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      08-06-2015, 06:25 AM   #1
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Nolathane rear subframe bushings review

I've had these on my car for the past four months and wanted to give my thoughts on these bushings. Theres not a lot of information on these bushings. I first looked at M3 bushings but they're quite expensive with the terrible AUD and shipping costs.

These Nolathane bushes are 2 piece polyurethane and have anodized aluminium inserts. The finish is very high quality. The fact they are 2 piece means they are super easy to fit. I only had to drop my subframe about 100mm to fit them in and they press fit by hand! You do not need to disconnect the brake lines either which speeds up install.

The reason why im posting this in the Australian section is because for once, an aftermarket part is actually made in Australia! Means it is by far the cheapest option for a nice and solid subframe bushing. I bought my set from oziespares.com.au and only cost $162.98 shipped to my address. This is less than half of what the M3 bushing costs! Oziespares also sells a lot of other nolathane bushings and they most of the bushings for e90/82/92 suspension links.

The biggest annoyance is the install. The special tools required for this job are quite expensive and not worth it for a one off job. I ended up making my own tool from stuff I bought from Bunnings. An M12 threaded rod and 100mm PVC thick walled pipe, some M12 nuts and some scraps of wood were adequate for removing the bushings. I used a dumbell plate but you could easily use a block of wood with a hole drilled through it as well.

Ideally you need 2 diameters of pipes because the front bushings are a different diameter to the rear. I couldn't find a PVC pipe of 80mm that was thick enough. I used a reducer with my 100mm but that broke under the tension. Ended up using a block of wood to support the oversized pipe instead. Honestly its not as hard as people make it out to be, the bushings take a bit of effort to remove but they eventually come out with a spanner. Wasn't that difficult and certainly a competent DIYer can get it done in an afternoon.

Thoughts:
The bushings certainly lock down the subframe and you don't get the rear end nervousness under power. The car was very bad under power over bumps and oversteer transitions felt very awkward. Now that is all gone. NVH is about the same except when you go over fast sharp bumps. You feel those quite a bit more (I am still on runflats). It's nothing major but you do notice the added harshness of ride. It is obviously better if you're not on runflats. Certainly worth the upgrade for the money I spent.
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      08-06-2015, 06:45 AM   #2
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+1. I installed the Whiteline kit, KDT917, which I believe is the same kit as the Nolathane, and I love them. I recommend them to anyone who will listen as nice alternative to the M3 bushings because of the comparative ease of the install.

Great ingenuity with the removal tool btw. I did mine the redneck way by placing sockets between the car and the bushing, heating the bushing up and using the weight of the car to press the stock bushings out. Not quite as elegant as your solution but got the job done.

On my 128 it wasn't so much the squirming under power (not an issue for a 128) but more the downright dangerous oscillation/rubber band see sawing effect, when making high speed transitions. Very unnerving once you move away from the runflats. These bushings eliminate 99% of that.
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      08-07-2015, 11:31 PM   #3
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EDIT: 21st Aug 2016

Installed a fair few of these bushings and have made some improvements to the tool.

One of the main issues was the front two bushings were very difficult to remove. The tool needed a piece of wood to support the PVC pipe which made it deform and the pulling force wasn't straight. This led to many tool breakages if the bushings were stubborn. This all stems fro mteh fact that the bushings have a lip that covers the subframe so a regular pipe of the correct diameter cannot be used to pull out the bushing.

The rear bushings are much easier to remove and the PVC pipe is much more successful at removing that bushing. The only problem is sometimes the bushing is a little stubborn and the PVC pipe can deform and start to slip off the subframe. This can be alleviated by applying sideways pressure on the impact gun while the bushing is being pulled out, but ideally a metal tool is required.

