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Thread: Strut Insert Test

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Boston, MA
    My Cars
    2000 M5

    Strut Insert Test

    I am helping a friend with his 1995 M3, he has a used front strut that he would like to use on his car to replace a damaged one. When we push on the shock/dampener cartridge by hand (no spring installed), it goes down with "some" effort but not a lot and comes back up by itself. Is that normal? It is not leaking. Is there a better way to test the shock/dampener cartridge? I know it would be best to just replace the cartridge. Thanks.
    Tom L.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2018
    Newark, NJ
    My Cars
    1999 528i, 1995 530i
    That sounds relatively normal, but it's really the impact frequency (moving the damper rod up and down rapidly, like on a bumpy road) and not a single push that reveals damper wear. For obvious reasons it's difficult to test for that.

    Who makes the unit? If it's single-tube aftermarket, e.g. Bilstein, it's probably okay as long as it's not leaking and the rod seal looks intact. I would be leery of using a double-tube (e.g. OEM Sachs) for anything longer than a brief temporary period.

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