Shock/Strut Replacement - BMW Forum - BimmerWerkz.com
3-Series (E21, E30) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.

 
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#1 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 11:32 AM
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Shock/Strut Replacement

i've been working on replacing the front struts in my car. problem is the spring compressor's i have are two long and hit the top of the well and don't allow me to tighten them. i've tried to raise the rotor, but it's pretty dangerous cause i don't have the right tools. to give a bad visual, i'm taking a pump and putting a piece of wood on it, and raising the rotor. since the caliper is off of the rotor, the rotor is free to spin, and thus fall. what the hell should/ can i do? It's almost impossible to find a 'shorter' spring compressor out there, and it would take forever to file down STEEL.

at this point i almost thought spending the 650 bucks i was quoted would be worth it.

ah! never! victory must be mine!

help

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#2 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 11:50 AM
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You need to take the strut aslmb. out of the car. Take off the caliper and bracket and let it hang off to the side, take the brake rotor off, take out the ABS sensor, then undo the nut that holds the lower control arm to the strut aslmb. and the nut for the tie rod end and pop those joints out of the strut aslmb. Undo the 3 nuts on top of the strut and then the whole strut/spring aslmb. will come out. Even with the proper BMW spring compressors we take the complete struts out of the cars here at work and take them apart with the reuglar wall mounted sping compressors.
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#3 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 12:02 PM
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thanks for the response. if you don't mind, i'm going to tell you what is done and whatnot from what you told me to do.

Take off the caliper (done) and bracket and let it hang off to the side, take the brake rotor off (how? ), take out the ABS sensor (actually don't think i have one, i didn't see it), then undo the nut that holds the lower control arm to the strut aslmb (done). and the nut for the tie rod end and pop those joints out of the strut aslmb (i have both nuts off, however, should it look like it takes the strength of a god to take them out? this is a 85 ).

i have a bently manual that pretty much says the same thing you said, but i'm confused as to how to try and relieve the pressure off of the assembly. i'm interested to hear about the rotor too

'85 325e
'Arrest Me Red'
mods to come:
Window Tint
New Badges - Check!
Muffler - Check! - Ansa free flow
New Radio
Sport Shocks - Bilstein
Keyless Entry + Alarm - BMW Security Systems
Power Flow Intake


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#4 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 01:00 PM
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There is a little screw that you need an allen key to loosen for the rotor to come off.
It's probably rusted on.

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#5 (permalink) Old 04-05-2006, 09:04 PM
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Once out and the spring off, a pipe wrench and a vice bolted to a bench helps get the retainer heads off the housing if rusted. And don't forget to pour about 1/4 cup of engine oil into the housing when you install the new cartridge. If you don't, heaven help you the next time you change them.....
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#6 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 04:01 PM
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i can't seem to get the ball joint off of the control arm. or rather get the strut housing off of the ball joint. i rented a ball joint fork and tried to muscle it out, but to no avail. what can i do

'85 325e
'Arrest Me Red'
mods to come:
Window Tint
New Badges - Check!
Muffler - Check! - Ansa free flow
New Radio
Sport Shocks - Bilstein
Keyless Entry + Alarm - BMW Security Systems
Power Flow Intake


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#7 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 09:36 PM
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use a mallet (4 lbs) and hit CA side by ball joint, that should set it free.

I do it this way,
remove...

- 2 x 17mm screws that hold CAB Lollipop
- 19mm ball joint nut
- 13mm ? tie rod nut
- brake caliper, use a hanger so is not stretching away the rubber brake line.
- tap and release tie rod
- tap and release ball joint

- place jack under ball joint.
- tap away and unscrew shock retaining cap, that will release lower housing..
- lower jack very slowly, whole lower assembly will come free.

cheers,
Frank
e30 parts

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#8 (permalink) Old 04-06-2006, 10:04 PM
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Avoid the use of a ball joint fork at all costs, these just tear the ball joint boot and unless you know someone who can press new ones in when water kills the joint, you're buying a lower control arm assembly. Once you have the nut off turn the wheel all the way to the left or right which ever gives you the most access and smack the strut housing where the stud of the ball joint goes through "hard" a few times. It won't "pop off" by itself so place a pry bar on the control arm and have a buddy pry down with the top of the stut still bolted in while you hit it. This way you'll know when its free.
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#9 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 12:30 PM
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ok i got it off, but i need to replace the ball joint. do i really have to buy a new control arm and bushing, like the manual says? i don't know why you would have to, since they sell all three parts seperately. I bought a replacement and rented a unit to put it on the arm.

'85 325e
'Arrest Me Red'
mods to come:
Window Tint
New Badges - Check!
Muffler - Check! - Ansa free flow
New Radio
Sport Shocks - Bilstein
Keyless Entry + Alarm - BMW Security Systems
Power Flow Intake


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#10 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 06:07 PM
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the rotor um..fell off on the second strut while trying to take it off the control arm and tie end rod. i didn't unscrew it or anything, i was banging on the control arm with a hammer. so yeah..

'85 325e
'Arrest Me Red'
mods to come:
Window Tint
New Badges - Check!
Muffler - Check! - Ansa free flow
New Radio
Sport Shocks - Bilstein
Keyless Entry + Alarm - BMW Security Systems
Power Flow Intake


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#11 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 10:48 PM
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seriously. rotor just came off. nothing rusted off, nothing screwed off. just came right off

'85 325e
'Arrest Me Red'
mods to come:
Window Tint
New Badges - Check!
Muffler - Check! - Ansa free flow
New Radio
Sport Shocks - Bilstein
Keyless Entry + Alarm - BMW Security Systems
Power Flow Intake


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#12 (permalink) Old 04-07-2006, 11:15 PM
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It's normal if the caliper/bracket were off and the one bolt that holds it was taken out my someone in the past.

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#13 (permalink) Old 04-08-2006, 07:57 PM
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You can buy both ball joints (inner and outer), however you have to find a garage that "knows" how to press them in, it's very easy to tear the boot. A guy came to me a few years back with his lower control arm in one hand and the outer ball joint in the other with a disgusted look on his face. He wiped that right off when I said, "BMW control arm, follow me I'll press it on for you." While I'm pressing it on he tell me that a garage he was at went through 4 of them then gave up charging him for every one then said they were sorry but they weren't used to working with BMW parts.
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