How to Remove E30 Subframe Bushing

Written by william zane
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The E30 is the second generation BMW 3 Series and replaced the E21 3 Series in 1984. The E30 is a small, practical but fun-to-drive BMW that is still extremely popular today. Like any ageing BMW, the E30 series of cars have their foibles, one of which is the rubber bushings that isolate the rear subframe from the chassis. When these become worn, the car’s handling can become loose and unpredictable, requiring replacement of the bushings.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Floor jacks (2)
  • Jack stands (2)
  • Socket set and ratchet
  • Torch
  • Flat head screwdrivers (2)
  • 24-inch long, ½-inch diameter threaded rod pipe
  • 36-inch, ½-inch diameter threaded rod pipe
  • Flat washers
  • Nuts that fit on threaded rod
  • Slide hammer weight

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  1. 1

    Remove the lower seat cushion on the rear seats. Place a large blanket over the back of the seats so they don't get dirty.

  2. 2

    Loosen the lug nuts for the rear wheels. Raise the rear of the vehicle and place it on jack stands on either side. Finish removing the wheels and set them aside.

  3. 3

    Raise the trailing arm with the floor jack to release the tension from the shock. Remove the bolt at the bottom of the shock that fastens it to the trailing arm.

  4. 4

    Support the chassis crossmember with a jack. Remove the nut located at the bottom of the bushing with a socket and ratchet. Remove the two bolts that hold the lower bushing plate in place. These are located just in front of the rear jacking point.

  5. 5

    Push the bolt located inside of the bushing out of the bushing by inserting the 24-inch length of metal rod into the bushing and tapping it with the hammer. The bolt will come out into the rear interior area.

  6. 6

    Lower the jack that is supporting the crossmember and pull the crossmember down a few inches to allow enough clearance to remove the subframe bushing.

  7. 7

    Insert a 36-inch length of threaded rod pipe through the bushing but not all the way into the vehicle. Place a flat wash on the top end of the rod and then thread a nut onto the rod so that a few threads of rod are sticking out on the other side of the nut.

  8. 8

    Slide the slide hammer weight onto the rod. Install another washer and two more nuts on the bottom end of the rod. Use a torch to heat the crossmember where the bushing is installed. Heat the crossmember for eight to 10 minutes.

  9. 9

    Pry out the bushing with two flat head screwdrivers, using the slide hammer to help push the bushings out.

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