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Guys, guys, guys how many times do I have to say this: PRELOAD IS NOT NECESSARY (NOR IS IT EVEN POSSIBLE) on E46 bushings. This method is for E30s and E36s only that use a circular hole for the control arm. E46s have a hex-shaped hole which you couldn't preload even if you wanted. The only way you could get into trouble is if you pressed in new bushings the wrong way into the carrier. 95% of people buy the bushings preinstalled into new lollipop carriers.

NO NEED FOR PRELOAD.
 

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Not all e46s have hex-shaped control arm ends. Mine are round, and preload is indeed an issue.
Sorry then maybe it's an Xi-specific thing. If so, then use soap and water to grease the bushing and control arm and drop car on the wheels within half an hour.

As for the RTABs, my understanding is to use a long straight-edge or a ruler and press it against the BOTTOM of the RTAB carrier. Then you measure 8mm BELOW the center of the hub and you put your straight edge to this point while pressed flat onto the bottom of the RTAB carrier. Then you tighten your 18mm carrier bolt to spec which I believe is 81 ft-lbs.
 

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With RTABs (rear trailing arm bushings--NOT front control arm bushings), you do need proper preload (aka no preload) on the bushing because the bushing carrier rotates on the rear trailing arm. If you bolt it at an angle, then when you drop the car back down, the bushing will have a pre-loaded amount of flex on the bushing. Meaning it will be stressed at rest. You want the bushing to have zero stress on it at rest. I'm sure not even the factory always gets this 100% correct, but you can do your best to minimize flex. The 8mm below hub center line/straight edge rule was developed as an alternative to the expensive BMW tool.
 
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