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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Suspension Refresh - Need Recommendations



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      08-10-2019, 04:13 PM   #1
colorado.e9x
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Hello everyone, I'm going to be doing a full suspension refresh for my 2006 330xi over the course of 3 years, so 3 stages. This year I'm starting off with the Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit

So far, this is my 2019 list:

Bilstein B12 Pro-Kit - no. 46-180605

2x OE Coil Spring Shim Front Upper - no. 31336767500

2x OE Coil Spring Shim Front Lower - no. 31336764372

2x OE Front Strut Mount - 31336775097

2x OE Coil Spring Shim Rear Lower - no. 33536764420

2x OE Shock Mount Gasket - no. 33526772864

2x OE Shock Mount Rear Lower - no. 33526768544

2x OE Shock Mount Sealing Grommet - 33506767010

2x Monroe Strut-Mate Mounting Kit - no. 907984

Misc. Tools:

17mm Thin Wall Wheel Lug Socket - CTA-A177

19mm Schwaben 003046SCH01A-02 Strut Nut Socket

OEMTOOLS 25550 MacPherson Strut Spring Compressor

Is there anything Im missing here so far or anything I should change? Like I said this year I'm only focused on Shocks/Struts and its mounting hardware. I'll continue to update this thread when possible
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      08-11-2019, 02:12 AM   #2
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i recently refreshed my e90 with oem shocks and struts

-impact gun
-needed 2 sets of spring compressor tools (just buy 2 from autozone or advanced auto parts then return)
-splitter tool for the hub
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      08-11-2019, 09:52 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche959 View Post
i recently refreshed my e90 with oem shocks and struts

-impact gun
-needed 2 sets of spring compressor tools (just buy 2 from autozone or advanced auto parts then return)
-splitter tool for the hub
I have a dewalt impact gun that should work fine

That's what I was thinking after my my Amazon ones got delivered, their return policy is incredibly good

Could you send me a link on the splitter tool? I'm not finding anything
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      08-11-2019, 10:34 PM   #4
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https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/aud...facturing-4005

Says itís for VW but it works for bmw. About $20 cheaper than other stuff (ecs tuning).

Also, Iím not sure if it matter buts with the oem front struts make sure the washers between the top of the strut and strut bearing are correct (black line side up). A 6 hr job turned into a 12 hour job because I had to redo everything.
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      08-12-2019, 08:56 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by porsche959 View Post
https://www.fcpeuro.com/products/aud...facturing-4005

Says it’s for VW but it works for bmw. About $20 cheaper than other stuff (ecs tuning).

Also, I’m not sure if it matter buts with the oem front struts make sure the washers between the top of the strut and strut bearing are correct (black line side up). A 6 hr job turned into a 12 hour job because I had to redo everything.
Thanks for the info I'll see if that applies to my Bilstein B8s. What exactly does the tool do?
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      08-12-2019, 10:39 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
Thanks for the info I'll see if that applies to my Bilstein B8s. What exactly does the tool do?
It opens the strut knuckle to allow you remove the front struts. Doesn't matter what suspension setup your going with, you'll need this tool.
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      08-13-2019, 01:24 AM   #7
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Quote:
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Quote:
Originally Posted by colorado.e9x View Post
Thanks for the info I'll see if that applies to my Bilstein B8s. What exactly does the tool do?
It opens the strut knuckle to allow you remove the front struts. Doesn't matter what suspension setup your going with, you'll need this tool.
Thank you for clarifying! Adding it to my list
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      09-02-2019, 03:59 PM   #8
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Installed the rear shocks yesterday morning. Everything went as expected based off everything I've read on the DIYs on here and some YouTube tutorials. Other than this mini story below.

When tightening the bottom nut on one of the new B8s, just as it was feeling tight the nut felt like it stripped. Got a replacement nut and it did it again, only this time the entire bottom piece broke off just before it was getting tight :

I would have been at a loss if it wasnt for my Dad who came up with a pretty witty solution in my opinion. He drilled it out, went and picked up a stud of the same diameter (though couldn't find any with the same thread pitch) and made some new threads for the stud. He put plenty of thread locking glue on there that it might as well be permanent. Thanks Dad!

The rest of the install went smoothly. After a day of use, the ride feels very solid already. And to my surprise, after 24 hours the ride height as settled to or just below the original rideheight I had with my blown shocks. I'm hoping it'll settle even further in the next couple months.

I plan on tackling the fronts next weekend, so we'll see how that goes
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      09-03-2019, 06:17 PM   #9
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You donít have to buy a tool for the splitter. Itís the same size as a 1/4Ē adapter socket. Just use that and turn sideways.

Of course if you donít have one of those youíll have to buy one.
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      09-09-2019, 03:39 PM   #10
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Front Suspension

Didn't end up buying the special tool for the knuckle. It just took a little force to take the old one out and some maneuvering to get the new one in.

