09-16-2006 06:13 PM

My right rear RTAB needs replacing and I am at 50K on a 2002 325ci.

Are there aftermarket ones for the same price or not much more than stock that I should consider?

vert 09-16-2006 11:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganseg (Post 4880311)
My right rear RTAB needs replacing and I am at 50K on a 2002 325ci.

Are there aftermarket ones for the same price or not much more than stock that I should consider?

I personally bought M3 upgraded RTAB's from www.autohausaz.com and will be installing them tomorrow. They are only a couple of bucks more than OEM style, so i figured i'd give it a shot. Bimmerworld sells powerflex urethane rtabs but i am not into replacing stock parts with urethane... i installed their powerflex control arms bushings and did not like the ride, so i'd rather go for oem like ride in the back too.

Ended up buying the tool from Victory - came to 115 bucks :yikes: So if anybody wants to buy it after i'm done - pm me.

EDawg 09-16-2006 11:07 PM

i believe if you buy your RTABs from bimmerworld, you can rent the removal tool from them for $30. but from my personal experience, replacing the RTAB is a PITB!! the tool that you can buy or rent will require that you bend or break off the metal flange from the old RTAB before you can apply the tool to remove them. that flange is NOT easy to break or bend, not to mention, there is not much room down there to maneuver a tool to bend/break them. i eventually gave up and paid a shop to change them out. keep in mind that i've done virtually all repairs on my car myself (except for clutch replacement), and this job was the only job i felt was more hassle than it's worth the money i could save.

ganseg 09-16-2006 11:24 PM

Thanks, vert. Just ordered the M3 upgrade version. Will let the mech change them!

EDawg 09-16-2006 11:31 PM

from my personal experience, m3 RTABs are not that much better than regular e46 ones. i tore my last set of m3 RTABs in 12K miles. i replaced the torn m3 RTABs with powerflex ones and they do make the car feel tighter, although your car's ride will suffer when driving over broken pavement.

Hrvat 09-16-2006 11:54 PM

vert, use the tool and return it. say you didn't need it ro something like that.

also, please give us some insight on the DIY as I want to replace mine. Bought M3 ones from Autohaus also.

vert 09-17-2006 05:15 PM

5 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by croat (Post 4881290)
vert, use the tool and return it. say you didn't need it ro something like that.

also, please give us some insight on the DIY as I want to replace mine. Bought M3 ones from Autohaus also.

Just finished the diy. Took about 2 hours for both sides by myself. To summarize difficulty level, if you can replace front lower control arm bushings then you can do this. Notice i said bushings only and not the control arms. This is definitely a lot easier than doing the arms. I am very glad that i decided to try this myself instead of going to the shop. BUT - this assumes that you have the special tool that i used or something similar. I would not try to attempt this without it.. period. I read all the threads here talkig about drilling, sawing, cutting and that definitely is not worth my time.

I used this great writeup http://www.unitedbimmer.com/kb-e36-r...rmbrushing.php I did not have the same problems as the guy in the post with my RTAB puller and i did not have to use a drill. Everything pressed out and pressed in easily without any drama. I sprayed some wd-40 on the old bushings prior to pulling them, so that helped.

I am posting pictures below. If anybody needs this tool and does not want to drop $115 dollars like i did for a one-time job, contact me at arthur91(at)hotmail(dot)com and maybe we can work something out with a rental.

Commander FAT 09-17-2006 06:09 PM

How does one go about checking to see if the bushings need to be replaced?

vert 09-17-2006 08:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Commander FAT (Post 4883698)
How does one go about checking to see if the bushings need to be replaced?

I had some bump steer from the rear of the car when going over bumps on the road. My car has 50K miles and it seems that one of the replacement items at this mileage is rtab's. They are cheap and relatively easy to do anyway. Since i just replaced front CA's and bushings and i was due for alignment, i figured might as well do rtab's to hopefully get rid of bumpsteer and only have to pay for one alignment.

Hrvat 09-17-2006 09:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vert (Post 4884051)
I had some bump steer from the rear of the car when going over bumps on the road. My car has 50K miles and it seems that one of the replacement items at this mileage is rtab's. They are cheap and relatively easy to do anyway. Since i just replaced front CA's and bushings and i was due for alignment, i figured might as well do rtab's to hopefully get rid of bumpsteer and only have to pay for one alignment.

