E36 suspension replacement


BMW Front Suspension Overhaul

There are four main components that need attention when you overhaul the front suspension: control arms, ball joints, sway bar bushings, and tie rods. The PelicanParts.com online catalog has complete replacement kits with everything you need for your overhaul, making the job of acquiring these parts substantially easier.

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15) Install the spring and compressor onto the shock (either the original spring or a new spring, that you have installed the compressor to).  Install a new compression bumper and dust boot onto the shock’s piston rod (if Bilsteins are installed, the blue Bilstein boot replaces the original compression bumper and dust boot).   Note that a new sport spring may not require that the spring compressor be used, due to the spring’s shorter length.

E36 suspension replacement

My car only has 57,000 miles, but it is more than 13 years old. While replacing and reinforcing the rear shock mounts (RSMs) last year, I noticed the shocks were pretty worn. Since the RSM job requires removal of the rear shocks, I also saw first hand how straightforward the job is.

E36 suspension replacement

Rear Shock Mounts – Replacement on the BMW E36 M3

The Repair Difficulty Level displays graphically how challenging the repair is, from easy to advanced. Easy repairs usually require very few tools, have short repair times and do not require jacking and supporting the vehicle. As the difficulty level rises, expect the repair to demand more time, specialized tools, and better understanding of mechanics to complete the job.

E36 suspension replacement

The shock absorbers fitted to your car from the factory have a relatively short life before they fall out of their efficiency range and fail to deliver the same damping abilities they once did. Replacing yours will not only overhaul your car’s handling and comfort, but its safety as well.

E36 suspension replacement

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E36 suspension replacement

BMW E30-E31-E36 Rear Shock Mount Replacement

The good news is that changing out mounts on these cars is an easy DIY job. Securely jack the car and remove the wheel.  Undo the large bolt at the bottom of the shock absorber and the lower arm will drop down a little further (it’s still held securely by the upper arm and trailing arm so don’t worry about this).  You can now go into the trunk and undo the two nuts holding the mount at the top.  The shock absorber, bump stop, and mount can all now lift out as one unit.

Bracing For Reality – Upgrading an E36 for the rigors of racing duty

In addition to its suitability for track and racing purposes, E36 production numbers were high enough to support a healthy supply of salvage parts, and the cars are now old enough that donor prices are rock bottom. M3 cars are a bit more difficult to come by and certainly more expensive, but if you can afford the M3, it’s the better way to go.