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      04-07-2016, 07:02 AM   #1
anielsen71
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Failed powerflex bushings

Hi there

Anyone here runing with Front Control Arm To Chassis Bushes from Powerflex?

Mine has failed now for the second time. And im wondering if I was the only one having these problems?

If anyone else had the same problem, did you change to another kind of bushings?
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      04-07-2016, 07:25 AM   #2
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Any pics? What's the failure mode?

You mean the tension strut?

Just installed powerflex on a friend's car up there, so I'll keep an eye out. I went with strongflex.
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      04-07-2016, 07:27 AM   #3
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No, no Pictures yet.
But a link to the product on a Danish online shop:
http://www.schmiedmann.dk/da/bmw-e91...odukt=PFF5-402
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      04-07-2016, 07:29 AM   #4
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Did you load the control arm( suspension) before tightening the bolt? If not then when you let the car down and its sitting the bushing already has some stretch. Then once you do hard cornering or hit a bump the bushing is stressed beyond and can rip.

You could always try the M3 inserts for $20 each. But the tool is $100.
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      04-07-2016, 07:35 AM   #5
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Hmmm actually I dont know.
Its installed at the local authorized BMW shop. I expect them to know what they are doing.
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      04-07-2016, 09:18 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
Did you load the control arm( suspension) before tightening the bolt? If not then when you let the car down and its sitting the bushing already has some stretch. Then once you do hard cornering or hit a bump the bushing is stressed beyond and can rip.
From his link, he didn't install powerflex polys. Rather, he installed powerflex ball joints. You wouldn't need to preload the ball joint, as it's free to rotate.

Edit: I actually don't know. His link shows what looks like a ball joint, but the description says it's a poly. So maybe it is an encased poly bushing.


Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post

You could always try the M3 inserts for $20 each. But the tool is $100.
Link to these inserts? You mean the M3 bushings? In the lower arm, they are the same as the regular E90, as far as I know. Only the hydro in the TS is different.

But anyway, no need for a specific tool, you can get them out with a ball joint clamp, homemade threaded press/receiver setup, or even a 3-jaw puller.
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      04-07-2016, 10:27 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
From his link, he didn't install powerflex polys. Rather, he installed powerflex ball joints. You wouldn't need to preload the ball joint, as it's free to rotate.

Edit: I actually don't know. His link shows what looks like a ball joint, but the description says it's a poly. So maybe it is an encased poly bushing.
You are correct, those are encased poly that need to be pre-loaded. Very similar to some poly engine encased mounts, basically a cup with poly and a sleeve all held by a retaining ring

Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
Link to these inserts? You mean the M3 bushings? In the lower arm, they are the same as the regular E90, as far as I know. Only the hydro in the TS is different.

But anyway, no need for a specific tool, you can get them out with a ball joint clamp, homemade threaded press/receiver setup, or even a 3-jaw puller.
This confuse me too!
Both non M3 and M3 tension arms have bushing and ball joint and need to be pre-loaded. These bushings are interchangeable but why would one go tru the touble when new arm that will come with new ball joint as well is about $70.
Now, the lower non M3 has bushing and ball joint vs the M3 that has bearing and ball joint. The bushing and bearing (to my knowledge) aren't interchangeable and the lower M3 arm doesn't not need to be pre-loaded.
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      04-07-2016, 10:57 AM   #8
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I can't tell what part in the link is for, but the original thread said front control arm. So I assumed it was the same as I did in the BB thread ( other forum ) named " M3 Front Control Arm Bushings (FCAB) $40 "


The tool is not necessarily needed to get out the 335i bushing but is necessary to compress the split M3 bushing . The press tool also worked like butter. You can follow the BB thread to see how it was a pain in the ass to try the Home Depot method.
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      04-07-2016, 11:10 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
I can't tell what part in the link is for, but the original thread said front control arm. So I assumed it was the same as I did in the BB thread ( other forum ) named " M3 Front Control Arm Bushings (FCAB) $40 "


The tool is not necessarily needed to get out the 335i bushing but is necessary to compress the split M3 bushing . The press tool also worked like butter. You can follow the BB thread to see how it was a pain in the ass to try the Home Depot method.
I still don't get the point of doing all of this. Whole new m3 arm with new bushing and ball joint is $70. I don't see it as cost effective. All that work, making tools and risk of damaging the arm. Each is own I guess.
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      04-07-2016, 11:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post

The tool is not necessarily needed to get out the 335i bushing but is necessary to compress the split M3 bushing . The press tool also worked like butter. You can follow the BB thread to see how it was a pain in the ass to try the Home Depot method.
Got ya. Didn't realize it wasn't a straight press.

Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer View Post
I still don't get the point of doing all of this. Whole new m3 arm with new bushing and ball joint is $70. I don't see it as cost effective. All that work, making tools and risk of damaging the arm. Each is own I guess.
Or a set of polys. But for what they cost, a set of M3 full arms probably makes the most sense.
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      04-07-2016, 11:42 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by feuer
Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
I can't tell what part in the link is for, but the original thread said front control arm. So I assumed it was the same as I did in the BB thread ( other forum ) named " M3 Front Control Arm Bushings (FCAB) $40 "


The tool is not necessarily needed to get out the 335i bushing but is necessary to compress the split M3 bushing . The press tool also worked like butter. You can follow the BB thread to see how it was a pain in the ass to try the Home Depot method.
I still don't get the point of doing all of this. Whole new m3 arm with new bushing and ball joint is $70. I don't see it as cost effective. All that work, making tools and risk of damaging the arm. Each is own I guess.
The point is that the REAL tool makes it 15-25 minutes each side while leaving the car on ramps . I did not align the car after as it drove straight and because any variance in the OEM M3 control arm itself vs 335i is thrown out of the equation.
The tight feel of the steering was felt right after the install.

So it saved time by not having to drive to the dealer immediately after for $135 alignment. The tool was worth it for me because it was $100. And I can do my friends car as well.

Watch the video of the tool used by mechanics. They save time and money by not having to remove struts and springs on other BMW models.
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      04-07-2016, 12:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
The point is that the REAL tool makes it 15-25 minutes each side while leaving the car on ramps . I did not align the car after as it drove straight and because any variance in the OEM M3 control arm itself vs 335i is thrown out of the equation.
The tight feel of the steering was felt right after the install.

So it saved time by not having to drive to the dealer immediately after for $135 alignment. The tool was worth it for me because it was $100. And I can do my friends car as well.

Watch the video of the tool used by mechanics. They save time and money by not having to remove struts and springs on other BMW models.
What?

As far as I know, replacing the whole TS strut with the M3 unit doesn't "require" an alignment (at least to the extent a bushing replacement alone doesn't). It's the same as the standard E90 arm, without the hydro. Only the M3 lower CA is different in dimensions as I understand it. Someone can chime in if that's not correct, but I've never heard that before.

Besides that, even with the tool, replacing the entire arm is certainly quicker than swapping out the bushing for the M3 one. All you have to do is pop the ball joint vs. your two pressing operations.

You do not remove struts or springs to replace either front control arm, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything we're talking about.

With all that said, I replaced my TS hydro (in both my X1 and 135) while keeping the arm on the car, just as you did. But never once did I think it was easier vs. simply swapping in new M3 arms.

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      04-07-2016, 01:16 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PrematureApex View Post
What?

As far as I know, replacing the whole TS strut with the M3 unit doesn't "require" an alignment (at least to the extent a bushing replacement alone doesn't). It's the same as the standard E90 arm, without the hydro. Only the M3 lower CA is different in dimensions as I understand it. Someone can chime in if that's not correct, but I've never heard that before.

Besides that, even with the tool, replacing the entire arm is certainly quicker than swapping out the bushing for the M3 one. All you have to do is pop the ball joint vs. your two pressing operations.

You do not remove struts or springs to replace either front control arm, so I'm not sure what that has to do with anything we're talking about.

With all that said, I replaced my TS hydro (in both my X1 and 135) while keeping the arm on the car, just as you did. But never once did I think it was easier vs. simply swapping in new M3 arms.
EXACTLY!
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      04-07-2016, 01:22 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
So it saved time by not having to drive to the dealer immediately after for $135 alignment. The tool was worth it for me because it was $100. And I can do my friends car as well.
I work in fleet maintenance (office job) and also part time as a mechanic in a regular car shop. I can tell you will certainty you method for this particular job is neither easier not cheaper is you value you labor. Taking about friends > still better off spending extra on new arms because remember > the ball joint on the other end of the arm would still be old and hypothetically will require replacement soon. Then you will have explaining to do to your friend.
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      04-07-2016, 01:36 PM   #15
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Okay I will explain again. Reread the last 3 words of the quote " other BMW models" meaning X5 or X3 or 7 series where the ball joint you describe that is accessible on your car is not accessible on other which is why the tool is made. To save time removing other components on that end .

