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Old 07-11-2011, 12:49 PM   #1
UGuideme
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PowerFlex Bushings

Has anyone out there in the forum ever change the "Rear Sub-frame Bushings?"I went on PowerFlex.com and found them for $215 thats urethane for all four. They also have the diagrams of the sub-frame of the model and year of the car. just would like to know the difficultly in the exchange.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by UGuideme View Post
Has anyone out there in the forum ever change the "Rear Sub-frame Bushings?"I went on PowerFlex.com and found them for $215 thats urethane for all four. They also have the diagrams of the sub-frame of the model and year of the car. just would like to know the difficultly in the exchange.
I haven't done it, but the rear axle carrier obviously needs to come down at least some. which means not just 3-400 lbs of stuff, but then an alignment.

If you'd not had subframe checked, this would be the time, and if you find anything, this would also be the time. There are AM reinforcement kits that cost considerably less than the BMW official repair...around $5K.

Also, while there, seems like this is the easiest you'd be able to get to the diff bushings as well...I think there are four or five mounting it to rear axle carrier...of course, an alignment afterwards as well. I'd say difficult.

I'd also say OE bushings, both because of and despite the fact that they're rubber. Don't be hating so much on rubber. It last a good long time. Mine were fine when they did subframe a year ago...now at 218K miles. I think the OE bushings are pretty good! Am I really only one of five here that think BMW made a very nice car out of its factory?

Anyway, OP, of all the places for poly bushings, I'd think that this would be one of the worst...unless this is a track car...then nevermind!
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:50 PM   #3
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On the regular E46, there are 3 diff bushings holding the diff to the subframe, two small ones up front and one big one in back, on the diff cover. You can change them without dropping the subframe, but that requires taking the diff all the way out to change all 3, which is like 1/3rd of the work needed to drop the subframe. Which is why when you change subframe bushings, that's a good time to change diff bushings! The E46 M3 might have 4 diff bushings (2 in front, 2 in back) instead of 3... not sure.

dmax: I was thinking I need to change my subframe bushings soon as my car has 150,000 miles, but if yours were okay at 200,000 miles, maybe I can wait. Don't have any mysterious clunks and rear subframe mounting points look fine as far as I can see, though of course I can't see the sheet metal right above the subframe bushings themselves.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:28 PM   #4
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I thought there were more. I've looked at this picture a few times...some of the bushings aren't listed for my car...so I guess I don't have them...like #17 and 19...but I guess you're talking about #7 and 9, is that right?

Someday I'll get obsessive enough to do them, but the proof is in the pudding, and I'm pretty sure these are monster rubber pieces and although they might lose some flexibility over time, I don't think they degrade to the stiffness of poly.

Costco, if you haven't had subframe inspection, best you can do without dropping the carrier is just clean and monitor outside that bushing. I found my crack on left rear...turns out right rear was also cracked...but once I found one crack...off to the dealer it went! Just be sure to clean well beforehand. I use brake cleaner and it took the underbody coating off...if I hadn't gotten repair, I'd have sprayed it again...of course.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:32 PM   #5
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dmax, you're right on not hating the rubber so much. With rubber bushing; Stage #1 upgrade. Heavy-duty rubber bushings would not change the comfort or quality of my ride, but does give a longer life then stock and of course will save me money compaired to urethane.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:52 PM   #6
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dmax, you're right on not hating the rubber so much. With rubber bushing; Stage #1 upgrade. Heavy-duty rubber bushings would not change the comfort or quality of my ride, but does give a longer life then stock and of course will save me money compaired to urethane.
I don't think I'd expect longer life than the 218K miles I have on them now, so in the long run, the cheapest thing is to just leave them be.

I can't imagine heavier duty than a rubber piece that lasts this long, and yet, I bet these will be on my car when I'm at Zchild's mileage (wonder if he's changed his?).

I'd say your bushings have probably stiffened a bit already, and thus maybe have naturally upgraded themselves!

Lots of work for not much of a return in my opinion. You could just wait for a symptom, or keep looking at them. Doubt you'll find anything wrong with them.
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Old 07-11-2011, 03:56 PM   #7
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Check this out dmax. I was looking more at #4, the rear bushing theirs a front and a rear or top and bottom. Let's look at the diagram the two top (front) two bottom (rear)
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Old 07-11-2011, 04:07 PM   #8
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Check this out dmax. I was looking more at #4, the rear bushing theirs a front and a rear or top and bottom. Let's look at the diagram the two top (front) two bottom (rear)
I know that's what you were thinking of...the rear axle carrier bushings...t7 & 9 are for the diff...and then the others (17 & 19)...haven't a clue about!

I'm just saying I think these are massive hunks of rubber and that you probably won't notice a difference replacing them.

I did my rear diff bushing years ago to stop my clunk when engaging first or reverse, but that's all I've done so far...the others, as far as I know are all original.

I'm not saying yours don't need replacing...just that I doubt they do. There's nothing like the xl50...I call it my decider!
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:04 PM   #9
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Your have very good insight. Whats that the ode adage "if it not broke; Don;t fix them"
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:14 PM   #10
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If you decide to change your subframe bushing go with AGK. I have the black (95A compound) powerflex one and the front need to be put backward (bad design) there is a thread about this in the FI section. Also, the metal insert are supposed to be to tall and need to be cut but mine was correct.
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Old 07-11-2011, 05:18 PM   #11
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If you decide to change your subframe bushing go with AGK. I have the black (95A compound) powerflex one and the front need to be put backward (bad design) there is a thread about this in the FI section. Also, the metal insert are supposed to be to tall and need to be cut but mine was correct.
How can you recommend a bushing that's made backward and which are the wrong size? How much further wrong could a part be?

Sorry...just seems like an odd recommendation is all.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:14 PM   #12
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I recommend the AKG one not the powerflex if i had the chance to do it again i will go with AGK and NOT powerflex.
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:24 PM   #13
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I recommend the AKG one not the powerflex if i had the chance to do it again i will go with AGK and NOT powerflex.
Sorry, I missed that. I thought you were saying AGK was the bad one.

Still, unless you're racing or see a rip or tear, I can't imagine much happening...except, from hearing stuff here, that it might become less resilient over time as rubber will and acting like the stiffer bushing everyone seems to like...that is, until it falls apart at some point!

Toecap, why did you replace yours and what difference did you notice, if any?
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Old 07-11-2011, 08:45 PM   #14
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Because two of my subframe and my rear diff bushing metal insert was totally eaten by salt and the result was a big clunk in the rear. So i did the jump and did powerflex FCAB, RTAB, SFB and turner motorsport solid delrin diff bushing. It's a night and day difference, the rear of the car is 150% stiffer and the car handle like its on rail! The power transfert to the road is more direct to but this one is quite hard to describe you need to drive the car to feel the difference. But the solid diff bushing is not for everyone since you can hear the diff whine from above 70mph but it dont bother me!
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