| Hey what's goin on there, I recently saw in a post that you bought your bimmer for 5K and that you spent another 5K on parts? Is that correct? I want to replace some suspension componets- mainly new bushings.. and am wondering if you knew what that would cost me. I know you need a press or something and im not that expirenced yet.. Also what about shift linkage bushings..you know anything of that aspect? How much $$? is it easy to do? Thanks for your help |
It all depends what exactly you want. Stock feeling, improved for street drive, or racing track like.
You must take into consideration that the first option, besides form being the cheapest, is also the one that still provides great ride, its a BMW, and confort for everyday use. The second option if the ooptinon in between, you get a stronger, stiffer set up, but still maintain a level of confort, so driving everyday is not a harsh experience..
the third option is what a lot of people do here, not only is the most expensive one, but it is totally useless if you dont rece the car on a track..
Im telling you the stiffer the suspension, the more road noise youll have, and any little bump on the road can be deeply feeled by your ass... not kdding here..
So if you have a daily commuter and you want a better suspension, stiffer, but just by a bit, just enought to make it fun, go for the middle option.
I got BAVAuto sport spring, they make their own set of springs. thise springs are lower by an 1 inch, so you loose the fender gap, a stiffer that stock but still in the confort zone, meaning it gives you a stiffer spring but you still have the confort. Then i got new shock, Bilteins, the best ones no doub. If you go with shorter springs, you need to get Bilstein sport shocks, although they are considered sport, they are not racing. by sport it means that they have a reduced travel lenght. since the car is lower, you also want to make sure the shock has the same travel as the spring. this ensures that the shocks work effectively but also ensuring that it will have a long lasting life. If you only drop the car and keep the longer shocks, not only the shocks will not function properly, they will fail way sooner.
then we move to making the chassis stiffer, since the suspension got stiffer, you must make the body too., the e36 has a rather weak front end, meaning it will twist easily on tight turns if not reinforced.. so you need to go get an X-brace, goes on the bottom of the car on front, the an upper stress bar on the front and rear.. so this way you lock up the cars ability to twist.
then we move to bushings.. BMW uses multilink independ suspension on all 4 corners, this is great for driving, but means more pivot points, so more bushings and ball joints.
the bushing in the front is only one, the control arm. change it to an M3 bushing, dont fall for urethane, since urethane is so harsh, and is not press fit onto the control arm, there is a little gap, but whenever you go on a bumpy road the control arm will move back and fort making anoying knoing noises. This happened to me, so i went and put an M3 set, i get the stiffness i want and the quietness and confort. In case you want to try them i still have them here and i can sell it to you...
Then we move on the rear bushings, not only the rear is the most inportant part of this car, is the one that has more bughins, exaclty 5 per side. 3 on the trailing arm and 2 on the inner rods that go form trailing arm to subframe carrier. definetely you have to change the traling arm main bushing, the bg one that sits right underneath the rear door. that one fail easily letting the wheel to wander around on turns and making the car crappy. When i replaced this bushings, i used the Powerflex street bushing set. It has a urathane look to the bushing, but after seeing it, i realized is just a very dense rubber bushing. but this way is good because you get a nice and tigh feeling, and no gap or looseness to make noise. also the advantage of using the powerflex bushing was that they come on 3 peices, 2 rubber pieces and a center metal sleve. so all you do is to slide the bushing one piece on each side, then put the center sleve this made isntallation so much easier, because to press a new factory like bushing in is a nightmare. If you go for this bushings, do get what is a called a gap-filling wahser for the trailing arm support braket. this is a metal ring that goes on the sides of the trailing arm bushing to make the arm sit tight and preventing lateral shifting. this helps to make the traking arm more stable and tighter, and also it prolong the bughing, since it will not suffer lateral stress. this plates make a sandwich of parts that go inside the trailing arm bracket. so everything sit tight. this plates youll get them form UUC, i believe, otherwise i look for then if needed.
Then on the rear part of the traling arm there is a ball joint and a rubber bushing on the bottom. the ball joint i recommend replacement if the car has some over 100k, the bottom rubber bushing is a solig piece of rubber bushing that doesn't flex much, so change it if you want to. the other 2 inner ones that go on the subframe are the ones that are pressed on the tip of the arms that go from the trailing arm to the subframe. i have the bushings for those, if you need them let me know and i can sell them to you, ill put it on ebay if you want to be sure of safe shopping. but i wont lie here. the arms that go form trailing arm to subframe are hard to get the bushing ou or in, the reason for that is that the place where the bushing goes is open on the middle, meaning you need a metal pice that goes in between to give support and make sure you wont bend the arm, since they are made of folded metal. also this bushing are not crucial as they only flex up or down and not much.
if you also want to change the subframe bushings, use the powerflex kit, they also have it. but a little warning here, the old bushing are the worst bitch to get out, they have a rubber coating on the outside, so they dont slide out of the brakets like metal ones do, they stick in there, so it was hard, but it came out. To do this you will have to remove the subframe.
