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Thread: E39 Front Strut Assembly Question - Washers...

  1. #1
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    E39 Front Strut Assembly Question - Washers...

    Okay, based on the fact I have to re-do my front struts tomorrow, I want to be 125% certain on something that I don't see on the DIY. I ask because several people have rebuilt my suspension over the years and maybe they effed with the washers...so here is my question.

    1). Front Struts - you have from the top down (at least this is what I have):
    A). The strut mount
    B). A washer which is cupped/crowned, sits inside the bottom of the strut mount, crowned side facing downward acting as a dust cover.
    C). A washer which sits on top of the upper spring perch, opposing the washer in the strut mount.*
    D). Spring Perch
    E). Rubber Pad
    F). Spring sits in there and you're all set.

    Here is the schematic from realoem:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    Please explain your thoughts, this washer element has me thinking that before I install OEM strut mounts, let me be certain my washers are as they should be.

    * = Here is my question....BMW calls washer # 7 a FLAT WASHER...I cannot recall, but I believe the washers I have, the SPACER WASHERS are slightly cupped/crowned....if they are cupped/crowned, which way does the crown/cup face? Down towards the ground or upwards? The previous mechanic set the spacer washer (which I believe is cupped/crowned) opposing the dust washer...whereas I believe they should fit together, snugly, I believe the dust washer and the spacer washer's, which are convex, should fit together, both pointing downwards, snugly. Need to know!!!

    Thanks!!!

    Any input or photos would be very helpful, I am installing tomorrow afternoon. Thanks.
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 10-20-2008 at 12:49 AM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
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    Exclamation

    People, need help and it's urgent.

    The question is...the washers that are used, the washer that goes into the strut mount which acts as a dust cover and the washer that rubs against it, used between it and the upper perch...do they sit snugly with their convex curves pointed downward, in the same direction, or does the spring perch washer sit upside down, opposing the strut mount's washer?
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    honestly, i can't remember... i just put the same parts back in exactly the way they came off the old struts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    People, need help and it's urgent.

    The question is...the washers that are used, the washer that goes into the strut mount which acts as a dust cover and the washer that rubs against it, used between it and the upper perch...do they sit snugly with their convex curves pointed downward, in the same direction, or does the spring perch washer sit upside down, opposing the strut mount's washer?

    Please PM "mmm635".
    He is the one that knows all about this, and has done it.
    He is also on the 'Fest.
    There are thread about this on the 'Fest as well!
    Thanks!
    Jason

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
    Please PM "mmm635".
    He is the one that knows all about this, and has done it.
    He is also on the 'Fest.
    There are thread about this on the 'Fest as well!
    Thanks!
    Jason
    mmm635 has a PM, thanks!

    This washer install is the reason the mounts failed, it's got to be. I installed it the way I found it, but that doesn't make it right.

    The strut mount from the dealer, I now have two new ones. The dealer even carried the dust (aka very thin washers). It IS clear how # 6 Dust Protection Washer sits in the strut mount. Check, got that. But the looming question is...how does the next washer inline sit?

    Thanks!
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    mmm635 has a PM, thanks!

    This washer install is the reason the mounts failed, it's got to be. I installed it the way I found it, but that doesn't make it right.

    The strut mount from the dealer, I now have two new ones. The dealer even carried the dust (aka very thin washers). It IS clear how # 6 Dust Protection Washer sits in the strut mount. Check, got that. But the looming question is...how does the next washer inline sit?

    Thanks!
    "mmm635" aka Michael knows how it goes together.
    I think there is some explaination on the threads on the 'Fest.
    Thanks!
    Jason

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    Here is a very good link from Rajae.

    http://www.beisansystems.com/procedu..._procedure.htm

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    Strut Mount FYI...

    Thanks Jason dude and thank you to mmm635 for the phone call today. I removed and inserted the front struts today, fun, fun. I want to say that in my opinion, the washers in question (# 7 on realoem) are supposed to be FLAT.

    BMW refers to them as 'Flat Washer': 07FLAT WASHER37X2,5MM ZNS3231336776760

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    The strut mounts have a cheesy, flimsy washer that inserts into the base of the mount itself, # 6, what BMW refers to as 'Dust Protection Collar'. The question I had pertained to # 7, the washer...as I have read about those who feel it should be a convexed, curved washer. I wanted to know more about this as my brand new mounts failed within 1K miles. Welp, my two cents says no, # 7 washer is supposed to be a flat washer and if it is convexed, it's due to abuse/age.

