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From digest.v6.n772 Sun Jun 15 07:25:10 1997
From: Kurt Gibble <>
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 1997 12:28:43 -0400
Subject: <E34> Thrust Arm Bushing Replacement

Few years back when I joined the list, all the E28's were shaking (Are you back yet Steve B.?). It looks like it's our (E34) turn now. Mine (and Don E.'s too) had a bad vibration at 55 mph that goes mostly away by 60. I did shocks/springs and, with the front struts off, it was easy to see that the thrust arm could easily be rotated in the horizontal plane. After removing it, there were large cracks in the rubber bushing. (If you imagine that the front suspension sort of looks like an A-arm made of 2 separate pieces, the thrust arm is the one towards the back of the car and the bushing is the one attaching it to the frame - other end is a ball joint - see below.)

You can buy replacement arms with new bushings - I bought replacment bushings and pressed them in (have access to a 50 Ton hydraulic press). If you press them, you'll need 2 pieces of tubing about 4" long (probably from a good plumbing store or machine shop scrap) - one should have an OD just smaller than the size of the bushing and the other an ID just bigger to support the arm. Needed ~1/2 to 3/4 Tons of force to press-in - the old ones were easy to get out (go figure). If you press them yourself, be careful - if things go crooked, they can fly far and fast. Have not BTDT and don't want to.

On the one side, the thrust arm came right out. On the other, I couldn't unseat the thrust arm ball joint (I didn't have the special tool). However, if you undoe the 3 lower (19 mm) strut bolts and undoe the front contral arm body mount, then it's easy to get the thrust arm pivoted out from under the car so that, with the proper tool it'd be easy to press in (see Steve d' I believe). I had done this hoping to undo the tie rod ball joint - it also did not cooperate. Only mildly daunted, I uncsrewed the tie rod by turning the whole contraption - not quick but quicker than all the time I already wasted trying to undo the ball joint. If you do this, mark the tie rod position, count CAREFULLY, and check your toe when your done (not a bad idea in any case). With all this off the car, it was easy to press out the ball joints with the press and push in the new bushing. Remember to tighten all the bushing mounts to the frame with the car on the ground (well, actually on 2x4's).

No more stinkin' shimmys,
'92 E34 M50

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