E46 M3 Rear Shock Mount Retrofit with Z3 Reinforcement Plates
Warning: If you are not competent or do not feel comfortable doing any of these modifications or procedures, then please do not do so. I will not be held responsible for any damages caused by a result of your actions. Now on to the fun stuff!
This should work on all BMW 3 series (e30, e36, and e46). The procedure is a little different for a convertible though. All the parts should fit for all of them though.
Symptoms of a bad rear shock mount include metallic hard clunking sound from rear over bumps.
I recommend changing all the nuts and gaskets here. The gaskets on my car had separated and were told to shreds. The nuts are nylock if I remember correctly, so it's cheap insurance for them not falling off! The reinforcements are extra insurance also.
2.) Remove the rear wheels
3.) I recommend doing one side at a time so in case you get stuck or lost, you can compare to the other side.
4.) Remove the rear speakers
5.) Remove the side liner clips and liner. Then take out the liner around the shock mounts.
6.) Jack up the rear trailing arm to hold the suspension on one side while removing the shock.
7.) Remove the two nuts on the shock mount (Rear Shock Upper Mounting Nuts) and the top one (Shock Mounting Nut) (see picture below). You might have to put a little wrench on the shaft of the shock absorber.
Bentley recommends removing the entire shock, but I had good luck only removing the top portion of it, and then transferring all the hardware over.
8.) Now clean up all the threads and the surrounding areas
From the shock, the order of install incase you forgot is dust shield, bump stop, spacer, shock mount, gasket then put it into place and on top install the two bolts that hold it to the car and finally the shock bolt, washer, and dust cap (I didn't have one)
9.) Torque everything back down (Upper bolt 10 ft-lb, Bolts 17 ft-lb, Lower bolt if you removed it 57 ft-lb) and repeat for the other side.
Here are a few pictures of the final product
I had the back seat out at the time also.
Update [2.27.02]: Here's a picture that I think might help with the order.
Update [12.17.02]: After about 25,000 miles, 7,300 with the PSS-9's, the e46 m3 mounts are on their way out the door. After removing them and inspecting they look okay, but do show some signs of seperation. Ground Control's Street/Track mounts are on their way. I'll get some pictures and a quick install write up on them soon.
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