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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
Talk about the E83 BMW X3 in this forum!

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  #26  
Old 03-16-2012, 06:19 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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Mein Auto: 2005 e83 x3
Removing rear springs on the x3 is a pita...
I got mine out by using a long crowbar about a meter and a half in length and was able to find a place to put the end of the crowbar on the subframe and push some leverage onto the upper wishbone by standing on the other end of the crowbar. My friend then was able to pull the spring out. You must detach the lower wishbone from the trailing arm to allow enough movement of the upper wishbone. Very ghetto and dangerous way of doing this the crowbar actually slipped off onetime trapping my friends hands under the spring for a few seconds until I frantically was able to releaser them. No physical injuries just scared for life mentally speaking. So if you use this technique don't put your fingers under the spring... Put the new springs in the same way.
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  #27  
Old 03-16-2012, 08:07 PM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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So good news. I was able to get the rear spring out solo The process is to use a long crowbar and move the spring from the bottom towards the rotor. Once its close to the edge of the spring well apply a twisting motion on the spring such that it turns a shown in the pics that I will be attaching soon. Now to get the rear shock out from the inside..

Last edited by X3mech; 03-16-2012 at 10:13 PM.
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  #28  
Old 03-16-2012, 09:57 PM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Here are the firt pics ever on the internet of the X3 rear spring removal!
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  #29  
Old 03-16-2012, 10:00 PM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Goodbye Oem shocks/springs
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  #30  
Old 03-17-2012, 12:24 AM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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There you go that is exactly what we did only with the help of a friend. Im glad you were able to do it by yourself. You should really enjoy it I did my a year ago and I love the sportiness and handling that came along with this mod!
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  #31  
Old 03-17-2012, 03:26 AM
PSUEng PSUEng is offline
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Thanks for the pics on the rear spring install. Was it difficult to get the new ones in? I'm guessing not as they are a bit shorter in overall height.
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  #32  
Old 03-17-2012, 07:57 AM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer's Garage View Post
Removing rear springs on the x3 is a pita...
I got mine out by using a long crowbar about a meter and a half in length and was able to find a place to put the end of the crowbar on the subframe and push some leverage onto the upper wishbone by standing on the other end of the crowbar. My friend then was able to pull the spring out. You must detach the lower wishbone from the trailing arm to allow enough movement of the upper wishbone. Very ghetto and dangerous way of doing this the crowbar actually slipped off onetime trapping my friends hands under the spring for a few seconds until I frantically was able to releaser them. No physical injuries just scared for life mentally speaking. So if you use this technique don't put your fingers under the spring... Put the new springs in the same way.
I agree. The key was the angle of the spring for removal. Any other angle and it does not budge and requires a significant amount of force on the crow bar.

Last edited by X3mech; 03-17-2012 at 08:19 AM.
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  #33  
Old 03-17-2012, 08:18 AM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Okay so now for some detailed instructions for rear spring removal
-Break rear wheel lug nuts on the ground
-Jack the car under the rear swing am and place the jack stand under the side jacking point as shown in the pic. You can jack both sides up for convenience. Don't panic if the front wheel also rises when jacking up the rear. Its normal.
-Remove rear wheels
-Jack rear suspension up until shock compresses
-Release the shock nut carefully with 18mm socket or a 18 mm spanner with a neoprene mallet on the exhaust side
-Take a crowbar and wedge at the bottom of the spring. Remember the key here is not applying a lot of force and trying to compress the coil spring but to attempt to tilt the top of the spring on its axis to release it inside the hat as well as move the bottom of the spring out as shown in the pics.
-Remember there is no need to take your hand anywhere close to that spring and it can be removed by using the crowbar. You will need all your fingers to enjoy the ride.
-Move the spring bottom towards the edge of the spring mount as shown in the pics. At this point attempt to tilt the spring in a upward tilt motion with the crowbar flat end. At this point the spring will release.
-Clean the base of the sprint mount
-install the upper rubber pad as shown in the pics in the spring mount
-Install the lower spring pad to the spring
-push down on the rotor hat with one leg and partially place the new spring in position upper part in.
-Now take care that you don't grab the spring with fingers in between coils. push the spring in until top locks in place and if the bottom cannot be moved by hand use the crowbar with baby force to not damage the bottom rubber pad.
-Once the new spring is in place, jack the suspension up to compress spring until bottom rubber pad seat in place.
-Now stand back and admire your new springs

