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bushings question, 328i

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by Swooz, Mar 29, 2018.

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    Swooz

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    I have a 09 328i that I purchased new. Had the rear bushings replaced by the dealer (under warranty) at almost 50K miles. Now have almost 89K miles and my mechanic says these are cracked and leaking again. Also need rear shocks because they are leaking. Is this normal wear and tear on a 3 series? I have a neighbor/mechanic friend who can do the work for me. Should I get BMW parts??
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    MGarrison

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    I think conventional bushings that aren't fluid-filled can be had, look up the part numbers on realoem.com and google search "BMW" and the part number, and also try the same search adding "solid bushing" or "alternative", (or whatever you might think of as relative keywords) & see what you can find. 90k on shocks might be a bit early, but I dunno if I'd consider that way off - use/wear factors vary. If you're happy with stock ride quality & don't want to switch anything up, then you could stick with stock - or look at Bilsteins or Koni, although I think it's generally recommended as better to be running the same brand/type shocks @ all 4 corners. If you're doing the rear shocks, might not be a bad idea to do the rear shock mounts while you're at it.
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    charlson89

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    When you say rear bushings I am guessing you mean the thrust arm bushings. I recommend for those using power flex bushings they last a lot longer since they are solid urethane bushings. They will not effect the ride quality either. 90k for rear shocks is common for them to start leaking. I believe Bilsteins are OE for BMW and you should replace the mounts as well.
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    Swooz

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    Thank you!!
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    Swooz

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    Oh crap, now I went to the site that sells Powerflex bushings and have no idea what to order. Says to get the Powerflex (yellow or purple) street bushings, but I don't see these on the site. Do I need both the control arm and tension arm bushing sets to replace my front bushings? So trying to save some money since I just spent $1260 replacing the eccentric shaft sensor and valve cover gasket.
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    MGarrison

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    powerflexusa.com? Yeah, interesting, the UK site shows a purple set, but that site shows only black "race" durometer, as does bavauto.com & ECS Tuning. Which makes you wonder whether the difference from purple to black is a big-enough deal to warrant going to extra effort to get purple if Pflex isn't typically distributing them in the US for some reason. If you're curious enough about it, maybe call the contact number on the powerflexusa.com site and ask, see what they say.

    Looks like ECS has them for less than as listed on the powerflexusa site at the moment. I've had ECS variably be pokey on shipping - sometimes out and arrive quickly, & sometimes not; if they're in stock, you'd think there wouldn't be much delay.

    https://www.ecstuning.com/b-powerfl...ngs-front-position-control-arm/pff5-401b~pbs/

    If your intention is to hopefully keep driving the car to a mileage where, say, the leak-prone stock bushings might need replacing again (if you went that route), then maybe it would be worth it to go with new control arms. I don't have a comment on the smaller ball-joint longevity, can't even tell you how to check it - I seem to recall some mention in some manual of squeezing with large pliers to check for play/motion, but I think that was for tie-rod ends on an E30, and memory's fuzzy on that anyway; plus, without the experience of knowing how to gauge play and what's too much, for me, kind a a moot point anyway.

    I presume the old control arm would have to be removed completely to be able to press out the old bushings & install the replacements - if you don't mind repeating that process whenever the other end gets to needing replacing, then skip new control arms. Presumably with new control arms and solid bushings that can't leak, you'd be good on that part, at least, for quite some time, so that would be the appeal of doing it now. Hard to guess on parts prices, but, unlikely labor prices go down - if you're paying someone to do it, both parts & labor could be more expensive in the future vs. now, so that might be a reason to justify the extra expense on new parts.
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    MGarrison

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    I guess powerflexusa calls the replacements for the leaky stock bushings "Tension Arm Bushings" - BMW calls it a 'hydrobearing' (see part #10)

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/enUS/showparts?id=PH73-USA-06-2009-E90N-BMW-328i&diagId=31_0715

    Presumably, the bushing in the other control font arm is much longer-lived, I don't think it's a fluid-filled 'hydrobearing' like the other one. Presumably your mechanic would have mentioned if he saw a problem with those, so I'm guessing he was only talking about what powerflex describes as the tension arm bushing - of course you can confirm with him his observations.
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    charlson89

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    We normally don't have issues with the lower control arm bushing on the subframe side, if anything the ball joints have issues. As for the color of power flex, I believe they just make one kind for your car and since it's the tension arm you won't feel a difference from street to race if they do offer both. So just go with the cheaper option.
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    Swooz

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    Are the Power Flex thrust arms (what BMW calls the hydrobearing arms) the same dimensions? I don't mind swapping them out but want to ensure a proper fit.
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    MGarrison

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    I wouldn't know directly, but presumably if they're making a specific replacement part, it should fit where/what it's meant to replace.
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    charlson89

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    The thrust are bushings are considered hydro bearings yes.
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    Swooz

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    I think after extensive reading and reviews I'm going with Meyle heavy duty front tension struts (thrust arms?). It's my front thrust arms that are leaking, not the rear as I originally stated. Do I need to buy new nuts too? Anything else needed for this task? Thanks.
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    MGarrison

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    If it's likely you'll be tackling a lot of other maintenance projects, the Bentley manual for your car might be handy to get -

    http://www.bentleypublishers.com/bmw/repair-information/bmw-3-series-2006-2011-repair-manual.html

    I don't know if the locking nuts should be replaced, but I wouldn't be surprised, the control arm is a critical part of keeping the front suspension in place - you'll need to find the tightening torque spec for the nut/bolt. I wouldn't know offhand for your car, but on some older BMW's, certain pieces of the front suspension needed to be loaded with the car's weight on them before final torquing or else just installing and tightening could adversely affect alignment; don't know if something like that also applies to your front control arms.

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