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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 02-04-2004, 12:37 AM   #1
tim330i
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Front Control arm bushings install (Pictures/Instructions)

Background info here

http://www.e46fanatics.com/features/...php?news_id=40

Use this at your own risk. There might be better ways to do this, but this is what I did.

1. If your car is lower you might need to use ramps to get the jack under the car.


2. Use a floor jack and the center jack point.


3. Put jack stands under the stock jack locations.


4. Remove the wheels.


5. Remove the under engine cover. There are some plastic plugs up front and screws underneath. The screw layout is going to vary depending on model.


6. Drop the engine cover.


7. Here you can see the both the control arm mounts


8. Drivers sides mount. You can see how the chassis brace is in the way of the rear bolt.


9. Remove the driver's side bolt for the rear brace.


10. Remove the front drivers side bolt for the brace.

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Old 02-04-2004, 12:52 AM   #2
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11. Remove the passenger side rear brace.


12. I used a jack to hold the brace up while I was loosening the bolts.


13. Remove the last bolt that is inside the center jack point.


14. Brace is now lose.


15. Here you can see the two bolts that hold the carrier in place. (with brace still installed) we need to remove these.


16. With the bolts removed we need to remove the carrier. I use a Dreamel tool to start cutting the rubber. The bushing is oil filled so have something to catch it.


17. I finished off the cutting with a utility knife.


18. Pull the carrier and outer part of the bushing.


19. Here is the carrier part off the car.



20. Next we need to remove the rest of the bushing still on the control arm. We will use a three jaw puller. I rented this from AutoZone.

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Old 02-04-2004, 12:56 AM   #3
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21. Here the three jaw puller is installed on the control arm.


22. The control arm nice and cleaned up.


23. Next we need to press out the bushing. I made a "tool" out of a 2 " pipe cap that I ground down to fit.
EDIT - Here is another way to remove the stock bushings - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...ight=Powerflex


24. You can see how I made it just fit inside the carrier.


25. I rented a ball joint press from autozone, with my "tool" and an impact wrench I was able to press the steel sleeve out.


26. Here are the two carriers free of the OEM bushings.


27. The left over stock parts.


28. I cleaned up the carriers and sanded the insides according to the powerflex instructions.


29. I again used the ball joint press and pressed in the power flex bushings. I took the purple inner section of the bushing out while pressing it in. It was a two step process to press the bushings in. The first time I could not use the spacer sleeve that comes with the press because there was not room.


30. With the bushing pressed in half way I added the sleeve so that the bushing could properly seat on both sides of the carrier.

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Old 02-04-2004, 12:56 AM   #4
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31. Bushing installed.


32. Install the inner bushing part. I use white lithium grease to lubricate the two parts.


33. The bushings all ready to install.


34. Everything bolted back together. Carrier to frame rails takes 44 ft/lbs and the chassis brace to frame is two stage. First tighten to 43 lb/fts then tighten another 90 degrees and another 30 degrees. (per the Bentley manual).

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Old 02-04-2004, 01:03 AM   #5
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Nice DIY, when you were getting the new bushing on, did you hammer it onto the control arm??

BTW, since it was such a PITA to take out the OEM bushings, doesn't that say something about their durability....After thoroughly reading this DIY, I think that the OEM bushing is already pretty damn overengeneered...
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:16 AM   #6
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the OE bushings are good for regular driving. But being that they are rubber, and rubber doesnt hold up well under extreme conditions and tend to flex, harden, crack and break after prolonged use doesnt make them good after awhile. What your're seeing is the parts thats made to stick to the arms and carrier/bracket. whats in the middle or cut out is the rubber portion.

This is why you will notice a much tighter feel to your handling and steering response. The PU's properties are much better than rubber.
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Old 02-04-2004, 01:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-DOG
Nice DIY, when you were getting the new bushing on, did you hammer it onto the control arm??

BTW, since it was such a PITA to take out the OEM bushings, doesn't that say something about their durability....After thoroughly reading this DIY, I think that the OEM bushing is already pretty damn overengeneered...
The bushings went right on for the most part. I might have used a block of wood to bang it on a little but it wasn't very hard at all.

Yes it was a pain, no it says nothing about the OE quality. The inner rubber part of the bushing itself isn't hard to get out (see attachment with it missing). What is hard to get out is the steel sleeve. I actually pressed the rubber part out when I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. Then I beat on the steel part with a hammer and tried a couple other things before making my "tool"
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:56 PM   #8
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You the Man

Last edited by K-Man; 02-05-2004 at 12:12 AM.
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Old 02-04-2004, 11:56 PM   #9
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Hello Tim....Great Job

Turning down the pipe cap...what do you think the most ideal OD would be

59MM or 58MM?


I will order the parts from Bimmer world after April 15th and tackle this job...not too difficult!!
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:41 AM   #10
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great write up, couldnt ask for more!
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Old 02-05-2004, 11:22 AM   #11
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i would think you would want 59mm for a 60mm bushing or 65mm for the 66mm bushing. I didn't really measure mine, just ground some off, test, grind, test until it fit.

