How to remove your E46 Rear Trailing Arm Bush and Replace with Powerflex bushes

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  1. How to remove your E46 Rear Trailing Arm Bush and Replace with Powerflex bushes 
    #1
    BMW Master
    Car Details
    L16YD L's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    330d SE Touring
    Year of Manufacture:
    2001
    Transmission Type:
    Manual
    Car Body Type:
    Estate
    L16YD L's Avatar
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    Apr 2009
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    Manchester
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    Hi,

    I got a vibration from my left rear wheel and its been bugging me so while i was checking with what i needed i checked the rear trailing arm brushes and they looked a little worse for wear. I did a search and found the following link:

    PowerFlex Rear Trailing Arm Bushing RTAB DIY - E46Fanatics

    Great guide and helped me out a lot but as i was following the guide there was some bits that he missed out and i though i would do my own version so you could use both.

    OK, before we start i need to say the following:

    *****I have performed the maintainace myself and i am comfortable with my ability to do so and i can not be held responsible if you damage your vehicle in an event to follow my guide.*****

    Took me about 3 hours to do, but please take your time and try not to rush. Here are the tools i used:

    Strong/Long Arm
    Ratchet
    Pry Bar
    Small Flat Head Screwdriver
    18mm Spanner
    18mm Socket
    Socket Extension
    Trolley Jack
    2 Axle Stands
    Lump Hammer
    Bush Removal Tool
    19mm Socket
    19mm Spanner
    Copper Grease
    Wet & Dry Paper
    Wire Bush
    WD40 or something similar

    In preparation for the work, i bought the Powerflex bushes off eBay, which were approximately £40 including P+P



    And the other thing i bought was the bush removal tool. I bought it off eBay again, £42.50 including P+P and its worth every penny. Here is the link:

    BMW 3 Series Rear Axle/Trailing Arm Bush Mounting Tool. | eBay

    And a picture:



    As some of you may notice the pictures flip from one side to the other, please just follow the guide as it is the same for both sides.

    Okay, lets start.

    1. Jack up the car on the front jacking point high enough so you can put an axle stand under the rear jacking point and enough space for you to work in. Please make sure it is secure and there is no movement.

    2. Remove the rear wheel

    3. As you look up to the rear arm, you will see the ABS sensor wire:



    There a 2 clips holding the wire (2 on the drvier's side and 1 on the passenger side), use the small flat head screwdriver to pop the clip off off and pull the wire out.




    4. Follow the wire up to a black box, you will see 2 clips on the side, unclip them and open the box.



    5. Take the connectors out and and unclip the connectors, clips on one side:




    6. As you look up to the front of the arm you will see 3 bolts:



    Use the strong arm, extension and 18mm socket to loosen the bolts. I worked mine out, I pulled and pushed on the bolts first to loosen them up and then once i knew they were free i would wind them out. Depending how out your car is and what kind of condition it is, please be careful as i ended up snapping 1 of the 3 bolts on both sides.






    7. Get your lump hammer and gently tap the arm until it pops out:





    8. Pull the arm down and wire brush the both sides to get ride of all the dirt and spray your WD40:




    9. You will need the ratchet, 18mm socket and 18mm spanner. Socket on one side and spanner on the other, undo the bolt (if its tight, use the strong arm) and take the bolt out:



    10. Use the pry bar and pry the bracket out. You should now see the bush:



    11. Time to get the removal tool out. Take off the bolt and the end with the flat bracket and push the bolt through the centre hole and wind the bolt and bracket back up:



    Use the 19mm socket, ratchet and 19mm spanner and wind the tool up and you will slowly see the flat bracket disappear and eventually the bush will come out. Here is how mine looked:



    And the hole:



    12. Depending on how old your car or bush is, you might need to get the wet & dry out and sand down any rough patches in hole:



    13. Use the copper grease and grease inside the hole and Powerflex bush, try pushing the bush in with your hands but if not and like me i used the tool and reversed the plates and did the wound the bush in:




    This is how it will look:



    14. Now push the metal sleeve in with some copper grease:




    15. Get the holding bracket and grease both sides and slide back on the arm, making sure the holes line up:




    16. Put the bolt back in and tighten up:



    17. You will now need the trolley jack to jack up the arm and make sure it fits back into the slot:



    The bracket wont fit back into place properly so lower the jack slightly and tap the arm into place. It is really fiddly but you will get the bolts started, once you've done that jack up the arm fully and tighten up.:



    18. Start putting the car back together and make sure everything is secure.

    Hope you have found this guild useful and change the bush with success.
     
     

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    #2
    BMW Master
    Car Details
    328evo's Car Details
    Model of Car:
    328i
    Year of Manufacture:
    1997
    Transmission Type:
    manual
    Car Body Type:
    coupe
    328evo's Avatar
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    Sep 2011
    Location
    Kent
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    Great guide. Can't believe the bolts snapped!! I've had many bolts snap on BMs but I thought the RTA bolts were safe. Lesson Learned.
     
     

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