From digest.v6.n86 Sun Jan 19 20:57:24 1997
Date: Sun, 19 Jan 1997 18:02:02 -0500 (EST)
Subject: RE: <E30> Rear crossmember bushings
I've seen several posts concerning the replacement of E30 rear crossmember
(subframe) bushings. It's really a simple process, especially if you have a
2 new bushings ($70 total _at_ dealer w/BMWCCA discount)
24" 1/2" diameter threaded steel rod (remaining from Home Depot)
48" 1/2" diameter threaded steel rod (becomes home-made slide hammer)
4 1/2" diameter nuts (for rods)
4 1/2" flat washers (for rods)
2" inside diameter steel pipe cap (Drill a hole large enough for the rod
to go through)
2 1/2" inside diameter steel pipe cap (same as 2" cap!)
Bernz-o-matic torch w/1 tank
4 pieces of 6"x 6" roof flashing
>From a slide hammer - the slide weight (insert onto 48" rod, locking 2 nuts
at one end)
2 LARGE blade screwdrivers
2 jacks (1 should be an adjustable tranny jack)
- Remove the bottom seat cushion from the rear seat. Cover the area with a
large towel (I used my car cover) "Why?" you ask? When you punch-out the
bolts that hold the crossmember in place, they will fly around the interior
unless stopped by something!
- Raise the car. Remove the tire.
- Support the trailing arm and remove the shock's lower mounting bolt.
- Support the crossmember (on the side you're working on, only)
- Remove the bottom plate - 2 socket head screws and the large nut
- Using the 24" threaded rod & a hammer, punch-out the bolt
NOTE: Check the orientation of the existing bushing!! CRITICAL TO FUTURE
- Lower the jack supporting the crossmember about 2 inches
NOTE: Don't lower the crossmember too far or you'll pop the rubber brakeline
that runs from the chassis to the trailing arm!!!!
- Insert the 48" homemade slide hammer into the center of the bushing.
Don't go into the car - stop so that you can install a flat washer and a nut
at the top of the bushing. Ensure a couple of threads protrude through the
nut - safety!
- Cover any wiring, pumps, hoses, tubing, sheet metal that may be damged by
heat with the roof flashing.
- Light the torch! Heat the crossmember metal surrounding the bushing.
It took about 8 minutes before we could budge the old bushing. You'll know
it's ready when it sizzles like bacon (doesn't smell nearly as good,
- Insert the blades of the screwdrivers between the bushing's metal flange
and the crossmember - pry! Once it gets moving, use the slide hammer to
finish it off. Allow all to cool; have drink yourself!
- Coat the new bushing's rubber (not condom, cheeesh!) exterior with a
lubricant - I used lithium grease but PAM will work fine. Kerosine (is that
a term from geometry?!!?) works well, too!
- At one end of the 24" rod, "jam-lock" two nuts together. Thread a nut
about 12 inches from the other end. Slide 2 washers on, followed by the 2
1/2" pipe cap, open side up. Slide the bushing on. Insert the top of the
bushing into the bottom of the crossmember, CHECKING the orientation.
- At the top of the crossmember, install the 2" pipe cap, open side down.
Slide the rod through the hole in the cap. Install a washer and a nut.
Ensure 2 threads protrude through - safety.
- Using a pair of ViseGrips or other suitable tool, hold the nuts at the
bottom of the rod.
- Using the appropriate wrench (cresent-hammer) tighten the nut under the
lower pipe cap. The bushing will slide into place.
- Remove the upper pipe cap, etc. Using the jack, lift crossmember into
it's approximate normal position.
- Boost someone into the car so they can drop the bolt back into it's
hole. Reinstall the lower plate and its hardware.
Repeat for the other side.
Took us about 4 hours, taking our time.
[ Help ]
1985 325e, 132k miles, blah, blah, blah!