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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #21
I put in B4s. Definitely firm enough. How hard a ride do you want?
That's what I would have thought. Our area is so heavily policed on the road that any hoon driving will likely get you arrested and even your car compacted here (no shit). Plus I'm 52yo, not a P plater with a bong in the boot.

I bought this car for a bit of luxury combined with sport, and a general appreciation of engineering. If B4's are just a bit firmer, that will be good for me I feel.

Looking at the front first, is that the best option for full steering parts kit I linked above? If I fully drop the front subframe are there some extra mounts/bushes as well?

What's our favorite video guide for doing the front as a whole job?

Thanks all for your tips
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #23
Don’t do bearings unless you have an issue. Especially rear
Wheel bearings?

I'm looking at the front subframe, and it seems they just replace the aluminium arms in the car. What front subframe do you mean, and are there more bushes that mount it?

Of course I'd better have a look at realoem, but I'm looking for what would be considered the best video guide.
 

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Premium Member
2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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5,484 Posts
The front subframe is the black crossmember that supports the engine. The engine mounts, rack and the pivot on the FCAs bolt to it, and it bolts to the frame of the car with four very long M12 bolts.

The only bushings up front are the FCABs and the sway bar mounts.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #25
The front subframe is the black crossmember that supports the engine. The engine mounts, rack and the pivot on the FCAs bolt to it, and it bolts to the frame of the car with four very long M12 bolts.

The only bushings up front are the FCABs and the sway bar mounts.
OK, so forgive me please if this sounds dumb, but are you saying to remove that black crossmember as well? Is there anything to replace that can only be done with it out? I'm working on stands, and wonder if I want to drop all the power steering rack.

And that set I linked above has those FCAB's (are they the lolypops)? Seems I still need a couple of rubber boots and the swaybar bushes for that kit?
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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OK, so forgive me please if this sounds dumb, but are you saying to remove that black crossmember as well? Is there anything to replace that can only be done with it out? I'm working on stands, and wonder if I want to drop all the power steering rack.

And that set I linked above has those FCAB's (are they the lolypops)? Seems I still need a couple of rubber boots and the swaybar bushes for that kit?
My recommendation is to do
Mounts
FCAs
FCABs
Oil pan gasket
Steering giubo
Sway bar end links

use an engine support to hold the engine up, remove the subframe (black crossmember) and then everything you need is easy to access. Notably, oil pan gasket is impossible to do without dropping the subframe.
I do not have a lift and this is not hard to do on stands.

if you are only doing the control arms, then you dont need to drop the subframe.

Steering rack is attached to the subframe by two bolts. Not hard to manage
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #27
That actually makes sense, and I've got to pull the steering column anyway to do that steering angle sensor which looks like it'll be much easier with the subframe down. Engine mounts too, plus AT mounts as well if they are accessible during this.

I'll be adding B4 struts and mounts to that list.

So which of the 8pc kits do we like? Meyle or Lemforder?
 

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2000 323Ci coupe manual
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217 Posts
Watching the videos and it looks like a bit of a mission. I love motors, hate suspension. I'm on the same page re changing shock mounts etc. Thinking of starting at the front:
Here's the front kit I'm considering:

I did what you are contemplating except for the tie rods and FCAs.
I did the FCABs. These seem to go first and were easy to replace. Then the sway bar link. That's all I needed. I didn't need to whole kit. If you also need the FCAs then I would get the kit.

With this suspension:

Very expensive exercise, so I will get under her with a pry bar to convince myself the bushes actually need changing. I won't cheap out, but this thing is an auto that's had an easy life, don't want to throw out good parts.
When I replaced my struts I did not need anything but the struts. Everything else was OK and could be reused. The two struts were around $200 so you can save around $200 by not buying the kit.

Don’t do bearings unless you have an issue. Especially rear
I did the front bearings. My wheels spun a little too easily although there were no detectable issues with them other than that. So I went ahead and changed them when I did everything else. Like Archbid says only do it if you need to. The fronts (non drive wheels) were really easy to replace. A simple two arm puller will work. I think you also need a 46mm socket. Torque to 220lbs.
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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"Pull the front subframe" seems scary until you do it and realize it is just not that big a deal.

The hardest bits are things like the starter. Subframe is nothing (until the bolts are stuck!)
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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That actually makes sense, and I've got to pull the steering column anyway to do that steering angle sensor which looks like it'll be much easier with the subframe down. Engine mounts too, plus AT mounts as well if they are accessible during this.

