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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > DIY Guides > DIY: changing out the rear struts



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DIY: changing out the rear struts
Published by longtran
08-20-2006
DIY: changing out the rear struts

ok guys, imma try my best to write this DIY changing out the rear struts. if i was to rate this DIY from 1 being easy to 10 being hard, i would say a 5.

1. get your tools ready. here is what is needed. (i could be wrong on the size, but you guys ge tthe pont)
  • 16mm open end wrench
  • 17 socket wrench
  • 6mm hex wrench
  • 6mm socket wrench
  • flat head screw driver or plug remover tool
  • if your hex wrench is shirt liek mine, it woul dbe good to use some kind of pipe for better torque
  • 25torque wrench (i could be wrong on the size)




2. remove the liner in the trunk to access the top of the strut. (i forgot to take pictures of the center piece that you have to remove)



3. jack your car up to remove the wheels. (you guys do not need picture for this )

4. the strut have only 2 bolts to remove. start with the one inside the trunk first. this require a 16mm open end wrench. the strut might keep turning as you try to loosen the nut. this is where you need to use the 6mm socket wrench . the 6mm socket wrench is used to hold the strut while the 16mm wrench loosen the nut.



5. now remove the lower nut. this requires a 17mm socket wrench.





6. use your hands, with some force, you should be able to compress the strut rod down and remove it with no problems. (sorry no pictures)

7. now reverse the steps to put in the new strut in. (we used koni yellow for this project)


the easiest way to bolt the strut back in is to bolt the 17mm first. then compress the strut rod. as the strut rod is raising up, try to line it up into the hole. (you will have to use some force for the strut rod to line up with the hole.) last but now least, bolt the 16mm nut in. from here, the rest is history.


front strut are the same as changing out the spring. i believe someone have already posted a DIY for the springs.


if everything is done right, this job should take no more then 1 hour.


good luck!!!
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  #1  
By - Paul - on 08-20-2006, 06:05 AM
Another great write-up - thanks.
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  #2  
By BzsBimmer on 08-20-2006, 12:21 PM
Hey Long,
I haven't looked yet but are the struts mounted seperately from the spring?
I didn't see the mention of a spring compressor here so I was wondering. I know that removing a spring without first compressing it can be very dangerous.
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  #3  
By longtran on 08-20-2006, 01:33 PM
Quote:
Originally Posted by BzsBimmer
Hey Long,
I haven't looked yet but are the struts mounted seperately from the spring?
I didn't see the mention of a spring compressor here so I was wondering. I know that removing a spring without first compressing it can be very dangerous.
yes, they are seperate in the rear.
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  #4  
By NaTuReB0Y on 08-20-2006, 01:36 PM
I'll let you know when I get new struts...........
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  #5  
By HRC on 08-20-2006, 01:44 PM
Nice set of Koni's foo!! How's the ride? What did you set them at in the rear?

Danny
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  #6  
By longtran on 08-21-2006, 12:09 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by NaTuReB0Y
I'll let you know when I get new struts...........
ahahah....
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  #7  
By longtran on 08-21-2006, 12:10 AM
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRC
Nice set of Koni's foo!! How's the ride? What did you set them at in the rear?

Danny
we dont know, but definitely a big difference, what ever the setting is..
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  #8  
By BoostedBMW on 01-05-2008, 04:45 PM
Long... what parts of the stock strut are you suppose to swap over to the aftermarket strut? I'm istalling a set of KW V2's, and the instructions absolutely blow. They don't specify what parts I should be reusing with the new shock. Now, i'm trying to tighten down nut on the top of the rear strut, but it just keeps on spinning and won't tighten down. Any info would be appreciated....
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  #9  
By dbjb on 05-15-2010, 10:10 AM
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A picture is worth a thousand words... Here's 3000 for you.

For those installing their own shocks, trust me, you will want an open ended wrench. If you think you can just hold the shock and tighten the bolt below, think again. It is a PIA.

Note, in the pictures below, you will see a Torx bit whereas it should really be an allen bit tip.





