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E46 Convertible
The E46 vert forum. Talk about dropping your E46 top here.

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Old 02-24-2016, 09:50 AM   #1
joshism
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Elk Grove, California
Posts: 87
My Ride: 04 330CI Convertible
E46 Convertible rear shock replacement

I searched and searched and could not find any DIY how to information about replacing shocks on an E46 convertible. I saw plenty on coupes and sedans. So I went through the trouble and hope it would benefit someone else later on.

Tools:
Cheater bar
17mm wrench
17mm socket
13mm socket
18mm socket
Extension bar
Lisle - Shock Absorber Tool Part # 20400
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...0724&ppt=C2370


With the coupes and sedans, you have to remove the trunk coverings, and I did, but it was a waste of my time.



Step 1: Open the top to gain access to the top storage compartment.
Step 2: Loosen lug nuts 17mm socket (some people skip this step)
Step 3: Jack up vehicle
Step 4: Remove lug nuts and wheels
Step 5: Remove upper nuts 13mm socket
Step 6: Remove lower bolts with 18mm socket
Step 7: Remove shock nut with shock absorber tool, 17mm wrench & 13mm socket
Step 8: Replace old with new
Step 9: Reassemble reverse order

The nuts of the rear shocks live in there.


Looking for deez nuts?




Workout 3 months in advance to remove this bolt. 18mm socket. If you don't workout, use the cheater bar.




17mm wrench & 13mm socket Lisle - Shock Absorber Tool Part # 20400
http://www.oreillyauto.com/site/c/de...0724&ppt=C2370






My car is still just as low as before. Maybe I need to replace the rear springs, too. I gotta measure the height first.






Fast cornering gives me a clunk over bumps now. I probably have to check the trailing arm bushings. Maybe the rear shocks height increase revealed this.

Last edited by joshism; 02-24-2016 at 10:10 AM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:48 PM   #2
sgoetz628
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Location: Connecticut
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Nice write-up. Thanks!

I replaced mine last fall and soon thereafter it developed what I believe is that same clunk over bumps, though only on the left side. If you replace the bushings and it solves the problem, please post here. Come spring I suspect that will be a project.
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Old 02-24-2016, 03:51 PM   #3
joshism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
Nice write-up. Thanks!

I replaced mine last fall and soon thereafter it developed what I believe is that same clunk over bumps, though only on the left side. If you replace the bushings and it solves the problem, please post here. Come spring I suspect that will be a project.
Same as mine. I hear it on the rear left, too. I bought Bilstein Touring B4 19-103150 shocks and right 22-139948, left 22-139931 struts off of FCPEuro.com. I wonder if that has anything to do with this clunk? They say it's for the sport suspension, but what if it's not? I've attached a print screen shot of their website below.


Last edited by joshism; 02-24-2016 at 04:05 PM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 04:31 PM   #4
sgoetz628
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^

I'm not at home and even so, I keep terrible records. I want to say my were Bilstein "Sport". Definitely orange or yellow, not black. And to tell you the truth, it sounds like it's hitting the bump stop. But why on only one side? When I started hearing the noise, I did some research here and somebody else also said the noise comes from worn out bushings.

Whatever, I'm in Connecticut, so nothing short of an emergency happens until spring. Having replaced the water pump and thermostats on my '61 Lincoln convertible on the coldest day of the year, I have learned my lesson!
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Last edited by Solidjake; 02-26-2016 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-24-2016, 06:39 PM   #5
dknightd
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My Ride: 2002 330 cic
Did you replace the shock mounts? Clunck could be coming from them
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Old 03-04-2016, 03:57 AM   #6
joshism
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My Ride: 04 330CI Convertible
I finally found my clunking noise. I forgot to tighten the lower shock bolt, and it fell off while I was testing it out. I stuck it in and started hand tightening it. So, as you can see, the shock has been hitting the ground. The bottom is not very pretty anymore. Oh well. I'm getting an E93 in a year or two, so it doesn't matter. Anyways, I went to a local hardware store and found one very similar to the one on the other side. I'm selling the car, so I don't really care if it's OEM. The one I bought should last very long.

