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Unread 01-17-2013, 06:53 AM   #1

Name: vintage42
Title: United Newb
Status: Offline
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Louisville, KY
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Your Ride: 1997 BMW Z3 1.9L
When replacing shocks and struts...

Things to do while awaiting new shocks and struts:

With car on jack stands and wheels off…..
Remove spare tire for cleaning and better access to bottom of car.
Put a few inches of hot soapy water in a bucket, and scrub the bottom of the car, transferring dirt via a thick rag, from the wheel wells and suspension into the bucket. Dump black water and refill, takes several buckets.
Clean the rear axle and steering rack bellows by spraying with silicone and rubbing with a rag until the rubber is shiny black.
Clean the brake hoses with silicone until they are shiny black.
Remove transmission and differential fill plugs and verify level and condition of fluids. Consider replacing.
Check guibo coupling for cracking.
Check differential mount and rear subframe for metal tears and popped spot welds.

Rear shocks…..
Order rear shock mount reinforcement kit.
Have a boat cushion to protect seats while kneeling on them.
Have a trim tool for removing blind plugs holding carpet each side of boot.
Order two blind plugs for reattaching carpet on each side boot.
Have a torque wrench and 18mm socket for bottom shock mount bolts.

Front struts…..
Support hubs so they don't suddenly drop and hang on brake lines.
Have torque wrench, 18mm socket, and 18mm box end to remove lower strut bolts (will be Lock-Tited and require ~100 fp all the way out).
Have a very good spring compressor. Coils seem more compact and stiffer than most.
Grease the compressor threads to reduce friction and binding.
Have an electric impact wrench and 22mm socket for removing top nut.
Check bearing plates, decide whether to order new or re-pack old.
Order new rubber bumpers for OEM-type shocks (Bilstein does not use bumpers).
Consider new upper and lower spring pads.
Order new lower shock mount bolts, and get LockTite Red.
After unboxing struts, before releasing rod, check for alignment of upper and lower mounts at bottom of strut by using a rod through the upper mount's ears, and re-verify by installing on steering knuckle using only the top bolt. Here's a case of mis-aligned mounts on the strut:
Consider using a shop to rebuild struts. I a got strut apart, but my compressor was inadequate to compress enough to reassemble. Z3 springs are unusually short and thick with few coils to work with.

Last edited by vintage42; 01-17-2013 at 03:44 PM..
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