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.
E36 Front Control Arm Replacement (BMW E46 E30)
Parts + support provided by: http://www.fcpeuro.com/
See the layout of the front suspension on the BMW 3-series (and many others
of course) to better plan your control arm replacement. Video lists the
essential tools required.
Other great resources:
- Ball joint to cross member 85 Nm / 62 ft-lb
- Ball joint to steering arm 65 Nm / 48 ft-lb
- Bushing carrier (lollipop) to body 47 Nm / 34 ft-lb
- Sway bar drop link (M8) 42 Nm / 31 ft-lb
- Wheel to hub 100 +-10 Nm / 74 +-7 ft-lb
E36 front suspension familiarization:
The front suspension is designed with minimum positive offset. This
geometry contributes to stability when traction is unequal from side to
side. [...] The control arm mounting points are designed with anti-dive
geometry. The suspension reduces the normal tendency for the front of the
vehicle to dive under hard braking.
Photos taken during:
BMW Control Arm Bushing Replacement
View this BMW Repair Tech Tip - follow this link:
This video explains how to replace front control arm bushings on your BMW
E30, E36, or E46 3-series that is experiencing control arm bushing failure.
The vehicle that these are being replaced on is an E46 330ci, but the
procedure is the same for the E30 and E36 3-series. This particular E46
had 62,000 Miles on it at the time of this replacement.
1995 BMW 325i (E36) Start-Up, Full Vehicle Tour and Quick Drive
*First of all, I filmed this video back in April of this year, when I was
still using the slightly older format compared to what I am using right
now. Hence, pardon me for the mistakes and whatnot found throughout the
Anyways, I wanted to film the whole range of BMW 3-Series model lineup
available, from the E21 till the F30. However, after a long period of time
of not being able to find the E21 and E30, I just decided to go ahead and
post the videos that I have so far, starting with the E36 3-Series. So,
this will be the first out of six videos showcasing the 3-Series lineup,
starting with the third generation E36.
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
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
-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
DIY BMW E46 XI lower control arm and bushing replacement left side
I've looked for videos on the BMW E46 xi series on how to change the
control arm and bushing but haven't found any at all. So I made the first
out of 2 videos on how to change the left and ride side. This video is
about changing the left side. the easiest way would be to remove the
plastic skid pans, remove the tire. there is 2 bolts holding the bushing
on, remove those bolts. then remove the 2 bolts holding the inner tie rod.
once that is done remove the nut on the other ball joint and use a pickle
fork to split it from the strut. ONce that is done it shall fall off. use
a puller to remove the bushing and hopefully you have a hydraulic press to
remove the collar or purchase ones that are ready to bolt in. install the
opposite way you took it off.
BMW E36, E46, E39 Belt & Pulley Failure.
This video identifies why and when to replace serpentine belts, idler
pulleys, and tension pulleys on BMW engines, the engine shown in this video
is from a 1995 BMW M3 (S50US)
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!