bmw 2002

Low Rider

July 15, 2007

     All BMW 2002s utilize MacPherson struts in the front suspension.  And all BMW 2002s (as far as I know) shipped from the factory with metal spacers sitting atop the front strut assemblies.  The only purpose for such a spacer is to make the front end of the car ride higher than it would otherwise.  Whether these spacers were added to meet bumper height requirements or headlight height requirements or what, I don't particularly care.  I want the car to ride lower, and I'd like to get rid of that "sagging ass" look that a higher front end provides.  So, I went ahead and removed the spacers.

     This seems to be a common mod, and I had heard that it was easy to do.  Jack up the front end, take off the wheels, disconnect the sway bar, drop the strut, and pull out the spacer.  "You can do it in an hour."  That usually means that it'll take four hours, plus a trip to buy some tools and/or a parts order.  But this time, it actually meant about an hour.  Since I already had the car up on stands and had pulled off the front swaybar as part of an overall front suspension refresh, I figured I'd do this while I was at it.

The front swaybar is disconnected (I'll post about that later).  Removing the strut's top bolts, the suspension is now supported by a floor jack underneath.  Lowering the floor jack and pushing down on the suspension provides a look at the metal spacer sitting on top of the strut.

strut spacer

In order to get the spacer over the top of the strut (and thus off), the suspension has to be pulled down.  One way is simply to stand on it.  But doing this also pulls the strut outwards, where it hits the inside of the fender.  So, it then becomes a balancing act to stand and push at the same time, all while reaching into the fender to remove the spacer.  I was all by myself, so I just used some spring compressors to give me the clearance I needed at the top of the strut.

These help.  The spring doesn't have to be compressed much, so the process is quick and not too dangerous.

spring compressors

In the foreground, the strut with the spacer removed sits noticeably higher than the stock setup in the background.

spacer delete

The spacers, removed.  And, yes, the hood still closes properly.

spacer delete