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Replacing Hood Shocks on Your BMW

Pelican Technical Article:

Replacing Hood Shocks on Your BMW


30 minutes30 mins






Long stick or baseball bat,

Applicable Models:

BMW E30 3-Series (1984-93)
BMW E36 3-Series (1992-99)

Parts Required:

Hood shocks (2) and trunk shocks (2)

Performance Gain:

A hood and trunk that will remain open when you open them

Complementary Modification:

Replace your trunk's wire harness
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Are you getting tired of having your front or rear trunk lids drop on your head? Then it's probably time to replace your hood shocks. These are among the most disposable of parts on the BMW. They will fail, it's just a matter of when. Replacing them is an easy task, one made even easier for those with small hands who can manipulate tiny pieces. With a little bit of patience, you can replace your hood and trunk lid shocks in about 30 minutes.

The front hood uses two gas-pressurized shocks to hold up its weight. Start by lifting up the front hood and propping it open using a long stick or a baseball bat. Make sure this support is securely affixed, as the hood will hurt or maim you if it falls upon your head. Starting with the right side, remove the small clip on the pin that connects the hood shock to the hood itself. Remove the same pin from the mount that connects the shock to the lower mount in the engine compartment.

Install the new shock in the same place and orientation as the old one. Refasten the clips to the pins and make sure they are secure. Repeat the procedure for the left side. It is very easy to drop both the pin and the clip down into the recesses of the engine compartment, so work carefully and don't rush.

The rear trunk shocks are very similar in their replacement process. There's a small clip that holds in a plastic retainer on the E36 models--simply use a small screwdriver to pry up the clip, and then pull off the plastic retainer clip.

While you're in this area, you will probably want to check out your trunk's wire harness. See Photo 2 of Project 82 for more details.

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Figure 1

Each shock is held in place by a small pin and clip to keep it in position. Be sure not to lose the clip or the pin into the recesses of your engine compartment or trunk. The new shocks should last several years before they begin to wear out again.

Comments and Suggestions:
Bill Comments: I thought I had same problem as I could not compress at all the strut but I just lifted the hood a little more and they
went on and worked great.
Hood just must put a lot of pressure on them.
July 2, 2015
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info and feedback. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
4mm Comments: Try lifting up the hood a little, to meet the strut mount.
July 11, 2014
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the additional info. We appreciate it.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Ron Comments: Need hood hold up s hocks for 85 635 csi
April 28, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Give our parts specialists a call. They will find the right part for you: 1-888-280-7799 - Nick at Pelican Parts  
whats a spanner Comments: Forget the Haines manual these pelican articles are well wriitten, easy to follow and down to earth, keep up these brilliant articles.
March 5, 2013
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Thanks for the feedback! - Nick at Pelican Parts  
Zaidyy Comments: I have the same problem as's about 5mm longer than the original!
December 31, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: Make sure you have the right part, Give our parts specialists a call at 1-888-280-7799. They can help you find the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts
Jackson Comments: I cannot compress the new strut 51-23-8-119-558-M24 at all, and it needs some compression to fit in place. I tried even tapping it with a mallet against a wall and it would not budge. Is it defective or am I missing something or very weak?
June 23, 2011
  Followup from the Pelican Staff: The hood shocks have a lot of pressure in them and are very hard to compress. You should not have to compress it if you have the right part.
- Nick at Pelican Parts

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Page last updated: Wed 1/17/2018 02:04:31 AM