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That's a piece of one of the springs. I'd guess that came of one of your rear springs. Some E46s had a problem where the top part of the rear spring would crack and break off. I've never seen a case where the piece actually dislodged from the rear shock. I'd jack the car up and check both sides to make sure all the suspension is safely and properly attached before you drive the car anywhere.

Looks like you'll be getting that drop that all the XI owners go for.
 

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rear rotary girder.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
okay then....

So at the risk of looking like a noob (which I am)....

I'm looking at bavauto.com part #: SK E461 416

Is it recommended to replace shocks & springs (all four) at the same time?
 

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Pairs, at the very least. I'm not sure the rates on those springs, but you might be able to get away with stock struts/shocks...however, at 90K, replacing them isn't a bad idea anyway.

Unless you're wanting to drop the change to lower it, I'd just find a set of XI rear springs in the classifieds.
 

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spring
 

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Two choices:

1) For Cheap, Place a WTB (want to buy) ad in the E46F. For Sale Forum for that one part. Someone has them sitting around after a suspension rebuild, offer them $15-$20.

2) Best Way, buy a strut/shock & spring package from one of our forum sponsors. Keep in mind that you have 90K on it right now, so those pieces are worn out. So option #2 is best, if you can afford $600-$900.

Springs: H&R or Eibach
Shocks: Bilstein Or Koni
Or stock OEM

Turner Motorsport
BimmerWorld
Tire Rack


Good luck
 

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Ouch that's a coil. As stated fairly common problem with the E46 and E36 rear springs. Now you have the fun task of figuring out what you would like to replace your springs with, new springs or coilovers.

H&R Sport Spring are a common choice for new springs on the E46. If you would like to make the move to coilovers and gain the ability to fine tune your ride height and handling make sure they are Xi specific. We have a section of coil overs for the E46 Xi platform here.




ECS Tuning
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I'm not sure what's more surprising to me, that...

A) ...the coil piece broke off and was able to 'get off' the shock all together. (completely separate)

B) ...I just so happen to look in the rear view mirror and see it separate from the vehicle and roll to the side of the road. (AND retrieve it)
 

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I'm not sure what's more surprising to me, that...

A) ...the coil piece broke off and was able to 'get off' the shock all together. (completely separate)

B) ...I just so happen to look in the rear view mirror and see it separate from the vehicle and roll to the side of the road. (AND retrieve it)
The rear springs are not wrapped around the shock like the fronts, they are in a separate location.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
The rear springs are not wrapped around the shock like the fronts, they are in a separate location.
Haha. I was just coming back to the forum to redact that statement. Thanks. I found this tutorial on youtube that explains it fairly well. Although he doesn't replace the rear springs- as far as I can tell...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4TeFE_BmIEE
 
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