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A few questions on front subframe install

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I dropped my subframe for the first time in January to do a repair, paint and replace bushings.  I've looked through numerous threads, but still had a few questions now that i'm getting close to install:


1. Getting correct torque on Top Strut nut:  Notched a 19mm socket to apply a crowfoot with torque wrench as seen on FAQ, but can’t seem to get it up to torque as my allen socket starts to deform the hex opening.  Any tips or techniques here? Buy the special socket? Better done on the car?  Can I tighten with a normal wrench?  I got it tight, I just don’t know if its correct.

2. Any particular grease or anti-seize on parts at install?  Anti seize on subframe bolts to chassis, and PO had on tension struts on the subframe connection.  Was going to put grease on idler arm and pitman arm of steering box.  Anything else?

3. Torquing down bushings:  Is it ok to do with front wheels on ramps as it sounds like the suspension needs to be loaded.  Can't see reaching stuff if its just flat on the ground, but thats me...

5. Motor Mounts:  I got hung up on the driver’s side mount when dropping the subframe.  Any recommendations on when and how to put them in for installation?  Loosely mount to engine first?


Sorry if some of these are basic, but I find there’s always something that I get hung up on.   I'm  hitting a few spots of surface rust today and hope to get it all back together soon.  All I know is it’s been too long and I can’t wait to get this car on the road!



Edited by floatinghead
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I'll play-


1- yeah, on the ground helps a little, but most of us resort to giving it "one ugga- dugga" with the air impact gun.

I've wrapped things around the shaft to try to get a grip that way without damaging it, and only had marginal improvements.

The good news is that 'kinda tight' is usually good enough- those don't have a history of working loose.


2- I don't, usually- just anti seize the subframe bolts, and fill the base of the strut where it bolts to the steering arm with something corrosion- inhibitive.


3- sure!  To be honest, I've pre- loaded the bushings when I thought the springs were a bit too saggy... but I'm sure that's Verboten.

Also, a jack under the corner in question, to move the suspension up close to the relative position works, too, when the car's on jackstands.

Ya gotta be careful to leave some weight on the stands for stability.  In front, I've done it before attaching the strut to the steering arm.  It all seems to work.


5- they are a pain.  Yes, loose- mount to engine, or just leave the driver's side out entirely, get the passenger's side in loosely,

then fit the driver's side by lowering the subframe back down a bit and fussing it in there,


for what it's worth,



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"I learn best through painful, expensive experience, so I feel like I've gotten my money's worth." MattL

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On 5/16/2020 at 9:06 AM, floatinghead said:

 All I know is it’s been too long and I can’t wait to get this car on the road!


How long has it been? My 76 entered my garage late Jan. 2019 but I am the self proclaimed Emperor of Slow.

Your subframe looks good, your approach to maintenance ( educating yourself regarding the procedure, researching and utilizing available data and resources) is commendable. Thats going to pay off for you.

At this point a pic of your built up subframe would be helpful.

Edited by tech71
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76 2002 Survivor

71 2002 Franzi

85 318i  Doris

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