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Rear Coils installation on the BMW X3

pete_c

Guru
I saw while doing the brakes and rotors that one of the rear coil springs was cracked.  Reading on the forums that is was an issue with the MFG BMW coils.  My SUV has mostly been garage kept so I do not understand the rust I saw at the bottom of the coils.  
 
Here is a picture of the broken coil.  Note that it is difficult to see that it is broken.  I do feel a wierd vibration when the SUV is shifting gears.  It is almost like the tire is not balanced.
 
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:1356]

Note the painted mark on the coil is used when the SUV was built at the factory (in this case the SUV was built in Austria). This is used to match the two coils so that the two are the same when the car is assembled and to make sure that you replace the two coils even though only one is broken. It is also used as an indicator for the down section of the coil.
 
Here is a drawing of what I am working with.
 
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:1362]
 
Here is a hardware list.  Note I ordered everything from FCP Euro which does a lifetime warranty on all its parts.
 
 
1 - 2 rear coil springs - Lesjofrs LES-4208450
2 - 2 upper shims - BMW OEM 33531136385
3 - 2 lower shims - BMW OEM 33531099418
 
Here is brief step by step with pictures.  Follow safety precautions.
 
1 - remove wheel
2 - jack up wheel rotor up to level of bottom of shock absorber
3 - remove lower bolt to shock absorber
4 - drop rotor
5 - remove coil and upper and lower shims.  Note that it should come out with no issues.  You can use a pry bar to open up the spring coil area for more play space.
6 - insert upper shim and coil sliding it up and letting it rest on lower shim
7 - jack up rotor to be able to connect lower shock.
8 - connect lower shock bolt
9 - install wheel.
 
Watching videos this should take some 15 minutes to do and is much easier than doing the brakes / rotors.

This video is the difficult way to do this. It is easier to just drop the wheel removing the shock bottom.
It does show that the new replacement coil is better than the original OEM coil.

Note that this SUV was built on the same platform as the 330XI except for the SUV stuff.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/vdPiaf47jcc[/youtube]

Note that I am making a day project from one coil here taking my time as there is no rush and not driving SUV much now.

Rear shocks replacement are a bit different in that you have to dissassemble the side rear panels to get to the top of the shock (3 bolts). It is this part that is time consuming.
 
 

pete_c

Guru
Update: June 16, 2020
 
Got my two rear coils / upper and lower shims yesterday.  Setting up to install these on the weekend.  Doesn't look difficult.
 

pete_c

Guru
29th of June, 2020
 
Installed the two rear coil springs today.
 
1 - removed wheels
2 - removed lower strut connection
3 - lowered wheel assembly to loosen spring
4 - removed spring.  Noticed both springs were broken / cracked off at the bottom.  Read this we a factory defect from BMW
5 - rented a spring compressor to install new springs - still a PITA to install.

I thought it would take maybe an hour to do both of them and it ended being 2 hours including renting the spring compressor.
 
Here are pictures of the old springs.  I have never seen this on any vehicle I have owned.  I have read that these prematurely failed on the BMW X3's.
 
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:1375]
[sharedmedia=gallery:images:1376]
 
 

pete_c

Guru
Thank you @bucko.  Done that a few times now with the bimmers....take-a-licking-and-keep-on-ticking.
 
But BMW never admit to any faults with their automobiles. 
 
When under warranty the battery needed to be replaced a few times due a a bluetooth malfunction (the bluetooth module would stay on when I left the vehicle).  They kept replacing the battery.  After 3rd replacement they said it was my fault. 
 
;)
 

pete_c

Guru
5th of July, 2020
 
SUV is running fine and feels good and now putting it away for the summer. 
 
Way late this year as typically I quit driving the SUV around May of every year.  
 
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