BMW E30 Strut Housing Shortening Tutorial + Ground Control Coilover Build
This is a video tutorial on how to properly shorten your E30 front strut
housings to allow use of a shorter shock and how to assemble the Ground
Control Coilover Conversion kit once the housings are shortened.
The work was performed on my 1991 BMW 318is and my setup is as follows:
- Ground Control Coilover Conversion Kit - spring rates: 440f/650r
- Bilstein HD front shock inserts for a 325ix model E30
- 82-02 Camaro KYB
Gas-A-Just shock for the rear (not mentioned in video)
This video is just a general outline, your process may vary a bit depending
on what tools, parts or coilover setup you use.
*Work at your own risk. I am not responsible for any injuries or damaged
parts/tools if you decide to follow my tutorial, I am simply providing some
Text from the video:
Step 1: Begin by removing both front strut assemblies (not every step is
shown in this video)
Step 2: Once the strut assembly is out, remove the original top hats,
springs and strut inserts. Use a spring compressor to perform this. Work at
your own risk.
Step 3: Once everything is removed and the strut housing is bare, the next
step is to remove the original spring perch. Use your own preferred method
to do this. In my case, I used an angle grinder and cutoff wheel. Cut
around the top of the weld where the spring perch is welded to the strut
Step 4: Now it is time to cut the strut housing. Again, use your own
preferred method to do so, just make sure the cut is straight and perfectly
perpendicular to the strut tube to ensure that it doesn't have any slight
bends or angles when everything is welded up. Otherwise, camber will be
affected and the strut insert will not slide into the strut housing.
Step 5: Start your first cut just under the weld from the original spring
perch. I used a band saw. I made sure everything was level and
perpendicular and made my first cut.
Step 6: Now that the strut housing is cut into two pieces, it is time to
make the second cut. This cut will determine how much you are shortening
the strut housing by. Measure from where you just cut towards the top of
the housing (threaded section). It is recommended to not cut any more than
2". Make sure you do not cut into the threaded section of the housing. I
cut out 2". Note: The next clip shows what your strut housing should look
like before and after making both cuts. I accidentally have the middle
section flipped, which could cause confusion. This is the section that will
be thrown away anyways.
Step 7: Now you are ready to weld. Prepare the end areas for welding and
use welding magnets to keep everything perfectly positioned. Keep a small
gap between the ends for the new metal to fill. The size of the gap should
be the same size as the thickness of the metal of the strut housing.
Step 8: I would recommend MIG or TIG welding. When MIG welding, incorporate
sheilding gas rather than using flux core wire. This will yeild much
cleaner welds and better control. If you are ill-equipped or not
comfortable with welding, have a professional weld everything up for you.
Start off with a few tack welds and then weld the rest together all the way
Step 8: Once everything is welded up, grind the welds down so they are
flush with the rest of the strut housing. I recommend using an angle
grinder with flap disk.
Step 9: Now it is time to weld on the supplied adjuster perch. Use the
threaded spring adjuster sleeve as a guide. Situate it so that the top of
the adjuster sleeve is flush with the top of the strut housing as it sits
on the perch. Make sure the flat area of the new perch is facing out
towards the wheel. Start off by making a few tack welds and then weld the
rest. Only weld on the bottom of the perch.
Step 10: This is how the strut housings should look once complete. Prep and
paint to desired color. Do not leave any bare metal unpainted, it will rust
Step 11: Once painted, you are ready to assemble the coilovers. Start off
by putting two supplied O-ring's around the top of the strut housing to
ensure a snug fit for the adjuster sleeve. Leave roughly a 1" gap between
O-ring's. Install threaded adjuster sleeve.
Step 12: The next step depends on how much you shortened your housings by
and your strut insert choice. You want to be able to tighten the insert
down snugly with the collar nut. In my case, I had to make a 1.25" spacer
out of metal tubing to achieve this.
Step 13: Once the strut insert is in place, install the collar nut and
tighten it down. You will either need to buy or make a tool to tighten it.
Step 14: Install the spring adjuster followed by the spring itself.
Step 15: After the spring is in place, install the supplied top spring
plate followed by the
original top hat (or whichever top hat you decide to run).
Step 16: Double check to make sure everything is tightened to spec. Now
your new coilovers are complete and ready to install!
E30 at Home
Just a small video I put together at home of my 1987 Bmw e30. Nothing
special, I used amateur video equipment and a Canon T3i with a 50mm 1.8
lens. The video was quickly edited with Final Cut Pro X. This is actually
one of the first videos I ever made so bare with me. I know camera is
still shaky, and not 100% smooth, but I thought it came out pretty well
considering what shitty camera equipment I had. Videos will come out
better in the future.
Song: Sarajevo (Blackmill Remix) by Loz Conteras
BMW E30 M3 Vs Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16! - Head 2 Head Episode 12
On this episode of Head 2 Head, Automobile Magazine's Jason Cammisa
rekindles a classic European sports sedan battle, pitting the legendary BMW
E30 M3 against it's Cosworth-powered rival, the Mercedes-Benz 190E 2.3-16.
Find out which homologation special is the most special of all!
Head 2 Head appears every other Wednesday on the new Motor Trend channel.
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