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Old 09-11-2019, 06:23 PM   #1
Bmsluite
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Who has done their trailing arm bushings and/or lower control arms

Alright so I'm getting stuff together to replace these trailing arm bushings shown in picture attached. I'm going to do the tops and bottoms with the ball joints. .

What's the deal with the tool? Necessary? Or will some threaded rod and some sockets do it? Chicago car so it's pretty hairy under there.

Any tips?

Also, going to out in adjustable lower control arms so I can get the rear camber I want. Right now at 2.5 and want to be more like 1.4. Any tips for that diy? All I see in posts is that one side is easy and the other side sucks and you have to move the diff. Any way to do it without moving the diff around?
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Old 09-11-2019, 06:25 PM   #2
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Here's the pictures of the tool and the bushings I'm talking about
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:00 PM   #3
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My notes from replacing the lower control arms with adjustable ones.
Very detailed, with tool types and sizes used.
https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpo...5&postcount=35
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:09 PM   #4
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Lots of folks install the PowerFlex polyurethane RTABs.
https://www.powerflexusa.com/shop/pr...t-bushing-2596
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:10 PM   #5
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I went with the Chinese knockoffs of the BMW tools. Basically something like this:

https://shop.ktcautotools.com/produc...or-bmw-e36-e46

There are a few people on the forums that rent these. I didn't pay too much attention, but while they fit in the same sized mounting ears, the ball joint and rubber bushings used different cups. You're not going to get around needing to move the diff, but aside from its heft the differential is pretty easy to R&R (or just loosen up and move).

I've started mocking the individual pieces up in Fusion 360, but unless you're a machinist it's going to be cheaper to buy/rent. If you want dimensions I can go take a look.
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Old 09-11-2019, 08:58 PM   #6
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If you have a drill and an air chisel, the tool is not necessary for removal. If you plan to use oem style bushings then a tool is needed for install. But id to powerflex, very nice upgrade you absolutely feel and no drawbacks.
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Old 09-11-2019, 09:17 PM   #7
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I did mine years ago and rented the tool from someone here on this forum. Made the job super easy. You could probably make your own but I'm sure it would take some patience.
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Old 09-11-2019, 11:04 PM   #8
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I just did all rear bushings ( upper and lower control arms, rtabs, subframe, diff mounts, rear driveshaft cv, csb, flex disk, rear shocks, rear sway bar end links, and struts and it was a royal pain in the a##!! Chinese tool made it through 4 bushings before giving out and ended up taking subframe to machine shop to change other ones.

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Old 09-11-2019, 11:11 PM   #9
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I did RTABs and the outer lower control arm bushings on my e36, no special tools used. Used bolts, sockets and plumbing fittings to install the new ones, the RTABs were Poly so those went in by hand.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:03 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dck8267 View Post
I just did all rear bushings, upper and lower control arms, rtabs, subframe, diff mounts, rear driveshaft cv, csb, flex disk, rear shocks, rear sway bar end links, and struts and it was a royal pain in the ass!!
Subframe and diff bushings are a whole other level compared to RTABs and lower control arms.
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Old 09-12-2019, 12:39 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
Subframe and diff bushings are a whole other level compared to RTABs and lower control arms.
The subframe is probably tedious to move around, but the diff bushings aren't too bad with the right tools. An impact E12 socket will help a lot though.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:15 AM   #12
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Btw i used powerflex black rtabs but they did not fit as easily as they claim, one side went in fine but the other wouldnt go in and ended up taking a tiny bit off to get it to fit right...

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Old 09-12-2019, 08:21 AM   #13
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I did a jerry-rig threaded rod tool for the trailing arms and rented a tool for the trans and the differential bushings.

Rent the tools. It is so much easier!

And do the differential mounts while you are in there.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:41 AM   #14
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Thanks for the replies guys. I think I will just purchase and then resell the tools for the upper and lower ball joints.

Balidog that was a good diy writeup and very helpful, thanks. I think I should just remove the diff as I have already done it twice and it's not so bad (except for removing the sway bar links). Then I can do the diff bushings while in there

Speaking of diff bushings, does anyone have any recommendations on those? I hear poly makes a lot of gear noise and isn't so good with stock subframe bushings.
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Old 09-12-2019, 08:44 AM   #15
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I replaced the large rear diff bushing with poly and have not noticed any NVH as a result. Highly recommended, and easy to install!
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
If you have a drill and an air chisel, the tool is not necessary for removal. If you plan to use oem style bushings then a tool is needed for install. But id to powerflex, very nice upgrade you absolutely feel and no drawbacks.
well polyurethane does have the drawback that it can squeak overtime. so they may need to be re-lubed.
also there is the theory under hard turns it can bind during rotation and then release providing an un-linear feel.

for my hard driving I like my poly RTABs, drawbacks and all.
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Old 09-12-2019, 02:39 PM   #17
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well polyurethane does have the drawback that it can squeak overtime. so they may need to be re-lubed.
also there is the theory under hard turns it can bind during rotation and then release providing an un-linear feel.

for my hard driving I like my poly RTABs, drawbacks and all.
During all your "real world testing", have you experienced that binding at all by any chance?
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Old 09-12-2019, 04:48 PM   #18
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well polyurethane does have the drawback that it can squeak overtime. so they may need to be re-lubed.
also there is the theory under hard turns it can bind during rotation and then release providing an un-linear feel.

for my hard driving I like my poly RTABs, drawbacks and all.
Also the ease of install for polys is second to none. I've put poly RTABs on all of my e46s, and I have no regrets. Will probably do the front LCABs in poly when it's time.
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Old 09-12-2019, 06:07 PM   #19
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BTW guys I'm not talking about RTABs. I did those a long time ago. These are the other bushings in the arm that are (or in the case of the lower one "replaced with) ball joints
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Old 09-13-2019, 04:14 AM   #20
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During all your "real world testing", have you experienced that binding at all by any chance?
hard to say without a camera on it to be sure. the twitch could have been tire breaking away, the limited slip differential, or even recoil from sway bars.
Vorslag Racing is the first tuner shop iíve seen post in depth about this and dropping poly from sales choice on the rtab for this reason.
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