Previous owner installed thrust arm bushings incorrectly
While finishing the cooling system overhaul, I've decided to look at my thrust arms bushings, upon closer inspection i noticed the the bushes on both sides were installed incorrectly !!!:mad:
It looks like the PO had them installed at INDY, and the grease monkey went as far as marking the raised notch on the thrust arm, but failed miserably in aligning the arrow on the bushing with the notch on the arm, and i bet that he tightened the bushing bolt with the car on the lift:mad: I have been driving like that for a year now. :mad:
I immediately decided the pull the bushings out and replace them with new ones i already had purchased earlier. Pulling the bushings out isn't too bad, but having to maneuver the puller and constantly making adjustments while under the car wears you out.
Tomorrow morning i need to run to Sears to purchase larger puller, as the one in the picture is too small to press the new bushing in.
Bummer. I realize that removing the thrust arm requires removing the strut but it would be a LOT easier to remove the bushing on a bench vice under the car.
Hopefully the larger 6" Sears 3 jaw gear puller will make the installation of new bushing straightforward.
Any tips on how to position the bushing right before pressing the bushing in to keep it straight and lined up correctly? It seams very hard to " get it started" sort of speak.
To that end, I've put the following link in the bestlinks thread:
- How to make your own BMW thrust bushing (or thrust bearing) tool (1)
And, these links for the DIY:
- THRUST-ARM BUSHINGS TEAR: fluid-filled thrust arm bushings that crack and tear causing vibrations at speed (1) (2) (3) (4)
When you're done with the job, would you kindly help us update which links are best to list the required tools, and the requisite steps?
That way, the next person doesn't have to go through what you're going through.
I6 Thrust arms bushings made easy
Today I've picked up 2 arm gear puller from Sears ( $41. 99) Part # 46903 and the tool made this job a breeze. The 2 arm puller is lot easier to use than the 3 arm puller which requires lots of adjusting and finessing to make it sit right and work.
I've used 6" C-clamp to hold the thrust arm in place while pressing out the old bushing and pressing in the new one. C-clamp works great in holding the arm stationary, and its really quick to put on and remove.
I did not remove any plastic splash guards or brake air ducts, i simply pushed them aside with some considerable amount of force, and was able to remove and install the thrust arm bushing bolt. This saved me considerable amount of time.
The BMW press sleeve is a absolute must for this job and it can be purchased from
Part # 83300491942 $31.54
The 1 1/2 pipe cap can be purchased from Home Depot plumbing section
Once everything was installed, I've lowered the car and weighted the driver seat. I was able the slide under the front bumper and tighten the thrust arm bushing bolt to approximately 81 Ft lbs, i did not use torque wrench due to limited space.
The car drives great and its good to know that my thrust arm bushings are installed correctly and torqued down while preloaded.
The previous must have replaced the bushings right before i bought the car ( purchased Dec 09 with 68). Hoverer, they were installed incorrectly, but they did last over a year
without signs of tearing or leaking fluid.
It belongs in the bestlinks thread ... and so I just added it (#2 below).
- How to make your own BMW thrust bushing (or thrust bearing) tool (1) or buy them (1) (2)
PS: I reproduce the pics here, for future users, just in case the original links die.
was there :)
alternate to steel cap
I replaced both front thrust arm bushings this weekend on my 2000 528i based on the jaw puller and cap solution (thanks for the great post). This worked like a charm on the first bushing but on the second bushing, the cap gave out (see pictures). So back to Lowes and scrounging around in the plumbing section I came up with a two piece replacement for the cap. The threaded cap (1 1/4") gave a much thicker steel base for the jaws bolt to dig in to. You can see the indent from the force needed to move the bushing in the picture of both pieces. The three inch diameter steel base (with 1/2" thread diameter) gave a nice broad area that made alignment with the bushing and jaws easier than the cap. Just another suggestion, worked great for me.
Good stuff right there, my cap was on its last leg as well but it got the job done. I like your set up, it does look lot stronger. The Craftsman 2 arm gear puller worked like a charm and put a big smile on my face!
The easier solution is to buy a new Lemforder Thrust Arm (with Meyle HD bushing already pressed in for you) from EACTuning and be done with.
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