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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Replacing upper control arm bushings with Lemfoerder Control Arm bushings ?



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      03-31-2011, 10:34 AM   #1
Stangorang
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Replacing upper control arm bushings with Lemfoerder Control Arm bushings ?

I know replacing the control arms with M3 parts is a common solution but what about simply replacing of the actual bushing.

I came across these Lemfoerder Control Arm bushings and was wondering how difficult the install would be. Is this a direct replacement without the requirement of special tools? Is this a viable option for people looking to tighten up the suspension a bit on a higher mileage car without spending $400 for the M3 bits?
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      03-31-2011, 04:25 PM   #2
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This is interesting.
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      03-31-2011, 06:06 PM   #3
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If you remove the control arms it's probably not too difficult to fabricate a little press to get the bushings in and out. I'm pretty darn sure the bushings won't just slide out though and will require some convincing and swearing. I think when the control arm bushings wear out it's a good time to do the M3 arms. If you're paying a shop to do the work, I'd say the M3 arm swap would be pretty close in price than just swapping bushings.
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      03-31-2011, 06:07 PM   #4
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Oh, and I forgot to mention... once you do the bushing, there's still the ball joint which will eventually wear out too. If you're paying for labor to do both of those, definitely not worth it IMO.
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      03-31-2011, 06:26 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chowbow View Post
Oh, and I forgot to mention... once you do the bushing, there's still the ball joint which will eventually wear out too. If you're paying for labor to do both of those, definitely not worth it IMO.
Lemforder also has complete control arms. Total package would be slightly cheaper than the M3 components.

I would change those bushings out but I am curious to know how difficult the job would be. If my ball joints are fine I see no reason to replace the entire arm.
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      04-04-2011, 11:30 AM   #6
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The ball joints start going also. When I replaced my uppers at 75K mls, both joints were leaking oil, action was still good, but they weren't going to last.

I replaced them with Meyle HD arms, heavier bushing and ball joint, 4 yr warranty, and not much more than OEM, around $110 ea. Noticeably tighter over bumps, and more direct steering, I'm guessing about mid-way between a standard arm and a M3. Supreme Power can source them.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ighlight=meyle

btw: if anyone wants my old arms, you're welcome to them. Photos below.

Last edited by AlanAZ; 04-06-2011 at 11:38 AM.
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      04-06-2011, 02:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
The ball joints start going also. When I replaced my uppers at 75K mls, both joints were leaking oil, action was still good, but they weren't going to last.

I replaced them with Meyle HD arms, heavier bushing and ball joint, 4 yr warranty, and not much more than OEM, around $110 ea. Noticeably tighter over bumps, and more direct steering, I'm guessing about mid-way between a standard arm and a M3. Supreme Power can source them.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ighlight=meyle

btw: if anyone wants my old arms, you're welcome to them.
Although on the E46 car Meyle makes a HD replacement FCAB, we still need to see if the 135/335 replacment bushings is actually HD and of the same stiffness as the M3. It may make more sense just to repalce it with the M3 arm since you may have a worn out joint as well.

It would be interesting for Meyle to come out with M3 replacement arms, no need for HD bushings but just at a lower price point than oem parts.
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      04-06-2011, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
we still need to see if the 135/335 replacment bushings is actually HD and of the same stiffness as the M3. It may make more sense just to repalce it with the M3 arm since you may have a worn out joint as well.
Meyle does have replacement bushings (visibly you can see that's it's much more substantial), but also complete arms with their bushing and a more solid ball joint. I put the complete arm into into my car. The HD bushing alone only makes sense on a low mileage car where the joint has decent life left (not my case - 75K miles.) Street cost for these arms is about $110.
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      04-06-2011, 11:35 AM   #9
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Ball joint has not been the source of the problem on the 135/335 control arms, the soft bushing is.

I'll be able to tell you if the HD bushing from Lemfoerder is stiffer than the M3 or not later today.

In your photo, the bushings do look to have less flex than oem 135/335, but still softer than the M3 by design.

Last edited by HP Autosport; 04-06-2011 at 12:23 PM.
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      04-06-2011, 12:01 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Ball joint has not been the source of the problem on the 135/335 control arms, the soft bushing is.

