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///M3 Forum
The BMW E46 ///M3 is the M version E46 and puts out an amazing 333 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque at stock specs! There are an amazing amount of modifications for both the coupe and convertible models so read up and get started modifying your cars today!

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Old 07-09-2014, 06:51 AM   #1
workman482
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Join Date: Feb 2014
Location: Ozark, AL
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RTAB time! Poly or oem with limiters?

So I've decided to change the rtab's on my M but I'm not sure which to go with.

I know poly bushings are better performing, but I've seen many-a-car during my auto tech career with them that had either/and a noisy suspension or crumbling bushings. Granted that was 5+ years ago. Are they any more reliable now in terms of service life?

Do the oem rtab's with ECS Tunings limiters perform just as well as the polys?

Decisions, decisions.
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Old 07-09-2014, 08:46 AM   #2
choxor
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Whether or not poly's "perform" better than OEM M3 bushings with limiters is a matter of debate. How long they last is a matter of debate, too. They are, however, easier to install since you do not have to pre-load the bushing.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:27 AM   #3
api
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I can not tell you which is better but I have Poly and the back end has less play with no additional noise in the rear of my car. I did poly for the performance advantage.

I have Poly for the subframe, diff and other locations and can say those transmit more noise and vibration.
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MODS: 03 M3, 6MT, PSS9, AFE Intake, Euro Ceramic Coated Headers, El Diablo Exhaust, Turner Motorsports Rear Adjustable Camber Arms, AKG Diff and Subframe bushings, PowerFlex suspension bushings, Sub-frame Reinforcement, 18'x9' square setup & one driver that grins ear to ear everytime he is driving it
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Old 07-09-2014, 11:16 AM   #4
workman482
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Thanks for the info.
My M3 is my DD. I do enjoy some spirited driving when I can get it, but I haven't done any track days as of yet.
I may go with the poly's as powe flex does offer a lifetime warranty with there product and I see no such warranty on oem type rtabs.
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Old 07-09-2014, 06:46 PM   #5
Teslazerok
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I have powerflex poly. I think they made the rear end feel better than it ever had with the oem ones, but that's only subjective. I've never heard a sound from them in 2 years, lots of antiseize/included lube is the key.

I would say get poly's because they can be installed with hand tools (no need for special tool/presses) and they should last much longer than oem, making them more cost effective in the end.

Make sure it's a poly bushing that is designed like the powerflex, that overlaps the outer edge of the trailing arm (provides the same effect as limiters do) They allow less flex than the oem based on just that point, hardness/material aside.
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Old 07-09-2014, 10:40 PM   #6
z00
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Stick with OEM.
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Old 07-11-2014, 07:00 AM   #7
workman482
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Poly RTAB is on the way. Powerflex's lifetime warranty helped sell me in them, p l us looking at the design I see the shoulders built into the poly's that would act like a limiter.

Thanks for all the input.
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Old 08-28-2014, 12:58 AM   #8
Stuart
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Just replaced my RTABs - which were original and therefore 2001. They were in remarkably good condition but for the fact that the centre sleeve was detaching from the body of the bush, on each side. Two reasons for changing these: the tyre wear was most unusual - Conti Sport M3s with the inners badly worn (I was shocked to see some rayon showing through), the outers worn to excess. Also, there had been some vagueness on hard acceleration and braking, which I now realise I was down to worn RTABs.
Having taken advice from Redish Motorsport in Bristol, I've gone for Powerflex. Initial impressions are hugely positive: the car control is actually transformed from this simple change.
In terms of NVH there is no difference front to back when driving through undulating road sections. I'll understand more once the alignment is done (tomorrow) and I get some more miles. Right now, I'm thinking I should have made this change some time back!
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Old 08-28-2014, 07:35 PM   #9
Teslazerok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuart View Post
Having taken advice from Redish Motorsport in Bristol, I've gone for Powerflex. Initial impressions are hugely positive: the car control is actually transformed from this simple change.
In terms of NVH there is no difference front to back when driving through undulating road sections. I'll understand more once the alignment is done (tomorrow) and I get some more miles. Right now, I'm thinking I should have made this change some time back!
I've never noticed any NVH from my powerflex either, no need to worry about it creeping up on you, I've had them for over 2 years. I agree, it's a massive upgrade (from worn out stock bushings).
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Old 08-29-2014, 04:25 AM   #10
Alex323Ci
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i installed/have the UUC poly rtab's for a couple of years now and have no issues what so ever. only improvement overall.
i will point out that there was a thread about some company in Canada saying not to use Power Flex (polyurethane) rtabs because it hinders the rotation of the arms. they're the only ones I know of saying this and now sell their own brand "limiters" for the same cost as the poly bushings. so it makes you wonder if stance is profit motivated.
either way just bringing this up as its topic related.
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Old 08-29-2014, 09:25 AM   #11
03BIMMERM3
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Powerflex

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Old 09-05-2014, 01:11 PM   #12
raichean
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I installed powerflex FCABs, and OEM RTABs with limiters on the advice of my local shop. I blew my rears last summer at a club driving event, and finished the job by tearing up my fronts at this years event! LOL My local shop though recommended OEM plus limiters for the rears and said they have never replaced (again) rears done that way in any car. Made sense to me.
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Old 09-05-2014, 02:04 PM   #13
DreaM3r
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OEM


02 M3 Coupe, no roof, no cold weather package, stick

06 X3
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Old 09-05-2014, 10:16 PM   #14
Teslazerok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raichean View Post
I installed powerflex FCABs, and OEM RTABs with limiters on the advice of my local shop. I blew my rears last summer at a club driving event, and finished the job by tearing up my fronts at this years event! LOL My local shop though recommended OEM plus limiters for the rears and said they have never replaced (again) rears done that way in any car. Made sense to me.
Powerflex FRONT control arm bushings have received controversy for blowing up, whether this was related to manufacturing defects, ineffective part design, install errors, etc, no one knows for sure.

Powerflex RTAB's are not known for having any specific issues, but neither are OEM + limiter shims either. Oem bushings will have to be replaced eventually (regardless of limiters). your shop is blowing smoke up your ass to make you feel good about your purchase.

They still wear out eventually, just like any bushing, poly or rubber.
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Old 09-29-2014, 04:32 PM   #15
YOnpds
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I'm very happy with my powerflex bushings. Had them on for a couple of years now. No issues. Did you put them in yet?
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Old 09-29-2014, 08:34 PM   #16
M3_Ed
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I have powerflex rtabs and they're fine. Worth it just for the easy of install. No squeaks or noise but I bought an extra packet of grease and used 1 each. While most people claim no change in NVH I find there is a VERY slight increase in noise and harshness that most people wouldn't notice. The only time I notice the difference in noise is when I've got my track tires on (noisy tires) and it transmits ever so slightly more than oem. Harshness I'll occasionally get on a direct hit to the rear wheels (like when they gouge the asphalt and there's a 2" lip), and even so it's nothing to worry about, you're probably busier thinking holy crap gotta hit the brakes than the slight extra nudge. The rear end does feel more planted/predictable but it's not a fair comparison since my oem's were worn at the time of replacement.

tldr, go powerflex, easy install, no significant noise/harshness increase
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Old 09-29-2014, 09:55 PM   #17
CarbonZHP
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Im running Rogue Blacks. No grease. That could potentially be bad. No sounds though
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