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Front Strut Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Front Strut Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

4 hours4 hrs

Tab:

$300

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, wrench set, spring compressor

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Coupe/Conv (2006)

Parts Required:

Front strut, front spring, stabilizer link locking nuts

Hot Tip:

Replace stabilizer links also

Performance Gain:

Great vehicle ride performance

Complementary Modification:

Install performance springs and struts

The front struts or (sometimes called front shocks) dampen the ride of your Z4 and keep it rolling smoothly down the road. When they begin to wear ride quality and vehicle handling suffers.

You may notice your vehicle is not smooth over bumps or feels soft when cornering. This could be an indicator of worn struts. To check your struts, push down on the front corner of your vehicle, (the side you want to inspect the strut on). When you give the front corner one good push down, it should bounce up, then slightly down and stop. If it continues to bounce, the struts are worn out. You have the choice to replace your struts with a factory spec set or a performance set. A performance set of struts can greatly increase the handling of your Z4. You can also replace all four springs on your Z4 with performance springs, giving it a slightly lower stance and stiffer handling.

In this article I will describe how to replace the front struts on BMW Z4M models. If you don't have access to a spring compressor, remove the strut, then bring it a shop to have the coil swapped over.

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 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. Questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below. When leaving a comment, please leave your vehicle information.

Lift and support your vehicle. See our tech article on jacking up your Z4.

Remove the front wheels.

The front strut (red arrow) or sometimes called front shocks dampen the ride of your Z4 and keep it rolling smoothly down the road.
Figure 1

The front strut (red arrow) or sometimes called front shocks dampen the ride of your Z4 and keep it rolling smoothly down the road. When they begin to wear ride quality and vehicle handling suffers.

Working at front strut, pull brake hose (blue arrow) out of the holder.
Figure 2

Working at front strut, pull brake hose (blue arrow) out of the holder. It is held in by a rubber bushing and will pull straight out of holder. Then remove the two 10mm nuts (red arrows). Once the nuts are removed, pull the wiring harness mount off the strut.

Now it is time to remove the strut fasteners.
Figure 3

Now it is time to remove the strut fasteners. Working at the upper fastener, use an 18mm wrench (red arrows) and socket (blue arrows) to loosen then remove the fastener. If needed, tap the bolt out using a soft-faced hammer and a soft drift punch.

Support the control arm from below using a jack (red arrow).
Figure 4

Support the control arm from below using a jack (red arrow).

Then, remove the two rear 18mm strut mounting bolts (red arrows).
Figure 5

Then, remove the two rear 18mm strut mounting bolts (red arrows). Be sure to apply thread-locking compound of the same color used at the factory (blue arrow). My subject vehicle had red compound.

Next, use a pry bar to lever the strut off of the spindle.
Figure 6

Next, use a pry bar to lever the strut off of the spindle. Then pull the rotor and wheel hub away from the strut.

Next, remove the three upper13mm strut mounting nuts (red arrows).
Figure 7

Next, remove the three upper13mm strut mounting nuts (red arrows). When installing, align the dowel (purple arrows) on the strut top. The mounting holes are slotted (blue arrow) to allow for adjustments of the alignment angles.

Carefully remove the strut assembly from the vehicle, bottom first (red arrow) then feed top out of fender.
Figure 8

Carefully remove the strut assembly from the vehicle, bottom first (red arrow) then feed top out of fender.

Is replacing the springs, they should have a paint marking to help identify them when ordering parts (blue arrow).
Figure 9

Is replacing the springs, they should have a paint marking to help identify them when ordering parts (blue arrow).

Once strut has been removed from vehicle, place in spring compressor.
Figure 10

Once strut has been removed from vehicle, place in spring compressor. The one shown in a wall mounted model. There are many versions available, follow directions that came with your spring compressor to compress spring and hold in compressed position.

Remove the 24mm nut (blue arrow) from spring top by counter holding center shaft with a 6mm Allen bit.
Figure 11

Remove the 24mm nut (blue arrow) from spring top by counter holding center shaft with a 6mm Allen bit. Once nut has been removed, transfer spring and parts over to new strut. Note assembly order of strut parts when disassembling. Once parts have been transferred over to new strut install spring top nut and tighten. Then install strut in vehicle. Start by installing upper nuts and finger tighter. Then attach strut to the spindle and install mounting bolts finger tight. Align strut top as before and tighten upper fasteners. Then tighten strut mounting fasteners. Reassemble remaining items and have vehicle professionally aligned.

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Page last updated: Wed 12/7/2016 03:03:05 AM