Warning: Language. ***Click 'More Info'***
Here's a video I recorded some time in 2005-ish with my good buddy, Richie. I used a throwaway Logitech 4000 webcam, lots of duct tape (...like 2 yards), and a laptop.
You are looking at a failed driver side Rear Trailing Arm Bushing (RTAB) of a 1998 BMW 323is (E36 chassis). 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 (AT LEAST!) 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 RANDOM toe whenever the wheel feels like it. 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 absorb road vibrations and isolate the car body from the wheel. 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, 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. A cop drives past, we cuss a lot, and I don't care if you find that offensive, get over it.
BMW e46 Trailing arm removal
BMW e46 Trailing arm removal:
Here is my first video showing how to remove the trailing arm on a BMW e46. I had the wheelbearing replaced by a friend, but the protector (backing) plate was damaged - the mounting holes for the parkbrake shoe got flattened by the press. I tried to get the (very specific) recess into place again, fitted everything and the brakeshoes came off during the test drive :argh:
I temporarily removed the shoes and continued testing.
I am now awaiting the new plate to arrive and in the mean time removed the trailing arm for fitment.
The shop can replace the wheel bearing with a sliding hammer, which is propably less work and there is no need for wheel alinment.
I prefer to have everything checked again.
1993 BMW 325i Rust Repair Project
i took some pictures throughout the whole process of the rust restoration project on my 1993 BMW 325i. maybe some of my ideas will help out other people who may possibly be in a similar situation. i doubt my Beemr isn't the only one with rust near the rocker panels, right? check it out, let me know what you think
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!
E36 Camber Bolt Removal
WARNING: YOU WILL NEED AN ALIGNMENT AFTER THIS - Changing my destroyed camber bolts. Have bushings ready or a source of getting them quickly if you need because although mine were good, yours may not be and you may get the center of the bolts stuck in the bushing if it's too corroded. This isn't the most difficult job you'll face at all, but it isn't for beginners. If you aren't used to working with pulling bushings and taking out stubborn bolts, you will not have fun with this.
I have had a request for a bolt link. The following is the link to it with the top two items being what you need. The bolt and nut. EDIT: You'll also want the 6th item down. The washer.
Heres what I did to remove the stubborn bolt (the first one that I didn't film)
1. I removed the nut/washer which thankfully, came off without snapping the bolt. Save yourself time and pain by using a breaker bar for this task.
2. Smashed the hell out of it with a sledge hammer very hard probably about 50 times before it started to come loose.
3. Used a breaker bar to turn it and loosen it.
4. Took off the rotor for more working room.
5. Used vise grips to wiggle it free and pull it out using my entire weight and leg power against the sub frame to pull on it.
---- the reason you want to remove the rotor (especially if you are keeping the bushing you have) is because you will need room to work if the bolt is stubborn on coming out and it will make installing the new one a lot easier. It doesn't have to be done this way, but I would recommend it. ----
This is a list of tools I used from what I remember:
-1/2 inch drive breaker bar
-6mm allen (hex) head for the rotor retaining bolt
-15mm open end and/or socket for the caliper bracket (remove the bracket with the caliper attached - anything else would be a waste of time and effort)
-18mm open end and/or socket - two of each of what you choose to use for each side of the bolt
-17mm socket for the wheels (as always, impact wrenches are helpful here)
-sledge hammer, regular hammer, mallet - all of these present while you were is good
-I didn't use a torch, but it would be helpful depending on how bad they are stuck (careful though, you can heat/melt the bushing with this method)
and please as one last note... clean the corrosion inside the center of the bushing if you're keeping it. It takes two minutes and will prevent this kind of thing from happening. I didn't make this DIY for you to half-ass your project.
BMW E46 Differential bushings/mounts.
This is an up close look at the bushings/mounts on my rear differential. These cars are notorious for this problem; problem being when shifting from one gear to another there is a "clunk" that comes from the rear of the car. Cars affected from my knowledge and may not be limited to 3 series E46 model range 1999-2006. These mounts are on order and will be installed as soon as possible, the DIY will be posted with pictures and this video to Bimmerforums.com subcategory E46 and in the DIY section. Thanks for watching and please rate, and comment/question.
Update DIY link with tons of pictures: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1328871
My 1999 BMW M3 E36
My 1999 BMW M3 "video walkaround" Techno Violet color, Black Vader interior. I was the original owner and bought it new in 1999. I sold it in 2008 with 88,500 miles for roughly $17k. I've missed it ever since.