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BMW Rear Traction Strut/Guide Rod Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

BMW Rear Traction Strut/Guide Rod Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdriver, 5mm Allen bit (long)

Applicable Models:

BMW 325i Sedan (2006)
BMW 325xi Sedan/Wagon (2006)
BMW 328i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 328i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 328i xDrive Wagon (2009-12)
BMW 328i/xi Coupe (2007-13)
BMW 328i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 328i/xi Wagon (2007-12)
BMW 330i/xi Sedan (2006)
BMW 335d/i/xi Sedan (2007-11)
BMW 335i xDrive Coupe (2009-13)
BMW 335i xDrive Sedan (2009-11)
BMW 335i/is/xi Coupe (2007-13)

Parts Required:

Rear traction strut/guide rod

Hot Tip:

Replace bolts

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty traction strut/guide rod and prepare vehicle for alignment

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

The rear traction strut/guide rod on BMW E90 models connects the lower rear sub frame to the rear wheel bearing carrier. Both contact points on the traction strut are made using rubber bushings. These rubber bushings wear out over time creating free-play in the rear suspension and at times a vibration and uneven tire wear. To inspect it, jack up the rear of your vehicle and push the top of your tire toward the inner traction strut contact point. The suspension should have zero free-play. If free-play is found in the traction strut, replace it.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear traction strut on BMW E90 vehicles.

Lift and support rear of your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your vehicle.

Place a jack stand under the lower control arm.
Figure 1

Place a jack stand under the lower control arm. This will support the rear wheel bearing carrier when you remove upper control arm.

Next you have to disconnect the stabilizer links so the sway bar can be moved aside.
Figure 2

Next you have to disconnect the stabilizer links so the sway bar can be moved aside. Start on the opposite side of vehicle you are replacing traction strut on. Working at rear sway bar, remove stabilizer link nut by counter holding link with a pair of vise grips and loosening 16mm nut. The stabilizer link has a flat spot for holding while tightening but requires a thin wrench. If you do not have a thin 17mm wrench, use vise grips with a curved jaw as shown in photo.

Next you have to remove the sway bar end link lower fastener on the same side of the vehicle you are servicing the traction strut on.
Figure 3

Next you have to remove the sway bar end link lower fastener on the same side of the vehicle you are servicing the traction strut on. It is a 13mm bolt (green arrow) and is tough to get to. I like to use a 13mm swivel socket on a long extension to access it.

Next you have to remove the lower fastener.
Figure 4

Next you have to remove the lower fastener. It is a 13mm bolt and is tough to get to. I like to use a 13mm swivel socket on a long extension to access it.

Grab stabilizer link and place end on control arm.
Figure 5

Grab stabilizer link and place end on control arm. This will hold it out of the way while you remove traction strut fastener.

Working at traction strut on brake rotor side, loosen 18mm fastener.
Figure 6

Working at traction strut on brake rotor side, loosen 18mm fastener. (green arrow)

Hold sway bar out of the way and remove fastener from traction strut.
Figure 7

Hold sway bar out of the way and remove fastener from traction strut.

Working at rear of traction strut hold 18mm fastener (green arrow) while loosening 18mm nut (yellow arrow).
Figure 8

Working at rear of traction strut hold 18mm fastener (green arrow) while loosening 18mm nut (yellow arrow). Remove fastener from control arm. Remove traction strut from wheel bearing carrier. Install traction strut into vehicle and install sub frame fasteners finger tight. Then install fastener at connection to wheel bearing carrier finger tight. Once both fasteners are installed finger tight, load suspension to normal ride height using a floor jack and tighten fasteners. Then install and tighten sway bar end link fasteners. Have vehicle alignment checked if you had a tire wear problem.

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Comments and Suggestions:
Yangorang Comments: Why does one have to load the suspension to normal ride height when reinstalling suspension components? What happens if one neglects to do this?
January 2, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: To get the bushings in the most neutral position before tightening them into position. - Nick at Pelican Parts  

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:22:15 AM