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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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Old 03-22-2009, 05:13 PM
xpcgamer's Avatar
xpcgamer xpcgamer is offline
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Location: Pembroke Pines
Join Date: Aug 2004
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Touring liftgate shocks DIY

Ok. After getting nailed by my rear hatch the other day I decided to change the struts. I will try to explaing this with out pics as it has been raining and I had to do this under a tarp!

There are four struts. 2 smaller ones for the glass. 2 larger ones for the rear hatch.
1. Remove the rear back covers by pushing the black buttons on top. 1 for the subwoofer cover the other for the CD changer and Nav.
2. Remove the rear pillars(they are 2 screws and 3 snaps. I did not take them out completely so the bottoms where left in).
3. Pull back weather stripping on the hatch.
4. Remove the plastic that covers the back upper panel of the hatch(be careful as this has 4 snap connectors holding it in place).
5. Remove the cover of the hinges. 8 torx screw total.
6. Lower back part of headliner.
7. You will see 2 hex large hex screws by the rear speakers. Remove the 2 screws(one per shock) until you hear and feal the screw "pop" out of the shock end.
8. Now repeat on the other side.
9. Remove the circlips and shafts holding the shocks in place(by now you should have a large stick to hold up the hatch).
10. Pull out the old shocks and toss them into a Volcano while doing a dance!
11. Here comes the fun part! Reinstall the 4 large hex screws.
12. You will need a large flat head screwdriver. Starting with the small shock stick your hand in the small opening and fiddle with the shock until you set the open end one the ball end of the hex screw. It may take some finess but the small shock is small enough that you can lift it with your fingers. Once you feel the end fit on the ball(You will feel it by the shock not moving when you tug lightly. Do it lightly or you will pull it out of the ball and will have to start over).
13. Once you have it seated take the large flat head screw driver and pry it down. You will feel it snap in.
14. Repeat on the other side.
15. On the large shocks you will do the same but will need to lift the heavy shock with the flat head. You will need to push the cables to a side and place the flathead under neath it. Lifting it with the flathead do the same by placing in on the ball end and tugging lightly. When on push down with the flathead till it snaps in.
16. Repeat on the other side.
17. Put everything back in reverse.

Use a small powerfuls flashlight to light up the inside of the space. Another person would be great!
Also when you get one of the larger shocks in DO NOT attach it to the hatch as you still need to "over open" the hatch to pry the other shock into place to attach the clips.

With a lot of light and a little finess you can get it done. Hope this helps. Just PM me if you gave any questions.

Last edited by xpcgamer; 03-23-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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