I'll be able to tell you if the HD bushing from Lemfoerder is stiffer than the M3 or not later today.
Very interested. The e46/e36 guys seem to prefer Lemforder over Meyle.
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      04-06-2011, 12:14 PM   #11
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Quote:
The e46/e36 guys seem to prefer Lemforder over Meyle.
I can't speak for the E36, but I owned an E46 for 8 yrs, and for front control arms and bushings it was all Meyle, Meyle, Meyle in the forums. So much so, that when I had Turner Motorsport replace them, I supplied the parts since they didn't carry Meyle at that time -- they do now!
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      04-06-2011, 12:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
I can't speak for the E36, but I owned an E46 for 8 yrs, and for front control arms and bushings it was all Meyle, Meyle, Meyle in the forums. So much so, that when I had Turner Motorsport replace them, I supplied the parts since they didn't carry Meyle at that time -- they do now!
E46 FCA bushings failed often and at low mileage. The Meyle replacements are much better and that is what we use in our repair facility for general repairs as well.
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      04-06-2011, 12:24 PM   #13
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Guess I was reading threads about complete control arm replacement. When it comes to bushing only replacement Meyle seems to be the preferred choice.
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      04-06-2011, 01:02 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Ball joint has not been the source of the problem on the 135/335 control arms, the soft bushing is.

I'll be able to tell you if the HD bushing from Lemfoerder is stiffer than the M3 or not later today.

In your photo, the bushings do look to have less flex than oem 135/335, but still softer than the M3 by design.
Would be interested in knowing this. Additionally, we should see if Meyle comes out with a HD version of the M3 arms. Might be a good part to use in the future.
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      04-06-2011, 01:30 PM   #15
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Quote:
In your photo, the bushings do look to have less flex than oem 135/335, but still softer than the M3 by design.
Quote:
we should see if Meyle comes out with a HD version of the M3 arms
I don't believe Meyle has come out with HD components specially for M3s (perhaps the market is too limited.)

The sense I get is that the Meyle HD control arm is mid-way between stock oem and M3 (for a lot less cost), which is what I wanted. Having one M3 part would not be in congruence with the rest of my suspension, which is mostly BMW M-sport performance pkg (expect for the M3 front strut brace.)
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      04-06-2011, 02:04 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlanAZ View Post
I don't believe Meyle has come out with HD components specially for M3s (perhaps the market is too limited.)

The sense I get is that the Meyle HD control arm is mid-way between stock oem and M3 (for a lot less cost), which is what I wanted. Having one M3 part would not be in congruence with the rest of my suspension, which is mostly BMW M-sport performance pkg (expect for the M3 front strut brace.)
I would have thought these aftermarket solutions were still better than OEM M3 stuff. But then again I don't know jack about the quality of these parts.
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      04-08-2011, 07:07 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Ball joint has not been the source of the problem on the 135/335 control arms, the soft bushing is.

I'll be able to tell you if the HD bushing from Lemfoerder is stiffer than the M3 or not later today.

In your photo, the bushings do look to have less flex than oem 135/335, but still softer than the M3 by design.
So what's the word on the Lemfoerder bushings?
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      04-08-2011, 11:23 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stangorang View Post
So what's the word on the Lemfoerder bushings?
Nothing really. Although they are stiffer and offer less deflection than the oem bushings, they will still deflect more than desired, but a good replacement nevertheless.
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      04-18-2011, 10:26 AM   #19
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Im debating on this also.

op- what did you end up doing?
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      04-18-2011, 10:35 AM   #20
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Im debating on this also.

op- what did you end up doing?
Nothing at this point.

Haven't determined what it takes to replace the bushing only. Just a puller?

Also haven't decided what is the best bang for the buck. Bushing replacement, or entire control arm replacement? Meyle or Lemfoerder?
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      04-18-2011, 10:46 AM   #21
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i was told by my alignment guy that the control arms are frozen before hand and then designed to expand inside the bushings. he said it would be very difficult to replace just the bushings on our stock units. maybe hes just lazy, but its food for thought anyways...
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      04-19-2011, 01:36 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stangorang View Post
Nothing at this point.

Haven't determined what it takes to replace the bushing only. Just a puller?

Also haven't decided what is the best bang for the buck. Bushing replacement, or entire control arm replacement? Meyle or Lemfoerder?
When i help my brother replace his bushings on his e46 m3 he needed a "special tool" to take the bushings out. I can ask him what it was called. but im not sure if it would be the same tool to take out a bushing in an e9x.

If you decide to keep your car for a long time you should just replace the entire control arm.
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