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      01-20-2012, 02:49 PM   #1
Dackelone
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Arrow Dackel's replacement of rear suspension OE bushings with M3 ones…

Ok, I finally went ahead and had my car’s rear bushings replaced with M3(nee… 1M) ones. The soft squishy rear suspension was really going on my nerves. The rear axle felt so over powered and twisted when ever I would go WOT upon exiting a corner. Or even just cruising down the road… the rear suspension would wiggle and wander on its own. I had basically gotten use to just going with the flow and riding out the wiggles and movement of the rear suspension. No more!

I had contacted my local BMW dealer about installing M3(nee… 1M) rear suspension bushing. My SA was curious because they had never done a repair like this before. But I was confident in them and know they could handle the job. The M3 rear suspension bushings have a list price over here of 39 euros each(156 euros in parts). You need four bushings total. Although the rear ones are different in design than the front sub frame bushings are.

When my SA looked up the TIS (BMW’s repair guide) they told me it would cost 170 AW’s in mechanic time units. My German dealer’s labor rate is 110 euros per hour. That equated to 294 euros in labor. That sounded like a really good deal to me. It was(more later…). Plus my SA always gives me 20% off parts and usually a pretty good break on labor too. So… I gave them the ok to go order the parts.

The first snag was that they needed to order a BMW special tool to install the bushings on the car. BMW’s TIS guide said that both bushings(front and rear) could be replaced while the axle was on the car. (…But that was not the case) SO… a few days later my guys received their special installing tool… and I booked a service date and loaner car(118d hatch). It was suppose to be a one day job. It ended up being a two day job!

The rear bushings were very easy to replace. But the front bushings of the rear sub frame required more work than previous thought. My guys tried to drop the axle as much as possible… but the problem was that while the rear bushings can be pressed out and back in while the axle is still bolted up to the car(only dropped six inches or so) the front ones can not. The rear bushings come out thru the bottom of the sub frame (axle) carrier. But the front bushings go in thru the TOP! So this requires you to drop the rear axle. That means the exhaust, brake lines, driveshaft, cross bar and a few other things have to be taken off the car. My poor car was a mess. But the guys at the dealership came thru for me. They were able to drop the rear axle and press in the forward M bushings. Then put everything back together and bleed the brakes. All in all it ran me an extra 200 euros than I had anticipated. I think they worked on my car for the better part of a day. So I think they cut me a break on the labor as best they could without bending me over. Still… it ended up costing me more than I thought it was going into this. But then again, I knew 440 euros for this job complete sounded too good to be true. In the end it came to 600 euros with all my discounts. I know that’s a lot but it was worth it!


I took some pictures of the old OE axle bushings. What struck me right away was how soft they are when you hold them. Also how little they weigh. Also take note of the huge gaps in rubber inside the bushings. They are by no means solid. The M bushings on the other hand must weight at least twice or three times as much. And have a more solid feel to them. The M bushings are made from hard rubber and have no give to them at all. At least not in your hand.




So… how does the car ride now with the M rear axle bushings? FANTASTIC!!! Before (//M bushing install) what bothered me the most are these three things:

1). When traveling at low speeds (25 mph or so) on a flat road… when you encounter bumps or go over recessed man hole covers, the rear end of the car would wiggle or step out somewhat. It was really going on my nerves.

2). When giving accelerating out of corner… the rear end would windup and the rear end would go and do what it wanted. The rear axle felt very rubber-y like. It was hard to predict what the rear end would do when giving the car some power out of the turns. Enter some bumps on the exit and it only made things more dramatic.

3). When pitching the car hard into a turn… the rear end would not take on a “set”. The rear end felt as though it was being help in place via rubber bands. It made it hard to feel what the rear end would do “thru” any hard corning turn. What I realized (after the M bushings were installed) was that I was more riding things out thru the turns, rather than “driving” car thru the turns.



Now this is what I noticed most after the M bushing install:

Gone is ALL the wiggle (& movement) from the rear end!!! When going over (ever so slightly)bumpy roads or manhole covers – there is no wiggle from the rear end. The car just feels so much more solid. As one would expect of any sporting BMW. While there is no wiggle, the impacts of said bumps are not over harsh in the least. I would say that the ride or impacts that the rear end absorbs is no more than 10% firmer than the OE bushings. But gone is all movement of the rear axle.

