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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 10-22-2006, 09:05 PM   #21
tuckersmg
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Has anyone tried to install the Powerflex shims that are suppose to keep the RTAB from flexing.
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Old 10-30-2006, 09:24 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by croat View Post
Well I tried to change my RTABs today but failed miserably. I had my trailing arm down but I simply had no room to try to drill/jigsaw it out and than use C Clamp or Vise to press it in. I put everything back together and will have shop do it tomorrow before I have my alignment done.

Maybe I would give it better try but I've already worked my ass off on Saturday swapping steering rack, putting new CABs in and adjusting e-brake. I just don't want to get dirty anymore
Yep, that's why i purchased the tool - easy diy and still cheaper than getting it done at the shop. You diy'd everything else, so i would have probably done the same thing - just let the shop worry about it at this point.
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Old 10-30-2006, 02:08 PM   #23
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I took my car to get alignment and had tech take a look at RTABs. He said they looked OK. He was also prying on RTAB and it would go back to original position. He said if it goes back to original position, it should be good. Not sure how true this is.
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so 2004 bmw's dont come with a diff?
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Old 09-17-2007, 02:18 PM   #24
325myAZ
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I just completed the RTAB job last weekend.

I ended up renting the tool from Vert. So I got a great deal on the rental, super fast shipping, plus he was able to clear up some questions and concerns that I had about the job.

There really is something to be said about having the right tool for the job. Easy out, easy in.

Thanks Vert!
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Old 09-17-2007, 04:04 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 325myAZ View Post
I just completed the RTAB job last weekend.

I ended up renting the tool from Vert. So I got a great deal on the rental, super fast shipping, plus he was able to clear up some questions and concerns that I had about the job.

There really is something to be said about having the right tool for the job. Easy out, easy in.

Thanks Vert!
Thanks for your kind words. I am glad I could help!
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Old 09-22-2007, 05:52 PM   #26
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Hey, Vert, still got that tool for rent / sale? I need to do my RTAB soon. PM'd ya! Thanks!
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Old 09-22-2007, 06:10 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by peanut_man View Post
Hey, Vert, still got that tool for rent / sale? I need to do my RTAB soon. PM'd ya! Thanks!
Yes, I have it and I replied to your PM. Please email me at arthur91 at hotmail.com.
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:38 AM   #28
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Any one knows if the RTAB can be replaced w/ the rear wheels still on? My rears are frozen on. I will ask the alignment shop to take the wheels out for me when I get my alignment done, but I want to put the RTABs on first. Will it be doable? or it'll just be too much weight on the suspension?

Thanks!
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Old 10-01-2007, 08:55 AM   #29
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Originally Posted by peanut_man View Post
Any one knows if the RTAB can be replaced w/ the rear wheels still on? My rears are frozen on. I will ask the alignment shop to take the wheels out for me when I get my alignment done, but I want to put the RTABs on first. Will it be doable? or it'll just be too much weight on the suspension?

Thanks!
I emailed you back ... I don't see how it can be done easily with the wheel still on 1) not enough room for the two wrenches you need to take the RTAB out and 2) might not be able to do the alignment procedure correctly and 3) Bentley manual says to take the wheel off first.

Did you try to use a long breaker bar on the lug nutz? Remember what Archimedes said: "Give me a place to stand and I can move the world," referring to the multiplying power of a lever, and of a well-placed leverage point.
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Old 10-01-2007, 10:56 AM   #30
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Lug nuts are off easy, that's no issue. The issue is the rear wheels are stuck frozen to the hub.
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Old 10-01-2007, 11:09 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by peanut_man View Post
Lug nuts are off easy, that's no issue. The issue is the rear wheels are stuck frozen to the hub.
I see, I misunderstood your question. You should try some of the suggestions in this thread to get the wheel off: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=233043

One of these will definitely work.
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Old 10-01-2007, 01:24 PM   #32
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Thanks vert. Altho some suggestions are scary. Loosen lugnuts 1/2 way and lower the car and move it abit to pop the wheels off. Ouch, sounds like it'll damage something? Will try other less scary options first before resorting to this.
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Old 10-06-2007, 10:42 AM   #33
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Ended up using a big-a$$ hammer and a block of wood and hit the wheel out from under the car. I cleaned the hub and make sure anti-seize is applied for next time removal.