I'll be adding B4 struts and mounts to that list.

So which of the 8pc kits do we like? Meyle or Lemforder?
I have done Lemforder on four cars and happy with them
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #34
I did what you are contemplating except for the tie rods and FCAs.
I did the FCABs. These seem to go first and were easy to replace. Then the sway bar link. That's all I needed. I didn't need to whole kit. If you also need the FCAs then I would get the kit.



When I replaced my struts I did not need anything but the struts. Everything else was OK and could be reused. The two struts were around $200 so you can save around $200 by not buying the kit.


I did the front bearings. My wheels spun a little too easily although there were no detectable issues with them other than that. So I went ahead and changed them when I did everything else. Like Archbid says only do it if you need to. The fronts (non drive wheels) were really easy to replace. A simple two arm puller will work. I think you also need a 46mm socket. Torque to 220lbs.
Yeah, I'd better have a good look so I don't go all spendy on this.

There's no obvious noises or clunks, and it's had a soft life despite the miles.
 

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2005 325i Auto
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Discussion Starter #35
Got her up a bit higher today and had a closer look. Definitely a bit of shit going on in the front end...visible torn rubbers on a couple of ball joints (was going to use the acronym BJ's, but it looked bad, especially along with "torn rubbers").

Got an interesting "lagged" wobble between the steering wheel and hubs that I'd bet money has something to do with the giubo.

I think I'll forget the rear for now and focus on giving the front a bit of love. We've got oil pan gasket, motor/trans mounts, giubo and full LCA and shock sets. That's going to blow up the budget, but it does look necessary at this stage.
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 765 K km
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Just few words.
Engine mounts need to be replaced if you do not know when they been done. Simple work. Lemforder.
Transmission mounts. 15 min work. Must be done and you will immediately feel difference. Lemfoerder.
Subframe mounts. If you are really into that sort of work. I doubt if it necessary. You barely feel the difference.
I cannot say the same for rest of bushes on rear suspension. RTAB - MUST. They will greatly improve handling and save your rear tires. You might want to replace them in 100K again. Rest will last forever.

For sporty feeling, if you are really into that, @Galapolis wrote BUDGET PERFORMANCE SUSPENSION GUIDE (Ultimate E46 OEM+ SACHS Setup)
 

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E46 320d touring 2002
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182 Posts
@Anticdubai, i have replaced every rubber component at the back but the diff and subframe (got them at home).
Im planning to replace the ones in the subframe with it in place, is it possible to unbolt rear or front bolts at a time to gain room (15-20mm) tô set the tool ? Will this make any harm?
I only have one floor Jack and no jack stands, i have two big blocks of wood for this.
Thanks
 

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E46 '04 330Ci convertible 765 K km
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Well I do not remember now, but I doubt it is doable without removing subframe, maybe someone who did it recently could clarify. Diff bushes you can change without touching subframe though, just drop differential.
Also, I never did anything on jack stands, renting lift when I need to work under the car. It is much easier this way, so I cannot suggest as I have no such experience.
 

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E46 320d touring 2002
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Well I do not remember now, but I doubt it is doable without removing subframe, maybe someone who did it recently could clarify. Diff bushes you can change without touching subframe though, just drop differential.
Also, I never did anything on jack stands, renting lift when I need to work under the car. It is much easier this way, so I cannot suggest as I have no such experience.
Thanks
I think the rear ones are "easy" as there is no bolt from the frame in the middle, if I can have those 15-20mm to set the tool up in the bushing.
For the front ones I'm planning to drill two holes in the old bushing inline with the bolt from the frame, to put two threaded rods and nuts up the bushing, then some sort of tool to pull the bushing (not planned yet). Up the bushing I planned a round disk with a cut to the center so I can install it thru the frame bolt. Something like this:
922173

XD
I will wait and see if someone knows if there is room for this
Thanks
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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@Anticdubai, i have replaced every rubber component at the back but the diff and subframe (got them at home).
Im planning to replace the ones in the subframe with it in place, is it possible to unbolt rear or front bolts at a time to gain room (15-20mm) tô set the tool ? Will this make any harm?
I only have one floor Jack and no jack stands, i have two big blocks of wood for this.
Thanks
This is extremely dangerous. Spend the money on jack stands, not subframe bushings. They are likely fine and we don’t want you to get crushed
 
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