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      03-28-2020, 03:53 AM   #1
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Are bushing upgrades worthed it?

Hi all, I've been reading up on bushing upgrades for the F30 and was wondering which one to go for. My goal is to improve the car's handling and road feel on spirited drivings. I will also be upgrading the coilovers as well when I do the bushings.

Been looking at Superpro and Powerflex bushings and saw some initial good reviews out there. However I've also read that some people had their polyutherane bushings fail prematurely.

So my questions are:
1. Are there any alternatives?
2. Are the benefits worthed it?
3. Would the benefits still be noticable after upgrading the coilovers?
4. Are the rear diff bushing upgrades worthed it as well?

Hope someone with experience can chime in on this.
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      03-28-2020, 06:14 AM   #2
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I've been there, done it, had failures, and wouldn't do it (poly) again.

The cost of the poly components, and any like-for-like replacements, isn't the problem. The real costs, if you want to do suspension setup properly, lie in the workshop time including corner weighting and full geo.

IMO the only way to achieve a (hopefully) lasting solutíon is to use monoball components. Trouble is, they've not been in the aftermarket for an extended period of time and are relatively unproven.

There are many threads on this one n this Suspension section of the forum.
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      03-28-2020, 10:57 AM   #3
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If you're still going to daily drive the car I would do M3 control arms/tension struts.
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      03-28-2020, 02:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watsey View Post
I've been there, done it, had failures, and wouldn't do it (poly) again.

The cost of the poly components, and any like-for-like replacements, isn't the problem. The real costs, if you want to do suspension setup properly, lie in the workshop time including corner weighting and full geo.

IMO the only way to achieve a (hopefully) lasting solutÃ*on is to use monoball components. Trouble is, they've not been in the aftermarket for an extended period of time and are relatively unproven.

There are many threads on this one n this Suspension section of the forum.
Hi Watsey thanks for the input! Been looking up on monoball upgrades and although some people reported improvements in the steering feel, they also said the tradeoff was louder thumps or bangs when driving on bumpy roads. The roads around my place can be bad so that's not really an option I can live with everyday. I might use the money instead for sway bar upgrades first. However I might do the monoballs later when I get to hear more good reviews on them out on the road.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
If you're still going to daily drive the car I would do M3 control arms/tension struts.
This is something I've been looking at for some time. However I read that doing both the M3 control arms and tension struts can cause the wheel to be pulled forward towards the front wheel arch, which can cause rubbing issues. What is the solution to this?
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      03-28-2020, 04:00 PM   #5
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Ive got delrin bushings in the rear subframe and rear differential. It is amazing how much better the car handles when the subframe doesn't move! but yes you will feel more but you will be able to dial that out with the coilovers.

Ive got polyurethane bushings in the thrust and control arm...steering response have improved and the alignment specs are preserved under load for better traction.

for me it has been confidence inspiring and I love it...the handling feels much closer to the
e46 BMWs. Feel without harshness is like asking for HP without fuel consumption...you will need to accept a certain level of harshness to improve the feel. So it will be important to choose the appropriate coilover for your application...im thinking KW street comforts.
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      03-28-2020, 06:19 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DasF30 View Post
Hi Watsey thanks for the input! Been looking up on monoball upgrades and although some people reported improvements in the steering feel, they also said the tradeoff was louder thumps or bangs when driving on bumpy roads. The roads around my place can be bad so that's not really an option I can live with everyday. I might use the money instead for sway bar upgrades first. However I might do the monoballs later when I get to hear more good reviews on them out on the road.



This is something I've been looking at for some time. However I read that doing both the M3 control arms and tension struts can cause the wheel to be pulled forward towards the front wheel arch, which can cause rubbing issues. What is the solution to this?
Slightly if you install both. However, I have no issues with rubbing. My setup is a 2014 335i RWD with the M Performance Suspension kit (10mm lower than passive 704 Sport Suspension).

I'm running a square setup of 255/40/18 Conti ECS and APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 wheels. I've also run Michelin PS4S 255/40/18 as well and no rubbing. No spacers.

It does not rub so unless you're running some other crazy tire/wheel setup you should be fine.

Quote:
Originally Posted by brigade24 View Post
Ive got delrin bushings in the rear subframe and rear differential. It is amazing how much better the car handles when the subframe doesn't move! but yes you will feel more but you will be able to dial that out with the coilovers.

Ive got polyurethane bushings in the thrust and control arm...steering response have improved and the alignment specs are preserved under load for better traction.

for me it has been confidence inspiring and I love it...the handling feels much closer to the
e46 BMWs. Feel without harshness is like asking for HP without fuel consumption...you will need to accept a certain level of harshness to improve the feel. So it will be important to choose the appropriate coilover for your application...im thinking KW street comforts.
I think that would cause the biggest improvement in the rear. I'm not inclined to replace the differential bushings with Delrin bushings at the moment...
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      03-28-2020, 08:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brigade24 View Post
Ive got delrin bushings in the rear subframe and rear differential. It is amazing how much better the car handles when the subframe doesn't move! but yes you will feel more but you will be able to dial that out with the coilovers.

