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Old 07-22-2009, 10:25 AM   #1
El Gato Liso
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lowering 325i

i am still debating whether or not to try doing this myself to save money...

is it difficult? i know it can be dangerous if the springs fly out at you

are there tools i can rent to lower the car? or is there someone out there in the e30 world that can lend help me out.

thanks!

-Rob
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Old 07-22-2009, 10:32 AM   #2
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Rear springs are dead simple.
Front is a little bit harder but not too bad.

You need a ball joint separator, coil spring compressor, and I used a table vice to hold my strut assy to get the strut out.

Here is what I used

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...ont_Suspen.htm

http://www.pelicanparts.com/bmw/tech...ear_Suspen.htm
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Old 07-22-2009, 06:41 PM   #3
jays325is
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Like was said above, the rear is extremely simple, no need for a spring compressor back there. I got stuck on the fronts and ended up just taking it to a friends shop because I didn't have a proper ball joint separator, with one you should be able to do it.
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:50 PM   #4
E30M42cab
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ball joint spreader... big hammer. Same thing. Actually, A spreader is like $3 or something at princess auto, and spring compressors are pretty cheap to. You can definately do it at home, but the nut on top of the front strut is a PITA! You'll either need a pipe wrench, or a torch and a pipe wrench to get them off. Or, any shop will get them off for you. Not a hard job.
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1986 E30 325e (killed)
1986 E30 325es (died)
1988 E30 325i (rotted)
1992 E34 525i (sold)
1992 E30 318i (cabrio, Dad's)
1989 E30 325i (Mom's)
1991 E30 318i (cabrio, summer car)
1991 E30 318is (Winter car)
1992 Euro M5 (driveway decoration)
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Old 07-22-2009, 11:53 PM   #5
E30M42cab
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oh, and if you need help, let me know.
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1986 E30 325e (killed)
1986 E30 325es (died)
1988 E30 325i (rotted)
1992 E34 525i (sold)
1992 E30 318i (cabrio, Dad's)
1989 E30 325i (Mom's)
1991 E30 318i (cabrio, summer car)
1991 E30 318is (Winter car)
1992 Euro M5 (driveway decoration)
1994 E36 325is (driveway junk)
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Old 07-23-2009, 05:03 AM   #6
BMWE30<3'er
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pretty simple job
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:36 AM   #7
El Gato Liso
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thanks all for the input. bmx'er ill try to use that guide for sure!!

a hammer you say huh... what about putting the ball joint(s) back in??

i got my e30 back and i wanna lower it pronto

*i think ill install the back springs tmrw, and just have someone do the front, seems like a headache i quite frankly dont want to deal with such as finding a compressor*
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Old 07-27-2009, 01:55 AM   #8
mirek
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compressors can be rented at canadian tire for free, and they sell ball joint separators for 10$

Goodluck
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Old 07-27-2009, 08:26 AM   #9
everlast
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I rented the compressor from Partsource for free, it was easy. A ball joint separator (pickle fork) may damage the ball joint, as may a hammer. If the car is in good shape, just put the old nut on the thread about 2 turns and give it a sharp wack. Mine fell right out.

It will ruin the nut but you'd have new ones anyway (right?) but prevents damage to the thread of the ball joint itself. I've used a pickle fork carefully without damaging anything too, but often it will tear the rubber boot.
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Old 07-27-2009, 03:18 PM   #10
srdjE30
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Which brand are you using for lowering springs?
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:21 AM   #11
matty.dc
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what i used was a tie rod puller and a spring compressors. honestly its not even worth bringing it somewhere. It will take you maxxxx 5 hours ffor your first time. Dead simple. spring compressors are pretty cheap as well.
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Old 07-28-2009, 12:24 AM   #12
iignite
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i bought my spring compressor from princess auto for 30 bucks last year, never failed me, and its exactly like the one I use at my shop
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Old 07-28-2009, 10:34 AM   #13
InfiniteDice
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Putting them back in, just put another jack under the arm, which applies pressure to the joint keeping it so it can't turn. Then I usually tap the joint lightly with a hammer and turn the bolt on the top to tighten it. Or use an impact gun.

The spring compressors for the front are a bit tedious but not hard, remember the exact order of all the washers on the top of the strut mounting, or you'll have a mysterious click when you go over bumps.
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Old 07-28-2009, 06:28 PM   #14
E30M42cab
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ah the joys!! I'll be doing this same job this weekend on my coupe, as long as my rear shocks arrive soon. 5 hours sounds about right.

Does anyone have problems with the lower sway bar link brackets breaking when they undo them, or was that just me? Pain in the ass.
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1986 E30 325e (killed)
1986 E30 325es (died)
1988 E30 325i (rotted)
1992 E34 525i (sold)
1992 E30 318i (cabrio, Dad's)
1989 E30 325i (Mom's)
1991 E30 318i (cabrio, summer car)
1991 E30 318is (Winter car)
1992 Euro M5 (driveway decoration)
1994 E36 325is (driveway junk)
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Old 07-29-2009, 03:58 PM   #15
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i've never taken struts out to change springs, you can get them out no problem with the control arm and tie rod still attached. just compress the springs far enough to let you pull the assembly out the side.

its literally a 1hr job, if your not changing the strut inserts. if you are changing the inserts, then yeah, you should take out the strut and clamp it in a vise. a giant pair of channel locks works amazing for reefing off that collar nut.

as for separating ball joints, just whack the KNUCKLE, not the ball joint end, with a heavy hammer(make sure there's no weight on the joint end), and tap on the top lightly - it should drop right out. i dont know why everyone is always so amazed when i do this....
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