E46 Fanatics Forum banner
  • Hey everyone! Enter your ride HERE to be a part of September's Ride of the Month Challenge!
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I decided to refresh my suspension. Ordered the XI refresh kit from FCP. Removed old suspension (original) and plugged away at putting the new stuff back in. After putting the new kit back in I have a substantial ride height increase (26 3/4"). Per manual I should be at 24".

I have taken redone this job several times but each time it always remains at the higher ride height. I wish I took more pictures of the before setup and took better measurements.

I stupidly threw away some of the old suspension components. I did save the old struts, even with those I have a higher ride height. One thing FCP mentioned was the suspension strut mount could be the wrong height. After comparing it to the old one it doesn't look 3" off, the old rubber is just a bit more pressed in as expected.

Anyone ever have this issue? Or any ideas as to what I could be doing wrong?

Refresh kit

Before
932620


After
932619


Comparison between struts. The old one here has all new hardware from the kit
932621
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
1,292 Posts
I don't think those struts are fully seated.... like kaboom said. That pin on the side should be sliding down all the way in between a slot on that mount.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Thanks for the replies!

So I'm fairly certain it's fully seated as the strut has a notch in it for the pin bolt. I don't think I'd be able put the pinch bolt in right?

Either way here is a picture of it :)
932647
 

·
Registered
2005 330xi Auto, 2006 330ci Vert Auto
Joined
·
363 Posts
I have a 2005 330xi. In my case, the bottom of the strut is flush with the bottom of the carrier. In your picture, I can see that the strut is not flush with the bottom. You might want to check that reconfirm.

From my perspective, in your picture of the new/old strut side by side, they are exactly the same length (height). The strut mounts to the car in 3 places; the strut mount, the sway bar end link and the carrier. If the strut mount is practically the same thickness, then the most likely place to gain 2+ inches in length (height) is probably at the carrier as I can't see how the sway bar end link can gain 2+ inches.
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
1,292 Posts
Thanks for the replies!

So I'm fairly certain it's fully seated as the strut has a notch in it for the pin bolt. I don't think I'd be able put the pinch bolt in right?

Either way here is a picture of it :) View attachment 932647
That is far from fully seated. Remove that pinch bolt and slide that strut down until its seated. You should have like 2 inches of that strut showing past the clamp.
 

·
Registered
2002 330 Ci
Joined
·
1,292 Posts
I have a 2005 330xi. In my case, the bottom of the strut is flush with the bottom of the carrier. In your picture, I can see that the strut is not flush with the bottom. You might want to check that reconfirm.

From my perspective, in your picture of the new/old strut side by side, they are exactly the same length (height). The strut mounts to the car in 3 places; the strut mount, the sway bar end link and the carrier. If the strut mount is practically the same thickness, then the most likely place to gain 2+ inches in length (height) is probably at the carrier as I can't see how the sway bar end link can gain 2+ inches.
Oh, I'm wrong. What i said is for rwd suspension.
 

·
Registered
2003 325xi
Joined
·
22 Posts
I just took a look at my 325xi. The strut bottom is about flush with the bottom of the carrier. The indexing pin is in about the same spot as in your picture, above the pinch bolt.
If you could lower the strut to the bottom of the carrier opening, then the indexing pin would be in line with the pinch bolt. So that would not work. That also won't account for the 2 3/4 inches in ride height.

Could there be an error between sport suspension and standard suspension. Maybe you have the incorrect parts?
Something to check out if you have not done so yet.
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
Thanks for the replies!

So I'm fairly certain it's fully seated as the strut has a notch in it for the pin bolt. I don't think I'd be able put the pinch bolt in right?

Either way here is a picture of it :) View attachment 932647
That is NOT all the way down.
However the 1" or so that it's too high will NOT completely correct your ride height issue.

What about the springs: Are they the same as the old ones you removed?

I think from up here; your issue is a 50-50 issue of struts not fully inserted (round portion of bottom of strut needs to bottom out) and the springs might (?) be of a different spec.

I see now you have one strut new and one old. Both with YOUR springs.

My only thoughts are the B6 (performance strut and not std.) is the crux of your issue?
But the struts DO NEED to be lower in the knuckle.
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
With the strut removed, take a stiff brush and/or a stiff steel wool pad. Clean the inside (where strut slides in) very well. Then dry and grease. Apply a little grease onto the bottom of the strut.

This is where you need a helper:
Using a floor jack, get under the outer ball joint. Jack up a little (DO NOT RAISE THE CAR, ONLY THE KNUCKLE!) at a time. The strut usually does NOT want to cooperate. Using a RUBBER MALLET bang on the top of the brake rotor, it should drop in some more. Keep repeating until the strut is FULLY down.
Then insert/tighten the pinch bolt. Relax the floor jack.

See if that helps?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I just took a look at my 325xi. The strut bottom is about flush with the bottom of the carrier. The indexing pin is in about the same spot as in your picture, above the pinch bolt.
If you could lower the strut to the bottom of the carrier opening, then the indexing pin would be in line with the pinch bolt. So that would not work. That also won't account for the 2 3/4 inches in ride height.

Could there be an error between sport suspension and standard suspension. Maybe you have the incorrect parts?
Something to check out if you have not done so yet.
I did confirm the parts I ordered were what I received. I have been leaning towards the parts in the kit don't actually work for an xi e46, but I feel like others would have said something about it before me. Is it possible to take a measurement of your lower shock mount to the hub and to the strut mount? This would give me an idea of where I might be off at
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I have a 2005 330xi. In my case, the bottom of the strut is flush with the bottom of the carrier. In your picture, I can see that the strut is not flush with the bottom. You might want to check that reconfirm.

From my perspective, in your picture of the new/old strut side by side, they are exactly the same length (height). The strut mounts to the car in 3 places; the strut mount, the sway bar end link and the carrier. If the strut mount is practically the same thickness, then the most likely place to gain 2+ inches in length (height) is probably at the carrier as I can't see how the sway bar end link can gain 2+ inches.
Maybe I can try removing the endlinks altogether to confirm its not them causing the issue?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
With the strut removed, take a stiff brush and/or a stiff steel wool pad. Clean the inside (where strut slides in) very well. Then dry and grease. Apply a little grease onto the bottom of the strut.

This is where you need a helper:
Using a floor jack, get under the outer ball joint. Jack up a little (DO NOT RAISE THE CAR, ONLY THE KNUCKLE!) at a time. The strut usually does NOT want to cooperate. Using a RUBBER MALLET bang on the top of the brake rotor, it should drop in some more. Keep repeating until the strut is FULLY down.
Then insert/tighten the pinch bolt. Relax the floor jack.

See if that helps?
The strut is already fully seated I believe. Looking at the location on where the hub and the strut meet on the new and old struts appear to be about the same.
In any case, I have tried to jack up the control arm more to get the strut further into the hub, but it doesn't go any further as I believe it is bottoming out in there.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
10 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Well after being at my wit's end with this, I decided to see what would happen if I backed the car up a bit. Much to my surprise after going backwards the ride height dropped from 26ish to around 24.5.

Has anyone else ever had this problem? Seems very strange. I did double check this by jacking the car up again and retorquing the sway bar links to the strut while the hub was jacked up. Once again ride height was in the 26" range but after moving the car it dropped back down to ~24.5"

932735
 

·
Registered
E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
Joined
·
7,464 Posts
OMG, all this and you hadn't driven the car.
Every car does this
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
Top