Ive got polyurethane bushings in the thrust and control arm...steering response have improved and the alignment specs are preserved under load for better traction.

for me it has been confidence inspiring and I love it...the handling feels much closer to the e46 BMWs. Feel without harshness is like asking for HP without fuel consumption...you will need to accept a certain level of harshness to improve the feel. So it will be important to choose the appropriate coilover for your application...im thinking KW street comforts.
Do you find the extra harshness still tolerable for daily driving and city streets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Slightly if you install both. However, I have no issues with rubbing. My setup is a 2014 335i RWD with the M Performance Suspension kit (10mm lower than passive 704 Sport Suspension).

I'm running a square setup of 255/40/18 Conti ECS and APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 wheels. I've also run Michelin PS4S 255/40/18 as well and no rubbing. No spacers.

It does not rub so unless you're running some other crazy tire/wheel setup you should be fine.
I'm currently running OEM M4 19" wheels and tires. I'm not sure if it would work for my case as its a 19". Going to drop the car either on KW V1s or Bilstein B14s, I would definitely consider this upgrade if its gonna work with the coilovers.
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      03-29-2020, 12:25 AM   #8
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I am incredibly pleased at the overall improvements in handling and suspension with all of the changes I have made.

I have a comprehensive DIY thread up here on all the changes, and for me, absolutely worth it.
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      03-29-2020, 04:09 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brigade24 View Post

Ive got polyurethane bushings in the thrust and control arm...steering response have improved and the alignment specs are preserved under load for better traction.
I certainly agree with this.

The massively improved steering precision, and lack of slop, from poly bushes in the LCA and TS is one of my favourite upgrades but the short lifespan has been a costly problem.
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      03-31-2020, 08:47 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Watsey View Post
I certainly agree with this.

The massively improved steering precision, and lack of slop, from poly bushes in the LCA and TS is one of my favourite upgrades but the short lifespan has been a costly problem.
I have a set of front Powerflex caster/camber adjustable bushings waiting to go in. Can you give more detail on the short lifespan? Powerflex warranties the bushings for life so that's good at least
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      03-31-2020, 10:44 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liandri View Post
I have a set of front Powerflex caster/camber adjustable bushings waiting to go in. Can you give more detail on the short lifespan? Powerflex warranties the bushings for life so that's good at least
The labor to install those bushings sucks.
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      03-31-2020, 02:26 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liandri View Post
I have a set of front Powerflex caster/camber adjustable bushings waiting to go in. Can you give more detail on the short lifespan? Powerflex warranties the bushings for life so that's good at least
My Superpro bushes have been on the car for ~2.5 years.

The bushes in the wishbones (the straight units) which are to the rear of the hubs are shot. There's significant elongation/ovalling of the hole in the poly through which the centre shaft/bolt pass, and this has been notified as an MOT advisory. The geometry on my car will be all over the place as a result.

The bushes for the tension struts (the 'wonky' arms which are to the front of the hubs) appear to have lasted OK so far, BUT, I'll be checking these very carefully and will most likely replace them with sealed monoball units.
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      03-31-2020, 04:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DIY Guy View Post
I am incredibly pleased at the overall improvements in handling and suspension with all of the changes I have made.

I have a comprehensive DIY thread up here on all the changes, and for me, absolutely worth it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DIY Guy View Post
I am incredibly pleased at the overall improvements in handling and suspension with all of the changes I have made.

I have a comprehensive DIY thread up here on all the changes, and for me, absolutely worth it.
Can you please confirm which PowerFlex PN you installed in the control arm video?


PFF5-1901G (Front Upper Thrust Arm To Chassis Bushings, Caster Adjustable)

or

PFF5-1901 (Front Upper Thrust Arm To Chassis Bushings)
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      03-31-2020, 04:09 PM   #14
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I did the 1901 NON adjustable.
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      03-31-2020, 04:27 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW DIY Guy View Post
I did the 1901 NON adjustable.
That's what I thought, just wanted to confirm since both PN's show up for F3X.

Appreciate your YouTube video on this, it has pushed me over the edge to DIY once I hit 100k this summer.

Any plans to do the "other control arm" (#2 in this diagram) ?
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      03-31-2020, 04:30 PM   #16
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FWIW...

BMW calls #1 Tension Strut and #2 Wishbone
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      03-31-2020, 06:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DasF30 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by brigade24 View Post
Ive got delrin bushings in the rear subframe and rear differential. It is amazing how much better the car handles when the subframe doesn't move! but yes you will feel more but you will be able to dial that out with the coilovers.

