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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 04-16-2010, 10:12 PM   #1
lejeunebimmer
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In the middle of H&R and Bilstein Sport Install, have a few quick questions.

Hey guys,

So I am in the middle of my suspension overhaul (well I am stopped for the night but...) anyways. I am using Bilstein Sport Shocks, and H&R sport springs (p/n 2984) So far I have taken out my old struts removed the springs and perchs, reinstalled them on my bilsteins and reinstalled on my car. Here is where my concerns come in.

1) I cannot install my old bumpstops and the bilsteins did not come with new ones, and I have heard that they have internal bump stops. correct?

2) When reinstalling my spring perches and new springs I aligned the bottom perches correctly, and then sat the H&Rs in the same spot on the perchs as the oem sports were (they made the rubber darker so I know theyre in the same spot). With the upper spring perch I just made it so the little rubber stop thingy and the metal thingy are sitting on the end of the coil (same as oem) I did this correctly (right?)

3)Here is my big big big concern. When reinstalling into the pinch sleeve I cannot get the strut to go all the way through ( I know that these are shorter than oem sachs) but there is still a little shoulder looking thing about a half inch about the top of the pich collar that looks like it should meet the top but after an hour of messing around with it cannot get it to go anyfarther up. I have searched and found that mine seem to be installed correctly. I have attached photos at the bottom of this post so that you cant see what I am talking about (not my photos, but exact same as what I have right now.)





4) Last one guys! When I try to torque the center nut on the strut (you know the one that olds the upper spring perch down) I spins the spring around on the perch and makes a big p.i.t.a! I have heard that I can torque to my specs (47 ft-lbs) upon lowering the car back to the ground with the tires on. Is this correct because I absolutely cannot do it right now, so I have sufficed with using my air gun to tighten them down as much as it will without spinning the perch over the spring. Any advice?

Thanks in advance!

P.S. when I am done I will try to make an in depth d.i.y. as I have not found any that are in depth and while this is a straightfoward job it def. has some aspects to it that are a pain (see above!)

P.S.S. This is for my 330i btw not the M3 just in case it makes a difference!
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M3 - Not enough room to list

Last edited by lejeunebimmer; 04-16-2010 at 10:15 PM.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:09 PM   #2
nightowl2k2
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I put the same combo on my 330i last Sept and here are my thoughts from what I learned.

1) You do not use the bump stop on the front struts with the Bilsteins. They do not need them and there is no room.
2) That is what I did but I do not think it makes too much difference as long as the are close.
3) The strut will not go all the way through. There is a lip at the bottom of the mount.
4) I just used an air wrench to tighten things down. That was the suggestion to me from a mechanic.

I think that is everything... if not let me know if you have more questions.
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Old 04-18-2010, 04:13 PM   #3
scrace
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4) this was a pain for me, I had to have my dad hold the part that is spinning and I used a wrench at 1/4 turns because I would hit grips holding the spinning part.
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:06 PM   #4
lejeunebimmer
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Hey guys thanks for your answers. I finished with all of my suspension work this morning after a total of 10 hours of work time to replace the struts, shocks, springs, sway bays (Front and rear), sway bar endlinks (front and rear), shock and strut mounts, FCAB's, and outter tie rods (both sides). The car handles as good as if not better than the M3 now. To update on my questions.

1) Bilstein does indeed use internal bump stops so there is no need to reuse your oem ones on the front. (The Rear you will need to reuse your oem bump stops.)
2) I installed the springs on the perches correctly (for those of you about to do this with any suspension do not listen to the people on here that tell you it needs to sit in the notch on the perch! If you look at the rubber spring seat there will be an indentation from where the stocks sat at place it there and that is correct and dont worry about ow the rubber sits as it will only sit one way!)
3) The bilsteins sit on a lip inside of the pinch joint and should look like my pictures above this is correct!
4) Without dropping 50 dollars on special socket which you would never use otherwise you cant torque that center bolt really easy, so I reccomend using an air impact as I did, it worked fine!