The proper tool is crazy expensive but gives a good reference of the type of tool required. The bushings have a lip but have two cutouts where the special tool can mount to the subframe:

Koch Tools Part #: KT20312 or KT20436 would be suitable:



Much too expensive! List price is $300, great if you are running a business but its not really feasible for a DIYer


Heres what I have come up with:



1. Modified Fuel pump tool

Used for the front bushings, adjustable width to fit the subframe and small enough to fit in the bushing cutouts. The fuel pump tool has a 1/2 square drive that I have just drilled out with a 12.5mm drill bit. This tool is a forged piece and is a fairly strong part.




I have machined off the face of the legs so the edges are as sharp as possible (to avoid tool slippage). If no machine tools available, an angle grinder or bench grinder will do the same thing.



2. High tensile M12 threaded rod with high tensile nut and M12 coupling nut



The M12 coupling nut (effectively a long nut) is tightened against a normal high tensile M12 nut. This fixes the nuts onto the threaded rod and is removable if the nuts ever need to be removed and reused. I found with the crappy bunnings galvanized threaded rod it would break easily. High tensile rod is much stronger, although even the high tensile rod can strip if not lubed up with heavy grease. Without the grease the rod will gall up and strip pretty easily.

These threaded rods are pretty much consumable items so its worth having a few backups. Ideally M14 or M16 rod would be better as the threads are larger and would be stronger.

3. M12 nut and washer



This is a custom part that has been machined on my lathe. I used one of the coupling nuts (shown in previous photos on the threaded rods). I machined half of the length coupling nut round, machined out a matching hole in a 10mm thick washer and press fitted them together. This ensures the nut is concentric with the washer, which reduces stress of the threaded rod. The coupling nut is much longer and allows for double the thread engagement vs the nut I was using before. The threads span from the top of the nut all the way to the bottom of the washer.

Press fitting them together means its quite snug, the nut must remain stationary, when the tool is in action the pulling force holds the washer against the subframe bushing, preventing it from spinning. This means you don't need to hold the top with a spanner until the bushing is almost fully out, making the precedure much easier.

The problem I had before is that the thread engagement of a single nut was that too much pressure was put on the threads, stripping them out easily.

4. 100mm galvanized pipe

Managed to source a short piece of metal pipe, its quite difficult to buy large pieces of metal in short lengths. This will ensure theres no deformation under pressure vs the PVC pipe. Although I am amazed at what the PVC pipe can do, this metal pipe will ensure no issues when removing the rear bushings. I machined the pipe to length and sanded off the galvanization to make it look nicer.

The barbell from the previous iteration of the tool is retained

Heres some pics of the tool assembled:






Heres a pic of the front tool in action:



The fuel pump tool works amazingly well vs the PVC pipe and block of wood. Well worth the effort in making the new tool! The only issue was that the tool did bend a little from the force and on the 2nd bushing, the tool did slip off. Quite surprising since the tool appears to be forged.

I beleive this can be fixed by simply using 2x fuel pump tools stacked on top of each other. They could be bolted together for strength but I think I will just weld them together instead. I have ordered a 2nd fuel pump tool and will stack them up for strength weld them together and update the thread. While the fuel pump tool can be used for the rears I will stick to using the pipe for the rears since the force can be evenly distributed vs only 2 small contact patches.

Have not tried the metal pipe for the rear bushings yet, but I am confident it will be an improvement. The PVC pipe tool still has the advantage of not scratching the subframe vs metal tools though.
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Last edited by vtl; 08-21-2016 at 06:24 PM.
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      08-08-2015, 06:56 AM   #4
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nice work on the DIY

I've installed my M3 driveline with oem M3 bushes, was umming and ahhing for ages about solid bushes and decided to leave the oem bushes in (for the time being...)
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      01-25-2016, 08:23 PM   #5
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For anyone looking to have these installed my personal experience is that they add a noticeable amount of NVH when going over sharp transitions (even with non runflat tyres). Other then that you barely notice the difference in NVH.

Not sure if the m3 bushes would be the same and it's just a result of the bushes being firmer in terms of the added NVH. Maybe one day I'll get the chance to ride in a car with the M3 bushes and report back.

