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Hey guys,

I'm going to start ordering some bushings for my 2003 M3 before too long. The car has 118,000 kms on it so they're probably due for a change. I notice a clunk from the rear of the car when I shift at low rpm around town so I know the sub frame bushings and rear differential bushings need to be changed for sure. I figured that while I'm at it, I might as well get the lower control arm bushings and shift linkage bushings as well. I'm planning on doing the labour myself as I have access to a very well equipt shop and I'll have help available.

I'm wondering if I should go for OEM bushings or polyurethane bushings? This is my first car so I don't know what the difference would be. I wouldn't be opposed to more feel but I don't want the car to be any more "hardcore" or rough-riding than it currently is.

Also, what else do you guys think I should consider for maintence with the mileage that I have? I'm going out of town for work for a month and I'm going to start ordering parts. When I get home, I'm going to spend a couple days replacing everything.

So far, this is what I have in mind for things to do to the car:

Subframe bushings
Rear differential bushings
Lower control arm bushings
Shift linkage bushings (possibly with a short shift kit as well)
Transmission fluid
Rear differential fluid
Oil and Filter Change

Any other recommendations for some standard stuff that I should take care of now while I'm diving into the car?
 

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I'd recommend the Meyle HD FCAB's (what I currently use). Nothing wrong with polyurethane, but I didn't like the fact that they had to be constantly lubcriated to avoid the squeaking noise.

Maybe not for today, but when was the last time any components of the cooling system were replaced? Typically it's best to do a complete overhaul at once because it's such a pain in the ass to replace one component at a time on different occasions.
 

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oem ftw in my opinion. i just figure that they last you a proven 90,000... why not just go with the same part, unless you've got a highly modified car where you need a performance part.
 

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I'd recommend the Meyle HD FCAB's (what I currently use). Nothing wrong with polyurethane, but I didn't like the fact that they had to be constantly lubcriated to avoid the squeaking noise.

Maybe not for today, but when was the last time any components of the cooling system were replaced? Typically it's best to do a complete overhaul at once because it's such a pain in the ass to replace one component at a time on different occasions.
I'm soon going to be inspecting the Meyle HD FCABs on my car. Installed maybe 5 months ago and have about 10k miles on them. I'm getting brake shimmy and I suspect these bushings have failed or were installed too far on the control arm. Either/or. Can anybody chime in on how far they should be on the control arm? I'd imagine that after a spin around the block and full steering wheel lock to lock, they'd settle in place while still lubed from soap/water and "lock" in the correct position after the soap/water has dried. I really don't see how these can be in a wrong position.
 

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Highly suggest you forget about suspension components besides diff and subframe bushings if you have a manual. Start off with everything cooling.. Radiator water pump upper and lower hoses. Thermostat and then tighten your vanos bolts. Then do suspension components using only oem. No need to go poly. If you really want some good stuff get a aftermarket sway bar.
 

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I'd recommend the Meyle HD FCAB's (what I currently use). Nothing wrong with polyurethane, but I didn't like the fact that they had to be constantly lubcriated to avoid the squeaking noise.

Maybe not for today, but when was the last time any components of the cooling system were replaced? Typically it's best to do a complete overhaul at once because it's such a pain in the ass to replace one component at a time on different occasions.
+1

I gots them 2, had them on for a month now so far so good
 

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Poly all day. Powerflex don't squeak anymore BTW.

You get better feel with Powerflex, slightly harsher than Meyle.
 

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Powerflex is THE BEST! Mine don't squeak at ALL, and have amazing feedback and make the steering really heavy. I LOVE them.

btw: oem doesnt last that long. i got my car with 40,100 miles and the bushings were more than shot.
 

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OEM bushings will work best. Dont believe the after market hype. Most who try AM (like poly bushings) hate it and end up buying OEM and loving it. It ends up costing more in the long run with parts and double labor than if you just bought OEM in the first place.
 

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The reason that the powerflex poly's sometimes squeek is because the lube that Powerflex uses sucks when it dries out its done. However get some copper greese and your golden.
I LOVE my powerflex, I'd change my RTAB's aswell.
When I took out my OEM's they were filled with sand instead of oil.
 

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My ECS Poly bushings squeak if I get lazy and don't lube them every couple thousand miles.


The increased steering feedback is great, and I hear they last a lot longer than OEM. The squeaking is the only big negative that I can see.

---

btw: oem doesnt last that long. i got my car with 40,100 miles and the bushings were more than shot.
:werd: My OE bushings were shot when the car had 37k on the clock.
 

