Hello there and welcome to the BMW Car Club of America.

If you are a BMW CCA member, please log in and introduce yourself in our Member Introductions section.

Bushing question on 01 325I

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by Marzochi, Feb 9, 2011.

    Marzochi guest

    Post Count: 29
    Likes Received:0
    Hi everyone,
    I am looking at purchasing a 2001 325I for $9K delivered. It has 86K on it, manual, no rust, looks and runs decent. I noticed however the control arm bushings have been lubed... I did not think they were supposed to be..?

    Anyone know if this is normal? If not, will the lube degrade the bushing?

    Thanks for your help!!

    Dan
    • Member

    floydarogers

    Post Count: 325
    Likes Received:13
    Not normal. Don't know why anyone that knows anything about BMWs would try. It certainly won't help. Not sure it will hurt.

    $9K is too much for a '01 325i. That's what my '01 330xi with 145K was worth 1.5 years ago when I traded it in.
    • Member

    Zeichen311

    Post Count: 548
    Likes Received:3
    "Lubed" as in, there's grease all over them? No, that's not right.

    If it's only on the surface, wipe off the bulk of it, clean the rest thoroughly with a mild de-greaser like Simple Green and you should be fine.

    However, if you mean they look like they were actually installed using grease on the control arm pin--such that there is a thin film of grease between the bushing inner surface and the control arm--that's immensely bad. The bushings are meant to be installed using only a thin solvent such as kerosene or lacquer thinner as a lubricant. The solvent activates an adhesive on the bushing that bonds it to the control arm as the solvent evaporates.

    You should not be able to move the bushing on the control arm. By "move" I don't mean wiggle the pin around in the lollipop bracket--that's normal give in the rubber. If the inner, rubber collar of the bushing can move fore-and-aft on the control arm, due to grease, you have a problem that must be corrected to ensure safe operation of the car.

    I suggest you have a competent mechanic who understands BMWs inspect the car and reinstall the bushings properly if required.

    Edit: Sorry, I almost missed that you haven't actually bought the car yet. My opinion: The price may be high (depends on options) and it has been serviced at least once by an ignorant or incompetent mechanic. Walk away.
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,265
    Likes Received:74
    I've never done this before but I thought a lubricant, even dish soap, was only used to position the bushing so when the wheel was loaded it would be correct. :confused:

    Marzochi guest

    Post Count: 29
    Likes Received:0
    Thanks for the info! It does look like they were installed using grease of some kind. The Bushing looks like it has slid forward and backward on the control arm... I thought that might be a red flag... Thanks for confirming!

    Unfortunately I haven't been able to find a BMW mechanic other than at local dealers. Do you think a dealer would be willing to look it over for me.

    Thanks again for the advice!!

    Dan

    tclark guest

    Post Count: 6
    Likes Received:0
    Most dealerships will do a pre-purchase inspection. I can't remember how much (if anything) my local dealer charges, though. It can't hurt to just call them up & ask!

    Marzochi guest

    Post Count: 29
    Likes Received:0
    Just called up my dealer and they do in fact do pre-purchase inspections. They said they look over it as if they were going to certify it. That is what I wanted. Thanks for the suggestion! Huge help!
    • Member

    Zeichen311

    Post Count: 548
    Likes Received:3
    It may vary by model but I know it applies at least in some (most?) E36 and E46 applications. The Bentley manuals even call out the BMW part number for the lubricant and state it's kerosene-based. When I inquired at the parts counter I found it was either crazy expensive or NLA or both (I forget which, not that it matters :)) and quickly learned the techs use common lacquer thinner as a substitute.
    Glad I could help--that's exactly what you don't want to see. The bushing is supposed to be locked in position at a specific distance from the end of the control arm pin. If it's able to slide, the car basically can't hold an alignment and every solid bump could change its handling.

    While it's really easy to fix the bushings, the nature of the error immediately makes me think: If they botched this simple job, what else did they screw up--and how expensive will it be when you find it? :confused:

    Definitely get that pre-purchase inspection and be willing to pass on this one, unless it's otherwise near perfect. Good luck!
    • Member
    • Staff

    steven s

    Post Count: 2,265
    Likes Received:74
    Thanks, That explains why you need to lower the car fairly quickly before it dries.

    To the OP regarding a PPI.
    Just because a tech goes through the car like they were going to CPO it, it still is no guarantee.
    Consider it like a home inspection. A home inspector will not catch everything and can only inspect what he can see.

    Disclaimer: My personal opinion as much of what I post.

    Marzochi guest

    Post Count: 29
    Likes Received:0
    Thanks again for all the help on this one. I decided not to go forward with the purchase. I looked at the carfax and also found it had not been serviced by BMW or even a German automotive shop. So, although the car looks to be in good shape I think its too risky.. Plus it was from a used car lot and they "cleaned" the engine bay... something I am always weary of..

    Anyhow, I really appreciate it! Looks like "Old yeller" will still be my only Bimmer.. for now! :)

Share This Page