All in all my suspension overhaul was very straightforward process and not extremly difficult but, I did run into some problems such as my passengers side outer tie rod being frozen (unable to turn no matter how hard i turned it with the wrenches) I had to heat this until it was cherry red to get off. If it had not been for things like that I would say that a suspension overhaul like mine should take one full saturday (with a friends help) and I would rate as a 8 on a scale of 1-10 with 10 being the hardest for the average do it yourselfer. One note that if you plan on changing out your tie rod ends like I did make sure to count the number of turns (complete roatations starting with the up position) that it takes to get them off and then screw them back on the exacct same number of turns, this will keep your toe at least somewhat close so that you can safely drive it to the alignment shop! Hope this helps anyone who mayby doing this as well! If you have any question please feel free to pm me!
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M3 - Not enough room to list
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:30 PM   #5
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Did you take before and after pics? I'm interested in how the stance looks. I don't like to lower my car to ridiculous levels like a tuner car. I want it to look like a factory ride.

Thx
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Old 04-18-2010, 09:40 PM   #6
lejeunebimmer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phug View Post
Did you take before and after pics? I'm interested in how the stance looks. I don't like to lower my car to ridiculous levels like a tuner car. I want it to look like a factory ride.

Thx
I have some before picture lying around my computer, but I havent taken after pics yet I will do so tommorrow and post them up here. Two things for you to note though my car had the sport suspension on it from the factory so it already sat a little lower than normal, and I also had 17" M68's on. I now have 18" CSL Reps on so it only sits a little bit lower than before overall but this suspension did cut my wheel gap doown from 2.5 fingers to 1 fingers worth of wheel gap if that. So its not slammed but has a nice aggresive stance. Like I said I'll take some new pics tommorrow.
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M3 - Not enough room to list
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Old 04-23-2010, 02:35 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lejeunebimmer View Post
2) I installed the springs on the perches correctly (for those of you about to do this with any suspension do not listen to the people on here that tell you it needs to sit in the notch on the perch! If you look at the rubber spring seat there will be an indentation from where the stocks sat at place it there and that is correct and dont worry about ow the rubber sits as it will only sit one way!)
That is why I said get it as close as possible. It is not possible to have the spring end sit in the notch and things will turn as you tighten/install things. Good to hear that you were able to get things installed without any issues
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Old 04-23-2010, 05:13 PM   #8
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post those pictures man, im interested in running the same set up.
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Old 09-20-2010, 10:46 PM   #9
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3) The strut should sit all the way down to that lip on the shock. When I did it I undid the majority of that bolt and then pumped the lower control arm up slightly with a floor jack. Then I just did a little shake and wiggle until it was all the way down.

Good luck on that DIY. Cant wait to review it man
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Old 09-21-2010, 12:38 AM   #10
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1. Yes, from what I've read, Bilsteins use internal bump stops.
2. The end of the coil does NOT line up with the little notch in the lower spring perch. It is very deceptive, but you just ignore the notch in the lower spring perch for the most part, and instead you worry about the oval shape of the spring and spring perch which should line up better.
3. The shock is fine where it is, and doesn't drop out the bottom. This varies between dampers designs.
4. The proper way to tighten the top nut is using an allen key and a somewhat specialized deep wrench. Tightening the top nut with an impact wrench is pretty bad for the seals of the damper, but this is the way most people do it.
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Old 09-21-2010, 04:31 AM   #11
lejeunebimmer
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Ok, so my review that I should've put up 4 months ago.

1) Yes they use internal bump stops
2) Mkodama had it dead on, if you are reusing your old spring rubbers, they will have a seperate indentation on them from where the spring sat, just line it up there.
3) The pictures illustrate a Bilstein shock installed correctly
4) Once again Mkodama nailed it on the had, although I must admit I just went the impact route, and after ~4,500 miles I am fine.


