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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 11-26-2015, 05:19 PM   #1
atgatt
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 66
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325xi
bilstein install

Putting some bilstein HD street struts on my xi. Ran into 1 small issue. I can't fit the new strut with the spring installed... it's slightly bigger than the OE strut. What I mean is I can't put it in the bottom mount and have it clear the tire well to mount it in the strut tower.

I have heard folks try to compress the spring by clamping on the lower spring support and try to make it shorter. I tried that and the lower spring support actually broke free. It's just sort of crimped in there.

The only other solution I see is to release the outer ball joint on the control arm in the hopes that gives me the extra space I need... well I hope I can release it without using a pickle fork since the control arm is brand new.

Anyone do this before? Seems like this issue is unique to the XI.

Last edited by atgatt; 11-26-2015 at 05:20 PM.
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Old 11-26-2015, 07:43 PM   #2
zander271
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,010
My Ride: 6spd ZHP/5sp XI
bilstein install

You need to connect it to the strut tower first. Make sure the brake caliper is removed from the rotor. Then put a jack under the steering knuckle to help lift/hold it. You should be able to then have it low enough to slip the bottom of the strut in. Use the jack that is under the steering knuckle to press everything up. 5 minute install solo, faster with an extra pair of hands.

Whoever said you need to compress the spring doesn't know how to do it right lol.
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ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,H&R Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob

Last edited by zander271; 11-26-2015 at 07:44 PM.
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Old 11-27-2015, 12:57 PM   #3
atgatt
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Join Date: Aug 2015
Location: Boston MA
Posts: 66
My Ride: 2003 BMW 325xi
Quote:
Originally Posted by zander271 View Post
You need to connect it to the strut tower first. Make sure the brake caliper is removed from the rotor. Then put a jack under the steering knuckle to help lift/hold it. You should be able to then have it low enough to slip the bottom of the strut in. Use the jack that is under the steering knuckle to press everything up. 5 minute install solo, faster with an extra pair of hands.

Whoever said you need to compress the spring doesn't know how to do it right lol.
Thanks for the advice! Done and done!
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:22 PM   #4
SK330ci
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Everywhere USA
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My Ride: 02 330ci w/ 3 Pedals
Quote:
Originally Posted by zander271 View Post
You need to connect it to the strut tower first. Make sure the brake caliper is removed from the rotor. Then put a jack under the steering knuckle to help lift/hold it. You should be able to then have it low enough to slip the bottom of the strut in. Use the jack that is under the steering knuckle to press everything up. 5 minute install solo, faster with an extra pair of hands.

Whoever said you need to compress the spring doesn't know how to do it right lol.
Good advice and well said.
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Old 11-27-2015, 02:48 PM   #5
zander271
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 3,010
My Ride: 6spd ZHP/5sp XI
Nice glad I was able to help!!! Let's see some pics of of how the car sits now
__________________

ZHP Mods: JB Lightweight fly wheel (10.5 pounds), Koni FSD ProKit, Supreme Power Drop Hats, Hotchkis front(30.2mm)/rear(25.4mm) sway bars, Sprint Booster, AFE Stage 1 Intake, Morimoto EvoX-R Headlights, Orion V4 Angel Eyes, Satin Black 18x9 ET42 APEX ARC-8 Wheel

330xi Mods:Front Koni Yellow Struts and Rob43 Rear 9 Way adjustable Rear Dampers,H&R Sport Springs,Supreme Power Drop Hats,ZHP 5 speed shift knob
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