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Thread: Replacing Front Struts - 535I

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    209

    Default Replacing Front Struts - 535I

    Evening Gents,

    When I got my bimmer (1990 535I) I knew it needed struts. So in replacing them this evening, the first thing that was odd was the diameter of the tube was different than the original. No problem here as when I decided to check the box, there is a collar that fits over the strut tube and into the strut housing on the original to make it fit. Don't kill me for not getting BMW parts but the KYB was all I could afford for now. OK that problem solved but I also happened upon the destructions and decided to take a look - although I'm a real man and who needs them. Well the instructions are only in pictograms. One picture is of the strut tube in a vice and a pictogram of a drill showing that I need to drill a 5mm hole, 20 mm up from the bottom and another one 50mm down from the top. Then another little pictogram showing that I need to shakeout the gas and oil. Why in the world would I drill into a new strut cartridge? Is this correct or is this their way of showing how to dispose of the old ones?

    Let me know what you think. I'd really like to finish it up, install the rotors and see how she handles.

    Thanks
    Vince
    Last edited by vping; 12-17-2008 at 11:11 PM.
    1952 MG TD
    1963 MGB
    1967 MGB GT Special
    1974 MGB Roadster
    1991 Ford Ranger
    1997 BMW 528I
    2000 Harley Davidson Softail
    2004 Ford Expedition

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Posts
    114

    Default

    I just did mine two weeks ago. Do you have the 19mm mounts? because thats what mine has, and there was absolutely no drilling whatsoever. I think you might need a vice to tighten on the cap that holds the strut in, but I just used two pipe wrenches. Oh and my strut was loose in the housing too and its a bilstein sport.

    Black/Black '90 535IM..... '65 Cal look vw bug

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    209

    Default

    That's cool toknow. I knew they were stupid directions but it never hurts to ask. I'm using a pipe wrench in a vise and it's working. I had to heat it up a bit with a smoke wrench to get it loose. Soon....soon!
    1952 MG TD
    1963 MGB
    1967 MGB GT Special
    1974 MGB Roadster
    1991 Ford Ranger
    1997 BMW 528I
    2000 Harley Davidson Softail
    2004 Ford Expedition

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Posts
    518

    Default

    The drilling procedure is most definitely for the disposal of the old units. Drilling into the new units would make them worthless. The disposal instructions are provided so that you don't hand over your old pressurized shock absorbers to your neighborhood garbage collector who might end up crushing them and blowing something up

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    209

    Default

    Well that was easy. First one was the learning curve and the 2nd was a piece of cake. I now have new struts and rotors and it took no longer than 3 hours to pull out the old, swap out the cartridges and then reinstall. The backs I'll tackle tomorrow night. I can't wait to see how much better it handles.
    1952 MG TD
    1963 MGB
    1967 MGB GT Special
    1974 MGB Roadster
    1991 Ford Ranger
    1997 BMW 528I
    2000 Harley Davidson Softail
    2004 Ford Expedition

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Liverpool UK
    Posts
    1,536

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by vping View Post
    Well that was easy. First one was the learning curve and the 2nd was a piece of cake. I now have new struts and rotors and it took no longer than 3 hours to pull out the old, swap out the cartridges and then reinstall. The backs I'll tackle tomorrow night. I can't wait to see how much better it handles.
    Good to hear you got it sorted. My fronts had seen better days (14years old according to the label when I got them out!!) so I changed them out for New Bilstiens... Now it handles like a dream! Haven't done the backs though... They seem sound.
    1995 XJR: 4.0L S/charged straight 6 Auto

    What... It's not broken??? I can still fix it

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    209

    Default

    I bought a set of 4 struts all at once and the 4 rotors. It was a great deal so I could not resist. Needed or not I'll do 'em. It's a shame about my front rotors though and wished I would have checked first. The new to old is about .005" different in terms of thickness. The PO really took good care of the car and they must have been replaced at some point. I'm sure there are some other front end bits under there that need replacing but so far so good. Had to get the MG back into the garage before the snow hit, now all projects are idle for now.
    1952 MG TD
    1963 MGB
    1967 MGB GT Special
    1974 MGB Roadster
    1991 Ford Ranger
    1997 BMW 528I
    2000 Harley Davidson Softail
    2004 Ford Expedition

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