Unfortionetely the bushing are anoying to change. i dont want to terrorise you, because it is totally worth replacing them, but you must be patient.
also i did not mention the front, but the control arm on the front have two main ball joints. the original bmw joints where know for failing, today you can buy the whole trailing arm that comes with brand new ball joints, making replacement easier. dont fall for the idea of buying the ball joint and replacing, not only will it be a pain to press out, you cannont replace the inner ball joint, becasue no one sells it, and even if you find it, it will even be the harder one to press out because of its lenght, its way long. so save time and agravation and get a whole new arm with the bushins in.. and dont fall for the aluminum control arm. since this arms are aftermarket parts they are not well done, there has been posts about them beding easily..
and i forgot to tell you, but when getting the shocks, dont forget to replace the wear items, such as the tower strut bearing, the shock stop, is a hard foam thing made to be put on the shock axle to prevent it front going all the way in in case of a really deep bump etc.. on the rear make sure you change the shock rubber support, this is where the shock get bolted onto. the rear also has a plastic cover that is put to prevent dirt from gettin on the shock axle. also change the spring rubber pads, they wear a little with time, and since your changin them is a good time to replace.
Yeah it does look a lot and it might be, but ill tell you it was the best money ive spend, first i got a brand new car out of an old one.. the car drives and handles like a dream, i love hitting the road with it.
and second, ive learned so much about the car and its suspension desing, and drive components, and other systems. very educational.
if you want to do it ill tell you go for it.
youll need 4 goo jackstands so you can have the whole car sitting on jackstand while you do your work.
tools, wrenches and all that kind of stuff.
I did not have a lot of tools, but i still was able to do this because i worked on a car shop that was across the street form my house, so i put the car on jackstands and did all the work on the garage but go the tools i needed.
But you can do it, i did not use any kind of special tool..
What i will tell you is that to do the rear of the car, i removed the trailing arm out of the car and then took it to the shop and the guys help me press the new bushings. you can do this, remove the whole arm and take it to a shop, they can pressed it in and should not charge you a lot. I tip when removing trailing arm: since you dant want to upset the aligment so much, so you can at least take it to the aligment later and not be that off, use white out to mark where the trailing arm support bracket sits on. then undo the screws on the cv joint at the differential, dont botter to get a tool and try to get the axle out of the trailing arm, i tried that and the tool got bend and broken and the axle did not move a mm. it gets stuck in there bad... so un doing the axle at the drivesaft is way simpler. then you have the ebrake cables, just undo the screws inside the car, take the nuts out of the screw , then just pull the cable form undernead, it will slide out and free of the car, to install just find the onle where it was and slide back in there...
And if you want to do the subframe, you will have to take it out, before doing that, mark the exact position that the driveshaft is bbolted onto the input of the differential, this will ensure the driveshaft sits back exalty where it was..
The general rule is, using wuite out will ensure that you can put that part perfectly back on the same place.
and dont forget, if you stick to bmw bushings for the rear. those bushing cannot be tensioned. meaning that when the car is sitting still, the bushing has to be at its neutral position. so for example, if doing the rear trailing arm using factory bushing. the bolt that goes trough it and then the trailing support brakcet, when tight will make the bushing to be pressed in between and so if the brakect is moved up or down the center part of the bushing will move too. get the idea, the nut will not move free inside the bushing, it will press the whole thing so the bushing center part moves together. so before you take the support bracket out, you need to do marks that will show where the trailing arm stay in relation to the bracket, that does not move. but the trick here is that the car has to be on the ground sitting on the natural rest position, so you would have to law on the ground and somehow see in there and do the marks. This is the advantage of using the powrflex bushings, they allow the center parts, where the screw goes trought to rotate.
if you dont do this, the bushing will become what is known as over loaded or something like it, look on bentley suspension parts, they have a part that eplains about bushing.
and if you do the front ones, once you press one into the control arm you have 30 min to drop the car to the gound and let it settle overnight..
for all the procedures above there are places you can look on the web more detailed, and also the betley bible.
and just to make sure youre not going down the road and some screws come out, use blue lock treat as a preventive measure..
tell you it was quite an experience, but this makes a great summer project. it was what i did.
the best site to get all information about parts and prices and stuff is www.bavauto.com
they offer great parts, great explanation and all.
i did all this stuff myself so i know what im telling you by experience and what you might run into. the reason my work cost more, is that i not only replaced suspension parts, but also all the stuff underneath the car that often goes bad after 122k, so when i came to collage i would not have to worry about doing under the car repairs.
If you can get the bmw bushing set, i've seen them for rent, get them i would say that it make the job a lot easier, cleaner and nicer, and you wont have to take as much stuff out of the car like i did.
it took me 4 days to comlete the whole process so im telling you all. and if you need anything else always ask..
once youre done youll understant how cool it feels to ride on the car handling beautifully and knowing you did it all.
ill try to make a 3d pic of the rear suspension...im learning how to use a 3d modeling software..
if any questions just ask.