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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

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

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Old 05-06-2004, 12:51 AM   #1
bmkev46
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Installed powerflex bushings, review and problem that has surfaced

So i finally got a chance to install these things. For the most part, the install went smoothly, thanks to Tim! Couldn't have done it without his diy and tips, although it was a b*tch to cut out the old rubber bushing from the control arms and i ended up paying a shop to press out the metal sleeves from the carriers, i'd recommend the same for those looking to do this install, saves some headache, unless you have a proper press, for those who want to know, a shop will charge you around 20-40 bucks to push out the sleeve from the carrier and press in the new bushings.

Finished installing, bolted everything back up, took the car out for a spin and immediately had a big grin on my face from the way the car now handled. Everything that's been said about these bushings is true...the car feels more solid, tighter in its cornering line, planted while going over mid corner bumps in sweepers, and rides not only tighter but actually better over bumps in general, atleast that's what i found. Yes, i would sum these bushings up as making the suspension feel pretty new again.

That is untill i hit 65 mph+........crap, somehow i knew this was going to happen as i had read a post about this problem on the board earlier. Right when the speedo hits 65, the steering wheel shaking/vibrating starts, making it feel rather unsettling going at higher speeds. Funny thing is, most posts on this board have stated that installing these new bushings got rid of any wheel shaking. It's ironic how before the bushing install i didn't have this wheel shaking/vibrating problem. Funny thing is, i can't figure out why the bushings would cause the wheel to shake at high speeds, and this is riding on perfectly level, smooth, and straight roads, without turning the wheel at all. I guess the only logical thing would be that my ball joints need to be fixed and these new bushings which are solid and allow less flex are now causing some movement from the ball joints, which used to be absorbed by the worn bushings...any other ideas?

Well, that's all, just a warning for those about to install these bushings and how it might not be such a good idea to only install these without doing the entire control arm/ball joint replacement along with it.

Here's the post by a guy with this exact problem....btw, did you find a solution to this problem? Any info would be great, TIA.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...rflex+bushings
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:17 AM   #2
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Same here. I installed PowerFlex front control arm bushings and I get steering vibration between 50-60mph, most evident at 55mph. My guess is either the ball joints are bad or the wheels are out of balance. I plan on having my wheels re-balanced this weekend to rule out that possibility. How can I check for bad ball joints? Check for play? How much play? It's definitely annoying when your car feels great and then once you hit 50-60mph, this vibration occurs.
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:24 AM   #3
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I just ordered mine from Turner Motorsport. they cost $100, but it comes with the bushings and the bracket, so if is a complete bolt on. no hassling with bushings and other stuff. pay a couple extra bucks but you have the piece of mind and no stress with this stuff
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:27 AM   #4
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^^Yeah, except those will develop the same problems after 20-30k miles...
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malakia12
I just ordered mine from Turner Motorsport. they cost $100, but it comes with the bushings and the bracket, so if is a complete bolt on. no hassling with bushings and other stuff. pay a couple extra bucks but you have the piece of mind and no stress with this stuff

Those look OEM bro?
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Old 05-06-2004, 01:36 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by niL
Those look OEM bro?
the website says they are urethane bushings, with the stock brackets. they just do it like that, so if you do not want the hassle of taking out the old bushings and putting in the new ones. you just remove the old brackets/bushings with the new brackets/urethane bushings.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:56 AM   #7
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hmm....
the website doesn't mention them being made from urethane.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=31126757623
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Old 05-06-2004, 06:50 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by malakia12
the website says they are urethane bushings, with the stock brackets. they just do it like that, so if you do not want the hassle of taking out the old bushings and putting in the new ones. you just remove the old brackets/bushings with the new brackets/urethane bushings.
These are definetely not urethane bushings. These are OEM.
Turner gets them from BMW.
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmkev46
So i finally got a chance to install these things. For the most part, the install went smoothly, thanks to Tim! Couldn't have done it without his diy and tips, although it was a b*tch to cut out the old rubber bushing from the control arms and i ended up paying a shop to press out the metal sleeves from the carriers, i'd recommend the same for those looking to do this install, saves some headache, unless you have a proper press, for those who want to know, a shop will charge you around 20-40 bucks to push out the sleeve from the carrier and press in the new bushings.

Finished installing, bolted everything back up, took the car out for a spin and immediately had a big grin on my face from the way the car now handled. Everything that's been said about these bushings is true...the car feels more solid, tighter in its cornering line, planted while going over mid corner bumps in sweepers, and rides not only tighter but actually better over bumps in general, atleast that's what i found. Yes, i would sum these bushings up as making the suspension feel pretty new again.

