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Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 16:07:43 -0600
From: "Dan Hermann" <>
Subject: RE: Another Bilstein Question

<lots of discussion about Bilstein bump stops clipped>

ron is right about everything he says about the bilsteins. tim, i didn't see you mention what springs you're running with the Bilsteins. if they're stock you _might_ be able to get away w/o trimming them. i still would just so i wouldn't have to tear apart the suspension again if i were wrong. if you're using any kind of lowering springs, it's been my experience you'll need to trim (or remove) the bump stops for sure. Lowell Seaton sent me a very good writeup about 2 weeks ago when i did this myself. with appropriate attribution to him, here it is:

>From :
Subject: Re: [E36M3] bump stops on bilsteins
Date : Wed, 5 Dec 2001 04:52:26 EST


My favorite subject! Bilstein bumpstops!! ;-) Four words of advice: Get rid of them!!

My slightly lowered M3 constantly bounced off of the front bumpstops. The ride about drove me crazy. It was like riding a pogo stick. I was about to junk the Bilsteins. After I removed the front internal bumpstops, the ride is still extremely firm (harsh even) but livable for me. I don't have the "bouncy" ride.

But yes, to remove the front bumpstops is not easy. Dang it! I intended to do a tech write up on it! I even took pictures. I thought I had scared everybody away from Bilstein by now. :-)

You have to unscrew the shaft from the bottom of the strut. Remember the front Bilsteins are upside down monotube shocks. You should have a 17 mm nut and a slotted screw in the bottom of the strut. I recommend buying a screwdriver bit for your rachet. It takes a lot of effort to screw the shaft out of the housing, especially if it has seen some weather.

First back the 17 mm nut off until it is flush with the end of the screw. Don't remove the nut. It will help hold your screwdriver bit in place. Now the hard part. If you have a vise - great. Clamp the strut in the vise. Or else have a friend hold the strut steady for you as you bear down as hard as you can with your screwdriver/rachet and turn the shaft. Remember to turn it CLOCKWISE. You are screwing it into the housing.

Hopefully it breaks loose and you can turn the slotted shaft without damaging the threads. You can try some WD-40 etc. to loosen it up. But what finally worked for me was to put the screwdriver bit on an air wrench and zapping it off. If you can put enough weight on the rachet, I think you can probably get it off. Good luck.

Eventually you will have to remove the nut entirely. Just carefully screw the shaft all the way into the housing.

Once you have this accomplished, it is simple. Just pull the top out. Don't worry about anything exploding in your face. The troublemaking bumpstop will be obvious. It is 2 7/8 inches long. I recommend just taking it off and throwing it away. Put the strut back together without any bumpstop. I promise you, any impact hard enough to fully compress a Bilstein strut will destroy the car. Bumpstops with Bilsteins are redundant. If you want to keep part of the bumpstop, use a hacksaw and cut 1 inch off. Use the 1 inch part and throw the other 1 7/8 inch away.

Lowell Seaton
'95 M3
Dallas, Texas

Date: Sun, 16 Dec 2001 18:12:29 -0500
From: "NickG" <>
Subject: Re: [E36M3] Another Bilstein Question


Ironically, you asked the same question *exactly* 2 years ago, LOL. JimC responded with the trimming procedure which I happened to save. I've included it below.


> Can somebody tell me exactly WHAT needs to be why? Is
> there a link to a good page w/ info?

> Tim Gergen wrote:
> >
> > I need a little help here. 95 M3, Bilstein w/ H&R's.
> > So, do I need to open the strut? This sounds BAD to me. Is there a tech
> > proceedure on this that anybody has written up? Any help would be much
> > appreciated.
> Yes.. you'll need a few things..
> Large honkin' screwdriver (flat blade)
> Large breaker bar.
> Vise (to hold strut..
> OK.. assuming the struts are out of your car.. springs are
> off them, and the struts are sitting on your bench.
> Put strut in vise, top down.
> Look at what was the "bottom" of the strut casing and you'll
> see a nut.. loosen this nut.. but don't remove it yet..
> You want the nut to just be a bit above the end of the slotted
> rod..
> Now, using the screwdriver and something to apply some serious
> torque to the rod.. (the opposite direction of removing the nut)
> and the rod will begin to thread INTO the strut body.
> Soon, you will bottom out against the partially removed
> nut.. loosen the nut another few turns and screw the rod in
> that many turns..
> Eventually the nut comes off the top, and the rod can be screwed
> completely thru the body of the strut.
> Now, the "top" of the strut w/ rubber dust boot will pull
> completely out of the "bottom" or "casing".
> In the rod that you unscrewed you will find a rubber bump stop
> cut it in half and then reassemble the strut.
> Jim

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