BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Rear Trailing Arm

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



528e, 530i, 533i and 633CSi Models

If equipped with anti-lock brakes, expensive and specialized equipment is needed to bleed the ABS brake system. If you do not own or have access to this equipment, consult a suitably equipped professional who can perform this procedure.

  1. Raise the vehicle and remove the rear wheel. Apply the parking brake and disconnect the output shaft at the rear axle shaft. Then, disconnect the parking brake cable at the handbrake. Remove the parking brake lever.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear wheel.
  4.  
  5. Support the body.
  6.  
  7. Pull the parking brake cable out of the pipe.
  8.  
  9. Disconnect the stabilizer and spring strut at the trailing arm.
  10.  
  11. Disconnect the brake line at the brake hose.
  12.  
  13. Disconnect the driveshaft at the outboard flange.
  14.  
  15. Disconnect the brake pad wear indicator wire at the right trailing arm and take the wire out of the clamps.
  16.  
  17. Disconnect the trailing arm at the rear axle support.
  18.  

To install:
  1. Install the trailing arm at the rear axle support.
  2.  
  3. Reconnect the brake pad wear indicator. Connect the stabilizer and spring to the trailing arm.
  4.  
  5. Reconnect the driveshaft at the outboard flange. Reattach the parking brake cable and lever.
  6.  
  7. Refill and bleed the brake system.
  8.  

3 Series Models

If equipped with anti-lock brakes, expensive and specialized equipment is needed to bleed the ABS brake system. If you do not own or have access to this equipment, consult a suitably equipped professional who can perform this procedure.

  1. Raise the vehicle and remove the rear wheel. Apply the parking brake and disconnect the output shaft at the rear axle shaft. On 320i models, disconnect the parking brake cable at the handbrake. On the 318i and 325, remove the parking brake lever.
  2.  
  3. Remove the brake fluid from the master cylinder reservoir on 318i and 325 models. To do this, it will be necessary to remove the strainer at the top of the reservoir.
  4.  
  5. Disconnect the brake line connection on the rear control arm. Plug the openings.
  6.  
  7. Support the control arm securely. Disconnect the shock absorber at the control arm. On 318i and 325 models, lower the control arm slowly and remove the spring. On 320i models, the control arm need not be lowered slowly because the spring is integral with the strut.
  8.  
  9. Remove the nuts and then slide the bolts out of the mounts where the control arm is mounted to the axle carrier.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Install the trailing arm into position. Install the bolt that goes into the inner bracket first.
  2.  
  3. Tighten the bolts holding the trailing arm to the axle carrier to 48-54 ft. lbs. (62-70 Nm).
  4.  
  5. On 318i and 325 models, make sure the spring is positioned properly top and bottom. Tighten the strut bolt to 52-63 ft. lbs. (68-82 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Reinstall the handbrake or reconnect the cable and adjust. Then apply the brake and reconnect the output shaft.
  8.  
  9. Reconnect the brake line, replenish with the proper brake fluid, and bleed the system.
  10.  

 
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