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My new 320d

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Rubbish blog title, couldn't think of anything else.

The plan this weekend was to replace all four shock absorbers. I sourced some well priced Sachs OEM shocks and they arrived in time for fitting on Saturday.

As expected, the rears went on with ease. One nut at the bottom, and one at the top (once you get through the boot liner).

The fronts, in theory, are quite straight forward compared to other cars I've worked on. However, this is only in theory....in reality its a different matter altogether!

It started off well, both the stabiliser bar and bottom bolt came off with ease, the shock also loosened up quite easily. I spent about 10 minutes prising the strut out of the wheel arch but eventually it yielded. I used my trusty spring compressors to safely remove the spring and top nut. So far so good.

And then the fun started....WHAT THE HELL ARE BMW SPRINGS MADE OF?!? No matter what I tried I just could not get the spring compressed enough to get the top nut back on. At one point I thought I was making progress and then one of the spring compressors slipped...making a nice mess of my little finger!

Enough was enough so I walked away from the job whilst I had a rethink.

The following day I started in earnest, I picked up a second set of compressors from Screwfix. Long story short, after an hour of careful compressing and a bit of compressor relocation I FINALLY managed to get enough thread showing to get the top mount assembly on and secured. As before, the strut housing took a bit of persuasion to get it reseated in the hub but eventually it dropped in nicely.

It was at this point I made another discovery, since I did the rear shocks I wasn't happy with the ride height on the back, in that it was massively uneven. I decided to jack up the rear again and inspect the springs, half expecting the one of the rear springs to have moved out of position. After a quick inspection it became apparent that the nearside spring had infact snapped right near the top cone, so quite hard to spot. Whilst annoying, at least it goes some way to explain some of the rubbish handling!

This was the final justification required to buy some new springs, so I have on order some Eibach Pro Kit springs for front and rear. I decided there was no point doing the other front shock absorber until I get the springs this week. I'm also hoping that this means it will be easier to compress the springs for reassembly, based on the fact that they will be slightly shorter.

Hopefully my next update will be to say the Eibachs are fitted, and everything is now awesome in the world....we'll see!

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EDIT: I thought I had some springs on order....turns out the seller (eBay) doesnt hold stock and gets them on the next Eibach shipment on Friday, so I won't have them in time for the weekend. After a couple more phone calls to different suppliers I managed to find a set in stock with Demon-Tweeks and blagged free next day delivery. Boom.

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