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Please help, rear subframe job, what on Earth am I missing here?

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    Please help, rear subframe job, what on Earth am I missing here?

    Hey guys, I know this isn't really the right section but I kind of need advice ASAP and the suspension section is pretty slow.

    I'm in the process of dropping the rear subframe on my '91 318is. Everything is disconnected ready to come down, except there is no possible way to clear the driveshaft. My dad and I have been down there looking for possible ways to do it and nothing makes logical sense in BMW's design.

    There is a line which runs right under the drive shaft which connects the two tanks, undoing that would mean we would have to empty the tanks, never heard of anyone doing that.

    Or we would have to remove the driveshaft completely, which would mean removing the entire exhaust from the headers back, which I've never heard of anyone doing either.

    The differential mounting tabs prevent us from moving the subframe back at all.

    What on Earth am I missing here? This is really frustrating. Please help if you can, I would really appreciate it.


    --Roundie Revival 2.0 - 1973 BMW 2002 Build Thread--
    --Golden Boy E30 Build Thread-- (sold)

    #2
    If you unbolt the driveshaft from the diff you should be able to drop and tip the subframe assembly as one piece and clear the driveshaft as you pull the subframe towards the rear of the car.
    Click here for more info!
    Click to order!Brace W/ Mounts $90 Standard Brace Feedback Please!

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      #3
      Originally posted by GunMetalGrey View Post
      If you unbolt the driveshaft from the diff you should be able to drop and tip the subframe assembly as one piece and clear the driveshaft as you pull the subframe towards the rear of the car.
      I just did this job a few weeks ago, what he said will work. Unbolt driveshaft from rear diff, lower entire subframe assembly down a few inches enough to clear the diff mounting tabs and then pull down and out from the back of the car. With some muscle it'll come out. Good luck!

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        #4
        On the 318is you will have to ben that pipe between the two tanks. I had to do that as well. Basically I just bent it enought to allow the diff support to clear.

        Wait till time comes to put it back in lololololol. I did it by myself lets just say that many a things were broken and many a things said.
        sigpic

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          #5
          Originally posted by GunMetalGrey View Post
          If you unbolt the driveshaft from the diff you should be able to drop and tip the subframe assembly as one piece and clear the driveshaft as you pull the subframe towards the rear of the car.
          That is impossible on my car, there is a gas line which runs directly under my driveshaft which only allows it to lower like an inch or two, not enough to clear the bolts or diff mounting tabs


          --Roundie Revival 2.0 - 1973 BMW 2002 Build Thread--
          --Golden Boy E30 Build Thread-- (sold)

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            #6
            post some pics if you can.
            E30 buildy things
            http://www.r3vlimited.com/board/showthread.php?t=195286

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              #7
              Just unbolt the drive shaft, when you pop out one side of the subframe, theres enough room. You can also use a thick screw driver to pry between the driveshaft u joint and the diff. It's a tight fit, but it will work.
              1987 Delphin 325e Sedan - Natalie
              1990 325i 24v
              1997 Chevrolet K1500 Crew Cab 4x4 - The Centurion

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                #8
                Did you pop the subframe bolts out that come down from the body.

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                  #9
                  Unbolt the 13mm bolts on the large heatshield, remove it, loosen the bolts on the CSB, and you should be able to slide the driveshaft forward enough to drop the subframe straight down.
                  The first car I ever rode in was an e30

                  Originally posted by Cabriolet
                  Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
                  1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
                  1991 Brillantrot Vert

                  2002 540i/6 Black/Black
                  2003 GSX-R 750

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                    #10
                    The bolts that bolt the subframe up are removable from under the seat, you need to pull out all the seam sealer that's covering the heads first though.
                    Byron

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                      #11
                      Thanks for all the input guys, we ended up deciding that draining the gas tanks and removing the gas line would be the best approach since removing the driveshaft would have required so many other things to be removed as well (like exhaust from the headers, center support bearing, transmission support mount, guibo, etc). It literally would have been impossible to clear the driveshaft had we not done one of the two. There was no finagling that could get it out.

                      Do the bolts pop down through the car or do they need to be popped up through the area under the seat? One bushing was seized to the bolt so we had to cut around the rubber and still have to deal with getting the sleeve off the bolt tomorrow.

                      Maybe the 318is is different than most models, because all the threads I read made it seem like cake once the subframe mounts were loose, but this fiasco had both me and my dad wondering what the hell BMW was thinking when they designed this. Dropping the subframe on my '73 2002 was 100x easier and is a very similar design.


                      --Roundie Revival 2.0 - 1973 BMW 2002 Build Thread--
                      --Golden Boy E30 Build Thread-- (sold)

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                        #12
                        I have a 318i convertible and you just have to loosen the heat shield in the back to drop the driveshaft down enough to get it all disconnected. Do you have pics? I've done this job on my car and my dad's and they were both exactly the same.
                        The first car I ever rode in was an e30

                        Originally posted by Cabriolet
                        Wish you the best and hope you don't remember anything after 10pm.
                        1992 Mauritiusblau Vert
                        1991 Brillantrot Vert

                        2002 540i/6 Black/Black
                        2003 GSX-R 750

                        Comment


                          #13
                          Originally posted by Vivek View Post
                          I have a 318i convertible and you just have to loosen the heat shield in the back to drop the driveshaft down enough to get it all disconnected. Do you have pics? I've done this job on my car and my dad's and they were both exactly the same.
                          I don't have any pictures at the moment, but I'll describe as good as I can. Imagine right where the driveshaft bolts to the diff, just a few inches towards the front of the car from that spot, there is a thick, S-shaped gas line which connects the two gas tanks (didn't even know there were 2 tanks). This gas line sits just below the driveshaft, maybe two inches under it, completely restricting it from dropping down enough to even clear the outer subframe mounting bolts or the diff mounting tabs. With that gas line in place, it was physically impossible to drop the subframe. We either had to remove that gas line, or remove the driveshaft completely, so we chose to drain the tanks and remove that line. Once the line was off, it dropped out no problem.

                          Do only certain model e30's have this gas line? Particularly the 318is since it has the m42? I honestly just don't really understand why BMW decided to design it that way, it made the job such a hassle since we didn't know which was the proper way to do it.


                          --Roundie Revival 2.0 - 1973 BMW 2002 Build Thread--
                          --Golden Boy E30 Build Thread-- (sold)

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Having this line between the 2 tank halves eliminates the need (complexity, point-of-failure, cost, weight (?)) for the tranfser pump found in cars without the line.

                            Like Vivek said if you remove the heatshield and loosen the CSB and the large nut on the driveshaft spline you can compress/shorten the driveshaft an inch or so which gives you enough space to remove the driveshaft from the diff flange. I've done this on my 318is several times and on a friends 318is.

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                              #15
                              Originally posted by vpilarrt View Post
                              Having this line between the 2 tank halves eliminates the need (complexity, point-of-failure, cost, weight (?)) for the tranfser pump found in cars without the line.

                              Like Vivek said if you remove the heatshield and loosen the CSB and the large nut on the driveshaft spline you can compress/shorten the driveshaft an inch or so which gives you enough space to remove the driveshaft from the diff flange. I've done this on my 318is several times and on a friends 318is.

                              +1 On this, I just did mine and I did not have to remove any gas lines at all. I unhooked diff and dropped that first,slide the drive shaft yoke up about an inch or two next the sway bar links, brake lines, ebrake cable, subframe nuts, exhaust heat shield, and then basically hammerd up the long subframe bolts and wiggled like hell to get the subframe to drop down. My tabs broke up in the hole so i drilled out a slit and then took a chisel and spun it out.

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