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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Here's a simple DIY for replacing your RTAB's.

1) Jack the rear of the car up and support it on jack stands
2) Follow the wire(s) on the trailing arm to locate the little black box in front of the trailing as pictured.


3) Unclip the wire(s) from the body first, then open up the box and remove the blue and or black connector. Separate the connector by pressing the release tab and pull in apart.


 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
4) To save yourself a possible need for an alignment, scrib an outline around the trailing arm carrier. Then take your jack and support the trailing arm. Remove the three 18mm bolts that attached the RTAB carrier to the car.

5) Once the bolts are removed, lower the jack. You may need to wedge a block of wood as pictured to get the trailing arm low enough to remove the bushing
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
8) Next, get yourself copper based anti-seize. This is a must if you don't want squeaks, creaks or clunks

9) Take a wire brush or some emery cloth and clean out the inside and outer edge of the trailing arm.


10) Once cleaned, generously apply the antiseize to the entire trailing arm as pictured
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
11) Take your PowerFlex RTAB's and generously apply the antiseize as pictured, including the inside where the bolt will pass through


12) Take the RTAB's and install them in the trailing arm. Apply antiseize to the barrel and push the barrel through both bushings. You may need to tap it with a hammer to get the barrel through

13) Take the carrier and apply anti seize as pictured

14) Take the carrier bolt and install it

15) All that is left is to lift the carrier into position and install the three bolts. Use a jack to support the trailing arm while guiding it into location. If you are strong, you can just get on your back as I did and push the trailing arm up with one arm and use your ratchet in the other hand to install the three bolts.
16) Road test to follow once I get my ECU back from ESS.......:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 · (Edited)
You're welcome guys........

Unfortunately I just sold and shipped the tool to another forum member named "syazoo". You could PM him for the measurements or just buy it from him when he is done with it. It may be tough to measure as the piece that slides through the trailing arm with the bushing is beveled on both edges.If you were to buy your RTABs in advance and measure the circumference, you'd then know what size/bevel you would need.

The tool makes this DIY very simple 2 hour project. Without it, it would be a struggle cutting those bushings out as others have done.

As a side note, if you plan to use this DIY as reference for replacing your RTAB's with OEM ones, make note of the angle\position of the RTAB carrier before you remove the bolt that passes through it. Otherwise you will preload the bushing which is a no-no.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Good write-up!
But I've heard that one' should (put the car on tires) aka; preload all bushings on bimmers before fully tightening them down...!?
Ore is that just for OEM bushings?

That is for OEM bushings...you don't have to be concerned about preloading these as the design is different

really nice write up.
Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I didn't feel mine were shot at 70K but after I replaced them, it totally transformed the car.

Did you notice any difference in feel with the FCAB's? I don't want to feel more of the road than I do right now which is why I haven't upgraded. Got my factory ones replaced for free right with new lower control arms right before I turned 50k.

I wouldn't say there is any risk with leaving the back OEM while running Powerflex in the front. I would guarantee if you like the front ones, you will LOVE the addition of the rears. My car drives like it is on rails better than ever!
 

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Discussion Starter · #32 ·
Here is a suggestion for all you fanatics, when you first get your car, go to Firestone and get a "life time" 4 wheel alignment. It was like $150 but after just 3 alignments it has paid for itself. (This time will be #5). You can get an alignment every time you get new tires if you want...
Great idea!
 

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Discussion Starter · #57 · (Edited)
I'm not confused. I wasn't talking about the specific procedure for RTABs. I was responding to the comment that you should preload all bushings for BMWs.

The RTAB is the only bushing that I know of that you need to preload.

My 5 series requires pre-loading on one of the front control arm bushings as well. PITA as far as I am concerned.

A simple flat bar of steel will do the trick as pointed out below in the Bentley manual:

TxZHP04 is correct. The bentley manual confirms it. I have attached what the bentley manual (3-series 99-05) says about preloading the trailing arm.
 

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Discussion Starter · #69 · (Edited)
I don' have the tool but it doesn't appear to be flat from the top of the bearing hub. If my memory serves me correctly, you are shooting for the "center" of the hub to align itself in a straight line to the carrier
 
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