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No rear subframe bushings

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Apr 29, 2010.

    • Member

    az3579

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    I recently discovered that my car currently has no rear subframe bushings. They appear to be completely absent, probably from being so destroyed that they just fell out or something. The car drives just fine though.


    How bad is it to run without rear subframe bushings until I can afford an entire paycheck to get the work done?
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Are you absolutely sure? I'm wondering how possible it is to beat them out completely.

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=1254&mospid=47308&btnr=33_0213&hg=33&fg=30

    If you're correct, you're relying on two unsupported bolts to keep most of everything at the back of the car attached to it. Not sure I'd drive it - certainly you should fix it asap, I'd think.

    http://store.nexternal.com/shared/S...reType=BtoC&Count1=990276515&Count2=907416939

    If you go the urethane route, they _should_ install more easily than the oem rubber ones (they did for me, at least) and will last.......... a really long time. Noticeably more noise is transmitted into the car, that's the tradeoff. Ireland's website says they're backordered, call for timeframes if that's your decision.

    Dropping the rear subframe is THE time to replace any rusty brake lines (unless you want to take a really, really long time in doing it with the subframe in place). Also a good time to reinforce the trailing arm mounting tabs which are thoroughly inaccessible otherwise - the tab is only welded on one side (at least it was on my '87). Add a reinforcing weld to the other side of the tab. After enough track events, I had one of the tabs crack, and the car was rear-steering until we finally figured it out (took about a year to diagnose correctly). Or, that's the time to add those adjustable sliders or whatever you might opt for.

    Good opportunity to replace diff seals if that's needed, rear wheel bearings (ugh - don't try that yourself) and anything w/ CV-joints. If you get _everything_ supported, I suspect you could drop the whole rear assembly by removing the exhaust, detaching the driveshaft and brake lines at the appropriate points, and rear shocks. Then, (iirc) a few diff. mounting bolts and the two subframe bolts and you'll have the entire rear suspension in your lap. Of course, if you don't get the whole mess supported and carefully lowered, you wouldn't have much of a lap left.

    Don't forget to budget in the brake fluid flush.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I'm not looking to empty my Life's Savings on the rear, Marshall! :eek:
    Also note that I drive ~70 miles to my mechanic, and I cannot leave the car there for more than a day. All that other stuff is out of the question, unfortunately. He says the rear subframe bushings are an all-day job, meaning I'm already not able to afford it...

    Some of them I'll think about having done, lbut I'll really have to pick and choose based on budget.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Wait.... you have savings?? :p

    j/k

    Well.. there's the ideal world we all _want_ to live in, and then there's reality which requires satisficing. The other stuff isn't an absolute must, it's just all easier if you have to drop the rear subframe anyway.

    We need Paul's input - anyway, it's too bad you don't have a better place to do some work on your car or more flexible time frames. Dropping the rear-end isn't an impossible diy task, but it would take a big chunk of time, and it's awkward whether you'd remove the diff entirely to lighten things a bit, or not, as the subframe/trailing arms assembly is big, unwieldy, and really heavy. Hard to drop carefully using just one floor jack, and you'd need the car on the taller jack stands as high as you could get it. Heck, it's tricky just getting the car that high up on jack stands safely. Then, you face the task of removing the originals possibly with brute force and/or creative problem solving, (I think I recall a story of someone having to resort to a torch and burning them out), and getting the new ones in (quite difficult to get oem rubber in 100% apparently), in my case my mechanic said Ireland's urethane ones slipped right in, but that's something you might need a press for, in which case you'd have to detach the trailing arms and brake lines to the rear calipers too, plus finding someone with a hydraulic press.. I assume there are sources for urethane bushings other than Ireland, that's just what I used and can offer a comment on.

    At least it's worth taking a nice close look at the brake tubing to assess if there's any critical rust bubbles while it's ez to do so. You can imagine the panic you'd be feeling if a rust bubble gave way and you found your brake jammed to the floor trying to slow down in any conceivable situation, never mind braking from high speed at a driver's school.

    I can't imagine anyone charging too much for that bit of welding, that's something that shouldn't take but maybe 15-20 minutes, if that. If they're not cracked it could be skipped, but since it happened to me, I'd think it's a eventual possibility for any E30 seeing regular track duty over many years. YMMV :)

    To get back to the original question.... what/where/how/why did you determine and conclude the bushings are completely gone? I'm kinda skeptical the rear suspension wouldn't be shifting around as you drive and that you wouldn't feel that.
    • Member

    az3579

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    According to him, the bushings were completely gone. I took a look and couldn't see anything that resembled a bushing there.



    I guess I'll come up with a complete list of stuff I'll do while in there. Not good news to hear it's a lot of work; I just had work done today and it didn't seem like all that much work, but it cost an arm and a leg. I can't imagine how much this is going to cost.

    bimmertech guest

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    PICS!!!!!!!!!

    I really want to see this.
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    Pics!
    There is a tool that allows you to remove the bushings without removing the subframe. This tool allows us to charge just 3 hours to do the job. Alternatively, since you are a performance driver, you can cut the old bushings out and install poly bushings from IE by hand. A little more noise, but you'll live.
    • Member

    az3579

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    Pics:


    [IMG]

    [IMG]
    • Member
    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    They are in there, but they look worn out. I would wager that you can move that subframe up quite a bit with the car in the air.

    It will go like that for a long time, but it hinders performance and makes the car prone to wheel hop.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I haven't been getting wheel hop, or at least I don't think I do. That would be noticeable, wouldn't it?


    My mech doesn't have that special tool for removing the rear subframe bushings in that small amount of time you specify, so I'm putting off doing that because I can't swing the cash for all that labor. I'm just glad I have a bit more time to get it done.
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    mooseheadm5

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    Like I said, if you want you can cut the old ones out and install the poly ones by hand. You:
    remove the back seat bottom
    remove the nut on the stud
    drive the stud up into the body
    remove the guts of the bushing that have broken loose
    cut the shell of the bushing with a sawzall going in through the center, allowing you to easily remove the shell from the subframe
    install the poly bushings by hand
    reinstall the stud in the body
    repeat for other side

    It is simple and won't take 8 hours or the removal of the subframe from the car.
    1 people like this.
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    granthr

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    Paul you are amazing! Were where you three years ago when I tried in vane to swap in a rear sub frame from a 325 into my M10 318i. I could not break the subframe loose from the 318i. I ended up paying a local BMW mechanic to do it. Turned out fine, but I probably could have done it myself, I was kind of afraid of doing permanent damage or going to the point of no return and having to somehow get a car with no rear subframe on to a flatbed! :( I did have all new rubber bushing installed at the time. Subframe and trailing arm.

    Botond, at least you can drive your car for awhile and not have to worry about it too much.
    • Member

    az3579

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    I don't want more noise in the cabin, so poly bushings might be out...
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    tiFreak

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    you could sell it and buy a newer car :D

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