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In Part-1 of this two part series, we will replace the front shock (strut) assembly on a typical BMW E90, E91, E92 and E93 3-series chassis (06-12). See Part-2 for the rear shock replacement.
The Bentley repair manuals will cover standard shock and spring replacement for the various BMW and MINI models. This DIY will assume that the DIYer has the applicable Bentley manual for additional reference as well as fastener torque values. Note that we will be installing the Koni Sport shocks. However, the procedures would be the same for any common shock/strut replacement.
• New shocks/struts (Bilstein, Koni, Sachs, etc.)
• New Shock install kits (compression bumpers, dust shields, spring pads, etc.)
• New upper strut and shock mounts
• New strut & shock mount gaskets (as required)
• Rear shock mount reinforcing plates
• Bentley Repair Manual
* BavAuto spring compressor tool
• BavAuto Non-Marring pry bar set
• 13mm through 18mm ½”drive socket & ratchet set with various extensions
• 4mm through 8mm Allen keys or bits (for ratchet use)
• 13mm through 18mm combination wrench set
• Assorted flat and Phillips screwdrivers
FRONT (applies directly to the E90/91/92/93 3-series, but other late model BMWs are similar):
1) Safely raise the front of car, with suspension hanging.
2) Remove the wheels.
3) Disconnect the upper end of the swaybar link from the shock/strut bracket. Note that the through-stud for the link’s upper joint (as well as the lower) must be secured using a 16mm to 18mm thin open end wrench.
4) Remove the inner fender liner (in order to access the forward control arm bushing through-bolt.
5) Loosen the forward control arm through-bolt. Do not remove the bolt.
6) Loosen the rearward control arm bushing through-bolt and nut. Do not remove the bolt and nut.
7) Remove the strut mounting pinch-bolt. The bolt goes through the strut mounting clamp on the wheel hub/spindle assembly and has a nut on the opposite side (some models do not use nuts; the bolt threads into the clamp).
8) Set the mounting bracket for the ABS sensor wire, brake pad wear sensor wire (left side only) and brake fluid hose aside.
9) Disconnect the wires and hose from the chassis bracket and the chassis wiring harness plugs, inside the connector box.
10) If the vehicle has adaptive headlights (self-aiming), disconnect the sensor link from the control arm or the sensor bell-crank arm. The sensors may only be present on one side of the vehicle.
11) Dismount the brake calipr from the caliper mounting bracket, remove the caliper and hang it inside the wheel well area using a wire or stretch cord.
12) Place a support or jack under the lower control arm to support the suspension as the upper strut mount nuts are removed.
13) Remove the three 13mm nuts that secure the upper mount to the body (strut tower), under the hood.
14) Gently lower the jack or support, from step-12, and lower the strut assembly. Pull the strut assembly up and out of the hub/spindle. A helper may need to push down on the hub/spindle as you pull the strut upward. If the clamp is too tight for the strut to pull out, use a cold-chisel or large flat-blade screwdriver as a wedge to open the clamp a bit. Tap the wedge into the split in the clamp (from the top). This will widen the clamp and allow the strut to be removed.
15) Once removed from the hub/spindle clamp, remove the strut assembly from the wheel well area.
16) Install a spring compressor to the spring on the strut assembly. Compress the spring until you can tell that the spring pressure is relieved from the upper and lower spring seats.
17) We’re sorry, but the description can not be any longer (youtube requirement). Watch the video and see our tech blog for the full DIY steps at http://blog.bavauto.com/
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