Last edited by X3mech; 03-17-2012 at 08:21 AM.
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  #34  
Old 03-18-2012, 10:38 AM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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I have managed to replace the rear shocks. Pics will be coming soon. The rear shocks were completely shot. Looks like the entire suspension was running on springs and the right front strut. That explains all the hopping. Wheel alignment happens after a couple of miles since the springs will need to settle in.
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  #35  
Old 03-18-2012, 11:47 AM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Pics as promised. Instructions will follow soon
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  #36  
Old 03-19-2012, 02:46 PM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Alignment happens over the weekend at Firestone which has the equipment to align BMW. They will not use weights but i don't think that matters since the car is not pulling in any direction and the steering is dead on straight!
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  #37  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:24 PM
ioannis214 ioannis214 is offline
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Just a reminder... Alligning the car is not done with weights. Weights are used for wheel balancing so that the car doesn't vibrate while driving.

Also, despite the fact that you car might drive straight, allignment is still recommended after a suspension tweek, because your steering wheel might be pointing straight and the car dive straight ahead, but each one ofnthe wheels might be pointing in different direction, also there is camber and caster that need to be checked. If those are not within limits then you are lookng at uneven tyre wear over the next thousand of miles you'll be driving and by the time younrealise it, you'll probably have wrecked a tyre or two. Better safe than sorry!
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  #38  
Old 03-19-2012, 10:52 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ioannis214 View Post
Just a reminder... Alligning the car is not done with weights. Weights are used for wheel balancing so that the car doesn't vibrate while driving.
This is actually not true, placing weights inside a vehicle before aligning its suspension is the best way to get a perfect alignment. Your car is never driven without a driver in the car who could weigh on average 150-200lbs. That is extra weight on one side of the vehicle actually changing the suspension geometry. It won't completely ruin the car without using weights since barely any consumer alignment shops do now a day but I always ask if it can be done because BMW aligns all their cars with weights off the line plus all performance racing teams do as well, its the best way to go but a lot of companies will not do since it takes time to place weights in a car along with extra training. You could however bring a sand bag or something similar that weights as much as the person driving it normally and leave it on the front seat as to replicate your own weight.

So really its not necessary but if you want the most precise and accurate alignment use weights.
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  #39  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:11 PM
X3mech X3mech is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmer's Garage View Post
This is actually not true, placing weights inside a vehicle before aligning its suspension is the best way to get a perfect alignment. Your car is never driven without a driver in the car who could weigh on average 150-200lbs. That is extra weight on one side of the vehicle actually changing the suspension geometry. It won't completely ruin the car without using weights since barely any consumer alignment shops do now a day but I always ask if it can be done because BMW aligns all their cars with weights off the line plus all performance racing teams do as well, its the best way to go but a lot of companies will not do since it takes time to place weights in a car along with extra training. You could however bring a sand bag or something similar that weights as much as the person driving it normally and leave it on the front seat as to replicate your own weight.

