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      12-10-2014, 06:10 AM   #1
e46m3tony
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DIY: Rear differential and Subframe solid aluminum bushings

I wanted to give back to the community since i have received a lot of help

there were some DIYs out there for subframe bushings, but i wanted to do a full one where the whole subframe was removed.

I am not a mechanic and so please correct anything if it is wrong, and please do this at your own discretion. This job wasn't all that hard, but i did this all by my self.

First off my differential bolt broke off a while ago, and i noticed my bushing was also kind of ruined when that happened, but i opted out and just replaced the nut, not know that it would cause even more damage because i did not replace the bushing.




a month or two passed.....

herd a clunk again... and what do you know... broken bolt again... and bent subframe




ended up buying an used subframe from eBay. was in pretty good condition, checked to make sure it matched up with my rear, and wasn't bent. fit perfectly.

first i jacked up the car, and placed it on jackstands, also placed my rims under the car (extra precaution)

removed the V brace,

removed the exhaust

started to remove the differential by
starting with the E14 torx from the drive axles there are 6 on each side
then the 6 E12 torx on the driveshaft to differential.
I used Zipties top hold up the drive axles and drive shaft (DONT LET THEM HANG)

the drive shaft is stuck onto the differential, there should be some dimples where u can use a flat head to pry the differential and drive shaft apart, also mark up the driveshaft and differential with markings, so you can install it back in the same position, same goes for the drive axles, i just made some marks using a paint pen.

to drop the differential i used a lift table, the differential is REALLY HEAVY there are two front position bolts, and 1 rear position bolt, loosen then drop the differential.

Subframe removal:

disconnect the brake sensors, and rear height sensor, and speed sensor
to get to those you need to remove the wheel well covers

also you need to remove the E Brake, i did that by taking off the brakes, and rotors, and then removing the E brake and hard line.

also the brake lines need to be removed. compress the brakes in the car, and leave them compressed as long as the brake lines are disconnected. i used a stick.



then remove the bolt from the bottom of the rear strut.

then you are ready to drop the subframe.

subframe is held on by four e18 torx? I'm going off memory.

loosen all and drop the subframe slowly, i used a lift table to hold up the subframe



remove the bushings....

now this step is a PITA.

but after you find some thing that works.... it becomes easy. i had to macgyver a few things.

this tool could be found at harbor freight, rod bearing puller, i cut off the original nut it came with and bought the biggest bolt to fit. then i pulled them out using PB blaster and pulling it out, now this tool is a one time use thing... bends easily
i fortified it after i noticed that it was bending



i used this method for the 4 subframe bushings and the rear differential bushing.

for the front position differential bushings i used a 2 jaw puller; it pressed out the middle of the bushing, but left the metal part still stuck in, so i used an electric saw to cut the metal part then pried it out, but be careful with the electric saw, you don't want to start cutting into the frame. i did it very slowly and checked it every so often to the point where i could pry it out with a flat head.



after all the bushings are pulled out i cleaned the while subframe and sprayed off with some high temp paint where some of the metals chipped off.

to press the differential bushings in i used the screw press method basically used the same tool to take it out to put it back in: press the bushings with the lip side facing the bottom.



for the subframe bushings i started to use the screw pull method, but after getting it half way in it started to get difficult. it takes a lot of force to get these bushings in. so i tapped out and gave in and bought a 12 ton shop press. by the way if any one is interested I'm selling it for 80 dollars..... LOL i have a 12 ton shop press sitting in my garage taking up space but if not you can buy this at harbor freight, makes life a lot easier. also use a little grease on the bushings, i used a minimal amount, because I'm not sure if you are supposed to use a lot of grease.



press the bushings in, also you need to allow a hole on the bottom of the press, since a part of the bushing goes past the frame housing.