    My # 7 washers were flat, are flat and were re-inserted as such. I placed the new mounts at the top, placed the # 6 dust washer into the mount, placed the # 7 washer next in-line, placed the upper spring perch...and called it an assembly. Yes, I did this same thing about two weeks ago and yes, the mounts failed, but it was not due to any conspiracy theory of the infamous # 7 washer, no, but it was due to CHEESY strut mounts. I bought aftermarket mounts and feel that by looking at the underside of the mount...the outer ring of metal is to blame.

    The OEM mount, on it's underside, has the inner axle, just like the aftermarket, fine...but the difference is the OEM mount then has a few mm of rubber, then the outer metal ring and then the body of the mount itself...the aftermarket's outer metal ring is a fraction of the width of the OEM! In my opinion, THIS is the flaw of the aftermarket mount, the fact that the washer # 7 can push upwards, into the rubber...which caused very early failure.

    cliffnotes = buy OEM strut mounts. My car is fine now.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    good info. here - I'll need this in the future - thanks.
    1999 328i manual (son's car, I work on it)
    1989 911 manual (my "fun" car)
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post


    cliffnotes = buy OEM strut mounts. My car is fine now.
    Which aftermarket mounts did you use? I got mine from Tirerack.. I think they were KYB or something. I have wondered if they are bad (got 20k on them now).

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    Quote Originally Posted by cdb3113 View Post
    Which aftermarket mounts did you use? I got mine from Tirerack.. I think they were KYB or something. I have wondered if they are bad (got 20k on them now).
    I dunno what brand they are. And the place I bought them from couldn't say either.

    You'll need new front struts in about, what, 10K-20K miles? At that point, please change the front mounts and use OEM. My dealer charger me $45.00 each, just a little more than OE/Aftermarket crappola.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    We should put a pic here of everything laid out on the ground in the order it goes for those that get lost.

    Jared
    "If everything seems under control, you're not going fast enough. - Mario Andretti"

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnyost View Post
    We should put a pic here of everything laid out on the ground in the order it goes for those that get lost.

    Jared
    Dude, I never thought a washer could drive me so nuts!

    Let me say this too, the aftermarket mount, when assembled...there was a TINY bit of play between it and the upper spring perch. When you tighten down the upper strut nut fully...place the completed strut assembly on the ground, vertically, as if it were in the car...grab the strut mount and wiggle it. Aftermarket had some wiggle action. OEM had NONE at all.

    My new strut mounts are sexy.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    Dude, I never thought a washer could drive me so nuts!

    Let me say this too, the aftermarket mount, when assembled...there was a TINY bit of play between it and the upper spring perch. When you tighten down the upper strut nut fully...place the completed strut assembly on the ground, vertically, as if it were in the car...grab the strut mount and wiggle it. Aftermarket had some wiggle action. OEM had NONE at all.

    My new strut mounts are sexy.
    i liek sexy mounts. i will get oem.

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    Quick question

    So, Bimmerfever,

    " My # 7 washers were flat, are flat and were re-inserted as such. I placed the new mounts at the top, placed the # 6 dust washer into the mount, placed the # 7 washer next in-line, placed the upper spring perch...and called it an assembly. Yes, I did this same thing about two weeks ago and yes, the mounts failed, but it was not due to any conspiracy theory of the infamous # 7 washer, no, but it was due to CHEESY strut mounts. I bought aftermarket mounts and feel that by looking at the underside of the mount...the outer ring of [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]metal[/COLOR][/COLOR] is to blame. "

    By doing the order you described #6 and then #7. Are you intensionally doing this way against RealOEM? Or did RealOEM make a mistake in the drawing.

