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DIY: Do It Yourself
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:43 PM   #1
tigre671
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Problem installing rear shocks

Hey guys, so let me get to the point. I set aside this weekend to replace the old shocks, struts, and springs on my 2000 323i with some new FK adjustable coil overs. I live in a pothole infested town so it was a long time coming. Anyway, I installed the front end struts and they went in like a breeze. The back however, gave my headaches galore. I got the struts on both sides in just fine and left the strut bolt detached from the lower control arm to install the springs. Once the springs were in, I noticed that the hole at the bottom of the strut was about 3-4 inches higher than the control arm. Nevertheless, I jacked up the lower end so that the screw holes were even and then screwed in the shock bolt. Now here comes the bad part, when I lowered the jack, the control arm went back down under the spring's tension and pulled my shock mount apart. What did I do wrong? I followed all the instructions in the DIY. My only theory is that since i bought an adjustable suspension and installed it with the ride height set high (trying to keep that stock height), that maybe the control arm was too low. Any thoughts?
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:54 PM   #2
Willie00328I
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When I replaced my blown out shock the other day I didn't take any bolts out of the control arm. I took the nut off of the lower shock stud then the nuts off of the top mount and it just fell to the ground. Then going back in I tightened the top of the new shock in place. Then the lower stud I pried up the control arm with a 2x4 because it was hanging down about 3 inches, then put the nut on.


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Old 09-28-2014, 09:55 PM   #3
franz
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Sounds like your shock mount was ready to go. It should be able to hold the rear up in my experience.
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Old 09-28-2014, 09:59 PM   #4
tigre671
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Thanks for the info! And to clarify, I meant the lower shock stud. I used a jack instead of a 2x4 to pull up the control arm and put the nut on, but once it was on and I released tension, it just ripped my brand new strut mount clean out. Is that just a bad quality mount or did I do something wrong?

And Franz: Only thing is this was a brand new strut mount. I didn't try it on the other side for fear of ruining two mounts.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:00 PM   #5
tigre671
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And when I mean ripped the strut mount out, I mean pulled it clean apart. Core out of the surrounding area. It definitely looked like it was meant to come apart that way
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:02 PM   #6
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you didn't buy new shock mounts? hm... well, looks like its time to. anyways, maybe you should also buy the shock mount reinforcement plates as well. they come standard on the z3s, not on our cars but you can still find them labeled for our cars on the net.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:06 PM   #7
tigre671
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Whoops, I meant to say shock mount, but yes, I bought those as well as the reinforcement plates. Im starting to think I just bought bad mounts, but they were from ECS and I've never had a problem with them before
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:16 PM   #8
Alex323Ci
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ok your kinda confusing me on what you did.

first off the front are Struts and the rears are Shocks. you have rear "top shock mounts" held onto the shock shaft by a top nut. and rear shocks that mount via a bolt at the bottom.

it sounds like your saying the rear shock after install pulled the top nut (and rubber inside of top shock mount) back down and out of its metal casing. is this about right or am I off?
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:26 PM   #9
tigre671
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Nope you're exactly right! So I bought new shocks and shock mounts, mounted them together and screwed in the top nut, mounted the shock mount to the chassis (used a reinforcement plate too), and then raised the control arm, screwed in the bolt at the bottom, lowered the control arm, and boom, the rubber inside the top shock mount just pulled out of the casing.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:27 PM   #10
Alex323Ci
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if you tightened the bottom shock bolt while it was fully extended or fully compressed it might "pre-load" or fix the shock at an odd angle and twist the top shock mount so hard it breaks the rubber from inside its mount.

now if you said it pushed it up and out I'd say you forgot the bottom washer on the rear shock mount. that's common mistake and leads to premature failure of RSMs.

you can thread the shock's bottom bolt to car's suspension knuckle/carrier, just don't fully torque to spec until it's level. which is hard to do/access when lowered, real easy to do on rear ramps.
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:31 PM   #11
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Ahh that makes since because I did torque it to spec while it was still raised. Thanks! I'll get another shock mount and try again and hopefully thats the last one I buy for a while
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Old 09-28-2014, 10:33 PM   #12
Alex323Ci
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oh ok, if you had all the correct washers in place then it sounds like a defective mount if new. or a failure of mount if older. stock RSM are crap, at the least go with oem M3 ones or Meyle HD ones. the Meyle HD have a "winged" metal sleeve that helps prevent pulling the rubber out of the mount.
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Old 09-29-2014, 12:21 PM   #13
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The mounted pulled out from the bottom side? That's always a fun one. If everything is together in the proper order diagram below for reference) that shouldn't happen. If the washers are forgotten... welp I've seen mounts blow out in both directions. Shoot me a PM if you need my assistance, as always I'm here to help.



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Old 10-11-2014, 12:34 PM   #14
tigre671
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Ok guys, here is an update. I got the new shock mount and mounted it to the shock, then mounted the shock to the chassis. I have the new height adjustable springs in, and this time I lowered them all the way in order to give the shock more room to bolt into the control arm. I've noticed in the DIY videos that when they are on the same step that I am on, that there is not a large gap between the control arm and the bottom of the shock. Usually they just need to jack up the control arm a bit in order to fit the lower shock bolt in. The pictures below are to show how much of a gap that I have. When I put my new shocks and the old ones side by side, there is a noticeable difference in height, but I thought that this was due to the fact that my new suspension is height adjustable. Using my finger as a reference in the picture, you can see that there's still about 3" of space in between. Is this normal? I don't want to ruin another shock mount and spend a car-less week waiting on a part again. Any thoughts?
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