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      01-27-2012, 09:30 PM   #1
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Sway bar bushings replacement - how difficult?

Hey folks,

Had a squeaky noise in the right rear. Took the car to the dealer for inspection and they found that a sway bar bushing was twisted and making the noise. They recommended a replacement. Since the CPO does not cover it they quoted $315 for the repair.

I am not familiar with this mechanism but thinking if it is DIY possible. Could some more knowledgeable tell me me how difficult is the repair for DIY? Or, if there is a topic on this, please share a link.

\'07 E92 335i.

Thanks!
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      01-28-2012, 01:07 AM   #2
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Is not very difficult if there is no rust between you sway bar and the old bushing. If there is, it will take more time to remove the rush/ repaint the sway bar than replacing the bushing.
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      01-28-2012, 03:02 AM   #3
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is there any info/DIY on where to get the bushings and how to replace them?
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      01-29-2012, 10:52 AM   #4
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I couldn't find anything for e92 but you can refer to link below (it is for MB but should be similar). Actually, you should try to quote from other mechanics the cost should be much less.
Btw I am responsible if you mess it up.
Good luck.

http://www.benzworld.org/forums/w210-e-class/1509104-rear-sway-bar-links-removal-replacement.html
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      01-29-2012, 10:55 AM   #5
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Haha typo. It should be " I am not responsible if you mess up your car"
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      01-29-2012, 11:06 AM   #6
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I'm confused as to why CPO is not covering it? The bushing is not a wear item, and would not normally need to be replaced.

Replacing it means dropping the rear sub-frame. It's not technically difficult, but takes time and you do need a garage with the right tools. Here's the DIY:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...highlight=sway
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      01-29-2012, 11:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
I'm confused as to why CPO is not covering it? The bushing is not a wear item, and would not normally need to be replaced.

Replacing it means dropping the rear sub-frame. It's not technically difficult, but takes time and you do need a garage with the right tools. Here's the DIY:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...highlight=sway
I am also confused about CPO. You right, this is not typical replacement due to the wear and tear. However, here is what BMW says about what is excluded from CPO:
"Upkeep Items
Maintenance; engine, transmission and body adjustments; wheel alignment, balancing or rotation; wiper blade inserts; engine drive belts; spark plugs; filters; fuses; all batteries; all hoses and clamps (except air conditioning and power steering); oils, lubricants, fluids, refrigerants and coolants (except as required in the course of a covered repair); brake pads and rotors; brake shoes and drums; manual transmission clutch assemblies; suspension dampers (shock absorbers/strut elements); exhaust systems; tires.

Wear and use
All wear-and-use items as defined in ''The Certified Pre-Owned BMW Vehicle Program Consumer Information Statement'' for Certified Pre-Owned BMWs (including all suspension parts and components)..."
Is seems to me like they could treat any suspension related problem as excluded from CPO. Am I understanding this right? Could anyone clarify this to me?
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      01-30-2012, 10:52 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge335i View Post
Hey folks,

Had a squeaky noise in the right rear. Took the car to the dealer for inspection and they found that a sway bar bushing was twisted and making the noise. They recommended a replacement. Since the CPO does not cover it they quoted $315 for the repair.

I am not familiar with this mechanism but thinking if it is DIY possible. Could some more knowledgeable tell me me how difficult is the repair for DIY? Or, if there is a topic on this, please share a link.
R&R of the rear sway bushings best done by dropping the rear subframe 3-4". That means jack stands, hydraulic jacks, knowledge of how to do it and a bit of wrenching. Torque wrench too.

While you're in there, why not replace rear subframe bushings? You'll be SO glad you did. A simple affair w/HP Autowerks' tool and you can order bushings from 'em too. Deep[ socket w/pneumatic impact wrench recommended.
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      01-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
R&R of the rear sway bushings best done by dropping the rear subframe 3-4". That means jack stands, hydraulic jacks, knowledge of how to do it and a bit of wrenching. Torque wrench too.

While you're in there, why not replace rear subframe bushings? You'll be SO glad you did. A simple affair w/HP Autowerks' tool and you can order bushings from 'em too. Deep[ socket w/pneumatic impact wrench recommended.
This sounds like a great idea. As far as I understand these solid rear subframe bushings are appropriate for the track only. (http://hpashop.com/Bushing-Tool-Kit-...g-tool-kit.htm). How will it affect my daily driving?
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      01-30-2012, 01:05 PM   #10
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Also, do I need to replace the bushings on the other side as well? Dealer wants to fix only one side, but my friend argued that this has to be done in pairs. Who's right?
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      01-30-2012, 10:09 PM   #11
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Quote:
suspension dampers (shock absorbers/strut elements)
are the shocks and struts (which are wear items), and NOT the sway bar bushings. I would call BMW NA for clarification before you do anything, I believe it should be covered.

