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Old 03-31-2011, 11:47 PM   #1
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BMR 1.4" drop springs, sway bars, pro bushing kit, trailing arms, toe rods install.

So I finally had a couple days set aside to install a large chunk of mods that have been sitting in my spare bedroom for over two months now. This thread will be over the BMR suspension portion of the installs.

Hmmmm, where do I start. Taking out the stock bushings was THE BIGGEST PAIN EVAR! Installing the BMR stuff was pretty easy, I would say I spent the majority of my time taking out the stock bushings. I won't take you on a step by step install, the BMR instructions are pretty thorough, but I will give you some tips and pointers to try and save you some of the horrors I experienced.

The main tools will need for removing the stock bushings is a trusty dead blow hammer, a chisel, a drill with lots of different sized drill bits, a 2" hole saw, a sawzall with an assortment of blades (preferably new), a good vice and a bearing press tool (I made my own out of giant sockets and a C clamp). Dropping the rear cradle is pretty straight forward, I zip tied the calipers up out of the way so I wouldn't have to disconnect them our just leave them dangling by the brake hose. I went ahead and left thew axles in the center section so I wouldn't have to worry about fluid leaking everywhere. It was a bit more cumbersome, but I managed.

To remove the differential bushings, use the 2" hole saw to drill out the rubber part, use the sawzall to cut two slits in the bushings metal lining (cut the slits towards where the bushing mounting hole has more material in case you go too far, it would suck if you accidentally cut your mounting hole) and use the chisel to pry the "slice" of lining out. The shell should now be easily removable. To install the half of the bushing that goes into the side of the housing that does not have a machined beveled edge, i grinded a small bevel into the bushing itself.

Next up was the giant cradle bushings. NOTICE: one thing the BMR instructions did leave out was that you must remove and reuse the black caps that go under each big bushing. The instructions did not mention these ATALL and I almost destroyed them when i was about to start taking the bushings apart. To remove the giant rear cradle bushings I used the drill to drill a hole right next to the fiberglass liner. I wallowed this hole big enough to get a thin sawzall blade in there and cut a slit in the fiberglass lining (again, cut towards where there is more material on the cradle so if you do go to far it won't destroy the mounting hole). After you get a good slit cut into the fiberglass lining a few dead blow hits will pop the mount out. I did notice that the bottom halves of the front most cradle mounts seems to fit small. I don't know if this is supposed to be how they are made, but I will contact BMR just to be sure.

For the rear lower trailing arm bushing and the front lower control arm bushing I used my home made bushing press. For the rear upper control arm and front radius rod bushing I used the hole saw/sawzall method.

For the lowering spring install you really don't need a spring compressor to get the assemblies apart if you use a floor jack to SLOWLY release the spring tension. Reassembly can be done by hand, no compressor needed.

Another couple of notes, in the instructions for the cradle bushings it shows in "Image 10" how the cradle looks with the bushings installed. Nowhere does it tell you that the cradle in the picture is upside down. I attached a pic so you can see what I mean (it's the one that says "image 10"). It took me about 10 minutes to figure that out. Also my front lower springs had the part numbers scraped off. I could barely make out that one used to say SP023R (the 1.4" drop front spring part number) and the other used to say SP020R (the 1.0" drop front spring number). I could only assume that they mislabeled one of the springs, so i measured both springs and the seemed to be the same size. Being that it was late at night and I wanted to get this done I went ahead and installed them, looks like I was right.

Update: Been pretty busy but I swapped out springs a few days after installing the 1.4". I replaced my BMR 1.4" lowering springs with some BMR 1.0" lowering springs (I had ordered both the 1.4" 1nd 1.0" in case the 1.4" was too low). I LOVED LOVED LOVED the look of the 1.4" drop but when I tried to chase down why it was a little bouncy I found that the rear struts were sitting on the bump stops. I cut the bump stops to give the rear suspension some room to travel and the rear of the car dropped another 1".

This of course was unacceptable. I called Apex and BMR, both had GREAT customer service. They said that I was pretty much the first convertible to install these springs and together we figured that the verts are probably too heavy for the 1.4" drop. They said to send them back for a full refund. The pics of the car with the black wheels is with the 1.0" drop. Apex-Speed and BMR had AWESOME customer service handling my 1.4" spring return.
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Last edited by SUX2BU; 11-24-2011 at 10:41 AM.
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Old 04-01-2011, 04:39 AM   #2
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Talk about a make over. It is going to be like a while different car once you get it buttoned back up. Be sure to post after you get to take it out for a ride.
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Old 04-01-2011, 09:51 AM   #3
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Nice write up! I am sure you are definitely one fo the first guys to run the full BMR suspension on the convertible cars. Let us know how everything works and maybe a performance review woulld be a good idea?
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by SUX2BU
I did notice that the bottom halves of the front most cradle mounts seems to fit small. I don't know if this is supposed to be how they are made, but I will contact BMR just to be sure.

