E36 Shocks

December 3rd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

Replacing the rear shocks

Tools needed

Mole grips, Socket set, Jack, Phillips screwdriver, Adjustable Spanner, Nut lock.

The new rear shocks and upper top mounts.

Iniside the car carefully prise up the speaker covers off the rear parcel shelf and undo the two screws that secure the speaker assembly onto the shelf. Release the clip and carefully from inside the boot pull the speakers away and disconnect the speaker connections

Open the boot and remove the carpet from the rear “wall” by unscrewing the 4 retaining “nuts” at first by hand and then using a phillips screwdriver.

Lift this out and lift out the floor carpet. Carefully pull the side carpets away from the boot interior. They are held in 3 places : on one of the retaining bolts by the rear carpet, by a metal ledge at the top near the rear lights and by the ledges on the plastic parts in the boot.

Jack up the car and chock the front wheels so it can’t roll anywhere. Also put something underneath the wheels so they cannot drop down when you undo the shock mounts.

Using a 13mm socket undo the two top shock mounts ONLY once you have supported the wheels so that you dont put stress on the suspension arms. Prise off the rubber dust cover.

Undo the lower shock retaining bolt and carefully lift the entire shock away from the car.

The old knackered shock and shock mount!

You need to recover the lower cup, upper cup and bump-stop from the old shock. To do this you need to remove the top mount from the old shock. If you look at the top of the piston it has a flat section to it. Get a set of mole grips and clamp them onto the flat section, do this as tight as you can so that you dont round it and using and adjustable spanner undo the piston retaining nut whilst holding the piston shaft using the molegrips.

You need to recover 3 pieces from the piston shaft. 1- the bump stop, 2 – lower cup, 3 upper cup. Using the new shock mount as a template cut out a gasket from cardboard (the box the mount came in is ideal) to go between the upper shock mount and the suspension tower. Incidently according to the haynes manual this is made of rubber but mine was made of card! under no circumstances put the upper shock mount directly into the suspension tower.

Put the 3 pieces onto the new shock and tighten the piston nut to secure the shock mount and put your new gasket onto the upper mount.

Use the opportunity to clean the suspension turret – do the top and the underneath making sure it’s all clean and dry.

Put the new complete assembled shock into the suspension tower and either get someone to do up the top bolts a few turns or rest the bottom of the shock in the inner circumference of the wheel and lift it into position by lifting it up using the piston nut and then do the bolts up a few turns.

Bolt the bottom shock bolts back into place after putting some nut-lock on the threads and tighten them up securely, then tighten up the top mount securing bolts and put on the rubber dust cap.

Put the sidecarpets back in making sure the speaker cables aren’t trapped behind, putting in the end nearest the tail lights first making sure it’s behind the retaining ledge both at the top and the end. Then do the centre section and finally over the bolt at the rear of the boot. Put the rear carpet back in and do up the retaining nuts. Reconnect the speakers and engage the lip and push the speaker up until the clip clips into place and do up the securing screws and clip the speaker cover back on.

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