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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > best? and cheapest? M3 subframe bushing DIY tool



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      04-23-2014, 10:28 PM   #1
jadeddjay
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best? and cheapest? M3 subframe bushing DIY tool

i got the mod bug and decided to get m3 control arms and bushings amongst other things (stoptech sport brake kit with cross drilled and slotted rotors, pads and stainless steel brake lines, uuc dssr to go with my uuc evo3 ssk, and delrin carrier bushings, readjust and wrap dps, new dp gaskets) this is why the whole area is a mess, with the brake line and sensor both disconnected.

bushing diy information with regards to the tool has been sparse and none have made great sense to me. after a week or two of obsession i settled on a plan that has worked well for me. therefore i thought i would share.

i got my bushings from bmwmercedesparts.com for 237.07 shipped. this was the cheapest i could find at the moment i was looking.

if you look carefully at the bushing, there is an indentation on the lip on opposite sides



this makes a perfect gap for a 2 legged puller.

autozone has free tool rentals. the one you want is the AC clutch pulley puller # 27001.



http://www.autozone.com/autozone/acc...er=472357_0_0_

this was news to me, but you can rent the tool for free with a ~50 dollar deposit. you get it back when you return the tool.
this specific tool is pretty heavy duty. the threads for the screw is on a sleeve that is held to the puller by circlips. i removed the one on the side that is in contact with the washers so that it can move away such that the pressure from the washer sits flush on the body and not the sleeve

the legs on this tool are slightly short. i lengthened them with a 3/8 x 4 inch chassis screw. these screws have square blocks near the head that fit right in to the body of the puller. the legs screw right in. i secured the screw with a washer and a wing nut.

the puller has a fine 5/8 threaded rod that is much too short. most diy's ive seen use a 1/2 inch threaded rod. i got a 12 inch one at lowes

http://www.lowes.com/pd_44605-37672-...rod&facetInfo=

finally i used one nut, a heavy duty thick washer and two regular washers on top and a heavy duty washer, thrust bearing, regular washer, and nut on the cranking side.

this thrust bearing worked perfectly for me:



http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

so all in all this can be done for less than 20 bux.

the process
this is a brief synopsis since it has been covered before several times in great detail. with the car on jack stands, i positioned a jack to support the cross brace under the rear diff. i took off the underbody cross brace (tension strut) and loosened the plate connecting the front part of the rear subframe bushings (compression strut). the subframe is mounted with m12 torx bolts but a 14mm or 9/16 deep socket works just fine.

you need to remove the brake lines for this. the shop manual says to depress the clutch and secure it to prevent a ton of fluid from leaking out, and to keep it depressed until the lines are secured so that it doesnt suck air back into the system.

also note that the left exhaust has a hanger on the sub frame. this way you dont put extra pressure on the exhaust while lowering the sub frame. this is a step in the shop manual

other things to watch out for while lowering the sub frame are the abs and brake sensor lines. they need to be loosened from their clips

i was able to remove and upgrade the rear bushings first. then i was able to remove and upgrade the front ones by removing the plates securing the front bushing, one at a time. those front plates actually have 2 screws, one is under a plastic panel that also needs to be removed.

when finally bolting the subframe back on, jack up the subframe but not all the way. first once the brake lines reach, go ahead and reconnect them since you have more room. jack the subframe up some more but still not all the way. let the bolts raise the subframe for the last bit so the alignment is more square. bolt in the front ones first as they have a pin that helps get everything aligned, then take care of the rears.

the set up:
note the thrust bearing... definitely helps with the effort, otherwise it gets wasted on friction. also note the line down the middle... i sprayed some pb blaster lube and made sure it got into those slits so that it would spread down the inside. i think this helped. i also turned the legs that the hook is facing out, leaving a square top surface pressing against the sub frame and a smooth straight surface that the bushing slides down. i didnt extend the legs with the chassis screws until i needed to because the legs just seemed more secure when sitting flush against the puller. doesnt take long to change out. plus, by the time you need the extra length, the pulling gets really easy. this method just seemed more secure to me.


removal in front:




during install make sure lube up the bushing and the hole in the subframe that it goes through. i found that lining up the new bushings were difficult since they are slightly larger than the hole and it would inevitably go in sideways (thatswhatshesaid?) so i used a pipe clamp to compress the bushing so that it would fit and align itself more easily. since there is a slit down the side of these bushings, they compress pretty easily. once all the sides are in the lip, it slides in straight.
install in rear..
removed the legs from the screws and laid the legs flat on the sub frame as a spacer because the top mount extends above the surface:



install in front...
note that the oem bushings remove from the bottom, m3 bushings install from the top.



