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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 07-01-2010, 08:50 AM
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stigst3r stigst3r is offline
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Post DIY - Homemade Subframe & Differential Bushing solution

Hi Guys,

This is a follow up with my original thread about the subframe bushing tool.


Like some of you e39 I was facing the dilemma of trying to obtain these expencive tool set to replace my subframe bushings and differential bushings. Both of the tool sets add up to 600-800$ +/- depends where you find them, they are also hard to find . I went to a few local BMW "M-Power" shops they where unable to replace the bushings. I called a few Authorized BMW service shops and they where also unable to help me out.

So i did some research and i looked at some home made tools people made for the e34 and the e46, and that inspired me to make my own tool set.

I went to home depot looked around the hardware section for some raw materials i could try to use.

i picked up a 1/4" thick steel bar and 1/2" & 5/8" threaded rod with 8 nuts and 8 washers. all totaled to about less than 20 $.






This was the original design, which later i revised it to a much stronger one




I measured out the steel bar and cut them my desired size.

i had to bend the metal to my "U" shape by the use of my cheap 20$ bench vise and vise grips and the help of a propane torch and a hammer.



had to test fit my bushing to see how it would work. the bend was measured by eye. it was kinda hard to get the right bend allowance but some how it worked out well.






at this point i got my hands on a friend's 110V MIG welder, which was kinda weak for this job but it was better than nothing.

i was not able to find a 3 1/4" steel pipe at any local store so i had to weld my self a octagon shaped trap that is used when installing new subframe bushings.



i used a peace of thinner steel and shaped it to my desired size which i used as a quide to tack weld my octagon.


some how by luck i was able to obtain a couple steel plates ranging in thickness from 1/4" up 5/8" thick steel plate, i used the brass pipe floor mount as my guide.




I welded inside my " U " trust members support joints and i welded beams of each size of the use to reinforce it similar to an ibeam design .





i grinded of the excess and welded another steel plate on top and of the side of the "U" to make extremely strong, the thing is like a tank.



i cut the 5/8" steel plate was cut with a angle grinder, it tool some patience and grinder skills to cut almost perfect circle that was 3" in diameter. once i had my puller plate i drilled a 5/8" hole using a steel holesaw,

i greased the thread with lithum grease. before i tried to pull the bushings out of the subframe i sprayed the bushings with PB Blast it makes extraction of the bushing alot easier.

as i was test fitting my contraption i noticed that the metal on inner side of the bushing flange was thiner and would be crushed from the force when i attempted to put them out. to prevent the metal from crushing and the tool sliding out of place i used some of the 5/8" metal i had left over laying on the floor from my circle cut out and i used fine tuned it to serve as a shim. i had to also stack up one other shim i used from my wiremesh metal i used for my octagon. ( recycling lol )







at this point i set it all up alighted everything and used a 24mm open wrench with a 24mm socket (5/8" socket would have worked as well but i do not have one)

then after i cleaned the bushing mounts i used the 3 1/2" D and 5/8" thick plate i cut out for the installer tool, i used my octagon on the other side to help me pull the new bushing in. while inserting the bushing i found out that using windex as a lubricant to push them in makes the job a whole lot easier, they basically slide in fairly easy.


at this point i started to design the differential bushing tool so i had to go to the plubing store pick up a couple pipe nipple, 2" for the little bushing removal and installation and a 3" pipe nipple for the slightly bigger differential bushings. i measured out the distances i needed to extract the bushings i put the pipe nipples in to two, once side being longer then other.

i also had to cut out a couple more oval plates like i did for my subframe bushing tool but much smaller. i used a 3/8 thick metal plate to cut them into two peaces one was a 2" place used for extraction the other was about 2.75" used for installation which i was also able to use for the extraction of the bigger bushing.






when installing the new small bushings i found it being alot bigger then the opening it was supposed to go into. so used a clamp to compress the bushing before inserting it.



i found that taping the tool to the subframe made it a little easier trying to alight everything. if you have a an extra set of hands u might be able to avoid the use of tape lol.



eventually the bushing went in i had to move the clamp towards the end because the bushing was starting to spread.



when installing the other two bushings i used some of the bigger plates i made from my subframe contraption among with the smaller plates to install my new bushing.i found the opening of the bushing where u put the threaded rod through was oval shaped instead of it being a circle. so i had to slightly trim the 1/2" rod on one side to make it fit.











it tool a couple days & good number of 6 packs to make this tool, i took my time making this it was tons of fun and but it was definitely worth it.. i did piss of my neighbors with the late nights grinding noises for hours lol..

