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Old 01-16-2020, 08:08 PM   #1
dr[email protected]
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bushing OE/Poly brain storm

I am planning a comprehensive bushing overhaul this coming spring.
I have been reading / watching vids on all the bushing related content and OE Versus Poly debate.

Ill preface this with I am NO engineer, and I smoke a bunch of weed... but my mental analysis comes to this.

RE: all those saying OE is the best... OE kind of sucks, it has half the life span of bushings from the US or Japanese market's OE level and I want something that has more integrity and life span.

RE: go with easier to install poly's and get performance benefits... I don't want a harsher ride, I'm not racing BUT I do like a nice curve hugger.

I am thinking that there is a place for both OE and Poly bushings if you were to curate your own kit and please critique my selections.

Subframe mounts: lets use a more solid bushing in this spot, especially if you have reinforced your mounting points. a little less flex here will probably last longer and have less aeffect on the other bushings.

Rear Diff bushing: use a ploy unit here? it has the longest leverage point. it might be a good place to use a harder bushing for resisting wear on OTHER bushings, even if this one has to be replaced in a shorter span. it might even save the other diff bushings wear over their life span especially combined with the poly's on the subframe mounts.

RTAB: OE units seem best here but probably combined with a set of RTAB limiters

The rest of the bushings seem to be lower wear items and in my opinion might even last longer with the above modifications.

Curious to what you all think?
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Old 01-16-2020, 08:42 PM   #2
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I have replaced all the bushings on my car. I have polyurethane front control arm bushings and OEM everywhere else. My two cents, go OEM unless you're tracking. It's much nicer to have a daily driver without the harshness and vibration of polyurethane. If I had to do it again id do the z4 control arm bushings. Maybe not a popular opinion on here though

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Old 01-16-2020, 08:52 PM   #3
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I got poly fcab, poly engine + trans, poly diff, poly subframe, and oem rtabs with limiters. Vibration is pretty harsh but I like it.

I believe the newer m3s use solid subframe mounts instead of rubber now a days
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:52 AM   #4
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My Meyle HD cabs are great. OE is fluid filled. I have seen so many going poly and going back to rubber...rarely the other way around. Poly attenuates all the shock from the road into the car. As said, if tracking, go firm, otherwise go easier on the car and yourself.

Look for M3 bushings...some of them fit ours in some places. Also, you don't need to go crazy replacing every bushing despite what many say. I have many of my original bushings still. I've replaced the rear diff bushing twice now.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:29 AM   #5
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I put poly suspension bushings on a previous vehicle and it ruined the ride for me.

I too am a big fan of Meyle HD for the front control arms. Have them now. They are slightly too harsh, but worth the considerable extra life over the oil filled ones. I would never put poly into a suspension arm unless there is no other choice that lasts more than a couple / few years.

For the rear subframe, you might get away with poly... But the OE ones last at least 150k plus, so not like you are likely to need them that often.

The diff bushing I would have to try poly before passing judgement. I just replaced the 3 diff bushing with OEM at 168k, They were original and toast, but I checked and left in the rear sub frame bushings, Not it perfect condition, but still in tact.

I would worry about the extra stress on the driveline, but probably not a huge difference either way, there is the rubber guibo at the front anyway. That was toast at 168k also.

Last edited by malapane; 01-17-2020 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:46 AM   #6
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IMHO Poly FCABs are the way to go, specifically Powerflex. I didn't notice any additional NVH and I'm kind of sensitive to those things. I put the PF FCABs in both my my E46s. Wouldn't do anything else. The Powerflex are two-piece that rotate, so there is little to no "sticktion" in the bushings. For the RTABs we put in monoball bushings and they don't seem to add any NVH either. The rest I'd do OEM.
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Old 01-17-2020, 11:26 AM   #7
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I use poly on bushings I don't want to replace more than once. Else I use solid rubber.

