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Rear Shock Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Rear Shock Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$250

Talent:

*****

Tools:

Set of sockets, 13mm, 16mm 6mm wrenches, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW Z4 Convertible (2003-06)
BMW Z4 Coupe (2006)

Parts Required:

Rear shock, rear shock mount

Hot Tip:

Replace rear shocks as a pair

Performance Gain:

Car will ride well

Complementary Modification:

Replace shock mounts.

Shock absorbers and springs are the suspension components that maintain the mass of the vehicle suspended above the rolling gear: the wheels. Springs hold the weight up and shock absorbers dampen suspension movements so that passengers inside the vehicle experience a smooth ride.

The BMW Z4 is equipped with separate shocks absorbers and coil spring in the rear. For the front suspension, BMW utilizes a combined shock absorber and coil spring assembly referred to as a MacPherson strut.

If you have a rough ride or a bouncy rear end in your Z4, it might be time to replace the rear shock absorbers. Replace shock absorbers in pairs. I suggest replacing the upper shock absorber mounts also. These mounts tend to wear and fall apart over time. It's better to replace them while you are servicing the shock absorbers than to have to go back later. When replacing, do one side at a time; it's helpful to have an assembled shock absorber to use as a reference point if needed during reassembly.

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.

Loosen the rear wheel bolts but do not remove. (Only loosen wheel bolts if you plan to remove the rear wheels when replacing rear shock absorbers.)

Raise rear of vehicle and support safely on jack stands. See our tech article on vehicle jacking. When jacking, get the vehicle as high as possible. If you remove the rear wheels, you have to fit a hydraulic jack under the rear trailing arm; if you do not remove the rear wheels, leave enough room under the rear tires for a hydraulic jack to fit.

Remove rear wheels, or leave them on if you prefer to jack on the tire.

I am going to show you how to replace the shocks on Roadster models. The procedure is similar for Coupe models, the main difference being the shock mount nuts.

Shock absorbers (red arrow) and springs are the suspension components that maintain the mass of the vehicle suspended above the rolling gear: the wheels.
Figure 1

Shock absorbers (red arrow) and springs are the suspension components that maintain the mass of the vehicle suspended above the rolling gear: the wheels. Springs hold the weight up and shock absorbers dampen suspension movements so that passengers inside the vehicle experience a smooth ride.

Remove the convertible top trunk shelf adjusters (red arrow).
Figure 2

Remove the convertible top trunk shelf adjusters (red arrow). See our tech article on convertible top trunk shelf.

Next you will have to peel back the foam (red arrow) to expose the shock mount nuts.
Figure 3

Next you will have to peel back the foam (red arrow) to expose the shock mount nuts.

I usually cut a half-circle in the foam (red arrow), peel it back and tape it back in place when done.
Figure 4

I usually cut a half-circle in the foam (red arrow), peel it back and tape it back in place when done.

Place a hydraulic jack under trailing arm.
Figure 5

Place a hydraulic jack under trailing arm. Inset shows the placement of the jack pad, directly under the trailing arm (red arrow).

Remove rear shock 18mm mounting fastener (red arrow).
Figure 6

Remove rear shock 18mm mounting fastener (red arrow).

Working in the trunk, remove the two 13mm shock mount fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 7

Working in the trunk, remove the two 13mm shock mount fasteners (red arrows).

Lower shock and remove from vehicle (red arrow).
Figure 8

Lower shock and remove from vehicle (red arrow).

Using a 6mm wrench (or a pair of vise grips) and a 16mm or 17mm wrench, remove shock mount from shock (red arrows).
Figure 9

Using a 6mm wrench (or a pair of vise grips) and a 16mm or 17mm wrench, remove shock mount from shock (red arrows). If you are replacing shock mount, still do this part. You need the small parts to go with new shock and shock mount. Pay close attention to the order and orientation of washers.

First, install bump stop (green arrow) onto new shock.
Figure 10

First, install bump stop (green arrow) onto new shock. Then install remaining parts in order shown in photo with washer (yellow arrow) and the nut being the last item. Tighten mount. Install shock in vehicle, once you get the upper mount studs aligned, install lower fastener. Install upper shock mount fasteners and tighten. Install rear wheel and lower vehicle to ground. Tighten lower shock fastener with vehicle suspension loaded. Reinstall interior trim and test drive vehicle. Then recheck lower shock fasteners tightening torque.

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Page last updated: Fri 12/9/2016 03:00:50 AM