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  #10  
By lpphreakx06 on 05-15-2010, 10:44 AM
Great info, now I just need a way to get that 21mm bolt back on the LCA. The stupid bushing always gives me trouble.
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  #11  
By dbjb on 05-15-2010, 10:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lpphreakx06 View Post
Great info, now I just need a way to get that 21mm bolt back on the LCA. The stupid bushing always gives me trouble.
Me too. Trying different lifting points didn't work. I finally got it by turning the entire jack around so that it's arm would pivot from the front of the car. That worked. Give it a shot.
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  #12  
By mlifxs on 05-20-2012, 10:27 AM
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This is a great DIY, very straightforward. The tools discussions were also very helpful.

For Longtran's method, he does not mess with the LCA. Instead, he's able to clear the shock out "with some force". I tried that and basically concluded "Longtran is definitely stronger than me". I suspect I have a few years on him

There are comments about the unbolting the LCA to ease removal of the shock and getting the bolt back on. Wondered if someone would consider confirming to me what I think I would do if I follow that method.

For those of you who removed the bolt, how difficult was it to remove the shock? (especially since it sounds like putting the bolt back is a pain). Just wondering if it's easy or physically challenging

Here's a pic of the suspension for my '07 328i sedan. Are we talking about part #4 as the LCA? think this holds the bottom of the shock. If it is part#4, I assume I remove the bolt closest to the wheel hub?

Thank you in advance for any advice offered on this.
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  #13  
By dbjb on 05-20-2012, 02:49 PM
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^^^ you should be able to compress with your hands. Grab the top section and pull down. Once compressed, you can pull it out bottom bolt first.

If its too difficult, then place a jack under the LCA. Of course, that's assuming the rest of the car is supported by stands.. Jack up the LCA so that the shock is compressed. Then quickly drop the jack. Pull out the shock before it expands again.
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  #14  
By mlifxs on 05-20-2012, 03:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbj View Post
^^^ you should be able to compress with your hands. Grab the top section and pull down. Once compressed, you can pull it out bottom bolt first.

If its too difficult, then place a jack under the LCA. Of course, that's assuming the rest of the car is supported by stands.. Jack up the LCA so that the shock is compressed. Then quickly drop the jack. Pull out the shock before it expands again.
thanks and sorry for all the questions: I've removed the top and bottom nuts from the shock. ....and I've removed the outboard 21mm bolt from the LCA (part #4) before performing your suggestion?...or something else?
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  #15  
By mlifxs on 05-22-2012, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsbj View Post
^^^ you should be able to compress with your hands. Grab the top section and pull down. Once compressed, you can pull it out bottom bolt first.

If its too difficult, then place a jack under the LCA. Of course, that's assuming the rest of the car is supported by stands.. Jack up the LCA so that the shock is compressed. Then quickly drop the jack. Pull out the shock before it expands again.
Gave your suggestion a try, no need to do anything with the LCA. Using your tip, removing the shock was easy, not much effort required at all. Laughed a pretty good laugh at myself after I removed the first shock.

THANK YOU and OP for the help here
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  #16  
By iLoveTDS on 10-19-2012, 08:17 AM
i cant tighten my top bolt on both sides. any suggestions?
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  #17  
By virtualbong on 04-18-2013, 01:21 PM
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So, I need to send my left rear strut in for replacement. I have KW V1 with adjustable height. If I put my stock struts back in and keep the springs, would that basically be setting the KW V1 to the lowest height setting?
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  #18  
By virtualbong on 06-28-2013, 07:34 AM
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Found this on youtube and figured it would be nice as an additional resource to review this install.

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  #19  
By moltione on 07-23-2013, 09:47 AM
I cant seem to see how to remove the boot trim on a e91 touring to get access to the top of the shocks.

Please help!!
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  #20  
By xroads on 10-15-2013, 01:46 PM
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I'll be replacing the rear struts due to one side leaking oil.
The LCA rubber mount (part # 33526768544 / item #4 in diagram) is saturated with oil from the leaking strut.
Do you guys recommended replacing it, if yes do I replace both sides?
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  #21  
By deadmn1337 on 10-15-2013, 04:09 PM
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If it is covered in oil then yes replace it. If you are doing both struts then might as well replace both. They are very easy to replace as it is just 2 nuts each after the strut is removed. Would also recommend replace the top nut and rubber as they wear out over time especially after removing several times.
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