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Thread: Poly Control Arm Bushing Group Buy

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    E21 320i, e39 540i/6

    Poly Control Arm Bushing Group Buy

    Gents,
    Nick (theNeek) and I have been working on custom poly control arm bushings. Nick, out of the goodness of his own heart, has offered to turn up a set for me once I provide him a print, which is now. He also offered to make a few extra sets and offer them to BF.c at the cost of materials + shipping. If there is enough interest he will buy enough material to make a total of 7 sets, which means there will be 5 sets available to the first 5 takers.

    THESE BUSHINGS ARE DESIGNED FOR MEYLE CONTROL ARMS FOR THE '80-'83 E21!

    I just ordered new Meyle control arms, which are considered to be the best available OEM arms available today, from Autohausaz for ~$50 each. If you install these in another arm we can't guaruntee they will fit but you can verify fit easily with a few simple measurements, most importantly the I.D. of the bushing hole in the control arm. If yours is 42mm, these WILL fit you control arms.

    Now on to the details. The bushings will be made from 95A black polyurethane round stock turned in a lathe. They are designed to be a .003" press fit into the control arm for a tight fit. A 316 stainless steel sleeve will then press into the bushing with a 0 tolerance fit. Type 316 was selected for its superior corrosion resistance. The sleeve is designed to have a slightly tighter fit over the sway bar to reduce any slop that is in the factory bushing design.

    The total cost of materials will be about $172.40 which will equal about $25 a set plus shipping. This cost does not cover any of my time or Nick's time to machine them, so you all owe him a beer at bimmerfest.

    Confirmation of your order will be made by replying to this thread.

    Shown below is a 3d rendering of the bushings also showing your existing factory clamp washers:






    I hope to one day be able to offer these for sale to anyone that wants them through my future hotrod shop, Sledgehammer Engineering. I'm not likely to get the machining done for free again so get them at this price while you can. Consider this Sledgehammer Engineering's first performance E21 product at a price that can't be beat.

    Last edited by jrcook320; 05-02-2008 at 10:50 AM.

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    Canberra, ACT, Straya
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    82' E21 318i, 92 MB-180E
    I'll have a set. How would you like me to pay. I am in Australia, would you still be willing?

    Thanks alot

    Hal
    "The most important thing is balance." - KT

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Ohio
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    E21 320i, e39 540i/6
    payment and shipping will be determined by TheNeek.

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Minneapolis, MN
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    96
    My Cars
    1982 320i 24 Hours of LeMons.
    $25 per set? I'll take a set. These will *probably* fit a stock control arm right?
    Racing in the 2009 24 Hours of LeMons
    1982 320i
    Visit our website "Team Lemon Party"

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    E21, E24, E34, E46
    I'm definitely down for a set. I've been planning to make my own for ...years.

  6. #6
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    Yes, $25 per set plus shipping.

    The Meyle arms are stock OEM quality replacements. It has been reported that there is variance in aftermarket control arms such that poly control arm bushings made for one brand may not fit in another brand.

    I don't think this difference could possibly vary by more than 1mm which means these bushings will likely fit, but I have no way to verify this. Given the nature of polyurethane and that we are making this slightly oversized for a press fit, I think they should fit most arms out there. All I know is that my new meyle arms have a bore of 42mm even. You can measure the bore of your control arms by taking the nut off the sway bar, sliding the washer off and checking with calipers, or worst case a metric ruler to verify that you are in the ball park.

    If your arms have any age on them I would recommend just buying a new set anyway, you may get this bushings installed and have bad ball joints anyway. The ball joints on my generic Bavauto control arms didn't last for 20,000 miles.

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    82' E21 318i, 92 MB-180E
    "The most important thing is balance." - KT

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
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    Mill Creekish WA
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    97 M3/4/5 81 E21 72 Bav
    So far:
    Big John
    Schnit
    Layne
    Jchristians

    Chances are that you will most likely have to use a dead blow hammer (or a sledge ) if you don't have access to a press to put the bushings in. I am leaving for BimmerFest in a few minutes so I'll be sure to resurrect this post when I get back. I'm excited to make these.


  9. #9
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    Duke - '82 320i

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2003
    Location
    Mill Creekish WA
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    97 M3/4/5 81 E21 72 Bav
    So far:
    jrcook320
    Big John
    Schnit
    Layne
    Jchristians
    fullswing

    If there is more interest I can increase the quantity of raw stock so that more than 7 sets are available. I already have a set of the 320i.com bushings on my car so I don't think I'll NEED a set right off the bat, but who knows. The plan, in a broad scope, is to cut one set and ship them off to Josh. Have him verify fitment and then I'll run the rest. That way we don't end up with a bunch of folks with useless pieces of polyurethane.


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Seattle, WA USA
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    My Cars
    82 320i E21, 95 Porsche 911 Carrera, 95 MR2 NA
    I'm in - I'll take a set.

    I know the number is limited so I won't ask for 2 sets as I want everyone to get a fair chance. However, if there are any left at the end, I'll take 2 sets.

    This is really great - thank you for making this happen!
    Marco
    Marco = 82 320i Hennarot - 95 Porsche 911 Carrera - 95 Red MR2 NA Hardtop

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Hillsboro, OR
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    83 320iS, 83 533i, 90E34
    Quote Originally Posted by jrcook320 View Post
    Gents,
    I just ordered new Meyle control arms, which are considered to be the best available OEM arms available today, from Autohausaz for ~$50 each. ]
    Man...I went through this earlier this year..you are confusing "Meyle" with Mahle. The units on autohaus arizona are Meyle/OCAP, the worst crap out there. My damn bushings popped out! Your upgrade, which is cool as hell by the way, will solve this issue but the question is how long the ball joints will last? If you are looking for cheap control arms to try this out on, these are the best. But Dont confuse them with the Mahle's! I don't know if the ball joints are just as crap as the large bushings that you are replacing. Mine failed after 3 months- perfectly good bushings popping out of the arm and splitting.

