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E30 (1982 - 1993)
God's Chariot. The E30 was produced primarily from 1982 through 1991. The cabriolet was the one exception which was produced through 1993.

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  #1  
Old 12-12-2013, 06:43 PM
Russm21 Russm21 is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
Join Date: Sep 2013
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Mein Auto: x5, 325ic, F150
Notes On A Rear Suspension Overhaul

So I just recently completed an overhaul of the rear suspension on my 1990 325ic. I wanted to share some thoughts about the project that I hope will make it easier for anyone planning on doing this project in the near future. A little background on the car...I bought this car a few months ago as a project. It runs great but the suspension is toast. I live in SoCal so the car doesn't have any rust issues. This particular project I planned to replace the shocks, shock mounts, sway bar links and bushings, control arm bushings and wheel bearings. I'm the kind of guy that tries to gather as much information as I can so I spent a lot of time before hand looking at youtube videos and DIYs that related to this project. Most were good, others not so much.

First off, the shocks were a piece of cake. Just remember to R&R them with the mounts installed. Also, if you're going to go with Bilsteins be aware that they don't come with dust boots so either save your old ones or buy some new ones. The sway bar links and bushings were pretty straight forward as well. The only tricky part would be getting the bushings pressed into the brackets. I used a quick grip bar clamp to get the bushings seated properly before bolting them back in. It doesn't require a lot of force. However, more force than you can apply with your bare hands. The links went on pretty easily with a little WD40 applied.

Doing the wheel bearings and control arm bushings is where I learned my lesson (the hard way of course). Here is my advice, ignore all the contraptions you see people use on youtube and DIYs. Plan on taking the control arms, with the hubs and bearings attached to a machine shop and have them do the R&R. It is well worth the money. Slide hammer to get the bearings out? Forget it! If your bearings are so bad that they disintegrate when you start taking things apart you will probably never be able to get that outer race out without a press anyhow.

The control arm bushings came out and in fine with little problem. For removal I heated up the metal around the bushing (not so much that you melt it!) with a torch and used a 6 inch C clamp with a 36mm socket on one end to get it out. I did need to trim the outer flange of the bushing to get it to fit into the socket. A coating of WD40 made it easy to press the bushings back in, no heat needed.

A couple of notes on the CV axles. Mine would not come out of the hub using a drift. However, a 3 armed puller did the trick. When you go to to reinstall the axles, it is possible that you might knock the hub a little loose and have it moving around with the bearing. Don't worry about it! It will all tighten up once you get the axle nut torqued down.

I hope this helps anybody planning on doing this project. Next up for me is installing a new top then overhauling the front end.
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  #2  
Old 01-02-2014, 08:09 PM
bimmer_boi bimmer_boi is offline
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Location: Connecticut
 
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Mein Auto: 1987 325is
Thanks for your tips, Russm21. I'm starting my research on front and rear suspension. I have a mechanic friend to work with but he's no expert on BMW and I am a novice to say the least. So maybe I'll leave this work for the experts. Regardless, I want to understand what is entailed. I see that others have major difficulty with the wheel bearing, just like you said.

So far, it looks like the wheel bearing and hub are two separate pieces, correct? Therefore I'll replace both the hub and the bearing. And I won't have to fight with removing the bearing from the hub, correct? Can I just remove the entire old hub with the old bearing intact, then replace it? Or is the problem that when you remove the hub, the bearing still stays stuck?

And how difficult is it push the new hub on? Do you know if this process is much different from the front wheel bearing and hub?
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Old 01-03-2014, 08:59 AM
Russm21 Russm21 is offline
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Location: SoCal
 
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Mein Auto: x5, 325ic, F150
Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmer_boi View Post
So far, it looks like the wheel bearing and hub are two separate pieces, correct? Therefore I'll replace both the hub and the bearing. And I won't have to fight with removing the bearing from the hub, correct? Can I just remove the entire old hub with the old bearing intact, then replace it? Or is the problem that when you remove the hub, the bearing still stays stuck?

And how difficult is it push the new hub on? Do you know if this process is much different from the front wheel bearing and hub?
Yes, the hub and bearing are 2 separate pieces. However, there really is no advantage to replacing the hub unless there is something wrong with it. Removing the inner race that came off with the hub wasn't that big of a deal with a bearing separator. used a bearing separator to remove the hub from the control arm/bearing as well.

Here is my recommendation; if you have average mechanical skills, you can do this job yourself. PROVIDED that you removed the control arm with the bearing and hub still attached and take the whole thing to an automotive machine shop and have them do the R&R. It's really not that expensive (about $80) and will save you a lot of time, frustration and sweat.
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:36 AM
bimmer_boi bimmer_boi is offline
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Location: Connecticut
 
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Mein Auto: 1987 325is
Thanks. What is R&R?
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Old 01-03-2014, 09:53 AM
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hornhospital hornhospital is offline
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Mein Auto: 1995 318is / 1993 325is
R&R= remove and replace
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Old 01-03-2014, 10:02 AM
bimmer_boi bimmer_boi is offline
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Thanks, all. I'll continue my research...
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