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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > XI front strut crisis on my hands! little help?



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      09-04-2009, 11:20 AM   #1
blacksail337
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XI front strut crisis on my hands! little help?

ok i have an 07 335xi

just ordered some lowering springs that were being installed today by my mechanic

he calls and says upon removing the stock spring from one of the front struts that it collapsed. as if the seal had gone bad and let all the fluid blow by it, forcing it to compact rather than extend?!

it's now fully compacted and he can't pull it back out in any way, even said the spring looks slightly bent as if the strut has been crushing it constantly.

this guys a good friend, very experienced and trustworthy, says out of the million struts he's done in his life he's never ever seen this before.

also says his parts distributor has no struts for an XI, and i can't find any online either. are they def different than the regular i's struts?

my car has 30k miles and thus is still under factory warranty which i would hope covers this, but the car can't possibly be put back together right now and taken to a dealer so will they be willing to help at all? i seriously doubt they would provide me a free strut under warranty for my mechanic to install.

the car was riding perfectly, how in the world is this possible?! just bought the car and theres signs it was'nt cared for very well, did they wreck it or hit something super hard?

ANY help info or suggestions very welcome, feeling pretty screwed at the moment. . . .
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      09-04-2009, 02:51 PM   #2
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Yep, you have some abnormal struts on that car.

For one thing, they sit 15mm and 30mm higher than standard and sports package respectively. So no, they are not the same strut.

You bought used? the struts in the XI have a horrible way of bottoming out incredibly hard. I would guess that is what happened to you. What you are describing is not unusual for an XI.

Your dealer should fix under warranty and give you a loaner (unless you bought used?)

The real question is, how could you not notice this when driving the car??? The strut sounds way beyond "shot"

Your dealer should be able to get a strut in 48 hours or less.

Its up to you, but it should be easy to put the strut back on and drive over to the dealer if it was like that when you bought the car in.

I would have the mechanic put it back together and take it to bmw. If your mechanic is as good as you say it he is, he checked this problem strut out before doing anything else to the car, making putting it back and taking to the dealer easy.

If you bring the strut assembly alone into the dealer, I would expect them to honor the warranty, but it may take some talking.

The second real question - if you are lowering the car, why are you using stock struts with 30,000 miles on them already???
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      09-04-2009, 05:21 PM   #3
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Tough break. To bad you did not notice it before hand, you could have had the dealer replace it under warranty. I don't see you getting it to the dealer the way it is now.
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      09-04-2009, 05:53 PM   #4
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Put all teh OEM parts back on and then call BMW tow service and tell them that something is wrong with your suspension.

They will tow it to the local BMW dealer which should do the replacement under warranty. I am just not sure how long BMW warrants the shocks.
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      09-05-2009, 02:46 PM   #5
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my mechanic didn't think putting the strut back on was an option because it would be difficult to compress the spring 100% in order for it to fit on the fully collapsed strut.

i have to completely assume that the strut wasn't doing this the entire 3 weeks i've had the car, that perhaps somehow removing it and the spring from it relieved pressure completely and allowed this bizarre reversal of the fluid direction to take place. i'm not a moron and this is my 8th car, it rode and handled absolutely beautifully when i dropped it off. i def would have noticed something if the strut was malfunctioning that badly, hell i think that corner of the car would have been leaning!

since i think it's blatantly obvious this was caused by some severe shock, impact or damage i gave up on trying to argue with my incredibly unhelpful dealer to cover this and using some part numbers i got from my other post in the xdrive forum i called bilstein directly and was able to order some xi specific sport struts. they had them in stock but i couldn't find them listed anywhere online. apparently they're readily available in canada though.

and i know i know i know your not supposed to put springs on stock dampers i just didn't have the cash right this second for coilovers and could not stand the hummer ride height another minute so it was just intended to be a very temporary quick fix.

the guy i talked to at bilstein couldn't confirm or deny that the 335i struts wouldn't fit on the xi, the differences are just the length and a very slight dampening difference for the little added weight. so i think you just might get away with it and get a slightly lower ride height, which would be fine with me but i don't have the time or money to be the guinea pig at the moment.

thanks a lot for the help and suggestions everyone, really appreciate it and maybe this thread will be of help to the next xi owner with this problem!
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      09-08-2009, 10:39 AM   #6
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Interesting story, thanks for sharing.

Well, if you have only had the car for a few weeks, I can see how you are still getting it sorted out. It is weird that the dealership didn’t want to cover this, it certainly would not be the first time BMW had to put new struts on an XI.

If someone did bottom out hard (which isn’t unusual for an XI), you would likely bend a rim before causing any structural damage. Check the inside of all 4 rims to make sure they are OK.

My guess is that the standard struts would have a higher spring perch and bump stop than regular struts, probably nothing else. The higher ride height obviously doesn’t give you extra suspension travel

Glad you are back on the road though. Sounds like you know what you are doing.
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