I'm about to install mine and I wonder?
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Old 04-01-2011, 11:42 AM   #5
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I'm about to install mine and I wonder?
The cap that fits under that didn't fit in the the bushing to good either. Like the cap was too big, so I'm thinking the bushing expands a bit when you tighten the cap.
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Old 04-01-2011, 01:17 PM   #6
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Good write!! This may make or "break" my decision to do these mods. Any pics of your car to show your drop? Also, please provide feedback on your new driving experience? Thanks in advance for sharing.
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Old 04-22-2011, 11:10 PM   #7
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Nice write up! I am sure you are definitely one fo the first guys to run the full BMR suspension on the convertible cars. Let us know how everything works and maybe a performance review woulld be a good idea?
I only had the car a couple of weeks so I didn't get to familiar with the stock set up. I would love to do a performance review but haven't really driven my car too hard at all. The normal driving around and little aggressive driving I have done after the install have been AWESOME! It feels like I am driving a Z06! The rise is a little bit stiffer, but not bad at all!

So far all this suspension has been worth EVERY penny! Plus after shopping around for days and days it was by far the best bang for the buck in suspension (and not just by a little bit). I have also had to use BMR's customer service on an issue with my 1.4" springs and it was great, second to none.
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:20 PM   #8
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Nice write up and you car looks very good. I have a question about the cradle bushings. Do you re-use the four pieces in the picture? There's no mention of them in the instructions?
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:27 PM   #9
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yes they must go back in...
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:34 PM   #10
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yes they must go back in...
All four of them?
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Old 05-03-2011, 11:47 PM   #11
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Nice write up and you car looks very good. I have a question about the cradle bushings. Do you re-use the four pieces in the picture? There's no mention of them in the instructions?
Yup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SUX2BU View Post
So I finally had a couple days set aside to install a large chunk of mods that have been sitting in my spare bedroom for over two months now. This thread will be over the BMR suspension portion of the installs.

Hmmmm, where do I start. Taking out the stock bushings was THE BIGGEST PAIN EVAR! Installing the BMR stuff was pretty easy, I would say I spent the majority of my time taking out the stock bushings. I won't take you on a step by step install, the BMR instructions are pretty thorough, but I will give you some tips and pointers to try and save you some of the horrors I experienced.

The main tools will need for removing the stock bushings is a trusty dead blow hammer, a chisel, a drill with lots of different sized drill bits, a 2" hole saw, a sawzall with an assortment of blades (preferably new), a good vice and a bearing press tool (I made my own out of giant sockets and a C clamp). Dropping the rear cradle is pretty straight forward, I zip tied the calipers up out of the way so I wouldn't have to disconnect them our just leave them dangling by the brake hose. I went ahead and left thew axles in the center section so I wouldn't have to worry about fluid leaking everywhere. It was a bit more cumbersome, but I managed.

To remove the differential bushings, use the 2" hole saw to drill out the rubber part, use the sawzall to cut two slits in the bushings metal lining (cut the slits towards where the bushing mounting hole has more material in case you go too far, it would suck if you accidentally cut your mounting hole) and use the chisel to pry the "slice" of lining out. The shell should now be easily removable. To install the half of the bushing that goes into the side of the housing that does not have a machined beveled edge, i grinded a small bevel into the bushing itself.

Next up was the giant cradle bushings. NOTICE: one thing the BMR instructions did leave out was that you must remove and reuse the black caps that go under each big bushing. The instructions did not mention these ATALL and I almost destroyed them when i was about to start taking the bushings apart. To remove the giant rear cradle bushings I used the drill to drill a hole right next to the fiberglass liner. I wallowed this hole big enough to get a thin sawzall blade in there and cut a slit in the fiberglass lining (again, cut towards where there is more material on the cradle so if you do go to far it won't destroy the mounting hole). After you get a good slit cut into the fiberglass lining a few dead blow hits will pop the mount out. I did notice that the bottom halves of the front most cradle mounts seems to fit small. I don't know if this is supposed to be how they are made, but I will contact BMR just to be sure.

For the rear lower trailing arm bushing and the front lower control arm bushing I used my home made bushing press. For the rear upper control arm and front radius rod bushing I used the hole saw/sawzall method.

