BMW 318/325/M3/525/535/M5 1989-1993 Repair Information

Shock Absorbers

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



E30 3 Series
  1. Remove the trunk trim panel to expose the upper shock mounts.
  2.  
  3. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support safely.
  4.  
  5. Support the lower control arm and remove the lower mounting bolt.
  6.  
  7. Remove the upper mounting nut and remove the shock from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Exchange or replace the upper shock mount and torque the upper shock nut to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Replace the gasket between the shock mount and the body. Install the shock and torque the nuts to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm). Install the trunk panel.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower shock mounting bolt and lower the vehicle. With the vehicle resting at standard ride height, torque the mounting bolt to 63 ft. lbs. (87 Nm) or if marked 10.9, 94 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
  6.  

E36 3 Series
  1. Remove the trunk trim panel to expose the upper shock mounts.
  2.  
  3. Raise the rear of the vehicle and support safely.
  4.  
  5. Support the lower control arm and remove the lower mounting bolt.
  6.  
  7. Remove the upper mounting nut and remove the shock from the vehicle.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Exchange or replace the upper shock mount and torque the upper shock nut to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Replace the gasket between the shock mount and the body. Install the shock and torque the nuts to 11 ft. lbs. (15 Nm). Install the trunk panel.
  4.  
  5. Install the lower shock mounting bolt and lower the vehicle. With the vehicle resting at standard ride height, torque the mounting bolt to 63 ft. lbs. (87 Nm) or if marked 10.9, 94 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
  6.  

E34 5 Series
  1. Raise and support the rear of the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rear seat cushion and backrest. Remove the trim panel over the strut mount.
  4.  
  5. Support the control arm and remove the nuts at the top of the strut mount.
  6.  
  7. Remove the lower mounting bolt and lower the spring strut assembly. Remove the assembly from the vehicle.
  8.  
  9. Use a spring compressor and compress the spring. Remove the top nut and pull the top mount off. Remove the spring.
  10.  

To install:
  1. Compress the new spring or replace the old spring on the strut. Install the mount and washers. Use a new locknut and torque to 18 ft. lbs. (25 Nm). Release the spring.
  2.  
  3. Install the spring strut and torque the upper mount nuts to 16 ft. lbs. (21.5 Nm). Loosely install the lower mounting bolt.
  4.  
  5. With the vehicle lowered to the ground and at standard riding height, torque the lower mount to 94 ft. lbs. (130 Nm).
  6.  
  7. Install the trim and seat cushions.
  8.  

TESTING



The shock absorbers, more properly called suspension dampers, should be checked on a regular basis. Visual inspection for leaking oil and damage is a primary indicator of worn or broken shocks. A quick glance at the shocks will provide advance warning of shocks in need of replacement. If oil is visible in any amount more than a very slight coating, the shock need to be replaced. If any visible physical damage is noted, the shock should also be replaced.

The old time method of checking shocks by bouncing the corner of the vehicle is being outmoded by the use of gas pressure and deflecting disk technology shock absorbers. By the time the vehicle does bounce more than once during this type of test, the shocks have been in need of replacement for a long time. A gradual reduction in the handling capacity may not be noticed as it occurs over a long period of time. Some manufactures of shock absorbers use a design called deflecting disk. This design is inherently self-adjusting for wear and use. An indicator of worn shocks is uneven tire wear and a lack of suspension dampening while traveling over rough roads.

The shocks should always be replaced in pairs. It is also recommended to replace the springs on high mileage vehicles to restore original handling characteristics. Replace the shock mounts and rubber bushings. Check the condition of the stabilizer bar and the mounts

 
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