To answer the other question , of the other m3 control arms. Yes the other ones have curve/straight differences . I never said they don't. I am saying that if you want the tight feeling of M3 steering, you do not need to spend a lot of money buying the whole set of arms and getting an alignment . The main upgrade is going from sloppy hydraulic filled to solid in the picture I showed.

Do whatever pieces you want, it's your car. Take it somewhere or not. It doesn't matter to me. I just replace what I want and document it so that people can make the decisions for themselves on what they want to tackle.
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      04-07-2016, 02:37 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
Okay I will explain again. Reread the last 3 words of the quote " other BMW models" meaning X5 or X3 or 7 series where the ball joint you describe that is accessible on your car is not accessible on other which is why the tool is made. To save time removing other components on that end .
Well that's really, really great! Unfortunately, it has absolutely NOTHING to do with what we're talking about. So why did you post it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ///Mposter View Post
To answer the other question , of the other m3 control arms. Yes the other ones have curve/straight differences . I never said they don't. I am saying that if you want the tight feeling of M3 steering, you do not need to spend a lot of money buying the whole set of arms and getting an alignment . The main upgrade is going from sloppy hydraulic filled to solid in the picture I showed.
What aren't you understanding?

What I said was, you could have replaced the whole arm with an M3 arm (instead of just the bushing) and you STILL WOULD NOT HAVE NEEDED AN ALIGNMENT. The dimensions of the MS TS arm are the same as your stock one. Only the bushing is different.

So...stop attempting to support your decision by saying it saved you alignment costs. No, it didn't.

Again, I agree you don't need the M3 TS arm to tighten up the steering. You can simply replace the bushing, as I did.
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      04-07-2016, 04:15 PM   #17
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Because (you) PrematureApex and Feuer both said its faster to replace with the whole tension strut, it costs less @$70 each side ( I have only found $90 each= ~ $140 to $180) ,and all the work making the tools ( which I only did for documentation). So cost and time. In our case is yes it may be faster time to replace the whole arm but in other cases like other BMW models, they made a tool to make it faster to replace only what is broken. So that is why it has something to do with what we are talking about. The ball joint is not necessarily bad but the Hydro could be leaking. In the OP case he already replaced the bushing and it is busted again. So why buy a whole new one when the piece that is broken is only the FCAB? I think the total cost my way is $140 and if you could find the whole arms for $70 each then we would be tied on cost. So only time is now debated.

As for time. so they claimed you leave on the wheels, leave that ball joint alone, and only loosen the FCAB bolt, press out the old, press in the $10 lemforder X5 hydraulic bushing (few minutes), and torque the one bolt you removed. In their case, the labor rate was reduced by not having to remove the suspension to get to the nut under the strut for the whole arm. In our E90 case it would drive up on ramps and not have to take the wheels off and only replace the FCAB. The suspension would already be loaded and only the FCAB would be replaced on each side and by the time you replaced the whole arms, you would still have to load the suspension with the wheels off, while I was already torqueing the bolts and driving down the ramps.
So you state again the Tension strut is the same , no difference, which is why I agree with you the major difference is the hydro feel vs solid. That is why I say to only change the $20 part. You mentioned to get a whole set of polys at around the same cost of full M3 arms. I may have mistaken you meaning the whole set as upper, lower and tensions strut. Which is why I said the feel of it is remedied by the FCAB replacement not the other two arms which then require you to need an alignment due to pushing out the hub some degrees. Im glad we agree on something lol. The variance I am talking about between the OME tension strut and the M3 is only when pressing in the bushing. Using the correct tool has a stop on it to align it centered. In my case if I did it with a C-clamp , I could throw off my alignment by pushing the hub forward or back, or left or right depending how you are standing. I do not disagree with you that if you changed out the whole tension strut that it would not be needed either. So I agree with you again.
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      04-07-2016, 04:53 PM   #18
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upper
https://www.oembimmerparts.com/BMW-M...ShoppingEngine
lower
https://www.oembimmerparts.com/BMW-M...ShoppingEngine
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      04-21-2016, 03:17 AM   #19
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Hi Guys
In this case it was the lower bushings failing.
Small video showing the problem:
https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/...9/IMG_1657.MOV
Powerflex has the video and is sending me new bushings to replace the failed ones at no cost for me besides the fitting of the new bushings.

And yes, I have considered replacing upper and lower arms for TRW's and migth go that way anyway.
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