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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 07-29-2013, 05:09 PM   #1
Big Rick
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325Xi Suspension Help - What's Wrong With These Pictures?

Hi All,

A lot of you know that I just got some new goodies. Eibach Springs and Koni Sport Shocks. The rears are down the 1" advertised... The fronts are still at stock height.

Now something else has been added to the mix. While making a sweeping left hand turn and hitting a slight bump in the center of the intersection I hear a popping noise out of the passenger side front!

I called Koni about the lack of drop. They suggested that I verify that I have the correct springs. I do. They gave me the individual spring numbers (not just the kit number) and they are the correct springs.

I bought all new parts for the shop to use... New spring pads, shock mounts, bolts, washers... You name it.

Here is the Driver's Side front...

Now I was reading another thread with a picture very similar to this and it said the strut has been mounted wrong. Something about being up too high or rotated incorrectly or something. Does it look correct?

The top driver's side is here...


I'm a little disappointed that the protective cover is a little deformed or shrunk. Should I have bought new ones?

Here is a better picture of the passenger side (vs Driver's side)


And the missing cover... I wasn't too pleased about this...


And the whole passenger top...


So my questions are;
1. Does this look correct? I've never messed with suspensions before and wouldn't know good from bad unless it was WAY out of place!
2. Does the missing cover on the passenger side need to be there?
3. If these are screwed up... Do you think I should go back to the same shop and demand they fix it correctly or lick my wounds and pony up to have it done by a good Indy shop?

I had this done at one of my dealers who actually has a great reputation in the area. Not sure that I like what I see.

I figured I would have the Fanatic Brethren chime in before I email the to Koni to see what they say...

Thanks in advance for the help!
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:25 PM   #2
ixtoxi
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Can't see photos.
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:32 PM   #3
Big Rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ixtoxi View Post
Can't see photos.
Wow... They are hosted on this site... I can see them.

You are the second person to tell me that on pics I post...
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Old 07-29-2013, 05:48 PM   #4
e46alfonso
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pics don't work.
The 18's you installed might affect ride height a bit.

Measure the distance from the center of the wheel hub to the fender.
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Old 07-29-2013, 06:10 PM   #5
Big Rick
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Okay... I just hosted the pics on my site... They should work now...

Quote:
Originally Posted by e46alfonso View Post
pics don't work.
The 18's you installed might affect ride height a bit.

Measure the distance from the center of the wheel hub to the fender.
The new 18" VMRs should not affect ride height. They are the same exact outside rolling diameter! Height to top of wheel arch is 27"... Same as before the new springs...

Now they do weigh 4 pounds more than my old tires... But that means nothing except slightly lower gas mileage.
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:00 PM   #6
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I would take it back to the shop and at least inform them of the problem, see where that gets you. I can't particularly point out anything wrong from the pictures but yeah, just have them try and figure it out. Also, were the missing pieces there originally? I mean, did the shop mess it up/lose them?
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Old 07-29-2013, 10:31 PM   #7
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The missing cover is a 'bump stop'. If the Koni's don't have internal bumpstops then you would need one. Try to find out. Either way it shows sloppiness to have one on one side and not the other.

I am not sure why a narrower piece of the damper rod on the passenger side is showing just under the top mount. If the top nut is on as far as it will go, should this be possible? With weight on wheels, can you pop the dust cap from the front strut mounts and get some close up shots of that top nut? Can you see any gap between the bottom of the nut and the top of the strut bearing?

If you feel around the bottom of the knuckle in the hub, can you feel the bottom of the strut extending below the bottom of the pinch bolt? The pinch bolt should go through an indent in the strut body. If they have clamped the knuckle with the strut above the pinch bolt, it will ride higher (and be unsafe).
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Old 07-30-2013, 12:07 PM   #8
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1) the top nuts should be tightened all the way down- I can't tell from the photos.
2)popping is probably the sway bar link- did you reuse? They need to be really tight.
3) verify that you got the correct struts. And that they are on the correct side.
4) check the bottom of the struts to make sure they are seated properly
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Old 07-30-2013, 01:32 PM   #9
Big Rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kubica View Post
1) the top nuts should be tightened all the way down- I can't tell from the photos.
2)popping is probably the sway bar link- did you reuse? They need to be really tight.
3) verify that you got the correct struts. And that they are on the correct side.
4) check the bottom of the struts to make sure they are seated properly
The top nuts appear to be tightened all the way. The swaybar links are brand new and were installed about two weeks prior to all of this. The struts are correct and on the correct side.