Either way these are a significant step up from the standard bushes. They definitely lock the rear down. No more bouncing around. If you're contemplating doing this mod just do it you won't regret it. I was actually surprised at how good the standard suspension is once you've done this mod. I should note that I did do rear guide rods and aftermarket toe arms at the same time so both of these would have also helped.

I got the bushes and arms installed at a shop for $550 inc gst and wheel alignment well worth the $$.

EDIT:

Turns out the extra nvh was from the shop installing my m3 guide rods backwards (got them done at the same time as the bushes). Now that that's sorted car feels great. While there is a minor nvh penalty it is totally worth it.
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      01-25-2016, 08:51 PM   #6
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Nice review. Interested if they make them for all the suspension arms etc. Whiteline don't make M3 bushes, only non-M ones which for the most part doesn't make too much difference, but is annoying for certain bushes.
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      01-25-2016, 11:28 PM   #7
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Since this review I have installed these bushes on some e92 335is. The e92 requires the brake lines to be disconnected and bled. The e82 has enough slack in the lines and does not require a rebleed.
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      01-25-2016, 11:47 PM   #8
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I just did the Whiteline inserts. More of a stop-gap measure but still a noticeble difference combined with m3 arms
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      01-26-2016, 10:18 PM   #9
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Did a bit of reading and FIY, Nolathane and Whiteline are owned by the same company, RedRanger. Most likely they are the exact same part, just a different colour.
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      01-26-2016, 10:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by froop View Post
Did a bit of reading and FIY, Nolathane and Whiteline are owned by the same company, RedRanger. Most likely they are the exact same part, just a different colour.
Yep not surprised considering how similar the products look. I do find that I can find the nolathane products for sale cheaper than the Whiteline ones

Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
Yeah, I've also seen the powerflex kit which looks identical as well. Chose this one because it was the cheapest.

Here are the links in case anyone wants to purchase:
http://www.nolathane.com.au/product_...t_number=49202
http://oziespares.com.au/141193-49202.html

I received my set after a few days after placing my order.
Here's a link on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Nolathane...wAAOSwv0tVOquY

Few of my friends have purchased through here and received very quickly
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      01-26-2016, 11:23 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl View Post
Yep not surprised considering how similar the products look. I do find that I can find the nolathane products for sale cheaper than the Whiteline ones



Here's a link on ebay:

http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/Nolathane...wAAOSwv0tVOquY

Few of my friends have purchased through here and received very quickly
Ah, that might be due to the Whiteline products being branded more as a performance upgrade and also being sold directly through Whiteline to the customer, whereas Nolathane products are only sold through dealers. Wonder if they really are the exact same stiffness urethane..

Good news that they can be removed and installed without taking off the whole subframe. I'd really be interested in trying this DIY for my E88 and maybe some poly bushings for the suspension arms in the E82 to try and tackle that wheel hop.
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      01-26-2016, 11:33 PM   #12
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Having done about 4 of these installs so far here's a few more tips for the installation:

- You can use the cheap M12 threaded rod from Bunnings and it works fine most of the time. But I did a car where the bushings were stuck in there pretty good and broke the threaded rod a few times and ruined some of the nuts. Worth buying some spare nuts and pre cut a few lengths of threaded rod before you begin. Would be better if the threaded rod and nuts were high tensile steel.

- I removed the bushings in my car with a ratcheting spanner. My electric impact was not powerful enough to remove them. This is slow and tiring work and I am now removing them with a very powerful air impact gun (rated for 850Nm). The air impact can pull a bushing out in less than a minute or so. Will take 10-15 minutes each with a spanner.

- If you cant push the bushings into the subframe by hand, use the floor jack and a piece of wood to press them into place
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      01-31-2016, 01:10 AM   #13
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I've just spent the arvo reading up on all the subframe bushing options & the Nolathane seem like the best bang for buck.

