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DIY: Do It Yourself
Post here to share or improve your wrench turning skills! All BMW E46 DIY tips, tales, and projects discussed inside. Learn to work on your car and know the right BMW parts you will need!

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Old 05-26-2013, 02:42 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Walnut Creek
Posts: 58
My Ride: 2003 330i
Koni FSD, FCA, tierods, and more

Finished up my finals last week and now have some time to install the parts I have been stockpiling for my suspension. Need to replace the suspension since I have some really bad camber on my front tires, and since my car has 130k miles on it, figured might as well do it all.

Thank you everyone for this great site and all the DIY's. Here are some of the pages I used for this:

The overall ride of my car felt really bouncy and tramlined all over the road. Whenever I sat down or got out I noticed a squeak which I think came from the rear of the car, hoping the shocks and hardware will fix that.

First going to start on the front struts and rear shocks and then go from there, I'll keep updating this thread with pictures and other stuff as I do it.

Finished up the shocks and struts on tuesday 28th, today 30th I got 2 new front tires because of the camber wear, Bridgestone Potenza re970, and an alignment from Firestone. Ride feels stable for the little I have driven it so far, a lot quieter with the new tires. Everything was off a little bit, toe was out of spec the worst, but after alignment everything was good. I'll finish the rest of suspension this weekend and then get another alignment after everything is installed and post more updates.

Front Struts:

1. Remove ABS and brake line from housing
2. Remove 17mm endlink from strut.
3. Remove 18mm pinch bolt.
4. Support hub.
5. Loosen the top 3 13mm nuts.
6. Tapped the top of the rotor to get the hub to slide down and off the strut.
7. Once hub was off the strut, remove the top 3 nuts, remove the strut.

Note: I did not have to remove the caliper or disconnect ABS, just remove them from the housing on the strut.
Note: The hardest part of this job for me was compressing the spring to take off and put back on. I had to go rent an extra set of compressors to get the springs to compress evenly as my Schwaben was too large.
Note: Take notice the way the spring sits on the lower perch, the spring isn't supposed to go in the groove at the bottom. I wasn't sure until I read the articles on here on how to align the spring with perch.
Note: The 19mm nut on top of the strut requires a special tool to be able to tighten it without the strut shaft moving. I just did a couple quick bursts of an impact while it was off the car to snug it up for now. Later on I will buy the tool to be able to torque it down.


8. Put strut back in with dimple aligning, loosely get one or more of the tower 13mm nuts on.
9. Get lower part of strut in hub.
Note: Since I was replacing my control arms and bushings I didn't really mind how much I was bending the bushings, so I just pressed down on the hub to make room to get the strut in.
10. While jacking up the hub a little at a time, make sure to wiggle it so the strut settles into the pinch housing.
Note: When the pinch housing is at the correct height, make sure to twist the strut so it is in the correct position to get the endlinks in.
12. Install endlink on strut and torque.
Note: My passenger strut where the endlink is supposed to go was opposite of driver so it made it hard to fit the slim wrench to hold the back, but it was possible.
13. Install rest of tower 13mm bolts and torque.
14. Torque hub pinch bolt.
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Last edited by ummwillprince; 05-30-2013 at 07:17 PM.
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Old 05-30-2013, 07:11 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Walnut Creek
Posts: 58
My Ride: 2003 330i
Rear Shocks:

Note: I did not have to remove xenon sensor?
Note: Again I used an impact to tighten the shock shaft nut, the nut Koni includes with the FSD has nylon so it only tightens a little at a time, I just stopped as soon as it snugged everything together.
Note: I reused both the curved washers from the old shocks, Think the thin aluminum cap on the shock is just to hold the black dust shield.
Note: Don't know if the direction the shock matters, I just rotated it so the logo shows.
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Old 02-21-2014, 06:40 PM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Chicago
Posts: 850
My Ride: 328Ci
How do you get the front Koni's in? They're far too long.

The king pin is fully stretched and restricted by the brake fluid line.

I can't get the compressors up there, not enough room....


e: shoved it in like it was her first time. fixed.

Last edited by Cowspoo; 02-21-2014 at 09:31 PM.
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Old 04-16-2014, 12:38 PM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: UK
Posts: 83
My Ride: 330D
Is it right to use the lower curved washer over the Koni cap?
Another install I saw did not use the original washer with the Koni's.

Last edited by budwab; 04-16-2014 at 12:38 PM.
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