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330ci rear shock replacement.

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by cwbiii, Apr 16, 2010.

    cwbiii guest

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    I need to change the rear shocks, it has sport suspension. As best I can tell Bilstein is probably the replacement of choice from aftermarket sources. Anyone have any experience with using other than OEM replacement parts for the sport package?
    I can get all the aftermarket for less than $300 while I'm pretty sure OEM is going to set me back $600 or more even with the BMWCCA member discount.

    Chuck
    • Member

    bcweir

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    How many places have you shopped for shocks?

    What are you looking for in terms of ride quality? Factory ride quality or firmer? If you're looking for a factory ride, your OEM shocks are likely to be Boges. But for a firm ride, Bilstein, Koni, KYB, and many other manufacterers likely also make shocks for your vehicle. Bavarian Autosport, Ecstuning.com, and Autohausaz.com all sell shocks.

    Who's installing your shocks? Did you know that the dealer is not the only place you can install shocks on your car? The least expensive option is to DIY it. It's a little bit labor intensive but not that bad, and you can save a lot of money doing it yourself. The second least expensive option is to take it to a certified independent BMW shop. There is a website called http://www.bimrs.com that lets you shop for the best independent mechanic. They're more expensive than a DIY job, but likely to charge you noticeably less than a dealer.

    By the far the most expensive and most unnecessary option is to take it to a dealer. The only time I'd take a car to a dealer is if your car required specialized service that not even an independent was equipped to provide. Shock replacement on a vehicle with sport suspension is usually pretty straightforward.

    cwbiii guest

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    I'm definitely a DIYer... I've owned 30 some odd cars in my lifetime. Most of these I've maintained myself... including pulling and rebuilding engines and standard transmissions. Automatics I leave to the professionals as do I most machine work.
    I am not willing to stick my fingers into most of my late model BMW engines simply because of the array of special tools and the skill required to adjust them properly. The last BMW engine I was willing to maintain was the 3.2L in my 84 733i. The last time I pulled it I considered using it and the driveline (shortened) as the basis for a trike... never did though. Thanks for your input... I would prefer as close to a factory ride as possible since this is my wifes baby. I ususlly order from autohauz though I've drove up to Bavarian autosport when I want something in a hurry.
    Chuck
    • Member

    bcweir

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    In that case, a DIY rear shock change should be no problem for you

    That and the rear shock swap puts you as far from the engine compartment as possible, another plus.

    How are your springs doing? Rear bushings and rubber suspension mounts?

    cwbiii guest

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    I haven't stuck my head up under there yet as it has been raining and I have to do my wrenching in the driveway... I certainly will before I order anything. I also want to take a close look as the mounts since there is quite a bit of rattling going on and I fear things could be loose enough to have caused damage.
    Thanks again...
    Chuck

    bimmertech guest

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    Rear shocks on a 330 are about as easy as they come. The most difficult part is removing the luggage compartment trim (still not hard). I would definitely recommend replacing the upper mounts while you have them out. They're known to wear and rattle as it is, and they're not too expensive.
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    John in VA

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    Not to hijack the thread, but I believe there are upgraded upper shock mounts that extend longevity. Are the E46 convertible parts still the way to go, or do E90 parts fit and are they possibly beefier?
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    johnh

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    E90 parts are different. E46 convertible reportedly beefier. Rogue engineering has an interesting option that allows subsequent shock replacement without removing the trunk trim.
    I would never go to the trouble of replacing the rear shocks without replacing the mounts.
    • Member

    327350

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    I have Meyle upper shock mounts - HD

    They are great; reinforced beyond the level of the stock ones and don't forget to get the reinforcement plate for the upper part - it helps shore up the thin metal that the mount attaches to. I also have Meyle HD solid rubber lower control arm bushings up front and they show zero deflection at 10k miles - happy with them as well. I sourced all these from bavauto.com.

    My current shocks are Koni FSD's; they have almost 60k miles on them and they are still hanging in there. If they ever do give it up, I think I'll try Bilstein sport shocks or the Heavy Duty ones. The only thing is, the car drives so nicely with the FSD's, I'd hate to put the Bilsteins on and then regret it. I hate it when I'm thinking "on the other hand" ....

    Always a conundrum with these things.

    Cheers!

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