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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Wed, Oct-10-2018, 04:38:26 AM   #61
Contracheatcode
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

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Originally Posted by Braymond141 View Post
Recoating everything too?
Note sure. I'll wait until it's off to assess condition. Since it will be apart, I most likely will take the extra few days to clean and put a fresh spray of paint on. I mean why not? May as well, while it is apart. I assume any black enamel high-temp paint will do?

Also how do I change to default font of these posts to BLACK and not RED
?

Last edited by Contracheatcode; Wed, Oct-10-2018 at 04:43:21 AM.
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Old Wed, Oct-17-2018, 10:50:15 PM   #62
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Default E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal


Captain's Log: The subframe is now dropped (see above DIY and my advice). Now it's time to create the DIY for the bushing removal and install.

DIY: E36 M3 1997 4-Door: Rear Bushing Refresh (Removal and Install)

Update: OMG. Finally. All the original bushings are now removed. While removing the subframe seemed daunting and in reality it was not too bad, the bushings seemed easy to remove and in reality they are much harder than you think.

The #1 Tip BY FAR: You will need the right tools for this job. They are not tools that most have laying around. If you have all the exact right tools, then the process to remove the bushings is easy. If you have some of the right tools and you need to "make" other tools work, then the process becomes a little harder. If you have none of the right tools, the process is exceptionally challenging. In the end I was somewhere in the middle. The below process worked well for me. It minimized my out-of-pocket spend, though required me to be somewhat creative.

The #2 Tip BY slightly less FAR: Understand the process and the mechanics of what is going on prior to doing anything.

I summarize the process of removing all the bushing / ball joints like this:
  • The bushings all sit in a very tight space and the amount of force required to push them out is tremendous. Sure go ahead any try hammering them out. Unless you are Thor and super accurate with a swing, you are going to damage the subframe and make no progress getting them out with a hammer.
  • To get the pushing out, you are going to need a tool that can push the bushing out from one side to the other side. A hydraulic press might be the easiest way to explain this. If you have a hydraulic press (I did not), you can place the part (example: Lower Control Arm) with bushing attached on the hydraulic press table, then pull the handle on the hydraulic press. With the right size "attachment" the press would push the bushing out of the underside. And done. Yay. If you performing this DIY and using this guide, I would guess you do not have a hydraulic press.
  • Without a hydraulic press, you are going to end up using a tool that utilizes the same concept as a RTAB tool. Basically the tool is comprised of 3 parts: 1) threaded rod (not your normal threaded rod), 2) Push part on one end of the threaded rod, and 3) Accept part on the other end of the threaded rod.
  • Let's talk about the Push part: To push the bushing out, you are going to need something cylindrical (think toilet paper roll if you do not know what cylindrical means) that is slight smaller than the diameter of the bushing you are pushing out. The cylindrical part will sit right on top of the bushing. Then something will push this cylindrical part against the bushing. It will push the bushing out and eventually slide all the way through the part holding the bushing. Since you do not want this cylindrical part to get stuck where the bushing used to be, it needs to be slightly SMALLER in diameter vs. the bushing. It also needs to be super strong as the force applied is a lot. In the DIY, you will see that I used steel exhaust cut-offs from O'Really Auto Parts.
  • Let's talk about the Accept part: On the other end of the threaded rod is a similar cylindrical part that is slightly LARGER than the bushing. It will sit on the "rim" of the part (example: Lower Control Arm) and allow the bushing to be pushed through it. Because the bushing is pushed through it, the length needs to be greater than the length of the bushing.
  • Let's Summarize: For every bushing you are going to need 2 things that are very dependent on each bushing size 1) a cylindrical part slightly SMALLER than the bushing diameter, and 2) a cylindrical part slightly LARGER than the bushing diameter.
  • The Tricky Part: Both parts need to be just the right size (and be strong). Why you ask? Think about each bushing. They all have a metal sleeve that encompasses the outside of the bushing. The "wall" or thickness of this sleeve is small. Inside this wall is rubber, followed by metal to accept the bolt. If you push upon the rubber or bolt hold the outer "wall" will not move. Yes, you got the rubber and bolt hole out, but the metal sleeve still remains and needs to come out. Some take a saw and cut the sleeve. This is an option, but there is a better way. Now think about the "Accept" part I mentioned above, it also has to be just the right size to sit on the "rim" of the part. All parts have to sit flush and perfectly straight.
  • SOOOOOOOO: Before you start to remove an old bushing, you are on a hunt for just the right size Push and Accept cylinders. Once you find this, removing a bushing is pretty easy (kinda).

