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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for some advice and tips related to the front struts on BMW E83 X3. I replaced the rear shocks, which were completely dead (the piston rod fell right into the shock). The rear was relatively easy, however the front struts are more intimidating.

My biggest concern is removing the strut from the vehicle. BMW says the tie rod should be removed, but the severity of rust will make this impossible (live in rust belt). I am also worried that if there is too much suspension motion the half-axle will pop out of the differential. BMW TIS mentions something about this, but it is lost in translation.

Also, the upper strut nut seems challenging to counterhold. I tried 2 different spark plug sockets (mentioned on other BMW forums), but they did not fit.

Has anyone removed the front struts from an X3? I would greatly appreciate insight into this procedure.

Thanks,
DAF24
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
SwampX3,

Thanks for the videos. It seems that every video only has non-X vehicles. I am a bit worried the AWD may limit the angle of the hub, and if I cannot disconnect the tie rod I may not be able to remove the strut.

I'll have to go try the spark plug sockets again, but I couldn't get it to fit earlier.

-DAF24
 

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FEST post 14 and 21 plus 22 for diy text etc for x drive struts

nice pics and text in this FEST link

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=606865

pay special attention ....

-Try to move the strut by wiggling it from side to side. If it wigggles well and good spray a litle more penetrating oil. Remember to place rags under the base of the strut to prevent spraying oil all over your suspension.
-Take a neoprene hammer and hammer at the strut sprint base plate. The strut will start moving towards the top. Gently lower the suspension to the max. Keep an eye on the drive shaft boot since you dont want to tear it when the axle will slightly pop out. Support with jack as shown in picture.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Your link was most helpful. It appears the tie rod can be left attached to the hub. A little nervous about the axle popping out though! How will I know it is properly seated?

I went outside and measured the upper strut nut, which is a 21 mm. A 7/8 spark plug socket would likely fit this, however, I only have a 5/8in and 3/4in spark plug socket currently.

I will look into Xdrive wheel bearings soon for more information. Thanks!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am considering sending it somewhere. I have been avoiding all shops since my last experience... My 'trusted' mechanic (of many years) caused almost $3,500 in damages to my vehicle and didn't bother to tell me until the bill. I needed new half-axles, new control arms, and 2 alignments. The real slap in the face was that I returned twice to correct my alignment, which was majorly off. I ended up giving up, and my steering wheel is still majorly crooked from the ordeal. Still a little scared of letting anyone touch my car after that incident
 

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Tie rods are wear items and aren't bad to remove, lived in rust belt most of my life.

Start hitting it with good penetrating oil ( not WD40) a week before you work on it.
Buy a new end and use a pickle fork ( always works) or use a pitman device to put pressure on the end, the tap the tie rod end housing to spring it free.

Worst case, drive to a close by independent, have it popped out and then just lightly torqued back ...this works if you are a few blocks away, no highway driving.

Good luck!
 
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