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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 08-31-2012, 08:16 PM   #1
colo330xi
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Powerflex centered FCAB problems

Got all my new suspension stuff installed, but have a problem with the FCAB. It seems to that as i drive at least one side will wiggle up the control arm and unseat from the FCAB lollipop. This makes the car shimmy under braking and squeak when i hit any bumps.

I saw the washer in the package, but to be effective it would have to be gigantic. The black insert piece sits way too far back on the arm for the little washer to work.

Any ideas here, or have i just hosed up the install somehow?
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Old 08-31-2012, 10:55 PM   #2
Kubica
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^yeah you installed the middle piece too far onto the arm.
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Old 08-31-2012, 11:39 PM   #3
colo330xi
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So if I pull the bushing and squeeze the black piece back, I should be good? How have yours been holding up Kubica?
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Old 09-01-2012, 02:47 PM   #4
colo330xi
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Ok, looks like they are staying put now, all the way in the carrier. I now have a "clunk" on the RH side... Every single part up there is new and tight. Anything else i should check? Here's what i've replaced in the past 3 weeks.

Shocks, shock mounts, control arms, inner ball joints, powerflex fcabs.

The tie rods are ~8 months old.

I cannot get any movement out of the wheel/hub in the air, but you hit the slightest bump, and clunk clunk clunk.
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Old 09-01-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
Kubica
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^sway bar endlink.
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Old 09-01-2012, 04:52 PM   #6
colo330xi
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Yep swaybar link was the problem.

But... no matter what i do, as soon as i brake hard, the RH FCAB slips up the arm.. I've had it off now 4x. If i drive like a grandma all is well, but if i have to brake at 50+ there is an audible "pong" noise and the black piece slides up the arm (i put a mark, it is being covered). I cleared the arm of anything (grease whatnot) and put it back on, but after ~20 miles, same problem.
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:21 PM   #7
Kubica
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It sounds like the FCAB may be damaged now.

Did you use excessive grease on the arm to get the bushing on? Is the arm OE or OEM?
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Old 09-01-2012, 05:31 PM   #8
colo330xi
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Arm is OE (Lemforder, brand new as of tues) Didn't grease the arm to put them on, just put the whole thing on there and bonked it into place w/ a deadblow hammer..
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Old 09-01-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
e46alfonso
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ok, i have those centered pf bushings as well and installed them with ease.

You just need to be careful and precise at the point where the carrier bolts rest, and dont slide the bushing too far.
I didn't use soap and water on the control arm like most people do. however i did use the washer with a clamp behind it for a peace of mind in case the black piece slides out.
Six months so far and mine haven't moved a mm. They are solid.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:12 PM   #10
Kubica
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Is the inner piece moving down the arm when it pops out? If so you need to scuff up the paint on the arm so it doesn't slip.

Yeah I must have 70k miles on mine with no issues.
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Old 09-01-2012, 07:21 PM   #11
colo330xi
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Alfonso-- what kind of clamp are we talking here?
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Old 09-01-2012, 08:26 PM   #12
fastjasonbmw
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Here's the fix. Before and after.





After



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Old 09-01-2012, 10:45 PM   #13
colo330xi
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Ok guys... Sanded the bejeezus out of the arm ends, way more than before. So far so good. Hard braking tests done and no movement on the bushings, they're still in the bore. Thanks for all the info.

Jason-- Thanks for those pics. I'll keep that in mind if the center piece slips again.
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Old 09-02-2012, 02:40 AM   #14
Kubica
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^beauty.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:07 PM   #15
tomoyer
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I've had no problems with my PowerFlex Bushings since putting in. To install on the Lower Control Arm, I used a lil bit of dishwashing detergent and water to act as the lube. When the water/detergent dries, its solid, and will not "run" up Control Arm Shaft. I have about 25,000 mile on mine so far.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:10 PM   #16
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I am wondering though, the PowerFlew Front Lower Control Arm Urethane Bushings for the XI's is not a centered bushing, it is offset. So the problem could be there.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:19 PM   #17
fastjasonbmw
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Yes, they are slightly offset, when installed correctly they add a tad more caster.
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Old 09-05-2012, 11:16 AM   #18
Carter22
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Just installed the 'AKG Front Control Arm Bushing Set - Polyurethane 95A'


Install was simple and the front end feels great! Thanks to Kubica for the heads up about e36 bushings, $55 shipped too...
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Old 09-05-2012, 02:57 PM   #19
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Carter22, was the inner hole in the AKG Bushing Set OFFSET? Can not tell in your photos. At least with the PowerFlex Bushings, the correct ones for an XI have the center hole slightly off center, whereas for the 2 WD Models (not sure about the Ms), the inner hole is centered. That is about $14.00 cheaper than the PowerFlex. Were the AKGs 2 piece?
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:06 PM   #20
Carter22
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They are one piece with a centered hole. Kubica had referenced that he had an alignment with caster sweep pre and post changing to centered hole e36 bushings, with the specs being identical. Stock bushings are very slightly offset. Return to center, high speed stability, nothing at all has been negatively affected so far as I can tell.
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