So rubber FCabs but poly rtabs for example.
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:48 PM   #8
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my take ; for subframe bushings , I think it's irrational not to go with poly bushes cause the peace of mind that bigger bushes offer and the lifetime guarantee .I went with powerflex black there ,loved the planted feel ,also no nvh increase
for rear rsms ; powerflex yellows ; again lifetime warranty and no increase on NVH
for trailing arms ; that's tricky ,I would go for spherical bearings but there is gonna be a penalty for that I am sure , so maybe M3 part here if there is any difference or oem with limiters , if you manage to install them
for the rear knuckle I would use the stock spherical joints used on the m3
for the lower control arm I would replace with the powerflex adjustable ones
for fcabs , powerflex yellow more caster bushings
for diff mounts , the two front ones maybe I would leave stock ,but me personally would go for powerflex yellow and so with the large one .definitely not oe for the large one cause it tears and definitely not black cause there will be whining from the differential
as for engine and transmission mounts , I would suggest using the m3 parts , but I might bite the bullet and use some soft polyurethane ,I don't know
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Old 01-17-2020, 04:55 PM   #9
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Meyle HD for the diff, Whiteline poly for the RTABs, for subframe thats a toss up, M3 engine mounts. Stock (lemforder) rubber for all others. Thats my take. Solid diff bushings are a poor choice for a street machine.
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Old 01-17-2020, 05:35 PM   #10
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Poly is a terrible material, doesn't belong anywhere on a car. Use rubber where you need isolation, solid/ball joints where you don't.
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Old 01-18-2020, 04:04 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by TerraPhantm View Post
Poly is a terrible material, doesn't belong anywhere on a car. Use rubber where you need isolation, solid/ball joints where you don't.
I don't agree, delrin maybe but poly is fine on some spots

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Old 01-18-2020, 06:20 AM   #12
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I have experience with the following:

- Powerflex purple 80A FCAB --> handles great. Steering becomes more tight, and no increase of NVH at all. Great warrenty from Powerflex. I ruined one bushing, probably on a drift day on track (I am an amateur and shoved off the track multiple times and hit the potholes next to it, this probably caused it). Contacted the shop where I bought it, they contacted powerflex, and I received a new pair even before my old one was disassembled. Only problem I had was that the new ones I received were a new model. The old model sticks out a little, the new ones don't. Yet they came out half a cm after a few days of driving, on one side. I pushed them back in again, but same **** happened again. In this case powerflex claimed they could not guarantee this wouldn't happen again if I ordered new ones as I had aftermarket FCA's, even that they are from TRW which are OEM's iirc. Never had any squeaking issues, with the exception of that one bushing that came out partially, also causing water to get in there I think.

- Z4M bushings FCAB --> bought these to replace my powerflex since my caster was really low. This increased my caster with 1°. Car tracks and feels more stable now.

- Strongflex 80A --> I did a complete rear subframe overhaul recently. Bought strongflex 80A for the subframe and the RTAB. Replaced everything else with Lemförder (OEM quality?) rubber. Car feels way more planted, but I can't compare it to OEM rubber, as my original rubber had 260k km on it. There IS increase in noise, probably coming from the RTAB. It's not much, but I like it quiet ... If I could do this one over again, I would have gone Meyle HD or something similar. There's a good chance you wouldn't even notice it, but I do.

If you use poly, just make sure to lube the crap out of it.

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Old 01-18-2020, 06:27 PM   #13
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The factory engine and transmission mounts are 'tuned' to absorb certain frequencies. Aftermarket manufacturers products aren't. They will raise the vibration levels in cabin.

Just a thought - you don't say the age/miles of your car. If it is old/high the original bushings are worn. Replacing them with OE bushings will improve tracking/handling noticeably and have a nice ride/noise level. They may outlive the rest of the car too.

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Old 01-18-2020, 08:56 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shadetreemech View Post
you don't say the age/miles of your car. If it is old/high the original bushings are worn. Replacing them with OE bushings will improve tracking/handling noticeably and have a nice ride/noise level. They may outlive the rest of the car too.
good point. its an 00' 323 ci with 175k. i think i can get the life of the bushings back out of it.

I love that there are diverse strong opinions with experience behind them! I have a lemforder OE kit on the way + ECS RTAB limiters and will use a harder durometer powerflex in the rear most diff bushing. Meyle HD for the trans mounts

I'll be doing every rubber from the trans mounts back, guibo and carrier bearing included. I plan on removing any rust from the sub frame and coating it with some engine enamel while it is out.
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Old 01-18-2020, 08:58 PM   #15
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I might be a little late, but I used the Z4M RTAB instead of the e46 one. It's supposed to be a little beefier, better on track.

I have poly 92a engine and trans mounts from revvshift, mainly because I have a RTD shifter that requires it. After putting the poly in, the car feels like it pulls a lot harder.

But definitely, a lot of vibration.

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Old 01-21-2020, 09:29 AM   #16
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I might be a little late, but I used the Z4M RTAB instead of the e46 one. It's supposed to be a little beefier, better on track.



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^^ this ^^

I pre-press FCABs for several e36 and e46 variants including Ms. Using the Z4M offset units offers the best of both worlds for standard e46 -- longevity and refinement of stock rubber units combined with increased performance of using solid rubber bushings instead of the mushy fluid filled units that just don't last...

https://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1119519
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