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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Help with Bilstein B8/H&R Springs install



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      04-24-2020, 05:54 PM   #1
Mikez306
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Help with Bilstein B8/H&R Springs install

So this morning I began what I thought would be a pretty basic install......and now I'm stuck.

Here's the rundown on the vehicle. Its a 2009 335xi (E90).

I was able to get the old struts out easy enough, however no matter what I do I cant get the B8's to slide into the spindle. They appear to hit a lip near the bottom of the spindle and stop. I've tried lightly greasing the spindle, I have tried heating it and using a pry bar to open the spindle up further without any luck........On every install video I have seen they just seem to slide in?!

Anyone run into this before? Any suggestions.

Thanks in advance.

Mike
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      04-24-2020, 06:01 PM   #2
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If I remember rightly, there's a special BMW tool for spreading the spindle...at least for the RWD cars. You can get away without it though.

What I did, was mount the top of the strut, then jack the hub/spindle up onto it...while prying the spindle open a bit and making sure it all stays straight etc. One of my spindles is tight, the other one is loose and pretty easy to install by hand. Both original, factory, BMW parts.

Also remember to ensure that whatever alignment feature there is on the strut aligns properly with the gap in the spindle.
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      04-24-2020, 06:04 PM   #3
Mikez306
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
If I remember rightly, there's a special BMW tool for spreading the spindle...at least for the RWD cars. You can get away without it though.

What I did, was mount the top of the strut, then jack the hub/spindle up onto it...while prying the spindle open a bit and making sure it all stays straight etc. One of my spindles is tight, the other one is loose and pretty easy to install by hand. Both original, factory, BMW parts.

Also remember to ensure that whatever alignment feature there is on the strut aligns properly with the gap in the spindle.
I have actually tried that approach as well, however when I mount the top of the strut into car first, the bottom of strut sits way too low to line up with the spindle......which is bizarre since B8's are the same length as my factory M-Sport struts.
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      04-24-2020, 06:17 PM   #4
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Have you compared the new struts with the old ones? Overall length, and diameter at the spindle mating surface? Remember there's no such thing as factory sport suspension on an x; they just have sport trim/bodywork/etc and the suspension is unchanged from non-sport.
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      04-24-2020, 06:40 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
Have you compared the new struts with the old ones? Overall length, and diameter at the spindle mating surface? Remember there's no such thing as factory sport suspension on an x; they just have sport trim/bodywork/etc and the suspension is unchanged from non-sport.
I did do a visual comparison however, they do look identical.

I thought there was no factory m-sport suspension changes either, until earlier this year I tried to put B4's on the rear and they were way too long, a switch to the ones required for "sports suspension" (B8's which approximately 1.5" shorter) fit perfectly.
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      04-24-2020, 07:23 PM   #6
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I used the Schwaben spindle spreader tool to open things up and that worked well... I am also on an XI (e92) and was installing Koni's. I would be cautious about applying grease in that area because you'll ultimately want a pressure fit with no movement.

I did need to jack the hubs up though to get the struts to fully seat. I let the hub hang pretty low by using a floor jack to lower it slowly, seated the bottom of the strut into the hub as far as I could, then mounted the top, jacked up the hub and that got the struts seated the rest of the way. There was definitely a difference in how far the struts were seated before and after I jacked up the hub - I wouldn't have been able to get them in all the way without doing this.

I was initially concerned about letting the hub hang too low causing pressure on the front axle CV joints but there was more room for flexibility there than I thought. Just go slow and use a jack or something to support the hub from under the brake rotor.
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      04-24-2020, 09:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAVAGE_VT_E92 View Post
I used the Schwaben spindle spreader tool to open things up and that worked well... I am also on an XI (e92) and was installing Koni's. I would be cautious about applying grease in that area because you'll ultimately want a pressure fit with no movement.

I did need to jack the hubs up though to get the struts to fully seat. I let the hub hang pretty low by using a floor jack to lower it slowly, seated the bottom of the strut into the hub as far as I could, then mounted the top, jacked up the hub and that got the struts seated the rest of the way. There was definitely a difference in how far the struts were seated before and after I jacked up the hub - I wouldn't have been able to get them in all the way without doing this.

