Thursday, 3 December 2020

F10: Rear Shock Absorber / Strut / Spring Replacement [GUIDE]





Time to do the rear struts and springs on the 530d F10 this week as one damper has been leaking and while doing my tyres last week I noticed the spring has now broken at the bottom so this is now an urgent job. I picked up a pair of used complete struts (spring, damper and top-mount) from eBay for just £100. They are from another 530d and claim to be from a low mileage car. Well, they look a lot lower mileage than the ones I'm taking off lets put it that way and appear to be in pretty good condition. I get a lot of stick for constantly using second-hand genuine parts, but I still prefer this to buying new spurious parts where I can and have never had an issue!

GUIDE:

* This is not a difficult or time-consuming job, but will require a bit of brute force. *

1. First the rear seats need to come out. Lift the seat squab up at the front and detach it from the push-studs, press the seat-belt receivers through the recesses and lift the squab out. Next lift the seat-back upwards until it is free of the hooks at the top and lift that out, being careful of the door-sill paintwork and sliding it through the seat-belts. [You could always unbolt the seat-belts at the base using a T45-Torx socket to make this easier, but it's not essential].

2. The parcel-shelf now needs to come down in order to access the strut-top mount bolts in the shock-turrets. Remove the C-pillar trims by prizing out the plastic caps labelled 'Airbag' from the trim and removing the screw using a T25-Torx socket. Now carefully pull away the C-pillar trims and put to one side. Remove the five push-pin clips from the front edge of the parcel-shelf by levering the button in the centre upwards and pulling the plastic pin out. The studs can now be levered out. The parcel-shelf is now free to pull forwards and can be rested where the seat-back would be. [Remove the wiring-connectors to the speakers, but these should pop out by themselves anyway].

3. Lift the car and remove the corresponding wheel. [There is no need to be getting under the car for this job, so a jack and axle-stand is fine].

4a. The track-strut (pictured) needs to be moved out of the way to access the bottom strut bolt so first remove the plastic clips holding the E-brake wire-harness to the track-strut by levering them open at the bottom with a flathead-screwdriver and separating them from the strut. The wire-harness can be moved out of the way.

4b. Remove the bolt holding the inner end of the track-strut using an 18mm wrench. Pull the track-strut down and rotate it so it is pointing out of the wheel-arch. You now have plenty of room to get at the bottom strut bolt and lift the shock out.

5. Remove the bolt holding the bottom of the strut to the hub using a 21mm wrench.

6. Lift the triangle flap in the foam underneath where the parcel-shelf was to expose the studs to the strut-top mount and remove the three nuts using a 13mm wrench.

7. Wiggle the bottom of the strut free from the hub and the entire strut assembly is now free to be removed. It should be able to be lowered through the remaining suspension parts and to the rear of the car until it is free to be removed.

** IF YOU ARE CHANGING THE SPRING / TOP-MOUNT OR SWAPPING THESE ONTO A NEW STRUT THEN DO THIS NOW** [See this post for guide].

8. Make sure the new strut has the top-mount in line with the old one you removed by lying them next to each other and checking the bottom bolt-eyelet and triangle marking on the top-mount match up. [The triangle marking on the top-mount should face towards the back of the car with the bolt-eyelet facing the centre, or with the triangle marking facing you the bolt-eyelet should be pointing to the right for O/S (right-side) and left for N/S (left-side)].

9. Lift the new strut back up through the suspension and line it up into the strut-turret. [Triangle marking on top-mount facing rear of car] and screw the three 13mm nuts back on a few threads.

10. Lever the hub downwards until it meets the bolt-eyelet at the bottom of the strut meets its recess on the hub and screw the 21mm bolt back in about half-way.

11. Fully tighten the three 13mm nuts on the strut-top mount.

12. Fully tighten the 21mm bolt through the bottom of the strut.

13. Replace the track-strut / wheel as a reversal of steps 3 and 4.

14. If you are doing both sides then repeat steps 3 - 13 for the opposite side.

15. Replace the parcel-shelf, trim and rear seat as a reversal of steps 1 and 2.

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