here is the finished set








the tool will be available for rent
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Last edited by stigst3r; 07-01-2010 at 11:04 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-01-2010, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stigst3r View Post
the tool will be available for rent, - renting price is 50$, with a deposit fee.
that include shipping?
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  #3  
Old 07-01-2010, 09:42 AM
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i don't know what the shipping cost would be of this. it might be additional cost, i still got to make some type of printed instructions that will come with the tool, so it would be easier for people to understand how it all works. i think i will have it ready available by next week.
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  #4  
Old 07-01-2010, 10:53 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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nice work!
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  #5  
Old 07-01-2010, 05:03 PM
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ganesht ganesht is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stigst3r View Post
i don't know what the shipping cost would be of this. it might be additional cost, i still got to make some type of printed instructions that will come with the tool, so it would be easier for people to understand how it all works. i think i will have it ready available by next week.
cool, if you use usps priority then if you can get it to fit in the medium sized box, you can ship up to 70lbs for a flat rate.
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  #6  
Old 07-01-2010, 09:10 PM
occhis occhis is offline
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Very, very cool. Nice work. Love your commitment and determination.
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  #7  
Old 07-02-2010, 12:39 AM
gibo27 gibo27 is offline
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new tool

I am impressed, what's your normal profession?
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  #8  
Old 07-02-2010, 08:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibo27 View Post
I am impressed, what's your normal profession?


cool =)

i'm a graphics designer / developer. I design graphics for digital & traditional media. Back in the day when i was a teen i went to a high school that had a aircraft mechanic program. among with my regular classes i had 3-4 hours of shop class everyday where they taught you everything you need to know to become an aircraft maintenance technician. I never followed that profession because playing grease monkey is more of a hobby for me... So i got into the computer junk and been doing the graphics design stuff for a quite some time now. in the future if i have spare cash, i would love to open up a little shop to build custom high performance cars for the right client.


Quote:
cool, if you use usps priority then if you can get it to fit in the medium sized box, you can ship up to 70lbs for a flat rate.
cool i did not know that, i guess im gone check this out
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Last edited by stigst3r; 07-03-2010 at 10:45 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-02-2010, 08:52 AM
Mark@EAC Mark@EAC is offline
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flat rate is cool, they even give you the box before you pay for shipping. Just stop by any post office and pick one up.
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  #10  
Old 07-02-2010, 10:18 AM
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It seems that all you really need are the metal sleeves, washers, bolts, and nuts....?
Couldn't you just stop buy a Lowes and a plumbing shop to pick these up for like $20?
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  #11  
Old 07-02-2010, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
It seems that all you really need are the metal sleeves, washers, bolts, and nuts....?
Couldn't you just stop buy a Lowes and a plumbing shop to pick these up for like $20?
basically.

the 3" pipe nipple cost me 15 $, but im sure u can find it cheeper. total cost of this tool in raw materials cost me no more then 35-40 bux. the 3/8" , 1/2" & 5/8" steel plates was the only thing i was unable to find at homedepot but i got them for free from my friend who donated to me because they where some scrap metal laying around his shop.
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Last edited by stigst3r; 07-02-2010 at 10:38 AM.
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  #12  
Old 07-02-2010, 05:09 PM
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Mein Auto: '97 540iA
Cool

Good job!!!!
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  #13  
Old 07-02-2010, 06:49 PM
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Great job ! Backyard ingenuity triumphs again....
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  #14  
Old 07-02-2010, 06:59 PM
ssarah ssarah is offline
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Nice build. It takes some serious dedication to make the right tools for the job, but they I've saved myself hundreds doing it. And when someone asks where they can get one like it, you have the satisfaction of saying that it is a one of a kind custom build. Good job!
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  #15  
Old 07-02-2010, 10:43 PM
gibo27 gibo27 is offline
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[QUOTE=stigst3r;5298754]cool =)

i'm a graphics designer / developer. I design graphics for digital & traditional media. Back in the day when i was a teen i went to a high school that had a aircraft mechanic program. among with my regular classes i had 3-4 hours of shop class everyday where they though you everything you need to know to become an aircraft maintenance technician. I never followed that profession because playing grease monkey is more of a hobby for me... So i got into the computer junk and been doing the graphics design stuff for a quite some time now. in the future if i had spare cash, i would love to open up a little shop to build custom high performance cars for the right client.



Well you couldn't get more opposite ends of the spectrum

I am an aircraft technician by trade, although in the avionics side of things. I was chuffed when I made my own wp pulley tool (and that was with supplied diagrams), so your manufacturing effort from just a thought, from a computer guru no less is truly impressive.

