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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 02-21-2012, 11:04 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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What REALLY bad Front Control Arm Bushings Look Like

This is what 95k miles on OEM FCAB's look like. I literally removed the outer bushings by hand. Or in short, these were doing NOTHING for the car. He said it was driving "loose", no kidding!

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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....

Last edited by smolck; 02-26-2012 at 02:25 PM. Reason: Fixed title
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  #2  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:06 AM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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That's how my friends E46 M3 ones were LOL. I suspect his were OEM never replaced either. He was at 78k miles.
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  #3  
Old 02-21-2012, 11:08 AM
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Evidently they were SO bad, this warning was issued:

Http/1.1 Service Unavailable
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  #4  
Old 02-21-2012, 06:43 PM
chansta chansta is offline
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seems like your recording off your phone. you should get a camera to record vids with since ur always making helpful videos like this smolk.
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  #5  
Old 02-21-2012, 07:00 PM
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Dude, you need to fix the power cord on your impact wrench
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  #6  
Old 02-21-2012, 09:32 PM
Y2K_Bimmer Y2K_Bimmer is offline
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Totally noticed the cord on the impact. Thx for the vid...
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  #7  
Old 02-22-2012, 05:21 AM
SPDSKTR SPDSKTR is offline
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I'm showing Billy this video this morning.

And that reminds me... I still need to buy those Powerflex bushings...
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  #8  
Old 02-22-2012, 07:21 AM
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That's what mine looked like too. Replaced them with Poweflex!
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  #9  
Old 02-22-2012, 09:59 AM
jcourcoul jcourcoul is offline
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You needn't wait till the end of time for the POS to go bad. These are the brand new OEM FCABs the dealer put in as part of the purchase deal when I got the car, TWO MONTHS and 3,500 KM LATER! That Winter brought intense out-of-season rains and the city streets looked like bombed-out Saigon. So that's what a few unexpected potholes will get you.

Right one was still sort of OK and put up a fight to take out, but you have to replace them in pairs. Especially when going from soft rubber to hard PowerFlex.
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  #10  
Old 02-22-2012, 10:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
You needn't wait till the end of time for the POS to go bad. These are the brand new OEM FCABs the dealer put in as part of the purchase deal when I got the car, TWO MONTHS and 3,500 KM LATER! That Winter brought intense out-of-season rains and the city streets looked like bombed-out Saigon. So that's what a few unexpected potholes will get you.

Right one was still sort of OK and put up a fight to take out, but you have to replace them in pairs. Especially when going from soft rubber to hard PowerFlex.
Did I read that right? 3,500 km? They can't have put new ones in. Something from the used parts bin maybe? It looks like King Kong ripped that out! Wow.

Edit: Those housings have too much oxidation to be only two months old, unless they used your old housings and pressed new bushings in.

Last edited by SJBimmer; 02-22-2012 at 10:41 AM.
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  #11  
Old 02-22-2012, 12:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcourcoul View Post
You needn't wait till the end of time for the POS to go bad. These are the brand new OEM FCABs the dealer put in as part of the purchase deal when I got the car, TWO MONTHS and 3,500 KM LATER! That Winter brought intense out-of-season rains and the city streets looked like bombed-out Saigon. So that's what a few unexpected potholes will get you.

Right one was still sort of OK and put up a fight to take out, but you have to replace them in pairs. Especially when going from soft rubber to hard PowerFlex.
That sucks. Yea, you can see that the fluid leaked out of the bushing in the second pic. Once that happens, the bushing will fail in no time flat.
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now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
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  #12  
Old 02-23-2012, 09:13 AM
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TWO MONTHS and 3,500 KM LATER!
Dude... you need a Jeep!
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  #13  
Old 02-23-2012, 11:14 PM
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I recently had my CABs replaced by a BMW specialist shop nearby, Edge Motorworks. They suggested the Mini CAB's for the E46. They are more robust than the OEM BMW parts. So far, the sharpness in the steering has come back to life in my car. Not sure if anybody else has experience with that or not, but thought I would throw that out there. I know there is a lot of love for either the Powerflex or Meyle parts.

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  #14  
Old 02-24-2012, 04:44 AM
shadow 2 shadow 2 is offline
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Nice video. Helpful to see how these parts deteriorate and the need to replace them. Thanks for taking the time to film and post this.
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  #15  
Old 02-24-2012, 05:04 AM
ExitBuddy ExitBuddy is offline
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Do the arms themselves ever go bad? And what does going with the Powerflex bushings do to the ride comfort? I am not a "spirited" driver, so I like the OEMs somewhat firm but controlled ride.

Last edited by ExitBuddy; 02-24-2012 at 05:08 AM.
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  #16  
Old 02-24-2012, 05:23 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ExitBuddy View Post
Do the arms themselves ever go bad? And what does going with the Powerflex bushings do to the ride comfort? I am not a "spirited" driver, so I like the OEMs somewhat firm but controlled ride.
The arms can go bad if you smash the front end of your car up enough or spend enough time driving over the curbing of racetracks. Or a tow truck driver decides to winch your car up on to the flatbed by one of them. The ball joints in the control arms can wear out, too, as a normal wear item.

Powerflex absolutely affect comfort and increase NVH. They do give a better response, more so than stock. But so will going from old, worn out stock bushings to new ones.
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  #17  
Old 02-24-2012, 07:43 AM
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These were mine at 85k, replaced with Meyle HD.

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  #18  
Old 02-24-2012, 08:01 PM
Pete_Jones Pete_Jones is offline
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Could any one tell me if adding a meyle HD control arm to the drivers front would affect steering or handling because I just recently replaced (had shop do the work) my passenger side with OE arm (2k miles ago). This time I'm actually gonna do the arm, I was just being lazy when the PS side needed replace.

My instinct is telling me no, but confirmation would set me at ease.

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  #19  
Old 02-25-2012, 08:03 AM
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My friend, send me your address and I'll send you some electrical tape so you can live another day when using that impact.
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  #20  
Old 02-25-2012, 08:10 AM
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AlboBMW AlboBMW is offline
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If you have a comfortable suspension set up, the Powerflexes won't hurt the ride too much. I don't think I'll ever replace my Powerflexes.
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  #21  
Old 02-25-2012, 10:09 AM
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My friend, send me your address and I'll send you some electrical tape so you can live another day when using that impact.
I have some. I'll tape it up just so you can feel better (and I dont die)
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  #22  
Old 02-26-2012, 06:49 AM
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I have some. I'll tape it up just so you can feel better (and I dont die)
I'll sleep better now
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  #23  
Old 02-27-2012, 09:26 AM
honeydo honeydo is offline
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where's that service bulliten link ? the dealer said her front bushings were soft ,wonder if that's the bushing he was talking about 98,000 miles
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