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DIY: Front struts
Published by voltron1011
06-04-2007
DIY: Front struts

Sorry guys, but I didn't get to take any pictures during my strut change, however, please see INI's DIY spring swap because it's just about the same job: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15397

Also, please refer to this page for more detailed diagrams:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...94&hg=31&fg=10

1. Now, when you get to the step where the compressed strut is out of the fender (step 15), you loosen and remove the nut/bolt that clamp the strut to the lower carrier (see pic below).

2. Once the bolt is removed, have a friend take a pry-bar and place it in between the gap of the carrier and begin to pry it open. At the same time, start pulling up on the strut itself and it will begin to loosen and work it's way out.
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  #1  
By voltron1011 on 06-04-2007, 12:22 PM
3. Once it's all the way out, you can now begin to swap all of the neccesary hardware over to the new strut.
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  #2  
By voltron1011 on 06-04-2007, 12:34 PM
****IMPORTANT TIP****
Here's a little tip (a lot of people may know this already) that will save you a lot of time with the spring compressors.

Right after you've jacked the car up, placed jack-stands under the car, and removed the wheels of the car:

1. Take your floor jack and place it underneeth the front control arm (there's an area where the jack can sit firmly) and jack up the front suspension.
2. Once the springs get fully compressed (and the car begins to lift off the jack stands slightly), take your spring compressors and place them into the springs and tighten them snugly.
3. Make sure that they are prefectly spaced so that they do not slip off. Once they are firmly seated, you can lower your floor jack and now PRESTO your springs are instantly compressed.

By doing this method, you end up saving A LOT of time because you don't have to wrench those stupid compressor bolts for 30 minutes to get the springs compressed. In essence, your letting the floor jack do the heavy work for you.
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Last edited by voltron1011; 06-04-2007 at 01:41 PM.
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  #3  
By voltron1011 on 06-04-2007, 12:35 PM
Reverse the order for install.



DISCLAIMER:
I'm not responsible for damage or loss of life from this DIY. Do at your own risk.
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  #4  
By 335iaz on 12-07-2010, 07:45 AM
Question about this, if one wants to replace the shock/springs all together ... to make it easier to get the shock out of the bottom. Could you not leave the top of the spring bolted up and press the hub down to release the shock from the carrier? Once that is free loosen the nuts on top and remove the shock? Or is that not recommended?
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  #5  
By blacksail337 on 12-08-2010, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335iaz View Post
Question about this, if one wants to replace the shock/springs all together ... to make it easier to get the shock out of the bottom. Could you not leave the top of the spring bolted up and press the hub down to release the shock from the carrier? Once that is free loosen the nuts on top and remove the shock? Or is that not recommended?
yes that is an option, thats how i do it and find it much easier, a flathead screwdriver tip for a socet wrench works great for spreading the pinch where the bolt holds the bottom of the strut in. just spread it a little and a little light tapping and it will slide down right off of the strut, then remove the 3 nuts on the top of the strut and lower it out
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  #6  
By mattsten on 12-08-2010, 09:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blacksail337 View Post
yes that is an option, thats how i do it and find it much easier, a flathead screwdriver tip for a socet wrench works great for spreading the pinch where the bolt holds the bottom of the strut in. just spread it a little and a little light tapping and it will slide down right off of the strut, then remove the 3 nuts on the top of the strut and lower it out
This did not work for me, but it may for you. I tried it first but I did not force it. I figured you have to compress the springs anyhow, so why not go ahead and do it. Either way you do it, be sure and spray some good penetrating lube around the knuckle where the strut slips in. It helps wiggle it out.
Also, just to clear up some confusion, the easiest way to do the rear springs is to undo the outer bolt on the lower arm (bolt closest to hub) instead of the inner one as mentioned in some of the other diys. I found that if you place your jack under the arm and jack it up a bit, then remove the outer bolt and shock bolt, gradually lowering the jack will uncompress the spring, and then you can push the arm down and just pull the spring out. This will prevent the hassle of having to try and line the inner bolt back up that people had trouble with....
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  #7  
By mjd5 on 01-31-2011, 10:45 AM
great tip thanx alot
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  #8  
By virtualbong on 06-28-2013, 07:35 AM
Found this on youtube and figured it would be nice as an additional resource to review this install.

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  #9  
By Tak1986 on 06-28-2013, 05:30 PM
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Thanks for the guide, I am planning to do the coiliver install myself in the near future. In the very last step where putting the top mount back, and the what tools would I will need to tighten the last bolt on the top? as the coilover will be spinning while tightening?
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  #10  
By BKV122 on 05-03-2014, 09:52 PM
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Not a bad DIY, i did this last weekend but ran into some issues.

I've got an xi so idk if this could have been the reason. I was just swapping struts keeping the old springs and other hardware. The spring compressors i rented from auto zone couldn't compress the old spring enough to assemble the new strut setup. Even removing the old spring i still had a bit of tension when removing the top hat, more than you should have. Fully compressed I was still 2" off from top of the new strut rod to all the other components.
I ended up going to pep boys to have them compress the old springs and assemble them on the new struts.

Then getting it back up and under the fender was a pain, I ended having to drop the control arm. Just a headsup to plan for this could happen
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  #11  
By novicejeep on 08-02-2014, 08:51 PM
Sharing with all of you guys another way to do the front struts. I just put in Bilstein HDs on my 2008 328xi with 96K.

1. Put PB Blaster around the compression collar of the lower strut ( I did this three times in the span of two hours)
2. Use jack at steering knuckle to hold the rotor assembly in position
3. Undo the anti-sway bar top link, compression fit bolt, free up the brake hose, speed sensor, pad sensor ...etc
4. loosen both the lower control arms.
5. lower the jack by half an inch ( ie half an inch of clearance between the jack and the assembly)
6.FYI on one side of my car, the strut immediate detach from the collar. if necessary use a spreader ( I hammered in a screw driver)
7. If necessary, step on the rotor hat, to break loose the strut from the collar - remember to position the jack to catch the drop.
8. lower the jack enough for the strut to be complete free.
9. remove the top 13mm nuts (x3),
10. sway the spring, spring cushions, and all top hardware ( minus the bump stop ) to new strut. Sounds easy, but the most dangerous, and difficult step.

Reinstall in reverse order. ie. use the jack to lift the collar up to the lower strut.

Background:
The Bilstein HD body (with spring installed) is slightly longer than the stock's ( non sport ) suspension. I struggled a lot, and gave up, swinging the assembled strut pass the fender, and came up with the above to install.


GT
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