Important!
This replacement procedure can be used for:
BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 525 tds, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 523 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 528 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 525 td, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 530 d, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 d, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 525 d, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 530 d, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 525 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 530 i, BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i View more

The steps may slightly vary depending on the car design.

How to change a front shock strut on BMW 520i (E39) [TUTORIAL AUTODOC]

video
All the parts you need to replace – Shock Absorber for 5 Saloon (E39) and other BMW models
Tools
Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Tools you need:
Wire brush
WD-40 spray
Brake cleaner
Copper grease
Combination spanner #13
Combination spanner #16
Combination spanner #18
Drive socket # 13
Drive socket # 16
Drive socket # 18
Drive socket # 22
HEX bit No.H6.
HEX bit No.H7.
Wheel impact socket #17
Ratchet wrench
Torque wrench
Shock absorber socket
Tap wrench
Crow bar
Ball joint puller
Hydraulic strut spring compressor
Hydraulic transmission jack
Fender cover
Wheel chock
Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Tip from AUTODOC experts:
  • Both shock struts of the front suspension should be replaced simultaneously.
  • The replacement procedure is identical for the left and right shock struts of the front suspension.
  • All work should be done with the engine stopped.
Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Take the following steps:
  1. Step 1
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1995 - free PDF and video manuals
    Open the bonnet.
  2. Step 2
    How to replace BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 523 i 1996 Shock Absorber - step-by-step manuals and video guides
    Use a fender protection cover to prevent damaging paintwork and plastic parts of the car.
  3. Step 3
    BMW E39 530d 3.0 1997 Shock Absorber replacement: free workshop manuals
    Clean the fasteners of the shock strut upper mount. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  4. Step 4
    Changing Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i 1998 by yourself
    Remove the shock strut mount cap. Use a crowbar.
  5. Step 5
    How to remove BMW 5 SERIES 525 tds 1999 Shock Absorber - online easy-to-follow instructions
    Loosen the upper fastener of the shock strut mount. Use a combination spanner #13.
  6. Step 6
    How to replace Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 2000: download PDF manuals and video instructions
    Secure the wheels with chocks.
  7. Step 7
    How hard is it to do yourself: Shock Absorber replacement on BMW E39 525i 2.5 2001 - download illustrated guide
    Loosen the wheel mounting bolts. Use wheel impact socket #17.
  8. Step 8
    Need to know how to renew Shock Absorber on BMW 5 SERIES 2002? This free workshop manual will help you to do it yourself
    Raise the front of the car and secure on supports.
  9. Step 9
    Changing of Shock Absorber on BMW E39 2003 won't be an issue if you follow this illustrated step-by-step guide
    Unscrew the wheel bolts.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Tip:
    To avoid injury, hold up the wheel when unscrewing the bolts.
  10. Step 10
    Remove the wheel.
    Step 11
    BMW 5 SERIES 540 i Shock Absorber replacement: online guides and video tutorials
    Clean the stabiliser link fasteners. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  11. Step 12
    Replacing Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1996 523 i by yourself
    Clean the brake caliper bracket fasteners. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  12. Step 13
    5 Saloon (E39) 525 tds 1997 Shock Absorber DIY replacement workshop manual
    Spread the brake pads. Use a crowbar.
  13. Step 14
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 1998 - tips and tricks
    Unscrew the caliper bracket fastening. Use a drive socket #18. Use a tap wrench.
  14. Step 15
    Step-by-step recommendations for DIY replacement BMW E39 1999 525 tds Shock Absorber
    Remove the brake caliper together with its bracket. Use a crowbar.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. AUTODOC recommends:
    Tie the caliper to the suspension or to the body with a wire without disconnecting from the brake hose to prevent depressurization of the brake system.Make sure that the brake caliper is not hanging on the brake hose.Don't press the brake pedal after the brake caliper has been removed. As a result, the piston can fall out from the brake cylinder, and brake fluid leakage and depressurization of the system may occur.
  15. Step 16
    DIY replacement of Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 528 i 2000 is not an issue anymore with our step-by-step tutorial
    Unscrew the fastener connecting the stabilizer link to the shock strut. Use a drive socket #16. Use a ratchet wrench.