also make sure the bushing goes straight into the housing, you have to be extra careful so you don't warp your subframe. my bushings did not go in straight at first, but after a few adjustments they straightened out. what i mean by that is, while pressing the bushings, i checked every time i pressed it to try to adjust the where i placed more pressure on the bushing so it would go in straight. or taping the side that was higher with a hammer. another note is with the bigger subframe bushing i used 3 pieces of 1/4 inch steel plates as a spacer between the subframe because i saw that it flexed a little while it was getting pressed down.
the space in the picture circled in red



you can do all that to press in the bushings or send it out to a reputable shop to press them in for you, i was going to send it into an indy shop... but it was the weekend, and i wanted it done asap... so i just ended up getting a press.

luckily it all came out fine and i didn't warp anything! woooo






after pressing in the bushings every thing is the reverse pushing back in your subframe and raise it then bolt everything back up and get an alignment and bleed brakes

also recommend replacing differential fluid since your differential is already out.

torque values:
Rear shock: 100nm
Subframe: 100nm M12
Drain and fill: differential 60nm
Differential front: 100nm M12
Differential rear: 165nm M14
Differential drive axle: e92 s65 M12 120nm*
-M12 torx screw with ribs
Brakes 65nm
Drive shaft to differential : 20nm and 90 degree angel M10 ZNS3

Last edited by e46m3tony; 12-10-2014 at 06:24 AM.
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      12-10-2014, 08:57 AM   #2
pbonsalb
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Great job. Thanks for posting the details. I will be doing this soon on my 08M3.
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      12-10-2014, 01:22 PM   #3
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Seems like a great time to do the inner control arm bushings as well, what kind of shape were yours in? I don't even know if those are rubber on the M3 or if they're the hybrid monoball-type found in some other places in the M3's suspension so maybe they don't wear much
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      12-10-2014, 06:40 PM   #4
e46m3tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richbot View Post
Seems like a great time to do the inner control arm bushings as well, what kind of shape were yours in? I don't even know if those are rubber on the M3 or if they're the hybrid monoball-type found in some other places in the M3's suspension so maybe they don't wear much
i bought a subframe off ebay, and the bushings seemed to be in pretty good shape, even the subframe bushings seemed to be in good shape, but since i was removing the subframe i decided to swap them out any ways. but i think the inner control arm bushings are rubber. i didn't bother changing them, but if i did I'm pretty sure it would be easy even with the subframe in the car.
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      12-10-2014, 10:47 PM   #5
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Haven't read this yet but you're the man! Bookmarked for later.
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      12-14-2014, 12:56 PM   #6
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Brilliant,...
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      12-15-2014, 03:40 AM   #7
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So you stacked (3) 1/4" thick metal spacers in between the two subframe halves to keep it from collapsing when pressing the new bushings in? Is it exactly a 3/4" gap, or should i get something a little larger like say 13/16" or 7/8" to fill the gap? I ask because I have been searching for what to use to fill the void but was unsure of the exact dimensions needed. Thanks in advance!
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      12-15-2014, 03:57 AM   #8
e46m3tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrecklessfool View Post
So you stacked (3) 1/4" thick metal spacers in between the two subframe halves to keep it from collapsing when pressing the new bushings in? Is it exactly a 3/4" gap, or should i get something a little larger like say 13/16" or 7/8" to fill the gap? I ask because I have been searching for what to use to fill the void but was unsure of the exact dimensions needed. Thanks in advance!

I had 3 slabs of 1/4 inch thick metal I used for my bushing puller tool, so I ussed that. So yeh 3/4. There was still a little space available, but very minimal. Maybe 3/4 and shove a dime in there?
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      12-15-2014, 04:42 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46m3tony
Quote:
Originally Posted by wrecklessfool View Post
So you stacked (3) 1/4" thick metal spacers in between the two subframe halves to keep it from collapsing when pressing the new bushings in? Is it exactly a 3/4" gap, or should i get something a little larger like say 13/16" or 7/8" to fill the gap? I ask because I have been searching for what to use to fill the void but was unsure of the exact dimensions needed. Thanks in advance!

