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Thread: E36 Subframe Bushings question / recommendation

  1. #1
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    E36 Subframe Bushings question / recommendation

    When taking a look under my 328i I noticed the subframe bushings are completely shot and need to be replaced. I just got access to a garage so I can finally start working on this, but I would like some opinions.

    Would solid plastic subframe bushings (e.g. Powerflex) make any noticeable difference in ride or handling quality over the OEM style bushings?

    I've had my eye on the Condor Speed Shop UHMW Polyethylene bushings as they supposedly don't suffer from the squeak problem of the other bushings: https://www.condorspeedshop.com/coll...ngs-e36-e36-m3

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    E36 Subframe Bushings question / recommendation

    I donít recall hearing that poly sub-frame bushings made noise other than an expected slight increase NVH.
    FLCA bushings and RTABushings are a different story.
    People installing Powerflex have reported having to use a more robust retention washer, typically purchased from McMaster-Carr. There are several threads addressing this issue.


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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by bluptgm3 View Post
    I don’t recall hearing that poly sub-frame bushings made noise other than an expected slight increase NVH.
    FLCA bushings and RTABushings are a different story.
    People installing Powerflex have reported having to use a more robust retention washer, typically purchased from McMaster-Carr. There are several threads addressing this issue.
    Perhaps it was RTABs I was thinking of that would squeak. And I suppose that was my original question, if it had any noticeable impact on NVH. I'd like the ride quality to be reasonable once I'm done with the suspension updates as I'd like to be able to daily it. Better handling would be a bonus. Plans include Bilsteins and eventually replacing RTABs and all other bushings and mounts. Currently they look fine but I'm attacking the worst offenders first as the paychecks come in. :P

  4. #4
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    If you're just doing the subframe, 80A or 95A poly won't really make any difference in noise. The key is if you also replace your diff bushings since those further isolate the driveline from the subframe which itself is isolated from the chassis by the subframe bushings. If you go stiff poly (or solid) on both the diff and subframe you can expect some increase in noise/vibration.

    Personally, I just got my subframe bushings from revshift. Powerflex is very similar. As far as squeaking goes, I doubt that could be much of an issue on the subframe bushings since they don't really move. If you're paranoid about it, just throw some marine grease in there as pre-lube when you press them in. Poly RTAB's can definitely squeak though, not that I recommend getting poly RTAB's (for other reasons).
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver - Daily Driver and Track Toy


  5. #5
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    I wouldn't consider 80A except for transmission mounts as 80A is just too soft anywhere else IMO. With 95A subframe mounts you could go solid diff mounts if you desire without issue. No noise from the bushings wether you grease them or not.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by E36forever View Post
    I wouldn't consider 80A except for transmission mounts as 80A is just too soft anywhere else IMO. With 95A subframe mounts you could go solid diff mounts if you desire without issue. No noise from the bushings wether you grease them or not.
    Agreed on 80A being too soft for most things, but I guess 95A will have a bit more NVH than 80A so it's partly personal preference based on how much tolerance they have for it and what they use their car for. I have 80A Vorshlag trans mounts, and 95A everywhere else except the RTAB's which are OEM with limiters, all going in this winter.
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver - Daily Driver and Track Toy


  7. #7
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    I’d go harder on subframe than on diff. 95A/80A or 75D/95A if you want to be more aggressive. Poly in those locations works great and is easy to install.

  8. #8
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    Thanks for the input, folks! That helps out a ton. How soft is 75 compared to OEM / rubber?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aeko View Post
    Thanks for the input, folks! That helps out a ton. How soft is 75 compared to OEM / rubber?
    In order from softest to hardest:

    OEM rubber - 80A poly - 95A poly - 75D/delrin - aluminum/solid

    80A poly is often described as OEM+ and is pretty close to where most OEM rubber is, just slightly stiffer on average. 95A is stiffer but still has some give and is miles more forgiving than delrin/75D or any solid bushing/mount. Just remember that the A and D durometer scales are different with the D scale being WAY stiffer than the A scale. Refer to the handy Powerflex-supplied image below:

    PowerFlex_Durometer_ShoreScales.jpg
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver - Daily Driver and Track Toy


  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by TostitoBandito View Post
    In order from softest to hardest:

    OEM rubber - 80A poly - 95A poly - 75D/delrin - aluminum/solid

    80A poly is often described as OEM+ and is pretty close to where most OEM rubber is, just slightly stiffer on average. 95A is stiffer but still has some give and is miles more forgiving than delrin/75D or any solid bushing/mount. Just remember that the A and D durometer scales are different with the D scale being WAY stiffer than the A scale. Refer to the handy Powerflex-supplied image below:

    PowerFlex_Durometer_ShoreScales.jpg
    Perfect, that scale is exactly what I was looking for!

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