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Rear Traction Strut Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Traction Strut Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

2 hours2 hrs

Tab:

$150

Talent:

****

Tools:

Phillips & flathead screwdriver, 16mm wrench, 16mm socket, 7mm wrench, floor jack, two jack stands, two wheel chocks, safety glasses, torque wrench

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 530xi Wagon (2006-07)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 535xi Wagon (2008)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

Rear traction strut

Hot Tip:

Replace bolts

Performance Gain:

Repair faulty traction strut and prepare vehicle for alignment

Complementary Modification:

Replace in pairs

BMW E60 rear suspension components are primarily made of aluminum alloy, thus reducing weight and helping improve fuel-efficiency. Rear wheel bearing carriers are suspended to the rear subframe using three control arms (or links): 2 uppers and one lower. Of the two upper links, the one in front is called the traction strut or guide arm. The rear link is called the control arm.

The springs and shock absorbers on sedan and sports wagon differ. Sedan models are equipped with conventional coil springs and shock absorbers combined in strut assemblies. The sports wagon is designed with a flat floor in the cargo compartment. To achieve this, the sports wagon rear suspension is equipped with compact air springs and shock absorbers. In addition to space-saving, air springs height is electronically controlled, allowing the rear of the wagon to stay at a relatively stable height regardless of the load. This maintains constant suspension geometry and adds stability. This self-leveling suspension is referred to as electronic height control or EHC.

Both contact points on the traction strut (front upper control arm) 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. The traction strut is also a point of adjustment for rear wheel alignment. Be sure to mark the eccentric washers before removing so that you can reassemble components close to the alignment before your repair.

Keep in mind that when your car was serviced before, parts may have been replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have, so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If you're working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Do not work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Vehicle models change and evolve as they grow older, so the vehicle shown in our illustrations may vary slightly from yours. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

In this tech article, I will go over how to replace the rear traction strut on BMW E60 vehicles.

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

The traction strut is the forward most upper rear control arm (red arrow).
Figure 1

The traction strut is the forward most upper rear control arm (red arrow).

Start by marking (red arrow) the eccentric washer before removing.
Figure 2

Start by marking (red arrow) the eccentric washer before removing. This helps to get the suspension in a similar position to before your repair.

Next remove the rear fastener.
Figure 3

Next remove the rear fastener. Counterhold the 16mm bolt (red arrow) while loosening the 16mm nut (green arrow).

Remove the nut, then the keyed washer (inset).
Figure 4

Remove the nut, then the keyed washer (inset). Then lever (red arrow) the bolt out of the subframe using a pry bar (green arrow).

Working at the traction strut on the brake rotor side, remove the 16mm nut (green arrow).
Figure 5

Working at the traction strut on the brake rotor side, remove the 16mm nut (green arrow).

Loosen the nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the 7mm hex boss (green arrow) on the ball joint.
Figure 6

Loosen the nut (red arrow) while counter-holding the 7mm hex boss (green arrow) on the ball joint.

Remove the traction strut from the wheel carrier.
Figure 7

Remove the traction strut from the wheel carrier. It will pull straight out (red arrow), as it is not an interference fit. Install the traction strut into the vehicle and install the subframe fasteners finger tight. Then install the fastener at the connection to the wheel-bearing carrier and tighten. Load the suspension to the normal ride height using a floor jack and tighten the subframe connection fastener. Have the vehicle alignment checked if you had a tire wear problem. Both the ball joint and the bolt are tightened to 65 Nm.







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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 02:44:01 AM