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BMW E30 3 Series Motor Mount Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW E30 3 Series Motor Mount Replacement

Jared Fenton

Time:

2-3 hours

Tab:

$35-$50

Talent:

***

Tools:

Floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench, 1 foot by 6-inch block of wood, 13mm wrench, metric socket set, metric wrench set,

Applicable Models:

BMW E30 3-Series (1984-93)

Parts Required:

Engine mounts, new engine mount fasteners

Performance Gain:

An engine that's solidly in the chassis

Complementary Modification:

Replace the trans mount

BMW E30 3 Series Motor Mount Replacement

Are you feeling a weird vibration from your car when you shift or accelerate? Is the shifter rocking back and forth like it's possessed? Are you hearing and feeling a huge knocking noise when you drive? All these are a symptom of old or broken motor mounts. In this tech article I will go over the steps involved with replacing the motor mounts on the BMW E30 3 Series from 1984-91. Keep in mind that this article is specific to my 325is, however this article does apply to four-cylinder models as well. A lot of people have been asking me to do an article on this subject, so here goes.

Motor mounts have two primary functions in a car. One, they secure the motor to the vehicles chassis, and prevent the motor from crashing into the fenders. When you hit the gas, the torsional forces of the crankshaft turning causes the motor to twist as it delivers power to the rear wheels. The motor mounts prevent this. Unfortunately, bolting the motor direct to the chassis also results in transmitting the vibration from the engine all throughout the car. The solution is to mount the engine to the chassis using rubber mounts. The rubber acts as a damper, allowing the engine a certain amount of play, and keeps it from rattling you to death as you drive.

Over time, the rubber mounts begin to wear out due to constant vibration, the torque of the engine twisting the mounts, and general road grime and oil. Eventually the rubber will rip or fail, causing the motor to twist excessively. The fix for this is to replace the mounts.

The first step in replacing the mounts is to first determine the location. Open the hood and look down on either side of the engine. You will see a rigid metal link that bolts to the engine block on either side. At the end of these links is a rubber spacer. The spacer is the motor mount.

It's a good idea to disconnect the battery at this time as well. We will be working around the general area of the starter motor, and it is possible to accidentally touch the terminals with a wrench. I have seen wrenches welded to starter motors because someone forgot to disconnect the battery.

Now chock the rear wheels and jack up the front of the car. Be sure to secure the front end on good quality jack stands. NEVER rely on a jack to hold the car up. You are asking for trouble. For those of you not familiar with how to jack up the front of your car, I highly recommend you check out Wayne's article on jacking up your BMW. It applies to the E36 3 Series, however it will provide you with a clear understanding of how to jack up your BMW correctly. Here is a link for the article.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/techarticles/E36-Jacking_Up/E36-Jacking_Up.htm

Once the front end is up on jack stands and is firmly supported, we can move onto the next step. Look under the car for the nut that secures the motor mount to the chassis. Remove each nut from either side. Don't worry about the motor falling or shifting at this point, as the weight of the block will keep it supported in place. Now, we will want to remove the upper nut on each of the mounts. You may find it easier to access these from inside the engine compartment.

Now comes the tricky part. We will want to actually jack up the engine enough so that we can pull the old mounts out. The best location to jack the engine is from the oil pan. Get a piece of wood about a foot long by 6 inches and place it in between the jack and the oil pan. The wood will help distribute the weight of the engine and help prevent you from damaging the oil pan.

Now start jacking the engine up. Go very slowly and look for any hoses, lines or wires that may be stretching. If you see any of this, STOP, and address whatever may be stretching. Now keep jacking just until you have enough clearance to pull the old motor mounts from between the engine and the chassis. BE EXTREMELY CAREFUL when doing this, as the engine will only be supported by the jack. In some cases it may be helpful to put jack stands under the wood while the engine is up. This will provide extra safety.

