taparsons New Reader
Dec. 6, 2015 9:37 a.m.

I am looking at replacing all of the rear bushings in my M3. However all I found on the BMW forums was a bunch of arguing. What is the best handling bushings that are tolerable/ won't cause damage when driven on the street regularly? I am also looking at doing a budget suspension while it's apart. I recently picked up a new in box bilstein B8 strut for 80$ so i planned on going with them, however is it worth having the adjustable konis in the back or should I just stick with the Bilsteins all the way around? Also what springs are recommended? I find my car to already be quite low.

Also, has anyone battled super rusty subframe mounting hardware? Advice? I plan on repeat soakings of PB Blaster.

CyberEric New Reader
Dec. 6, 2015 7:28 p.m.

It's been years since I did the bushings on mine (I sold my E36 M3 in 2012), but I want to say I used whatever Turner was selling. It wasn't delrin, that's for sure. I'm not sure it matters that much as long as they are new bushings and aren't delrin (too stiff for street use, for me at least). I did put the RTAB limiters in, which made a big difference in keeping the rear end more planted feeling in autox.

If you are going the bilstein route you will have to use the stock strut housings in the front if I remember right. I think the HR sport springs pair pretty well with those from what I remember. I went Koni coilover with mine, but the Single adjustable Konis aren't all that amazing. If you are just street driving I think Billys and sport springs will be nice, though you should know that it will be slightly lower than it is stock.

mad_machine MegaDork
Dec. 6, 2015 8:47 p.m.

for what it is worth.. my old 318ti came from Mass and rust eventually ate the car.. but I never had any issues with unbolting -anything- from the car. Ze Germans use good quality metal on their nuts and bolts

VWguyBruce Dork
Dec. 6, 2015 8:57 p.m.

I just did this on my E30 and I replaced all the rubber with Condor Speed Shop UHMW bushings.

All my subframe hardware was VERY rusty. Drop the whole rear beam as a single unit, then you have room to work with good sockets/wrenches and cheater bars. Lots easier to work if a bolt breaks since you have the room to work it out.

Careful while you're doing the work since it will be the best time to replace the guibo, center bearing, rubber brake lines, upgrade exhaust, weld in all the rear end reinforcements, new sway bars, etc etc etc

Robbie SuperDork
Dec. 6, 2015 9:00 p.m.

I'd recommend from experience powerflex subframe bushings and stock rtabs with the limiters like mentioned above. Really the subframe doesn't need to be moving that much.

For springs and shocks, guys who use hr springs and bilstein b8s on e36s usually get the best bang for buck at autoxes. Amazingly streetable and great in the cones too.

irish44j PowerDork
Dec. 6, 2015 9:08 p.m.

Depends on the bushing. For subframe/diff mounts and control arms, I like the Condor Speed Shop UHMW bushings. Direct feel with very minimal increase in NVH (in my experience). For tranny and engine mounts on a street car I'd go with a soft-durometer poly (or stock). For RTABs, Condor or Poly.

MINIzguy Reader
Dec. 7, 2015 12:57 a.m.

I run 75D front control arm bushings on my car and don't feel any excessive NVH. Poly at this point in time is also going to last the lifetime of the car.

In the rear, I'd only do stock RTABs with limiters. Poly or delrin RTABs will bind up as they deflect, and everybody says that stock w/ limiters don't bind up. I don't see any issue with poly subframe bushings though.

Furious_E Reader
Dec. 7, 2015 7:39 a.m.
mad_machine wrote: for what it is worth.. my old 318ti came from Mass and rust eventually ate the car.. but I never had any issues with unbolting -anything- from the car. Ze Germans use good quality metal on their nuts and bolts

I must have had some bad Galvanic juju going on with mine then, since EVERYTHING seemed to be horrendous to remove. The car was otherwise extremely clean and rust free, fasteners were just as bad as any car I had ever worked on.

The only bushings I ever got around to replacing on mine before it was totaled were the FCABs. Went with Powerflex poly, NVH was fine for me although they did squeak a little.

Joe Gearin Associate Publisher
Dec. 7, 2015 10:27 a.m.

I've recently replaced the subframe (Condor Speed Shop) Diff (Powerflex poly) and RTABs (Condor Speed Shop) bushings on my E36 M3. There is a bit more NVH, but nothing objectionable. The car is much more planted than it was before, and the rear end feels more stable. I'm actually in the process of writing the update, as this was a pretty intensive operation.

Access to a lift and transmission jack are helpful (if not necessary) and you'll need a buddy to help. Lowering the subframe is dirty, time consuming and it can be dangerous. Take your time, check everything twice, and take a break if you get frustrated. Also---- replace the diff bolt while you are down there. The E36 Chassis cars have a design flaw, where just one 10mm bolt holds the diff onto the subframe. This bolt loosens over time and can shear. (mine did) Consider adding one of these Active Autowerks diff braces--- to eliminate the problem from happening.


taparsons New Reader
Dec. 7, 2015 2:48 p.m.

Thanks for all of your help! Grassroots people have consistently been the most helpful.

Can anyone recommend good budget tires?

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