E36 M3 Rear Shock Replacement
Last week I described replacing most of the cooling system components in my M3. While doing that job, I also replaced my rear shock absorbers.
My car only has 57,000 miles, but it is more than 13 years old. While replacing and reinforcing the rear shock mounts (RSMs) last year, I noticed the shocks were pretty worn. Since the RSM job requires removal of the rear shocks, I also saw first hand how straightforward the job is.
It’s literally three bolts. Two of them attach to the rear shock mount, which you access from inside the trunk after removing the carpeting. Underneath the car, the shock is attached to the rear trailing arm by a single large hex bolt.
I decided to go with the same shocks that came stock on the car, from BMW supplier Sachs. I considered Bilstein aftermarket shocks, but decided there was no reason. I’ve owned the car since it had less than 16,000 miles on it, so I remember the ride when it was practically new. That’s the feel I wanted back, the handling that earned the Car & Driver crown as the best handling car in America back in 1997.
The front shocks replacement is more involved, so I’ll need to tackle that job separately. While the car was on the lift at the Auto Skills Center, the master mechanic at the facility was kind enough to inspect the underside of the car. All the bushings and ball joints still look good.
This car can still outperform 98 percent of the cars on the road today, and I enjoy doing what I can to maintain it properly. Doing that is a lot less expensive than a new car payment every month.