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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 09-02-2012, 01:57 AM   #1
always-there
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E46 330i front struts

So for a while now I've known my front struts are completely blown. Whenever I go through speed bumps, I can hear metal on metal contact as if it's really loose. I've replaced shocks before, but this will be my first BMW strut job. I'm sure it's the same concept, I just wanted insight on what dampers to buy if I want sharp handling, just not too stiff. And do I really need new shock mounts aside from the strut mounts I know I need ?
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:16 AM   #2
swordsman11868
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Metal on metal? Sounds like u need more than just the struts.

Could be the end links but you won't know until you get under there and look.

-d
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Old 09-02-2012, 08:58 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDM-E46 Enthusiast View Post
So for a while now I've known my front struts are completely blown. Whenever I go through speed bumps, I can hear metal on metal contact as if it's really loose. I've replaced shocks before, but this will be my first BMW strut job. I'm sure it's the same concept, I just wanted insight on what dampers to buy if I want sharp handling, just not too stiff. And do I really need new shock mounts aside from the strut mounts I know I need ?
How many miles on your ride?

That's some severe wear/damage. Lower ball joints in LCAs and FCABs could also be failed.
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Old 09-02-2012, 01:25 PM   #4
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It has 121k.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:17 PM   #5
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The dealership would replace your strut mounts at the same time as the struts if you took your car there, so I'd do them as well. Bilstein gets great reviews.
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Old 09-02-2012, 05:39 PM   #6
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Install a pair of these as well
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-32...ates-pair.aspx
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Old 09-03-2012, 12:30 PM   #7
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cheap and will potentially save you a lot of money in the long run. There's no reason to not do this
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:06 PM   #8
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Old 09-03-2012, 01:14 PM   #9
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Stop driving immediately
Sound could be indication of drastic damage being done.
Inspect before you drive another mile.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:19 PM   #10
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Replace with Bilsteins. While you are there, FCAB and sway bar bushings are a few bolts away-the problem is that once you fix one thing on an #E46, the forces will move to the next weakest link-and kill it. Replace end links too, for a fat $40. If you view it as the suspension being suspended by FCAB, Sway bar bushings, Shocks and mounts, you'll be way happier at your mileage to replace all rubber bits and forget about it all for another 80k.

I did Meyle Control Arms at 180k, and at 290k, the uprated ball joints are still good. Meyle is a great OE replacement part.
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Last edited by speedlaw; 09-04-2012 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 09-04-2012, 11:33 PM   #11
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330i Sport, Xenon, Nav, Cloth Interior, NO Sunroof. Valentine One, Icom 7000 for Ham Radio, Scanner, and CB.
Had to reach out to a fellow "NO sunroof" brother!
Check out my garage and you'll see it is a valuable trait for me. Special order.
Admire your cloth interior too! But happy with my leatherette.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:16 AM   #12
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Yea, i really love this car, I don't want give up on it, so I'll replace everything. It's in fair condition, I dig the m3 wheels. I'm just waiting on the this coming paycheck : ( Ever since I bought it, I've been making a list of what needs to be replaced, and damn it's a needy car. But then again the previous owner seems to have just slacked off on maintenance.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:21 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by UDM-E46 Enthusiast View Post
Yea, i really love this car, I don't want give up on it, so I'll replace everything. It's in fair condition, I dig the m3 wheels. I'm just waiting on the this coming paycheck : ( Ever since I bought it, I've been making a list of what needs to be replaced, and damn it's a needy car. But then again the previous owner seems to have just slacked off on maintenance.
That's what the next owner gonna say.
Driving until things blow then fix it
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:29 AM   #14
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Maintenance needed for the BMW- New struts, shock tower mounts, strut tower mount, alignment, oil change(buy wix), cabin air filter(replaced), window tint - not really a necessity, at least yet-, window regulator, fuel filter, air filter, and whenever I get the opportunity replace the abs sensors/rotors/and inspect brake pads(drilled/slotted)hmm..Take Bimmer to a professional detailer so they can take away the weird old cigar smoke the previous owner put in the car. Oh and today the car hesitated to start, so I'll need to replace the spark plugs..well basically a complete tune up, depending on how much I can afford at the time. Fix the C pillar in the rear passenger side, which isn't too bad. The center console has a couple of scratches so I'd like to get a brand new replacement. Brand new rain x wipers to replace current set which still work, I just want to get it done so I don't have to worry about it. Make sure a/c has enough freon. After this is all done, replace transmission fluid which includes replacing gasket, filter etc. And after this is all done I can safely enjoy my joy rides on the freeway, lol.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:55 AM   #15
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When I bought the car, the struts were already blown.
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Old 09-07-2012, 09:57 AM   #16
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Very nice. You just noticed.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:05 AM   #17
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No I knew, I just fell in love with it. I knew it needed to be replaced, and with a credit score of 580ish, I knew I couldn't get a nice Bimmer for cheap. For now, this is the closest I could get aside from Carmax who wanted 6k down on a 07 328i with 60k miles, 456 per month at 18% interest, and that's just nuts. So here I am. The car is amazing, it just needs maintenance since the previous owner was an idiot. All in all, it's all good, just seeking insight on current BMW owners. We never stop learning.
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Old 09-07-2012, 10:39 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UDM-E46 Enthusiast View Post
It has 121k.
OP,
@ 121K+ miles...
I said you need to focus on a complete cooling system refresh/overhaul (priority), suspension next (INCLUDING your hub/bearings*), then everything else in that order.

And, check your DISA.

*I'm betting there's an annoying droning 'road' noise that gets worse at speeds.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:21 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by swordsman11868 View Post
Metal on metal? Sounds like u need more than just the struts.

Could be the end links but you won't know until you get under there and look.

-d
+1. Even a blown strut should not make metal on metal noises.

The job that the strut performs is essentially the same as that which a shock does. Springs support the weight of the car, shocks and struts control the bounce and rebound of the springs. It is very rare that a shock/strut will produce a metal on metal noise.

I would suggest that you do indeed need shocks and struts, but the noises are from bushings or the springs themselves. There are supposed to be rubber pads between the springs and the spring seats, and if the pads are gone then there is metal on metal. The struts have a top mount that is basically a bearing so the struts can pivot when the car is turning. These mounts can be a source of metal on metal as well.
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Old 09-07-2012, 11:44 AM   #20
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The disa's fine. The car sounds great, it's pretty quiet on the freeway, so I'm good there. When I turn it on the car sounds pretty strong. I'm not sure if the owner did any mods to the exhaust set up, but it sounds a lot better than a stock 330i muffler. I did notice the golf tee mod was done since the valve on the muffler's open at idle.
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