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Old 11-20-2008, 09:31 PM   #1
1lenny
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Default shock replacement -WTF-why not fitting?

Hey guys. I'm stumped. I am replacing shocks and brakes in my 318ti built 2/98. Rears are fine. The front shock will not go in, it's too long after rebuilding. The original is a BOGE 31 31 1 090 716. The replacement is listed for this car, a Bilstein VNE4420.
Help. I've trying for two days to get that sucker in. Do I simply have the wrong shock? When I get the top in, it is about 1 inch lower than it's sport on the steering arm. I could order the BOGE, but I'd like to use the Bilsteins. There's a brown stripe on the spring.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:49 PM   #2
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ok after a bit of research this is what i found..

the VNE4420 unit is a direct replacement for

31 31 1 090 458 // replaced by number 3131 1 092 308
31 31 1 091 774
31 31 1 092 488

numbers are show in chronological updating , the lowest being the oldest

the BMW ETK shows these units to be applicable to the following vehicle(s)

316i - 328i E36 ALL models

Fits ONLY right hand side

The original number (31 31 1 090 716) is also for the Right hand side, but specified for use with 4 cylinder models. Although the Bilstein cross referances with all 4 and 6 cyl models.

in conclusion, the damper should fit

why it doesnt..fu*k knows..
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:53 PM   #3
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For some reason I think I had issues when installing my Bilstein HDs. It's possible I used the floor jack to compress the strut assembly to get everything to line-up. I know for sure I had serious issues getting those front struts bolted up.
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Old 11-20-2008, 09:56 PM   #4
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make sure BOTH front wheels are off the ground.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:00 PM   #5
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Thanks Mallard. So I did get the right ones, according to the documentation.
I rebuilt twice, just to make sure I didn't have something backwards.
Judging from CirrusSR22, it may just be the way they go in, and not for amateurs.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:01 PM   #6
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Cooljess--tell me more. I have one wheel on the ground--just it was when I took it off. ???????
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:03 PM   #7
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the shock should fit
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:09 PM   #8
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If you lift both wheels off the ground, the control arms should drop a little lower.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:23 PM   #9
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Also remove the nut holding the front swaybar to the control arm. That'll help it drop lower.
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:34 PM   #10
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Smile Booo-ya!!!

It worked! Those two tricks, both wheels up and front swaybar off. I should have asked yesterday. You guys rock!
This web site rocks too. I'm learning so much.
Special thanks Cooljess, CirrusSR22, Mallard. I am so freakin happy right now.

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Old 11-20-2008, 10:36 PM   #11
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bonus !
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Old 11-20-2008, 10:47 PM   #12
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Old 11-21-2008, 06:50 PM   #13
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I didn't remove the nut on the sway bar. Just put a floor jack under the bottom of the strut and bumped it up about half an inch when I bolted it to the spindle
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Old 11-23-2008, 02:22 AM   #14
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Default Done.

I finished last night. 4 Bilstein shocks, 2 RSM, 2FSM, ATE Rotors and Pagid brake pads. I had a busted pad on each front--the brake coming off the back. Now's all I gotta do is get the ABS sensor I had to hack out of the wheel and see if I can get some of these dash lights off.


It rides reallll nice.

The suspension how to hosted here is very good.
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