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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 11-04-2010, 10:37 AM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Question Polyurethane Control Arm Bushings

I will be replacing my control arm bushings soon. Does anyone have any experience or an opinion on polyurethane control arm bushings?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325....5L/ES1899439/
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  #2  
Old 11-04-2010, 11:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
I will be replacing my control arm bushings soon. Does anyone have any experience or an opinion on polyurethane control arm bushings?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325....5L/ES1899439/
I talked to my bmw mechanic and Smolck about poly cabs. Both said that these last longer but are also significantly stiffer which can be good or bad depending on the quality of ride you prefer. For many people it's simply TOO harsh of a ride and they switch back to stock cabs, others seem to not mind the increased stiffness. Another drawback is again because of the stiffness many cars develop different creaks, squeaks and other noises transmitting along the body of the car and localizing in different locations.

I have a feeling I'd personally prefer stock.
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  #3  
Old 11-04-2010, 12:13 PM
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Look into Meyle HD CABS. They are stiffer and stronger than stock while still maintaining the OEM ride quality. I have these as well as the Meyle HD all metal ball joints and the results are excellent!
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  #4  
Old 11-04-2010, 12:56 PM
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I really did not notice a difference in ride quality when going from worn out OEM ones to the Poly-U ones.
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Old 11-04-2010, 12:58 PM
EriKx559 EriKx559 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
I will be replacing my control arm bushings soon. Does anyone have any experience or an opinion on polyurethane control arm bushings?

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325....5L/ES1899439/
Hey I'm new to this and I just got my 2002 BMW 325i. I was wondering how much your getting your CABS for?
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  #6  
Old 11-04-2010, 02:24 PM
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I just replaced my CAB's with the meyle HD. They ran me $86 at autohaus with free shipping. They are only slightly stiffer than stock, and appear well made. Cost me $150 labor to get them installed. My originals were shot at 45K, and we have very smooth roads here. Poly are overkill in my opinion, and some people have had problems with them.
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  #7  
Old 11-04-2010, 02:36 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
I just replaced my CAB's with the meyle HD. They ran me $86 at autohaus with free shipping. They are only slightly stiffer than stock, and appear well made. Cost me $150 labor to get them installed. My originals were shot at 45K, and we have very smooth roads here. Poly are overkill in my opinion, and some people have had problems with them.
Can you elaborate?

Thanks everyone for your input. I was looking for something a step above OEM so I will not have to replace them again any time soon.
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  #8  
Old 11-04-2010, 04:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nando779 View Post
Can you elaborate?

Thanks everyone for your input. I was looking for something a step above OEM so I will not have to replace them again any time soon.
A couple of people have had them crack and not seat properly. If you search under poly CAB's you should be able to find the threads. The poly bushings twist in a poly to poly contact so they have to be greased, when the grease wears away I have read that they squeek. The normal bushings allow for this twist in the rubber itself. (fluid filled rubber in the case of OEM (lemforder).I used poly bushings on a 4wd truck that I used to have, and they were just too harsh. I am happy with the Meyle, and could not imagine living with anything harsher, however I do not track my car.
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  #9  
Old 11-04-2010, 05:00 PM
Nando779 Nando779 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SJBimmer View Post
A couple of people have had them crack and not seat properly. If you search under poly CAB's you should be able to find the threads. The poly bushings twist in a poly to poly contact so they have to be greased, when the grease wears away I have read that they squeek. The normal bushings allow for this twist in the rubber itself. (fluid filled rubber in the case of OEM (lemforder).I used poly bushings on a 4wd truck that I used to have, and they were just too harsh. I am happy with the Meyle, and could not imagine living with anything harsher, however I do not track my car.
Thank you
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  #10  
Old 11-04-2010, 05:38 PM
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I agree with using Meyle over stock. I recently replaced the lower control arms, bushings & ball joints on my 01 325i. Their bushings are awesome in comparison to stock. I have used polyurethane bushings I other vehicles and loved how they felt, however you may need to wear tooth guards, as they are harsh. Good luck!

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  #11  
Old 11-04-2010, 08:01 PM
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I installed UUC solid metal bushings as the Powerflex polyurethanes have been backordered for a long time. Bimmerzone sold these to me at a discount to keep my business, rather than wait forever for the poly bushings to arrive.

