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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Suspension | Chassis | Brakes > F32 Strut question.
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      10-06-2019, 06:32 PM   #1
dkeruza
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F32 Strut question.

Hi all, My first post here.
I got a 2014 F32 with 40k miles and have a question.
When I got the car, I noticed the car was pulling a little bit to the right, so I contacted the dealer where I got the car from and they said to take the car to get it aligned and that they will cover the cost.

So I did take it to my local BMW dealer. They performed the alignment and said that they could not correct the camber on my Front Right wheel because the strut is bent and they gave me a quote of $2100 to replace the Strut and re align the car.
I thought that it was too expensive so I started researching.

My car has adaptive suspension (S2VFA) so the struts are more expensive.

In FCPEuro website, the replacement strut cost $687.13

My question is, FCPEuro also carries the Bilstein B6 as a replacement.

I figured that if I replace it with the OEM one, I could, but can I replace the just the right one with a Bilstein B6?

Also, how hard is to remove the Strut? do I have to remove all the suspension and brake components to be able to remove the strut?

Thanks!!!!
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      10-07-2019, 06:58 PM   #2
psyki
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I thought I was you for a moment when I was reading this. I too bought a 2014 F32 with about 27k miles on it, pulled oh so slightly to the right and after investigation found that the right strut was bent. Shop estimate was about the same so I took it upon myself to do the work, I actually bought a set of low mileage adaptive struts/springs from another member here for $300. I ended up replacing the strut, knuckle, bearing, and control arms just in case, threw on Eibach lowering springs while I was at it.

It's pretty straightforward to replace the front strut, AWD makes it a bit more difficult but very doable.
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      10-07-2019, 07:29 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeruza View Post
I figured that if I replace it with the OEM one, I could, but can I replace the just the right one with a Bilstein B6?

Also, how hard is to remove the Strut? do I have to remove all the suspension and brake components to be able to remove the strut?

Thanks!!!!
Don't replace just one side. The B6 isn't going to have the same response as the OE strut so the dampening on that side will be different from the other.

If you haven't taken apart any suspension before the struts can be difficult. It comes down to having the right tools for the job (like pass through sockets and spring compressors). Trying to figure things out and make tools that it wasn't designed for work can complicate things.
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      10-07-2019, 10:49 PM   #4
dkeruza
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Quote:
Originally Posted by psyki View Post
I thought I was you for a moment when I was reading this. I too bought a 2014 F32 with about 27k miles on it, pulled oh so slightly to the right and after investigation found that the right strut was bent. Shop estimate was about the same so I took it upon myself to do the work, I actually bought a set of low mileage adaptive struts/springs from another member here for $300. I ended up replacing the strut, knuckle, bearing, and control arms just in case, threw on Eibach lowering springs while I was at it.

It's pretty straightforward to replace the front strut, AWD makes it a bit more difficult but very doable.
Nice that you found the struts for $300.
I was also thinking of throwing Lowering springs.
Did you lower just the front or you installed the springs on the back also?
How the OEM struts handle the lowering springs?
Other than the strut/spring assembly from the knuckle and the the car, do you have to remove any other suspension component to be able to get the strut out of the car?


Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Don't replace just one side. The B6 isn't going to have the same response as the OE strut so the dampening on that side will be different from the other.

If you haven't taken apart any suspension before the struts can be difficult. It comes down to having the right tools for the job (like pass through sockets and spring compressors). Trying to figure things out and make tools that it wasn't designed for work can complicate things.

I did take apart part of the suspension and also replaced struts/springs but that was Loooooonnnngggg time ago.
Can you give me a hint on what tools I might be needing?
I know I need a spring compression tool which I might buy if from amazon or rent it from autozone.
I know I also need a housing spreader.

If I put the Bilstein B6s on the front, can I leave the OEM ones on the back?

Thanks!!!
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      10-08-2019, 12:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeruza View Post
Nice that you found the struts for $300.
I was also thinking of throwing Lowering springs.
Did you lower just the front or you installed the springs on the back also?
How the OEM struts handle the lowering springs?
Other than the strut/spring assembly from the knuckle and the the car, do you have to remove any other suspension component to be able to get the strut out of the car?
I installed the Eibach pro-kit on all 4 corners but only replaced the one bent strut. Since the used struts I purchased had similar miles I figured I didn't need to replace the other front strut. I have adaptive suspension (EDC) and understand that the Eibach springs don't overly compress the shocks. I also installed shorter bumpstops, the same as the Dinan set but I bought them individually for a fraction of the price.

No other parts have to come out but in addition to the spring compressor you'll need at least a passthrough socket set to remove the bolt from the top of the front struts. In the rear you need to drop the wishbone in order to get the spring out, an impact wrench helped here as the mofos are ON there. You should use new fasteners wherever you've taken something off and of course you'll need an alignment afterwards.


Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeruza View Post
If I put the Bilstein B6s on the front, can I leave the OEM ones on the back?
Thanks!!!
I strongly recommend you install fronts and backs together, you always want the components to be mated despite the fact that the B6's claim to have similar handling to stock.
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      10-08-2019, 01:19 AM   #6
FaRKle!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dkeruza View Post
I did take apart part of the suspension and also replaced struts/springs but that was Loooooonnnngggg time ago.
Can you give me a hint on what tools I might be needing?
I know I need a spring compression tool which I might buy if from amazon or rent it from autozone.
I know I also need a housing spreader.

If I put the Bilstein B6s on the front, can I leave the OEM ones on the back?

Thanks!!!
You'll want deep pass through sockets and associated torx/hex for the top mount nuts and end links on the strut. You need strong and well shaped ones because cheap weak ones will strip more quickly. You might also need crows feet wrenches for your torque wrench to torque the pass-through sockets. I'd also get some penetrating oil to spray around the strut/knuckle interface so the strut comes out easier.

I don't think mixing B6 front and OE rear is such a great idea. Having very different damping F:R will probably feel weird and make the car feel like it has two distinct halves vs a unified body.
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      10-08-2019, 01:34 AM   #7
psyki
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
You'll want deep pass through sockets and associated torx/hex for the top mount nuts and end links on the strut. You need strong and well shaped ones because cheap weak ones will strip more quickly. You might also need crows feet wrenches for your torque wrench to torque the pass-through sockets. I'd also get some penetrating oil to spray around the strut/knuckle interface so the strut comes out easier.
I bought a spreader bit for my socket wrench, strut slid right out of the knuckle.
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