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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 Tue, May-19-2009, 12:14:44 AM   #1
fiveightandten
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Default Another booty refurb (56K, you fail)

I finished my complete rear end tear down just in time for the driving school and event I had this weekend. I figured i'd throw a few pictures up.

The following parts were replaced:
-4 Subframe to chassis bushings [subframe mounts] (OEM)
-3 Diff to subframe mounts (OEM)
-Front diff mount bolt
-2 RTABs (OEM with Vorshlag limiters)
-2 RSMs (Bimmerworld lifetime with Vorshlag reinforcement plates)
-2 Upper control arm to subframe bushings (OEM)
-2 Lower control arm to subframe bushings (OEM)
-2 Upper control arm outer ball joints (OEM)
-2 Lower control arm outer ball joints (OEM)
-3 Diff oil seals [input and 2 outputs] (OEM)
-Exhaust hangers, front and rear (OEM)
-2 Transmission mounts (OEM)
-Drive shaft center bearing and dust shields (OEM)


Some parts of the job were a ***** with the car on jack stands, in a tight garage, by myself (ie. getting the diff back in ). But all in all, it was more time-consuming than difficult.

The car feels tighter, more predictable, and more composed under heavy suspension load. Going with OEM rubber again made things more difficult. But i'm happy with the results. If I had to recommend anything to people to *definitely* replace, it's the outer control arm ball joints and the RTAB's. The limiters make a pretty noticeable difference in RTAB flex, and the balljoints on my 117K mile car were loose as hell. They were by far the part that showed the most wear. My subframe bushings were totally fine, and even the RTABs showed only minimal separation.

If you intend to do this, either have the right tools on hand to press out old bushings, or pay a shop to do them. I went half and half and dealt with the RTABs and the balljoints and let them fight with the subframe, the oil seals, and the inner bushings. Well worth the 1.5 hour shop bill.

Anyways...on to some point and shoot snapshots. Nothing fancy here, the SLR doesn't come into the garage when i'm gettin' dirty.

In case you've never had your rotors off...this is what the e-brake adjustment looks like. Ya know...that thing you're stabbing at from through the hole for the lug bolt.


Diff out...




Subframe down...Score one for Nick.




Balljoints being extracted with my makeshift press (a few trips to Lowe's)...


And...out


New ones in. What you *don't* see here is that I tore the boots on THREE of the new balljoints installing them. I'm talking super-small tears. But I noticed them and didn't feel good about it. So I took them out, and bought new ones AGAIN. A $100 mistake, but better safe than sorry. Total Score one for the M3)...


All the parts in the trunk of my GS-R, back from the shop after I let them deal with things while I took out the RTABs, balljoints, centerbearing, ect.



Preloading the upper control arms (do NOT plan on preloading these when you get it back in the car. You'll have a hard time getting a wrench on the front nut. Measure it, and do it while the subframe is out)


RSM time...Bimmerworld lifetime mounts and Vorshlag plates



And of course...it's a BMW. You peel the trunk carpet back and what do you find??? MORE carpet! (Well, sound deadening really).


Shocks out...


RMSs were replaced by the PO less than 20K ago, and in perfect shape.


No cracks


And...in with the new...


This is Ben's $1 electric impact...which he kindly let me borrow. It was responsible for not only freeing up the RTAB console bolts, but a number of stubborn subframe and RTA bolts as well. Thanks Ben Much more convenient than my air tools.


The mess after the teardown...



Subframe back in...all nice new rubber up there...



Diff goes up (you see the picture of this in here...but let me tell you how fun it is on your back lifting this thing up there...even with the help of a floor jack)


New diff bolt


And...she was ready just in time to go to the autoX event this past weekend

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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 12:22:18 AM   #2
PurduinaM3
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Nice Nick!! Nice to see some others take the time to do this too (even though I think you had this planned before me, haha). Sucks about the ball joints, but at least you got it right. No tears or anything on the subframe where the sway bar mounts?
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 12:28:45 AM   #3
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Nice Nick!! Nice to see some others take the time to do this too (even though I think you had this planned before me, haha). Sucks about the ball joints, but at least you got it right. No tears or anything on the subframe where the sway bar mounts?
Yeah, I tend to procrastinate, then blame it on the weather.

All the sheet metal and subframe metal was fine. There's definitely some surface rust on the subframe. I thought about painting it, but after talking to you about Ben's comments, then talking to the other Ben, I decided against it. I feel like I may have done more harm than good trying to remove the surface rust to paint it with something that's inferior to the OEM coat they put on it.

Can't wait to see your car all finished up with the new pipes.
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 12:30:41 AM   #4
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Yeah, I tend to procrastinate, then blame it on the weather.

All the sheet metal and subframe metal was fine. There's definitely some surface rust on the subframe. I thought about painting it, but after talking to you about Ben's comments, then talking to the other Ben, I decided against it. I feel like I may have done more harm than good trying to remove the surface rust to paint it with something that's inferior to the OEM coat they put on it.

Can't wait to see your car all finished up with the new pipes.
Yeah, the more I thought about that the more it made sense to me. If I had time I would have had all the parts sent out for powdercoating, and done a LOT more cleaning, but time was not on our side...
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 12:40:27 AM   #5
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Looks good Nick. Bit worried about that rust though, how do you feel about it? <--- NVM, just read your response *edit*

You took advantage of the new image per post count rule too, hah!
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 01:04:12 AM   #6
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$1 electric impact with sticky trigger ftw!

nice nick!
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 01:09:42 AM   #7
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Looks good - I did almost the same job over winter less the ball joints. Those will be done next weekend however. Glad to hear I have an noticeable improvment to look forward to!
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 03:31:14 AM   #8
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looks good nick.. glad it all worked out



+10000000 on putting the diff back in all by yourself on the floor when the car is on jack stands.. NOT FUN, even with a floor jack
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 04:17:48 AM   #9
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nice nick!


i dont look foward to doing mine.........
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Old Tue, May-19-2009, 04:20:01 AM   #10
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nice nick!


i dont look foward to doing mine.........
It's not that bad if you replace with Powerflex. Hint, use an air hammer. I bet you I could replace two rtabs on an E36 with an air hammer, an impact, and some powerflex in less than 30 minutes.
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Discussing Another booty refurb (56K, you fail) 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)