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Do you poly guys get new brackets with the bushings? I heard that you can't press bushings out of stock lollipops more than once due to the softness of the aluminum. Seeing as how I've pressed the stockers out 6 months ago, I wonder if it's better to just go with new brackets along w/ new poly bushings.
 

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Do you poly guys get new brackets with the bushings? I heard that you can't press bushings out of stock lollipops more than once due to the softness of the aluminum. Seeing as how I've pressed the stockers out 6 months ago, I wonder if it's better to just go with new brackets along w/ new poly bushings.
The ones from ECS came with the lollipop. I believe you can order them from Powerflex with or without the lollipop.
 

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OE/OEM is my thinking, OP.

Also, I doubt you need subframe bushings, though rear diff bushing is quite common cause of the 'clunk' when going into 1st/R.

If you get anything harder than OE, expect to be hunting for new vibrations for a while. That's fine if you want. Get stiffer handling, but expect that shock to get sent throughout the car, and then back to you again from every little thing that's off a little...whatever that may be--ball joints, bearings, axles, what have you. Stiffer you go, more you'll feel, more the car will feel.

Failing at 20K or 30K miles...while those are anecdotes from a few here, and I don't doubt them at all, but I'm also thinking that a pot hole or stupid driving might have ruptured them. And if so, they absorbed a lot of shock that would have gone elsewhere and been more expensive to fix than some oil filled, awesomely engineered, critical piece of our suspension that I think the bmw engineers probably spent some time on designing/specing out for you and for my car.

Why doesn't anyone here like anything bmw besides the roundel? You're putting all different kind of parts on the thing, and honestly, at some point, you probably end up with a nice car, but 'at some point' it stops being or driving like a bmw. Few here have better for particular applications...1/4 miles runs/track...but very few. Most seem to end up creating way more issues to solve.

Oops...what was I thinking saying that here?
 

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It boggles my mind that every fanatic doesn't absolutely love Powerflex FCABS.

Powerflex RTABS are worth two full seconds on the autox course over worn stock RTABS. At least they were for me.
 

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CMrocks...

Here is some advice from another ///M owner. Before you start throwing parts at it, I would suggest doing a simple test. Go out into a empty parking lot and drive relatively slowly in a figure 8 in 1st gear letting off the gas then getting back on it. If this thump becomes truly pronounced during engagement/disengagement of the driveline on right hand (iirc) turns it is a strong indicator of simply needing to exchange the diff fluid. Something with the clutch packs in our lsds cause this very unique thump. Read up on this more in the M3 section and try it out. Anyway I would suggest exchanging with O.E.M. diff fluid (75w-140 with a special additive package iirc), although I am currently running redline with no problems. Hopefully this helps.

As for your original question I strongly recomend Powerflex everything (perhaps with the exception of RTABs, which is strongly dependent on how you drive and use your car). Anyway go to bimmerworld.com and read up on the RTAB issue and decide if Powerflex, or O.E.M. w/ limiters is right for you (my only two suggestions here, can't go wrong with either just depends on whats right for you). As for being worried about powerflex, I have them on both my 330 and M3 in the 95A (black high durometer) compound. I have 0 squeaking issues, the amplified feedback is great, I do not have to lube them, in short I love them. On the 330i I have about 20k miles in 1 year on them, with MANY auto-x's, a few HPDE's, and nothing but spirited driving. With the M3 about 5k miles, with even harsher driving. If you fear that the 95A compound maybe too stiff for you, there is also the 80A which is yellow and purple, its a softer compiund and not much stiffer than stock. Food for thought on powerflex. Overall grade 10/10

I would avoid UUC FCAB, and RTAB bushings. I have heard nothing but horror stories (wearing out with less than 5k miles), about them. However their motor mounts and tranny mounts are 9.5/10

Stock is good, you know what to expect and has a proven life of ~40k. Not my choice but its a proven choice.

Meyle seems to be very hit and miss. People either love them or hate them. It seems as though a couple of years ago they had a bad batch of FCABs surface that wore really really fast. Other than that seems to be mostly positive reviews with slightly better charicteristics than stock. Probably comparable to 80A powerflex!

Diff bushings, please for the love of god unless you ONLY track your car replace with o.e.m. DO NOT go solid unless this is a track only car!!!! I would also suggest thoroughly inspecting them before replacing, I seriously doubt they need to be replaced.

Subframe bushings: Powerflex 95A all the way IMO there is no other choice!!!! Most likely doesn't need to be replaced but truth be told you really can't be too safe with our subframes!!! There are several very educated theories out there that speculate that worn out subframe bushings lead to increased stress on the mounting points which lead to the notorious cracks/tears. So my advice is yes do replace with Powerflex 95A espically if you have the mechanical know how to do it!!!! Be forewarned it is a p.i.t.a.

