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      02-01-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
cpt97m3
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Installed M3 rear subframe bushings without the special E82 tool

I installed the M3 rear subframe bushings this weekend. I had borrowed a friends E36 subframe tool, and it worked great, with a minor issued noted below. The tool is this one: http://www.pelicanparts.com/cgi-bin/...33%36%20Models

For the rear bushing, the tool worked perfect. For the front bushing, the closest adapter ring was a smidge too small, so it interfered with the flange. So I bent the flange out of the way with some channel lock pliers, and then it pulled out fine.

There is one picture with a 135 bushing and an M3 bushing. The M3 bushing is solid rubber. I was surprised to find out that that the 135i bushing is hollow, and you can see right through it in sections. You can easily twist the 135i bushing by hand. Not so with the M3 bushing. Also the front bushing goes in from the top, unlike the 135 bushing. So I used a hose clamp to help it slide in. I got that hint from an older post. And silicon lube helps a lot to let the new bushings slide in.

I've only driven about 40 miles on the new bushings, but the car is as soft and quiet as before. No extra noise that I can tell. But that rubbery feeling is totally gone. The rear end feels like it is part of the same car now. I'm excited to take it to the AutoX soon to see how it feels.

I really think these are the bushings that should have come in a 135i, especially one like mine with the M-Sport package. I see no point in the hollow bushings.

If anyone has any questions, feel free to ask. I did this in my garage at home by myself. It was tedious, but it worked. I did use two floor jacks to help with the subframe, but I had those already. I know the SIR subframe tool is pricey, but since it's been around for a LONG time, it shouldn't be too hard to find one to borrow. I found one from a friend who used it on his M-Coupe and E36 M3.
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      02-02-2010, 04:47 AM   #2
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Sweet! Please report back with feel after you put some rubber on the road. Everything else is still stock or not?

Thanks.
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      02-02-2010, 09:39 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpt97m3 View Post
I've only driven about 40 miles on the new bushings, but the car is as soft and quiet as before. No extra noise that I can tell. But that rubbery feeling is totally gone. The rear end feels like it is part of the same car now. I'm excited to take it to the AutoX soon to see how it feels.
Great feedback, Chris. I'm shocked about the stock hollow bushing. Your comment about the rear end not feeling part of the same car is spot on! Glad this remedied it.

About how many hours of labor does this add up to?

Looking forward to seeing it at the SD auto-x this month.

-Doug
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      02-02-2010, 07:01 PM   #4
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Thanks *VERY* much for the info in this post!
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      02-02-2010, 07:55 PM   #5
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Sweet! Thanks Chris! I'll be doing this shortly now too, thanks to yours and one other thread.

I secretly cannot wait to hear the inevitable comment from the wife, and she steps out into the garage, and the rear subframe is dropped. I'm sure that I'll get one of her patented "Are you insane???!" commentaries. It's one of my small pleasures in life.
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      02-03-2010, 09:57 AM   #6
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I'm sure that I'll get one of her patented "Are you insane???!" commentaries. It's one of my small pleasures in life.
Priceless!
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      02-03-2010, 10:57 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aisthetes View Post
Great feedback, Chris. I'm shocked about the stock hollow bushing. Your comment about the rear end not feeling part of the same car is spot on! Glad this remedied it.

About how many hours of labor does this add up to?

Looking forward to seeing it at the SD auto-x this month.

-Doug
Since this is the second time I dropped the subframe, it was a little easier. I got the subframe dropped on the jack in about 1 hour. The bushing removal and installation is slow and tedious. I quit about 1/2 way through the first bushing to make a trip to get a ratcheting 3/4" open end (largest I had was just too small) and a new can of silicon lube, since mine ran out as I started. That helped a lot to keep things going. Did I mention getting the bushings out was slow and tediuos? So end the end, I think I spent 7-8 hours total, including bleeding the brakes and swapping out the sway bar to get the stock one back in (not hard once the subframe is down anyway). If I had someone to help, it would have gone faster, but probably not a ton unless you had two bushing tools.
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      02-03-2010, 10:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryn View Post
Sweet! Thanks Chris! I'll be doing this shortly now too, thanks to yours and one other thread.

I secretly cannot wait to hear the inevitable comment from the wife, and she steps out into the garage, and the rear subframe is dropped. I'm sure that I'll get one of her patented "Are you insane???!" commentaries. It's one of my small pleasures in life.
My wife said "I'm taking the kids snowboarding this weekend, do you want to come?". So I say, no, I've got a lot of things to do around the house, so I better stay home. They leave friday afternoon, and then saturday morning the subframe comes down. I had planned to have it all done before they got home, but I didn't have a helper to bleed the brakes, so that waited until that got back home. So there are workarounds to that problem.
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      02-03-2010, 08:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpt97m3 View Post
So end the end, I think I spent 7-8 hours total, including bleeding the brakes and swapping out the sway bar to get the stock one back in (not hard once the subframe is down anyway).
That's pretty good. I called my dealer and they book 6 hours for it, so considering you're just a random dude without a lift, you did great.

