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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Thrust rod bushing/tension strut replacement help



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      11-06-2012, 06:12 PM   #1
left123
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Thrust rod bushing/tension strut replacement help

I failed VA safety inspection b/c my left "thrust rod bushing" is cracked/leaking. After lots of research on here/elsewhere and speaking with the tech who failed me (it was at the dealer. yes, my first mistake) it seems that replacing the entire tension strut/bushing is much easier than "pressing" in the bushing itself (which apparently necessitates some special pressing tool).

Here is the picture of the leaking bushing:


You can see the leaking thrust rod bushing. The piece around it and with "BMW GERMANY" written upside-down is the tension strut.


Here are the parts on the RealOEM diagram:

Number 9 and 10


Here are the part #'s from RealOEM and my dealer:
Tension strut with hydraulic mount, left 31126769797
Tension strut with hydraulic mount,right 31126769798
Hydrobearing (aka, thrust rod bushing): 31126763719

My main question is what is the procedure for replacing these tension struts/bushings? There seems to be no DIY for this on the site. Also, can someone send me a link for the direct replacement of these parts? I have seen lots of people throwing around the term "control arm bushings" and at times I cannot differentiate that term with the terms I mention here. I know people seem to replace some of these suspension pieces with M3 pieces for rigidity but i keep seeing them called control arms. Not sure if that is applicable here.

Thank you for your input. The dealer wants to charge $646 and I want to attempt this on my own if its possible without special tools. Any advice is much appreciated.
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      11-06-2012, 06:22 PM   #2
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It's not too hard. I'm not at the computer (iPhone) but search for my post on ground control suspension and I explain the process to swap the whole suspension. Calwaterboy has a write up with pictures too. No special tools required.
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      11-06-2012, 08:51 PM   #3
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Thanks for the info about your write-up and CalWaterboy's as well.

I would have liked to have seen pictures of exactly the process of taking them off/replacing as i didnt see that in either write up but it seems that just getting in there and unscrewing them is all it takes.

I am also looking for links to the exact parts that I am seeking. I have the individual part numbers from RealOEM but the bushing and the strut are separate parts and when I buy it I want them to be already put together (I dont have the press to install them).

Thanks.
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      11-06-2012, 09:22 PM   #4
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Lot's of people replace those links or bushings with M3 or HD parts to reduce brake shimmy, tramilining and improve steering response when switching to conventional tires. The OE bushings are weak to make ride quality acceptable for stiff, heavy rft's.
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      11-06-2012, 09:27 PM   #5
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Are these examples of the HD you are talking about (HD upgrade)?:

http://hpashop.com/E82-E9X-HD-Front-...rm-e82-e9x.htm

or these (M3 version)?:

http://hpashop.com/BMW-M3-Front-Tens...nsion-rods.htm


If so, does anyone know of cheaper options?
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      11-06-2012, 10:27 PM   #6
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The Meyle HD links are a good upgrade and way cheaper the M3
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      11-06-2012, 10:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigworm000 View Post
Thanks for the info about your write-up and CalWaterboy's as well.

I would have liked to have seen pictures of exactly the process of taking them off/replacing as i didnt see that in either write up but it seems that just getting in there and unscrewing them is all it takes.

I am also looking for links to the exact parts that I am seeking. I have the individual part numbers from RealOEM but the bushing and the strut are separate parts and when I buy it I want them to be already put together (I dont have the press to install them).

Thanks.
Thats right, its just getting there and unscrewing them. There's nothing special you need. The access is a little tight with all of the suspension still on the car, but it should be doable.
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      11-06-2012, 11:14 PM   #8
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One more question: after replacing these, is an alignment necessary?
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      11-07-2012, 12:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigworm000 View Post
One more question: after replacing these, is an alignment necessary?
If you replace it with the same spec rod (i.e. a 335i rod for a 335i rod) I'd say generally no; but if you replace it with an M3 rod, yes.

That said, it can't hurt. You don't know how jacked up your alignment was to begin with and anytime you remove suspension parts and reinstall them, even if you don't touch the tie rods, you could affect it. If you haven't had one in a while, call it cheap insurance.
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      11-07-2012, 12:17 AM   #10
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Since the bushing requires torquing under a loaded position, how are you guys torquing down the new arms? Is the car/wheels on the ground when you remove/replace the arm or are you jacking it up and then using a second jack to get the hub back up to ride height when you do the final torque? Or is there some other creative solution to this requirement?
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      11-07-2012, 07:48 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asus389 View Post
Since the bushing requires torquing under a loaded position, how are you guys torquing down the new arms? Is the car/wheels on the ground when you remove/replace the arm or are you jacking it up and then using a second jack to get the hub back up to ride height when you do the final torque? Or is there some other creative solution to this requirement?
Pic from 1fastBMW


Yes.

Replacement is a simple affair, though if you replace w/other than stock bushings you may as well replace the other side + front wishbones. Think about a M3 sway.

Alignment recommended.

Here
's my write-up. Did it for guys like you - yours is a good DIY project. Everything now stock?

.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 11-07-2012 at 07:54 AM.
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      11-07-2012, 01:34 PM   #12
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After hearing from all of you and reading around, I just ordered the Meyle HD fronts from fcpeuro.com. Hopefully all is well. I have every intention of photographing what I do so hopefully I can post that at some point in the near future.

I did not order the wishbones as you mention Calwaterboy but Im going to go ahead with it anyway.

Thanks for all the help.
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      12-07-2012, 07:56 PM   #13
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Just an update: I replaced the lower control arms and wrote a write-up in the DIY section here.

Thanks for all the help, especially to CalWaterBoy's write-up. I basically did what he did, but since this was the only part I changed, I wrote it in more detail.
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      12-08-2012, 02:19 AM   #14
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Nice job on the DIY.
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      12-09-2012, 11:14 PM   #15
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Great write-up!

I've got to do the same thing to my 08 328i. Does anyone know if the Meyle HD arms affect the camber? From what I read, the M3 arms add about 0.75 to camber. This would be good for handling but I wonder if I would burn through tires...
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      12-10-2012, 06:41 AM   #16
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Can you please explain to me whats the problem if you torque m3 bushings when they are not loaded, because I did mine like 6 months ago, should I untight them and then tighten them back or its pointless already? Thanks

Last edited by joro2077; 12-12-2012 at 04:55 AM.
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      12-10-2012, 09:01 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by muttly
Great write-up!

I've got to do the same thing to my 08 328i. Does anyone know if the Meyle HD arms affect the camber? From what I read, the M3 arms add about 0.75 to camber. This would be good for handling but I wonder if I would burn through tires...
I have the meyle hd tension struts. meyle hd tension struts do not change camber and my understanding is the M3 tension struts do not affect camber. The M3 wishbones increase neg camber, not the tension struts.
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      12-12-2012, 04:09 AM   #18
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Smile

Great information. Thanks!
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      01-02-2014, 01:24 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joro2077 View Post
Can you please explain to me whats the problem if you torque m3 bushings when they are not loaded, because I did mine like 6 months ago, should I untight them and then tighten them back or its pointless already? Thanks
It will cause premature wear on the bushings, causing them to fail much sooner.
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