BMW Coupes and Sedans 1970-1988 Repair Guide

Strut Spring

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



See Figure 1



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Exploded view of strut assembly

These procedures are for struts assemblies that have been removed from the vehicle.

1600, 2000 and 2002 Models

See Figures 2 and 3


CAUTION
In order to disassemble the spring and shock absorber strut assembly, it is necessary to use a special spring compressor. It is extremely dangerous to use any other method of compressing the spring, as the spring could slip while compressed, possibly striking you and causing serious injury. For this reason, if a spring compressor of the proper type is not available, this procedure is best left to your dealer or a qualified repair shop.

If a spring is determined to be worn out or broken, it is necessary also to replace the other spring on the same axle.

  1. Install the special spring compressor on the strut assembly and compress the spring.
  2.  
  3. Lift off the plastic sealing cap from the top of the strut. Unscrew the elastic locknut, while holding the shock absorber piston rod steady. Lift out the telescopic leg support bearing assembly from the top of the strut.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Disassembled upper strut mount assembly. Numbers indicate order of installation from the spring to the locknut

  1. Remove the upper spring cup and support.
  2.  
  3. Slowly release the compressor tool until the spring is completely tension-free. Remove the coil spring, and lower spring cup.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Strut assembly mounted in spring compressor. Other models of spring compressors are available

  1. Check the condition of the upper and lower spring cups (collars), and the inner rubber bump stop buffer. Replace them if they are cracked, dry-rotted or otherwise damaged.
  2.  
  3. Inspect the coil spring and shock absorber. Coil spring free length is 13 inches (33cm). If the spring is sagged much beyond this, it should be replaced, of course along with the other front spring as they are a matched pair.
  4.  
  5. If the shock absorber is leaking excessively or it displays weak damping action, it and the one on the other side should be replaced.
  6.  
  7. Install the spring onto the strut using the following assembly notes:
    1. The conical end of the inner rubber auxiliary spring must face the lower spring cup.
    2.  
    3. The coil spring must be compressed and the ends must locate on the stops in the upper and lower spring cups.
    4.  
    5. When installing the telescopic leg support bearing, make sure that the inner curvature of the sealing washer faces the support bearing.
    6.  
    7. Tighten the locknut for the strut assembly to 52 ft. lbs (68 Nm). Only after the locknut is tightened to its final figure should you release the spring compressor, and then, very slowly.
    8.  

  8.  

2500, 2800, Bavaria, 3000 and 3.0 Models

See Figure 4

  1. Compress the coil spring with a spring compressor.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rubber cap, lock the piston rod with one wrench, and use another wrench to remove the locknut.
  4.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Disassembled upper strut mount assembly

  1. Remove the strut thrust bearing from the top of the strut.
  2.  
  3. Gradually loosen the spring compressors and remove the spring plate and spring.
  4.  
  5. Check the rubber bushings above and below the spring and replace if necessary.
  6.  
  7. Wind the spring into the spring plates to spring ends rest against stops, and then reverse the remaining procedures to install, keeping the following points in mind:
    1. The internal dish of the sealing washer that goes right above the thrust bearing should face the spring. Another washer goes on top of that.
    2.  
    3. Tighten the retaining nut to 53-59 ft. lbs. (69-77 Nm).
    4.  

  8.  

3, 5, 6 and 7 Series Models
EXCEPT 318i AND 320i

See Figures 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 and 13


CAUTION
This procedure calls for the spring to be compressed. A compressed spring has high potential energy and if released suddenly can cause severe damage and personal injury. If not comfortable with dealing with a compressed spring, have a professional technician remove the spring from the strut for you.

  1. Remove the strut from the vehicle.
  2.  
  3. Using a proper spring compressor, compress the spring.
  4.  
  5. Remove the top nut of the strut mount. Counterhold the strut rod during removal.
  6.  
  7. Pull the strut mount off the strut rod. Note the positioning of the spacers and washer for replacement.
  8.  



Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 5: Using a scissor type spring compressor tool to safely compress the strut spring



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Fig. Fig. 6: The spring should be compressed until there is space between the upper portion of the spring and the metal cap



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Fig. Fig. 7: Remove the locknut and washer at the top of the strut



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Fig. Fig. 8: Remove the upper strut mount



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Fig. Fig. 9: Remove the washer between the upper strut mount and the spring cap



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Fig. Fig. 10: Remove the spring cap



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Fig. Fig. 11: Lift the compressed spring off



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Fig. Fig. 12: Inspect the rubber bump stop (replace if worn)



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Fig. Fig. 13: Cut-away view of late model BMW strut assembly

  1. Pull the spring off the strut.
  2.  
  3. Remove the rubber bump stop and inspect. If torn, replace with new piece.
  4.  

To install:
  1. Install the spring and strut mount with all the spacers and washers in their original positions. Tighten the new strut rod nut to 47 ft. lbs. (65 Nm).
  2.  
  3. Release the spring slowly and check that it seats in the spring holders. Install the strut in the vehicle.
  4.  

318i and 320i MODELS

See Figure 2

  1. Compress the spring coil with a special tool such as BMW 313 110. Lift off the rubber cap.
  2.  
  3. Hold the piston rod with one wrench while removing the self-locking nut with another.
  4.  
  5. Release the spring and remove the strut support bearing.
  6.  
  7. Install the spring on the strut assembly, keeping the following points in mind:
    1. A tapered special tool is available to facilitate installation of the support bearing over the shock absorber piston rod.
    2.  
    3. Check mounting rings for the spring, auxiliary spring (which fits over the piston rod) and outer tube, and replace any which are faulty.
    4.  
    5. Make sure the spring ends rest on the locating shoulders in both upper and lower spring retainers before compressing the spring and support bearing. Replace the self locking nut which goes on the piston rod, and tighten to 57-62 ft. lbs. (74-81 Nm).
    6.  
    7. Sequence of installing the spring is: large washer, sealing washer, support bearing, concave washer and self locking nut.
    8.  

  8.  

 
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