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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 03-18-2014, 04:43 PM   #1
bilwltr5
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Which FCABs to purchace?

I've done some searching and am struggling to identify the exact pair of FCABs I need on my 04 325xi. I don't particularly care if they are powerflex or OE replacements. I believed I've determined I need a 60mm set. Can anyone verify, with a part number, what set will work? If I go with OE replacements I'll probably order from bavauto. My next concern is how difficult is it to remove the old sleeve from the lollipop? Once it is out do I need a press to put the new ones back in? Any help is greatly appreciated.
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Old 03-18-2014, 05:56 PM   #2
Rice4bfast
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Best to go check realoem for your part number


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Old 03-18-2014, 06:06 PM   #3
bilwltr5
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I've got the part number: 31129063163. Matches up to the bushings I've looked at. I can't find any definitive advice as to how the bushings are installed into the lollipops. Advice?
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Old 03-18-2014, 07:01 PM   #4
tomoyer
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If you don't have an arbor press available you can use a good bench vise and a driver that is slightly larger in diameter than the outside metal of the bushing. You can use the bench vise to drive it in. That said, why in the world would you want to replace the FCABs with the stock rubber FCAB Bushings when for about the same price you can upgrade to Power Flex or Bav Auto Urethane FCAB Bushings???? They are much easier to install and last much longer than the OEM/OE Rubber FCAB Bushings.
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Old 03-18-2014, 08:44 PM   #5
Kubica
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Powerflex. Don't mess around with OEM style fcabs.
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Old 03-18-2014, 09:00 PM   #6
bilwltr5
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Thanks for the heads up on the powerflex. My dad has a shop a few hours away with a press. I'll wait to change them until I head there for a weekend. Any part number on the powerflex bushing and suggested retailer? I'm a little thrown off by the different mm sizes some sites are offering. Without putting a micrometer on the shaft and housing I wouldn't be able to know for sure what I need.
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Old 03-19-2014, 08:06 AM   #7
Ken@BavAuto
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We stock the Powerflex bushings too. I actually just installed a set of these on my E30 last weekend. If you have access to a press that's the easiest way to change these. But the powerflex bushings go in a lot easier than the original bushings come out. A vise would work fine for putting them in. But it would have to be pretty strong vice to get originals out. Before I had my own press I used to just crush down the outer sleeve of FCAB's with a chisel until they deformed enough to come out.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #8
bostonsthename
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I just did mine (for the second time, 2 different cars) and I used powerflex. Yes you need a press. Both times I did it, the biggest thing I had was like an 1-1/2" socket so I pressed out the interior parts of the old bushings then used a reciprocating saw to cut the outer part of the bushing then crimped it to get it out. The power flex bushings press in so easily though.
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Old 03-19-2014, 09:50 AM   #9
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So basically what Ken@BavAuto just said lol
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Old 03-19-2014, 02:36 PM   #10
tomoyer
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To remove the old bushings from the brackets with no arbor press available, you can clamp the bracket in a good bench vise, cut the inner rubber out and then take a sawmill/reciprocating saw and cut 2 or 3 groves in the outer metal ring being careful not to go all the way thru and nicking the inner surface of the bracket. Then with a punch you can knock the outer FCAB ring out pretty easily. A good bench vise is all that is needed to install the PowerFlex Urethane Bushings using a big enough "pusher" so as not to cut them. Good source for Power Flex Urethane Bushings is BAV Auto, like Ken from there said. I used them on my e30 318is and my e30 325ix and also on my e46 325xi and when the original FCABs on my e46 330xi sport need to be replaced, they will be replaced with Power Flex Urethane FCABs.
My question to you, bilwltr5 is this, if your FCABs need to be replaced, have you also checked the Lower Control Arms to see if the Outer Ball Joints are ok and don't have excessive play? A lot of times when its time to replace the FCABs (original ones), its also time to replace the Lower Control Arms because the outer ball joint has excessive play (generally checked by lifting the car and pulling and pushing on the tire/wheel assembly at 12 o'clock and 6 o'clock while looking at the ball joint for excessive movement, easier to do with 2 people).
You can remove the FCAB bracket from the Lower Control Arm while it is one the car, much easier to do with a "press tool", but it can also be done with plenty of spray lube, a good punch and good sized hammer.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:13 PM   #11
bilwltr5
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Thanks for the feedback from everyone. Sounds like I'll go with the powerflex from bavauto. I recently ordered some suspension parts from there and will add the fcabs to the next one. To the question about whether balljoints need to be done also, they are still great. The FCABs aren't actually bad but I am a big fan of preventative maintenance. They sound like a good project for me to take on as I keep replacing things.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:17 PM   #12
bilwltr5
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Looks like I'll purchase this set, part number PFF5-4601XI from bavauto.
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