I purchased a 19mm strut nut socket for ECS, since this DIY: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=15397

It said the strut nut was 19mm. Well, it didn't fit for mine. The top nut on my (original) shocks were 21mm. The Bilsteins were 22mm. I went to every single parts store in town and not one carried even a 21mm, 22mm or even those converted to standard spark plug socket. That was my plan B. So now I had to make a plan C.

Took a socket for each size, and clamped some vice grips. I used some extended hex head sockets on my torque wrench and tightened it that way. Hokey? Yes. But it got the job done, and I got to work on time the next day. I did put some loctite on the threads prior to installation, so there's that.


I HIGHLY recommend you purchase the 5pc strut nut socket set from ECS. It'll save you hours. I mean hours. Had I bought them I could have wrapped up the install in a few hours. It took 8, between 3 people. This is including driving around looking for spark plug sockets for my Plan B.
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      09-11-2019, 09:44 AM   #11
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Interesting that you couldn't find spark plug sockets that fit. Metric ones are rare, but the equivalent SAE ones work fine. For 21mm, use a 13/16" socket. For 22mm, use 7/8". The latter can be a little hard to find, but an oxygen sensor socket works too and 7/8 is more common there.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-3-...1316/202913555
https://www.autozone.com/test-scan-a...cket/47738_0_0

The Schwaben/ECS strut nut socket is still better so that you can torque it down properly.

The DIY you linked is for a RWD model vs your AWD, which might explain the discrepancy. That said, Koni supplied 19mm instead of the 22mm that I read everywhere (might have been the difference between special active vs yellows), so I faced a similar situation. I ended up using an OE 21mm strut nut that's originally for an E60 xi model. Happened to have one to check the fit and then got two new ones. Already had the 21mm strut nut socket from the e60.
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      09-11-2019, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drawz View Post
Interesting that you couldn't find spark plug sockets that fit. Metric ones are rare, but the equivalent SAE ones work fine. For 21mm, use a 13/16" socket. For 22mm, use 7/8". The latter can be a little hard to find, but an oxygen sensor socket works too and 7/8 is more common there.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Husky-3-...1316/202913555
https://www.autozone.com/test-scan-a...cket/47738_0_0

The Schwaben/ECS strut nut socket is still better so that you can torque it down properly.

The DIY you linked is for a RWD model vs your AWD, which might explain the discrepancy. That said, Koni supplied 19mm instead of the 22mm that I read everywhere (might have been the difference between special active vs yellows), so I faced a similar situation. I ended up using an OE 21mm strut nut that's originally for an E60 xi model. Happened to have one to check the fit and then got two new ones. Already had the 21mm strut nut socket from the e60.
I live in a medium sized town (to give you an idea you can get from one side to the other in 10 minutes or less). Every auto parts store, harbor freight, and home depot didn't have them. You're right on the money about converting to standard. Couldn't find them either. They were either out of stock or wasn't carried in store. Either way they're finally installed now, took a good bit but we got there
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      09-11-2019, 09:44 PM   #13
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I had Bilstein's HD's installed on my 328XI about 4 years ago and they are an absolute beast. Firm and comfortable a the same time. I replaced the other components with Lemdorfer subs and the quality was great. No need to waste money on OEM. Had a craigslist mechanic install it for $200 and save about 600 vs. dealer.
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      09-12-2019, 03:52 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drawz View Post
...Koni supplied 19mm instead of the 22mm that I read everywhere (might have been the difference between special active vs yellows), so I faced a similar situation. I ended up using an OE 21mm strut nut that's originally for an E60 xi model. Happened to have one to check the fit and then got two new ones. Already had the 21mm strut nut socket from the e60.
Went and checked and I have to correct myself - Koni supplied a 19mm M14 strut nut, but OE is 19mm M12 I believe. They also use a lock washer rather than a lock nut. I preferred a lock nut, so I went with an OE 21mm M14 lock nut off an E60 xi.

I also used a some metal tubing from the hardware store to get more leverage on the allen wrench inside the strut nut socket.
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      09-14-2019, 04:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drawz View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by drawz View Post
...Koni supplied 19mm instead of the 22mm that I read everywhere (might have been the difference between special active vs yellows), so I faced a similar situation. I ended up using an OE 21mm strut nut that's originally for an E60 xi model. Happened to have one to check the fit and then got two new ones. Already had the 21mm strut nut socket from the e60.
Went and checked and I have to correct myself - Koni supplied a 19mm M14 strut nut, but OE is 19mm M12 I believe. They also use a lock washer rather than a lock nut. I preferred a lock nut, so I went with an OE 21mm M14 lock nut off an E60 xi.

I also used a some metal tubing from the hardware store to get more leverage on the allen wrench inside the strut nut socket.
Useful info for anyone running Konis. And can't do a good installation without a cheater bar lol
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