The below DIY will guide you through each bushing. I will do my best to document the process and note any tips:

2x Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Removal and Install:
I bought the Schwaben tool for this removal and install (No other tools required). With the Schwaben tool there is nothing complicated. Removal is nearly identical to the install. The only difference when pressing back is to use the rectangle piece of metal that will sit flat and is slightly wider than the bushing. It's ok to be wider when pressing in this pushing as it does not go 100% of the way in. I left the same amount of metal exposed on each side.
Below is a picture of the removal:

Below is a picture of the final bushing with ECS limiters installed (they just slide in between the bushing and harness) and back in it's Rear Trailing Arm harness:



4x Outer Upper and Lower Control Arm Ball Joint Removal and Install:
Ok. These bad boys are a bit more complicated because you will need some more parts. Go to the local auto parts store and get the largest "ball joint" tool rental set they have. I think I rented a 35 piece set. The set will most likely have something that looks like the black cylinder on the right of the picture below. This black cylinder will be the receiver of the ball joint once pressed. The push part is a piece of exhaust pipe from the same auto parts store. Tip: bring your new ball joint with you to the store and pick out a piece of exhaust pipe that fits OVER the ball joint rubber AND is just smaller than the diameter of the ball joint. The rubber will rip if you try to push on it (I ruined 3 new ball joints when trying to press back in via the rubber). In the below photo you can see this silver exhaust pipe on the left. Now using the threaded rod from Schwaben tool you can press this out. TIP: The exhaust pipe is strong, but not that strong. You will have to place washers (see below) to prevent the Schwaben "C" from denting the exhaust pipe. TIP: The alignment of all the tools attached needs to be perfect/perfect/perfect. Get the washers on straight and centered to the pipe, get the pipe to be perfectly resting on the ball joint circumference. I went through 3 exhaust pipes because I was rushing. If not straight, when tightened the exhaust pipe would warp/bend because it was not aligned perfectly. It takes practice. Now that I have removed 4, ruined 3 new ones, and correctly installed 4, I am feeling super confident about the process. I say this to not make you feel bad if you mess up and have to get a new exhaust gasket or order new ball joints. Again same process to get ball joint OUT is the same process to get back IN. TIP: I had to remove the shoe brake to give me the space needed for the lower ball joints. Kind of a bummer as now I have another thing to re-install. For my setup, there was no other way... I needed the space removing the shoe brake afforded.
Below is a photo the the ball just just pressed out. The washers are not centered as the whole system gets "un tensioned" once the ball joint comes out, and so the washers slide. Remember, while pushing everything must be perfectly centered.



4x Inner Upper and Lower Control Arm Bushing Removal and Install:
Removal: Similar to the outer ball joints, you need more tools than just the Schwaben tool for the inner bushings. Even with the 35 piece ball joint tool rental from the auto parts store, I did not have a "receiving" cylinder with a circumstance just bigger than the bushing AND long enough to accept once full pressed out. The solution, use a bench vice. Again go to the auto parts store and buy a exhaust pipe just small than the circumference of the bushing. Then assemble something that looks like the below to press all 4 bushings out. Good news, all bushings are the exact same circumference. TIP: If you can, cut the exhaust pipe down to be smaller. This makes it stronger and less prone to warping as a result of not having things perfectly aligned. TIP: On the lower control arms, I placed washers in the control arm to preserve the distance between the metal.



Install: The install is slightly easier. I bought a large diameter socket for the accepting end. This way I did not have to use the bench vice (which would have worked fine). The bushing will stick out a bit on both sides, so the accepting socket does not need to be too deep. Again, use washers to preserve the distance of the metal on the lower control arms. TIP: Since these bushings are long, I would take extra/extra/extra time to ensure alignment of tool was perfect/perfect/perfect before pressing back in. This was another reason I did not use the bench vice to press in the new bushings. It was just too hard to get alignment of the tools. The bushing kept going in crooked. Then I want to the below method and it went in straight.
Below is a picture of the install setup used:



2x Differential Bushing:
Ok. After replacing the 2 bushings attached to the differential, I learned a HUGE trick. Step 1) find the right cylinder from the rented ball joint tool from the auto parts store. This should be pretty easy as you have some room to have a few different sizes. The trick is what to use to press out the bushing. I could not find a exhaust pipe with just the right size diameter. So I ended up grinding down a washer to be just smaller than the circumstance of the bushing. This worked.... BUT there is a FAR better way. Instead press the old bushing out using the new bushing. This will essentially swap the old for the new. This is possible due to the fact the bushings do not have any protruding inner sleeve. You can place the new bushing flush to the old bushing.
I do not have a photo of this process. Still hopefully from removing and installing the the other bushings, you can visualize.


4x Subframe Bushings:
Keep in mind the 2 front subframe bushings and the 2 rear subframe bushings are different. Same circumference, but different and this is important when installing the bushings. After reading a lot about the different techniques to remove these 4 bushings I landed on the below process and it worked really well. Process/Tools: Use the Schwaben RTAB tool, along with a cylinder from the ball joint press rented from auto parts store. I could not find a cylinder that was just smaller than the circumference of the subframe bushing to act as the "pusher". So this became a problem. The solution was finding a cylinder that was too small and use the following process. Get the torch and heat the OUTSIDE of the subframe where the bushing is sitting. I heated for about 30 seconds. Your goal is to indirectly heat/melt the rubber that surrounds the bushing via heating the subframe. Other DIY like to burn the entire bushing and this is simply not necessary. Heat then use the Schwaben RTAB tool to press the bushing out using the cylinder that is too small. The cylinder will be pushing on the rubber. Since the bushing outside is now starting to melt, the bushing will slide out pretty easily and thus pushing on inner rubber actually works. The trick is to not heat the subframe too much and then start to melt the entire bushing. You just want to heat the outside of the subframe just enough to start melting the outside rubber sleeve of the bushing.
Below are some pictures. Follow safety procedures with torch. I torched outside in a safe area.

