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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Hood Shocks
on Your BMW

Difficulty Level: 2
Difficulty scale: Adding air to your tires is level one
Rebuilding a BMW Motor is level ten

  This article is one in a series that have been released in conjunction with Wayne's new book, 101 Performance Projects for Your BMW 3 Series. The book contains 272 pages of full color projects detailing everything from performance mods to timing the camshafts. With more than 650+ full-color glossy photos accompanying extensive step-by-step procedures, this book is required reading in any 3 Series owner's collection. The book was released in August 2006, and is available for ordering now. See The Official Book Website for more details.
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[click to enlarge]

     Are you getting tired of having your front or rear trunk lids drop on your head? Then itís probably time to replace your hood shocks. These are among the most disposable of parts on the BMW. They will fail, itís just a matter of when. Replacing them is an easy task, one made even easier for those with small hands who can manipulate tiny pieces. With a little bit of patience, you can replace your hood and trunk lid shocks in about 30 minutes.

     The front hood uses two gas-pressurized shocks to hold up its weight. Start by lifting up the front hood and propping it open using a long stick or a baseball bat. Make sure this support is securely affixed, as the hood will hurt or maim you if it falls upon your head. Starting with the right side, remove the small clip on the pin that connects the hood shock to the hood itself. Remove the same pin from the mount that connects the shock to the lower mount in the engine compartment.

     Install the new shock in the same place and orientation as the old one. Refasten the clips to the pins and make sure they are secure. Repeat the procedure for the left side. It is very easy to drop both the pin and the clip down into the recesses of the engine compartment, so work carefully and donít rush.

     The rear trunk shocks are very similar in their replacement process. Thereís a small clip that holds in a plastic retainer on the E36 modelsósimply use a small screwdriver to pry up the clip, and then pull off the plastic retainer clip.

While youíre in this area, you will probably want to check out your trunkís wire harness. See Photo 2 of Project 82 for more details.

     If you would like to see more technical articles like this one, please continue to support Pelican Parts with all your parts needs.  If you like what you see here, then please visit our online BMW catalog and help support the collection and creating of new and informative technical articles like this one.  Your continued support directly affects the expansion and existence of this site and technical articles like this one.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about this helpful article, please drop us a line.

Figure 1
Each shock is held in place by a small pin and clip to keep it in position. Be sure not to lose the clip or the pin into the recesses of your engine compartment or trunk. The new shocks should last several years before they begin to wear out again.
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Comments and Suggestions:
4mm Comments: Try lifting up the hood a little, to meet the strut mount.
July 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ron Comments: Need hood hold up s hocks for 85 635 csi
April 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call. They will find the right part for you: 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
whats a spanner Comments: Forget the Haines manual these pelican articles are well wriitten, easy to follow and down to earth, keep up these brilliant articles.
March 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zaidyy Comments: I have the same problem as's about 5mm longer than the original!
December 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure you have the right part, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Jackson Comments: I cannot compress the new strut 51-23-8-119-558-M24 at all, and it needs some compression to fit in place. I tried even tapping it with a mallet against a wall and it would not budge. Is it defective or am I missing something or very weak?
June 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The hood shocks have a lot of pressure in them and are very hard to compress. You should not have to compress it if you have the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

Got more questions?  Join us in our BMW Technical Forum Message Board, and ask a question to one of our many automotive experts.
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