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Driving on blown shocks/mounts

Discussion in 'E30 (1984-1993)' started by az3579, Feb 20, 2009.

    • Member

    az3579

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    Yesterday I hit a huge depression in the road that knocked something out in my rear right shock/mount assembly. I looked in the rear right wheel well and to my horror found something loose and travelling down the shock:

    (image is upside down-only way I could get a picture showing the "problem")
    [IMG]

    Here are some pics of the culprit:

    [IMG]

    [IMG]



    The ditch doesn't look very deep from the pictures, but the huge bang it made when it happened wasn't misleading in the slightest. My brother thinks that the shock is broken, I think it's just the shock mount.

    Thoughts? Would it be safe to drive the car for a few days in its current state? There is a clunking/rattling noise every time I go over even just an imperfection in the road... the shock mounts (cabrio mounts) and shocks are almost brand new, installed in October.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    Take a look or take a photo from the other side of the tire looking at the shock. The photo you provide doesn't show much.

    Here is the RealOEM diagram:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model=BB13&mospid=47326&btnr=33_0327&hg=33&fg=45

    For certain your plastic "Protection Tube" (Item #5 -- a $5 part) has fallen off of its mount. The "Stop Buffer" has been pushed up the shock shaft. Neither of these are indicative of big damage, and its unusual that hitting that bump would break much. I suspect its just your Protection Tube that is just rattling around and needs to be fixed. If it was missing in the first place, you should put one on.

    The good news is that removing/repairing/replacing the rear shock on an E30 is easy. Personally, I doubt its your sturdy new shock mount, but who knows. You'll need new nuts for the shock mount ($0.35 each) since they are single use nuts if you take things competely apart.

    Bentley does a great job describing how to do this all.
    • Member

    Elkoholic

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    Have it checked out ASAP, Botond...I just had my shocks replaced to pass inspection two weeks ago, and upon picking the car up, I heard a "thud" or "whunk" coming from the front right wheel every time I went over even the slightest road imperfection. I took it back to the shop, and they called me 45 minutes later telling me that as soon as they put the car on the lift, the front right wheel started drooping and suspension components started falling out!!! :eek: Defective parts...with a side order of negligence. Sheesh. She's all fixed up and ready to go now, though! :)
    • Member

    az3579

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    Well now I'm sitting here at my local shop right across the street and am waiting for some of the mechanics to arrive. Hopefully they'll be able to sort it out this morning. It didn't sound too good though as I was pulling up their driveway. On the slight angle, and the fact that I was turning in on a sharp right, it sounded as though the rear shock was moving around in the mount. Damn!

    EDIT: Looks like I won't be suing the city after all. It's just a mount, not worth my time to sue over.
    • Member

    granthr

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    +1 I agree with Brian in that it looks like the black protection tube is missing. Get these put on if you don't have them on both sides. They keep all the crude bouncing around your wheel well from damaging the shock shaft. So they are quite important and probably cheap, although I have never bought them, they last forever.

    This is the sort of thing you can do in your driveway, even with the car on its wheels. Although with the car on it's wheels the job will be a pain. The shock is easy to remove. Remove the bottom bolt and then the two nuts that hold the mount to the body. It should come right out. Don't try to separate the shock from the top mount with it in the car if you are doing this in your driveway with the car on it's wheels.

    Once out you will quickly see if there is any damage. Hope it is nothing serious and good luck. Can't wait till spring when they start filling these holes in! :D
    • Member

    az3579

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    It's fixed. They were pretty quick about it too.
    • Member

    granthr

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    What was wrong/broken?
    • Member

    az3579

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    Told you already; shock mount.
    One thing's for sure though; from now on, I don't give a damn how many people are behind me, I am going to slow to a snail's pace if I have to go over a pothole, because I'm not going through that again.
    • Member

    granthr

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    I know, but that was before it was looked at closer. :) Glad to hear you got if fixed. :D Yea, it is not worth broken suspension parts. Let them beep at you all they want!
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    mrl325i

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    Have you replaced the rear shocks on your convertible? If so, any tips?
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    • Technical Service Advisor

    mooseheadm5

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    It is really really easy on a convertible. Open the lid for the top (open the top partway so it sits with the back part up.) The two bolts for the upper mounts are right there. The bottom is held on by one large bolt. It can be done without jacking up the car if you like, but it does help.
    • Member

    Brian A

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    Not much to add except maybe that Bilstein HDs really improved the ride of the car (I've got them in all 4 corners). I'm not sure if the convertible has shock mount reinforcement issues (I've had my Bilsteins a loong time). If they do, you should consider also installing the Z3 reinforcement plates. (I believe) the convertible shock mounts ARE the upgraded ones sedan and coupe users substitute.
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    And use a torque wrench to tighten the trailing-arm mounting bolt to spec. If you don't, you might very well overtighten it and snap it - you can surmise how I know! :rolleyes:

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