Did your old RTAB's looked shot?
I am at ~50k miles also and already have bushings purchased.

But I think I am gonna wait and do the RTAB's, replace crappy Hamburg Technic CAB's with OEM and swap my steering rack for 99 328i (01 330i one is way overboosted) at same time and then get my alignment.

vert 09-18-2006 08:15 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by croat (Post 4884287)
Did your old RTAB's looked shot?
I am at ~50k miles also and already have bushings purchased.

But I think I am gonna wait and do the RTAB's, replace crappy Hamburg Technic CAB's with OEM and swap my steering rack for 99 328i (01 330i one is way overboosted) at same time and then get my alignment.

They looked all right - definitely not as good as new, but no major tears and cracks like when i replaced the Hamburg CAB's after only 2K miles. I just dropped my car for alignment so i should know more after i drive for a while. But driving to the dealership the car seems to have a more composed feel in the back. My loose 2001 steering rack was actually replaced under warranty by the previous owner, so i lucked out with that. I would also recommend Meyle CAB's instead of OEM.

Hrvat 09-18-2006 01:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by vert (Post 4885877)
They looked all right - definitely not as good as new, but no major tears and cracks like when i replaced the Hamburg CAB's after only 2K miles. I just dropped my car for alignment so i should know more after i drive for a while. But driving to the dealership the car seems to have a more composed feel in the back. My loose 2001 steering rack was actually replaced under warranty by the previous owner, so i lucked out with that. I would also recommend Meyle CAB's instead of OEM.


You are so lucky on steering rack thing. But 328i one shouldn't be more than $250 and I read that it's definitelly a DIY.
As I said before, steering is the only thing that I hate about my car. Damn thing is all over the road, especially on the highway.

I got my CAB's from Interauto. I should check out if they carry Meyle's. I know for sure they have OEM ones.

ganseg 09-20-2006 08:42 AM

Did the M version require any extra work installing or are they just stiffer?

vert 09-20-2006 09:39 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ganseg (Post 4895543)
Did the M version require any extra work installing or are they just stiffer?


They are designed a litlle different. No extra work if using the special tool.

jbeurotech 09-20-2006 01:26 PM

There was a bulliton at one time that stated BMW would pay for steering racks in those cars if cuistomer felt they wee to overboosted may want to check with your dealer, however thsi only aplies to original owners and cars under a certain milage

Hrvat 09-20-2006 03:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jbeurotech (Post 4896575)
There was a bulliton at one time that stated BMW would pay for steering racks in those cars if cuistomer felt they wee to overboosted may want to check with your dealer, however thsi only aplies to original owners and cars under a certain milage

Yup. I read about that. I am the 2nd owner and car has ~50k miles.
Another memeber here had this rack swapped for free by BMW and he was a 2nd owner.

Could you look up the bulletin number? I wanna call BMW Canada. You never know!

jbeurotech 09-20-2006 05:55 PM

I looked for the number they may have deleted that bulition I would call BMW NA and say the steering does not feel like a BMW is there anything they can do about it I think it was more a silent campaign at the dealers.

Hrvat 10-08-2006 07:46 PM

I will be doing my RTABs on October 21 and I've been thinking of how I could push them in without the special tool. To remove the old ones I am gonna use brute force (drill and other tools I can get my hands on :P )

Now to press the new RTAB's in, I am thinking of using C Clamp (I have a big, heavy duty one) or 3" bench vise. I have a brand new vise that's not mounted yet, so I could bring it to the car and put in a block so I would be in same level sa Trailing Arm. And then use that to push the bushing in? What you guys think?

Here's the drawing (excuse my poor drawing skills)
http://img227.imageshack.us/img227/2696/rtabgc0.jpg

Hrvat 10-22-2006 08:46 PM

Well I tried to change my RTABs today but failed miserably. I had my trailing arm down but I simply had no room to try to drill/jigsaw it out and than use C Clamp or Vise to press it in. I put everything back together and will have shop do it tomorrow before I have my alignment done.

Maybe I would give it better try but I've already worked my ass off on Saturday swapping steering rack, putting new CABs in and adjusting e-brake. I just don't want to get dirty anymore :(


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