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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #1  
Old 03-02-2011, 06:22 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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DIY: Trunk Strut Replacement

The replacement for Trunk Struts in most cars is a straightforward business.
I did not realize how bad my Trunk Struts were until I replaced them!

BEFORE: Trunk would sometimes drop down while I unload grocery!
AFTER: When you open the trunk, it shoots straight up like a rocket (sort of) LOL!

PN for Trunk Strut is 51248222913, about $26-29 online for Stabilus brand:

http://www.eactuning.com/parts/produ...ls/51248222913

1. Remove the C-clip, the trick is push the side of the C-Clip with a screwdriver while using a finger to counter the opposite side of the C-clip (to prevent it from rotating).
Do NOT lose the C-Clip!

2. Undo the UPPER attachment then swing the Trunk Strut inward to unseat it from the LOWER attachment.

3. The new Stabilus Struts already come with a bit of grease, so no need to apply more grease.

4. Installation is the reverse of the above, push the LOWER end in first. Then the UPPER end, then the C-clip.

This is easy like 1-2-3. A very gratifying 5 min fix.
Recommended for cars more than 10 years old.

Exact same procedure for many cars out there with Stabilus Struts (My 2007 Honda Odyssey uses Stabilus Struts as well).








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Last edited by cn90; 03-02-2011 at 06:25 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-02-2011, 06:32 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
The replacement for Trunk Struts
You know, it's rare nowadays for any thread to be new ... but I searched the bestlinks and I don't see "any" DIY for replacing the trunk struts.

Thanks.
PS: It's there now!

- How to replace your trunk shock absorber struts (1)
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  #3  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:45 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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I just realized that because I bought my E39 with 129K already on it, I have no idea what the trunk lid should feel like. What do they feel like with new struts?

I never really had any issues with it not staying up, but I always thought it might be a tad too heavy on the initial pull to raise it. I suppose in general, mine seems to have a rather neutral feel to it. It doesn't really spring into any particular position, but doesn't really fall shut either unless your almost there anyhow.

A brief, useless story on the struts on my Sienna van: Toyota issues a recall on the liftgate struts, saying the originals are prone to fail early and they consider it a safety issue, especially with power liftgates. I thought they seemed fine for the four years we had owned it, but took it in anyways for free "upgraded" struts. Now the replacement ones have failed after only 2 years.
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  #4  
Old 03-02-2011, 07:54 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Elwood,

Where have you been hiding, good to see you back on the forum!!!

BEFORE: It felt exactly like what you describe above. Kind of "droopy", sometimes it stays up and sometimes not. The nice thing about the E39 trunk lid is that: it is light compared with my 2007 Honda Odyssey van's tailgate!!! And BTW the Honda Odyssey also has those recalls for tailgate too.
And guess what those van struts are made by Stabilus as well!
The trouble with vans is that the tailgate is very very heavy. Without proper struts, it drops on your head while you unload grocery = not good!

In the E39, the trunk lid is relatively light so it takes a looong time for the bad strut to become a real problem!!
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  #5  
Old 03-02-2011, 08:06 PM
ElwoodBlues ElwoodBlues is offline
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CN90,

I've still been around occasionally, just lurking more than posting. Got busy with daily grind, so simply driving the car and not working on it. Only projects in the last few months were new floor mats and an oil change. Thinking about doing a front suspension overhaul in spring/summer.

May have to do the trunk struts. Sounds like mine are so-so but not completely gone.

Know what you mean on the van. I always figured the liftgates were fairly heavy and hard on struts. Problem gets worse when you add power liftgate, because as the gate starts to fall, it thinks you are trying to close it, and the power close takes over and pulls it the rest of the way. The safety sensing works well enough to not injure anyone, but it can get annoying pretty quickly.
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  #6  
Old 03-06-2011, 01:56 PM
dsharma12 dsharma12 is offline
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Trunk Strut Replacement

Thanks for the great instructions. It took my only 10 minutes to replace both Trunk Struts on my 1998 528i.
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  #7  
Old 03-08-2011, 09:05 AM
aioros aioros is offline
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I just changed mine this morning, but I couldn't get the trunk to close. For some reason the new shocks don't want to close all the way, any thoughts on that?
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  #8  
Old 03-08-2011, 09:22 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aioros View Post
I just changed mine this morning, but I couldn't get the trunk to close. For some reason the new shocks don't want to close all the way, any thoughts on that?
Look at the 1st pic very carefully. Note the trunk shock "eyelet" orientation!
In other words, the shock should be below the attachment point once the trunk is close.
You might have reversed it LOL.
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  #9  
Old 03-08-2011, 12:00 PM
aioros aioros is offline
aioros
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Look at the 1st pic very carefully. Note the trunk shock "eyelet" orientation!
In other words, the shock should be below the attachment point once the trunk is close.
You might have reversed it LOL.
Yeah you are right CN90, after looking at your pictures I think I may have put them reversed , I'll try again once I get back home
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  #10  
Old 03-08-2011, 07:36 PM
aioros aioros is offline
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Yes I had them reverse but I fixed that and now the trunk is firm what a difference!
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  #11  
Old 08-17-2012, 11:16 PM
vengeanceis vengeanceis is offline
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Mein Auto: E39 BMW 528i 2000
big dissapointment

well, i went and bought two *Uro* struts from autohausaz.com p/n 51248222913U for $13.76ea

http://www.autohausaz.com/search/ima...248222913U.jpg

this Uro stuff is complete sh**.. (sorry, crap). it does hold the trunk open, but that's about it.
if you try close the lid - when the lid comes to a close it's like a guillotine - keep you're hands out!
i am not even talking about "flip the lid open!" effecta when you press the trunk button on the remote - the lid barely moves up 1/8 an inch.

what's interesting,
my original struts (the car is a 12 y.o.) do much better job (in holding the lid before close). and is as good at holding the lid up open.


