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BMW E90 325xi, 328xi 330xi 335xi Front Strut Replacement DIY

In this article I will show you how to replace the front struts on a BMW 2006-2011 325xi, 330xi, 328xi or 335xi as well as all X-Drive models.  This project was done on a 2007 328xi but the strut configuration is the pretty much same on all of the AWD models.  The easiest way to tell if your car needs new front struts is by inspecting the struts for oil leakage.  I have also driven a few E90s that didn't show any signs of leakage from the front struts and drove normal for the most part but would bottom out when hitting large pot holes at highway speeds.  For this particular car I decided to go with a set of Bilstein Touring struts.  If you are looking for a comfortable, factory like ride, I would definitely recommend Bilstein Touring.

1.  Start out by disconnecting the sway bar link.  If your car is equipped with a headlight level sensor don't forget to disconnect it from the control arm.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Removing the sway bar link.

2.  Remove the large bolt that holds the strut assembly to the steering knuckle.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Unbolting the strut assebly from the steering knuckle

3.  Remove the 3 nuts that hold the strut assembly to the strut tower.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Unbolting the strut from the strut tower.

4.  Remove the strut assembly from the car.  Don't let the axle shaft tripod bearing tear the axle boot and fall out of the housing.  Support the steering knuckle with a jack if you feel like it is putting too much stress on the axle shaft.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Front strut removed from the car.

5.  Once the strut is out, compress the coil spring.  A compressed coil spring has a lot of stored energy so use a high quality spring compressor and use caution when handling a compressed coil spring.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Compressing the coil spring

6.  When the spring is sufficiently compressed remove the top nut.  There is a special tool for that nut and some auto part stores rent them out.  You can also use and impact wrench or grab the shaft of the strut with vice grips, since you are throwing away the strut.   Don't use an impact wrench or vice grips on a new strut.  An impact wrench can snap off the threaded part of the strut shaft and vice grips will scratch the shaft.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Unbolting the top nut

7.  When the strut mount is off, inspect all of the parts for wear and replace whatever is necessary.  Most of the time, you'll replace the bump stops and reuse everything else.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Strut mount removed.

8.  Install the spring, the bump stop with a dust boot, all of the washers and the strut mount on a new strut.  To torque down the nut you will need a special tool or you'll need to come up with something that works.  I own a spark plug socket that I can turn with a wrench and hold the shaft with an hex key.  Whatever you do, don't use an impact wrench, if you twist off the treaded portion of the strut shaft the manufacturer will not warranty it.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Installing the strut mount.

9. Install the strut back in the car.  Put a floor jack under the control arm and jack it up until the strut is pushed all the up into the steering knuckle.  Torque the nut that holds the strut to the spindle to 81Nm.  Bolt up the strut mount to the strut tower and torque the nuts to 34Nm.

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement -  Strut installed back in the car

10.  Check the alignment after a few days of driving.


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