Last edited by bradford; 02-03-2010 at 08:42 PM. Reason: typo
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      02-03-2010, 08:57 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BBBluey View Post
Sweet! Please report back with feel after you put some rubber on the road. Everything else is still stock or not?

Thanks.
Mostly stock. No engine or exhaust mods. Stock springs and shocks. I have the Hotchkis front sway bar, and the M3 front control arms. I've pulled out the pin to get more camber. Had the H&R rear bar for a few weeks, but put the stock one back on since it didn't put down power on the autox course with the bigger bar. And now I have the M3 subframe bushings. Next up is a set of Dunlop star specs once the runflats wear out.
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      02-04-2010, 09:38 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larryn View Post
Sweet! Thanks Chris! I'll be doing this shortly now too, thanks to yours and one other thread.

I secretly cannot wait to hear the inevitable comment from the wife, and she steps out into the garage, and the rear subframe is dropped. I'm sure that I'll get one of her patented "Are you insane???!" commentaries. It's one of my small pleasures in life.
Larry, do you have this tool?
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      02-04-2010, 10:43 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arrutled View Post
Larry, do you have this tool?
We are thinking about making a lower price version of the BMW bushing tool, both for sale or rent.
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      02-04-2010, 10:48 AM   #13
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Quote:
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Larry, do you have this tool?
No, but I have used a threaded rod/washers/threaded coupling/steel cup before, quite successfully. I have all of that.

Doing this is cold weather makes it more of a bear than it needs to be, as the rubber is stiffer.
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      02-04-2010, 12:49 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
We are thinking about making a lower price version of the BMW bushing tool, both for sale or rent.
Harold - if you could get it done ASAP it would be much appreciated, as I'm going to be ordering the full complement of M3 bits and a set of coilovers from you and they need to get in the car in time for the beginning of the track season in April.
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      02-04-2010, 04:20 PM   #15
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To do it, Is it necesary bleeding the brakes?
,is it necessary to drop the transmission?
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      02-04-2010, 05:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
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To do it, Is it necesary bleeding the brakes?
,is it necessary to drop the transmission?
You will need to drop the rear subframe, disconnect the brake lines, so bleeding the brakes after will be needed.
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      02-04-2010, 06:10 PM   #17
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install looks nice! I am still debating putting these on my car. Installing KW v2's within the next few weeks, and was pondering doing this upgrade at the same time or waiting to see how much the coilovers change the ride. I dont track my car for hobby, hopefully just 1-2 times this summer.
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      02-04-2010, 10:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vitig View Post
To do it, Is it necesary bleeding the brakes?
,is it necessary to drop the transmission?
Like Harold noted, to drop the subframe more than a few inches, you need to disconnect the two rubber brake lines to the subframe, so they must be bled afterwords. I did not touch the transmission, rear end, or even the shocks. The shocks stayed connected. Two floor jacks are helpful. One to hold the subframe, and one on the opposite rear corner from the front bushing. If you lift up the opposite rear corner a few inches, it drops the front enough to get the tool in place.

And I got the bushings from Harold!

I had all thread and lots of washers on hand just in case, but the tool worked out great. No rocket science to the tool, just the right size metal cups.
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      02-04-2010, 11:31 PM   #19
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Semi-related: Anyone make a decent set of stainless rear lines, since I'm going to be in there?
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      02-05-2010, 10:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bradford View Post
Semi-related: Anyone make a decent set of stainless rear lines, since I'm going to be in there?
Stoptech has a rear only kit, which contains 4 lines - 2 for the lines off of the frame and 2 to the calipers.
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      02-06-2010, 01:46 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cpt97m3 View Post
Like Harold noted, to drop the subframe more than a few inches, you need to disconnect the two rubber brake lines to the subframe, so they must be bled afterwords. I did not touch the transmission, rear end, or even the shocks. The shocks stayed connected. Two floor jacks are helpful. One to hold the subframe, and one on the opposite rear corner from the front bushing. If you lift up the opposite rear corner a few inches, it drops the front enough to get the tool in place.

And I got the bushings from Harold!

I had all thread and lots of washers on hand just in case, but the tool worked out great. No rocket science to the tool, just the right size metal cups.
ok, but when i mounted the rear sway bar i don´t disconnect the rubber brakes.
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      02-08-2010, 09:01 PM   #22
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Quote:
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ok, but when i mounted the rear sway bar i don´t disconnect the rubber brakes.
You will never get the subframe low enough to get the front bushings in. They go in from the top. It might work on the rears, but no way on the fronts. And you run the risk of putting a lot of stress on the lines if you leave them connected. I just used two line clamps on the rubber, and a zip lock baggie over them to not make a mess. It's only a minute or two to disconnect them. That's really the only way, IMHO.

Take a look at the last picture with the hoseclamp. That's the passenger side. That gives you an idea of how far it needs to drop.
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