  16. Step 17
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1995 - free PDF and video manuals
    Unscrew the lower fastener connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a combination spanner #18. Use a drive socket #16. Use a ratchet wrench.
  17. Step 18
    How to replace BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 523 i 1996 Shock Absorber - step-by-step manuals and video guides
    Remove the fastening bolts.
  18. Step 19
    BMW E39 530d 3.0 1997 Shock Absorber replacement: free workshop manuals
    Clean the fastener connecting the tie rod end to the steering knuckle. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  19. Step 20
    Changing Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i 1998 by yourself
    Unscrew the end fastening nut to the steering knuckle. Use a combination spanner #18.
  20. Step 21
    How to remove BMW 5 SERIES 525 tds 1999 Shock Absorber - online easy-to-follow instructions
    Disconnect the tie rod end from the steering knuckle. Use a ball joint puller.
  21. Step 22
    How to replace Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 2000: download PDF manuals and video instructions
    Support the arm. Use a hydraulic transmission jack.
  22. Step 23
    How hard is it to do yourself: Shock Absorber replacement on BMW E39 525i 2.5 2001 - download illustrated guide
    Disconnect the tie rod end from the steering knuckle.
  23. Step 24
    Need to know how to renew Shock Absorber on BMW 5 SERIES 2002? This free workshop manual will help you to do it yourself
    Remove the support from under the arm.
    AUTODOC recommends:
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Lower the transmission jack smoothly, without jerks, to avoid damaging components and mechanisms.
  24. Step 25
    Changing of Shock Absorber on BMW E39 2003 won't be an issue if you follow this illustrated step-by-step guide
    Disconnect the ABS sensor wiring.
  25. Step 26
    BMW 5 SERIES 540 i Shock Absorber replacement: online guides and video tutorials
    Clean all joints of the arm. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  26. Step 27
    Replacing Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1996 523 i by yourself
    Remove the control arm cover.
  27. Step 28
    5 Saloon (E39) 525 tds 1997 Shock Absorber DIY replacement workshop manual
    Clean all joints of the arm. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  28. Step 29
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 1998 - tips and tricks
    Unscrew the front arm fastener. Use a combination spanner #18. Use a drive socket #18. Use a ratchet wrench.
  29. Step 30
    Step-by-step recommendations for DIY replacement BMW E39 1999 525 tds Shock Absorber
    Remove the front fastener of the control arm.
  30. Step 31
    DIY replacement of Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 528 i 2000 is not an issue anymore with our step-by-step tutorial
    Prop up the steering knuckle. Use a hydraulic transmission jack.
  31. Step 32
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1995 - free PDF and video manuals
    Unscrew the rear fastener connecting the control arm to the subframe. Use a combination spanner #16. Use a drive socket #18. Use a ratchet wrench.
  32. Step 33
    How to replace BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 523 i 1996 Shock Absorber - step-by-step manuals and video guides
    Remove the rear fastener of the control arm.
  33. Step 34
    BMW E39 530d 3.0 1997 Shock Absorber replacement: free workshop manuals
    Clean the fasteners connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  34. Step 35
    Changing Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i 1998 by yourself
    Release the lower fastener connecting the shock strut to the steering knuckle. Use a special drive socket to remove the shock absorber.
  35. Step 36
    How to remove BMW 5 SERIES 525 tds 1999 Shock Absorber - online easy-to-follow instructions
    Remove the support from under the steering knuckle.
    AUTODOC recommends:
    BMW E39 – Do not lower the transmission jack sharply to avoid damaging components and mechanisms of the car.
  36. Step 37
    How to replace Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 2000: download PDF manuals and video instructions
    Disconnect the steering knuckle from the shock absorber strut.
  37. Step 38
    Unscrew the top fastening of the shock strut mount.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Tip from AUTODOC:
    To avoid injuries, hold the shock strut when undoing the fastening bolts.
    Step 39
    How hard is it to do yourself: Shock Absorber replacement on BMW E39 525i 2.5 2001 - download illustrated guide
    Remove the suspension strut.
