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Replacing the Rear Shocks in Your E60 BMW 5-Series
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing the Rear Shocks in Your E60 BMW 5-Series

Steve Vernon

Time:

3 hours3 hrs

Tab:

$275

Talent:

**

Tools:

Jack, jack stands, T40 Torx bit, 8mm, 10mm, 13mm and 18mm socket and wrench and breaker bar.

Applicable Models:

BMW 525i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 528i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 528i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 530i/xi Sedan (2004-07)
BMW 535i xDrive Sedan (2009-10)
BMW 535i/xi Sedan (2008-10)
BMW 545i Sedan (2004-05)
BMW 550i Sedan (2006-10)

Parts Required:

New shocks

Hot Tip:

Remove fender liner

Performance Gain:

Better handling

Complementary Modification:

Check your bushings

Replacing the rear shocks on your 5 series BMW is an easy way to improve your cars performance while saving yourself some money.

Begin by setting the parking brake and safely raising and supporting the car off the ground. Please see our article on raising and supporting your BMW.

With the car in the air remove the rear tires. The rear tires will spin if the parking brake is not on or you can loosen the tires while the car is still on the ground.

While this is an easy job, it can be a very tight fit getting the shock out of the wheel well and if you are working by yourself I recommend taking a few moments and removing the wheel well liners before you start working on the shocks. This will free up lots of room to maneuver the shock out of the wheel well.

The liner is held in place by eight 8mm bolts, two 10mm bolts, three stainless 8mm bolts and one push/pull plastic retainer. With all of the hardware off the liner will slip down and out of the fender.

Begin by removing the stabilizer link from the sway arm using a T40 Torx and an 18mm wrench.

Support the wheel carrier with a jack and remove the strut assembly lower bolt connecting the strut to the wheel bearing carrier with an 18mm socket and breaker bar. Detach the strut form the carrier and tie it in place so when you undo the fasteners in the trunk it will not fall and damage something.

Move to the trunk and remove the panels to give you access to the shock towers in the rear. The panels are just held in with push pull pins. On our car we removed the luggage tie down as well.

Remove the sound absorbing material around the strut tower and then remove the three 13mm nuts holding the top of the strut to the tower.

Move back to the wheel arch and push the wheel carrier down while guiding the strut between the guide arm and control arm. This is where removing the wheel well liner will really come in handy as it will give you a lot more room to remove the strut.

Take the strut to your bench and using a set of good spring compressors compress the springs. With the tension off the top use an 18mm wrench and 7mm Allen to remove the top nut. Install new shock making sure that the springs sit in their proper spots on the pad stops and that one of the upper studs lines up with the short end of the strut bushing. This will help when you reinstall the strut.

Installation is the reverse of removal.

While you do not have to remove the fender liner to remove the rear strut it sure does help.
Figure 1

While you do not have to remove the fender liner to remove the rear strut it sure does help. The liner is held in place by eight 8mm bolts, two 10mm bolts, three stainless 8mm bolts and one push/pull plastic retainer. With all of the hardware off the liner will slip down and out of the fender.

This photo illustrates the two fasteners you need to remove under the vehicle.
Figure 2

This photo illustrates the two fasteners you need to remove under the vehicle. The swing arm (yellow arrow) and the strut mounting bolt (red arrow).

Remove the stabilizer link from the sway arm using a T40 Torx and an 18mm wrench.
Figure 3

Remove the stabilizer link from the sway arm using a T40 Torx and an 18mm wrench.

Support the swing arm and remove the strut bolt with an 18mm socket and breaker bar.
Figure 4

Support the swing arm and remove the strut bolt with an 18mm socket and breaker bar.

Working in the trunk, remove the panels push/pull pins (red arrow) until you can get access to the strut towers.
Figure 5

Working in the trunk, remove the panels push/pull pins (red arrow) until you can get access to the strut towers.

We removed the luggage tie down (red arrow) to give us more room.
Figure 6

We removed the luggage tie down (red arrow) to give us more room.

Remove the sound installation on the top of the shock tower.
Figure 7

Remove the sound installation on the top of the shock tower.

Remove the three 13mm bolts (yellow arrow, one shown) holding the strut to the tower.
Figure 8

Remove the three 13mm bolts (yellow arrow, one shown) holding the strut to the tower.

Push the wheel carrier down while guiding the strut between the guide arm and control arm (red arrow).
Figure 9

Push the wheel carrier down while guiding the strut between the guide arm and control arm (red arrow). This is where removing the wheel well liner will really come in handy as it will give you a lot more room to remove the strut.

Take the strut to your bench and use a set of good spring compressors (red arrows) to compress the spring.
Figure 10

Take the strut to your bench and use a set of good spring compressors (red arrows) to compress the spring.

With the tension off the top use an 18mm wrench and 7mm Allen to remove the top nut.
Figure 11

With the tension off the top use an 18mm wrench and 7mm Allen to remove the top nut.

Install new shock making sure that the springs sit in their proper spots on the pad stops (yellow arrow).
Figure 12

Install new shock making sure that the springs sit in their proper spots on the pad stops (yellow arrow).

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Comments and Suggestions:
Michael100 Comments: That's two 10 mm nuts
June 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: got it. - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Michael100 Comments: Great write up. Really helped for my strut replacement. Only thing I would add is, in order to get the passenger side strut out, you have to loosen and lower an emission control box in the wheel well. This is easily done by removing two 10 mm nuts and lifting the box out of the way.
June 4, 2016
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 
Fivedirty Comments: Nice write up, good photos.
Would buy from you if I lived in the States!
June 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback. Glad we could help.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
 

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Page last updated: Mon 12/5/2016 02:30:15 AM