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'98 E36 323is Coil Spring Broken!

Discussion in 'E36 (1992-1999)' started by DRP, Jun 26, 2009.

    DRP guest

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    So I have been hearing a metallic rattle on my recently purchased 37,000-mile 323is coupe and I finally tracked it down to the rear right wheel area. So I take off the wheel and I find the bottom end of the coil spring in two pieces... and there is only a 1" contact area on which the spring rests! Apparently I bought the car like this because the pieces are rusted over the sheared faces. I can't believe I have put about 1,500 miles on the car without noticing it. The car doesn't lean or handle strangely in any way. The only indication was the sound of the small pieces rattling around between the inside of the coil and the plate. Has anyone else had this problem? How does this happen? Obviously this is being taken care of right away, but it just seems really strange to me. Any info would be appreciated.

    gmufiji guest

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    Broken Coil Spring

    I had the same thing happen to my 98 328ic with 132K miles. I was washing the car last fall and I heard this PING! At first I thought it was the convertible top mechanism. I have heard it is a very common problem, the paint on the springs isn't very good and causes the failure. I was lucky enough to get a free set of springs from another club member and I switched the broken one out.

    I replaced the shocks and struts a few years ago and now I really regret not replacing the springs at the same time. The stock springs are not cheap. I think they are around $500 for the rear at the dealer. BavAuto has a full set of lowering springs for less than half if I recall.

    Good luck!!!

    NJHaupt guest

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    Does the rattling sound like two thin pieces of metal tapping against eachother?
    If so, I might have the same problem with my 1999 323is. I can only hear it when my window is down and my rear wheels go over a bump.
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    mooseheadm5

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    This happens all the time. They start to shear before they snap completely and they rust quickly. Just replace the springs and continue driving. There is nothing that can be done to prevent it happening.

    DRP guest

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    I would certainly take the wheels off and take a look at the spring where it rests against the bottom plate. From what everyone is saying it seems to be a common problem.

    I am lucky because I bought the car from a guy who has a dealer's license and he gave me 90 days warranty. So he is replacing both rear springs for free since I've only had the car for a little over a month.

    DRP guest

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    Should I be worried about the front pair as well?
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    CRKrieger

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    Front springs tend to be much thicker and more robust than the rears. I've seen several broken rear springs, but never any broken front ones.

    DRP guest

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    Happy to report that both rear springs have been replaced free of charge with OEM parts from the local BMW dealership.

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