How to replace a front shock strut on BMW 3 (E46) [TUTORIAL AUTODOC]
How to replace a front shock strut on BMW 3 (E46) [TUTORIAL AUTODOC]


Required tools:
Wire brush
WD-40 spray
Copper grease Combination spanner #17
Combination spanner #19
Drive socket # 13
Drive socket # 21 Drive socket # 22
HEX bit No.H7.
Shock absorber socket
Wheel impact socket #17 Ratchet wrench
Torque wrench
Tap wrench
Crow bar Hydraulic strut spring compressor
Hydraulic transmission jack
Wheel chock 1. Raise the front of the car and secure on supports. 2. Unscrew the wheel bolts.
Use wheel impact socket #17. AUTODOC recommends:
To avoid injury, hold up the wheel when unscrewing the bolts. 3. Clean the fasteners connecting the stabiliser link to the shock strut, and those connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a wire brush.
Use WD-40 spray. 4. Unscrew the nut and remove the stabilizer rod from the shock strut.
Use HEX No.H7. Use a combination spanner #17.
Use a ratchet wrench. 5. Unscrew the ball joint fastening to the steering knuckle. Use a combination spanner #19. 6. Unscrew the lower fastener connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a drive socket #21.
Use a tap wrench. 7. Disconnect the wiring and the brake hose from the bracket on the shock strut. 8. Release the lower fastener connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a special drive socket to remove the shock absorber. 9. Prop up the steering knuckle.
Use a hydraulic transmission jack. 10. Disconnect the lower arm from the steering knuckle. 11. Lower the hydraulic transmission jack by 10-15 cm. AUTODOC recommends:
Lower the hydraulic transmission jack smoothly, without jerks, to avoid damaging assemblies and mechanisms. 12. Disconnect the steering knuckle from the shock absorber strut. 13. Unscrew the shock absorber mount fastening.
Use a drive socket #13. Use a ratchet wrench. 14. Unscrew the upper fasteners of the shock strut. AUTODOC recommends:
To avoid injuries, hold the shock strut when undoing the fastening bolts. 15. Remove the suspension strut. 16. Set the shock absorber strut on the spring compressor tool. AUTODOC recommends:
Note that when using a spring compressor, spring coils need to be securely gripped, compressing the spring on the opposite sides. Ensure the correct position of the spring in the retainer.
Make sure that the spring coils tightly entered the lock handles. 17. Compress the spring. 18. Remove the shock strut mount cap.
Use a crowbar. 19. Remove the strut piston rod nut.
Use a drive socket #22.
Use HEX No.H7. 20. Remove the top strut mount. 21. Release the coil spring. 22. Remove the spring. 23. Remove the shock absorber dust cap and the bump stop. 24. Remove the old shock absorber from the hydraulic coil spring compressor. AUTODOC recommends:
Τhoroughly examine the shock absorber mount, dust boot, bump stop. Replace them if necessary. Before installing a new shock absorber you should pump it manually 3-5 times. 25. Install the new shock absorber on the hydraulic coil spring compressor. 26. Install the spring on the shock absorber. 27. Install the dust sleeve and the bump stop on the new shock absorber. 28. Compress the spring. 29. Install the upper strut mount and the strut mount bearing. Use a crowbar. 30. Treat the fasteners of the shock strut mount.
Use WD-40 spray. 31. Tighten the shock strut piston rod nut.
Use a drive socket #22.
Use HEX No.H7. Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 60 Nm torque. AUTODOC recommends:
Check to make sure the spring is positioned correctly. Avoid its misalignment. 32. Decompress the spring. 33. Install the shock strut mount cap. 34. Remove the assembled shock strut. 35. Install the shock strut into the wheel arch. 36. Secure the upper fasteners of the shock strut. Use a drive socket #13. Do not tighten it. 37. Treat the shock strut mounting seat on the steering knuckle. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray. 38. Fix the shock absorber strut on the steering knuckle. 39. Install and tighten a new bolt of the steering knuckle. 40. Connect the lower arm to the steering knuckle. 41. Remove the support from under the steering knuckle. AUTODOC recommends:
Lower the hydraulic transmission jack smoothly, without jerks, to avoid damaging assemblies and mechanisms. 42. Support the arm.
Use a hydraulic transmission jack. 43. Screw the fastener connecting the ball joint to the steering knuckle. Use a combination spanner #19. 44. Tighten the lower fasteners connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a drive socket #21.
Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 80 Nm torque. 45. Fasten the brake hose on the strut.
Connect the fastener of the ABS sensor cable to the shock absorber strut. 46. Remove the support from under the arm. AUTODOC recommends:
Lower the hydraulic transmission jack smoothly, without jerks, to avoid damaging assemblies and mechanisms. 47. Secure the stabilizer link on the suspension strut.
Use HEX No.H7. Use a combination spanner #17.
Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 45 Nm torque. 48. Tighten the ball joint fastener.
Use a combination spanner #19. Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 65 Nm torque. 49. Treat all joints of the arm.
Treat the shock strut fasteners.
Use copper grease. 50. Clean the wheel rim mounting seat.
Use a wire brush. Treat the contacting surface.
Use copper grease. 51. Screw in the wheel bolts.
Use wheel impact socket #17. AUTODOC recommends:
To avoid injury, hold up the wheel when screwing in the fastening bolts. 52. Tighten the upper fasteners of the shock strut.
Use a drive socket #13. Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 50 Nm torque. 53. Lower the car and working in a cross order, tighten the wheel bolts. Use a torque wrench.
Tighten it to 120 Nm torque.

5 thoughts on “How to replace a front shock strut on BMW 3 (E46) [TUTORIAL AUTODOC]”

  1. Алексей A. says:

    Good 👍👍👍

  2. Lane Hogger says:

    Oh man! There is a lot of worn out parts on this BMW 😆

  3. autodoc.co.uk says:

    Have a look at other videos on our channel:

    🔸 BMW 3 E46 car repair tutorial — https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLWep5LzT0sxlrZzJ2LwR3ZRbK2is26dj9

    🔸 How to replace a front brake caliper on BMW 3 E4 —
    https://youtu.be/cx8tjBPawc4

    🔸 How to replace Engine Oil and Oil filter on BMW 3 E46 —
    https://youtu.be/ubY7xalxZaA

    🔸 How to replace rear brake pads on BMW 3 E46 —
    https://youtu.be/dGQxA9QiKN0

    🔸 How to replace fuel filter on BMW 3 E46 — https://youtu.be/YSxSpn5OOlg

  4. neb 100176 says:

    Torque spec on stabilizer bar link to strut is 65Nm not 45Nm?

  5. token R. says:

    awesome amazing video always in depth

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