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Old 10-15-2013, 02:55 PM   #1
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

I have a April 1999 323i with sport suspension. I'm installing Bilstein HD struts and need to know if the strut is supposed to go down into the clamp so the shoulder shown in the first photo sits at the bottom of the clamp and the strut extends out the bottom of the clamp.
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If it is supposed to extend out the bottom, my problem is that I can't get the strut to move further down In the clamp than is shown in the second photo.
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I have lubed the clamp to help the strut slide and put upward pressure on the clamp with a jack and the strut just doesn't budge. The bottom diameter of the clamp comes in a bit and forms a shoulder and that seems to be preventing the strut from going further down in the clamp.

Anyone done this that has tip on the install?

The HDs have no alignment pins like oem struts and they definitely have a larger diameter than oem.




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Old 10-15-2013, 03:15 PM   #2
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

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I would say yes. You may need to open the clamp up a bit with a wedge.


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Old 10-15-2013, 03:39 PM   #3
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Yewzer B Lewzer View Post
Attachment 530945

I would say yes. You may need to open the clamp up a bit with a wedge.


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Thx. Could you give more specifics on the type if tool?
If I have to use a wedge to get it in it will probably be difficult to remove the strut later?


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Old 10-15-2013, 03:58 PM   #4
Yewzer B Lewzer
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

I would put a metal flat plate (scraper?) in the gap where the clamp bolt goes, put the clamp screw in from the wrong side, and use the bolt to jack the clamp open. (If that makes any sense the way I explained it).



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Old 10-15-2013, 04:06 PM   #5
hitbyastick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edjerum View Post
Thx. Could you give more specifics on the type if tool?
If I have to use a wedge to get it in it will probably be difficult to remove the strut later?


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Wedge it with a screwdriver or some other tool to pry the clamp out just enough to fit the strut down. Cold chisel driven into the gap might work. Use some ingenuity. You're talking thousandths of an inch and the strut will push down as it should. When the time comes to replace (ten years from now) just do the same thing to remove. Not a mindbender. It's just a new part being stubborn.

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Old 10-15-2013, 04:08 PM   #6
MiniXP
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There should be a little curve in on the strut where the bolt slides through the clamp. If that lines up you are good, if not than it needs to go in more.

I've just used a flat blade screw driver to pry the clamp open a little in the past, shouldn't take too much effort.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:13 PM   #7
richwm
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HD's don't extend below the strut clamp like the OEM's. From your picture they look correct.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:14 PM   #8
bee-em-dougle-u
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I recently installed Bilstein Sports in my 2002 325i, and unlike the stock struts, they don't extend out past the bottom of the clamp. I'm pretty sure that you've installed them correctly as shown in your photo.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:25 PM   #9
hitbyastick
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Not so fast. Photos are not the best, but there is supposed to be a shoulder on those struts to serve as home position, further HD are designed to work with stock springs unlike the sport shocks which are designed to work with shorter aftermarket lowering springs. HDs should be the same length as stock, sports are shorter. OP should call Bilstein to confirm.
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:32 PM   #10
richwm
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Look at this DIY http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=862207
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Old 10-15-2013, 04:37 PM   #11
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From that DIY


Installing the new strut is the reverse procedure. Maneuver it in place while paying attention to get the top alignment pin in place. Unlike the OEM Sachs, the Bilstein struts do NOT go below the steering knuckle. This is normal, as there is a stop at the bottom of the knuckle preventing further movement. New bolt also in place and torqued to 81Nm. Top 13mm nuts also placed and torqued to 34Nm. Repeat same process for other side


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Old 10-15-2013, 04:46 PM   #12
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

I actually tried this but it didn't seem to
Move the clamp and I was concerned if I cranked too hard it would destroy the bolt or threads. Have you done this with success?


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Old 10-15-2013, 05:19 PM   #13
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

Quote:
Originally Posted by hitbyastick View Post
Not so fast. Photos are not the best, but there is supposed to be a shoulder on those struts to serve as home position, further HD are designed to work with stock springs unlike the sport shocks which are designed to work with shorter aftermarket lowering springs. HDs should be the same length as stock, sports are shorter. OP should call Bilstein to confirm.
I did call Bilstein a couple of times and spoke to two different techs who told me struts had to go down but they actually had no hands on knowledge and I also saw the DIY Referenced here, which
]had me wonder what was correct so then I made this post.

Thx for the replies. I would like the answer to be struts are okay not extending but not sure because my car is sitting a bit high compared to rear-though that could be due to weak rear springs.[ATTACH]530967
530969[/ATTACH]


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Last edited by edjerum; 10-15-2013 at 05:21 PM.
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Old 10-16-2013, 12:44 PM   #14
marc-d
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Quote:
Originally Posted by richwm View Post
HD's don't extend below the strut clamp like the OEM's. From your picture they look correct.
I just did this install two weeks ago and agree with Rich - your install looks correct to me.
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Old 10-16-2013, 01:13 PM   #15
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

Sounds good. I'll relax now!
Do you think my car being lower in the rear, which has new HD shocks installed, than the front is normal or indicates springs are weak?


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Old 10-16-2013, 01:43 PM   #16
edjerum
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Help With Install of Bilstein HD Struts

I got a call back from one of the Bilstein techs I'd spoken to before and he confirmed that the strut's correct position is sitting in the bottom of the knuckle NOT extending through it. He spoke to the Bilstein engineer for the shock who said the strut is a larger diameter than oem and is not designed to go through knuckle.
YEAH!


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