How to Install MaXpeedingRods Coilovers on A 2000 E46 323ci

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    Editor’s Note: This comprehensive guide is shared by Cameron Tuttle. He covers the installation of a set of MaXpeedingRods adjustable coilovers on his 2000 e46 323ci. This guide can be consistent with the majority of the E46 models including 320i, 323i/323ci, 325i/325ci, 328i/328ci, 330i/330ci, and M3 models.

    Tools

    Installation of MaXpeedingRods coilovers is easily accomplished with basic hand tools and can be accomplished with the tools in the following list.

    • Floor jack
    • 2 jack stands
    • Hammer or mallet
    • ⅜” ratchet
      • 10mm socket
      • 13mm socket
      • 16mm socket
      • 18mm socket
    • 16mm wrench
    • 22mm wrench
    • 17mm tire iron (found it roadside kit)
    • Wheel chock (found in roadside kit)
    • 2×4 wood blocks

    Note: some vehicles vary in wrench size for sway bar end links.

    Steps

    Step 1) Preparation (front)

    • Park the vehicle on a flat, level surface
    • Place 2×4 wood blocks in front of both front wheels, and roll the car on top of them
    • Apply E-brake and put in park (automatic) or leave in gear (manual)
    • Using the supplied tire iron, or a breaker ar with a 17mm socket, loosen the wheel bolts on both front wheels at least ¼ turn, do not fully remove
    • Place the floor jack under the center of the vehicle, and align the puck under the middle front jacking point, as demonstrated in the attached photo below
    • Raise the vehicle, and place the jack stands under the front jack points on both sides (#1)
    • Lower the vehicle, taking caution the jack stands are in proper place
    • Remove both front wheels, and place them under the vehicle frame rails, behind the jack stands
    • Perform shake test, and remove the floor jack
    #1

    Step 2) Removal of front struts

    • Remove front sway bar end links from factory struts
      • Be sure to place a 16mm wrench between the ball joint and strut to keep it from rotating
      • Note: some vehicles are equipped with end links using a 17mm wrench.
    • Remove strut clamp bolt
      • Place floor jack under front lower control arm
      • Use an 18mm socket on a ⅜ wrench, loosen and remove the single strut clamp bolt
    • Lower front knuckle
      • Slowly lower the floor jack and lower the knuckle
      • Note: it may be necessary to wiggle the knuckle back and forth to break it free from any corrosion.
      • Lower until the bottom of the strut is almost fully removed from the knuckle
    • Remove top hat bolts(#2)
      • Use a 13mm socket to remove the 3 top hat bolts under the hood
      • Be sure to prop the strut up before removing the last bolt
    • Remove strut
      • Hold the strut with one hand, fully remove the last top hat bolt
      • Lower the floor jack until the knuckle will not go any lower
      • Angle the bottom of the strut outwards, and remove strut
      • Use a few zip ties, secure the knuckle so that it does not put any stress on the brake line
    • Repeat the process on the other side
    #2

    Step 3) Installation of front coilovers

    • Prepare coilovers(#3)
      • Place both front coilovers next to each other and ensure that they are set evenly
      • Note: it helps to use a meter stick to get them close; do not tighten any of the lock collars.
    • Hang coilovers in place
      • Raise front coilovers in place
        1. Note: be sure the camber plate is in proper orientation.
        2. Use the 13mm socket to install the 3 top hat bolts
    • Install coilover into knuckle
      • Slowly align and raise the knuckle up to the coilover with the floor jack
      • Note: be sure to align the alignment pin with the slot in the knuckle.
    • Raise floor jack until coilover is fully seated
    • Use the 18mm socket, install the strut clamp bolt and brake line bracket
      • Note: be sure to make this bolt very tight.
    • Adjust coilovers
      • To adjust ride height
        1. Loosen bottom lock collar
        2. Rotate the entire coilover assembly
        3. Tighten lock collar
      • To adjust spring preload
        1. Loosen lock collar
        2. Adjust spring perch collar to appropriate height
        3. Tighten lock collar against spring perch
      • Adjust sway bar end link mount
        1. Loosen lock collar
        2. Adjust height so that sway bar does not interfere with other components
        3. Orient the lock collar
        4. Tighten lock collar
    • Final assembly
      • Use a mallet/hammer and the supplied coilover wrenches, ensure that all lock collars are sufficiently tight
      • Use the 16mm socket and ratchet and 16mm wrench, reattach sway bar end link
      • Final bolt check
    • Complete front
      • Install both front wheels
      • Place 2×4 blocks under front wheels, and use the floor jack on the center jack point, lower vehicle
      • Final tighten wheel bolts in a cross pattern
    #3

