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Old 06-12-2012, 06:15 PM   #21
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my split bushing were able to be tapped in by hand. on one i just used a C clamp to help press in all the way.

The rtab tool is mostly for taking stock out. it also will work on pressing in a stock one piece in. but on split two piece bushings that have the "brims' on the outside the tool doesn't really work as well. as the bushing is wider and covers the rta hub where the tool would rest on. so instead of metal tool "feet" on the metal of the rta, it would be on the bushing. split two piece bushing are easy to fit. a rubber mallet is all that would be needed.
So a C-clamp with a washer perhaps is all I'll need to press the new ones in? Sorry if I sound like a doofus. When I did this at my buddy's shop a couple years ago, we removed the whole trailing arm and used a huge hydraulic press to press them in and out. Overkill, I know. But we didn't have the proper tool.

Sounds like for the most part I have this down. Still looking for someone local that has the MIS rtab tool. I found one guy in downtown LA and he offered to drive down on Sunday to help me. I feel kind of bad and would rather not have him drive down here

And five, I'll watch your video when I get home from work. Thanks for that, bud.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:24 PM   #22
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If you have AutoZone out in CA, they "rent" tools (aka, you leave a deposit they refund when you bring the tool back). They have a ball joint removal kit that worked well for me. I took one of mine out with a 5 lb sledge hammer and a chisel. For the other, I used the ball joint removal kit, which worked nicely.

You can also fabricate something out of pipe couplers and hardware from Home Depot. This is one of my rear ball joints, but you can make the same type of 'tool' to remove the RTAB's:


Note that the big handle is just half of a large pair of pliers that I was using in lieu of a washer on the left side. There's a grade 8 bolt that goes through the center of everything.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:37 PM   #23
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Interesting. Definitely going to look into the balljoint removal kit. And yes we have autozones. I rented pickle forks from them to do my control arms. worked nicely. Do they have one particular kit you recommend? Also I'm assuming the kit can do removal AND installation?
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:44 PM   #24
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Interesting. Definitely going to look into the balljoint removal kit. And yes we have autozones. I rented pickle forks from them to do my control arms. worked nicely. Do they have one particular kit you recommend? Also I'm assuming the kit can do removal AND installation?
It's been years since i've done this, so I can't recall. Just get the biggest kit they have. The one my local autozone had came with the correct size pieces to match the OD of the RTAB and the RTA itself. It didn't have the correct size for the rear balljoints, so I went to the hardware store and got a pipe coupler to use for that instead. Depending on the size c-clamp the kit comes with, it will do removal, but may not be wide enough to install the new one. You can get it started by putting the coupler over the bushing and tapping it in with a hammer. i find this method easier to get it started than pressing them in anyways...they tend to get uneven unless you line everything up perfectly.

When installing the new RTAB's, look closely at the hole in the RTA. If I remember correctly, one of the sides has a beveled edge, meaning they only go in one way. If your new RTABs are the split design, putting a hose clamp around it to press the 2 sides together tightly aids in installation. Otherwise, they tend to slip apart, which makes things more difficult and can tear the bushing. After you get it started, you can remove the hose clamp. It will get in the way at some point anyways.
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:48 PM   #25
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Thanks. I'm sure this will all make sense once I have the parts in my hand and bring it to autozone to match up to the balljoint removal kit. This sounds like a much faster, eaiser, and convenient way than the MIS RTAB tool (only cause i don't have immediate access to it)
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Old 06-12-2012, 06:53 PM   #26
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Thanks. I'm sure this will all make sense once I have the parts in my hand and bring it to autozone to match up to the balljoint removal kit. This sounds like a much faster, eaiser, and convenient way than the MIS RTAB tool (only cause i don't have immediate access to it)
Yeah, it will be clear when you are able to see everything together. They should have a coupler that matches the OD of the RTAB. You want it to sit up against the lip of the casing for the bushing, but make sure it's small enough to side into the hole in the RTA without getting stuck. The larger coupler for the other side just needs to be big enough to sit on the RT outside the hole, and big enough to let the RTAB casing slide inside it.

If worse comes to worse, you can use the couplers from their kit with a big grade 8 bolt and some grade 8 washers, as in the picture above. That's in the event that they don't have a kit with a clamp big enough to stretch around everything.

It's not that bad. I used this method to do the RTAB's, and the rear ball joints. They come out nice and easy if you have the right size couplers. Getting the new ones started in the holes is the most frustrating part of the job.
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:01 PM   #27
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Here ya go...I did up a short video, as it's probably easier to explain in words with the tool in front of me:



The only thing you may have issue with is getting the RTA up to ride height with the car off the ground. If it's an issue, unbolt the sway bar and you should be able to get there. You can always just remove the spring as well, which only takes a second. Make sure the e-brake isn't engaged.

Hope that helps.
Great video. Just saw it. Thanks, man. So basically you lock the carrier in place with that as you torque it down (81 ft lbs?) I gotcha!
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Old 06-12-2012, 08:30 PM   #28
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Great video. Just saw it. Thanks, man. So basically you lock the carrier in place with that as you torque it down (81 ft lbs?) I gotcha!
No problem. The 'dimple' in the wheel hub isn't quite recessed enough that it's locked into place. But having that tool definitely helps you keep it lined up while you torque it down.

