E30 Front Strut Replacement Issue
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E30 Front Strut Replacement Issue Expand / Collapse
Posted 12/31/2008 7:12:37 AM
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I have a 1988 325 E30 Coupe. I tried to have my front struts replaced but the mechanic could not remove them from the housing piece because he said they are so old they are rusted and fused together. I cannot locate a used housing part and new ones are really expensive and worth more than my car.  I am told the right BMW mechanic can probably figure out a way to remove the old struts.  Can someone recommend a BMW shop in the Cambridge area who would be able perform such a job ?
Post #1177
Posted 12/31/2008 9:45:15 AM
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Cancer is cancer & rust is rust. If your mechanic can't heat & separate the strut insert retaining rings then its time for the housings to be replaced...that's just the reality of it.

If they're that rusty then the spring perches are also probably weak & may let go. There's also the possibility that after the retaining rings are removed (w/ great effort) that the threads no longer exist for a new retaining ring to retain the new strut insert. Then you will have incurred a couple hours labor & still will have to replace the strut housings.

This is a situation where you shouldn't be penny wise & pound foolish.

E30's are being relegated to the status of "classic car". As such parts sales & production is dwindling. As w/ the 2002, certain parts will be phased out & as demand for parts dwindles the price of many parts is going through the roof.

Your strut housings :31 31 1 127 315, Strut Housing Left...$744.93
31 31 1 127 316, Strut Housing Right...$744.93

this excludes 2 new wheel bearings (BMW List $179 each!) & brake dust shields.

That's often the price of an entire e30 these days. So used if definitely the way to go. You just haven't looked hard enough as there are many cars being parted out. Search some of the local salvage yards, craigslist, e-bay, or some of the online groups. Salvage yards customarily charge 1/2 of list price, but if they've got too much inventory they may well charge less.

If you still can't find anything, I've got 2 very clean housings w/ wheelbearings & brake dust shields intact $350 for the pair

Good Luck

Mike Morris
Schneller BMW Performance
26 Middle Rd Unit 1-2
Newbury, MA 01951
Post #1178
Posted 1/9/2009 3:01:09 AM
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I went to another shop who were more experienced with BMW's. They were able to replace the struts no problem. The mechanic used heat and they came off easily I'm told. He obviously knew what he was doing.

My only regret was I didn't go to him in the first place. If I did I would have got all 4 replaced with BMW original parts.

Initially, the other shop was able to at least do the rears which made a big difference on the highway (no more swaying). With the fronts replaced the car is even better and actually fun to drive again.

So I have a Sachs/Boge in the front and something like europart or autopart in the rear.
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