These bushings twist as well, but they utilize a bearing, rather than lithium grease between two layers of polyurethane.

I have experienced zero harshness, but I also learned that my front end was pulling slightly, and that I also had a mild imbalance in one or more of my wheels. These bushings communicate everything that the front end is experiencing, but it's a little too much for my tastes.

I replaced OEM bushings that weren't worn out, but with the jackets of fluid inside those bushings, they dampen so much harshness that you wouldn't know if you had a slight vibration or shimmy. I suppose that's the "luxury car" aspect--buffering the driver from the nastiness of the road. Other folks call that "numb" steering.

In any event, I'm a bit torn. I like all the information I'm receiving, but then again, it's a bit too much. I kinda liked the "numbness" of the OEM bushings, but then I doubt if I'd ever go back either, as I really do want to know if there's a problem with my suspension!

I'm glad that I was able to answer none of your questions.
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Last edited by mrblorry; 11-04-2010 at 08:06 PM.
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  #12  
Old 11-04-2010, 09:37 PM
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I don't find mine to be too stiff but they are not as comfortable as stock. You may like them them for a while then miss the OEM comfort. But like others said, these don't go out very often, if ever.
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  #13  
Old 11-05-2010, 06:30 AM
Bilstein Bilstein is offline
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Nando, I suspect if you did an OEM CAB replacement the car's ride comfort and handling would feel different, better, than it does currently. It would be an upgrade. A CAB replacement really isn't that large a job, and it's not that expensive. Hell, I think I recall a video of Smolck swapping out his CABS holding a video camera in one hand, a bagel w/ cream cheeze in another hand, and doing the CAB swap with his remaining free hand. Think of how long your current CABS have been doing their job. Your car is 7 years old. Let's say you get 5 years our of replacement OEM CABS - now the car is 13 years old. Maybe you're taking the car to the grave and you replace them again, another 5 years, now the car is 18 years old -- see what I'm getting at?

Living with ride harshness day in and day out is a nuisance, and unless you're tracking your car, or drive very aggressively, you gotta ask whether it's really worth it.

I just thought I'd share an opinion with you as I know you're helped me out numerous times in the past.
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  #14  
Old 11-05-2010, 10:07 AM
JonS2004330ci JonS2004330ci is offline
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Just did the full Meyle HD suspension replacement on my '04 330ci with 145,000 miles.

Did control arms, HD bushings, sway bar links, and tie rod assemblies (and alignment!).

Car handles like new! TIGHT, responsive, without being harsh...

Just returned from driving Route 66 from Chicago to LA and back--4,900 miles round-trip, and the new front end components performed flawlessly!

Thought about the PowerFlex bushings; I'm plenty happy with the Meyle HD stuff!

Jon in Chicago
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  #15  
Old 11-08-2010, 04:45 AM
ardsee ardsee is offline
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I went with the Meyle HD arms and CABs. Ride is just a little stiffer, but still comfortable. As far as the price, I got everything from AutohauzAZ for less than $400. DIY worth the time to save several $100.
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  #16  
Old 11-08-2010, 11:32 AM
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For a daily driven car we usually recomend the MEYLE HD units, as the polyurethane are a little too aggressive for most street applications.

Click HERE for more information.
\

Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

Best,
Joe
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  #17  
Old 11-08-2010, 09:56 PM
EriKx559 EriKx559 is offline
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Hey I just wanted someones opinion on the price and brand and if it's good for my 2002 325i and I'm not sure if it has sport package so I need help. Thanks.
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  #18  
Old 11-09-2010, 04:59 AM
ardsee ardsee is offline
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Look at ECS Tuning.com or AutohauzAZ.com, both have Meyle HD control arms and HD CABs for a better price. You get free shipping at Autohauz, not sure that there is much price difference between the two. I have the same car as you and I just did the replacement two weeks ago. Pretty simple DIY.
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  #19  
Old 11-09-2010, 07:20 AM
EriKx559 EriKx559 is offline
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Originally Posted by ardsee View Post
ERIK
Look at ECS Tuning.com or AutohauzAZ.com, both have Meyle HD control arms and HD CABs for a better price. You get free shipping at Autohauz, not sure that there is much price difference between the two. I have the same car as you and I just did the replacement two weeks ago. Pretty simple DIY.
Thanks for the help.
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