The best way that i've found to do this is to just use air. Because the RTAB bolt is a through bolt, it's difficult to have 2 opposing wrenches or ratchets turning in different directions and keeping the carrier from moving at all. It's possible. But if you have air tools, just use a wrench to hold the nut steady and have at it with the air gun.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:09 PM   #29
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E46Mango,

Do a search on this site for the username Opto. I rented a tool from him to do my RTAB's. He charged $32.00 to rent and a full refundable security deposit of $180.00 to make certain that it comes back. He can ship to the lower 48 for $7.00.

It's a tool he made, but it works perfectly for both easy removal and installation.
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Old 06-12-2012, 09:42 PM   #30
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Sounds like for the most part I have this down. Still looking for someone local that has the MIS rtab tool. I found one guy in downtown LA and he offered to drive down on Sunday to help me. I feel kind of bad and would rather not have him drive down here
I have a E36/46 rear bushing kit that I bought when I did mine. I'm in Torrance (18 miles due south of downtown LA)
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:02 AM   #31
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Thanks, man. I'll shoot you a PM if I end up going that route. I think i'm going to try and use the autozone balljoint kit as five recommended.
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Old 06-13-2012, 03:22 AM   #32
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pay for shipping or come down to OC and you can use my rtab tool. just promise to send back.
if you're using stock one piece bushing i would use the tool for sure! not so much for taking out but to put in. sure it can be done other ways, but with the tool it'll cut the job in half and the ease.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:28 AM   #33
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pay for shipping or come down to OC and you can use my rtab tool. just promise to send back.
if you're using stock one piece bushing i would use the tool for sure! not so much for taking out but to put in. sure it can be done other ways, but with the tool it'll cut the job in half and the ease.
Thanks, man for the offer. I might take you up on it. Of course I would promise to send it back. Maybe I'll even buy the tool. I know a lot of E36s/E46s that need doing.

Can you clarify the thing with the split bushing though? From what I gather, you need to put some hose clamps on it to compress it AS you press it into the RTA? Is that correct?
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:53 AM   #34
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Can you clarify the thing with the split bushing though? From what I gather, you need to put some hose clamps on it to compress it AS you press it into the RTA? Is that correct?
Correct.

Split bushing on the left, factory on the right.


Just put a hose clamp or 2 around it to squeeze the two halves together. It makes installing them much easier.
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Old 06-13-2012, 11:56 AM   #35
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Correct.

Split bushing on the left, factory on the right.


Just put a hose clamp or 2 around it to squeeze the two halves together. It makes installing them much easier.
Awesome. Thanks.
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Old 06-13-2012, 12:18 PM   #36
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E46Mango -

As far as installing the RTAB, have you seen this? ...

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=712400

It's done using a tool from harbor freight.

I bookmarked this for future use and plan on giving it a shot. Look forward to hearing how you make out. I'm sure you'll have great photo's included as well.

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Old 06-13-2012, 01:34 PM   #37
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my car had standard suspension and i changed springs to eibach pro. when i swapped the rtabs the preload looked more like 12mm and the bushes i removed were ok. i thought lowering would require more preload so i kept the 12mm. i installed new bush with 3 leg gear puller and squeezed the bush with bull clip (50-70mm for 60mm bush) put bush in freezer to shrink it a bit.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:03 PM   #38
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Correct. Split bushing on the left, factory on the right.

Just put a hose clamp or 2 around it to squeeze the two halves together. It makes installing them much easier.
interesting. i have never heard that called a "split bushing". but yes the casing in absolutely in two sections. which is odd, because according to ECS Tuning's photo of parts, the M3 genuine BMW bushing is split while the replacement Lemforder brand is not. http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-M3-...hings/ES57714/
so i guess there is a "split bushing" and a "split bushing case"


For the record, when i have been referring to split rear trailing arm bushing. i was referring to the two piece split bushing that is two parts split in half. Like what PowerFlex and UUC supply.
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:14 PM   #39
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interesting. i have never heard that called a "split bushing". but yes the casing in absolutely in two sections. which is odd, because according to ECS Tuning's photo of parts, the M3 genuine BMW bushing is split while the replacement Lemforder brand is not.

so i guess there is a "split bushing" and a "split bushing case"


For the record, when i have been referring to split rear trailing arm bushing. i was referring to the two piece split bushing that is two parts split in half. Like what PowerFlex and UUC supply.
Ahh...I didn't pick up on the discrepancy in terminology. I call poly "poly" (as they're all 'split', or 2 piece), call these split, and call the solid casing ones factory style.

I believe they make the replacement ones with split casing because it makes for easier installation. The solid casing versions are likely that way from the factory because it's easier for a consistent installation to be reproduced. If the bushing is pushed in more, or not as far, it will change the toe of the wheel. By putting a lip on there, they can just push it in all the way and have an easily reproducible standard.

Just a guess of course.

Lemforder was likely the OE for that position, and the ones now listed as genuine BMW may be Meyle. Lemforder didn't change their design, and the 'split' casing ones are not what were in the car from the factory as far as I know, but are listed as the BMW replacement. I think that's the case. But regardless...
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Old 06-13-2012, 05:24 PM   #40
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FWIW, the RTABs I received today are in Lemforder boxes and are indeed split. I'll get some pics up in a few minutes or a few hours when I get home.
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