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Thanks for the awesome DIY. Got my RTAB tool in the mail today and I will be changing to the powerflex RTABs and FCABs (with new Meyle HD control arms) tomorrow. 77k miles and I can tell it is pretty sloppy. I can't wait for it to drive like it was new again... :woot:

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...
 

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Yeah but how often can you go?

As often as you need to... One is located only about 2-3 miles from my house, but I still wind up dropping the car off and having to wait half a day (or more) to get it back. If you bring it in every week they may look at you funny... :loco: Once a year or anytime you do suspension work is probably sufficient.
 

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Finished the RTABs and FCAB/control arms today. The RTABs were even easier than I expected. Using an impact wrench and the RTAB tool I pulled the old bushings from the arms in just 12 seconds each (yes I timed it the 2nd time). Definitly the way to go. I would rate this between a oil change and swapping brake pads as far as difficulty. Gotta love them air tools... :) My wife bought me the air compressor for my birthday about 8 or 9 years ago and thought it was a stupid thing to want, but now she sees how it can be really useful.

Front lower control arms and FCABs were just as easy, but a little more time consuming getting the nuts off the inside ball joint with a box end wrench 1/16 turn at a time :banghead: . Used a pickel fork and 3lb sledge to pop the ball joints. Putting it back together was a breeze. Again, gotta love them air tools! :)

Only major problem was I managed to misplace the wheel lock key (turned 42 today and I must be going senile :facepalm: ) after I finished the RTABs and went to lunch. I then had to drive 25min to San Diego BMW to use their master set to pull the wheel locks so I could do the fronts. Great guys in the parts department! Ordered a new "key" for about $7.50. That added about an hour to my job...

Originally I had called Brecht BMW in Escondido (about 10 min from my house) and asked if I could come up and use their master set and the guy told me sure, no problem, Minimum charge is $90. I said "$90??? Seriously??? Just to loosen the wheel locks so I can pull them out?" The guy got all defensive and said they would have to get out the set and find the right key, put it up on a rack(???), minimum charge, blah blah blah. Now thats "Customer Service" from a real Stealership! I swear I will NEVER go back to that place even though it is the BMW dealer closest to my house. Luckily there are 4 or 5 BMW dealers in the San Diego area so I can still get what I need when its urgent.

Now I just take it in for an alignment in the morning (Seems to be driving OK now anyway)...
 

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So questions are:
1) Is the RTAB and FCAB what the dealer is telling me about
2) what poly brand is the best for comfort and reliability....DON'T want OEM
3) Are there any other bushings that affect alignment other than RTAB and FCAB?

Thanks guys.
Powerflex PU RTABs and FCABs. Just make sure you lube up the PU contact areas where they rub so they don't squeak. Also you may want to replace your front control arms when replacing the FCABs. It is really a pretty simple job to do both of these (especially if you have a RTAB tool) and buy the FCABs in new housings (lollypops) ready to bolt up.
 

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I have a tool that I rent out, but it just went out to a guy this past Monday. I will probably have it back in a week or two if you can wait. Send me an email if interested. $100 deposit and I refund $76 when I get the tool back in good condition. The $24 includes paypal fees and shipping/insurance costs to you. Return shipping is about $7.80 with insurance, $5 without. I ship in a USPS small flat rate box and it has been taking about 2 days to go cross country.
 

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I have had the powerflex RTABs installed for almost 3 years now. No squeaks, no problems, handles great... And I don't have to worry about changing them again after another 20k miles... I think you just have to be generous where you put the anti-seize. I covered everything that might touch the PU surfaces of the RTABs and plenty between the RTAB disks. (Powerflex bushings come in two pieces shaped like a "top hat". The "brims" of the "top hats" act as limiters when they are installed.
 
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