Paul and I had a good chat about donor vehicles and came up with one manufacturer that resisted the FWD trend and whose cars were fairly affordable: BMW (Break My Wallet). I was able to find a 1995 318i Cabriolet that was being parted out by a young fellow. By the time I got to it it was pretty much gone, but the suspension was intact and that’s what we needed. I bought it and had it towed home.
The engine and automatic transmission were still in the car but we wouldn’t using them. Let the dismantling begin.
Here is one of the rear hubs, it is a large steel casting that does a lot of things. It holds the bearing that the end of the half shaft passes through (outside the CV joint) to drive the rear wheel. It also mounts the brake caliper, the control arms and the curved piece ties into the car frame to allow the rear suspension to travel up and down but not front to back.
I swear that BMW and Canadian Tire are in cahoots. Every time I go to take something apart I need another tool or a different type of socket. This is the 12 point 30mm nut holding the hub on, beside is it the beautiful new set of sockets. At least the hub is off.
Oh, and those are Torx head bolts (of course) holding the half shaft onto the differential. Another trip to CTC and we are in business. I got to make use of my favorite new tool – the impact wrench!
Bye Bye Bimmer. With all the useful parts left behind, the BMW is unceremoniously dragged out of the garage and sent off to the recycle yard.
Now that the rear hubs are free of the half shafts we need to take them apart. This involves pressing the bearings out of the housing. This could be done by a local garage but they would spend an hour and a half minimum doing it and that would cost a couple hundred dollars.
For about the same money, I can buy a 10 ton hydraulic press (on sale at Canadian Tire!) and as a bonus I will have it when I need to press in the new bearings down the road! I have been trolling the Canadian Tire and Princess Auto web sites looking for tools I will need to go on sale. It is called a Locost after all!
The big snap ring holds the bearing in. Once it is removed the press can be used to push the bearing out. This is a bit tricky because of the casting shape. It takes a few tons force to get the bearing out.
I have decided to try to cut the bearing holder from hub. The plan is to incorporate them into the new fabricated rear hubs, rest of the BMW casting will be discarded. The standard rear hub from the book will be modified to fit the E36 components.
This is a slow, noisy, dirty job but it has to be done and I couldn’t talk Tom into doing it. Afterwards I looked like a coal miner coming out after a 12 hour shift. Severalabrasive disk later the job is completed.
More work with the angle grinder and flapper disk to get the bearing holder basically round. Tom will be taking these to New Brunswick to turn them on his lathe. He will use an inside chuck so he can cleanup the outside and bottom surface that has a slight dish to it.