install in the front with a clamp attached:



tightening torques from e92 shop manual:

http://workshop-manuals.com/bmw/3_se..._axle_carrier/

this is the repair guide. they reference torque specs that can be found in the "tightening torques" section on the left with all the section numbers and bolt code.
subframe bushing bolts: 100nm

compression strut to body (the 2 bolts on the plate that connects the front bushing to the body): 47nm, then 90 degrees, supposed to replace screws but i didnt

tension strut to compression strut (secures the legs of the under body reinforcement plate tot he plate that connects the front bushing to the body: 100nm, then +90degrees

tension strut to body (the actual plate): 24nm

rubber mount, shock absorber to camber arm: 60nm, tighten whilst at ride height
anyway, i have seen many different pullers used... a grinded down and modified pittman puller, a 4" hole saw, 4" pipe, waterpump socket, use of torches.... to my knowledge, this is the cheapest and most reliable and easy way to go.

even then it is still a PITA lol but at least with this method, taking out the bushings isnt any worse than any other step in taking apart the subframe

Last edited by jadeddjay; 05-07-2014 at 10:56 PM..
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      04-23-2014, 10:57 PM   #2
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Nice!

I was able to use some scraps and put together this:


10-15$ into it. Worked flawlessly. Woulda loved some bearings but was too cheap


Lotsa grease on threads worked just fine.
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      04-23-2014, 11:08 PM   #3
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indeed. lots of grease.

i tried a few cylindrical objects but when it came to the front, i couldnt get anything to fit quite easily which is why i like this 2 arm puller method. there really isnt enough room to square up something circular on the front bushing so others have had to bend the old bushing lip and/or wedge a screw driver in a corner to keep it straight. i was actually able to do one rear bushing with a 4" pvc coupler and some metal electrical outlet brackets but it was super clunky. there was also a lot of friction between the nut and washers... the nut was actually cutting into and bending the washers before i bit the bullet and got a load bearing.

bottom line is that this isnt rocket science. unfortunately, i didnt have a lot of scraps so i had to look for stuff to buy. everyone figures it out eventually, i just wanted to make my contribution and save someone a few trips to the hardware store like me haha
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      04-24-2014, 12:07 AM   #4
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This highlights the value of forums like this. DIY guys like yourself posting and sharing their experiences. I actually spent ALOT of time researching what would be required to do this.


No it isn't rocket science, but it sure was a pain in the ass!!! Lol
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      04-24-2014, 12:47 PM   #5
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Just curious, how long did it take you to swap bushings with this tool/method?
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      04-24-2014, 07:08 PM   #6
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I took the rear subframe out completely and used a press to do them all. That was a mistake. The press was difficult to use for this job or at least the one I have. Shoulda prepared for that DIY with pullers like the ones shown here.
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      04-24-2014, 08:12 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3002 tii View Post
Just curious, how long did it take you to swap bushings with this tool/method?
by the time i got good at it, the last one i did was the left front and it took me about 40 mins from lubing the old bushings, setting up the tool, removing the thing, lubing and aligning the new one, and then pressing it in.
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      04-25-2014, 07:43 AM   #8
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Did you put your rears in from the top? They're supposed to be from the bottom. Just the M3 fronts go in from the top. You should use new bolts to if you can. I think they are one time use also.
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      04-25-2014, 08:00 AM   #9
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I cant remember how long it took for each bushing, but it took pretty much a whole day with overtime to get everything done. I did shocks and sway at the same time as well. and yes, two of the m3 bushings go in from the opposite side. I cant remember which but it becomes obvious when you look at the mounting bosses on the bushing.

as for bolts... meh. I reused mine, and won't have an issue with them. not sure what the official requirement is, but they are pretty big steel bolts and are isolated from road impacts with a few sets of bushings.
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      04-25-2014, 08:07 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ml3456 View Post
Did you put your rears in from the top? They're supposed to be from the bottom. Just the M3 fronts go in from the top. You should use new bolts to if you can. I think they are one time use also.
no, installed the rears from the bottom (theres a pic up there somewhere). per the shop manual, the only bolts that are supposed to be replaced are the ones the hold the compression strut to the body but i reused them. for kicks, i updated the original post to say so
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      04-27-2014, 03:06 AM   #11
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I always replace the bolts. may sound crazy but I use a hole saw and it works flawlessly. Have done over 30 sets this way. The touch method is actually nit bad if use just a little heat and is less strain on the subframe. I use the the 4" hole saw and water pump socket and cab do the job in 3hrs no problem.

I like your system for sure though.
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      04-27-2014, 08:55 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robc1976 View Post
I always replace the bolts. may sound crazy but I use a hole saw and it works flawlessly. Have done over 30 sets this way. The touch method is actually nit bad if use just a little heat and is less strain on the subframe. I use the the 4" hole saw and water pump socket and cab do the job in 3hrs no problem.

I like your system for sure though.
i dont think its crazy. honestly if i had a hole saw, torch, and water pump socket laying around i would use it too haha. i did find that autozone has water pump sockets avail for borrowing as well.
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      04-28-2014, 06:53 PM   #13
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OP, excellent post... that tool was extremely helpful.... I did the bushings the other day and although time consuming it was cake compared to my other installs...
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      04-28-2014, 06:55 PM   #14
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