That is untill i hit 65 mph+........crap, somehow i knew this was going to happen as i had read a post about this problem on the board earlier. Right when the speedo hits 65, the steering wheel shaking/vibrating starts, making it feel rather unsettling going at higher speeds. Funny thing is, most posts on this board have stated that installing these new bushings got rid of any wheel shaking. It's ironic how before the bushing install i didn't have this wheel shaking/vibrating problem. Funny thing is, i can't figure out why the bushings would cause the wheel to shake at high speeds, and this is riding on perfectly level, smooth, and straight roads, without turning the wheel at all. I guess the only logical thing would be that my ball joints need to be fixed and these new bushings which are solid and allow less flex are now causing some movement from the ball joints, which used to be absorbed by the worn bushings...any other ideas?

Well, that's all, just a warning for those about to install these bushings and how it might not be such a good idea to only install these without doing the entire control arm/ball joint replacement along with it.

Here's the post by a guy with this exact problem....btw, did you find a solution to this problem? Any info would be great, TIA.
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...rflex+bushings
Wheel vibration could caused by out of balanced and too much wheel and tire out of round. Look for a shop that provide a road force variation balance machine to find out if your wheel and tire are true round.

Eddie
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Old 05-06-2004, 07:29 AM   #10
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Based on what I saw while replacing control arms on Alken's 323i last weekend, I would say your ball joints are shot and you need new control arms. Stiffening up the bushing changes the harmonics of the front suspension and just changes the speed at which loose components want to vibrate.




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Old 05-06-2004, 09:33 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kwang125
hmm....
the website doesn't mention them being made from urethane.

http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...ID=31126757623
you guys are right, I don't know where I saw that yesterday. Called Turner today and cancelled the order, and order the bushings from Bimmerwolrd
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:19 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl
Based on what I saw while replacing control arms on Alken's 323i last weekend, I would say your ball joints are shot and you need new control arms. Stiffening up the bushing changes the harmonics of the front suspension and just changes the speed at which loose components want to vibrate.

Ed
Do you think I should get my wheels re-balanced and checked if they're true round first? How do you inspect the ball joints while the control arm is still installed?
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Old 05-06-2004, 12:49 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by teamdfl
...I would say your ball joints are shot and you need new control arms. Stiffening up the bushing changes the harmonics of the front suspension and just changes the speed at which loose components want to vibrate.
Ed
+1.
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:37 PM   #14
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How much are new control arms?
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Old 05-06-2004, 02:40 PM   #15
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Do you think I should get my wheels re-balanced and checked if they're true round first? How do you inspect the ball joints while the control arm is still installed?
Jack up your car and spin the wheels by hand. If the edge of the wheel is visually out of round, it will cause problems. DOn't worry about rebalancing the tires until you check your ball joints. Jack up and support the front of the car and pry between the control arm and the bottom of the spindle. If you can see relative movement, the ball joints are shot.


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Old 05-06-2004, 04:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by teamdfl
Jack up your car and spin the wheels by hand. If the edge of the wheel is visually out of round, it will cause problems. DOn't worry about rebalancing the tires until you check your ball joints. Jack up and support the front of the car and pry between the control arm and the bottom of the spindle. If you can see relative movement, the ball joints are shot.


Ed
i want to get those powerflex bushings and bimmerworld asked what size 60 or 66mm...do you guys know? for an e46 99 328i.
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:39 PM   #17
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Does anyone know if it is worth it to do this replacement?
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:39 PM   #18
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I meant to say .... is it worth it to do this mod, cause alot of people seem to have complaints on it.
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Old 05-06-2004, 04:43 PM   #19
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I meant to say .... is it worth it to do this mod, cause alot of people seem to have complaints on it.
its is for me since i am getting vibrations as well. ill probably be doing both the bushings and control arms in anticipation of ball joint probs. are stock control arms good enough?
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Old 05-06-2004, 10:58 PM   #20
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Thanks for the insight guys....so i'm gonna go with the ball joints being shot as the reason for the vibration.

For those that asked- yes the stock aluminum control arms are fine, as the problem lies in the oem ball joint design which wears out, but there aren't any aftermarket designs for this part yet....you can order control arms with the ball joints on already for around 130 a side from turnermotorsport.com.....and yea i do think these bushings are a worthy upgrade but ONLY if you're gonna do the complete job by replacing everything (ball joints, ca, bushings), otherwise you'll have probs like me right now.

By the way, whats the deal with the tie-rods? where are these things located, is it separate from the control arm and ball joint unit? And aren't these a wear item as well?
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