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      09-05-2019, 01:04 PM   #1
Winkdinkerson
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Full front suspension refresh - Steps?

For a front suspension refresh on a 2006 330i, I will be replacing both thrust arm and tension strut control arms, front struts, stabilizer links, and tie rod ends. On both driver and passenger side.

I'm thinking that the fastest way to get it done is to do one side at a time in this order:

1. Remove both control arms and stabilizer link. This will drop the wheel hub.

2. With wheel hub dropped, take out Macpherson strut.

3. Compress springs on strut, replace strut and strut mount with new (also bump stop and gasket).

4. With wheel hub dropped, re-install strut assembly.

5. Attach new upper and lower control arms and new stabilizer link. Then remove tie rod end and replace with new tie rod end.

Is this a good order of removal and reattachment??

In one of the strut DIY's, the OP compressed the springs (using a jack) before removing the strut. I don't really want to put on the spring compressors in the wheel well - primarily because I don't like finagleing spring compressors in a cramped space.

Any tips/help would be appreciated!
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      09-07-2019, 01:18 AM   #2
Sayek
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I recently done the front and the rear refresh. It was well worth it.
I did not replace the tie rods as they were in good condition.
I found the tie rod boot got in the way so if you replacing that take that off 1st.
The video is great help



I used spring compressor while the strut out the car to make life easier.

Finally you will need something to expand the clamp holding the strut. Some people use screwdriver or crow bar. I used this and strut just pulled out effortless.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/252481571779
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      09-09-2019, 12:10 PM   #3
Winkdinkerson
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Thanks Sayek. Good video. Tried to do both front struts & control arms this weekend, but could only do one side because of spring compressor failure. Really hate using spring compressors. I always feel like I'm about to lose a finger or 2.
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      09-10-2019, 10:34 AM   #4
PerfectAce
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Get yourself (or borrow) one of these: https://www.eastwood.com/fairmount-t...ompressor.html It makes the job 100x easier. No-name Chinesium ones can be found on Amazon or eBay for cheaper.
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      09-10-2019, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectAce View Post
Get yourself (or borrow) one of these: https://www.eastwood.com/fairmount-t...ompressor.html It makes the job 100x easier. No-name Chinesium ones can be found on Amazon or eBay for cheaper.
Very good advice. It will be hard to get hurt with these if you're careful and you can get the assembly back together without the spring pads getting all cockeyed.
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      09-11-2019, 09:29 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PerfectAce View Post
Get yourself (or borrow) one of these: https://www.eastwood.com/fairmount-t...ompressor.html It makes the job 100x easier. No-name Chinesium ones can be found on Amazon or eBay for cheaper.
yes these are way better than the parts store style ones. For the xi, I used an e39/e46 adapter from ECS/Bavauto. It's not officially supported and does have a little gap, so use it at your own risk. It was the only way I could get the springs compressed enough though on the xi.
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      09-11-2019, 06:41 PM   #7
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I think I will bite the bullet and get the compressor from Eastwood. The similar ones at Bavauto or ecs tuning are over $200. Thanks.
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      09-12-2019, 08:09 AM   #8
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I bought mine on Amazon. This one, in fact: https://www.amazon.com/8MILELAKE-Mac.../dp/B01DP2CDJU

It's probably the exact same tool as the eastwood, but without their branding on it. It worked great. You can save yourself $15 and get free shipping if you have Prime (although I don't know if that applies outside the contiguous 48.)
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      09-12-2019, 01:50 PM   #9
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I'm replacing my struts this weekend and I'd like to know the best technique. I'm NOT replacing control arms or anything else, just the struts. Obviously if you're replacing control arms, then you'll have a ton of mobility in the hub when they're removed. But for a simple strut replacement, I'm hoping to avoid removal of the control arms.

I've seen some guides say you don't have to loosen anything and the hub will drop enough to let the top of the strut clear the wheel well. Others have said to loosen but not remove both lower control arm bolts at the subframe to get extra clearance. Another says to remove the tie rod and the forward control arm out of the spindle AND loosen the rear control arm to gain enough clearance. Another video I watched said to remove the caliper and rotor to gain extra clearance.

I'll figure it out when I get there, but I'm looking for the most efficient option with least risk to tearing any of the bushings or boots.
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      09-13-2019, 12:15 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrydr310 View Post
I'm replacing my struts this weekend and I'd like to know the best technique. I'm NOT replacing control arms or anything else, just the struts. Obviously if you're replacing control arms, then you'll have a ton of mobility in the hub when they're removed. But for a simple strut replacement, I'm hoping to avoid removal of the control arms.

I've seen some guides say you don't have to loosen anything and the hub will drop enough to let the top of the strut clear the wheel well. Others have said to loosen but not remove both lower control arm bolts at the subframe to get extra clearance. Another says to remove the tie rod and the forward control arm out of the spindle AND loosen the rear control arm to gain enough clearance. Another video I watched said to remove the caliper and rotor to gain extra clearance.

I'll figure it out when I get there, but I'm looking for the most efficient option with least risk to tearing any of the bushings or boots.
That's how I've done it. Loosening the bolts lets it drop down several more inches and makes it much much easier.
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      09-13-2019, 11:18 PM   #11
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+1 on loosening. No way to clear the fender otherwise.
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      09-14-2019, 09:55 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothwem View Post
That's how I've done it. Loosening the bolts lets it drop down several more inches and makes it much much easier.
Ditto
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      09-15-2019, 02:51 PM   #13
lowrydr310
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Finished the job yesterday and that worked well. I'm glad I ordered a cheap knuckle clamp spreader tool because it made it so easy to slide the old strut out and drop the new one in, no screwdriver or chiseling necessary.
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