Review: Bilstein Sport Shocks and Struts, H&R Sport Springs (for a car w/ factory sport suspension, the rest of you guys this is your race springs), H&R 3-way adjustable rear sway bar, H&R 2-way adjustable front sway bar, Powerflex FCAB's (Black 66mm pre-pressed), Sachs front shock mounts, O.E. rear shock mounts, Lemfoerder front and rear sway bar endlinks, Lemfoerder Outer Tie Rod Ends, and probably some other stuff I am forgetting.

The car handles beautifully. The ride is slightly more harsh but not bad at all, I would rate it as being the same as a stock E46 M3. I am running 18" wheels so the drop is negated partly by that however it def. sits about .5" lower all around and has a very aggresive stance, expect >1" drop with o.e. 17"s. Handling, body roll is almost non-existent now, the car will still understeer however it is much much much milder, and if you are an inexperienced driver and hit the gas before the apex during the understeer I can see where you could get some snap oversteer. Steering has a much more direct feel and she lets you know what is going on before it ever happens. On the street you will be hard pressed to ever get this suspension setup to get to the point of losing it, on the racetrack it is a great setup and has been measured by my phone at .97 lateral g's on BF Goodrich G-Force KDW 2's this is an improvement from .90 on the same tires with stock sport suspension, I expect it could probably pull 1g with r comps. Although if you are buying this for track only I would stronly suggest going w/ Bilstein PSS 10 coilovers because of their adjustibility of rebound and compression, etc etc etc... All in all it was well worth the ~1500 I spent to rebuild the suspension, it is most certainly the best mod I have done on this car closely followed by UUC Flywheel and E36 M3 Performance Organic Clutch.
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M3 - Not enough room to list

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Old 10-11-2010, 09:24 PM   #12
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Wow that really doesn't look right, my Bilsteins went in about 2" more than that. Also, there is a mark on the strut you can see in your picture, it says L and that needs to line up right in the gap.
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Old 10-12-2010, 09:15 AM   #13
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thanks for the review. this is the setup i want to go with on my 325 in a few months. thanks for reassuring my choice.
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Old 10-13-2010, 05:18 PM   #14
lejeunebimmer
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Quote:
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Wow that really doesn't look right, my Bilsteins went in about 2" more than that. Also, there is a mark on the strut you can see in your picture, it says L and that needs to line up right in the gap.
That really is right! There is a lip on the struts that do not allow them to pass through the sleeve anymore than just that! Perhaps you bilstein HD's which are made closer to factory spec since they are intended to be factory replacement? Yes there is indeed a mark on there that says L & R but there is also a little vertical line on the sticker. The vertical line is what needs to be lined up with the space in the knuckle!!!!

P.S. those were not my pictures
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M3 - Not enough room to list
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Old 10-13-2010, 07:55 PM   #15
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I have Bilstein Sports, perhaps they make them different now. Mine are about 4 years old and they definitely go through the housing until they bottom out. Mine stick out below the housing about 2".
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:43 PM   #16
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Great write-up. I'm installing the exact same combo tomorrow, and this thread is a huge help!!
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Old 07-19-2013, 10:57 PM   #17
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Quick question: For the rear shocks, do the stock bump rubbers need to be cut down?

Also, here's a tip I learned from a tutorial on removing the recessed front strut nut, if you don't have access to air tools. Use a 13/16 sparkplug socket that has the hexagonal "nut" on the top. Put the socket on the shock nut, a wrench on the hex part of the socket, and then put your Allen wrench through the top of the socket to hold the shock shaft.
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Old 07-20-2013, 01:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
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I have Bilstein Sports, perhaps they make them different now. Mine are about 4 years old and they definitely go through the housing until they bottom out. Mine stick out below the housing about 2".
I did a replacement from oem to Bilstein B8 Sprint (/maybe Sport in NA) and it looked precisely like the previous picture.



If the strut goes all the way down the car must get really lowered, mine dropped about 20mm with the Eibach Pro-kit (which it was supposed to, nothing wrong).
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