Rear Trailing Arm Bushings with Reinforcers
Warning: If you are not competent or do not feel comfortable
doing any of these modifications or procedures, then please do not do
so. I will not be held responsible for any damages caused by a result
of your actions. Now on to the fun stuff!
Arm Bushings x2 (Part Number 33 32 2 228 153)
note: These are the later 96+ M3 spec'd bushings. They worked fine for
from Ground Control)
note: The reinforcers I am installing are NOT from Ground Control
Rear Trailing Arm Bushings
Jack and stands
and Wrenches (by memory 10mm, 13mm, 16mm, 17mm, and 18mm)
Impact or Cheater
Bar and some muscle (trust me, it'll be worth it)
Drill with large
Some sort of
press mechanism (the parts I used are listed below and will be shown later)
large piece of
strong thick metal
Air tools always help ease removal and installation
I did the first one in about 2 hours working slowly and documenting with
pictures and what not. The second took just under an hour.
1) Raise vehicle, properly support vehicle, and remove rear wheels.
2) Support rear suspension with jack and remove lower shock bolt.
3) Lower suspension, but do not allow to hang free (may cause CV joint
damage) and remove the brake line bracket from the backside of the trailing
4) Make position of trailing arm cup with white out, permanent marker,
or white grease pencil.
5) Remove three bolts securing cup.
This may take a lot of torque alignment shops usually use an impact on
these. So get the impact out and go at it. No impact or a weak impact?
Get the biggest wrench bar you can find and pray it doesn't break with
that monster cheater bar. If it does, get a 1/2" wrench. Below are
a few pictures of the carnage...
Below are a few pictures of the deflection without the
Granted this isn't how they deflect to change toe, but it shows just how
much they can move.
6) Remove bolt securing cup to bushing and pull off the cup.
Easier said than done. This is really a pain. Try wedging a wrench against
the fender well and cranking away with an impact or wrench on the other
7) Note the position of the bushing so the new one may be
installed in the same way.
8) Drill throught the rubber part of the bushing so that the sawzall blade
will fit through the hole.
I made 4 holes so I could just go from hole to hole with the sawzall.
It's not very hard with a good drill.
9) Use the sawzall to cut the center metal piece out of
the bushing and remove. (don't forget these will get VERY hot)
10) Cut into the remaining bushing towards the trailing
arm until you get to the trailing arm. Be careful not to cut into the
trailing arm though. Make 2 cuts and remove the piece with the chisel
and/or pry bar. Pop the bushing out.
11) Take the new bushing and set it into the trailing arm
in the same orientation as the old bushing with the hammer.
12) Use the press mechanism to draw the bushing into the trailing arm.
Be sure the bushing is drawing straight and evenly. Be sure you press
it in the same amount as the old bushing.
13) If you have the reinforcers lay them into the cup and slide it over
the bushing. You may need to tap it on with the hammer.
14) Slide the bolt back in and tighten it down to 81 ft-lb.
15) Bolt the cup back to the body and align to the marks as best as you
can. Tighten to 57 ft-lb. That seems a little low to me so I cranked on
them a bit more (don't blame me if you break something).
16) Check to be sure the spring is seated and raise the suspension up.
Replace the shock bolt and torque to 57 ft-lb.
17) Lower the suspension back down and replace the wheel. Torque to ~78
ft-lb once it's back on the ground.
18) Repeat for the other side.
19) Get an alignment.
Update [04.01.03]: I installed the summer wheels/tires today and
I can say that the new RTABs and enforcers really make a difference. The
rear end is really locked down now, no more wiggle on accelerating, or
strange tracking and sloopiness around the corners. More comments after
I get to drive it a bit more.
Update [09.21.03]: After one track day and one autox this summer
I am confident to say that I'm thrilled with this setup. The rear end
is locked in very nicely and on the street there is no extra NVH. Gone
is the unpredictable rear end wiggle and funky handling. If you're having
strange rear end problems and haven't changed these in 40-60,000 miles
I'd put them near the top of the list of things to fix.
Questions? Comments? >> Email