Below is how I pushed the new bushings in: (OMG I am glad I cleaned my wall and baseboard before my wife freaked out !!!)



1x Differential Bushings:
This 1 differential bushing is attached to the Rear Axle Carrier. I used the exhaust pipe technique to remove and install the new bushing. No photo. But pretty self explanatory.


That should be it and you should be done. Good work, you just saved a lot of money and know that it was done right.:


Last edited by Contracheatcode; Thu, Oct-25-2018 at 06:34:52 PM.
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Old Thu, Oct-25-2018, 06:32:45 PM   #63
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain's Log: With all the bushings out and the new bushings in, it's time to start assembly. See prior posts that now contain the DIY. Thank you to everyone out there that post/create DIY. I could not have done the bushings without following other DIY. Everyone has a slightly different technique. Read and adopt the right technique for you.

Over the past few days I have been cleaning parts and painting some parts black to prevent any rust. I do live in NoCal so rust is a non issue. Still, parts like the control arms were pretty dirty and I could only remove some baked on grime by sanding down to metal. I'll post some pictures of the painted parts. They look so nice all clean.

I also used "Krud Kutter The Must for Rust Remover & Inhibitor" on the nuts and bolts. There is just something wrong about putting a dirty bolt back on a shinny clean part. OMG this stuff is pretty amazing. Smelly, but amazing.
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Old Thu, Oct-25-2018, 09:25:40 PM   #64
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Nice work, Mike. The only thing you may have wanted to do was reinforce the sway bar tabs. They often break when using a larger rear sway bar.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2018, 01:12:40 AM   #65
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

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Nice work, Mike. The only thing you may have wanted to do was reinforce the sway bar tabs. They often break when using a larger rear sway bar.
Good thought. Thank you for feedback. I plan to continue using stock sway bar. So hopefully I can get more life out of the current tabs. Plus, I want to get this bad boy back on the road sooner than later. I have driven so little on it. I have not even filled up the tank since owning.
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Old Fri, Oct-26-2018, 06:57:30 PM   #66
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Did you pre-load RTABs?
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Old Sat, Oct-27-2018, 07:44:57 PM   #67
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

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Did you pre-load RTABs?
+one.
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Old Mon, Oct-29-2018, 05:03:04 AM   #68
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Thanks for reminder. I too like to do things the right way, so no doubt I will be preloading the RTAB to be not preloaded on the ground.

I plan to install the below without the differential, drop the vehicle to rest on my 4 ramps, then tighten all the 4 control arm bushings while at ride height.


I’ll take measurements and also measure the angle of the RTAB carrier, relative to the trailing arm. Then lower everything back down. Tighten the RTAB based on resting measurements. Then install with differential.
.

Let me know if there is a better way?

Last edited by Contracheatcode; Mon, Oct-29-2018 at 06:53:27 AM.
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Old Mon, Oct-29-2018, 08:38:00 AM   #69
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Looking sweet all cleaned up.

I did something similar measuring what I approximated ride to be at and the angle of the carrier. There's a specific tool for this:http://i22.photobucket.com/albums/b3...C00887copy.jpg but I don't see it being accurate with a lowered car.

You might find it easier to install the bare subframe first to the body. Then arms and trailing arms.

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Old Wed, Nov-07-2018, 06:10:15 PM   #70
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Default Re: E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal

Captain’s Log: We are in the holiday season, so available time is dwindling. Quick update below:

- Installed the rear axle. Lowered the car on its wheels with new springs and shocks. Adjusted ride height to 12.75 inches (center of wheel to fender). This should allow for 13.5 inches in front, thus providing the forum recommended 0.75 inch rake. Tightened all the control arm bolts to proper torques while at ride height. Also measures the position/ angle of RTAB carrier.

- Removed rear axle so that I can torque the RTAB bolt with the carrier at the measured position. This will ensure proper "pre-load" when I reinstall the axle.

- Changed the differential fluid. I went with the ridiculously expense BMW fluid as I was tired of reading the debates about which aftermarket is best. Specifically I used 3.5x of the "Differential Fluid, SAE 75W-140, (BMW SAF-XJ Fluid), Full Synthetic Hypoid Gear Oil for Multi-Disc Limited-Slip Differentials (450ml Container)". Also bought new differential drain plug bolts (maybe a little overkill as the old ones looked perfect) and new crush washers.

I’ll take a picture soon of the new ride height (looks so nice). In the meantime here is a picture this AM just after changing differential fluid.



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Last edited by Contracheatcode; Wed, Nov-07-2018 at 06:15:36 PM.
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Discussing E36 M3 4-Door: Contracheatcode Build Journal in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)