Warning: Language. Please excuse my adolescent swearing. ***Click 'show more' for deails***
Here's a video I recorded some time in 2005-ish with an old friend, Richie. I used a throwaway Logitech 4000 USB webcam, lots of duct tape (...like 2 yards), and a laptop. This video is almost a decade old, and depicts a failed suspension bushing under various loading conditions.
You are looking at a failed driver side Rear Trailing Arm Bushing (RTAB) of a 1998 BMW 323is (E36 chassis, stock GM automatic transmission [built in France]). The bottom of the video frame is the front of the car, the top is the rear. Notice how the trailing arm (the thing that's moving in the video) is able to wobble about as it mushes around inside the RTA console as the rear wheel undergoes loading forces. This is a perfect example of:
A) A failed RTA Bushing.
B) Why you should install RTAB limiters to prevent this kind of behavior, and double the life of your bushings.
When the Rear Trailing Arm (RTA) moves left to right, the rear toe for that wheel is changing. If both left and right bushings are torn, you get toe out under acceleration, toe in during hard braking, and unstable toe over bumps and rough terrain - resulting in an unstable feeling rear end. This is bad. My car was crab-walking all over the place because of this bushing. I was having the 'rear steering' effect. When the car is under hard acceleration, the arm is allowed to move towards the front of the car (down,in reference to the video frame). Under hard braking, the arm moves backwards (up in reference to the video frame). Up and down (in and out in reference to the video frame) and rotational motion occurs when the wheel travels up and down over bumps. The bushing is there to assist in the absorption of road vibrations and isolate the car body from the wheel to increase passenger comfort and reduce noise. It's NOT there to allow the suspension geometry and alignment to change on the fly (as mine is in the video)
What I did in the video: Accelerate from a standstill through 1st gear, into 2nd, and then cycled full on and full off of the throttle 4 times, then drove at about 55 mph on some country roads (see video statistics link for google maps location). I then swerved left and right about 7-8 times at the end of the video (with no traffic, within lane constraints), you can see how the arm reacts to slow suspension travel.
Dialog: talking about how awful the bushing is, then about how my passenger window seal is broken and you have to open the door so the window seals. I tried to repair it with rubber cement and it looked melted - and failed. We cross paths with a police officer, and we swear a lot. I've grown up since then and recognize that is in bad taste and reflects quite poorly upon my character. In retrospect I regret my choice of vernacular during that age period.
BMW 520d vs BMW 320d - Acceleration Test
BMW F10 520d Stock.
BMW F30 320d Stock.
(Note: Its the same roads for two cars in the videos. There is a + and -
bends and slopes in the road. Acceleration times are not net durations.)
How to replace e36 trailing arm bushings without special tools (and installing POWERFLEX bushings)
Another diy video of me this time i am replacing one of my rtabs with
powerflex bushings. No special tools necessary although having an impact
wrench helps. Tools needed are: 10mm socket, 18mm socket, 17mm socket,
breaker bar, drill, 18mm wrench or 3/4 , hammer, flat head screw driver,
copper anti seize $1.50. Since you will be under the car, take necessary
precautions and wear eye protection when marking the bolt location. They
are dirty! I did not video myself hammering away but i did show the proper
way to hammer the bushing out. Enjoy and goodluck!
BMW E36 CONTROL ARM BUSHING REPLACEMENT D.I.Y (powerflex)
This is a D.I.Y vid on changing out the control arm bushings on a e36. This
is probably a 2 out of 10 on difficulty and it's a must do for any aging
bmw. i've done this on every bmw i've owned and this is buy far the easiest
way i've found with out having air tools or a press. if you don't own the
dremel tools then use hacksaw blades to cut through rubber on existing
bushings(drill with small bit works to) , and hacksaw or torch on the inner
metal ring on the arm itself. This does take allot more time, i suggest
grabbing the dremels there cheap and i use them all the time on other stuff
as well. Upgrading to poly bushings makes it even easier as there is no
need to machine press them in like the stock rubber and metal ones. This is
my first attempt at doing a diy vid and i hope it showes enough on how it's
done, but if you still can't figure it out after watching this then you
should maybe just put the tools down and pay someone else to do it.