I'm looking at getting these installed during my next service. What should I be expecting in terms of labour time - 2 hours realistic? Any benefit to holding off & combining labour with coilover install?
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      01-31-2016, 01:42 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzJustin View Post
I've just spent the arvo reading up on all the subframe bushing options & the Nolathane seem like the best bang for buck.

I'm looking at getting these installed during my next service. What should I be expecting in terms of labour time - 2 hours realistic? Any benefit to holding off & combining labour with coilover install?
I've installed it on 6 cars so far. Takes me around 3-4 hours and that is working pretty efficiently. A lift wouldn't make the job any faster. If the workshop has never done it before then be prepared for a big bill as sometimes workshops remove the entire subframe assembly unnecessarily

Coilovers install wouldn't be any faster. If you are doing rear ssway bar then you could save labour thoguh as the rear sway requires the subframe to be lowred
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Last edited by vtl; 08-28-2016 at 11:57 PM.
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      01-31-2016, 01:49 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OzJustin
I've just spent the arvo reading up on all the subframe bushing options & the Nolathane seem like the best bang for buck.

I'm looking at getting these installed during my next service. What should I be expecting in terms of labour time - 2 hours realistic? Any benefit to holding off & combining labour with coilover install?
The shop I took it to to get them installed said it took longer then they thought (and quoted for) they held to quote though. They did say it took a little longer because one of the old bushes just wouldn't come out.
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      01-31-2016, 02:28 AM   #16
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Once I used wd40 it soaks in easily and the bushings come out pretty easily, even with hand tools.
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      01-31-2016, 06:02 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vtl
Quote:
Originally Posted by OzJustin View Post
I've just spent the arvo reading up on all the subframe bushing options & the Nolathane seem like the best bang for buck.

I'm looking at getting these installed during my next service. What should I be expecting in terms of labour time - 2 hours realistic? Any benefit to holding off & combining labour with coilover install?
I've installed it on 6 cars so far. Takes me around 3-4 hours and that is working pretty efficiently. A lift wouldn't make the job any faster. If the workshop has never done it before then be prepared for a big bill as sometimes workshops remove the entire subframe assembly unnecessarily

Coilovers install wouldn't be any faster. If you are doing rear ssway bar then you could save labour thoguh as the rear seat requires the subframe to be lowred
Thanks for the info. Hmm 3-4 hours labour makes it a fair bit more expensive than I was hoping for. Will think it over with my coilover plan.
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      01-31-2016, 06:13 PM   #18
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Here's some more pics for reference:
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showpo...&postcount=874

Quote:
Originally Posted by OzJustin View Post
Thanks for the info. Hmm 3-4 hours labour makes it a fair bit more expensive than I was hoping for. Will think it over with my coilover plan.
DIY or finding a friend with the tools who can install them for you is the only way you can do it on the cheap.

It's a must have mod in my opinion, the stock bushings are so horrible you can squish them with your fingers, also there is no way your rear wheel alignment would stay the same with the stock soft bushings.
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      01-31-2016, 07:14 PM   #19
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We need a guy like you in Brisbane Vince. Anybody with the know-how to undertake the bush install for me for a slab of beer?
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      01-31-2016, 11:18 PM   #20
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Thanks for the tip!
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      02-01-2016, 12:01 AM   #21
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Hmmm, hey Vincent , just stumbled on this thread, I might have to come and visit you again soon!
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      02-01-2016, 04:12 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thezone135i View Post
Hmmm, hey Vincent , just stumbled on this thread, I might have to come and visit you again soon!
From memory you were on runflats yeh? I installed these bushings on runflats and it did make sharp/fast bumps a bit more prominent and may be annoying to some people. Once I switched to normal tyres the ride quality was much improved. So if you drive on rough roads all the time it might be worth holding off until normal tyres. I found it alright driving on the runflats for a few months, but the roads around where I live arent too bumpy.
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