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Thread: Bilstein Sport Install Questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    NE GA
    Posts
    157

    Default Bilstein Sport Install Questions

    Greetings all, my first post on the new board! I was gonna wait and register when I got my new wheels and suspension installed so I could post some pics but the wheels aren't here yet and I'm hoping to install my Bilstein Sports and BA springs this coming weekend.
    I think the directions on the fronts are pretty straight-forward.
    On the rears do I need to leave the little spacer off for more drop? Do the bump stops get cut down and if so, how much? Any other tips you guys can share?
    Thanks in advance
    JR
    92 525 ia

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    around Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Well, the rears are actually the easiest by far. I'm not sure which spacer you are talking about. There is only one correct way to install them. I won't say anything else for the rears, they're pretty easy. Just have a breaker bar ready to undo the bottom bolt, and after it's out, don't hesitate to give your old shocks a few solid whacks to pop them out (on my '86 before we got the old shock off we dented it pretty badly).

    The fronts are a different story. The non-hydraulic spring compressors SUCK!!! If you live in the northern states, then have a pipe wrench or two and a helper handy to get the strut housing nut off. When you do the top nut (through the strut bearing) try to do it before 5-6 pm or whenever your local mechanic closes. If you don't have an impact wrench to do the job, you might find yourself bumming a ride to your mechanic. And you'll then go out and buy a compressor and an impact wrench because it will piss you off that you just spent an hour of your life, and a good portion of your knuckle skin to get it off, while it took him about 2 seconds.

    As for the bump stop, I just left mine out entirely. There is a metal plate on top of it that I also left out and the threads protrude up too much so I can't use the caps. No adverse effects though. If you really want to leave it in, you'll have to cut it down a lot.

    Finally just remember to drain all the oil out of the housing (there will be some, necessary for some shocks like the Boge's).

    OOH, and when you tighten the sway bar links, be sure to have both wheels off the ground. Otherwise you won't be able to tighten the nuts completely, and you will go insane in the subsequent week of driving thinking that your wheels are about to fall off (it will clunk - once and at random times).

    So once again, if you can, have a helper. Unless you have a full equipment shop, this is not an easy job for one person.

    Have fun!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Location
    NE GA
    Posts
    157

    Default Re: Bilstein Sport Install Questions

    Big D
    The rears that I received have a little roung spacer/collar that goes on the shock rod before the bumpstop, washers and top shock mount go on. It goes past the threaded area of the rod and rests on the top shoulder of the polished portion of the rod. It is shown in the directions too. While searching the archives and web the other day, I saw a site where someone had left it off and gained an extra half inch of drop. I was just wondering if any one on the board had done the same with success.
    I am also hoping to avoid some of the knucle busting you mentioned and bought used front strut tubes from BimmerSouth. I'll be able to swap the fronts out as whole assemblies. I put the fronts together last Sunday and left the bumpstop out. I'm just not 100% sure about the rears and the directions aren't much help either. Thanks for all the info!
    JR

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Eastern Tennessee USi
    Posts
    14,755

    Default Jr,

    When I did my springs I didnt replace the shocks at the time so I learned a little by doing it twice.

    Make sure you have all the CORRECT tools ready and waiting, an Impact is pretty important for the top strut bolts, makes it real easy. As for getting by without metric allen wrenches it just wont happen.

    Spring compressor is only needed to dissasemble the strut assembly, the new springs are much shorter and do not need to be compressed to assemble hence the need for an impact to tighten the top bolt.

    The new shocks come with a new collar nut, these have to be tightened to 80ft lbs, since it's impossible to use a torque wrench, tighten them by useing a big pipe wrench and make them tight.

    The new shocks have internal bumpstops, pitch the old ones into the trash. The washer your talking about I feel is needed, thats what pretty much holds it tight. Use your own discression but the rears sit low enough as is.

    Torque everything up with a torque wrench to specs and you should be good to go!!

    Good luck and keep us posted on your experience.
    95 E34 530I V2.37
    ===========
    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    John F. Kennedy

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    around Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    215

    Default

    Mmmm, that ring. Ok I remember now. Yeah, it seemed very intentional so I left it there. I can't see it increasing the drop much since the shocks aren't what determines drop - the springs do. Even if it would increase the drop, I wouldn't. The Bav Auto springs drop it just right. Any lower in the back and it looks bad - it starts to hide the tire and it looks like a sagging ass.

    That's a good call with the new strut towers!!! Saved yourself a lot of pain! Just be sure to crank that new strut nut (the big brass one, that replaces the crappy stock one) really well. Otherwise you'll be inviting another clunk that will drive you insane. It will sound like a ball joint, you will replace every single suspension arm and it will still be there.

    Quote Originally Posted by JR'Z 525
    Big D
    The rears that I received have a little roung spacer/collar that goes on the shock rod before the bumpstop, washers and top shock mount go on. It goes past the threaded area of the rod and rests on the top shoulder of the polished portion of the rod. It is shown in the directions too. While searching the archives and web the other day, I saw a site where someone had left it off and gained an extra half inch of drop. I was just wondering if any one on the board had done the same with success.
    I am also hoping to avoid some of the knucle busting you mentioned and bought used front strut tubes from BimmerSouth. I'll be able to swap the fronts out as whole assemblies. I put the fronts together last Sunday and left the bumpstop out. I'm just not 100% sure about the rears and the directions aren't much help either. Thanks for all the info!
    JR

  6. #6
    Unregistered Guest

    Default

    Jeff,
    I remember reading the fronts have internal stops but do the rears?
    Quote Originally Posted by 632 Regal
    When I did my springs I didnt replace the shocks at the time so I learned a little by doing it twice.

    Make sure you have all the CORRECT tools ready and waiting, an Impact is pretty important for the top strut bolts, makes it real easy. As for getting by without metric allen wrenches it just wont happen.

    Spring compressor is only needed to dissasemble the strut assembly, the new springs are much shorter and do not need to be compressed to assemble hence the need for an impact to tighten the top bolt.

    The new shocks come with a new collar nut, these have to be tightened to 80ft lbs, since it's impossible to use a torque wrench, tighten them by useing a big pipe wrench and make them tight.

    The new shocks have internal bumpstops, pitch the old ones into the trash. The washer your talking about I feel is needed, thats what pretty much holds it tight. Use your own discression but the rears sit low enough as is.

    Torque everything up with a torque wrench to specs and you should be good to go!!

    Good luck and keep us posted on your experience.

  7. #7
    Unregistered Guest

    Default

    Big D
    Good point about the springs determining the height. Did you use the rear bump stops and if so did you cut them down? I will make note to tighten the collar nut once they are installed. I also plan on loosening the upper and lower control arm pivot points and tighten them back up with the car's weight on them to compensate for the drop so the bushings won't be stressed.
    Thanks,
    JR
    Quote Originally Posted by BigD
    Mmmm, that ring. Ok I remember now. Yeah, it seemed very intentional so I left it there. I can't see it increasing the drop much since the shocks aren't what determines drop - the springs do. Even if it would increase the drop, I wouldn't. The Bav Auto springs drop it just right. Any lower in the back and it looks bad - it starts to hide the tire and it looks like a sagging ass.

    That's a good call with the new strut towers!!! Saved yourself a lot of pain! Just be sure to crank that new strut nut (the big brass one, that replaces the crappy stock one) really well. Otherwise you'll be inviting another clunk that will drive you insane. It will sound like a ball joint, you will replace every single suspension arm and it will still be there.

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