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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 03-21-2019, 03:43 AM   #1
BarelyMovingWreck
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Can't get spring onto strut

After moving on to the front struts installing my new h&r sport cup kit I'm at a complete loss. The strut rods are completely recessed into the struts and only stick out about 4". There's no way I can get an even fully compressed spring on there. I also can't get the stock one's back on because the rods are the same length. If I pull the rods they come out a little and then just reset to their neutral position again. Any ideas?

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Old 03-21-2019, 03:54 AM   #2
BarelyMovingWreck
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I don't even understand, every video on YouTube show struts with at least 8" of rod sticking out.

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Old 03-21-2019, 04:01 AM   #3
RayPooley
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Originally Posted by BarelyMovingWreck View Post
I don't even understand, every video on YouTube show struts with at least 8" of rod sticking out.

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A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a few and post them so folks can see what your problem is.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:20 AM   #4
BarelyMovingWreck
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Here is the shaft.Click image for larger version

Name:	1553154194410.jpeg
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Size:	64.0 KB
ID:	770687

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Old 03-21-2019, 04:23 AM   #5
BarelyMovingWreck
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Originally Posted by RayPooley View Post
A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a few and post them so folks can see what your problem is.
That one picture is all I grabbed before I left, I'm back home now.

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Old 03-21-2019, 04:47 AM   #6
RayPooley
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Originally Posted by BarelyMovingWreck View Post
Here is the shaft.Attachment 770687

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Can you not just attach a nut to the end of the shaft and pull it out? They are pretty hard to move. Very stiff. Maybe attach the pushrod end to some immovable object, stick a screw driver through the bush end and give it all you got. It should move.
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Old 03-21-2019, 04:57 AM   #7
BarelyMovingWreck
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Can you not just attach a nut to the end of the shaft and pull it out? They are pretty hard to move. Very stiff. Maybe attach the pushrod end to some immovable object, stick a screw driver through the bush end and give it all you got. It should move.
Yeah, I tried the nut thing, but could only pull about 1/2" and it went right back. Seems like however I move it it's gonna go right back to that neutral position.

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Old 03-21-2019, 06:46 AM   #8
M3stang
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Are these shocks new? It sounds like/looks like they are just blown. I remember when I removed blown shocks from various cars, the rods were just chilling. As soon as you break the strap that secured the rods down on new ones for shipping the shoot up. They arenít going down without some weight on them. You should never even have to pull them up. That would be very blown and negate the point of the springs imho.


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Old 03-21-2019, 07:13 AM   #9
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When I changed my old ones out they sat in the ride position and kept going back there, the new ones naturally crept up to the top under the gas pressure. I'd agree with M3stang and say they're shot.
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:25 AM   #10
BarelyMovingWreck
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Are these shocks new? It sounds like/looks like they are just blown. I remember when I removed blown shocks from various cars, the rods were just chilling. As soon as you break the strap that secured the rods down on new ones for shipping the shoot up. They arenít going down without some weight on them. You should never even have to pull them up. That would be very blown and negate the point of the springs imho.


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When I changed my old ones out they sat in the ride position and kept going back there, the new ones naturally crept up to the top under the gas pressure. I'd agree with M3stang and say they're shot.
I can't really believe that they're both just shot, they're brand new dampers in the box. Has anyone had an h&r sport cup kit do this?

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Old 03-21-2019, 07:27 AM   #11
BarelyMovingWreck
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If anything I would figure that being so hard to extend they're not blown, you would think they'd be easy to dampen / extend.

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Old 03-21-2019, 07:33 AM   #12
BarelyMovingWreck
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Even the picture of the kit shows the short rods, so I'm really having doubts about them being shot.Click image for larger version

Name:	Screenshot_20190321-073211.jpeg
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Old 03-21-2019, 07:40 AM   #13
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And here is another picture of the kit, there has to be a way to extend them.Click image for larger version

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Old 03-21-2019, 07:45 AM   #14
cp2708
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Fair point. I don't know then, all the gas struts I've ever fitted have driven themselves to full extension and usually have a steel wire holding them compressed so they take up less room in the packaging. Maybe ask HR or the supplier if you've bought them new?

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Old 03-21-2019, 08:30 AM   #15
Ettinger
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OP, show us a fully compressed spring next to the strut please
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:31 AM   #16
BarelyMovingWreck
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OP, show us a fully compressed spring next to the strut please
I can't get any pictures now but will later after work. I think I'm gonna try and rent another set of compressors to see it they help and if that fails, bring then to a shop and have them mount them.

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Old 03-21-2019, 08:44 AM   #17
Ettinger
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I can't get any pictures now but will later after work. I think I'm gonna try and rent another set of compressors to see it they help and if that fails, bring then to a shop and have them mount them.

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Sounds like a plan. In any event, keep the top of the strut facing away from you & on the ground until the mount is secure!
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:54 AM   #18
RayPooley
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Originally Posted by BarelyMovingWreck View Post
I can't really believe that they're both just shot, they're brand new dampers in the box. Has anyone had an h&r sport cup kit do this?

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Can you not get some advice from the manufacturer? Tell them your problem. Maybe you just need more force than you can muster. They should be able to advise.
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Old 03-21-2019, 06:38 PM   #19
BarelyMovingWreck
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Here's the fully compressed spring next to the strut.Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_20190321_182904967.jpeg
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Old 03-21-2019, 08:47 PM   #20
DEADF15H
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Just an FYI, I tried two different types of spring compressors to try and get them tight enough to install the spring. One was the same as your using.
Ended up taking them to a shop and paid $60. They used a wall mounted compressor, and had to get the owner to show them how to do it. Then I put them on the car.
They were Eibach Pro Kit springs and Sach struts.
That doesn't address your piston issues, but it's something to think about. I would call HR and get their input.

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