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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 10-22-2013, 01:52 PM   #1
Jat007
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Special tools to use for the rear subframe bushings?

Hi Guys,

My 99' 323i e46 rear sub-frame bushings are shot, but still driveable. So, I bought another good used rear sub-frame from a local yard with no rust or bents. However, I don't want to take any chances by just do a simple swap and be done with it, so I would like to swap out all the bushings on this newer sub-frame. I would like to know what type of bushing removal tools would you recommend and if I could use the RTAB tool for this procedures?

Any help would greatly appreciate it.

Jay
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Old 10-22-2013, 02:30 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Jat007 View Post
Hi Guys,

My 99' 323i e46 rear sub-frame bushings are shot, but still driveable. So, I bought another good used rear sub-frame from a local yard with no rust or bents. However, I don't want to take any chances by just do a simple swap and be done with it, so I would like to swap out all the bushings on this newer sub-frame. I would like to know what type of bushing removal tools would you recommend and if I could use the RTAB tool for this procedures?

Any help would greatly appreciate it.

Jay
since it's out you'll be able to drill it and hammer it out. Then simply take a 50-ton press to it or use poly bushings
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:50 PM   #3
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It is incredibly difficult to press out the subframe bushings using a shop press. I have my subframe out and was able to remove two of the bushings this way but the features of the subframe prevent me from easily pressing the other two out. They don't take much force to remove - a 10-12ton shop press is more than enough and they could probably be done with an arbor press if not for the shape of the subframe preventing access. The RTAB tool will not work for these bushings either.

I ended up borrowing a friend's subframe bushing tool and using that for the other two and wished I had started with it. You can do the drill / hacksaw method but it's a huge pain compared to using the BMW tool.

For a street car the factory bushings are the best bet. There is no performance benefit to going to the poly bushings in the subframe and solid bushings would not be a good choice for a street car.
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Old 10-23-2013, 02:11 PM   #4
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It is incredibly difficult to press out the subframe bushings using a shop press. I have my subframe out and was able to remove two of the bushings this way but the features of the subframe prevent me from easily pressing the other two out. They don't take much force to remove - a 10-12ton shop press is more than enough and they could probably be done with an arbor press if not for the shape of the subframe preventing access. The RTAB tool will not work for these bushings either.

I ended up borrowing a friend's subframe bushing tool and using that for the other two and wished I had started with it. You can do the drill / hacksaw method but it's a huge pain compared to using the BMW tool.

For a street car the factory bushings are the best bet. There is no performance benefit to going to the poly bushings in the subframe and solid bushings would not be a good choice for a street car.
No doubt the correct tool is best and easiest but almost 0 people have access to it.

As far as poly bushings for the subframe, the benefits aren't performance related.
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Old 10-23-2013, 04:51 PM   #5
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Thank you guys for your feedback. There a total of 7 bushings, correct? Would you guys have the part number for these bushings?

Jay
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Old 10-24-2013, 05:16 AM   #6
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Special tools to use for the rear subframe bushings?

Just go to ECS tuning.

As for the subframe bushing tools, they are available from various people to rent on this board, just do a search. I have the big rear diff bushing tool and if you want to rent that we can work something out.
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Old 10-25-2013, 02:26 PM   #7
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Use a generic bushing press set:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UNIVERSAL-...item3a85f3c98c

For the 4 subframe bushings: heat them up with a torch (they don't have to be smoking; just warm). It's difficult to get a good grip on the subframe with a bushingpress (frame is offset), so heating it up a bit makes the bushingfriction on the subframe less (rubber on steel).

For some bushings you still need some sockets or so (when the space is limited), but a generic bushing press set gets you started.

I swapped all the bushings (17pc) in the rear drivetrain (subframe, diff, suspension arms etc), and it took me just over 3 hours to remove all 17 bushings (I took the whole axle/subframe off the car obvously), so that's about 20min per bushing .

cleaning&repainting all suspension parts was a lot more work
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Old 10-30-2013, 08:56 AM   #8
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I know this had been asked before, but is there a way to replaced the left side of the Differential bushing if you were looking from the back of the car? looks as though, either the previous owner or some one else had packed in there with silicone... This is the only bushing that I can see that's in needs of an attention.

I was thinking of removing the Differential cover and maybe there's a enough room to put on a bushing removal tool on there and pull it out on the right side of the bushing bracket.

What do you guys think of that?

Thank you,

Jay
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Old 10-30-2013, 01:22 PM   #9
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To replace any of the differential mounts the diff needs to come out of the car. You can't get the rear cover off with the diff in the car.
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:09 AM   #10
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By dropping the Differential, I should be able to replace the Diff's bushing, right? I don't need to drop the whole axle/subframe, correct?

Thank you,

Jay
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Old 10-31-2013, 11:21 AM   #11
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No you do not have to. Here is the DIY link.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ighlight=clunk
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Old 10-31-2013, 03:02 PM   #12
Jat007
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I get a hold of a nice used rear subframe today from a 2003 325i with only 75K miles on the car for $40.00 - I am going to replace all of the bushings on this new subframe since it's out so the process of replacing the bushings should be a lot easier than having the subframe on the car. Once the bushings are replaced and have the subframe ready to go, all I have to worry is doing the swap of the rear subframe...

I am debating if I should have the new rear subframe clean up (powder coat & paint) before I swap out the bushings...

Thanks guys!!

Jay
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