Last edited by joshism; 03-04-2016 at 03:59 AM.
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Old 03-04-2016, 08:01 AM   #7
sgoetz628
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You didn't notice any bouncing coming from that location, when hitting bumps, or even just driving? While I'm more than capable of forgetting stuff like that, I'm not looking forward to checking. Cold back here!
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:25 PM   #8
joshism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sgoetz628 View Post
You didn't notice any bouncing coming from that location, when hitting bumps, or even just driving? While I'm more than capable of forgetting stuff like that, I'm not looking forward to checking. Cold back here!
I did notice bouncing while hitting bumps. Since I fixed it, it corners hard again, but it's still very low.
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Old 03-04-2016, 12:48 PM   #9
Max'd out
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You have the sport suspension and according to you pictures, the car doesn't look too low. My car is also an 04 330 convertible with same wheels and same color with only 79,000 miles and new (about a year old) Koni FSD shocks and new mounts. Comparing mine to yours, the height appears to be the same.
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Old 03-04-2016, 02:03 PM   #10
joshism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Max'd out View Post
You have the sport suspension and according to you pictures, the car doesn't look too low. My car is also an 04 330 convertible with same wheels and same color with only 79,000 miles and new (about a year old) Koni FSD shocks and new mounts. Comparing mine to yours, the height appears to be the same.
Thanks. That brings me a lot of relief.
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Old 03-05-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
The Thomas J
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I replaced my springs when i did my shocks, the stock ride height was restored and made a huge difference in the way the car rides and handles.
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Old 03-05-2016, 03:28 PM   #12
joshism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Thomas J View Post
I replaced my springs when i did my shocks, the stock ride height was restored and made a huge difference in the way the car rides and handles.
I saw a youtube video of a guy who's spring was broken at the bottom, and he said that it's pretty common with these cars, so I was thinking that it might have been the culprit to the clunking. Yeah, the height is low, and I'm not sure if these cars all get low after awhile, but if I wasn't planning to sell it, I would get new springs, too. If it becomes a problem, then I might have to, but for now, it seems to ride pretty well. My wheels have been popping and wearing because they've been riding on the inside of the tires though. Maybe I need an alignment, or maybe I need new springs first, then an alignment because maybe the low springs are the reason why the wheels are tilted inwards too much. I understand that BMW's are supposed to tilt in a bit, but I don't think to the point where tires are blowing prematurely.
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Old 03-08-2016, 03:47 PM   #13
The Thomas J
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joshism View Post
I saw a youtube video of a guy who's spring was broken at the bottom, and he said that it's pretty common with these cars, so I was thinking that it might have been the culprit to the clunking. Yeah, the height is low, and I'm not sure if these cars all get low after awhile, but if I wasn't planning to sell it, I would get new springs, too. If it becomes a problem, then I might have to, but for now, it seems to ride pretty well. My wheels have been popping and wearing because they've been riding on the inside of the tires though. Maybe I need an alignment, or maybe I need new springs first, then an alignment because maybe the low springs are the reason why the wheels are tilted inwards too much. I understand that BMW's are supposed to tilt in a bit, but I don't think to the point where tires are blowing prematurely.
I had similar issues that your describing. New shocks and springs took care of those issues.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:52 AM   #14
CharlieFoxtrot
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Broken springs are pretty easy to see, just jack it up and look.

How many miles are you getting out of a set of new tires? You say they're "blowing" and "popping". Are you seriously running the tire til it fails, without ever noticing excessive wear? If so, you need to pay a LOT more attention to your car. Jacking it up and looking around once in a while would be great, but even bending down and seeing what you can see from there would be a big improvement.
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Old 03-20-2016, 12:59 AM   #15
joshism
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CharlieFoxtrot View Post
Broken springs are pretty easy to see, just jack it up and look.

How many miles are you getting out of a set of new tires? You say they're "blowing" and "popping". Are you seriously running the tire til it fails, without ever noticing excessive wear? If so, you need to pay a LOT more attention to your car. Jacking it up and looking around once in a while would be great, but even bending down and seeing what you can see from there would be a big improvement.
The guy at the tire repair shop says that my rear right rim has a small crack in it. That's probably why the tire pressure gets low faster than usual.
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