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      03-20-2012, 09:56 AM   #1
Krozi
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Anyone get leaky shocks as a result of lowering springs?

When I bought my car, it had a leaky driver side front strut which was replaced under warranty at 20K miles. I am now at 40K miles, and have had the KW Sleeve over kit installed for the past 5K miles, and the driver side front strut is now leaking again. So basically the new strut had 15K miles on stock springs, 5K on the KW sleeve over kit, and is now leaking again.

Maybe it's just a fluke but starting to wonder if these cars don't like aftermarket springs too much...

Anyone else with leaky struts?
BTW, I have EDC suspension.


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      03-20-2012, 10:35 AM   #2
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A leaking strut means the shock is blown. Lowering the car accelerates wear on the shocks. How low did you have it?
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      03-20-2012, 11:07 AM   #3
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interesting. how evident is the leak? will you actually see fluid on your garage floor or will you only see it upon close inspection? do any edc malfunction lights come on as a result?

how do you like your sleeves btw? do you have them set all the way down? how do they compare in ride height say to rd sports?
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      03-20-2012, 11:40 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonf20c View Post
interesting. how evident is the leak? will you actually see fluid on your garage floor or will you only see it upon close inspection? do any edc malfunction lights come on as a result?

how do you like your sleeves btw? do you have them set all the way down? how do they compare in ride height say to rd sports?
Usually, you only see the fluid on the shock body, not the garage floor.

I have the sleeves also so this has me a bit worried. Mine are all of the way down in the front and almost all of the way down in the rear. I like the ride and I don't have any noises or anything but I probably should have just bought KW V3s or clubsports. I got these because I wanted to retain my EDC but it's pretty much useless now (at this height at least) since it will hit the bump stops on the freeway in Comfort if I go over an uneven bridge transition.

The KW kit will go lower than RD Sport springs from what I have heard.
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      03-20-2012, 11:51 AM   #5
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Its common knowledge that lowering springs wear OEM dampers quicker than OEM springs..
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      03-20-2012, 12:41 PM   #6
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A leaking shock has a defective or worn-out seal on the shaft. It has nothing to do with lowering springs or sleeve kits or the phases of the moon. In this case, worn out is unlikely because they should last for 100k miles or more, so the shock was defective from BMW. That said, BMW's parts warranty or original equipment warranty will only cover it if it's unmodified, so if it was hacked up installing the sleeve kit, you're out of luck.
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      03-20-2012, 01:01 PM   #7
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In the hundreds of E9x M3's we have lowered on springs or sleeve kits, have yet to see a blown damper due to the lowering.

Have seen a couple very high mileage M3's however (75,000+ miles) with dampers on their last leg, but not leaking.

Malek
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      03-20-2012, 01:02 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3PO View Post
Usually, you only see the fluid on the shock body, not the garage floor.

I have the sleeves also so this has me a bit worried. Mine are all of the way down in the front and almost all of the way down in the rear. I like the ride and I don't have any noises or anything but I probably should have just bought KW V3s or clubsports. I got these because I wanted to retain my EDC but it's pretty much useless now (at this height at least) since it will hit the bump stops on the freeway in Comfort if I go over an uneven bridge transition.

The KW kit will go lower than RD Sport springs from what I have heard.
I don't think I've hit the bump stops on mine. How do you tell?

It gets pretty rough sometimes when I hit a large bump but I never feel like it is hitting bottom. I have my sleeves at max height.
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      03-20-2012, 01:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
I don't think I've hit the bump stops on mine. How do you tell?

It gets pretty rough sometimes when I hit a large bump but I never feel like it is hitting bottom. I have my sleeves at max height.
The car will hit and ride on the bumpstops pretty often.

It is a common misconception that hitting the bumpstop is bad. The stop is designed to be a part of the suspension as the inherent design of this cars suspension doesn't yeild a lot of shock travel to begin with.

Nothing will happen if you hit the bump stop.

Chances are, a mistake could have been made during installation, and the shock shaft was not held in place while the shock retaining nut was loosened. If the shaft is excessively spun (due to not holding in place), it can prematurely wear out the seals and cause a leaky shock.

Malek
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      03-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #10
Krozi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spoonf20c View Post
interesting. how evident is the leak? will you actually see fluid on your garage floor or will you only see it upon close inspection? do any edc malfunction lights come on as a result?

how do you like your sleeves btw? do you have them set all the way down? how do they compare in ride height say to rd sports?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Z K View Post
A leaking strut means the shock is blown. Lowering the car accelerates wear on the shocks. How low did you have it?
Leak is pretty evident with fluid on the garage floor. No errors, weird noises, or change in how the car drives though. I have them at about 75% lowered.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Malekreza11 View Post
In the hundreds of E9x M3's we have lowered on springs or sleeve kits, have yet to see a blown damper due to the lowering.

Have seen a couple very high mileage M3's however (75,000+ miles) with dampers on their last leg, but not leaking.

Malek
Good to hear. Maybe its just bad luck lol.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tibra1 View Post
Its common knowledge that lowering springs wear OEM dampers quicker than OEM springs..
I mean it's a given that wear is going to be accelerated, I'm just trying to get a feel for how much. E30's for instance made it like 30 feet with lowering springs hahah



Thanks for the input guys.
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      03-20-2012, 01:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Malekreza11 View Post
The car will hit and ride on the bumpstops pretty often.

It is a common misconception that hitting the bumpstop is bad. The stop is designed to be a part of the suspension as the inherent design of this cars suspension doesn't yeild a lot of shock travel to begin with.

Nothing will happen if you hit the bump stop.

Chances are, a mistake could have been made during installation, and the shock shaft was not held in place while the shock retaining nut was loosened. If the shaft is excessively spun (due to not holding in place), it can prematurely wear out the seals and cause a leaky shock.

Malek
If it did hit the bump stops with the stock set up, I couldn't feel it/hear it. Now, with the sleeve kit, it makes a pretty hard thud in "Comfort" mode as the car comes down leaving a bridge transition that drops away. Definitely not pleasant, regardless of whether it hurts anything or not.

As I mentioned this only happens to me in "Comfort" mode so I keep the suspension in "Sport Plus" (I did this before also) so it isn't a big deal other than I now have essentially lost my EDC functionality which was the main reason I bought this kit. If I would have known ahead of time that I would slam the bump stops on anything other than "Sport Plus" I would have just ditched the EDC and went with full coilovers.
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