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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > What's the life span of OEM struts?



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      10-09-2009, 09:46 AM   #23
BlindGoldfish
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I'm wondering if I need to do the same.
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      10-09-2009, 10:24 PM   #24
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Let me just add to this since it's been a few days now that the replacement has truly transformed the car. On top of the massively improved ride quality, 99% of the interior squeaks and rattles have vanished. Still waiting for the rear shocks to arrive to finish things up, but this is easily the best money spent on this car.

One word of warning that isn't mentioned in any DIY I've ever seen since all DIY's involve shorter aftermarket springs. If you plan on doing an OEM strut/spring replacement, you're going to find yourself in an odd situation once you disassemble the original strut. The new strut sits in the middle of it's travel, so you can't reassemble things as the spring is too long. Took us a long time to come up with a successful, dangerous, but successful technique.
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      10-09-2009, 10:47 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topshelf1 View Post
Let me just add to this since it's been a few days now that the replacement has truly transformed the car. On top of the massively improved ride quality, 99% of the interior squeaks and rattles have vanished. Still waiting for the rear shocks to arrive to finish things up, but this is easily the best money spent on this car.

One word of warning that isn't mentioned in any DIY I've ever seen since all DIY's involve shorter aftermarket springs. If you plan on doing an OEM strut/spring replacement, you're going to find yourself in an odd situation once you disassemble the original strut. The new strut sits in the middle of it's travel, so you can't reassemble things as the spring is too long. Took us a long time to come up with a successful, dangerous, but successful technique.
So what did you do? Did you not have spring compressors?
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Mar 05 Build date,2006 E90 330i, Sport Package, Premium Package, TR MT-1's . V-1 Hard-wired power with custom V-1 Concealment Display . Rear fogs, Rear power outlet's, M short shifter knob, BlackLines, BMW Strut tower bar, CDV Delete, M3 wishbones + tension struts, BMW Performance shocks and springs, BMW Performance Brake kit F&R, OEM short shift kit.
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      10-10-2009, 10:30 AM   #26
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No, we actually had 2 sets of spring compressors. I should have taken pics to demonstrate, but was so annoyed I never thought of it at the time. The problem you run into is that if you compress the springs from the inner coils, which is all you can grab during the disassembly, even at max compression you're several inches shy of being able to thread the nut back on. And if you move the compressors to the outside coils, you can't reassemble it because the compressors are in the way. So we came up with a dual stage wire-wrap technique which created one heck of a time bomb, but proved to be safer than we had thought it would have been. Basically, once removed from the old strut we compressed the inner coils the max the compressors allowed. We then used 4-strand 20 gauge wire from Lowe's and wrapped those coils as tight as possible and used pliers to twist the ends tight and secure. About 7 wraps each in 4 locations around the coil. Sounded insane to me, but my friend is a mechanical engineer and calculated that it would be more than sufficient. We then released the compressors, moved them to the outside coils, compressed to max and wire wrapped again in 3 locations. At this point the inside wires become loose, but they still offer safety. Once that was complete we removed the compressors and test fitted the now fully compressed wire-wrapped coils, finding we had just enough to reassemble. We put some grease on the top of the 3 wire wraps to make the next step easier. Once the coil was aligned in the perches and the top mount was secured with the nut we went to the farthest set of wires and started cutting. After snipping the 4th or 5th wire that section would expand...very quickly. Double check your top nut and use your pliers to remove the wires pinched between the coil and the perch, and move on to the next section of wire. Once all 3 sections were snipped and removed, we reinstalled the compressors on the inner springs which were now held under tension from the wire wrapping and simply cut those off, released tension on the compressors and checked spring placement and top nut torque.

Sounds crazy, and it's not something I'd do daily, but it was the only system we could figure out. Took us all day Saturday to do one strut due to this issue. Sunday morning I did the second strut replacement myself, start to finish in 75 minutes. And honestly, after seeing how much snipping was involved before the coils release energy, I felt pretty safe during the second one.
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      04-23-2013, 03:43 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Topshelf1 View Post
Just wanted to update this in case someone else gets to this point. I replaced both front struts and strut mounts over the weekend with OEM replacements. Difference in the car is night and day! Before the car rattled up front over bumps and didn't seem tight or settled over a series of ripples. Car now feels planted like a BMW should. I couldn't feel any difference in the old/new struts when off the car, so I don't think those old tests mean anything. I also noticed a considerable amount of play in the drivers side mount. We bought the car with 52k miles, have been upset with the ride quality for the last few months and finally changed struts at 64k miles. So I'm officially in the OEM struts last 60k miles camp now.
I just read your post you answered alot of my ? I'm in the same boat have a 328i sedan non sport with 98k and original shocks/struts. On a smooth road
Car rides perfect except its a bit bouncy now on bumpy roads it's horrible
I ordered bilstein touring struts hoping it will make a diff 200 for both front ones can't beat that not looking to upgrade or lower just want that new BMW feeling back .what brand did you put in your car?
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