I was initially concerned about letting the hub hang too low causing pressure on the front axle CV joints but there was more room for flexibility there than I thought. Just go slow and use a jack or something to support the hub from under the brake rotor.
Thanks...I'll give it another shot in the morning....my issue has been that when I install the upper strut mount, I do not have the the clearance to get the lower part of the strut to line up with the spindle....the strut sits too low.....Im wondering if i need to compress the spring further by tightening down the nut on top of the strut to gain the extra space?
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      04-24-2020, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikez306 View Post
Thanks...I'll give it another shot in the morning....my issue has been that when I install the upper strut mount, I do not have the the clearance to get the lower part of the strut to line up with the spindle....the strut sits too low.....Im wondering if i need to compress the spring further by tightening down the nut on top of the strut to gain the extra space?
Put the bottom into the spindle first. Also, turn thee steering wheel all the way to the opposite of the side you are working on as this will push the hub out a little bit to give you some extra clearance to tilt the top into its mounting position. I didn’t need to compress the spring any further once it was mounted to the strut and it shouldn’t be necessary.
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      04-24-2020, 09:50 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SAVAGE_VT_E92 View Post
Put the bottom into the spindle first. Also, turn thee steering wheel all the way to the opposite of the side you are working on as this will push the hub out a little bit to give you some extra clearance to tilt the top into its mounting position. I didn’t need to compress the spring any further once it was mounted to the strut and it shouldn’t be necessary.
Awesome...thanks for the tip. I'll give that method at shot.

Mike
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      04-25-2020, 03:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikez306 View Post
Im wondering if i need to compress the spring further by tightening down the nut on top of the strut to gain the extra space?
Definitely tighten that nut fully
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      04-25-2020, 11:34 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tambohamilton View Post
Definitely tighten that nut fully
Yes - sorry I may have misread the earlier post... this nut does need to be fully tightened/torqued to spec. You may need to compress the springs further to do so if you didn't fully compress them when installing them over the strut the first time.
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      04-25-2020, 01:10 PM   #12
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Throw them in the freezer
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      04-25-2020, 01:50 PM   #13
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After taking a look at the parts this morning. I knew something had to be wrong. When i compared them to the stock struts, I knew the parts were the problem.

I purchased these struts online and realized the site part numbers for Bilstein B8's although correct for my vehicle on the vendor website, are not correct for my vehicle according to Bilstein....hence the poor fitment.

I have reached out to the vendor and hoping they will make things right.

Thanks to everyone who replied. Once I confirm the proper part #s I will post them to help prevent anyone from making the same mistake as I did.
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      04-25-2020, 04:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikez306 View Post
After taking a look at the parts this morning. I knew something had to be wrong. When i compared them to the stock struts, I knew the parts were the problem.

I purchased these struts online and realized the site part numbers for Bilstein B8's although correct for my vehicle on the vendor website, are not correct for my vehicle according to Bilstein....hence the poor fitment.

I have reached out to the vendor and hoping they will make things right.

Thanks to everyone who replied. Once I confirm the proper part #s I will post them to help prevent anyone from making the same mistake as I did.

Yikes... well, glad you figured out the issue. What vendor did you purchase from?
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      04-26-2020, 01:26 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by SAVAGE_VT_E92 View Post
Yikes... well, glad you figured out the issue. What vendor did you purchase from?
I purchased them from Rockauto.com. Boy was that a mistake. According to Bilstein as of May 2019 they are not authorized to sell Bilstein products, and many of the parts listed as "correct" for my vehicle will not fit.

Avoid this site at all costs......a very expensive mistake on my part as they refuse to take the struts back.
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      04-26-2020, 01:35 PM   #16
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Surely that's mis-sold, and therefore they have to issue a refund. They said they'd fit, but they don't; their mistake. Not sure what distance selling regs etc are like in the US...
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      04-26-2020, 07:35 PM   #17
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Just like anything else, you ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS have to verify first then order by specific part number...never use a sites make/model search engine to pick the stuff for you.
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      04-26-2020, 09:26 PM   #18
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You can do a chargeback on the credit card.
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