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Old 11-04-2016, 10:29 AM   #1
PHDE46
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 76
My Ride: 2002 330ci vert
How urgent to replace leaking rear shock and possible cracked mount?

Friends,

I know there are probable a million threads on this, but I am concerned about urgency, so please bear with me.

I have a leaking rear shock and there is a sort of rattle noise coming from someplace near there. If I have a busted shock and a cracked mount, how urgent is it to replace? Can I safely drive it at all? Do I have time to order parts and DIY, or should I drive/tow immediately to my indy shop?

Thanks!

Paul
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Model description: 330CI
VIN: EV88139
Market: USA
Type: BS53
E-Code: E46 (C)
Chassis: Cabriolet
Engine: M54 - 3,00l (170kW)
Drive: Heckantrieb
Transmission: manuell
Body Color: Titansilber Metallic (354)
Upholstery: Standardleder/hellbeige 2 (arbeitsn (N6HC)
Production date: 31.08.2001
Assembled in: Regensburg

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Old 11-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #2
Nicker
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Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: LI NY
Posts: 857
My Ride: 323ci
all we can do is guess....

go to your car, remove the crap inside the back of it, pull back the carpet and insulation and VISUALLY inspect it yourself.


This is the only thing to do.

If it looks like this, then it's bad:



Your car being 14+ years old, shocks should have been replaced atleast once, and that means they should have been installed with new mounts and reinforcement plates.
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Old 11-04-2016, 11:31 AM   #3
PHDE46
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 76
My Ride: 2002 330ci vert
Yes, that's what I am doing. I peeled the carpet, but I'm not sure exactly where the RSM is. Is it under that insulation-covered thing on the left, or is it further forward? see attached pic
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Model description: 330CI
VIN: EV88139
Market: USA
Type: BS53
E-Code: E46 (C)
Chassis: Cabriolet
Engine: M54 - 3,00l (170kW)
Drive: Heckantrieb
Transmission: manuell
Body Color: Titansilber Metallic (354)
Upholstery: Standardleder/hellbeige 2 (arbeitsn (N6HC)
Production date: 31.08.2001
Assembled in: Regensburg

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Old 11-05-2016, 08:31 AM   #4
markusmarkus
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Posts: 5,908
My Ride: 2001 330Ci
The shock mount will be on the top of the wheel's inner fender. The pic is of some electronic gizmo.
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Old 11-05-2016, 08:54 AM   #5
PHDE46
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 76
My Ride: 2002 330ci vert
Thanks. You are right. The RSM is hard to reach in the convertible. Turns out I have to remove the whole top storage tray and surrounding trim pieces just to access the shock mounts. Estimate from Indy shop is $900. Ordered the parts yesterday and will give it a go myself. What could possibly go wrong?
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:02 AM   #6
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHDE46 View Post
Thanks. You are right. The RSM is hard to reach in the convertible. Turns out I have to remove the whole top storage tray and surrounding trim pieces just to access the shock mounts. Estimate from Indy shop is $900. Ordered the parts yesterday and will give it a go myself. What could possibly go wrong?
Lots. Thankfully that information is incorrect.

The convertible is the easiest to change rear shocks on of all the E46's. You don't even need stands, but I did use ramps for enough clearance to swing my ratchet and torque wrench. This also works out since the car has to be loaded before final torque is applied.

Raise the tonneau and get it to this :

image

Then access the RSM nuts :

image

Don't forget the tonneau has a timeout value so you need to work smart, or in increments.

Good luck.
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:22 AM   #7
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHDE46 View Post
Yes, that's what I am doing. I peeled the carpet, but I'm not sure exactly where the RSM is. Is it under that insulation-covered thing on the left, or is it further forward? see attached pic
That's the reservoir for the top hydraulics. The tower is what it's mounted on. I'd be hesitant to be moving hydraulic lines unless I needed to.

Don't take it from the trunk, take it from the top.

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Old 11-05-2016, 10:43 AM   #8
NorthernCAE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post

Don't forget the tonneau has a timeout value so you need to work smart, or in increments.

Good luck.
Curious as to what you mean by timeout value? What happens if it's propped open like that for too long?
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Old 11-05-2016, 10:44 AM   #9
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernCAE46 View Post
Curious as to what you mean by timeout value? What happens if it's propped open like that for too long?
It starts to close itself automatically, albeit at a reduced close rate.
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Old 11-05-2016, 02:47 PM   #10
PHDE46
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Posts: 76
My Ride: 2002 330ci vert
Thanks, this is great. How do I get to the center nut between the RSM nuts? Don't I have to loosen that nut to remove the bad shocks?
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Model description: 330CI
VIN: EV88139
Market: USA
Type: BS53
E-Code: E46 (C)
Chassis: Cabriolet
Engine: M54 - 3,00l (170kW)
Drive: Heckantrieb
Transmission: manuell
Body Color: Titansilber Metallic (354)
Upholstery: Standardleder/hellbeige 2 (arbeitsn (N6HC)
Production date: 31.08.2001
Assembled in: Regensburg

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Old 11-05-2016, 04:53 PM   #11
PHDE46
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Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Saint Paul, MN
Posts: 76
My Ride: 2002 330ci vert
Mission accomplished!

Thanks to everyone for your help. Replaced rear shocks, DISA, and flush &fill.
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Model description: 330CI
VIN: EV88139
Market: USA
Type: BS53
E-Code: E46 (C)
Chassis: Cabriolet
Engine: M54 - 3,00l (170kW)
Drive: Heckantrieb
Transmission: manuell
Body Color: Titansilber Metallic (354)
Upholstery: Standardleder/hellbeige 2 (arbeitsn (N6HC)
Production date: 31.08.2001
Assembled in: Regensburg

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Old 11-05-2016, 05:11 PM   #12
allikanbe
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PHDE46 View Post
Thanks. You are right. The RSM is hard to reach in the convertible. Turns out I have to remove the whole top storage tray and surrounding trim pieces just to access the shock mounts. Estimate from Indy shop is $900. Ordered the parts yesterday and will give it a go myself. What could possibly go wrong?
Thank goodness for forums like this. I changed my convertible shocks in minutes. So many "mechanics" try to rip off people with BMWs, MBs, etc just because of the name.
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Old 11-06-2016, 10:27 AM   #13
NorthernCAE46
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My Ride: 01 330Ci Convertible
Which shocks did you go with? How does it drive now?

EDIT:

Quote:
Originally Posted by cvx5832 View Post
It starts to close itself automatically, albeit at a reduced close rate.
How would one go about to stop/ or stall this from happening? (I.E what do you do to finish the job? work quick?)

Last edited by NorthernCAE46; 11-06-2016 at 11:00 AM.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:42 AM   #14
cvx5832
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NorthernCAE46 View Post
How would one go about to stop/ or stall this from happening? (I.E what do you do to finish the job? work quick?)
You work smart. Pre-assemble your tools and the replacement shock so you can open the tonneau, unbolt the old and slip in the new before the top reaches the 10 or 15 minute (can't remember) timeout. There's plenty of time.

Or work inefficiently and keep operating the top. And for some reason I remember you can only operate to close it (once timeout is reached) before opening it up again to where you need it. Way easier to just plan the job.
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Old 11-06-2016, 11:44 AM   #15
Radnor
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Join Date: Jun 2016
Location: SA
Posts: 124
My Ride: 325Ci
Now that you have replaced the two rear shocks, when will you replace the front struts? These should always be done together assuming they all have higher mileage on them. Worn out front struts with new rear shocks are a bad combo.
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