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  #1  
Old 07-22-2021, 01:52 PM
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Rear lower control arm bushings

Has anyone had experience with replacing the "not available from BMW" lower control arm bushings? Did you go with the split Leomforder and the special tool to squish them or the Mehle that look like they go in without squishing? Mine don't seem to be bad, not loose, but they seem soft and I get the feeling that my alignment changes as I drive. Thanks!
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Old 07-22-2021, 01:54 PM
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I've seen threads on xo covering changing those bushings. They are the only thing I haven't changed and my steering wheel shifted from dead straight after replacing everything else so I think you are on to something.


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Old 07-24-2021, 08:47 AM
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I did mine a couple of months ago. I used the split lemforder ones. It really helps to have a shop press to pop the old ones out, and get the new ones pressed in. Like several others on XO I just used hose clamps to compress them for the install.
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Old 07-24-2021, 11:34 AM
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I actually tried hose clamps yesterday and was a bit surprised (but glad!) that it worked. I don't have the shop press though and only the universal bushing install kit in 2mm increments so I'm hoping that if maybe I press out the center piece first and get the bigger tread rod through that I can make that work. I wish I had spare control arms so that I could change the bushings ahead of time. The control arms actually come out easier than it looks and I can probably even cut the old bushing out if need be but if I can't get the new one in I'm hooped. Did you find the new Loemforder bushings to be stiff enough?? Mehle claims theirs are a bit stiffer than the originals which I like the sound of.
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Old 07-24-2021, 12:22 PM
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Iím happy with the stiffness of the lemforder ones. They are OE according to FcP euro. I only replaced mine because I was doing the whole rear end and figured why not. It was the consensus on several other threads I found that those swing arm bushings donít get stressed nearly as much as other suspension components and so most likely donít really need replacement. Based on what those do I would expect that the stiffer the bushing the faster it will need replacement. Lastly if you do the thing donít forget to wait till you load the suspension before you tighten the bolts for those bushings or theyíll die super fast.
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Old 07-24-2021, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
Has anyone had experience with replacing the "not available from BMW" lower control arm bushings? Did you go with the split Leomforder and the special tool to squish them or the Mehle that look like they go in without squishing? Mine don't seem to be bad, not loose, but they seem soft and I get the feeling that my alignment changes as I drive. Thanks!
I went with the Lemforder "need to be squished" style. Paid a machine shop to install them as I don't have a heavy press. The guy at the shop used hose clamps to "squish" them and as they were slid in he took them off.
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Old 07-30-2021, 08:10 PM
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So I took both sides apart and actually the lower control arm comes out easier than it looks but none of the bushings seemed that much different than the new ones so left the old ones in. I had a flash back to the early 90s when I did some alignments for the alignment guy when he went on holidays and I remember him really stressing to make any slotted or eccentric adjusters REALLY tight! Sure enough I think I was a victim of not getting the adjusters tight enough which was allowing my alignment to change. I should have taken out all the bolts and cleaned them on a wire wheel but I have grinding wheels on both sides of my grinder and didn't do it! Lesson learned and will for sure get a wire wheel on the other side which I meant to do many times but I'm just working on my own stuff in the garage so have been "getting by." Next time-- clean the bolts, lube with antisieze and torque with a 3 ft. bar.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 80stech View Post
So I took both sides apart and actually the lower control arm comes out easier than it looks but none of the bushings seemed that much different than the new ones so left the old ones in. I had a flash back to the early 90s when I did some alignments for the alignment guy when he went on holidays and I remember him really stressing to make any slotted or eccentric adjusters REALLY tight! Sure enough I think I was a victim of not getting the adjusters tight enough which was allowing my alignment to change. I should have taken out all the bolts and cleaned them on a wire wheel but I have grinding wheels on both sides of my grinder and didn't do it! Lesson learned and will for sure get a wire wheel on the other side which I meant to do many times but I'm just working on my own stuff in the garage so have been "getting by." Next time-- clean the bolts, lube with antisieze and torque with a 3 ft. bar.
<none of the bushings seemed that much different than the new ones so left the old ones in>

I would have still gone ahead and replaced them. Visual inspections can be tricky for components that have tight tolerances. If those bushing are years and years old, I wouldn't wait until there's a "catastrophic" failure like an obviously cracked or crumbling bushing. A shop press (harborfrieght) would slide them in like butter. There's a thread on here for this. Do a search.
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Last edited by X5only; 07-30-2021 at 10:54 PM.
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Old 07-30-2021, 10:53 PM
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Lubricated torque is 75% of dry torque FYI. You'll be at 33% over if you torque to spec with lubrication.
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Old 07-30-2021, 11:38 PM
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Haha, I guess I should have said "tighten" not "torque" with a 3 ft. bar. The bushings that are in actually look more like the Mehle ones with the double sleeve on the back one so maybe they where replaced by the previous owner. Installing the the Loemforder ones might have been a step backwards.
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