Tips on How to Replace a BMW Shock Absorber and Strut Assembly
If you want a smooth ride whenever and wherever you take your BMW, you have to make sure that your struts and shock absorbers are in great condition. Changing your old BMW shock absorber and strut assembly is vital because it is responsible for making sure that your vehicle is stable even at high speeds. Struts and shocks get worn out with use and may even break. The good thing is you can easily get a replacement. Installation is also easy. Check out the guide below:
Required skill level: Intermediate
Needed tools and materials
- Floor jack
- Jack stands
- Coil spring compressor
- Safety glasses
Step 1: The first step in removing and installing anything from under your vehicle is to have it parked on a solid level surface. Make sure to set the parking brake and chock the rear wheels. These are important to avoid untoward accidents. When the vehicle is stable, you can now remove the front hub caps and loosen the front wheel lug nuts.
Step 2: Using your floor jack, raise up the front of the vehicle. Then, secure your vehicle with jack stands on both sides. The pinch welds or the frame rails under your vehicle are the best locations for the stands. When the vehicle is secure, you can start removing the front wheel lug nuts and then the front wheels.
Step 3: Next, remove the top nuts that secure your old BMW shock absorber and strut assembly to the frame mount inside the engine compartment. Make sure to leave the center nut. You should mark the lower mounting location on the hub for installation reference. The alignment will be close if the new assembly is installed in the same position.
Step 4: After you have marked the installation position, you can now remove the bolts that hold the BMW shock absorber and strut assembly to the hub and then remove the entire assembly. In this step, you are marking the top mount for the installation. Then, using a side mounted spring compressor, compressor the spring and remove the nut and retaining washer. Pull the assembly out from the bottom of the spring.
Step 5: Next, slide the new shock absorber and strut assembly up into the spring. Make sure to reposition the top mount onto the spring and check that it is in the same position as the old assembly. When it's positioned correctly, install the retaining washer and top nut. Don't forget to tighten the top nut according to the manufacturer's specifications and carefully remove the spring compressor.
Step 6: Now, you can install the replacement assembly. Install the nuts on top of the assembly to hold it to the frame in the engine compartment; don't tighten it. The next thing for you to do is to line up the bottom mount to the hub marks. You can now torque the bolts and top nuts but make sure to follow the instructions on your manual.
Step 7: You can now reattach any clips you've removed (such as the brake lines) to the assembly. Then, mount the wheels and torque the lug nuts as well. Repeat this for the other side.
Step 8: The last step is to road test the vehicle to get a feel of the new assembly. A drive test will help you ensure that everything's mounted correctly and working as designed. A visual inspection of the shock absorbers and strut assembly after the test is also necessary.