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Thread: Shocks/struts and springs install for DIY

                  
   

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  1. #1

    Shocks/struts and springs install for DIY

    I am thinking about changing my shocks/struts and springs. Will I have enough time to change shocks/struts and springs on a 2001 330Ci during a DIY event? If so, is there a special tool that I'd need to buy? Will installing the camber plates add significant time?
    Thanks all.

  2. #2
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    Arrow Too big a bite?

    Based on your question, the answer is probably not, unless you bring a good mechanic along to help you.

    Perhaps you should register for an upcoming DIY as a helper, and learn your mechanical boundaries in relation to DIY time constraints. This is the way quite a few current working members have gotten into the Chapter DIY program.

    Hope this helps.

    Alan
    DIY Chair

  3. #3
    Thanks for the advice Alan. The last DIY event I went to I changed my rear brake pads and fuel filter. I'll probably start small. I'll go the next event and change my sway bars. I have Bentley manual and it doesn't look too bad. Hopefully with the help of more experienced fellow members it's something doable .

  4. #4
    Unrelated to DIY's but some advice:

    If you're changing struts/springs/camber plates, you can pre-assemble them so that you only need to unbolt the stock units and bolt in the aftermarket parts. The most time consuming part is compressing the springs and re-assembling the struts when you have to re-use an oem part (strut hat, spring, or strut). Fronts can be done under an hour on a lift, rears take about 30 minutes if you can find someone to help you that's done it before. You'll need an alignment afterwards...but you probably knew that.
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    Unrelated to DIY's but some advice:

    If you're changing struts/springs/camber plates, you can pre-assemble them so that you only need to unbolt the stock units and bolt in the aftermarket parts. The most time consuming part is compressing the springs and re-assembling the struts when you have to re-use an oem part (strut hat, spring, or strut). Fronts can be done under an hour on a lift, rears take about 30 minutes if you can find someone to help you that's done it before. You'll need an alignment afterwards...but you probably knew that.
    This is very true. I'm in the process of changing them on my E39 and just realized since I'm replacing everything I could have had the whole new strut assembled and ready for when I took the old one out. Good point Craig!

    Dont know the E46 setup, but getting the balljoint out is the most time consuming part for me. Waiting for a BMW tool. But the E39 has a little different setup than the 3 series.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scany View Post
    This is very true. I'm in the process of changing them on my E39 and just realized since I'm replacing everything I could have had the whole new strut assembled and ready for when I took the old one out. Good point Craig!

    Dont know the E46 setup, but getting the balljoint out is the most time consuming part for me. Waiting for a BMW tool. But the E39 has a little different setup than the 3 series.
    The E46 requires no balljoint work. The front strut is clamped to the knuckle.

    That said, if you're looking to install lowering springs on the car, don't. The E46 is *badly* front suspension travel limited, and taking away from this travel hurts the ride quality a lot - not because the srpings are stiffer, but because you end up all over the bump stop.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick325xiT 5spd View Post
    ...That said, if you're looking to install lowering springs on the car, don't. The E46 is *badly* front suspension travel limited, and taking away from this travel hurts the ride quality a lot - not because the srpings are stiffer, but because you end up all over the bump stop.
    My front springs (TCK 450lb, std. length, whatever that is...6"?) show signs of coil bind. My choices seem to be bottoming out on the bump stop or getting coil bind. I now set the compression on the front to very stiff to keep either from happening. I have a picture of me in a turn and the front right is really compressed, indicating 450lb spring are just not enough for this car. At VIR North, the transition to the north course requires full stiff to keep me from banging.

    EDIT: I'm talking about an E46 M3.
    Last edited by Rod; 03-24-2009 at 09:10 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    My front springs (TCK 450lb, std. length, whatever that is...6"?) show signs of coil bind. My choices seem to be bottoming out on the bump stop or getting coil bind. I now set the compression on the front to very stiff to keep either from happening. I have a picture of me in a turn and the front right is really compressed, indicating 450lb spring are just not enough for this car. At VIR North, the transition to the north course requires full stiff to keep me from banging.

    EDIT: I'm talking about an E46 M3.
    Have you trimmed the bump stop?

    Edit: And have you considered running stiffer springs?
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  9. #9
    Senior Member Scotty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    If you're changing struts/springs/camber plates, you can pre-assemble them so that you only need to unbolt the stock units and bolt in the aftermarket parts.
    You are presuming that the owner is buying new strut housings? In an upgrade like this, I think you only need to change the springs and dampers. If so, you can't assemble the new struts until the old ones are out...
    Scott Lowrey

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotty View Post
    You are presuming that the owner is buying new strut housings? In an upgrade like this, I think you only need to change the springs and dampers. If so, you can't assemble the new struts until the old ones are out...
    Seeing as how he has an E46, the bit about new strut housings was pretty much implied.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  11. #11
    Even M3's Nick?
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    Even M3's Nick?
    Yes.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



  13. #13
    I'm not presuming, he said shocks/struts and springs....and then asked about camber plates. That's all you have in the assembly....if he replaces all that, he can build an assembly away from the car to install at a later date and then keep his stock setup assembled.
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Car54 View Post
    I'm not presuming, he said shocks/struts and springs....and then asked about camber plates. That's all you have in the assembly....if he replaces all that, he can build an assembly away from the car to install at a later date and then keep his stock setup assembled.
    You are right, I have received the front Koni struts and it came with strut housing and all. I just changed all four tires and noticed that if I could pre-assemble everything it didn't look too bad. The rear shocks seemed a lot easier to change than the fronts. I have the springs, shocks and struts and about to order the Vorschlag camber plates and rear M3 RSM, so I probably just need to order the bump stops and the boots, I should have everything and be able to pre-assemble them ahead of time. Hmm...thinking....

    I can probably start by changing the sway bars and take it from there.

  15. #15
    I deleted my post...nice reply
    Car54 ...well, now Car52

    Craig Brickner

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