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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 07-01-2008, 10:17 PM   #61
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Vert...it is on the way back. It should by the end of the week.
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Old 10-23-2008, 08:47 AM   #62
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RTAB Tool rental

Thanks for renting me the RTAB tool, I can't imagine the hassle of doing the job without it. The transaction was easy, it costs less than buying a tool, and shipping is fast. I installed the Rogue Engineering blue RTABs, and the ride is great (obviously much improved over the failed stock bushings), and it's not noticeably harsh over rough pavament as I had read in some posts.
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Old 10-26-2008, 12:23 AM   #63
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Vert - I sent you an email regarding the tool.
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Old 11-07-2008, 06:41 AM   #64
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I rented the tool from vert and the job took me about 2 hours in the driveway. Pretty simple once you get started.
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Old 11-07-2008, 09:19 AM   #65
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I think the tool is a bit over rated. I did the job in 2 hours without any special tools. Just take the bolts and the cover out. Put something between the arm and the body so you can get some working space and then start your drill I used high rpm dremel. It almost melt it, it took about 5mins to take out the center part of the bushing. Then about 10 mins to saw out the housing and pry it out.

So even if you don't have the tool don't hesitate! I won't lie to you, the job is a *****, but most guys can pull it off easy.

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Old 03-26-2009, 03:15 PM   #66
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It is nearly impossible with any other tool than the real OEM tool or the one made by victory. I tried the pipe cap methods which nearly damage my bushings. The nuts kept stripping on 7/16" 'bolt tool' that I made at home. My car was on jack stands for 5 days until I rented the tool from 'Vert'. Once I had his tool the bushing slipped on no problem. Please note that you should definitely lube the bushing before pressing it in. I if anyone is thinking of this DIY its not hard if you have the right tools! Its hell not having the right tools and making 15 trips to home depot. I also recommending renting this tool since its really only a once in 100,000 mile change.
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:38 PM   #67
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I haven't read this thread, but if you haven't done this already...

I had a hard time with the Victory tool. You still have to do some of the hardest parts in order to use it anyway (cut the collar off...with a sawzall - don't use a dremel), which I find then that the tool really isn't worth it. After failing with the tool (the rod bent) I just went to town on the bushing in this way:

I couldn't get my drill all the way around the center piece, so I used a small 2-legged press (the kind that they specify to use for tie-rods) and pressed the center piece out. As the piece moved out further and further, i cut the rubber around it with a utility knife. Once the rubber let go, the center piece kind of shoots/flicks off to the side, still attached at some part. Rip the center section then out with your hands, then take a sawzall and saw straight down through the rubber then the metal ring. The take a flathead and a (deadblow) hammer and pry between the arm and the metal ring and it will pop out EASY (if you are struggling with this, it is truly a magical moment). Took me 25 mins each side taking my time, tops.

I cleaned out the inside of the trailing arm bushing area, then sandwiched together my new Powerflex bushings with the help of a c-clamp spotting the parts that were popping out. Then I tapped in the new center piece using a deadblow hammer with c-clamp on.


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Small flathead
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New 2-peice bushing required. My poly bushings don't squeak (about 2 weeks now)
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Old 03-26-2009, 03:49 PM   #68
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Rody - I am glad I could help and that you were able to complete this project after messing with the car for so long without the right tool.

Malko - you must have used the Victory tool wrong if you had to cut something with a sawzall. Not sure where you got it from but you might have been missing some parts. The tool has one part that is used to press the old bushing out and another part to press the new bushing in. Like Rody and other people said - both parts are easy with the Victory tool and nothing else is required besides the two wrenches plus a couple of sockets. Pictures on the first page of this thread show the two different attachments.

When I rent the tool out it comes with step-by-step instructions and the tool manual and nowhere does it mention sawzall If anyone needs the RTAB tool shoot me an email arthur91 at hotmail dot com.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:03 PM   #69
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Originally Posted by rody1285 View Post
It is nearly impossible with any other tool than the real OEM tool or the one made by victory.

false..it's actually really easy. don't bother drilling/cutting anything. waste of time. rent a ball joint remover from autozone for free(60 or 70 dollar deposit that you get back), get a piece of 1-3/4" x 1-7/8" exhaust pipe connector while your there too. cut the pipe to the width of some painters tape. this gives you a little extra "push" room since the cups that come with the ball joint remover wont push the bushing out all the way. start with just whats given with the ball joint remover, finish with the exhaust pipe spacer. sub 5 minutes to press it out. Takes longer to unbolt/rebolt everything up.

Last edited by NightRunner; 03-26-2009 at 07:06 PM.
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Old 03-26-2009, 07:20 PM   #70
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Ball joint remover:

bushing pushed part way out

pushing rtab all the way out (silver piece on right side, right next to trailing arm is exhaust pipe spacer)

Bushing all the way out (NOTE: no cutting)

easy, and only costs 3 bucks or so for the exhaust pipe. If people REALLY want I guess I can come up with a DIY, although these pictures are pretty self explanatory.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:08 PM   #71
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I just finished the RTAB job on my E46. I referenced the E36 DIY on this board by Dudesky_E36. The E46 is even easier since you don't have a brake line to mess with but there are a couple of brakepad/DSC wires to watch out for. I used the Victory tool from Vert. I suppose you could make your own tool but if you can get your hands on the Victory Tool, it makes the job much easier.

I'd rate the difficulty level a 2 out of 5.
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Old 07-26-2009, 06:40 PM   #72
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Sent you an email vert; gonna tackle this job too. I've got like a metal to metal clinking sound over bumps and it's sooo annoying and embarassing. I laid next to my car and banged on the trailing arm and I could duplicate the sound, just not as loudly. So I'm starting there.
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Old 07-27-2009, 11:13 AM   #73
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Sound like my problem is the rtab?
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Old 07-27-2009, 07:19 PM   #74
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I recently did my RTAB's , one thing I had to do was unbolt the shock at the bottom and also the brake line brackets so I could get the trailing arm low enough to use the tool. I have an e46 compact though so maybe the access is different. When reassembling its also important to align the brackets level with the holes when tightening the through bolt so you do not preload the bushings. (but I bet most garages don't bother!)

I installed m3 bushings with the turner limiter kit and I am impressed with how the rear end has stiffened up and ride quality has actually improved (even though the old bushings were only 34k miles old)
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