Project E46 M3: Part 12 – Whiteline control arm bushings, alignment, and tumbler switch fix


Prior to ordering the Bavarian Autosport bushing press, I’d rented a ball joint/tie rod puller from the local Advance Auto Parts store. While I was able to remove the bushings with this too, I couldn’t reinstall them due to how the BMW's front control arm was shaped. I tried three different tools from two different stores but to no avail.

After the successful installation of the Whiteline bushings with our Bav Auto new tool, I took the car out for a spin and noticed no increased noises. Also, while I couldn’t tell a huge difference in handling during low speed, low-G cornering (probably because our original bushings were still in good shape), I could definitely feel a crisper turn-in response when the G’s started getting a little higher at speeds exceeding 40 MPH. Even more pronounced is how the car now absorbs small bumps. Thanks to these little Whiteline pieces, our M3's got its new-like, solid feeling back.

Since the car doesn't seem to pull to pull to one side while driving, one could think the alignment is fine but, given our recent install, and the fact that the car 14 years and hasn't had an alignment since I've owned it these past 3.5 years either, it's probably a great time to get one done.

For the alignment, we enlisted Brakes Plus Automotive in Lenexa, Kansas. As you can see, it's a very unassuming shop, which happens to be on the busy street of Quivira Road, alongside I-35 freeway (my Cali roots want to call it “the 35” but I'll digress lest my Midwest peeps throw hay bales at me), which gearheads pass by each day. However, little do they know that this shop is also big on high performance rotary engines.

I was surprised to look inside Brakes Plus Automotive, and see a couple of big-turbo'd RX-7s awaiting new engines. Actually, this shop has loose rotary engines all over the place.

Here's our M3 on the Hunter DSP 400 alignment rack.
The shop owner, Amoris Martinez, also happens to be the owner of the famed, black RX-7 that raced in the ever popular “Street Outlaws”. It's the car you see on his shirt. That RX-7 showed up on the show a couple of times when the Oklahoma boys raced the Imports, and then again when they came up here to race in Kansas City. Amoris' brother, Roger (not pictured), is the driver. We'll have more on that car later.

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