RTABs are replaced! Took about 3 hr because I'm a noob at doing this. Also made a really stupid move by putting the "console" in backward! LOL. Caught it when trying to put it back and the backet was way off. Noobie DIY mistake. Proper tools really help taking the bushing out easy. Thanks Vert, will ship back the tool on Monday.



Now I just need new front tires and alignment and I should be set... for mods!
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Old 10-07-2007, 07:35 PM   #34
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Great stuff! I am glad you found the tool useful. I bet if you had to do it again it would take you about an hour...
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Old 10-16-2007, 10:33 PM   #35
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Yup, the tool was a definite *MUST*. I can't imagine drilling the thing out and hack it apart w/ some saw. That would take a long time and probably a good chance of scratching up body work / paint.

One thing to note is that having racheting wrench helps a lot as the nut on the tool has a long bolt goes thru. Something like



or those specialty socket wrenchs that has thru-hole opening. Thanks again Vert!
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Old 11-12-2007, 09:35 AM   #36
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I also used the tool about 2 weeks ago to replace my RTABs, and I'll add a couple of notes.

As Peanutman said, with how far the rear control arm comes down when replacing just the RTAB, I'd say theres a good chance you'd botch up the sideskirts trying to hack the thing out. I barely had enough room for the tool as it is. If you removed the shock, the arm could probably dangle lower, but then you'd be yanking the brake lines.

If I couldn't rent the tool, I would still buy it to do this job. The job, with the tool, is definitely easy and worth it over paying someone to do the install.

That said, when I pulled mine at 68k miles, one bushing had a crack in it with very little movement and the other was fine. If I had known this, I probably wouldn't have bothered replacing them yet.
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Old 11-12-2007, 10:18 PM   #37
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ddombrowski, peanut_man, vert,

Presumably there were some symptoms that you were hoping that the new RTABs would help correct ... like the feeling the rear end was wandering some? Did you notice any difference with the new RTABs?
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Old 11-13-2007, 07:46 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by sulli View Post
ddombrowski, peanut_man, vert,

Presumably there were some symptoms that you were hoping that the new RTABs would help correct ... like the feeling the rear end was wandering some? Did you notice any difference with the new RTABs?
From what I have read, symptoms of bad trailing arm bushings include side movement of the rear end under acceleration, general looseness of the rear over bumps, and abnormal tire wear. These bushings will start wearing out after about 50K miles, give or take.

I pulled mine at around 50K hoping to fix some bump steer from the rear of the car. When I examined the old bushings, they looked pretty good but they started to show some signs of wear such as small cracks in the rubber. Putting the new ones in did make the car feel more stable. For me though the car started handling 100% only after I installed the coilovers last month (my original shocks were bad and my springs were all rusted...)

RTAB's are cheap and easy to install if you are using the right tools so for me at least it was the a logical first step in refreshing the suspension along with the failed LCA's and LCAB's. I used an M3 upgrade bushing from autohausaz.com which supposedly should last longer. Also, I did it to save on alignment costs since I would hate to change some other suspension part, do an alignment only to find out that the problem is still there and have to replace the RTAB's and have to pay for another alignment again.
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Old 02-14-2008, 08:53 AM   #39
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Vert could you please post the brand and type of RTAB puller you used?
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Old 02-14-2008, 09:10 AM   #40
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Vert could you please post the brand and type of RTAB puller you used?
I believe it is Victory Design Tools. Type is just the RTAB puller for e46 and e36.
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