Tim
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Old 02-05-2004, 09:59 PM   #12
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Bushings

Tim, you're the man. I wish you had this DIY like 6 months ago. I had bought OEM ones along with the control arms and replaced them, and still I have a shake in the steering wheel everytime there's a rapid application on the brake pedal...the dealership checked the bushings three times afterward, and they tell me everything looks fine..
Great write up, definitely needs to be added to the Tech section. Thank yu for your time and for sharing this awsome write up.
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Old 02-05-2004, 10:50 PM   #13
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The power flex bushings only came out before xmas.

In any case I am glad you like it!

Tim
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Old 02-06-2004, 10:52 AM   #14
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Or you can just buy the kit with Bushings & Brackets for $99

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=31126757623
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Old 02-06-2004, 11:29 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gokcer
Or you can just buy the kit with Bushings & Brackets for $99

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=31126757623
You know those are just OE replacements, right? If you are interested in replacing old OE junk with new OE junk that is the way to go, if you are interested in actually improving something then the power flex are the way to go.

If you got the bushings on special for $60 you could probably have the bushings pressed out and in by a shop for $40 or so and you are basically at the same price but with better parts.

Tim
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Old 02-11-2004, 07:49 AM   #16
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I am going to attempt this myself this weekend. However, I do plan on bringing the carriers to a shop to have the old steel sleeves pressed out and the new bushings pressed in. One question, why did you have to remove the front wheels before taking the carriers off? Also, did you tighten the brace back on while the vehicle was still up in the air, or were they tightened down after the car was lowered on to it's own weight. The reason I ask is, I read somewhere that if you do not tighten up the bolts under the weight of the vehicle, some binding could occur after lowering the car. I am new to all of this, so pardon my stupidy. Thanks
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Old 02-14-2004, 12:38 PM   #17
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After reading thru this excellent post I just went out and jacked up my 1999 328i w/sport suspension to check the control arm bushings for wear. I have about 53K miles on it since purchased new in '99. What I noticed was that when the front wheel is shaken back and forth there is about 1/4" of side-to-side play in the rubber bushing. What is normal? There is no external visual sign of wear of failure in the rubber.
For the last 10K miles I have noticed a kind of "bumpsteer" when going over rough roads that I didn't have before. I was attributing this to degrading tire wear from the Bridgestone Pole Position SO-3 tires. On smooth surfaces I do not notice any handling differences. The car takes a firm set and tracks nicely.
So, I'm wondering what is "normal" and how do you tell when the bushing need replacement. Or have I already answered my own question? The pixs and descriptions here give me a lot of confidence that if they ought to be replaced then the aftermarket polyurethane bushing are the only way to go.


Would appreciate your advice and comment.

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Old 02-17-2004, 06:34 PM   #18
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Started replacing my bushings today

Finally got up enough nerve to attempt to change out my front control arm bushings today, so far, so good, Tim's write up has been very helpfull so far. I only had time today to remove the drivers side carrier and clean up the control arm. I managed to get the rest of the bushing off of the control arm with a 2 jaw puller I borrowed from a friend (see pic). This worked extremely well. I am going to try and make the tool Tim described in his write up to remove the metal sleeve from the carrier. Do I need a bech grinder to grind down the pipe cap or is there another way (don't have a bench grinder). Also, the new bushings have like a lip on both sides, how did you press the new bushing in with the lip, did it just squeeze through? How much does autozone charge to rent a ball joint press for a day? Thanks in advance...
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Old 02-18-2004, 11:26 AM   #19
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Glad you are giving it a try.

I used an angle grinder but a bench grinder, dremel tool or something else might work also.

The lip on the new bushings just gets pushed through. A ball joint press requires a $105 deposit but is fully refundable when you return the press, so it actually doesn't cost you anything to rent it.

Good luck,
Tim
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Old 02-19-2004, 07:29 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tim330i
Glad you are giving it a try.

I used an angle grinder but a bench grinder, dremel tool or something else might work also.

The lip on the new bushings just gets pushed through. A ball joint press requires a $105 deposit but is fully refundable when you return the press, so it actually doesn't cost you anything to rent it.

Good luck,
Tim
Yep, rented the ball joint press yesterday from autozone, also bought a torque wrench while I was there. I also broke down and bought a bench grinder yesterday from Lowes. I bought a 2" cap plug in plumbing, and this fit perfect to press out the driver side metal sleeve. But the pass. side one the plug just keeps "slipping" inside the the sleeve and it won't push it out. I am stuck at this point. I started grinding down a 2" cap yesterday, what a pain, takes forever, I hope this works because I don't know what else I can try, maybe a large socket? Everything was going great up until this point. I sprayed the sleeve with a penetrator/magnetic lubricant last night I hope this frees it up a little bit. Any other ideas? If I can not get it out, does anyone know the part number for the carrier? Thinking I might just have to buy a new carrier for the pass. side. Thanks in advance......
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