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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Strut Compressor Tool



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      03-20-2018, 05:33 PM   #1
gjm120
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Strut Compressor Tool

I've already posted this over on the 1 Series site. In case some of you never venture over there I'm posting again.

What have most of you been using to change out struts?

I'm looking at changing mine using the existing springs. I'm a little afraid of the type you can borrow/rent from Autozone. I can take the assembly to a shop and pay to have the replacement done, but, 2 times doing that and I could have bought something pretty good. So... considering something like the Schwaben tool that has adapters for various springs.
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      03-20-2018, 08:24 PM   #2
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you listed your options... If you go the autozone route, just take things slow.. It's scary, yes but if you hit each side a few times and work back and forth, keep things straight, it's perfectly safe. Also, aim it in a safe direction that if things do go south you minimize the collateral damage.
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      03-20-2018, 09:58 PM   #3
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Here's a thought: https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Strut-.../dp/B017DDWE64

If you replace your shocks and springs, you could bring the whole assembly to a shop and attempt to schmooze them into compressing your springs and installing the strut assembly. That's my plan. You'd have to have another car to drive though if you're only replacing your shocks.
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      03-21-2018, 12:08 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyrexia View Post
Here's a thought: https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-Strut-.../dp/B017DDWE64

If you replace your shocks and springs, you could bring the whole assembly to a shop and attempt to schmooze them into compressing your springs and installing the strut assembly. That's my plan. You'd have to have another car to drive though if you're only replacing your shocks.
I can have the car sit to have a shop do the strut replacement. Problem is only found shops that can be schmoozed when you hand them $100-$150. So if the Schwaben or similar kits work, I could buy one be about even on money and have the tool. It makes most sense to go the least cost route (Autozone or similar borrow) as I may not do another strut replacement without a complete change of springs and hardware. In that case I'd start looking into an assembled strut like Strut Monkey does.

I'm just quite the wuss about spring compressors because of a near miss when I was much younger with Audi struts.
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      03-21-2018, 12:14 AM   #5
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Oh, please don't misunderstand. No judging. I don't want to do the job with a rental tool either.

The handheld units with the wider horseshoe shaped clamping points seem to be better designed than the hook style units.
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      03-21-2018, 12:24 AM   #6
gjm120
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I understand and thanks for the input. I'm hoping to find someone who has used the horseshoe style and can vouch for the ease of use and safety.
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      03-21-2018, 05:34 AM   #7
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I have used spring compressor tool and they work fine, if you know how to use a wrench. The tool isn't $3000 or anything. I'm sure you can afford $30.
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      03-21-2018, 05:42 AM   #8
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Iíve used the autozone rental tool probably 5 times on different vehicles. Never had a problem and itís basicly free, they ring it up like a sale and then refund you when you bring it back.

I see no reason to spend money on buying a spring compressor put the money on mods instead.
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      03-21-2018, 08:16 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biginboca View Post
I’ve used the autozone rental tool probably 5 times on different vehicles. Never had a problem and it’s basicly free, they ring it up like a sale and then refund you when you bring it back.

I see no reason to spend money on buying a spring compressor put the money on mods instead.
This. Don't be an idiot obviously, but don't be scared either. People do this shit all the time and don't get hurt, you can too.

An impact driver helps a lot with the spring compressors btw. At the very least, get a ratcheting box wrench, the last set I used was a 19mm.
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      03-21-2018, 08:31 AM   #10
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This is what I used.

Have and impact wrench ready or you'll be wrenching those bolts forever.

I would say that this was not the best option.
If you're buying then get the one that has those interchangeable inserts.

Name:  IMG_8079.jpg
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I also had these at hand and I could not get them to compress the spring properly.

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Views: 141
Size:  6.9 KB
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      03-21-2018, 10:37 AM   #11
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I've used this to change out multiple sets of springs. Like any spring compressor, you have to take your time and pay attention to how the spring is compressing.

https://www.princessauto.com/en/deta...or/A-p8023104e
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      03-21-2018, 11:02 AM   #12
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That looks fool-proof once you attach the unit to the springs. Do you know the part number there or is that some homemade job?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
This is what I used.

Have and impact wrench ready or you'll be wrenching those bolts forever.

I would say that this was not the best option.
If you're buying then get the one that has those interchangeable inserts.

Attachment 1789840
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      03-21-2018, 11:59 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyrexia View Post
That looks fool-proof once you attach the unit to the springs. Do you know the part number there or is that some homemade job?
Agree that looks like it should work easily.

I once got the Autozone loaner set to assemble a strut (springs were not compressed). I had a fit trying to get the springs compressed down enough to put to strut together. With that type, I think it would it be easier to further compress mounted springs enough to change the strut?

The horseshoe type with various sizes look the best. Only downside is it appears from videos those are best use on the upper spring plate which precludes changing out the plate and upper spring pad.

These look like decent value if they aren't made of pot metal:
https://www.amazon.com/Goplus-MacPhe...&creative=9325
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      03-21-2018, 01:17 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolf 335 View Post
I also had these at hand and I could not get them to compress the spring properly.

Attachment 1789846
Could you elaborate on why they didn't work? I have the same set and was hoping they would work after seeing this DIY:

http://speed.academy/bmw-e90-e92-335i-328i-lowering-spring-install-guide/4/

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      03-21-2018, 06:12 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by freedomfries View Post
Could you elaborate on why they didn't work? I have the same set and was hoping they would work after seeing this DIY:

http://speed.academy/bmw-e90-e92-335i-328i-lowering-spring-install-guide/4/
Maybe I didn't give it enough time with right positioning, but it seemed that I could not get the hooks in the right position in order to compress properly.

You can see even in that image you posted that the clamps are almost at their max. Looks like attaching the second set in the other side would also not compress enough.

I even tried them with the springs off the strut when reassembling and the spring would curve so much to one side what you can not put it on properly. Problem being that if you go high enough to compress properly, the clamp gets in the way of the perch.


Also don't use the impact gun on the top nut when reinstalling on new struts.
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      03-21-2018, 09:21 PM   #16
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[quote=freedomfries;22945906]Could you elaborate on why they didn't work? I have the same set and was hoping they would work after seeing this DIY:

I've got a set of compressors pretty much the same as these, and did my fronts a few months ago with them.I got the first side apart fairly easily, but was struggling to get the spring back onto the new strut - I couldn't get it to compress straight - kept leaning over. Eventually we worked out that if we put the top hooks of the compressors over the top hat (rather than the spring itself) it worked fine. The second side was really easy once we knew this.
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