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  #1  
Old 07-17-2021, 03:04 PM
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Subframe bushing replacement instructions?

I have the bushings (Lemfoerder) and the eBay tool kit to replace the 4x bushings on the rear subframe of my 2001 3.0i E53.

I have searched high and low for instructions on how to do the job. The following video is the closest I can find to something useful (plenty of bad videos, too):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kD8winbz8kE

But I was hoping to get a set of instructions saying how to do it, lubricant for removal and assembly, alignment of bushings if that matters, etc. Found nothing at all anywhere, even from the kit, as if it is so easy and obvious that no instructions are needed. I can make that work, but still was hoping to find something written. Any ideas?
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Old 07-17-2021, 03:34 PM
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It's pretty straight forward. Muffler hangers can be bent out of the way. Torch(even just propane) heat helps with removal. Maybe clean the hole with a flap wheel. I just used some anti-sieze for assembly. Watch the alignment.
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Old 07-17-2021, 10:45 PM
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I think my Repair manual has the steps. I'm about to do the procedure myself. If it's in there I'll make a PDF for you.
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:16 AM
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Funny, I had not thought the Bentley would have useful info on this, due to using the special tool. But I looked it up, scanned and attached here.

In there it does have some good, solid info, such as bushing alignment (arrows fore-aft within 7*) and lubricant (Circolight - googled on that for a while, and will probably use dish soap as a substitute). Also pre-heating prior to removal, with a heat gun with < 600*C for < 2 minutes.

Also solid, but wrong is the spec on torquing those M14 bolts. The Bentley says "163 Nm (94 ft-lb)", but those values are not the same. I'll probably go with the 94 ft-lb if they're class 8.8, or 163 Nm if they're class 10.9.

I'll guess how to make the eBay tool work should be self explanatory, or will rely on that youtube linked above. I know none of this is difficult.

But if I were to follow the Bentley literally, I would first drop the subframe 2", which includes a bunch of other things like disconnecting the differential and removing the exhaust. I know those are not strictly required, so I will have to guess what is actually required. I'll probably just try to do none of the extra stuff until I'm forced to.

I've seen many reports of people bending the exhaust hanger to get the required clearance, vs. the Bentley says to remove the exhaust (so you don't need to bend anything). I know my exhaust comes off pretty easily, so that's one I won't mind doing.

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Old 07-18-2021, 01:22 AM
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As far as I remember you don't have to remove anything. Do one side at a time and you might have to pry down a bit for clearance depending how bad the bushings are. It's a bit of a work-out though so I would schedule in a beer break
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Old 07-18-2021, 02:59 AM
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"break". Real men use "beer" as a unit of time. Eg "that will take about three beers to change that out"

Bwahhaahhaa
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Old 07-18-2021, 12:55 PM
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I did mine with the subframe completely off of the vehicle a couple months back. you can totally do it with the subframe still attached to the car (one side at a time). I had my subframe off for other reasons. As I recall the Bently manual suggested heating the bushing area of the subframe with a hot air gun for a bit to aid removal. As for installation I got some of this:

https://www.amazon.com/IPC-Emulsion-...ct_top?ie=UTF8

It's made for rubber parts, and made pressing the new ones in a breeze.

Good Luck!
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Old 07-18-2021, 03:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
As far as I remember you don't have to remove anything. Do one side at a time and you might have to pry down a bit for clearance depending how bad the bushings are. It's a bit of a work-out though so I would schedule in a beer break
Agreed, mine were a workout for sure. First one came right out, but subframe alignment and creating space for the tool on top of the bushing became increasingly difficult for the remaining 3. I was able to use a pry bar for the second one but then had to loosen the bolts on the other side and start to let the subframe down on all four corners and pry liberally.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:00 PM
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Put new bushes in the freezer prior to installing them so they shrink a bit and warm the subframe again after removing the old bushes. If you use any lubricant be sure it's water soluble. The connection between bushing and subframe is supposed to be solid soon after installation so any permanent petroleum based lubricant is out of the question.
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Old 07-18-2021, 08:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
As far as I remember you don't have to remove anything.
Depends on the type of exhaust. At least on V8 models the hanger for rear silencers is directly on the way while doing the rear subframe bushes so either remove the exhaust or warm up and bend the hanger out of the way.
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