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From digest.v7.n853 Wed Dec 31 07:06:40 1997
From: "Edwards, Scott" <>
Date: Tue, 30 Dec 1997 22:10:30 -0600
Subject: <E28> New tool for subframe bushings

[Note: this should work just fine for an E30 also - Dale]

In my quest to acquire more tools (and cheaper tools!) I just designed, built, and successfully used a new one to install rear subframe bushings on my 533i. I basically made a portable press out of the following:

  6 ton bottle jack - $11 at Wal-Mart
1/4x4x12" plate steel - $9 at hardware store four 1/2"x24" threaded rods and eight 1/2" nuts - cheap from same hardware store

I cut the steel plate in half to end up with two 4x6 pieces and then drilled 1/2 inch holes in the corners of each. Thread the rods through and screw on a nut at each end, just enough to get all the threads engaged. Insert the jack (make sure it will fit in the frame) between the two plates and squeeze the heck out of anything. You can also tighten up the frame for space constrained areas. At first I was going to go for the 20 ton, but decided it was overkill. It worked great on the subframe bushings, and you don't have to remove the subframe from the car. Just disconnect the rear shocks, subframe mounts, and lower the differential. You can then swing the subframe out of the way of the subframe bolt (without having to remove it) and assemble your press frame around it. I also had to disconnect my brake lines since I replaced them with stainless and didn't want to bend them too much.

In a couple of weeks I'm going to use this same press to remove and replace my trailing arm bushings. I have to say that I'm amazed at what 6 tons will do.


From digest.v7.n857 Wed Dec 31 19:19:43 1997
From: "Edwards, Scott" <>
Date: Wed, 31 Dec 1997 19:23:37 -0600
Subject: RE: Home made press!

Sorry for the poor description and lack of color photos. I was trying to describe the press and be brief at the same time. Once you have the two 4x6 inch plates with 1/2 inch holes drilled in the corners they should look like this from above:

 | o            o |
 |                |
 | o            o |

(hope the ascii comes out right)

Now you take the plates and insert the four 2 foot long threaded rods through them - one in each hole. Attach a nut at each end of the rod (with no rod sticking out past the nut) and, from the side, you should have a box like so:

   |             |
   |             |
   |             |

(where the vertical lines above are the plates and the horizontal lines are the threaded rods.) Now you simply place the jack inside the frame (in the above picture the jack would be represented sideways with the bottom of the jack against one of the plates.) Then place the item to be pressed between the business end of the jack and the other plate and begin pumping.

I did use some large nuts as spacers to give the bushing room to protrude from the top end without hitting the top plate. Using the press to remove the bushing would require spacers several inches long - large sockets should work. BTW - I did put a nice bow in the top plate during the pressing operation. I wouldn't use any steel less than 1/4 inch thick for these plates. I also used the handle end of my 1/2 inch breaker bar as the fitting between the jack piston (small) and the bottom of the bushing (large and needs to be pressed from the outer edges, not the center). Worked quite well.

Let me know if this is as clear as the Mississippi and I'll be happy to expound.


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