Gone too is that “rubber band” feeling you get when trying to launch the car out of the turns. The rear end just plain STICKS and hunkers down. Gone is all that slack and movement. The rear end just feel “planted” and more solid.

Now when you through the car into a turn or even just take it easy… when the rear end loads up with corning forces… it just feels (much more)secure and reassuring. It is not going to twist or catch you off guard like the OE bushings. No wobble or axle hop, skip, jumping over bumps on the exit. The rear end just stays planted. It is truly amazing how these bushings have transformed the way the car drives.


One thing I really did not expect is how much better the car feels at high speeds (120 mph and above). The car just handles so much better now. I always thought the movement from the rear suspension was due to the progressive rear springs(since my car is a 2010). I thought perhaps the 2011’s and later cars had a better handling rear end due to the linear springs. But all that wiggle and movement is due to the soft weak OE axle bushings.

Another thing that surprised me is how the front of the car’s suspension seems to be working better now. Maybe this is all in my head, but I feel like the “whole car” feels like it is way more solid now than before.

Really the only negative thing I can say about these bushings is on all cobble stone roads the ride is noticeably more rough. I’d say 20% rougher. But on normal roads or even badly paved roads… the ride is almost the same. I’d say at most 10% stiffer. Even when you hit a pot hole dead on… there is no crash and boom – like one would think. The car just absorbs the impact and moves on.


SO… I would say to anyone considering this mod DO IT! You won’t be sorry. I am not.

I can say that I now know this will push me to get the rest of the M bits on my car ASAP. Like the front control arms and tensile rods, ect. I think proper shocks and springs will be in my future as well.


Btw… I did not have the chance to take any pics during the install. I only took some pictures of my old OE bushings. I did find some pictures on the web that I thought would be useful. I have included some links bellow to some relevant threads.


Dackel




M3(1M) rear axle bushings...

M3 bushing on LEFT is the front bushing. Bushing on right is the rear axle bushing.
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M3 bushing LEFT, OE soft bushing RIGHT.
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OE 135i soft rubber axle bushings...
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Note: the gaps of rubber - that give the bushings too much movement or squish/rubbery feel!
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Rear of car "rubbery" under hard acceleration?
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=631854

Alpina B3 Lux great suspension writeup...

M3 suspension components + Quaife Limited Slip Differential
http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=379775

BMWFanatics Forum
http://www.bmwfanatics.co.za/archive...ead-23348.html


You can use M3 or 1M bushings. They are one in the SAME part(s). You need two for the front part of the rear axle carrier and two for the rear part of the axle carrier.

(2) bmw #33312283382
(2) bmw #33312283383

I paid 40 euros for each rear bushing or 160 euros for all four. Thats without 19% German sales tax. I think the price has gone up slightly since then.


Also... for anyone thinking about also replacing their trans rear saddle mounts... read these two great posts by 1addict member: Wolfe

Some great reading on the trans M3 mounts for our e82's...

Anyone fitted e46 M3 transmission mounts?
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...ghlight=e46+M3

DIY: Upgrading/replacing transmission mounts
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showt...ghlight=e46+M3



and...

My new Michelin PS3’s 225’s & 255’s…
http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=510873
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      01-20-2012, 02:57 PM   #2
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Great write-up, D. The rear subframe bushings are absolutely one of the best mods for the 1 series. Most people don't want to have the M bushings installed due to cost, but that doesn't change how much of an impact they have on the rear of the car.

Just wait until you get the front pieces, springs and dampers. Do it!
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      01-20-2012, 04:08 PM   #3
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I wonder if the 11's and 12's come with different bushing b/c I just don't feel the rear end wobble at all, just feels a bit under dampened to me at least. But great write up! I know i have these in my future when i do the whole suspension just in case.
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      01-20-2012, 04:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focusedintntions View Post
I wonder if the 11's and 12's come with different bushing b/c I just don't feel the rear end wobble at all, just feels a bit under dampened to me at least. But great write up! I know i have these in my future when i do the whole suspension just in case.

Noop! Your car has them! You have the soft OE bushings too - according to RealOEM.com

Looks like just about every 1er and 3er use the soft/rubbery bushings. I think you have just adjusted to your car's suspension (soft and rubbery)characteristics.



