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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Control Arm Bushing Upgrade for XI?



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      09-01-2015, 03:39 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
I have the tension strut strong flex bushing on my xi ( the big curved front control arm one). It made a significant difference on my car. Same bushing as the yellow one but in black I paid a little extra for black ones lol
To clarify there are 2 front control arms. One is tension strut that strongflex sells the bushing for on the web site and is labeled for XI models properly, and that is the back front control arm, and then the front front control arm which has a mono ball in it like the M3 rear control arms do. The custom one was for the front front, and isnt really needed, the rear one is an AWESOME thing to do and I highly suggest it.

For absolute clarity part numbers:

31126768983 and 31126768984 are the front rear control arm and is the bushing in the pictures above that gets pressed into place and is sold by strong flex on the web site as long as you get the proper XI version.

31126768989 Is the front front control arm and has a mono ball in it, but strongflex was kind enough to update their web site that the front front control arm bushings they sell wont fix the XI part number shown here, and then to make me custom ones that replace the mono ball if I sent them a control arm set, so I dd, and they did.

Reference: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=31_0740
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      09-01-2015, 06:49 PM   #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shushikiary
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
I have the tension strut strong flex bushing on my xi ( the big curved front control arm one). It made a significant difference on my car. Same bushing as the yellow one but in black I paid a little extra for black ones lol
To clarify there are 2 front control arms. One is tension strut that strongflex sells the bushing for on the web site and is labeled for XI models properly, and that is the back front control arm, and then the front front control arm which has a mono ball in it like the M3 rear control arms do. The custom one was for the front front, and isnt really needed, the rear one is an AWESOME thing to do and I highly suggest it.

For absolute clarity part numbers:

31126768983 and 31126768984 are the front rear control arm and is the bushing in the pictures above that gets pressed into place and is sold by strong flex on the web site as long as you get the proper XI version.

31126768989 Is the front front control arm and has a mono ball in it, but strongflex was kind enough to update their web site that the front front control arm bushings they sell wont fix the XI part number shown here, and then to make me custom ones that replace the mono ball if I sent them a control arm set, so I dd, and they did.

Reference: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=31_0740
I have the front back ones and it did make a significant difference in handling and even braking
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      09-01-2015, 07:06 PM   #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shushikiary View Post
To clarify there are 2 front control arms. One is tension strut that strongflex sells the bushing for on the web site and is labeled for XI models properly, and that is the back front control arm, and then the front front control arm which has a mono ball in it like the M3 rear control arms do. The custom one was for the front front, and isnt really needed, the rear one is an AWESOME thing to do and I highly suggest it.

For absolute clarity part numbers:

31126768983 and 31126768984 are the front rear control arm and is the bushing in the pictures above that gets pressed into place and is sold by strong flex on the web site as long as you get the proper XI version.

31126768989 Is the front front control arm and has a mono ball in it, but strongflex was kind enough to update their web site that the front front control arm bushings they sell wont fix the XI part number shown here, and then to make me custom ones that replace the mono ball if I sent them a control arm set, so I dd, and they did.

Reference: http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/show...diagId=31_0740
Thanks for posting this info up. I have a set of Strongflex yellows waiting to go in the tension struts. It is obvious my TS bushings are blown (well one of them is). But the grease splatter made it look like the control arm bushings were leaking. I think it squirted out onto the driveshaft then got spun around everywhere. I am guessing based on what you posted, the CA bushings have no fluid? If not I may have bought new ones without needing to. Still waiting on tools (grrr) to do the TS bushings.
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      09-02-2015, 01:00 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by ajsalida View Post
Thanks for posting this info up. I have a set of Strongflex yellows waiting to go in the tension struts. It is obvious my TS bushings are blown (well one of them is). But the grease splatter made it look like the control arm bushings were leaking. I think it squirted out onto the driveshaft then got spun around everywhere. I am guessing based on what you posted, the CA bushings have no fluid? If not I may have bought new ones without needing to. Still waiting on tools (grrr) to do the TS bushings.
Assuming you inspected your CV joint boot, and all the ball joints boots to make sure they are not leaking.... The CA as you call it, does indeed have a rubber boot around the joint in question. I've never opened it, but I suspect there is indeed grease in there.

From your description, usually grease gets sprayed around like that if its the CV boot that has failed. Another option is that our struts also have oil in them and do sometimes leak it out when they are failing, but it will be a lighter viscosity than the grease in the other boots described.