I had 3 slabs of 1/4 inch thick metal I used for my bushing puller tool, so I ussed that. So yeh 3/4. There was still a little space available, but very minimal. Maybe 3/4 and shove a dime in there?
Perfect. Thanks for the quick response. I know BMW has a special tool specifically for this use but I cannot find it offered for sale anywhere. I also don't see mention of it anywhere across the Internet either. Makes me wonder what the performance shops out there are doing, if anything at all. Turner Motorsports solid subframe bushing install instructions say this gap must be minded or you WILL damage the subframe. Thanks again.
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      12-15-2014, 07:08 PM   #10
e46m3tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrecklessfool View Post
Perfect. Thanks for the quick response. I know BMW has a special tool specifically for this use but I cannot find it offered for sale anywhere. I also don't see mention of it anywhere across the Internet either. Makes me wonder what the performance shops out there are doing, if anything at all. Turner Motorsports solid subframe bushing install instructions say this gap must be minded or you WILL damage the subframe. Thanks again.
Yeh I didn't even know 🙊 I just noticed it flexing so I found a solution for it haha; stick something in there so it won't flex and you should be golden; buy a bunch of washers and shove it in there until it is solid
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      12-18-2014, 08:55 PM   #11
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So.....review of the bushings? How are they compared to OEM?

Have you replaced your diff/tranny/engine mounts as well?
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      12-18-2014, 08:58 PM   #12
e46m3tony
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 7499rich View Post
So.....review of the bushings? How are they compared to OEM?

Have you replaced your diff/tranny/engine mounts as well?
differential bushings are solid as well; as seen in the pictures. tranny and engine mounts are stock; they don't really concern me yet.

i will be doing a full review on them soon to be posted in the suspension and chassie section
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      01-07-2016, 08:54 PM   #13
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Has anyone been able to replace the subframe bushings without completely removing the subframe? I have read some DIYs where they install the stock M3 bushings onto 1 series and they just angled the subframe and wedged in the tool. Is this possible on the M3?
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      01-09-2016, 03:48 AM   #14
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I am curious about this too
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      01-31-2016, 11:04 AM   #15
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I used a hydraulic press when I did mine. It was harder to press in the metal bushings than it was to press out the rubber ones. I don't think any non-hydraulic tool will be able to do the job considering the tight space to work with when the sub frame is in the car.
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      06-02-2016, 03:08 PM   #16
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Just knocked this out this past weekend and figured I'd add some additional torque values for those who go my route or just need the torque values in general. My original subframe was damaged just like e46m3tony when one of my front diff bolts snapped. So I ended up buying a brand new subframe from ECS tuning and transferring the wheel carrier, it's associated arms and the stabilizer bar over to the new subframe. I have access to a tech manual, but for those who don't here are the torque specs.

Stabilizer bar to subframe = 21 NM
Stabilizer bar to Stabilizer link = 58 NM

Trailing arm to subframe = 100 NM
Trailing arm to wheel carrier = 100 NM

Guide arm to subframe = 100 NM
Guide arm to wheel carrier = 100 NM + 90 degree turn

Upper control arm to subframe = 100 NM
Upper control arm to wheel carrier = 100 NM + 90 degree turn

Toe arm to subframe = 100 NM
Toe arm to wheel carrier = 100 NM

Camber arm to subframe = 165 NM
Camber arm to wheel carrier = 165 NM

Compression strut (or V brace as tony calls it, either way it's the 2 black support bars that connect the front of your subframe to where your x-pipe is mounted)

Compression strut to x-pipe mount = 24 NM
Compression strut to chassis (2 E torx slightly forward of front subframe mounting point) = 47 NM + 90 degree turn
Compression strut to subframe = 100 NM which is of course the same torque as the subframe, since the 2 pieces are joined together

Another side note. Tony used a lift table when removing his subframe and diff, I used my transmission jack, works just as well, just ensure the chain is snug around whatever you're raising or lowering.

Thanks to e46m3tony for starting the initial thread, and I hope this additional info helps those who need it.
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