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Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Trailing Arm Bushing Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$100

Talent:

*****

Tools:

10mm, 8mm, 18mm wrenches and sockets, soft-faced hammer, bushing tool

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Rear trailing arm bushing

Hot Tip:

Replace in pairs

Performance Gain:

Replace faulty rear trailing arm bushing

Complementary Modification:

Replace rear ball joint for wheel bearing carrier

The BMW Z4 rear suspension consists of the following components:

Rear subframe. The differential is bolted to the subframe and the upper and lower control arms are anchored to it.

Trailing arm on each side. The front of the arm is bolted to the body using a bushing and a bracket. The rear wheel bearing is pressed into the rear of the trailing arm.

Upper control arm on each side. The inner end of the upper control arm is bolted to the rear subframe. The outer end is attached to the trailing arm above the wheel bearing opening. A modified bushing (referred to as the rear ball joint) is used at the control arm-to trailing arm attachment point.

Lower control arm on each side. The inner end of the lower control arm is bolted to the rear subframe. The outer end is attached to the trailing below the wheel bearing opening using an eccentric bolt through a rubber bushing or ball joint. The eccentric bolt is used to set rear wheel camber.

Stabilizer bar anchored at the rear subframe and attached via stabilizer links to the rear upper control arms.

Coil springs and gas-filled shock-absorbers mounted separately.

Inspect the rubber bushings and ball joints attaching the trailing arms to the body, the control arms to the rear subframe and the trailing arms, and the subframe to the body and to the differential. These bushing should be solid and lack dry rot. Replace a bushing if it shows signs of failure. Ball joints should be solid and free of excessive movement, rotate but not have play. You can use a large screwdriver or prybar to try to move components against the rubber bushing and watch closely for signs of rubber deterioration and looseness.

The rear trailing arm bushing connects the rear trailing arm to the body. It is a trouble area for higher mileage Z4M models, as it wears out over time. Replace the bushing if it shows any signs of failure. A symptom may be fore and aft movement of the rear wheel and a clunk.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please include your vehicle information.

The rear trailing arm bushing (red arrows) connects the rear trailing arm to the body.
Figure 1

The rear trailing arm bushing (red arrows) connects the rear trailing arm to the body. It is a trouble area for higher mileage Z4M models, as it wears out over time. Replace the bushing if it shows any signs of failure. You will have to remove plastic shields to access it. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle on jack stands. For more information please refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Jacking Up Your BMW Z4. Remove the rear wheel from the side of vehicle you are replacing the bushing on. Remove the rear coil spring. For more information please refer to our Pelican Parts Technical Article on Replacing Your Rear Springs.

Start by disconnect the wheel speed sensor electrical connector.
Figure 2

Start by disconnect the wheel speed sensor electrical connector. The connector is located behind the wheel well liner (red arrow). Blue arrow points to the trailing arm for orientation.

Remove the 8mm fastener (purple arrow).
Figure 3

Remove the 8mm fastener (purple arrow). Remove the 10mm plastic nut (red arrow). Then remove the two plastic rivets (blue arrows). Pull the section of wheel well liner down and off the fender.

Open the sensor connector housing door (red arrow).
Figure 4

Open the sensor connector housing door (red arrow). Pull the ABS sensor electrical connector out of the holder. Disconnect it by pressing the release tab (blue arrow) and pulling it apart. Be careful, these connectors become brittle over time and can crack if squeezed too hard.

Remove the sensor wiring harness (blue arrow) from the mounts (red arrows) on the trailing arm.
Figure 5

Remove the sensor wiring harness (blue arrow) from the mounts (red arrows) on the trailing arm. Hold the mount open with a small flathead screwdriver as you remove the harness.

Continue to remove the sensor wiring harness (blue arrow) from the mounts on the trailing arm by pulling it straight out.
Figure 6

Continue to remove the sensor wiring harness (blue arrow) from the mounts on the trailing arm by pulling it straight out. Then feed the wiring harness (red arrows) through the hole in the trailing arm.

Working at the front of the wheel well liner, remove the two T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows) and the 10mm plastic nut (yellow arrow).
Figure 7

Working at the front of the wheel well liner, remove the two T25 Torx fasteners (red arrows) and the 10mm plastic nut (yellow arrow).

Remove the plastic shield.
Figure 8

Remove the plastic shield.

Next, remove 10mm brake hose mounting fastener on the trailing arm (red arrow) located on the inside near drive axle.
Figure 9

Next, remove 10mm brake hose mounting fastener on the trailing arm (red arrow) located on the inside near drive axle.

Now back to the top of the trailing arm, pull the wheel speed sensor harness out of the mount (yellow arrow), then remove the 8mm brake line mounting fastener (red arrow).
Figure 10

Now back to the top of the trailing arm, pull the wheel speed sensor harness out of the mount (yellow arrow), then remove the 8mm brake line mounting fastener (red arrow).

Mark the orientation on the trailing arm to body to help when reinstalling, trace the perimeter using a marker (red arrow).
Figure 11

Mark the orientation on the trailing arm to body to help when reinstalling, trace the perimeter using a marker (red arrow).

Then remove three trailing arm 18mm fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 12

Then remove three trailing arm 18mm fasteners (red arrows).

Pull trailing arm down away from body and place a block of wood (red arrow) between trailing arm and body.
Figure 13

Pull trailing arm down away from body and place a block of wood (red arrow) between trailing arm and body.

Remove the 18mm trailing arm mounting bracket fastener (red arrow).
Figure 14

Remove the 18mm trailing arm mounting bracket fastener (red arrow). Then remove bracket from trailing arm (yellow arrow).

Assemble press tool to extract bushing from trailing arm.
Figure 15

Assemble press tool to extract bushing from trailing arm. Then extract bushing from trailing arm following directions supplied with tool. This can be done using a number of different press options. The old bushing can be knocked or cut out in most cases. Then using a universal bushing press, (be sure the cups are the correct size by measuring bushing before hand) to install the new bushing.

Once bushing has been removed, clean mounting area of rust and debris (green arrow).
Figure 16

Once bushing has been removed, clean mounting area of rust and debris (green arrow).

Assemble press tool and new bushing to install bushing into trailing arm.
Figure 17

Assemble press tool and new bushing to install bushing into trailing arm. Then install bushing into trailing arm following directions supplied with tool. Check that the bushing is at same installation depth as the one you removed, as per your earlier measurement. Then reinstall trailing arm bracket and tighten fastener. Remove block of wood from trialing arm, then install trailing arm to body fasteners and tighten. Do your best to get the trailing arm in the same place it was in before, using the reference marks you made. Reinstall wiring harness and brake hose mount. Then install coil spring and remaining items in reverse order of removal. Once complete, have vehicle professionally aligned.

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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 03:07:34 AM