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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 11-14-2005, 06:11 AM   #1
beberle
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Front OEM bushing replacement tips

Just survived an OEM bushing replacement last night. Some tips that may help the next guy:
0. yup, yank the crossmember brace. 4 bolts and a couple minutes. Pull the tires as well for more room.
1. Don't even mess w/ trying to remove the bushing in one piece. I spent over an hour trying to use a pulley removal tool. I've seen several posts about using a dremel tool to cut the rubber. I personally used a drywall saw that fits nicely between the inner and outer housing. Use a screwdriver to remove a front and back rubber 'ring', and it will reveal the oil-filled inner bushing.
2. After cutting out the rubber, it's an easy job of using a bearing or pulley removal tool to pull off the inner housing.
3. I spent another 2 hours trying to install the new bushing by hammering, pushing and many other means. Forget soapy water, grease or WD-40. The only thing that worked was Dawn dish liquid liberally applied to the control arm. It then slid on all the way w/ a good shove.
4. 1st bushing took me 3 hours, the 2nd took 15 minutes. Hopefully this will save you some time! ;-)
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Old 11-28-2005, 05:51 AM   #2
beberle
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Oh yeah, it also cured the annoying front-end squeak that I was cursed with for over a year.
Glad I changed the bushings when I did: just two days later, in Atlanta traffice, I discovered that a 330i will out-stop a 530i by about 5 feet in a full locked-brake situation.... doh! And no pull to the left or right ;-)
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:31 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beberle
...Forget soapy water, grease or WD-40. The only thing that worked was Dawn dish liquid liberally applied to the control arm. It then slid on all the way w/ a good shove.

Liquid dish detergent has been the front control arm bushing lube of choice for 20 years (since the early days of the E30 3 series). Glad to see it worked out for you.
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:55 AM   #4
Canuck328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by teamdfl
Liquid dish detergent has been the front control arm bushing lube of choice for 20 years (since the early days of the E30 3 series). Glad to see it worked out for you.
That liquid soap trick still never ceases to amaze me. When I did mine in the summer I didn't know about this trick and went with a silicone lube - guess what, I was at a buddy's shop the next day getting it pressed on the last .75" 'cause the silicone lube helped squat. #$%$ #$#@$!!!

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Old 11-28-2005, 10:08 AM   #5
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Same here i also used dawn dish doap, cause i didnt wanna get any nasty **** in my eyes
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Old 12-06-2005, 11:02 AM   #6
Tom Bombadil
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Bushing Removal

Anyone here using the favorite bushing removal tool of us E30'ers? A propane torch?

I am looking at putting on my new Powerflex bushings and have already planned to torch the rubber center for easier removal. If I understand the bushing design, and if it is like my E30, the metal is only on the outside and the center is all rubber.

Torch / Fire / Melted Rubber / Clean / Install new bushings.

BTW, my 200,000+ mile bushings on my 1991 325iX slid right off...
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Old 12-06-2005, 04:35 PM   #7
Canuck328i
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Bombadil
Anyone here using the favorite bushing removal tool of us E30'ers? A propane torch?

I am looking at putting on my new Powerflex bushings and have already planned to torch the rubber center for easier removal. If I understand the bushing design, and if it is like my E30, the metal is only on the outside and the center is all rubber.

Torch / Fire / Melted Rubber / Clean / Install new bushings.

BTW, my 200,000+ mile bushings on my 1991 325iX slid right off...
Hmmm...I'd just be concerned about messing up the aluminum CA with the heat...

Mark
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Old 12-07-2005, 09:46 AM   #8
beberle
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Man, using a torch would be MESSY! ;-) The bushing has an inner metal ring as well as the bushing sleeve. It's this inner ring that you need a pulley puller to get off. A torch might still work because there is about 1/8" of rubber inside the inner ring contacting the control arm itself.
Have fun!!
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Old 12-07-2005, 10:48 AM   #9
Canuck328i
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Also keep in mind that the bushing is oil-filled, so have a fire extinguisher handy...

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Old 12-07-2005, 12:06 PM   #10
Tom Bombadil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Canuck328i
Also keep in mind that the bushing is oil-filled, so have a fire extinguisher handy...

Mark

Forgot about the oil filling...

When I did my E30 subframe bushings they were a big stinky flaming mess, but the job was *much* easier for it.

Meh, I'll have my shop put them on...
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:42 PM   #11
Twright
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Thumbs Up I did it too!

I can't tell you how happy I was with the tip about cutting up the bushing as a removal tip. I did it that way (with a hole saw, but a knife probably would have worked also.) and it was really easy.
A torch would be way overkill. Too messy and not necessary.

I put in the urethane bushings and new ball joints. I can really tell the difference. Its like a new car.
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Old 12-07-2005, 06:55 PM   #12
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Oil filled? I've heard that before.. I have some of the powerflex urethane bushings in my posesion (have had them for awhile) so do they need to be filled up with anything? Or are the OE rubber bushings the only ones that are oil filled? The powerflex ones came with a small packet of something.. I figured it was lube.
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Old 12-07-2005, 07:53 PM   #13
Canuck328i
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No, the "oil fill" is molded right into the OEM ones from the factory. You wouldn't even know they are filled with anything unless one ruptured or you cut one open.

The Powerflex ones are solid bushings, so no oil at all.

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