So really its not necessary but if you want the most precise and accurate alignment use weights.
On Second thought that might not be a bad idea. I am plan to place 45/45 on the rear seats and 50/50 on the front seat. But i drive without passengers 95% of the time so wonder how that would play out.
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  #40  
Old 03-20-2012, 02:12 PM
ioannis214 ioannis214 is offline
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I was referring to weight balances for the wheels, not extra weight for the allignment...
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  #41  
Old 03-20-2012, 03:53 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ioannis214 View Post
I was referring to weight balances for the wheels, not extra weight for the allignment...
You use weight balances on wheels when you spin balance the tires, not during a front end alignment.
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  #42  
Old 03-20-2012, 05:13 PM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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Didn't someone post a shopping list of suspension parts they recommended to replace before?
Could have sworn it included some recommended bushings to replace as well?
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  #43  
Old 03-20-2012, 05:39 PM
shendrick shendrick is offline
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X3mech and Bimmer's Garage - you guys rock. Great DIY on a topic that all of us will face after 75K+ miles. Let us know how the new springs and shocks compare to new OEM if you can - since many of your OEM shocks had already failed.
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  #44  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:44 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by x3brian View Post
You use weight balances on wheels when you spin balance the tires, not during a front end alignment.
To correctly balance a car you are suppose to put weight on the seat that the drivers sits on since the extra 200 or so pounds of the driver changes the cars weight distribution and in turn changing the suspension geometry. Engineers have been doing it for years when aligning any track car. Doing this will get you the most accurate alignment possible. Is it necessary on your x3? no but Im a bit picky when it comes to my vehicles so I make them add weight or add weight myself.
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  #45  
Old 03-20-2012, 08:47 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shendrick View Post
X3mech and Bimmer's Garage - you guys rock. Great DIY on a topic that all of us will face after 75K+ miles. Let us know how the new springs and shocks compare to new OEM if you can - since many of your OEM shocks had already failed.
Thanks. I've had H&R sport springs and Bilstein shocks on my car for over a year and a half. Best mod I've done to the x3. Well worth the money and really changes how the car drives.
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  #46  
Old 03-20-2012, 09:24 PM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wongway View Post
Didn't someone post a shopping list of suspension parts they recommended to replace before?
Could have sworn it included some recommended bushings to replace as well?
Its good practice to replace all the bushings when replacing OEM suspension components. If the rubber boots are torn on any of the ball joints replace those as well because dirt and water from the road will get inside the ball joint and cause wear eventually causing the part to fail.

Heres the bushings and part numbers for the front suspension (This is only for one side! Purchase 2 of each when replacing the full front suspension)
Lower control arm bushing: 31 12 1 124 622
Upper control arm bushing: Set 31 12 0 307 882 (This part number contains two bushings)
BE AWARE: Both the lower and upper control arm bushings need pressed into the Control arm so unless you have a torch and multiple ton bearing press or know of a shop that will press the bearings for you it will be easier *Not Cheaper* to order the whole control arm left and right with the bushings pre-pressed. They run about $100.)
Upper control arm LEFT: 31 10 3 443 127
Upper control arm RIGHT: 31 10 3 443 128
Lower control arm LEFT: 31 10 3 451 881
Lower control arm RIGHT: 31 10 3 451 882

Heres the bushings and part numbers for the rear suspension (This is only for one side! Purchase 2 of each when replacing the full rear suspension)
Trailing Arm to Control Arm bushing: 33 32 6 771 828
Rear Trailing Arm Bushing: 33 32 6 770 786
Lower control arm to vehicle bushing: 33 32 6 770 824
Upper control arm to vehicle bushing: 33 32 1 092 247

There are also two sway bar bushings in the front: 31 30 3 404 065
I hope this helps!
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  #47  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:19 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3mech View Post
On Second thought that might not be a bad idea. I am plan to place 45/45 on the rear seats and 50/50 on the front seat. But i drive without passengers 95% of the time so wonder how that would play out.
Awesome write up! BTW, I believe the BMW weight is 150 pounds in each of the front seats, 150 in the center of the rear seat and 50 pounds in the rear hatch. Also, make sure the gas tank is full.
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  #48  
Old 03-21-2012, 07:32 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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BG! Thanks! I think that's almost exactly what someone posted prior!
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  #49  
Old 03-21-2012, 11:16 AM
Bimmer's Garage Bimmer's Garage is offline
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BG! Thanks! I think that's almost exactly what someone posted prior!
I didn't bother looking for it I just threw the list together from BMW ETK. Have fun
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  #50  
Old 03-21-2012, 05:28 PM
x3brian x3brian is offline
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Ops...we all will need to replace our shocks and struts eventually and this is an awesome write up can we make this a sticky??

Also can these bilstien shocks be used with stock springs? I don't care about ride height and am happy with the ride I have now but like the longer service life and warranty of the bilstien's.
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