  38. Step 40
    Need to know how to renew Shock Absorber on BMW 5 SERIES 2002? This free workshop manual will help you to do it yourself
    Set the shock absorber strut on the spring compressor tool.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. Tip from AUTODOC experts:
    Note that when using a spring compressor, spring coils need to be securely gripped, compressing the spring on the opposite sides.Ensure the correct position of the spring in the retainer.Make sure that the spring coils tightly entered the lock handles.
  39. Step 41
    Changing of Shock Absorber on BMW E39 2003 won't be an issue if you follow this illustrated step-by-step guide
    Compress the spring.
  40. Step 42
    BMW 5 SERIES 540 i Shock Absorber replacement: online guides and video tutorials
    Remove the strut piston rod nut. Use a drive socket #22. Use HEX No.H7. Use a ratchet wrench.
  41. Step 43
    Replacing Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1996 523 i by yourself
    Remove the top strut mount.
  42. Step 44
    5 Saloon (E39) 525 tds 1997 Shock Absorber DIY replacement workshop manual
    Release the coil spring.
  43. Step 45
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 1998 - tips and tricks
    Remove the spring.
  44. Step 46
    Step-by-step recommendations for DIY replacement BMW E39 1999 525 tds Shock Absorber
    Remove the shock absorber dust cap and the bump stop.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. AUTODOC experts recommend:
    Τhoroughly examine the shock absorber mount, dust boot, bump stop. Replace them if necessary.
  45. Step 47
    DIY replacement of Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 528 i 2000 is not an issue anymore with our step-by-step tutorial
    Remove the old shock absorber from the hydraulic coil spring compressor.
    Replacement: suspension strut – BMW E39. AUTODOC recommends:
    Before installing a new shock absorber you should pump it manually 3-5 times.
  46. Step 48
    How to change Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1995 - free PDF and video manuals
    Install the new shock absorber on the hydraulic coil spring compressor.
  47. Step 49
    How to replace BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 523 i 1996 Shock Absorber - step-by-step manuals and video guides
    Install the dust sleeve and the bump stop on the new shock absorber.
  48. Step 50
    BMW E39 530d 3.0 1997 Shock Absorber replacement: free workshop manuals
    Install the spring on the shock absorber.
  49. Step 51
    Changing Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 520 i 1998 by yourself
    Compress the spring.
  50. Step 52
    How to remove BMW 5 SERIES 525 tds 1999 Shock Absorber - online easy-to-follow instructions
    Install the upper strut mount and the strut mount bearing.
  51. Step 53
    How to replace Shock Absorber on BMW 5 Saloon (E39) 2000: download PDF manuals and video instructions
    Tighten the shock strut piston rod nut. Use a drive socket #22. Use HEX No.H6. Use a torque wrench. Tighten it to 64 Nm torque.
    AUTODOC recommends:
    Check to make sure the spring is positioned correctly. Avoid its misalignment.
  52. Step 54
    How hard is it to do yourself: Shock Absorber replacement on BMW E39 525i 2.5 2001 - download illustrated guide
    Decompress the spring.
  53. Step 55
    Need to know how to renew Shock Absorber on BMW 5 SERIES 2002? This free workshop manual will help you to do it yourself
    Remove the assembled shock strut.
  54. Step 56
    Changing of Shock Absorber on BMW E39 2003 won't be an issue if you follow this illustrated step-by-step guide
    Install the shock strut into the wheel arch.
  55. Step 57
    Screw the top fastening of the shock strut mount. Do not tighten it.
    AUTODOC recommends:
    BMW E39 – To avoid injury, hold the suspension strut while screwing in the fastening bolts.
    Step 58
    BMW 5 SERIES 540 i Shock Absorber replacement: online guides and video tutorials
    Treat the shock strut mounting seat on the steering knuckle. Use a wire brush. Use WD-40 spray.
  56. Step 59
    Replacing Shock Absorber on BMW E39 1996 523 i by yourself
    Fix the shock absorber strut on the steering knuckle.
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DIY BMW 5 Saloon (E39) Shock Absorber replacement - online guide
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