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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently replaced my '92 318i's lower control arm and bushings. After doing that I was able to trust more in the feel back in the steering wheel, having to use very little pressure or back pressure to hold a turn especially at near lock. Going over things in my head I realized that the picture in the Bentley had the bushing in the middle of the area for it on the control arm, however it was all the way on when I took off the old ones from my car. I did what the manual said and put the bushings where they were previously, however I believe that is the wrong place and some previous mechanic was short coming with his work. My Question is now how do I return it to where it belongs, what is the process for figuring out the placement of the bushing on the control arm. And being on a budget I don not want to hear to take it to BMW.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
A stock 318 should have centered front control arm bushings. What did you have installed in your car?
What are you asking? They seemed stock (lightening holes, steel, rubber bushings). Previous owner was not one to modify anything. (was afraid to use great winter tires because he was afraid it would be "too much grip".) I've drifted with those.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The control arms and bushings are not adjustable. The only adjustments that can be made are by installing different style bushings: centered or offset. Where the bushings are located on the control arm end is governed by the placement of the control arms, which are bolted to the sub-frame. In other words, you can't adjust where the bushings are located on the control arms.

If you put on the new bushings, had the car aligned as you should, and it drives in a straight line, what is your concern?
Bull, the bushing can be placed anywhere along the shaft of the control arm.
Issue is that when I go to maintain a soft, like 30 degree deflection on the steering wheel, turn to the left, I apply a small amount of right force to maintain said turn. THERE IS A CASTER ISSUE.

P.S. the control arm is attached to the car via a ball joint bolted onto the sub-frame and another ball joint at the steering knuckle / wheel hub assembly which is moveable without the control arm completely installed (barring the suspension travel).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I feel as though I was very rude in my last post, and I simply want to apologize for that. Sorry.
I am sure you understand the feeling of your car not right and hating it being wrong. I just want to be able to fix her. And you are just trying to help me do that. Thanks

And frankly the issue is where the bushing are on the control arm shaft, they are not in the middle. They are, as seen on the old part, pressed on as far as they can go. What exact problem this is causing, I do not know, but I am experiencing the symptoms of caster. To fix this problem, would be to simply measure the length of the shaft and center the bushing/bracket on this shaft of the control arm?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I do agree, and know that caster is not directly adjustable (without aftermarket items).
However, I believe I had, and now have, an improperly installed bushing, therefore causing there to be too much caster, the wheel is too far back.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
So, is the bushing placement on the control rod an issue?
I accidentally ordered a second pair of bushings, so I can change the orientation of the bushing.

I had to replace the right tie rod end recently, I had toe in at first, seemed like I had the issue I have now, just got more pronounced now. Like before, when backing and near lock, it would want to go to lock.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Okay, took me a while to calm down and actually see things correctly.
So, we have one fixed point in space, the ball joint at the sub frame. the bushing is holding a point in the X and Y, and then must then therefore be at a specific spot along Z.
The setting the car down while the bushing and control arm are still lubricated is to get out all the stresses. So, would it be good to drive the car to exercise the suspension before the lubrication dries?
and exactly how is the bushing to be oriented, again with clarity? (still have yet to watch video, though it seems to be for an E46.)

Btw, thank you all for bearing with my ... I don't want to say stupidity, but that's currently the only thing that is coming to mind.
P.S. Can't wait to get this car back to health ... even on my shoestring of a budget.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Photos aren't really what's important here. We all know that you can't adjust the placement of the control arm bushing on the control arm. The bushing lollipops anchor to the chassis in a fixed location, and the control arms themselves are anchored in a fixed location by the ball-joints which are bolted to the sub-frame. You can't move the either the control arm or the bushing fore or aft, since they were not designed by BMW to be adjustable in any way. As mentioned in an earlier post, the only variable is how far into the lollipop you pressed the bushing. But even then, it's probably only going to vary by a matter of millimeters, which won't have a perceptible effect on handling. And there is no "orientation" for the non-M control arm bushings, since they are centered.

Basically we have a car here which has had what sounds like one of two control arms replaced (they should be replaced in pairs), both FCABs relaced, and (I think...) no alignment performed afterward. That is a perfect recipe for wonky handling. And then of course there is the possibility of other unrelated/coincidental factors. But if you removed centered FCABs from the car and then installed new centered FCABs, the bushings are not what is causing whatever symptoms you are experiencing.

If this car really has not been aligned after the work was performed, do that first before wasting any more time trying to figure out what's going on. Trying to troubleshoot a misaligned car is pointless.
An alignment, with the proper equipment, is necessary.
However, these FCAB's are not offset, but they are not solid. Therefore they can have an orientation preferred, which is not stated in the Bentley.
 

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Discussion Starter · #25 · (Edited)
If you mean the slots in the non-M FCAB, yes, it does make a difference:

"New bushings usually come separate from the wishbone brackets. Press the bushing into the bracket using a vise or an industrial press. Make sure the bushing is centered width-wise in the bracket when you have finished pressing it into the wishbone. Each bushing has a small arrow cast into the rubber that should line up with the corresponding dot on the outside of the wishbone bracket (inset photo)."

(from the Pelican Parts DIY)
Thank You. There was more to Pelican's article than I noticed with the quick skim.
The bushing I have extra do not have the arrow. However there is enough of the bushing visible to properly orient the bushing if the bracket/wishbone has the dot.

The orientation of the slots doesn't have any influence on caster, though.
I'm past the "caster" issue. I just want my car together correctly.

Side question, what is the BMW recommended lube?
As I have read on here, BimmerForrums, and Pelican, The lubricant listed in the Bentley does not exist (or not anymore). However the solution I used, because I read about it on multiple posts, was dish soap. Though I do not know the dish soap's drying time.
 
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