To get the TS bushings out I had to buy a 20 ton press, the standard bushing puller set didnt have enough force without breaking, but some others seem to have had success without a press.

The reason I replaced my TS mount was because of pull during breaking, the strongflex yellow I got completely solved the problem.
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      09-02-2015, 03:14 PM   #49
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shushikiary View Post
Assuming you inspected your CV joint boot, and all the ball joints boots to make sure they are not leaking.... The CA as you call it, does indeed have a rubber boot around the joint in question. I've never opened it, but I suspect there is indeed grease in there.

From your description, usually grease gets sprayed around like that if its the CV boot that has failed. Another option is that our struts also have oil in them and do sometimes leak it out when they are failing, but it will be a lighter viscosity than the grease in the other boots described.

To get the TS bushings out I had to buy a 20 ton press, the standard bushing puller set didnt have enough force without breaking, but some others seem to have had success without a press.

The reason I replaced my TS mount was because of pull during breaking, the strongflex yellow I got completely solved the problem.
I also thought it was the inner CV joint boot, but then I cleaned everything and inspected it closely all the way around, pulling it apart and looking between accordion folds several times and there is no crack or break anywhere that I could find. Also looked at the clamps on either end, they are fine. Also inspected CA bushing boot and steering rack boot, no visible breaks. My TS bushing is clearly ruptured though, grease everywhere, and towards the front/top which would be the direction grease squirts out. I suspect each time I jack the car up and lower it some splooges out until none is left.

Shocks are not leaking nor is there any grease near the hub or outer CV boot. Grease is thick and sticky, not typical power steering, diff fluid, or shock oil. But it could be bearing grease which is why I looked so hard at the CV joint boot. If there is a rupture in the CA bushing boot, and it had fluid in it, that would explain it. The new ones I have don't feel like there is any fluid at all in there though. I admit I am still puzzled as to where all that grease is coming from.

I got a 12 ton press just arrived last night I hope it is sufficient for the TS bushings. If not a friend has a larger press at his shop.

So the point is I guess, I clearly have to replace the TS bushings regardless. I also will install new CA's I bought. Once I am in there and take everything apart it will be easier to see if there is a minute break somewhere in one of the boots. I hope not, getting that axle out is difficult.

I am almost certain I know which pothole I hit that blew out the TS bushing, I suppose it could have taken out other things too. Other side of the car is fine. Car has 43k miles so it is not as if one would expect rubber boots to fail due to high mileage or excessive wear, but you never know.

Last edited by ajsalida; 09-02-2015 at 03:20 PM.
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      09-02-2015, 03:57 PM   #50
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I used a 10 ton press without a lot of effort taking them out. They resist until corrosion breaks away with a loud pop.

I used this combination from Home Depot to drive them:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1114977
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      09-02-2015, 04:34 PM   #51
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PhaseP View Post
I used a 10 ton press without a lot of effort taking them out. They resist until corrosion breaks away with a loud pop.

I used this combination from Home Depot to drive them:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=1114977
That is excellent info thanks. I have a selection of various drivers and large sockets I've used before on other cars' bushings but I suspect I will need something like you have there. And then somethign else to press the Strongflex bushings in, like a holesaw a guy used earlier in this thread.

Last edited by ajsalida; 09-02-2015 at 04:45 PM.
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      09-02-2015, 04:58 PM   #52
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Question for guys who've installed the Strongflex bushings. Mine came with the metal sleeve halfway pressed into one bushing and most of the way pressed into the other one. Looks like it was done dry with no lube. Should I press them out, re-lube, press them back into the bushings, or press them out, press the bushings into the arms without the sleeves, then press the sleeves in with the lube? I suppose I should email Strongflex and ask, I don't want to mess this up.

Also do you guys lube the outside surface of the bushing before pressing into the arm? I would think you'd need to but there is not enough lube supplied to cover both. Plan on using ordinary copper grease.
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      09-02-2015, 10:12 PM   #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida
Question for guys who've installed the Strongflex bushings. Mine came with the metal sleeve halfway pressed into one bushing and most of the way pressed into the other one. Looks like it was done dry with no lube. Should I press them out, re-lube, press them back into the bushings, or press them out, press the bushings into the arms without the sleeves, then press the sleeves in with the lube? I suppose I should email Strongflex and ask, I don't want to mess this up.