    I need this info because I'm doing my struts in the next couple days.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by 16valex View Post
    So, Bimmerfever,

    " My # 7 washers were flat, are flat and were re-inserted as such. I placed the new mounts at the top, placed the # 6 dust washer into the mount, placed the # 7 washer next in-line, placed the upper spring perch...and called it an assembly. Yes, I did this same thing about two weeks ago and yes, the mounts failed, but it was not due to any conspiracy theory of the infamous # 7 washer, no, but it was due to CHEESY strut mounts. I bought aftermarket mounts and feel that by looking at the underside of the mount...the outer ring of [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]metal[/color][/color] is to blame. "

    By doing the order you described #6 and then #7. Are you intensionally doing this way against RealOEM? Or did RealOEM make a mistake in the drawing.

    I need this info because I'm doing my struts in the next couple days.
    Dude, I did it exactly like the picture in realoem:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    1). Strut Mount
    2). #6
    3). #7
    4). Spring Perch (or upper plate, whatever ya wanna call it).
    5). # 8 (which isn't a real number as it's included in the base of the Spring Perch).
    6). Upper Spring Perch Rubber.
    7). Spring.

    Got the bottom of the spring/strut fully assembled.
    Then put # 4 bolt on the tippy top and tightened it down.
    Done.

    Please know that # 6 and # 7 were and are in as they should be...the only question I had was whether # 7 should be a flat washer OR a curved washer.

    I would also like to point out ANOTHER overlooked item...look at realoem and look at # 3. Hmm, wtf is # 3? Welp, it's a lockwasher. Simple, right? Welp how about that when I took mine apart, # 3 wasn't there. Didn't exist. Nada. In speaking with a sharp BMW wrench from Missisippi (mm635), we debated # 3 lockwasher. He assembled his spring/strut and had a clunk, drove him nuts, he doublechecked everything and it turned out that when he removed # 4, added a # 3 lockwasher, his clank/clunk went away. "Make sure you use a 9/16" Grade 8 lock washer underneath the nylock nut. This was the cause of my front end clunk", he said.

    I am now officially in charge of all washer related questions of E39 front strut assemblies. When you do this job, front struts, you're sharp afterwards and could do it even faster. When you have to rip it apart 10 days later only to do it again, you could do it in your sleep. You need 1/2" toolset. Air tools would be nice, but NOT needed. A 1/2" toolset is absolutely needed. I have every tool. I am King of washers, nuts, bolts of E39 front end.

    If you live on Long Island, I would drive over to help you. You must feed me a very nice bacon cheesburger, medium rare, lotsa ketchup, no fast food. Coke or Pepsi. I order 24 bags of Chinese Food ribs when I go to Fort Lee for E39 work.
    Last edited by bimmerfiver; 10-23-2008 at 08:53 PM.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    Dude, I did it exactly like the picture in realoem:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    1). Strut Mount
    2). #6
    3). #7
    4). Spring Perch (or upper plate, whatever ya wanna call it).
    5). # 8 (which isn't a real number as it's included in the base of the Spring Perch).
    6). Upper Spring Perch Rubber.
    7). Spring.

    Got the bottom of the spring/strut fully assembled.
    Then put # 4 bolt on the tippy top and tightened it down.
    Done.

    Please know that # 6 and # 7 were and are in as they should be...the only question I had was whether # 7 should be a flat washer OR a curved washer.

    I would also like to point out ANOTHER overlooked item...look at realoem and look at # 3. Hmm, wtf is # 3? Welp, it's a lockwasher. Simple, right? Welp how about that when I took mine apart, # 3 wasn't there. Didn't exist. Nada. In speaking with a sharp BMW wrench from Missisippi (mm635), we debated # 3 lockwasher. He assembled his spring/strut and had a clunk, drove him nuts, he doublechecked everything and it turned out that when he removed # 4, added a # 3 lockwasher, his clank/clunk went away. "Make sure you use a 9/16" Grade 8 lock washer underneath the nylock nut. This was the cause of my front end clunk", he said.

    I am now officially in charge of all washer related questions of E39 front strut assemblies.

    If you live on Long Island, I would drive over to help you. You must feed me a very nice bacon cheesburger, medium rare, lotsa ketchup, no fast food. Coke or Pepsi. I order 24 bags of Chinese Food ribs when I go to Fort Lee for E39 work.
    Great!
    I am glad you got a hold of "mmm635" aka Michael!
    I told you he knew his sh!t!

    This thread should be a sticky!