    Step 4) Preparation (rear) (#4)

    • Place 2×4 blocks under rear wheels, and roll vehicle on top of them
    • Use the OEM wheel chock supplied next to the spare tire, place wheel chock in front of front wheel
    • Place floor jack under rear subframe and raise vehicle
      • Note: do not place floor jack on differential.
    • Place jack stands under rear jack points, and lower vehicle
    • Shake test, and remove floor jack
    • Remove rear wheels, and place under frame rails behind jack stands
    #4

    Step 5) Removal of rear springs and shocks
    Note: the following steps should be performed simultaneously on both sides of the vehicle in the following order.

    • Place floor jack under the rear trailing arm, where the lower control arm mounts, and raise until the suspension raises approx. ¼ inch
    • Use the 18mm socket, remove the bottom shock bolt
    • Lower floor jack until suspension is free hanging
    • Remove rear springs (#5)
      • Note: using your hand or foot, you may need to push the suspension down to remove the spring.
    • Unbolt rear shock top hats
      • Remove rear tail light bulb housings
      • Remove clips and pull trunk lining away from the sides
      • Cut an access hole
      • Use the 13mm socket, remove both nuts on both sides (be prepared to catch shock)
    #5

    Step 6) Installation of rear springs and shocks

    • Prepare spring adjusters and shocks
      • Place all parts next to each other, and ensure they are set equal
    • Install rear shocks
      • Raise shock into place, and install the two 13mm nuts
      • Note: it may be helpful to have someone assist by holding the shock in place.
    • Install spring adjusters
      • Put the large bolt through the large washer, and then through the bottom of the rear upper control arm
      • Thread spring adjuster on bolt
      • Use an adjustable wrench or 21mm wrench, tighten the spring adjuster on the control arm
    • Install rear springs
      • Place the large thin washer on top of the spring perch collar on the spring adjuster
      • Place the factory rubber damper on top of the new spring
      • Install rear spring
      • Note: you may have to push the suspension down to install the spring.
    • Install lower shock bolt
      • Use the floor jack, raise the rear suspension until the hole on the shock lines up with the mounting hole
      • Hand thread and tighten the lower shock bolt
      • Once hand tight, using the 18mm socket and tighten the bolt fully
    • Adjust
      • To adjust ride height, this can be achieved by raising or lowering the spring perch collar on the spring adjuster
      • Note: it may be easiest to remove the shock bolt, lower the suspension, and remove the spring for best access to the adjuster.
      • To adjust droop, loosen the lock collar on the rear shock and adjust accordingly
      • Once height and droop are adjusted, be sure to tighten lock collars, and use a mallet/hammer to tap the coilover wrenches tight
    • Final assembly
      • Complete a final bolt check
      • Reinstall rear trunk liner and tail light bulb housings
      • Install both rear wheels
      • Place 2×4 block under rear wheels, and lower vehicle
      • Tighten wheel bolts

    Alongside the vehicle in the guide, Cameron has run these same model coilovers in a race prepared chassis that sees both road and raceway use on a daily basis. After almost 2 years of use and abuse, these coilovers haven’t faltered a bit! He told us that he can also confidently say that these coilovers are robust, and very strong, as with the nature of the raceway fender benders are no stranger.

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