Also do you guys lube the outside surface of the bushing before pressing into the arm? I would think you'd need to but there is not enough lube supplied to cover both. Plan on using ordinary copper grease.
I know instructions from strong flex said to grease the metal sleeve
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      09-03-2015, 01:44 PM   #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida View Post
Question for guys who've installed the Strongflex bushings. Mine came with the metal sleeve halfway pressed into one bushing and most of the way pressed into the other one. Looks like it was done dry with no lube. Should I press them out, re-lube, press them back into the bushings, or press them out, press the bushings into the arms without the sleeves, then press the sleeves in with the lube? I suppose I should email Strongflex and ask, I don't want to mess this up.

Also do you guys lube the outside surface of the bushing before pressing into the arm? I would think you'd need to but there is not enough lube supplied to cover both. Plan on using ordinary copper grease.
When I did it, they came exactly like that. I took the metal center out, greased the out side of the bushing, then without the center in it used a flat piece of metal to push the bushing into place with the press (which was a little scary because it doesnt want to go in straight at first, but I kept pushing, standing to the side in case it decided to throw the whole setup out of the press. Thankfully it didnt and it went right in as I kept pumping the jack on the press, and I kept doing that until the other side came out (note I had the TS up off the bottom of the press using a large enough metal cylinder from a bearing remover set so the bushing could come out the back end without resistance). The bushing of course has a lip on either side that is larger than the ID of the TS, so I pressed until that lip popped out like its supposed to. Then I greased the center metal piece and hand pushed it into place with no problem and installed them into the car.
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      09-03-2015, 05:47 PM   #55
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OK thanks guys, will update once I get into it.
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      09-08-2015, 06:25 PM   #56
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OK I installed the yellow Strongflex tension strut bushings today. Wow do they ever wake up the steering and tighten up feel in front.

Some notes on install:

I tried several things as receivers on the hydraulic press that did not work. I went to my buddy with the welding/machine shop and he had some scrap 3" steel box tubing. So square OD 3", about 5" of it. ID was perfect, just a hiar bigger than 71mm, for good support at 4 points around the TS hole, and the bushing fit right inside when pressed out. I used the Home Depot 2" conduit thing that PhaseP mentioned as a press tool, but just with a 2" pipe cap/plug. Those suckers were in tight though, used every bit of the 12 ton press getting them out. Took multiple huge pops at full force to get them out. No way you could do this with a hand wrench type tool.

Pressing in the Strongflex bushings I used a metal jack pad/cup off of a floor jack, upside down. Worked perfectly. Word of caution: when you lube up the TS outer lip, inner surface, and the bushing to press it in, be super careful to not stand in front of the press, or have anything you care about within about 50 feet of it. I knew this ahead of time so I set it up on my deck with all the cars and bikes far away, then stood well to the side while pressing. Good thing too, one of them let go while pressing and the bushing + jack cup shot out about 30 ft. That would have hurt standing in front, and would have dented the shit out of my car or bikes had I done it in the garage where the press usually sits. All good though, put the car back together and the test drive was bliss.

Now I just hope that liquid squirting everywhere was from the bushing and not something else. I did not have time to replace the control arms, mainly because the ball joint tool I have sucks and I barely managed to get the TS off its ball joint using it. I need a better tool for the ball joint on the CA.

Anyway highly worthwhile mod. Steering on my XI is now approaching the feel of my mildy modded E36 M3 (koni/eibach pro-kit springs and bars)which is saying something. No squeaking or harshness at all. I did make sure to carefully lube both the inner side of the TS hole + lip, outer surface of the bushings, and the inner bushing hole sleeve surface with the supplied graphite lube.

Other mods on the XI are Koni Yellows + Eibach pro kit front/ZSP rear springs, UUC front bar, M3 rear bar and bushings, Powerflex yellow upper rear shock mounts, and whiteline rear subframe bushing inserts. I only drove it about 20 miles but already thinking the rear now feels a bit more compliant than the front. At some point will do real subframe bushings and some other tweaks. For now very pleased with this mod.

Last edited by ajsalida; 09-08-2015 at 06:40 PM.
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      09-08-2015, 07:13 PM   #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida
OK I installed the yellow Strongflex tension strut bushings today. Wow do they ever wake up the steering and tighten up feel in front.

Some notes on install:

I tried several things as receivers on the hydraulic press that did not work. I went to my buddy with the welding/machine shop and he had some scrap 3" steel box tubing. So square OD 3", about 5" of it. ID was perfect, just a hiar bigger than 71mm, for good support at 4 points around the TS hole, and the bushing fit right inside when pressed out. I used the Home Depot 2" conduit thing that PhaseP mentioned as a press tool, but just with a 2" pipe cap/plug. Those suckers were in tight though, used every bit of the 12 ton press getting them out. Took multiple huge pops at full force to get them out. No way you could do this with a hand wrench type tool.

