Home2007-2013 3 Series (E9x)BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement - 2007-2013 3 Series

BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement – 2007-2013 3 Series

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Repair Summary
This article gives detailed instructions on replacing the front strut assembly in 2007-2013 3 series vehicles (E9x). Even though we used a 2011 335i to perform this repair, this article can be applied to any 2007-2013 3 series with minor modifications to the repair steps.

Performing your own BMW E90 front strut replacement will save you a very expensive trip to the repair shop.

The BMW E90's front struts, also known as its front shocks or strut assemblies, are an important part of your vehicle's suspension system. Not only do they provide a cushion between the frame of your vehicle and the harsh conditions of the road surface, they are also a critical part of stabilizing the front end of your 2007-2013 3 series. One of the most frequent causes of front-end issues in BMW's is worn-out front strut assemblies.
The front struts on your BMW E90 create a "triangle" of strength connecting the body of the vehicle to the steering knuckle and frame. This integral connection helps eliminate body roll and keeps the BMW's superb front-end handling characteristics. The first sign that your strut assemblies are worn out is excessive body roll...often accompanied by excessive vibrations or clunking sounds from the front end of the vehicle.
Depending on driving conditions, a BMW E90 front strut replacement should be performed at 100,000 miles. It requires raising the front end of the vehicle and is a very "doable" repair for the home mechanic with average abilities. Due to the high pressure of many BMW E90 springs, the BMW Repair Guide strongly recommends using a commercial quality spring compressor when disassembling the strutsIf you do not have access to a commercial spring compressor, take the struts by your local car repair shop...most will gladly compress your springs for a nominal fee. If you are interested in increasing the handling characteristics on your 2007-2013, now is a great time to replace the stock struts springs with high-performance versions. Please see our article and video on installing high-performance springs in your BMW E90 by clicking here. We give a detailed video for this repair, along with step-by-step instructions and a parts list below.
View the video version of this repair.
View the detailed parts diagram for this repair.
Includes detailed part diagrams, part numbers and links to purchase all of the required components needed to complete this repair.
Before starting this repair, you must have the following required parts.
Fits all BMW E9x 3 series vehicle
If your BMW has excessive body roll and feels a bit sloppy in the front end, then you are most likely ready for a new set of front struts.
Fits all BMW E9x 3 series vehicles
If your BMW has excessive body roll and feels a bit sloppy in the front end, then you are most likely ready for a new set of front struts.
Fits all BMW E9x vehicles
Looking to upgrade your struts? Unbelievable control, precise handling, ultimate performance and incredible comfort. German-made with world-famous Bilstein quality and a limited lifetime warranty!
Fits all BMW E90 vehicles
Looking to upgrade your struts? Unbelievable control, precise handling, ultimate performance, and incredible comfort. German-made with world-famous Bilstein quality and a limited lifetime warranty!
Repair Steps
Section 1 - Removing the BMW E90 front struts
Removing the struts from the front of your 2007-2013 3 series requires raising the front end of the vehicle and removing the wheels. Due to the tight confines inside the fender well, the tie rod ball joint must be removed in order to lower the strut out of the body of the vehicle. Now is an excellent time to replace the ball joints on your E90. Click here to purchase new ball joints for your BMW E90.
  1. Raise the front end of the vehicle and remove the front wheels.Remove the front wheels from the vehicle
  2. Using a socket wrench and torx bit, remove the sway bar link and brake line bracket from the front strut.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Locate the sway bar link and brake line bracketbmw e90 front strut replacement - Use a socket and open-end wrench to remove the sway bar link nut.The sway bar link removed from the strut
  3. Support the wheel hub with a floor jack. This will prevent the steering knuckle from dropping abruptly in the next step.Support the wheel hub with a floor jack
  4. Move to the top of the strut towers inside the engine compartment. If the strut brace is in the way of the strut mount nuts, loosen it with a torx socket and pivot it out of the work area.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Remove strut brace bolt and pivot brace out of the work area
  5. Using a 13mm socket wrench, remove the three nuts anchoring the strut mount to the body of the vehicle.Remove the strut mount nuts with a 13mm socket wrench
  6. Moving back into the wheel well, disconnect the self-leveling headlight sensor from the lower control arm using an open-end wrench.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Disconnect the self-leveling headlight sensor arm
  7. Using a socket wrench and torx bit, remove the mounting nut that anchors the tie rod to the steering knuckle.Remove the tie rod ball joint mounting nut
  8. The ball joint should easily pull loose from the steering knuckle. If it doesn't, give it a couple of strikes with a rubber mallet.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Remove the tie rod ball joint from the steering knuckle
  9. Using a socket wrench and open-end wrench, loosen the lower control arm bolt where it connects to the frame of the vehicle. DO NOT remove the bolt...just simply loosen the nut on the end of it.Loosen the nut securing the lower control arm to the frame of the vehicle
  10. In order to lower the strut out of the vehicle, the ball joint must be removed from the tie rod. Use a Sharpie to mark the location of the tie rod ball joint on the threaded rod (this will make sure it is set in the correct position during reassembly). Use a torx bit to loosen the pinch bolt and spin the ball joint end off of the tie rod.bmw e90 front strut replacement - mark the tie rod ball joint location with a sharpieLoosen the ball joint pinch bolt with a torx bitSpin the ball joint off of the threaded tie rod shaft
  11. The front strut can now be lowered and rotated out of the fender well.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Rotate the strut out of the fender well
  12. Remove the strut pinch bolt using an 18mm socket wrench. Completely remove the bolt from the strut.Remove the strut pinch bolt
  13. Hammer a steel punch into the steering knuckle as shown below. This will spread the knuckle apart so the strut can be removed.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Hammer a steel punch into the steering knuckle
  14. Grasp the front strut and remove it from the vehicle.bmw e90 front strut replacement - Grasp the strut and pull it free from the steering knucklethe front strut removed from the steering knuckle
BMW E90 Front Strut Replacement Finished
Stabilus E90 Trunk Strut - Priced Each
Part #: 51247250308
Genuine BMW E90 Trunk Strut - Priced Each
Part #: 51247250308
Genuine BMW Spring Perch - Priced Each
Part #: 31336764093
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