ALSO: while you are doing this I would suggest going to turnermotorsport.com and purchasing their reinforcement kit, this covers all known weak points of our chassis and is worth its weight in gold. In short if you are doing your subframe bushing I would say this is a must while you are in there!!!!!

Transmission and Diff: I've kind of already covered this, but my suggestion either O.E.M. or Redline. Do your reasearch decide for yourself, make sure you get the right stuff though. Follow 30k mile or 2 year change intervals whichever occurs first.

Short Shift Kit: My fav: UCC EVO III w/ DSSR!!! Other solid options are Rougue Engineering, and Active Autowerke, Do your research decide for yourself, this is truly a driver independent thing, its all personal preference on this.

Maintaince: Inspection II. Have you had it done recently? I at 118k km, I hope its been done already if not do it stat, espically the valve adjustment. Generally needed every 40-60k miles depending on driving style. Shouldve been done already at that mileage if not then do it. Other than that, let me see here....Oil and filter every 7500 miles with Castrol TWS 10w-60. Fuel filter every 30k or two years whichever happens first, same with diff and tranny. Air filter check and most likely replace every other oil change. Cooling system should be done before 100k miles, preferablky at like 80-90k as a preventive thing, yes I do mean overhaul the entire system dont just piece it together one at a time as each component fails as they ineveitably will. Other than that proper coolant flush every 4 years. Brake system, do the brakes as needed obviously, however I suggest exchanging brake fluid every 2 years because of its hydrophilic nature even if the rest of the brake system is fine. Sparkplugs and boots at 100k miles (thats what I do, however many suggest 50k). Couldnt hurt to pull them out every 50k and see how they are though. Coils don't replace unless fails, not really a preventitive thing there. Hmmmm thats about it, and most of this is actually covered under inspections I and II anyway. So yeah hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
lejeunebimmer,

Thanks for the detailed response!

Inspection II was done by the previous owner around 105,000 kms so I'm good there. I have the break down of what was done by the shop and sparkplugs were done.

I'll do more research about the bushings. I'm mostly worried about the clunk so I'll do that diagnostic test before I go crazy with bushings. I'll change the transmission and diff fluids and see what that does before I start worrying about bushings.

Is there anything I can do to inspect the bushings to make sure they're still in good condition?

I'll start looking into the cooling system and I want to do some research on the VANOS bolt as well.

This is my first car so I want to really look after it and make sure that it's always running at close to 100%.
 

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Hey guys,

I'm going to start ordering some bushings for my 2003 M3 before too long. The car has 118,000 kms on it so they're probably due for a change. I notice a clunk from the rear of the car when I shift at low rpm around town so I know the sub frame bushings and rear differential bushings need to be changed for sure. I figured that while I'm at it, I might as well get the lower control arm bushings and shift linkage bushings as well. I'm planning on doing the labour myself as I have access to a very well equipt shop and I'll have help available.

I'm wondering if I should go for OEM bushings or polyurethane bushings? This is my first car so I don't know what the difference would be. I wouldn't be opposed to more feel but I don't want the car to be any more "hardcore" or rough-riding than it currently is.

Also, what else do you guys think I should consider for maintence with the mileage that I have? I'm going out of town for work for a month and I'm going to start ordering parts. When I get home, I'm going to spend a couple days replacing everything.

So far, this is what I have in mind for things to do to the car:

Subframe bushings
Rear differential bushings
Lower control arm bushings
Shift linkage bushings (possibly with a short shift kit as well)
Transmission fluid
Rear differential fluid
Oil and Filter Change

Any other recommendations for some standard stuff that I should take care of now while I'm diving into the car?
Right now I have :

Powerflex FCAB
Powerflex RTAB
Powerflex Rear subframe bushings (yellow)
AKG tranny mounts
Royal Purple tranny fluid (highly recommend it) but for your LSD diff I'd only go with OEM fluid.
Diff bushings were replaced with oem ones
RSM are also OEM

I would recommend this to anyone.

But it all depends on what you want and need, if you simply want to restore your car to what it was 10 years ago, buy all OEM stuff and dont think about a thing. If you want to take it to teh next level and see what your car should've come with from factory go with POwerflex.

No I dont have a single squeak, yes the car is more responsive (obviously, otherwise I would've put the oem back), yes there is slightly more road feel, I can say there is alot of road feel, simply because I also have PSS9 coilovers and I actually want to have more road feel.

Just dont buy Myele, its crap. Either OEM or Poweflex.
 

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This thread changed my mind. I was going to buy front suspension overhaul kit with powerflex FCABs, but since I'm not going to over-mod my current car, I'll switch to meyle set..
 
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