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Thread: 2008 Z4 3.0i Control Arm Thrust Bushings - kind of critical.

  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    West Virginia

    2008 Z4 3.0i Control Arm Thrust Bushings - kind of critical.

    Hi Everyone,

    BMW of Rockville has informed me that my thrust bushings are leaking. Now I never heard of a bushing leaking before so I did some research. It appears that BMW in their infinite wisdom uses thrust bushings (the ones that the control arm insert into) that have hydraulic fluid in them.

    So I ordered some upgraded ones from Bavarian Autosport - the Meyle ones that are solid rubber. I also ordered the tool to install them too but apparently this tool is backordered. It would have been really nice if BAV would have informed me of this as soon as they knew instead of just putting a slip of paper in the box saying "oh by the way this is backordered" and I am not happy with them right now over this. It's not like I was ordering a 27mm socket or something. This is a tool that is REQUIRED to do the job and this part is serious enough that it needs done sooner than later. In fact, I was planning on doing this work this coming Saturday (October 11th) as the car is getting really bad and I am starting to become concerned. It's the only car I have and I drive it to and from work every day - almost 1,000 miles a week. So I really need to get them replaced. BMW wants $880 to do the work and then they are going to put the OEM hydraulic filled bushings in - which I don't want. And frankly I think $880 is way too much money to do a job that I can do in a couple of hours in my garage and for less than $400 (and that includes buying the tool).

    So here is my problem. I need to find this tool so I can do the work ASAP. I really don't want to and am not sure I can afford to wait another 2 weeks - which is what BAV said when I called about the backorder - they won't have the tool in until next Wednesday October 15th. Then with shipping time and the fact that I have to wait until a weekend to do it puts me at 2 weeks at least. So my question here is, does anyone know of a place that will rent one to me for the day or weekend? Or any individuals who have one that will rent it to me? I'm willing to pay a fair rental price for it because I REALLY need to do this work ASAP and I will return it in good working order and promptly.

    This is the tool I need as I ordered the bushings already installed in a new mounting bracket:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Any help or advice anyone can give will be greatly appreciated. I'm in Martinsburg,WV but I work in Gaithersburg, MD so meeting up to rent/return a tool won't be an issue. If I can find a rental I would like to pick it up today or tomorrow as I am taking tomorrow off work to take care of some personal things so if I can find the tool maybe I can do the work tomorrow after my errands.


    2008 BMW Z4 Roadster 3.0i

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Fairplay, MD
    Michelle, fluid filled bushings are fairly common on BMWs. The fluid fill eliminates some road harshness from transmitting into the passenger compartment and steering wheel. I presume you're talking about what many folks call front control arm bushings, a common weak part on the E46/Z4 type suspension. 40,000 mile replacements are not uncommon. The solid rubber bushings will be slightly harsher but might last longer. I hope you have researched the work required in a good manual or at least studied some online DIY videos.
    The tool is a puller. You should be able to take one of those bushings to a auto parts store, show them the size of the bushing you need to pull, and find some sort of generic puller that will work. You can use a rubber mallet to drive the new bushings on, lubed with some soapy water.
    It's not brain surgery, but these are vital suspension parts that must be properly inserted on the control (thrust) arm shaft and properly torqued to the body. You don't want them sliding off.
    You might also find an independent shop that will install your parts, if you are not completely confident in your ability to do the job yourself.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    West Virginia
    Wow jhm5, I'm very sorry I didn't see your reply before this. Thank you so very much! I did manage to get them done in time. The things were quite critical. The one side almost just came off in the hand of the mechanic who did them. I managed to do just what you said - found an independent shop who took care of it for me.

    I did finally get the tool in so it's on the shelf for the next time it needs done. I'm a fairly good mechanic myself but I'm used to working on old Harleys so I'm not well versed in BMW mechanical workings and/or tips and tricks to working on them.

    Again, thank you. I will make sure I watch the next thread I post, which will be here shortly :-)

    2008 BMW Z4 Roadster 3.0i

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