SO, long story short, I just swore loud, and PUT MY 12 YEAR OLD original struts BACK IN (scratched off some rust, sprayed some WD40 on the junctions)
I am going to send back these stupid Uro struts back to autohausaz, and tell them these aren't suitable for BMW, they should probably remove them from stock. don't buy them.


the other alternative (at autohausaz.com) is the Stabilus-Boge p/n 9283HM for $24.65
(is this what's everyone is getting?)

SO, WHAT is actually the expected "trunk opening experience"with the *new* struts?
(I wish I could travel back in time 12 years to try this on my 528...)
does the trunk lid actually "flips open by itself" when hatch is released? I don't believe it though...
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  #12  
Old 08-17-2012, 11:22 PM
vengeanceis vengeanceis is offline
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....and the bottom end - to release it you *slide* the metal spring down a bit (1/4") - this releases the lock. (so it's a bit different than the "twist inwards" method cn90 described).

the reverse - the installation - yes, it just snaps on. hopefully this is helpful...

cheers!
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  #13  
Old 08-18-2012, 12:37 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Stabilus only.
Uro....search google and you will find out.
Autohausaz should be smarter than that, reputable vendors usually don't sell Uro.
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  #14  
Old 08-22-2012, 09:53 AM
vengeanceis vengeanceis is offline
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so you didn't say, with Stabilus - does the trunk *actually* pop right open when you press the button??

does it still do so? (you did your replacement when, more than a year ago?)
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  #15  
Old 12-07-2012, 09:47 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Just for the record, if someone comes here looking for a DIY to replace the liftgate shock absorber struts, here is a thread on that, which was updated today:
-> E39 (1997 - 2003) > Touring liftgate shocks DIY
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Your job, in return, is to read the suggested threads, where the best people will always add value to those threads, either by pictures or by descriptions, so the next person with the same problem stands on your shoulders.
See also: E39 Bestlinks & How to easily find what you need
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  #16  
Old 04-25-2013, 04:29 PM
ErikJeanna ErikJeanna is offline
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Super easy process... took 9 min from start to finish. And that's AFTER realizing I installed them upside down and re-doing them the correct way! HAHAHA. Thanks for the write up.
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  #17  
Old 08-24-2013, 10:18 PM
cynth cynth is offline
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awesome thanks!
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  #18  
Old 08-25-2013, 04:30 AM
AH673000 AH673000 is offline
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DIY: Trunk Strut Replacement

Still a open question on this thread.... With the new shocks how does the trunk lid behave ? Does it open with little upward pressure? Does it close slowly without slamming? Does it rise on its own when unlocked with the remote?

I replaced mine with a local parts house brand and I do not see any difference from the 16 year old original ones and frankly I can not remember how they worked years ago when newer.


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  #19  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:19 AM
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dtadrian dtadrian is offline
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DIY: Trunk Strut Replacement

You sedan people are lucky. Tourings are not that easy.


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  #20  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:11 AM
Steve530 Steve530 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AH673000 View Post
Still a open question on this thread.... With the new shocks how does the trunk lid behave ? Does it open with little upward pressure? Does it close slowly without slamming? Does it rise on its own when unlocked with the remote?
I replaced the trunk struts earlier this year.

When the latch is released, the trunk lid raises just a bit. After lifting the lid a few inches, the lid will open fully by itself. When you close the lid, it does not slam shut.
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  #21  
Old 08-25-2013, 09:15 AM
bcain79 bcain79 is offline
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Good info in this thread, thanks for sharing.
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  #22  
Old 08-25-2013, 05:23 PM
EconoBox EconoBox is offline
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This is the type of part where aftermarket is probably just fine.
I have other cars with Ebay liftgate struts that work great.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...913+oem&sop=15
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  #23  
Old 08-26-2013, 10:20 AM
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540 M-Sport 540 M-Sport is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
This is the type of part where aftermarket is probably just fine.
I have other cars with Ebay liftgate struts that work great.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...913+oem&sop=15
Maybe, maybe not. I have had friends buy the aftermarket ones and have them fail after only a year or three. The factory Sachs ones go for 10+ years, at least on BMW. I only use oem Sachs on my cars...
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  #24  
Old 01-02-2014, 12:22 PM
jburnham jburnham is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EconoBox View Post
This is the type of part where aftermarket is probably just fine.
I have other cars with Ebay liftgate struts that work great.
http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw=...913+oem&sop=15


I just installed a set of these and they work fine. This is such an easy job that I'm willing to accept a possibly higher risk of failure for the huge price savings. It's great not having the trunk slam closed!
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