Last edited by gibo27; 07-02-2010 at 10:44 PM.
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  #16  
Old 07-02-2010, 11:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibo27 View Post
I was chuffed when I made my own wp pulley tool (and that was with supplied diagrams)
For the record, the water pump pulley tool dimensions are shown in this thread below so that serves as a DIY for making your own WP pulley tools.

How to make your own BMW special cooling system & drive belt counterhold tools

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  #17  
Old 07-03-2010, 04:25 AM
gibo27 gibo27 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
For the record, the water pump pulley tool dimensions are shown in this thread below so that serves as a DIY for making your own WP pulley tools.

How to make your own BMW special cooling system & drive belt counterhold tools

That's the supplied diagram I was referring to blubee.
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  #18  
Old 07-03-2010, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gibo27 View Post
That's the supplied diagram I was referring to blubee.
I know. I was crosslinking for the "record" so other nascent toolmakers could find that toolmaking thread easier (I always try to cross link as a courtesy and in that thread, I'll cross link back to here to complete the loop).

As for the tool dimensions, nobody yet has posted the measurements of the V8 (38mm spacing side); the only numbers posted, so far, are of the 45mm (I6) spacing.

I broke out my rarely used calipers and micrometers so that I could measure both ends. Once I post the measurements, maybe you can draw a diagram of the 38mm end (which we don't have yet) so others (with the V8) can make their own tool too.

I'll post the measurements over in that other thread when I'm done.

BTW, what does "chuffed" mean?

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  #19  
Old 07-03-2010, 06:25 PM
frhsfootball80 frhsfootball80 is offline
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you know you can change the bushings without every having to drop the subframe...
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  #20  
Old 07-05-2010, 08:10 AM
username47 username47 is offline
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Originally Posted by frhsfootball80 View Post
you know you can change the bushings without every having to drop the subframe...
With what tools? Franklin?
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  #21  
Old 07-05-2010, 01:50 PM
anton-sa anton-sa is offline
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subframe bushes

hi there
i discovered today that my subframe bushes are shot and need to be replaced. basically diff carrier bushes.

someone has just said its possible to change these bushes without removing the subframe?

i dont see how this is possible, with MAYBE 2-3inches space on either side to work with.....

please share...????????
\

thx
anton
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  #22  
Old 07-06-2010, 06:57 AM
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stigst3r stigst3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frhsfootball80 View Post
you know you can change the bushings without every having to drop the subframe...
i know, but i was replacing my entire rear suspension, my pre-existing subframe was cracked and i needed to replace it, while it was out i changed the bushings



Quote:
Originally Posted by anton-sa View Post
hi there
i discovered today that my subframe bushes are shot and need to be replaced. basically diff carrier bushes.

someone has just said its possible to change these bushes without removing the subframe?

i dont see how this is possible, with MAYBE 2-3inches space on either side to work with.....

please share...????????
\

thx
anton
you can change the bushings with having to remove the subframe. i had access to a motorcycle jack which made the job alot easier.










you can also get a couple really nice grade 8 steel rods that you can tread into the subframe mounts and lower the subframe using that method, to give you enought clearance to use this tool, or the franklin tool if you can get your hands on that.
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Last edited by stigst3r; 07-06-2010 at 07:01 AM.
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  #23  
Old 07-25-2010, 08:47 PM
Toddzilla1978 Toddzilla1978 is offline
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Could you post the dimensions for the front diff mount bushing tools?

Diameter of disk used to pull the bushing out?

Diameter of sleeve used to receive the bushing?
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  #24  
Old 08-02-2010, 07:08 AM
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stigst3r stigst3r is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Toddzilla1978 View Post
Could you post the dimensions for the front diff mount bushing tools?

Diameter of disk used to pull the bushing out?

Diameter of sleeve used to receive the bushing?



The diameter of the sleeve for the small differential bushing is 2 inch, so you need to buy a 2 inch steel pipe nipple.

the disk is about 1 1/4" in diameter and 3/8" in thickness, you also need a bigger disk about 2 1/2 " to pull the bushing out. u also need a 1/2 " threaded rod
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  #25  
Old 10-27-2010, 08:11 PM
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Apparently EACTuning, one of our sponsors, will lend the necessary subframe bushing tools to you if you purchase the parts from them (at least according to this post today).

Note: I say "lend" and not "loan" because I strongly feel lend should be used as a verb while I only use loan as a noun.
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