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From digest.v5.n536 Sun Nov 10 21:29:00 1996
Date: Sun, 10 Nov 1996 11:39:07 -0500
Subject: <E30> rear crossmember bushing R&R - my method

I've been catching up on my digest reading. I've seen a couple of postings about changing the rear crossmember bushings on an E30. Here's how a friend & I did it:

What you'll need (in no particular order): 2 new bushings and locking nuts (da!)
propane torch
3 pieces of 6 inch by 6 inch roofing flashing 2 adjustable tranny jacks
24 inch 1/2 inch diameter threaded steel rod 36 (or 48) inch 1/2 inch diameter threaded steel rod pipe cap for 2 inch outside diameter steel pipe pipe cap for 2 1/2 inch outside diameter steel pipe 4 steel nuts for steel rods
4 plain washers for steel rods
slide hammer weight
Pam or other non-petroleum lube
2 large flat blade screwdrivers
Vise grips
Misc tools

Drill a hole large enough for the threaded rod through the center of each pipe cap

  1. remove the back seat's lower cushion; cover the area with a cloth, blanket,etc.
  2. lift car
  3. remove rear wheels
  4. support trailing arm
  5. disconnect shock from trailing arm
  6. support crossmember
  7. remove nut at bottom of bushing
  8. remove 2 socket head bolts that hold lower bushing plate (they are located just forward of the rear jacking point)
  9. with 24 inch rod and hammer, punch out bolt that runs inside of bushing (that's why you covered that rear area up - prevents flying bolts from damaging the leather!)

NOTE: Note the rotational position of the existing bushing in the crossmember. The new bushing MUST be inserted in the same position or else handling will be affected

10. pull down on the crossmember while lowering the tranny jack - you need about 2 inches of clearance at the top.
11. insert the 36 (or 48) inch rod though bushing but not into the car
12. install a flat washer and a nut at the top; ensure a couple of rod threads are through the nut - for safety's sake
13. slide the slide hammer weight onto the rod; install a washer and 2 nuts at the bottom; lock the nuts against each other.
14. use flashing to protect wiring, plumbing, etc around bushing
15. fire in the hole! heat the crossmember around the bushing with the torch ensuring that no wiring, plumbing. etc are getting heat.
16. after about 8 to 10 minutes you'll start to hear the sound of "bacon frying" - she's ready
17. using the large screwdrivers, start to pry the bushing out; continue with the slidehammer
18. allow the crossmember to cool completely
19. spray Pam on the bushing and into the crossmember hole
20. place the 2 inch pipecap (dome up) on the top of the corssmember hole
21. thread 24 inch rod though pipecap; install washer and nut
22. slide new bushing onto rod - NOTE ROTATIONAL POSITION!!!
24. slide 2 1/2 inch pipecap onto rod - dome down!
25. install washer and nut onto the rod under the pipecap; tighten the nut until bushing is just at the bottom of the crossmember hole
26. install 2 nuts at the bottom of the rod; lock them against each other
27. hold 2 nuts at the bottom of the rod with vise grips while tightening the nut under the pipecap; bushing will slide in like a greased pig down a shute!
28. Remove rod and reinstall hardware.

Total time for both sides - about 3 hours - we took our time!

Arlington, VA
BMW(nospace)CCA #37523

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