And yes both sides should be replaced, besides that the other side could now be compromised, you want them to have the same stiffness, otherwise the car will be unbalanced. The bar will need to come out regardless, and it is quick to replace the other side also.
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      01-31-2012, 11:33 AM   #12
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In reading the details of the CPO coverage it specifically states that suspension components are not covered.
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      02-01-2012, 02:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge335i View Post
Also, do I need to replace the bushings on the other side as well? Dealer wants to fix only one side, but my friend argued that this has to be done in pairs. Who's right?
Well, you should do a little searching & reading - lots of very useful info on this board - you'll love it! Bushings that should be replaced go into the rear subframe.

Really not the difficult job it's been made out to be. Neither is sway bar replacement, with subframe dropped. Easy, in fact, with the right tools. Did my bushings & sways in my garage too.

Had heard from everyone that the M sway's a bitch to install. Not so! Bushings w/HP Autowerks tool a piece o'cake....use a pneumatic impact wrench for rapid progress.

To your question: Yup, you must do it in left/right pairs or risk instability. You don't want instability.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 02-01-2012 at 02:52 PM.
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      02-02-2012, 03:35 AM   #14
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Update:

Took the car to the BMW certified indy shop and they replaced the bushings per dealership diagnose. The squeaking noise did not go away. Apparently - dealership misdiagnosed it.

Any ideas where to look for the source of the squeaking? Maybe someone else had similar experience?

More details: the noise is coming from the rear passenger wheel well. Especially loud on bumps or uneven road. Or, I can hear it when I push down the rear to bounce.

Thanks guys.
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      02-07-2012, 04:03 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Serge335i View Post
Update:

Took the car to the BMW certified indy shop and they replaced the bushings per dealership diagnose. The squeaking noise did not go away. Apparently - dealership misdiagnosed it.

Any ideas where to look for the source of the squeaking? Maybe someone else had similar experience?

More details: the noise is coming from the rear passenger wheel well. Especially loud on bumps or uneven road. Or, I can hear it when I push down the rear to bounce.

Thanks guys.
I got new front ones after a similar complaint about my front end. It didn't fix the noise in my case and the noise is now worse. It used to only occur intermittently over speed bumps, now its also happening when the suspension rebounds after braking. The front end does handle noticeably better, though.

There is a TSB in BMWs system that refers to squeaks over speed bumps occurring mainly when the weather is cold. They recommend replacing the sway bar bushings (in this case front) with "improved" parts. I am convinced that sometimes they just recommend this procedure based on the TSB without actually trying that hard to check other things also. But I guess if yours were deformed they needed replacing regardless...

What kind of squeak is it? Sounds like metal on metal screech or squeal? Or is it more like a rubber on metal "toot". Is there also a clunk? I guess I'd have them look at all the other bushings in the rear suspension. How many miles are on your car? Did the handling at least improve with the newer, stiffer bushings in the back?
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      02-08-2012, 01:40 PM   #16
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Update:

Had the car diagnosed again. Here what they found:

"Inspected the vehicle and inspected suspension. Was able to duplicate noise on alignment rack. Isolated noise to the right rear lower ball joint. Loosened bolt for ball joint on the right rear ball joint and noise goes away. Added lubricant to ball joint and need to give lubricant a couple days to work into joint. If noise is not gone after a week then a new ball joint will be needed."

The car still squeaks.
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      02-08-2012, 02:30 PM   #17
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You know, Ive replaced sway bar bushings before for other cars and procedure was easy. 10 min job.
Remove the bushing metal cover, then remove bushing. Its sliced so you can remove it right there without removing the whole sway bar.
Then repeat procedure for putting in the new one.

I looked up for pictures of the parts in question and they look the same as all Ive worked on. So procedure might be the same.
Cost for parts is about $10 for the pair, urethane (no need for lube, no squeak, longer lasting)


Now the ball joint. Id expect the ball joint to clunk if its bad, not squeak. Replacing that will cost you a lot. Kinda as much as a wheel bearing replacement. I did this on a Jeep 2 months ago.
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      03-05-2013, 05:51 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vapore0n View Post
You know, Ive replaced sway bar bushings before for other cars and procedure was easy. 10 min job.
Remove the bushing metal cover, then remove bushing. Its sliced so you can remove it right there without removing the whole sway bar.
Then repeat procedure for putting in the new one.

I looked up for pictures of the parts in question and they look the same as all Ive worked on. So procedure might be the same.
Cost for parts is about $10 for the pair, urethane (no need for lube, no squeak, longer lasting)


Now the ball joint. Id expect the ball joint to clunk if its bad, not squeak. Replacing that will cost you a lot. Kinda as much as a wheel bearing replacement. I did this on a Jeep 2 months ago.
Hi there, did you order them online ? If so, where did you buy from ?

Thanks
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      03-06-2013, 04:04 AM   #19
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Agreed with 10 min job (minus getting car on ramps or lift, and fumbling to find correct sized sockets)

I ended up with urethane bushings with a molybdenum disulfide coating, got the bushings fro, UUC, this was on an E34, ended up with larger swaybars than the M5 touring, thing handled like it was on rails
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      03-06-2013, 04:14 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmw32atexi View Post
Hi there, did you order them online ? If so, where did you buy from ?

Thanks
swaybar bushings I bought from rockauto. Those were for Jeep.
You should be able to google around see where to buy polyurethane sway bar bushings
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