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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Help! I can't get the front struts to come out



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      04-09-2017, 11:26 AM   #1
KAAZ
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Hey everyone, I'm in the process of changing my suspension and have followed the DIY instructions but I can't seem to get the front strut to drop down enough to be able to pull it out. What am I doing wrong? I've put all the possible pressure I could to try to lower it enough to get it out of the strut tower but there's still 1 inch of clearance is needed at least. Really frustrated right now. Any help would be really really appreciated. I have a 2010 E90 RWD if that helps.
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      04-09-2017, 12:18 PM   #2
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When you took the bolt out of the bottom clamp did you try prying it open a little? I usually just press down on the hub/rotor and the strut will just fall out
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      04-09-2017, 12:24 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeVaughn View Post
When you took the bolt out of the bottom clamp did you try prying it open a little? I usually just press down on the hub/rotor and the strut will just fall out
I haven't removed the bolt out of the bottom clamp as I'm just changing the springs for now. I pressed down on the hub/rotor as much as I can while also pressing down on the top mount but I can't get it to clear the strut tower and come under the plastic fender lining.
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      04-09-2017, 12:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAAZ View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZeeVaughn View Post
When you took the bolt out of the bottom clamp did you try prying it open a little? I usually just press down on the hub/rotor and the strut will just fall out
I haven't removed the bolt out of the bottom clamp as I'm just changing the springs for now. I pressed down on the hub/rotor as much as I can while also pressing down on the top mount but I can't get it to clear the strut tower and come under the plastic fender lining.
Yeah I would just take that bottom bolt out so you can slide it down and off the strut. This will allow it to come out of the top post and clear. Personally I think it's easier to change the spring with the whole thing out of the car. It's only 1 more bolt and will make all the difference
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      04-09-2017, 12:30 PM   #5
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Am I supposed to do anything to the control arm bolts too? Because I haven't loosened or removed them
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      04-09-2017, 12:41 PM   #6
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Am I supposed to do anything to the control arm bolts too? Because I haven't loosened or removed them
Nope shouldn't have to. Top 3 bolts, middle one on the strut and I think some brake lines pop off, then the very bottom bolt that clamps around the bottom of the strut. Then push down and it should come right out.
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      04-09-2017, 12:55 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAAZ
Am I supposed to do anything to the control arm bolts too? Because I haven't loosened or removed them
I thought you were supposed to loosen the bottom suspension bolts? This would allow the bushings not to be torn up and allow the hub to lower enough to get the strut out.
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      04-09-2017, 12:59 PM   #8
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAAZ
Am I supposed to do anything to the control arm bolts too? Because I haven't loosened or removed them
I thought you were supposed to loosen the bottom suspension bolts? This would allow the bushings not to be torn up and allow the hub to lower enough to get the strut out.
I could be wrong, but I've always just took the bolt out of the bottom clamp above the control arm and it's slide out. Plenty of DIY's out there as well OP.
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      04-09-2017, 01:08 PM   #9
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Check this YouTube video out by ECS Tuning.

The part you may need in the video is at about the 11 minute mark. You may have to turn the hub and rotate the strut hat as you pull it out.

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      04-09-2017, 01:11 PM   #10
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I undid the bolt and still no luck. I saw a video where they loosened the control arm bolts. But it was the only one. All the others I found didn't touch the control arm bolts..... This is so annoying.
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      04-09-2017, 01:13 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyH335i View Post
Check this YouTube video out by ECS Tuning.

The part you may need in the video is at about the 11 minute mark. You may have to turn the hub and rotate the strut hat as you pull it out.

Yeah, I saw this. It's the only video/DIY post that did this.
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      04-09-2017, 01:18 PM   #12
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Ya know, it could be that your e90 is not a sport package and the spring height is more than the sport models. That's why you may be having some problems.

The only way I can think you can save this is by putting on the spring compressors now to give you that extra inch or two and then redo them after you have cleared the fender.
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      04-09-2017, 01:45 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeyH335i View Post
I thought you were supposed to loosen the bottom suspension bolts? This would allow the bushings not to be torn up and allow the hub to lower enough to get the strut out.
Bingo! Loosen up both lower control arms and remove the outer title rod from the knockle and remove the sway bar link from strut. Then the whole assembly will drop easily to clear the fender.
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      04-09-2017, 02:42 PM   #14
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I ended up compressing the spring inside and it finally squeaked through. Thank God I put painters tape on the fender edges. I guess cause it isn't the sport package. Cause online people are doing it so easily.

Yeah, I was thinking of undoing the control arms and everything but that's a pain too, thankfully I was able to get it to lower enough.

Thanks for all your help everyone. Much appreciated!
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      04-10-2017, 11:11 AM   #15
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suspension

I assume you loosened the control arm bushing bolt, removed the headlight level sensor, and brake wear sensor, etc. If so, just turn the steering wheel all the way to the right and step down on the hub/rotor, to get the driver's side strut out. Turn wheel the other way to get the passenger side out.
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      04-10-2017, 12:24 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KAAZ View Post
I undid the bolt and still no luck. I saw a video where they loosened the control arm bolts. But it was the only one. All the others I found didn't touch the control arm bolts..... This is so annoying.
This reason this is so confusing is because the issue varies depending on suspension packages...

Base model suspension has taller struts. In order to get the strut out of the wheel well, without disconnecting it from the hub, you'll need to loosen the lower control arm bolt. The will allow the hub to droop a bit more and give you the clearance you need to clear the fender. Whether or not you want to unbolt the bottom clamp and pull the strut out of the hub is entirely up to you, but I highly recommend it. You'll bang against the fender and screw your paint up if you try to remove the spring with the strut still attached to the hub!

M-sport suspension has slightly shorts struts. they should clear the fender without needing to crack the lower control arm loose. You'll probably need to stand on the hub though to push it down. Again, be careful of the paint.

Cutting the wheel helps and so does rotating the top hat to get the studs to clear the fender 1 at a time...
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      04-10-2017, 12:25 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I guess cause it isn't the sport package. Cause online people are doing it so easily.
Yes, exactly!
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      04-11-2017, 10:17 AM   #18
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Difference between length of nonsport and sport strut is .5". I've never noticed any difference in difficulty removing either of them. If you turn your wheel to the right, the hub moves forward and inward, which gives you more room to remove the strut out and aft.


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Yes, exactly!
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      04-11-2017, 10:30 AM   #19
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I followed the ECS guide exactly and it was pretty easy, the top bolts were quite close to the arch but a little care and they came out one by one.
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      04-11-2017, 11:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chris@strutmonkey View Post
Difference between length of nonsport and sport strut is .5". I've never noticed any difference in difficulty removing either of them. If you turn your wheel to the right, the hub moves forward and inward, which gives you more room to remove the strut out and aft.
I don't know... I have had both cars a base model and an m-sport. base model was impossible to get out from the wheel well until I cracked the lower control arm loose. M-sport came out just by pushing down on the hub, but it was a very tight squeeze.

That .5" obviously makes a difference
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      04-12-2017, 10:28 AM   #21
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yes, you can do it this way. There is a nice video from Bav Auto that suggests you do it this way.
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      04-12-2017, 04:34 PM   #22
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i did get stuck myself. first i jammed a screwdriver in back strut clamp and it wasnt enough. wasnt able to muscle it even after spraying oil into it. what worked was i actually turned the shock body clockwise and counterclockwise to rotate in the clamp and BOOM it let go.
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