What do the struts look like if they are installed correctly? I can feel the strut is about even to the bottom of the holder in the strut carrier. I wasn't sure if it was supposed to be below this or not.

The funky thing is... Someone posted a picture in another thread about how their Konis had been installed wrong and the picture looked the same. I assumed they were talking about the depth the strut was mounted into the carrier. From what I have read they will only fit one way... Too high or too low and the pinch bolt won't go through.
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Old 07-30-2013, 03:48 PM   #10
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Impact guns will kill brand new sway bar links. There should be zero play.

The front may settle more after you drive it.
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Old 07-30-2013, 04:38 PM   #11
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From what you describe it all sounds right. When I did my coilovers the springs continued to settle for 3-4 days or about 200 miles of driving, before they reached their final height. As Kubica says, it could be that. The rear springs are very different construction, and may settle faster?

If the strut feels to the bottom-ish of the knuckle it must be correct. There is no way the pinch bolt would go through otherwise, as you say. The only other way to mount them would be with the bottom of the strut above the pinch bolt, and that would be really obviously high.
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Old 07-30-2013, 06:40 PM   #12
Big Rick
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I emailed Koni about it to be sure. Not sure what the shop used to installed the sway bar end links. They seem solid though. I didn't have time so I paid for that one. The suspension... I didn't have a lift and I wasn't going to throw out my back again. That's why they print money, yes?

I'm still pissed that they didn't install the cover/bumpstop. I'll order two of them and then go by and ask that they install them both. We'll see what happens.

I've put 500-600 miles on this over the past week+ and the front hasn't settled at all. I'm a little pissed.

What about lower spring pads or is that flirting with disaster on an Xi?
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:09 PM   #13
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Thinner Spring Pads are fine it would have similar effect as lower springs or coil overs. There is also talk about spring perches as well for the XI as well to lower it a bit more up front. The one without the bump stop is bottoming out, I can't believe they even installed it that way. It's also the spring is not seated correctly and your spring rubbers could be "missing" causing the spring to rotate/bind making that noise.

If they didn't alert you to that I'd suggest looking someone else for the install. At minimum when you remove those struts you will need new strut pinch bolts and new front alignment.

Joe
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Old 07-30-2013, 08:26 PM   #14
Big Rick
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeattleLSB View Post
Thinner Spring Pads are fine it would have similar effect as lower springs or coil overs. There is also talk about spring perches as well for the XI as well to lower it a bit more up front. The one without the bump stop is bottoming out, I can't believe they even installed it that way. It's also the spring is not seated correctly and your spring rubbers could be "missing" causing the spring to rotate/bind making that noise.

If they didn't alert you to that I'd suggest looking someone else for the install. At minimum when you remove those struts you will need new strut pinch bolts and new front alignment.

Joe
The pinch bolts that were installed were brand new. Are you saying they should be replaced every time they are removed?

I'm reading some other threads about lower spring perches that should work. People that have the same issue... rear comes down but the front doesn't... or doesn't come down enough.

How much do you think I should expect to pay someone to do this job right?
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Old 07-31-2013, 08:39 PM   #15
Big Rick
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I went ahead and ordered new strut tubes, bump stops and lower spring perches... I'll make arrangements to have them installed... Not sure where yet.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:23 PM   #16
ribkin
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Doing the same thing next week...

Shop quoted me 500-600 inc alignment.

Koni ~ 577, Eibach ~ 277, Turner shock mount kit ~ 288, Rogue RSM ~ 99

$1200 sound about right?

Last edited by ribkin; 08-08-2013 at 01:51 PM.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:36 PM   #17
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WTF is a rear shock mount kit? The price for that and the RSM's is insanity.
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Old 08-08-2013, 01:51 PM   #18
ribkin
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Oops,

Meant this thing ... http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-11...25xi330xi.aspx
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:00 PM   #19
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That is the most colossal ripoff ever. Buy RSM and FSM from pelican parts and you'll probably save 30-50%. Make sure you order new hardware (bolts, nuts, etc) as well and don't forget the rear shock mount gasket.

Lastly, reuse your bump stops as there's no reason not to.

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Old 08-08-2013, 03:40 PM   #20
ribkin
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This should be stickied
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showpos...8&postcount=16

Guess I'm all set. Can't wait. All I've done is preventative maintenance up till this point.

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