Pressing in the Strongflex bushings I used a metal jack pad/cup off of a floor jack, upside down. Worked perfectly. Word of caution: when you lube up the TS outer lip, inner surface, and the bushing to press it in, be super careful to not stand in front of the press, or have anything you care about within about 50 feet of it. I knew this ahead of time so I set it up on my deck with all the cars and bikes far away, then stood well to the side while pressing. Good thing too, one of them let go while pressing and the bushing + jack cup shot out about 30 ft. That would have hurt standing in front, and would have dented the shit out of my car or bikes had I done it in the garage where the press usually sits. All good though, put the car back together and the test drive was bliss.

Now I just hope that liquid squirting everywhere was from the bushing and not something else. I did not have time to replace the control arms, mainly because the ball joint tool I have sucks and I barely managed to get the TS off its ball joint using it. I need a better tool for the ball joint on the CA.

Anyway highly worthwhile mod. Steering on my XI is now approaching the feel of my mildy modded E36 M3 (koni/eibach pro-kit springs and bars)which is saying something. No squeaking or harshness at all. I did make sure to carefully lube both the inner side of the TS hole + lip, outer surface of the bushings, and the inner bushing hole sleeve surface with the supplied graphite lube.

Other mods on the XI are Koni Yellows + Eibach pro kit front/ZSP rear springs, UUC front bar, M3 rear bar and bushings, Powerflex yellow upper rear shock mounts, and whiteline rear subframe bushing inserts. I only drove it about 20 miles but already thinking the rear now feels a bit more compliant than the front. At some point will do real subframe bushings and some other tweaks. For now very pleased with this mod.
Once you do real rear subframe bushings the car will feel amazing. Do the front uuc sway bar bushings squeak and did the uuc bar help stiffen up the front ?
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      09-08-2015, 07:20 PM   #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
Once you do real rear subframe bushings the car will feel amazing. Do the front uuc sway bar bushings squeak and did the uuc bar help stiffen up the front ?
No squeak at all from the UUC bushings, I did lube them well prior to install. It's been over a year and no issues. And it did stiffen up the front quite a bit, in a good way and balances the rear M3 bar well. Near zero body roll without any added harshness. Now the car is very neutral with slight oversteer bias. I got the 22.5mm M3 bar for the coupe, not the bigger one for the vert.

I will wait on full rear subframe bushings until I get an LSD, probably solid or delrin, anD some M3 arms. The whiteline inserts made a big difference at first but I've progressed in other areas so now the rear is feeling a bit soft again relatively speaking.
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      09-08-2015, 10:10 PM   #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
Once you do real rear subframe bushings the car will feel amazing. Do the front uuc sway bar bushings squeak and did the uuc bar help stiffen up the front ?
No squeak at all from the UUC bushings, I did lube them well prior to install. It's been over a year and no issues. And it did stiffen up the front quite a bit, in a good way and balances the rear M3 bar well. Near zero body roll without any added harshness. Now the car is very neutral with slight oversteer bias. I got the 22.5mm M3 bar for the coupe, not the bigger one for the vert.

I will wait on full rear subframe bushings until I get an LSD, probably solid or delrin, anD some M3 arms. The whiteline inserts made a big difference at first but I've progressed in other areas so now the rear is feeling a bit soft again relatively speaking.
I have the rear m3 subframe bushings with rear sway as well from e90 though. What rear diff are you putting on your xi ?
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      09-09-2015, 04:55 AM   #60
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I have the rear m3 subframe bushings with rear sway as well from e90 though. What rear diff are you putting on your xi ?
Right now looking at M-Factory, but this is going to be next year's project at the earliest.

I installed most of my other susp mods prior to the UUC front bar. With the stock bar and rear M3 bar, car had far too much oversteer for my taste. It was fun for a few days but it was clear it needed more front bar to balance out.

I tend to like to set up street cars with softer springs and bigger bars (relatively), and like I said earlier I have a mixed eibach/ZSP spring set. If you have stiffer springs then these comments might not apply so much.