Once the old mounts are out, slide the new mounts into position on the chassis. Now slowly lower the engine until the threads on each mount slide into their respective holes on the engine link. It may take some time to get these lined up exactly. Once lined up, lower the engine completely so that the new mounts are bearing the load from the weight of the engine.

Now remove the jack from under the car and thread new self-locking nuts onto both sides of each mount. It's important to always use new nuts as they are designed to only be tightened once. If you re-use the old nuts, they can slowly work themselves loose and possibly cause a huge disaster. Once all the nuts are threaded on, torque them to 30ft./lbs.Now jack the sides of the car up and remove the jack stands. Lower the car back down to the ground.

Well, there you have it - it's really not too difficult at all. If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs. If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one. Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one. As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

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Comments and Suggestions:
rommaster2 Comments: One additional thing to note i don't know if this makes a difference on any other models but my 85 318i there is a damper like a little shock that is on the passenger side near the motor mount requiring a 13mm wrench and socket wrench to remove. Without undoing that I wasn't able to get the passenger side replacement mount in as the engine wouldn't lift enough. That said its a good thing that damper is there, my mounts were both broken in two pieces.
May 30, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for sharing your installation process and experience. These type of comments add so much to the Pelican tech community.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Justin Comments: Any way to build a f20c mount for the e30?
June 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Not sure.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
max Comments: Thanks for the write up... forgive me if this has already been addressed but I heard you could use e28 mounts on an e30 to lift the motor up a little needed when lowww... does this sound true? Or e36 mounts?
September 14, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: I don't have any experience with that scenario.

I opened a post in our forums. A Pelican community member may be able to answer your question.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Tim G Comments: If you have upgraded brakes and sticky tires, the rubber OEM engine mounts can flex or even shear in half and slam your fan into the radiator. Urethane racing mounts are needed if you are going to be braking super hard.
September 4, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the input on this one. We appreciate the help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
emenot Comments: Thanks for all the tips, but I am wondering by jacking the engine upward will this put any stress on the trans mounts and do I have to do anything to the transmission mounts to facilitate replacement of the the engine mounts?
August 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: No you should have enough clearance, however putting stress on an old part may make it fail. You might want to change the transmission mounts also - Nick at Pelican Parts  
emenot Comments: Thanks for all the tips, but I am wondering jacking the engine upward put any stress on the trans mounts and do I have to do anything to the transmission mounts to facilitate replacement of the the engine mounts?
August 6, 2012
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Be careful not to put too much stress on the transmission mounts because you can break them. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
TREV... Comments: very good advice, thank you. i used an additional jack as the drivers side engine mount did not lift off the old engine mount and a large metal bar for leaveridge which worked very well.
August 27, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
chruby99@yahoo.com Comments: Does this apply to an ix model as well. The top and bottom stoppers did not catch. are these wear items
July 4, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The directions will be the same.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
sem Comments: Vibrations disappear after replacing new motor mounts but only for about 2 days or 300kms. Virations came back but not as bad as previously. I notice old mounts had writings on it and black in colour whereas new ones were gray and no writings on them. Faulty mounts?
June 7, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Motor mounts will not get rid of excessive vibration, make sure the engine is running correctly.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
matt Comments: The last two commenters probably have the stud in the wrong hole. try reversing the holes that the stud and the pin are in to move the mounts inboard.
May 17, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional Info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Jon Comments: I am also having trouble getting one of the studs lined up in the appropriate hole. Any help would be greatly appreciated!
April 14, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The only trick I can recommend is using a floor jack under the engine, or even supporting it with a larger transmission jack. That will give you some wiggle room, if I understand the question correctly. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
shawn Comments: hi. i was wondering. i am having a hard time lining the new ones up and the engine seem to pull both mounts inward. no matter what i do the one mount is to far out. any suggestions? maybe the mount arm?
April 12, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: See my comment above - I think you need to support the engine with the jack and wiggle it around a bit to take tension off the mount / arm. - Wayne at Pelican Parts  
Beamer Comments: great directions
March 8, 2010
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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