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View Full Version : installing shocks and springs DIY


robcarync
11-20-2005, 03:44 AM
as everyone probably knows, im getting some new shocks and springs...now im trying to get my plan of attack going so i can get it done in one day and not be stranded (it seems like any DIY project has some setbacks and unexpected circumstances)

anyway im looking for tips on installation...ive checked bimmerdiy and they dont really have any for shocks or springs...though i have checked out othe related articles like the rear shock mounts and such and i have an alright idea, especially for the rear.

anyway, few questions....is it absolutely necessary to have a spring compressor? anyway to get around needing one because i dont have one, not sure where to get one.

do you need any special ratchet heads? the guy i purchased them from said youd need a special ratchet head. anyone else can confirm this?

im mostly in need of tips on the spring side of things as i think i understand most of the shockk installation, plus i also have a bentley manual which gives some good insight too; now im just looking for some insight from someone that has actually done this on a TI.

similar to madfronter, im working on this with my pops....i think you said it took 4 hours...that definently sounds decent enough.

DustenT
11-20-2005, 04:05 AM
as everyone probably knows, im getting some new shocks and springs...now im trying to get my plan of attack going so i can get it done in one day and not be stranded (it seems like any DIY project has some setbacks and unexpected circumstances)

anyway im looking for tips on installation...ive checked bimmerdiy and they dont really have any for shocks or springs...though i have checked out othe related articles like the rear shock mounts and such and i have an alright idea, especially for the rear.

anyway, few questions....is it absolutely necessary to have a spring compressor? anyway to get around needing one because i dont have one, not sure where to get one.

do you need any special ratchet heads? the guy i purchased them from said youd need a special ratchet head. anyone else can confirm this?

im mostly in need of tips on the spring side of things as i think i understand most of the shockk installation, plus i also have a bentley manual which gives some good insight too; now im just looking for some insight from someone that has actually done this on a TI.

similar to madfronter, im working on this with my pops....i think you said it took 4 hours...that definently sounds decent enough.

Rent a high quality spring compressor from your local auto-parts store, like autozone or napa. YOU NEED IT. Get the best one you can find. You don't want those springs to let loose, people have lost fingers (and other things) from inferior spring compressors.

robcarync
11-20-2005, 04:30 AM
alright...my pops mentioned you could probably rent one from auto zone...we will definently do that then.

any other pointers or insight about this mysterious special ratchet?

L84THSKY
11-20-2005, 04:50 PM
I bought this one last year, haven't used it yet. I lent it to a guy at work to work on his beemer. He said he couldn't figure out how to use it...too complicated:confused:



alright...my pops mentioned you could probably rent one from auto zone...we will definently do that then.

any other pointers or insight about this mysterious special ratchet?

robcarync
11-20-2005, 05:42 PM
is the center rod threaded at all? looks like maybe a hex nut on top...you use a ratchet and crank it down...which makes the two sides pull the spring togehter to compress it?

not sure but thats the only way i could think of maybe?

anyway...just looking for insight from people that have done this project before...

yesterday my pops seemed like he may chicken out on the project...he said it would be easier to let a shop install them...maybe true but it will cost a crap load of money! plus its more fun doing it yourself!

aceyx
11-20-2005, 07:48 PM
Rob; the following writeup is for an E30, but the general process is the same.

http://www.pelicanparts.com/BMW/techarticles/E30-Front_Suspen/E30-Front_Suspen.htm

I know I have seen a writeup for the E36, but I'll have to keep looking for it.

L84THSKY
11-21-2005, 03:42 AM
Yeah, I think the rod is threaded, and you crank that to compress the spring. I am a bit gun shy about messing with springs, that is why I bought this compressor. I'm gonna put lowering caps in the front next Spring.


is the center rod threaded at all? looks like maybe a hex nut on top...you use a ratchet and crank it down...which makes the two sides pull the spring togehter to compress it?

not sure but thats the only way i could think of maybe?

yesterday my pops seemed like he may chicken out on the project...he said it would be easier to let a shop install them...maybe true but it will cost a crap load of money! plus its more fun doing it yourself!

aceyx
11-21-2005, 04:00 AM
L8; I wouldn't worry about that compressor. It's got lock-pins and looks pretty dang sturdy.

Rob; Couldn't fine the writeup. Ask around on bf.c, it was a guy installing bilsteins on a white E36.

robcarync
11-22-2005, 02:07 PM
thanks ace

Nov 22, 2005
8:29 A.M.


RALEIGH, NC, US


OUT FOR DELIVERY

:):):)

robcarync
11-23-2005, 02:40 AM
I GOT MY PARTS!

they look in great condition and i am very pleased!

me and my pops put in the rear springs and shocks tonight...since its the easy one. of course we went against what you guys said and we didnt have a spring compressor handy (we will definently have one for the front, but i heard that you can get away without one for the rears...) shocks were simple, and i made sure i got the new shock nuts to put on. the springs were difficult with no compressor but we managed to get them out/in.

while i was under there i also replaced the rear shock mounts since those have never been replaced.

so as of now i have tokico shocks and hr race springs in the back and stock up front...would it be ok to drive it like this til friday when we get the fronts put in?

it took probably about 3 -4 hours just for the rear, but that included a dinner break and not knowing exactly how to get the springs out with no compressor...with a spring compressor, it would have been cake for sure because trying to work the springs out of there took forever.\

so yeah, its a decent drop in the back, not sure on the official numbers but i think i read hr race springs drop about 2 inches rear and 1.5 front....so far ill agree its about that