For the lowering spring install you really don't need a spring compressor to get the assemblies apart if you use a floor jack to SLOWLY release the spring tension. Reassembly can be done by hand, no compressor needed.

Another couple of notes, in the instructions for the cradle bushings it shows in "Image 10" how the cradle looks with the bushings installed. Nowhere does it tell you that the cradle in the picture is upside down. I attached a pic so you can see what I mean (it's the one that says "image 10"). It took me about 10 minutes to figure that out. Also my front lower springs had the part numbers scraped off. I could barely make out that one used to say SP023R (the 1.4" drop front spring part number) and the other used to say SP020R (the 1.0" drop front spring number). I could only assume that they mislabeled one of the springs, so i measured both springs and the seemed to be the same size. Being that it was late at night and I wanted to get this done I went ahead and installed them, looks like I was right.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:02 AM   #12
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Yup.
Thanks, I just finished reading your thread and I guess I should have done that first. I'm off to the garage to make sure they didn't get dumped. I'm glad I stopped one of my helpers the other day as he was about to toss them, need to make sure my father-in-law din't do me any favors by cleaning the mess in the garage today.
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Old 05-04-2011, 12:11 AM   #13
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Thanks, I just finished reading your thread and I guess I should have done that first. I'm off to the garage to make sure they didn't get dumped. I'm glad I stopped one of my helpers the other day as he was about to toss them, need to make sure my father-in-law din't do me any favors by cleaning the mess in the garage today.
No prob, this was definitely one of my most time consuming installs.
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Old 05-04-2011, 01:39 AM   #14
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nice job
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Old 05-04-2011, 11:24 AM   #15
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I only had the car a couple of weeks so I didn't get to familiar with the stock set up. I would love to do a performance review but haven't really driven my car too hard at all. The normal driving around and little aggressive driving I have done after the install have been AWESOME! It feels like I am driving a Z06! The rise is a little bit stiffer, but not bad at all!

So far all this suspension has been worth EVERY penny! Plus after shopping around for days and days it was by far the best bang for the buck in suspension (and not just by a little bit). I have also had to use BMR's customer service on an issue with my 1.4" springs and it was great, second to none.
Always glad to hear we are doing our job!
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Old 05-08-2011, 11:01 AM   #16
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Just took her out for a test drive the BMR bushing install and the video shows that there is still some movement under hard acceleration and shifting. I will need to do before and after videos to show the difference. There is an improvement, I'm guessing that you need to spend the $700 if you want it completely gone. The bushing looks like jello when it does move, probably should have been a little harder. I will post the video after editing it.
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:31 PM   #17
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Rear BMR cradle bushings edited video.

Some of the movement is eliminated, not 100%!

There's also a video of the differential and you can look at my older suspension videos to see the difference.

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Old 05-08-2011, 05:36 PM   #18
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Just took her out for a test drive the BMR bushing install and the video shows that there is still some movement under hard acceleration and shifting. I will need to do before and after videos to show the difference. There is an improvement, I'm guessing that you need to spend the $700 if you want it completely gone. The bushing looks like jello when it does move, probably should have been a little harder. I will post the video after editing it.
Spend $700 bucks on what?
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Old 05-08-2011, 05:39 PM   #19
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Spend $700 bucks on what?
The Pfhadt bushings are $690 and are solid aluminum and shouldn't move a bit. The BMR bushings felt really soft to me and they do give a little, not as much as the stock rubber bushings in the cradle. I guess they are worth the price I paid for them.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:09 PM   #20
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Rear BMR cradle bushings edited video.
Are those the inserts or the full bushing (not sure if BMR sells a full bushing)?

I watched your video of the stock bushing, and like you said it does show a great improvement, but not all movement is gone.

I have felt the rear-end steer with my stock bushings, so this is next on my list of mods. Still on the fence if I should do the full bushing or the inserts.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:15 PM   #21
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Are those the inserts or the full bushing (not sure if BMR sells a full bushing)?

I watched your video of the stock bushing, and like you said it does show a great improvement, but not all movement is gone.

I have felt the rear-end steer with my stock bushings, so this is next on my list of mods. Still on the fence if I should do the full bushing or the inserts.
Those are the BMR full PRO cradle bushings and the full differential bushing kit.
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:20 PM   #22
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Wow, thanks. I'm guessing the inserts would show even more movement. Hmmmm.....
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Old 05-08-2011, 06:27 PM   #23
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Wow, thanks. I'm guessing the inserts would show even more movement. Hmmmm.....

The BMR Pro full bushings do better than the Street inserts.
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