    :::::Calling Gumbi!::::

    Thanks!
    Jason

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    I'd invite you over for burger just for sh*ts and giggles but you're a bit far away
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    I COULD DO THE FRONT END OF AN I6 E39 IN MY SLEEP, CONTROL ARMS, TIE RODS, STRUTS...I AM KING OF WASHERS. THERE'S A LITTLE WASHER IN THE STRUT TODAY...

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vqBO_65Ih4g[/ame]

    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    Quote Originally Posted by jnyost View Post
    I'd invite you over for burger just for sh*ts and giggles but you're a bit far away
    I WILL BUY AN ABS MODULE FROM YOU. I NEED THREE WEEKS. I AM BROKE. BROKER THAN RICED-OUT AFTERMARKET FRONT STRUT MOUNTS. I NEED THREE-FOUR WEEKS, THEN I WILL PURCHASE SAID ABS MODULE. YES I AM WRITING IN CAPS. HERE IS SOME MORE POLICE CAUSE FP5421 WAS TOO YOUNG TO APPRECIATE THEM. I WANT GUMBI TO INSTALL SOME MOFO WATTAGE IN MY E39'S TRUNK SO I CAN CRANK POLICE:

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGnqjZFdhkY[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0A154OavghI[/ame]

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9yXRITQkcY[/ame]
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

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    Me loves Police (music group)...

  22. #22
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    Come on people, who has washer questions? I am here. Heading out for some starbucks soon. Hurry up.
    "I'd smash that (Jennifer Connelly) like a failed coup in sub-Saharan Africa."
    ~Macktheknife in my epic Jennifer Connelly OT Thread

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    Dude, I did it exactly like the picture in realoem:

    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    1). Strut Mount
    2). #6
    3). #7
    4). Spring Perch (or upper plate, whatever ya wanna call it).
    5). # 8 (which isn't a real number as it's included in the base of the Spring Perch).
    6). Upper Spring Perch Rubber.
    7). Spring.

    Got the bottom of the spring/strut fully assembled.
    Then put # 4 bolt on the tippy top and tightened it down.
    Done.

    Please know that # 6 and # 7 were and are in as they should be...the only question I had was whether # 7 should be a flat washer OR a curved washer.

    I would also like to point out ANOTHER overlooked item...look at realoem and look at # 3. Hmm, wtf is # 3? Welp, it's a lockwasher. Simple, right? Welp how about that when I took mine apart, # 3 wasn't there. Didn't exist. Nada. In speaking with a sharp BMW wrench from Missisippi (mm635), we debated # 3 lockwasher. He assembled his spring/strut and had a clunk, drove him nuts, he doublechecked everything and it turned out that when he removed # 4, added a # 3 lockwasher, his clank/clunk went away. "Make sure you use a 9/16" Grade 8 lock washer underneath the nylock nut. This was the cause of my front end clunk", he said.

    I am now officially in charge of all washer related questions of E39 front strut assemblies. When you do this job, front struts, you're sharp afterwards and could do it even faster. When you have to rip it apart 10 days later only to do it again, you could do it in your sleep. You need 1/2" toolset. Air tools would be nice, but NOT needed. A 1/2" toolset is absolutely needed. I have every tool. I am King of washers, nuts, bolts of E39 front end.

    If you live on Long Island, I would drive over to help you. You must feed me a very nice bacon cheesburger, medium rare, lotsa ketchup, no fast food. Coke or Pepsi. I order 24 bags of Chinese Food ribs when I go to Fort Lee for E39 work.
    Hey Bimmerfever,

    I've got you now. I assumed you were listing as you were installing it, that was the reason why I thought you had #6 and #7 reversed. ..

    Yeh man come on over, I even feed you steak burger and all the bacon you want. Come to think of it, didn't I owe you some beer too for "clunking noise over bump and it was the end link as you pointed it out"

    I'm only 3.5 hours drive from where you are called upstate NY.

    I will vote for you to be the person incharge and from now on anyone screws it up again, then you will be responsible

  24. #24
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    Bit late for Starbucks

    Damn addicting coffee.....
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    Quote Originally Posted by bimmerfiver View Post
    Come on people, who has washer questions? I am here. Heading out for some starbucks soon. Hurry up.
    Should I replace #6 and #7 when installing a new suspension?
    http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...56&hg=31&fg=10

    Last edited by Jason5driver; 01-21-2009 at 11:38 AM.

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