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E36General discussion and technical help for (E36) 1992-1999 3 series cars. 318, 323, 325, 328.
They look fine. Don't stress over the rough spots on the right shock, that's not abnormal. It's just the result of the plastic cover getting stuck in one position sometimes. When that happens, the dirt buildup doesn't wash off as well during normal usage, causing the discoloration. If both compress at fairly the same tension, and there's no oil leaking out, they should be fine. If they were blown, the piston rod would be sunk into the cartridge and would be hard to pull out. Shocks can last up to 100k, so you probably still have some decent mlieage to go with those.
OEM Boge's will give you the best as far as a cushioned ride and least amount of harshness, but will give you only the factory handling characteristics. If the springs and spring pads weren't part of the deal, I'd tell you to just buy new shocks. However, if you're still unsure about using these used shocks, you can get new ones at AutohausAz for $67 each. What's hard to tell in the pictures is the condition of the rear shock mounts. I don't recommend reusing them, and at the very least, do not reuse the gaskets. Either buy new ones, or make new ones out of cardboard (lots of people do this, including myself), they're pretty easy to trace and cut.
I personally wouldn't spend the money on used suspension. Granted those look okay, but who knows. I'd look into a better alternative like UUC/Sachs suspension set like I have. For 700 bones you get your ride lowered a bit, brand new springs and shocks. I understand money is an issue, but I would wait until I could afford something more. You never know with used suspension man.