I was happy to find that the Strongflex bushings did not add any harshness, which can happen when you start going poly with bushings. It is easy to wreck a car's street manners with too much stiffness, but that does not seem to be the case with the e9x chassis, there is so much rubber and compliance built in from the factory. Still it is a fine line and I don't want to cross it. Roads where I live are terrible and the winters harsh.
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      09-09-2015, 04:08 PM   #61
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
I have the rear m3 subframe bushings with rear sway as well from e90 though. What rear diff are you putting on your xi ?
Right now looking at M-Factory, but this is going to be next year's project at the earliest.

I installed most of my other susp mods prior to the UUC front bar. With the stock bar and rear M3 bar, car had far too much oversteer for my taste. It was fun for a few days but it was clear it needed more front bar to balance out.

I tend to like to set up street cars with softer springs and bigger bars (relatively), and like I said earlier I have a mixed eibach/ZSP spring set. If you have stiffer springs then these comments might not apply so much.

I was happy to find that the Strongflex bushings did not add any harshness, which can happen when you start going poly with bushings. It is easy to wreck a car's street manners with too much stiffness, but that does not seem to be the case with the e9x chassis, there is so much rubber and compliance built in from the factory. Still it is a fine line and I don't want to cross it. Roads where I live are terrible and the winters harsh.
I have the stock xi springs with Bilstein hd strut shocks
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      09-09-2015, 07:19 PM   #62
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Quote:
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I have the stock xi springs with Bilstein hd strut shocks
I would def give the UUC bar a try. Stock springs are pretty tall and stock bar is weak, so you'll reduce a lot of body roll and corner weight transfer in front. McP strut susp is weird, adding a front bar often lets the tire stay more vertical and in contact with the pavement better, so you get more ultimate front grip not less. Better way to say it is with a front and rear bar, the tires are getting all the grip they can. Once that is happening you can fine tune over vs. understeer.
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      09-09-2015, 07:22 PM   #63
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajsalida
Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
I have the stock xi springs with Bilstein hd strut shocks
I would def give the UUC bar a try. Stock springs are pretty tall and stock bar is weak, so you'll reduce a lot of body roll and corner weight transfer in front. McP strut susp is weird, adding a front bar often lets the tire stay more vertical and in contact with the pavement better, so you get more ultimate front grip not less. Better way to say it is with a front and rear bar, the tires are getting all the grip they can. Once that is happening you can fine tune over vs. understeer.
Thanks I'm def going to look into getting a upgraded front bar. I Wanted to get a m3 one but heard it doesn't fit on xi. Somehow brentuning was able to make it fit on his pre lci e90 335xi and he had a e93 one on at that. Are you going to upgrade the front diff as well ?
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      09-10-2015, 04:51 AM   #64
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Julian2485 View Post
Thanks I'm def going to look into getting a upgraded front bar. I Wanted to get a m3 one but heard it doesn't fit on xi. Somehow brentuning was able to make it fit on his pre lci e90 335xi and he had a e93 one on at that. Are you going to upgrade the front diff as well ?
I'm not aware of any other bar besides UUC that fits an XI, and I don't see how you could make a e93 bar fit, or any other non-XI but maybe it is possible. I'm not aware of any front diff upgrade or a need for one frankly. The issue with the rear is just you like to have a real mechanical LSD instead of the e-diff thing, esp given increased power levels. I don't think people put LSD's in front diffs as steering would be interfered with.

It would be nice to have a transfer case upgrade if one existed, more for function than strength (like a true center diff for example that you could turn on/off or set at a %). All in all the AWD components on XI seems pretty robust if pretty simple. You read about a few TC and front diff failures but it doesn't seem correlated with higher power levels. IIRC the guy who ran 11.3 1/4 mile in his XI at 600+ AWHP broke his front driveshaft and axles on a 1.5 sec 60 ft time for example, but not the TC or diff. People break rear axles all the time too.

AT is weak above 500-550 WTQ if you have one, and people have been desperately looking for a fix for that for years. TCU is heavily encrypted though. But that is an issue with RWD too.
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      09-10-2015, 04:07 PM   #65
CantCatchMe
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Did any of you have a slight vibration in the steering wheel or shimmy? I'm looking to replace my bushings, but thinking maybe just go with the front arms instead? Otherwise I'll order the strong flex yellow bushings. It seems like most of you are ordering only the front ones.
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      09-10-2015, 05:15 PM   #66
Julian2485
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CantCatchMe
Did any of you have a slight vibration in the steering wheel or shimmy? I'm looking to replace my bushings, but thinking maybe just go with the front arms instead? Otherwise I'll order the strong flex yellow bushings. It seems like most of you are ordering only the front ones.
Had that shimmy went away when I changed the bushings and got wheel alignment and balance
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