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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 06-06-2009, 10:23 AM   #181
gmwinder
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CAB 325xi

I'm about to put mine back on this morning. I followed Tim's thread to get the old ones off even though it is a little different for the xi models (325 & 330). I ended up sending my old brackets with sleeves still in to Walter at Valley Motorwerks. He took the old ones out, replaced with new ones and shipped back the same day and didn't charge me a penny for doing the install...thanks Walter! including shipping both ways cost me $80 for the bushings and the labor.
I tried to put the brackets on with some Windex and they get stuck pretty quick so I guess I'm gonna need the mallet.

Gary
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Old 06-06-2009, 10:01 PM   #182
fmzip
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Do you need to get an alignment after you replace them
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:55 AM   #183
gmwinder
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Alignment/bushings

After I got them back on, the drive is incredible...no wheel wobble...everything feels nice and tight and doesn't look like I need an alignment but I'll keep on eye on the tire wear.

One tip for 325xi owners: When outting the passenger side bracket back on, insert the furthest away bolt in the bracket first as the heat shield will prevent you from getting it in if not.

Gary
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Old 07-24-2009, 10:58 PM   #184
TheRusski
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Great DIY!

Where did you all get Control Arms from?
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Old 08-17-2009, 10:45 PM   #185
hatchetman83
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easier than I thought

Good description of the fix. I had to stare at it a while before I got up the nerve to do it, but after that it only took about 2 hours for both sides.

A couple of observations:

1) Apparently some of us have a one-piece aluminum brace under the front instead of individual steel tubes. I was just going to loosen the front 4 bolts and let it hang but it was so light I just pulled it off. No problem replacing.

2) To get the bushings off of the control arm I just went straight for the 3-jaw puller. The inner rubber portion stayed put for a while but as I kept cranking it started to slip off just fine. Much better than the cutting with a Dremel, etc.

Suspension is tighter, but this being a convertible there is still a little more body flex than I like. Oh, well- top down driving makes up for it.
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Old 08-26-2009, 12:03 PM   #186
bumere46
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after replacing the bushings, do I need to do an alignment?
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:47 PM   #187
Furball
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Only if your car pulls to one side or the other, or you notice weird tire wear.

I am about to delve into this tomorrow guys, I will take pics as well. I am replacing my control arms with Meyle and I will be using Powerflex bushings.
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Old 09-04-2009, 10:22 PM   #188
zYk09
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hi... i just replaced my bushing today... when it test drive it... feels good but when i hit 65mph to 70mph... the steering wheels shaking.. wheels are balanced and wheel allignment done already 2 days ago before putting the new bushing meyle HD. what seems to be wrong?
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Old 09-04-2009, 11:17 PM   #189
Furball
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check your sway bar endlinks and tie rod ends
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Old 02-24-2010, 12:38 PM   #190
mike86325
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So I've been putting this off for a while but I'm considering doing the DIY soon. I remember reading that when you swap the FCABs you must replace the bolts for the carriers and the bolts for the torsion (or reinforcement) plate. I did this when I replaced everything on my 323i years ago, but I have no clue what the bolt sizes were.

Does anyone know the bolt sizes for the carriers and reinforcement plate for the M3?
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Old 03-29-2010, 11:05 PM   #191
merlinzeta
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Clattering noise remains :(

Thank you for this, I did mine today. I used bushings I got from ebay (I know... but I'm a poor student :/)

I just did the left side today, as that was the side that was making clattering noises on bumps. Sad to say, the noise is still there

Anyone know what other things can cause clattering sounds when going over bumps? Or at least what I can do to try diagnose the problem?

The noise is so loud that people will turn heads to look at my car

Thanks!
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Old 04-08-2010, 08:50 PM   #192
manaman22
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This is a wonderful tool for getting this done. I found it quite useful when I did this with my Dad a few weekends ago. Tim, without this, I don't think I could have mustered the gusto to tackle it! Thanks for the write-up.

I decided to install Meyle HD bushings and carriers. I wanted something more than stock, while not sacrificing too much comfort for the daily driver. They have been great. Tightened things up and made my front end clunk disappear. Also took care of the end-links while I was in there. No sweat while you have the tires off.

The only thing I did different was use mineral oil for the reassembly. According to Dad's "sagely" advice, mineral oil would provide assembly lubrication without damaging the rubber and would wash out with time. After about three weeks, I have not had any noise problems and the bushings are holding up fine.

Once again, thanks for the write-up, Tim!

@merlinzeta,
Take a look at your sway-bar end links. The seals on the ball joints may be ruptured and have lost their lubrication. That might be the cause. They are easy to change as long as you have a thin set of wrenches. They run between $60 and $80 a set for the most part. Hope it helps.

Last edited by manaman22; 04-08-2010 at 08:53 PM.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:52 PM   #193
alwaysbored786
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what sizes are all the bolts that need to be removed, can any one remember? I like to be prepared.
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:57 PM   #194
moose82
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The bolts on the carriers are 16mm. Let me know if you need help, I am in FFX
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Old 06-23-2010, 06:05 PM   #195
stoble
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I just did this yesterday using Powerflex bushings. The purple inner part looks a little different than the ones I have.

On mine, one side has a square opening and the other side is a hex opening. Whereas in Tim's pictures both sides are hex. So with the newer model the square side should be facing the front bumper. Can anyone confirm?
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Old 07-03-2010, 11:28 AM   #196
agapebmw
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I noticed a lot of people used grease to put the new bushing on. Are we even supposed to do that?? I am worried that this might just wreck the purpose of putting the new bushings on.
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Old 07-03-2010, 09:15 PM   #197
andrewboi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agapebmw View Post
I noticed a lot of people used grease to put the new bushing on. Are we even supposed to do that?? I am worried that this might just wreck the purpose of putting the new bushings on.
I used soap and water for mine - evaporates after a while so its not "permanently lubed"
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:04 PM   #198
2001BlackOnTan
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Originally Posted by andrewboi View Post
I used soap and water for mine - evaporates after a while so its not "permanently lubed"
Probably a good idea. There are a lot of different interactions (expansion, deterioration, etc.) that can happen when petrol-based lubricants meet rubber or something like rubber, and as you said, soap and water is likely to be washed or abraded away over time with no lasting effects. And plain water can be surprisingly effective as a short-term lubricant, particulary when it comes to sliding something rubbery over metal -- I use plain water when sliding new rubber grips on the handle of my lawnmower, and it works great -- and once the water evaporates, the grips are pretty-much locked into place.

Last edited by 2001BlackOnTan; 07-31-2010 at 01:19 PM.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:06 PM   #199
2001BlackOnTan
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So people have done this job with the wheels still on, but can this job be done with the car (i.e. the front wheels) on ramps? Or does the suspension need to be decompressed (as would occur with a jack stand) for some reason? If I do the job, I'll be doing control arm bushings AND control arms at the same time.
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Old 08-21-2010, 12:08 AM   #200
SuperYeti
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Talking Amazing Write Up

Hey guys, i just want to thank everyone who contributed to this thread. With the help of this i did my FCAB's successfully in 2.5 hrs today. I wanted to note, i used the jack/jackpoint method a few ppl have spoken about in the forums to push the bushing back in. Worked a charm. Cheers guys, and happy driving. i sure am now
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