E36 Shock Mounts

December 3rd, 2008 Leave a comment Go to comments

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May 18, 2000


E36 M3
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Should you decide that you want to change your rear shock mounts on your own, be sure that your car is properly jacked and supported. Wear safety goggles or glasses at all times.


Changing the rear shock mounts is fairly straight forward process. A novice you can expect to spend about 2.0 – 2.5 hours to change both shock mounts.

The rear shock mounts on a BMW are made of a rubber compound and, over time, can become brittle and wear out.  Heavy use, such as drivers schools or racing, will accelerate the wear on the mounts.  It is a good idea to inspect these before and after each event.


The following tools will be needed to successfully change your rear shock mounts.


18mm box wrench
3/8 socket wrench
10 & 13mm sockets
3lb hammer
Philips head screwdriver

Crescent wrench

Floor jack


It is helpful to have the following supplies on hand when changing shock mounts.



Buy Online

Rear shock mounts
Crush nuts


The following step by step instructions will lead you through changing your shock mounts on an E36 M3. These instructions assume that you have properly and safely jacked up and supported your car, removed the rear wheel and the brakes are cool.

Item Step Description
1 Remove speaker cover The rear shock mounts are located directly below the rear speakers.  To access the shock mounts these speakers have to be removed. The first step is to remove the speaker cover.  Reach your hand over the cover and with the tips of your fingers gently pull the back edge of the cover forward and upward.  The cover will pop up and can be easily removed.

2 Remove speaker connections To remove the speaker you will locate the wire plug and clip in the center of the speaker.  Pinch the plug with your thumb and forefinger and pull up.  You may have to jiggle it gently from front to back to get it to pull free of the clip.  Take care with removing the plug as you do not want to break the clip.

There are two mounting screws that also must be removed.  Use a Philips head screw driver to remove these.  Warning: be very careful using the screwdriver as you do not want to pierce the speaker cones with the sharp tip of the screwdriver.

On the inside edge of the speaker is a small metal clip that you must push towards the outside to free the speaker.  Push the clip in and down to disengage the speaker.  The speaker will drop slightly and will be resting on the shock tower mount.

3 Remove the speaker Pull the speaker down and towards the center of the car to remove it.

Mark the speaker, in some way, to help you remember which one is right and left.  This will make reinstallation easier.

The rear shock mounts are located under each of the speakers.  However, they are covered by a carpet lining which must be peeled back to access the mounts.

4 Remove trunk mat The trunk mat simply lifts out of the trunk.
5 Remove tail light covers Turn the lever on the cover to unlock the cover.

The cover will easily pull away from the tail light assembly.

6 Remove cargo plates Using a 10mm socket remove the nylon nuts holding the plates in place.  On the drivers side there is one in each recess.  On the passenger side there is one in a recess near the rear.  Forward is a recess with a pull nut or screw.  If it is a nut use the pliers to pinch the cap and pull it out.  If it is a screw use a screw driver to remove the screw.

7 pull side carpet Pull the carpet from the side of the car.  You can get a hold of it near the top just under the trunk top.  Pull to the inside of the trunk.  You may have to give it a good tug.

Continue to pull the carpet to the inside until you expose the shock mount

This is the rear shock mount.

8 Remove rear shock mount Remove the two 13mm nuts on the top of the shock mount using a socket wrench.

After the nuts are removed the shock mount will descend.

9 Remove the shock mounting bolt You will need to remove the rear shock to access the shock mount.  Place the closed end of the 18mm box wrench over the bolt.  Since the bolt is facing you you will have to turn the wrench clockwise to loosen the bolt.  In other words, if you are on the drivers side, you will have to turn the wrench down to loosen the bolt.  You will need to use the 3lb hammer to pound down on the wrench since these bolts will be on very tight.

Use the wrench until you can turn the bolt freely with your fingers.  Hold the shock with your other hand so that the shock does not fall to the floor.

10 Remove shock mount The specific tools you will need to remove the mount from the shock will depend on the make of shock you have.  However, the process will be the same for all.  Secure the top of the shock with the appropriate wrench (in some cases it is a socket for an Allen wrench).  Using another wrench loosen the lock nut and remove it.

The shock mount and plates will slide off the end of the shock mount.

11 Replace shock mount Slide the larger bottom plate back on the shock with the cup side down.  Slide on the new shock mount and then the smaller top plate cup side up.

Tighten the lock nut with a wrench while securing the shock with another wrench until the lock nut firmly secures the assembly.

12 Remount the shock Repeat step 9 in reverse
13 Position shock Place a jack under the bottom edge of the rear brake rotor.

Raise the jack with one hand while guiding the shock and shock mount back into the corresponding holes on the rear shock tower.

14 Complete installation Reverse steps 8 to 1.

  1. Farhan
    May 30th, 2011 at 13:50 | #1

    Great write up, most people leave out the details of the speakers/trunk lining but I’m glad you included it. Being a self/internet taught DIYer, its reassuring to see exactly what you are up against before tackling it.

  2. dude
    September 16th, 2011 at 04:44 | #2

    (about steps 12, 13) Isn’t it easier to mount the top of the shock and then pull it down to monut bottom bolt?

  3. dude
    September 18th, 2011 at 23:55 | #3

    Yesterday replaced rear shocks. It took just about 1,5 hours – thanks to this tutorial (and German engineering genius: )! Since I have only 1 car jack (have no car stands) – had to leave tire on – and in step 13 simply lowered the car instead of using jack to lift control arm.
    Only detail not described here – there is a small flat pull handle for unlocking fuel tank fill cap mounted into the carpet on right side. Cable can be separated in the middle.
    Tnx for great guide!

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