Ive got polyurethane bushings in the thrust and control arm...steering response have improved and the alignment specs are preserved under load for better traction.

for me it has been confidence inspiring and I love it...the handling feels much closer to the e46 BMWs. Feel without harshness is like asking for HP without fuel consumption...you will need to accept a certain level of harshness to improve the feel. So it will be important to choose the appropriate coilover for your application...im thinking KW street comforts.
Do you find the extra harshness still tolerable for daily driving and city streets?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Slightly if you install both. However, I have no issues with rubbing. My setup is a 2014 335i RWD with the M Performance Suspension kit (10mm lower than passive 704 Sport Suspension).

I'm running a square setup of 255/40/18 Conti ECS and APEX ARC-8 18x8.5 wheels. I've also run Michelin PS4S 255/40/18 as well and no rubbing. No spacers.

It does not rub so unless you're running some other crazy tire/wheel setup you should be fine.
I'm currently running OEM M4 19" wheels and tires. I'm not sure if it would work for my case as its a 19". Going to drop the car either on KW V1s or Bilstein B14s, I would definitely consider this upgrade if its gonna work with the coilovers.
I run the f80 ts and lcas with mperformance suspension on stock 19s with mp4s 245 up front and 255 rear.... no rubbing. Its a perfect mix of streetablility and spirited driving. Its firm but not harsh. Highly recommend.
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      03-31-2020, 06:36 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sspade View Post
Any plans to do the "other control arm" (#2 in this diagram) ?
Here's a video for the wishbone/LCA replacement. Note that the bushing in this arm is the one where unsupported polyurethane bushings have failed.
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      04-01-2020, 12:24 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DasF30 View Post
Hi all, I've been reading up on bushing upgrades for the F30 and was wondering which one to go for. My goal is to improve the car's handling and road feel on spirited drivings. I will also be upgrading the coilovers as well when I do the bushings.

Been looking at Superpro and Powerflex bushings and saw some initial good reviews out there. However I've also read that some people had their polyutherane bushings fail prematurely.

So my questions are:
1. Are there any alternatives?
2. Are the benefits worthed it?
3. Would the benefits still be noticable after upgrading the coilovers?
4. Are the rear diff bushing upgrades worthed it as well?

Hope someone with experience can chime in on this.
You can't install M3/M4 upper control arms if you have an xDrive because it will break your front right driveshaft. If you install them on your F30 be aware that the arms are different lengths than F30 so alignment is critical.

I researched the same things recently. Poly or any bushing more solid than stock will introduce NVH- Noise, Vibration, Harshness.

Monoball is the way to go. I installed VAC Motorsports monoball thrust arms. Remember that this enhances STEERING under acceleration and braking. (For handing, upgrade your sway bars to get rid of body roll) Steering with the VAC monoball thrust arms is very precise without NVH. There is more road feel transmitted through the steering wheel but I wouldn't call it NVH.

VAC installs there monoballs into brand new Lemforder thrust arms so you also get new arms and ball joints. Last time I checked BAC didn't have all the info on their website so order them by calling with the correct BMW/Lemforder part numbers. See my diagrams for xDrive and RWD cars.

Hope this helps!
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      04-02-2020, 02:25 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DasF30 View Post
Do you find the extra harshness still tolerable for daily driving and city streets?

I'm currently running OEM M4 19" wheels and tires. I'm not sure if it would work for my case as its a 19". Going to drop the car either on KW V1s or Bilstein B14s, I would definitely consider this upgrade if its gonna work with the coilovers.
In front, I prefer the term crisp instead of harsh...There's more steering feel but I did not get the impressions it was harsh in the front.

Going delrin in the rear is harsh...period. I mean i love it because the car feels more instant. there is barely any delay in transitions, on-power or off-power transfers. I will say this, despite the harshness...going delrin in the rear has made my car come alive.
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      04-03-2020, 07:29 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brigade24 View Post
In front, I prefer the term crisp instead of harsh...There's more steering feel but I did not get the impressions it was harsh in the front.

Going delrin in the rear is harsh...period. I mean i love it because the car feels more instant. there is barely any delay in transitions, on-power or off-power transfers. I will say this, despite the harshness...going delrin in the rear has made my car come alive.
Is the harshness coming from diff bushings or rear subframe to chassis bushings?
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      04-03-2020, 10:41 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polo08816 View Post
Is the harshness coming from diff bushings or rear subframe to chassis bushings?
It's coming from the subframe bushings. The diff is mounted to the subframe, so even if more vibration were coming from that, it'd still have to go through the subframe bushings into the unibody.

You can see my video below I experienced a significant degradation in ride quality after installing Powerflex subframe bushing inserts (I ended up taking them out because of it). Jump to 6:14 for driving impressions.
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