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need tips for changing front subframe

Old 05-06-2014, 02:34 PM
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Originally Posted by KyleB View Post
This document pertains to replacement of aprons, baffles, and rails in the front of the car which are cold bonded and riveted together.

OP is asking about replacing the front subframe, which is nothing more than a bolt in crossmember that supports the engine and provides pickup points for the control arms. the document you attached does not apply to what OP is trying to do.
Haha! Not the first time I jumped in a conversation I knew nothing about. Carry on...
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Old 05-08-2014, 11:48 AM
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well, I started the job this morning. I just finished removing the damaged subframe. it took about 3 hours including jacking up the car. air tools save a lot of time. I did not remove the rack, I simply unbolted it from the subframe and left it in place. I think reassembly will likely take a little longer, for the fact that it will be difficult to line up some of the bolts while installing, and also, the bolts on the engine mounts and the nuts on the top of the rack must be done blind. easy to remove by feel, but likely not so easy to replace. I will give another update, however, after I complete the job and let you all know how it went and if there is anything not covered, and give a more detailed description of the process.
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Old 05-08-2014, 12:32 PM
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We had to remove the subframe on my sons 328i to change the oil pump. it was pretty much the same procedure. wasn't that hard to do. we probably had 6-7 hours in it total. Make sure you support the engine and transmission.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:12 PM
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It went smoothly.
It is a job that would be easier with 2 people, but I had the old one out in about 3 hours.
First, chock wheels, then jack up car. Higher the better. Put on jack stands. Remove front wheels. Remove plastic splash guards from below. Also remove 2 little plastic covers around tie rods.
Remove reinforcement plate (5 bolts). Detach both control arms from each side (1 bolt each). Undo tie rods. You will need torx sockets (in a pinch 8mm and 10mm sockets will work) to disconnect steering rack (4 bolts) and engine mounts (2 bolts each). Disconnect power steering hose bracket from front top of the subframe near the middle (1 10mm bolt). Disconnect sway bar mounts (1 bolt and one nut on each). Now, make sure the engine is supported. I used an engine hoist, and lifted the motor about half an inch off the subframe. All that should be left now (unless I forgot something), are the 6 bolts holding the subframe to the chassis. To be safe, support subframe with a jack. Then undo bolts. Then slowly lower the jack making sure the engine is staying put. You will need to move around the subframe a little to get the tie rods free. Subframe should be out now.
Installation is reverse.
Straight forward job. Just takes time.

Forgot to mention. You will need an alignment after this.
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Old 05-08-2014, 07:52 PM
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nice!
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Old 05-09-2014, 05:50 AM
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Originally Posted by jordon View Post
It went smoothly.
It is a job that would be easier with 2 people, but I had the old one out in about 3 hours.
First, chock wheels, then jack up car. Higher the better. Put on jack stands. Remove front wheels. Remove plastic splash guards from below. Also remove 2 little plastic covers around tie rods.
Remove reinforcement plate (5 bolts). Detach both control arms from each side (1 bolt each). Undo tie rods. You will need torx sockets (in a pinch 8mm and 10mm sockets will work) to disconnect steering rack (4 bolts) and engine mounts (2 bolts each). Disconnect power steering hose bracket from front top of the subframe near the middle (1 10mm bolt). Disconnect sway bar mounts (1 bolt and one nut on each). Now, make sure the engine is supported. I used an engine hoist, and lifted the motor about half an inch off the subframe. All that should be left now (unless I forgot something), are the 6 bolts holding the subframe to the chassis. To be safe, support subframe with a jack. Then undo bolts. Then slowly lower the jack making sure the engine is staying put. You will need to move around the subframe a little to get the tie rods free. Subframe should be out now.
Installation is reverse.
Straight forward job. Just takes time.

Forgot to mention. You will need an alignment after this.
Thanks, great. Do you need to disconnect power steering hose? Does transmission have to be supported also? I have to replace pass side engine mount and do oil pan gaskets and I do not have to remove it completely But lower it. Do you think I gonna need to remove steering rack and gonna need an alignment? I think it might be lite bit harder on V8s than I6?

Last edited by Margal; 05-09-2014 at 05:58 AM.
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Old 05-09-2014, 06:19 AM
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Originally Posted by Margal View Post
Thanks, great. Do you need to disconnect power steering hose? Does transmission have to be supported also? I have to replace pass side engine mount and do oil pan gaskets and I do not have to remove it completely But lower it. Do you think I gonna need to remove steering rack and gonna need an alignment? I think it might be lite bit harder on V8s than I6?
The procedure will be the same for v8 and i6. You do not need to remove the power steering rack, or the hose. You do not need to support the transmission. If you are only lowering the subframe you will not need to remove the tie rods etc so you will not need an alignment.
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