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 E36 DIY - IDLE CONTROL VALVE ( ICV ) CLEANING
This instructions are for BMW E36 (M43B16) 316i 1.6.
To do this you need throttle body & air intake cleaner or brake cleaner and
brush, q-tips and paper towels.
Cleaning idle control valve helps resolving cold start issue, rough idle
and rpm's changes.
BMW Crash Compilation #1
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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 Control Arm Bushing Failure
View this BMW Repair Tech Tip - follow this link:
This video explains how you can determine if your BMW E30, E36, or E46
3-series is experiencing control arm bushing failure...
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.