Here are the OE (soft bushings) shown on RealOEM.com for all the various BMW models they are used on:

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/partxref....t=+33316758259+
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      01-20-2012, 04:49 PM   #5
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You have very white hands...

Seriously, thanks for the idea.
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      01-20-2012, 05:00 PM   #6
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Great write up, thanks! Especially nice to see your point #3, I notice this very much when I'm going round a long banked curve, it just feels like the back is wiggling from side to side instead of settling in to the turn.

What's most surprising to me is that the bushings all seem to have the same, rounded hole. I believe on the e46 one of them has an elongated hole, which was the biggest deterrent to DIY'ing this (getting it perfectly aligned). I assumed they'd be the same on the 1 series.

Definitely adding this upgrade to the list.
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      01-20-2012, 05:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wolfe View Post
Great write up, thanks! Especially nice to see your point #3, I notice this very much when I'm going round a long banked curve, it just feels like the back is wiggling from side to side instead of settling in to the turn.

What's most surprising to me is that the bushings all seem to have the same, rounded hole. I believe on the e46 one of them has an elongated hole, which was the biggest deterrent to DIY'ing this (getting it perfectly aligned). I assumed they'd be the same on the 1 series.

Definitely adding this upgrade to the list.

No Wolfe, for the front bushing where it attaches to the car chassis - it has a square hole. The chassis has a square peg that mates up exactly. So the axle then "locks into" the body of the car. This square notch or peg is only on one side.

I don't know how the tech lined the bushing up with the axle carrier. I suspec BMW puts little "arrows" on the axle subframe to show the installer how to mount the bushing. Much in the same way front control arm bushings for an e36/e46 has on those eye-lets.


Also... my biggest fear after I had commited to this "upgrade" was I was affraid of how the rear suspension would react to bump steer. Espcially in the rain and in mid turn. I was worried how the car's rear axle would behave durring bumps while cornering. I had thought since these bushings are so much harder(in my hand) than stock OE ones, that I would have to put up with a lot of bump steer. But to my surprise there is NONE.

There is literally no downside to this upgrade other than the cost and a slightly rougher ride on really(really!) bad cobble stone roads. But I really don't drive on cobble stone roads (much) - so this is no big deal. On any kind of pavement the car rides just like normal. Just without ANY wiggle or squirm.
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      01-20-2012, 05:12 PM   #8
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How about feel in terms of ability to control a slide? Starting a drift is miserable with the rear end on these cars...
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      01-20-2012, 05:19 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGoFast1589 View Post
How about feel in terms of ability to control a slide? Starting a drift is miserable with the rear end on these cars...

I really have not pushed the car that hard since he install. I'm kind of waiting for some snow soon.

But I think it will be far and away more controllable. The "feel" of what the rear axle is doing is MUCH improved! All that slop and rubberband effect is gone. The rear of the car just tracks and feel so much more solid. I really can not stress enough how different the car feels now. Much more sporty and solid with great feed back. Even in 7/10th driving.

I'll let you guys know more when I start to push the car harder. But for now I am so happy with the outcome of this mod.


Dack
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      01-20-2012, 05:33 PM   #10
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David,

You got a deal !!! those bushings are a PITA to change... and you exactly correct in you description of how they go in...

one thing you failed to mention is why they made the mistake in the quote. The secret is that the M3 bushings have to go in from the TOP, due to alignment of that square knob and the shoulder on the bushing, The STOCK ones go in from underneath, without any pain..

Also when trying to put the bushing in from the top, there is no taper to help guide the bushing, making the special tool work alot to get it in.


and to the guy who mentioned that his 11 /12 does not wobbel... it will dont worry. the bushings just arent worn yet.

BTW i arranged for a set to be done for a client.. all went welll as we did full BMW PE suspension / M3 arms and the bushings.. he complaind of a "droan" or "harmonic" after the install.. we checked everything and all seemed well.. we wondered if it was his scalloped tires now transmitting more of the road noise thru the car.. Thoughts ??

Nice Write up !!!

Regards !!

p.s. what about the oil level sensor ????
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      01-20-2012, 05:46 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DriveHard View Post
David,

You got a deal !!! those bushings are a PITA to change... and you exactly correct in you description of how they go in...

one thing you failed to mention is why they made the mistake in the quote. The secret is that the M3 bushings have to go in from the TOP, due to alignment of that square knob and the shoulder on the bushing, The STOCK ones go in from underneath, without any pain..