    John

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Ohio
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    E21 320i, e39 540i/6
    So far:
    jrcook320
    Big John
    Schnit
    Layne
    Jchristians
    fullswing
    Marquinho

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
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    TX
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    Bagged W108, E39 M5, PPV
    got room for one more set? I'll definitely buy one!

    So....

    jrcook320
    Big John
    Schnit
    Layne
    Jchristians
    fullswing
    Marquinho
    DrewDude320i

    PS, nice sig!


  15. #15
    Join Date
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    E21, E24, E34, E46
    I've put over 50,000 miles on the arms that were on my car when I got it (who knows before that). Just had to change the bushings and the boots. With all the horror stories about new ones, I plan to make these last forever.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by waferman View Post
    Man...I went through this earlier this year..you are confusing "Meyle" with Mahle. The units on autohaus arizona are Meyle/OCAP, the worst crap out there. My damn bushings popped out! Your upgrade, which is cool as hell by the way, will solve this issue but the question is how long the ball joints will last? If you are looking for cheap control arms to try this out on, these are the best. But Dont confuse them with the Mahle's! I don't know if the ball joints are just as crap as the large bushings that you are replacing. Mine failed after 3 months- perfectly good bushings popping out of the arm and splitting.

    John
    Meyle has a good reputation for other BMW control arms, why would they scimp on e21 arms? They are made in Turkey, are an OEM supplier, and the arms and ball joints appear to be very high quality. I installed Bimmerworld's bushing and control arm kit which uses Meyle M3 control arms on my wife's e46. They claim to use those arms on their race cars.

    Bimmerworld's Control Arm Offer

    That said, I just pressed the stock bushings out and I assure you they were a very tight fit in the arm. I wouldn't trust ANY stock control arm bushing to last, the design is junk no matter who makes it. Anyone else running Meyle arms with good results? Where do you get Mahle arms?

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
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    Fresno, CA
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    79 e21, SL500, Titan
    Put me down for 1 set - Thanks

  18. #18
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    Aug 2007
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    BFE, NC
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    various
    I'm in, I live in North Carolina so we'll have to figure out some shipping. These will rock for auto-x.

    I put my Meyle arms in about two months ago, and after 3 autocrosses I've had no issues. I am hoping that the bushings, along with the coil-over kit that I've going to buy soon (anybody looking to get rid of a used one), will cure my horrible body roll.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
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    Hillsboro, OR
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    83 320iS, 83 533i, 90E34
    I wrote in to Bimmer Magazine asking about my issue with the control arm, and Mike stated that these were the cheapest out there (duh, they are $56 a piece) and his business wont use them, or anything with OCAP attached to it. My question was even published in the Q&A section.

    If the ball joints hold up, theres no issue here, and there is actually value added due to the low price. But there is a reason that they are $20 cheaper than most others...and there are many layers of manufacturing- globalized parts- who's to say that Meyle doesn't send them out to a third party for the older applications, and quality isn't up to snuff? I'm just sayin.

    John

    Mahle's are the OEM BMW parts. Keep in mind that Fred noticed that even Mahle sent work out to other contries, and he didn't like the resulting quality.
    Last edited by waferman; 05-02-2008 at 01:16 PM.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    seattle
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    540i,329is,318is,320si,boxster
    Hello,
    Please include me for one set also.
    Thanks,
    EWWMAX

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
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    I'm with John on this one, but since you are turning then out of solid stock to begin with, if the ball joints in the Meyle arms turn out to be as bad as I suspect they will be, worst case scenario is that you tried, you're out $56 and now you need to buy a set of Mahle arms (or hopefully you kept your old arms), press those bushings out and put them in the good arms. Hopefully the issues that John & I & a few others had were just a fluke and these will be better. If so, then it's definately the way to go since they are less expensive arms to begin with. Hopefully they don't come in the box from Turkey with a made in Mexico sticker on them.

    Nick, keep in mind that the urethane will expand when heated from being turned on the lathe and then shrink back down when it cools. I remember Fred going through those issues when he was turning his bushings a few years back and burned through a bunch of urethane before he figured out what the process needed to be. IIRC, he turned them down in stages and let them cool down in between so that he never got them too hot & never let them get too far out of spec. Just something to keep in mind so you don't waste a bunch of material. And I am simply repeating what he told me, no personal first-hand experience with this... take it FWIW.
    e21: 1981 2.5L sleeper
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  22. #22
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    Looks like I'm a little late for a set of these

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
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    Guys, I'm not sure how many Nick is willing to make on the first run, it will be up to him. Here's the list so far:

    jrcook320
    Big John
    Schnit
    Layne
    Jchristians
    fullswing
    Marquinho
    DrewDude320i
    Anton3
    sporkfan
    ewwmax
    Cereal Killa

    If anyone has a set of Mahle control arms (or any control arm for that matter) and can measure the bushing hole I.D., I'd be curious to see how much variance there is among brands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Layne View Post
    I've put over 50,000 miles on the arms that were on my car when I got it (who knows before that). Just had to change the bushings and the boots. With all the horror stories about new ones, I plan to make these last forever.
    What brand are they? Is it stamped on the cover plate on the bottom of the ball joint?

    '81 320i turbo | t25, 931 CIS, 250hp, 13.92@100mph | 2.2L m10 Turbo Build | My E21 Videos |

  24. #24
    Join Date
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    I'll take a set as well. Thanks.

  25. #25
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    Josh there are 8 of us here at Attila's house right now all excited about this. You can count me in on a set!

    This is awesome!

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