Also when trying to put the bushing in from the top, there is no taper to help guide the bushing, making the special tool work alot to get it in.

Thanks Alex. Yes, you are correct. The OE bushings can be removed and installed from bellow the subframe/axle. But the forward M3 axle bushing must go in from above! That is a major problem.

I was lucky that the guys at my BMW Zentrum know me well and treat me well. It pays to build relationships! Also it is the winter months where they don't have much work now and lastly... the tech who always works on my car has a new apprentice! So all the bull work got done by him! While the "Meister" oversaw and did the fine stuff.

I'm pretty sure they spent the better part of a full day on my car. Yes they only charged me four or so hours of labor. PLUS this was the only time EVER that I got a loaner car (118d hatch) and did not have to PAY FOR IT!!! lol This ain't the states!


As for my sporatic oil level sensor... I added a little bit of oil... and now it doesn't fluctuate any more. It might just be the sensor was between scales? Or does it measure linearly? I'm not sure IF I will bother with having my dealer replacing the oil level sensor or not. I will ask them next week what they think though.

Thanks,
Dack


PS: as far as noise - I have not noticed any increase in noise what so ever. Only like I said on really worn cobble stone road. And I only have to drive a 100m section when I go thru the gate on base here. lol Btw... I have my 17" RFT tires on right now too. So if anything when I mount my summer non-RFT I think the ride will be even better!
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      01-20-2012, 05:48 PM   #12
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Adding this to my to-do list soon!
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      01-20-2012, 06:22 PM   #13
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Can someone recommend a good place to buy this bushings in the United States?
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      01-20-2012, 06:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Focusedintntions View Post
I wonder if the 11's and 12's come with different bushing b/c I just don't feel the rear end wobble at all, just feels a bit under dampened to me at least. But great write up! I know i have these in my future when i do the whole suspension just in case.
The wiggle I remember was like the front of the car would turn, but the rear wheels and subframe would momentarily keep going straight and then snap back into line with some wiggling side to side.

M3 rear subframe bushings also eliminate a pretty huge rear end bounce over bumps.
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      01-20-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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HP Autowekrs has them at a decent price. Great write up Dack!!!!!
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      01-20-2012, 07:05 PM   #16
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what's the price for labor on something like this? In terms of hours at least?
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      01-20-2012, 08:16 PM   #17
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Good write up and great mod. Since you say the rear assy. has to be dropped to get the front bushings in is a rear alingment necessary after the install?
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      01-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #18
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Excellent write up David. This is definitely on my to-do list
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      01-20-2012, 08:22 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Fasst1 View Post
Good write up and great mod. Since you say the rear assy. has to be dropped to get the front bushings in is a rear alingment necessary after the install?

No Alignment was needed. They tell me because of the way the front bushings mate with the chassis. I found that hard to believe but... my car tracks PERFECTLY straight. No crabbing what so ever.

That said... when I mount my summer tires I will have the alignment checked. For now I trust my guys at the dealer.
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      01-20-2012, 08:26 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yandyr View Post
what's the price for labor on something like this? In terms of hours at least?
I think in the states most shops would charge eight plus hours of labor. But you don't know until you shop around some.

Also... I know some dealers/indi's will charge a lower hourly rate for suspension work. I used to work at a VW Subaru dealer... and for suspension/front end work we charged almost half for what we charged per hour for mechanical work.
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      01-20-2012, 09:01 PM   #21
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Any idea what the "special" BMW tool looks like? Would it be easy to make one? Or purchase one..
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      01-20-2012, 10:51 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dackelone View Post
I think in the states most shops would charge eight plus hours of labor. But you don't know until you shop around some.

Also... I know some dealers/indi's will charge a lower hourly rate for suspension work. I used to work at a VW Subaru dealer... and for suspension/front end work we charged almost half for what we charged per hour for mechanical work.
Most shops around here overcharge to begin with; or technically they just go by the "book". I installed Vorshlag camber plates any shop wanted 3hrs of labor.. I did it on my own in 1.5hrs. So I'm sure any experienced shop, with help would've been allot faster.

This is why I as, just to know what to expect and have some bargaining leverage. Realistically; how long should it take someone with all the tools?

Thanks for the feedback by the way.
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