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Boris3

e30 gland nut installation (not removal)

Question

So I'm replacing my old Bilsteins with short body Koni struts on the e30 which means using an OEM gland nut in the strut tube. I've removed e30 OEM gland nuts and the go to here is a pipe wrench which pretty much trashes them. My question is how to install the gland nuts without trashing them. Bilsteins of course use a totally different gland nut due to their shock design. Pity since these are easily removed with their wrench (under $10) which I have.

Before I grab the pipe wrench for an install are there any suggestions? There used to be a BMW 4 pin tool years ago and those I've been able to find are $100+ which is just silly. I've seen suggestions that a 2 pin angle grinder wrench or motorcycle clutch tool can work but they typically aren't strong enough to exert any real leverage necessary to crank the nut down. 

Here is a picture of the OEM gland nut so you have a sense of what I'm talking about. Just want to make sure I'm not missing a magic tool or easy trick.

 

Gland nut.jpg

 

 

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Thanks. That's beefier than other OTC versions of that tool I've seen and 2x the price. The reputation of the cheaper ones is that they tend to either sheer off the pins or the bolt that holds the arms. This looks worth checking out.

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11 hours ago, snap said:

Never saw one of those before, that looks beefy!

Ive used something like this in the past. Although the recent Bilsteins I installed had groves like a traditional spanner nut on a coilover.

https://www.amazon.com/Wadoy-Adjustable-Distance-15mm-160mm-Replaces/dp/B075L6S94V/ref=pd_lpo_vtph_469_tr_t_2?_encoding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=SMH7EC8DB3WD7PYE9P2Y

 

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i don't totally agree with your 'trashes them' assessment. although that certainly is a possibility, I also believe its avoidable. are yours super super crusty? use rust penetrant and heat before applying the wrench. you can see below how crusty my e34 collars were and I reused them just fine. i've used this method every time i've done suspension on an e30 or e34.

On 4/21/2016 at 9:35 PM, straight6pwr said:

strut collars where pretty stuck, and the little 10" pipe wrench didnt cut it, so i built this.  we be rebuilding it for the zombie apocalypse if needed. great swing weight.

ShUppiy.jpg

HNsQuny.jpg

 

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Yeah, admittedly the last OEM ones I removed were originals from the 233k 318is: heat, PB Blaster, pipe wrenches, BFH, chisels, cursing etc. Wish I would have seen that tire option for removal, what a great idea. By comparison removing the Bilstein gland nuts with their notched ring that have been on the race case since 2007, and were last removed in 2014 took about a minute.

The challenge with the e30 gland nut pictured in the first post is that there is only about 2+/32" of a metal lip lip to grab onto with a pipe wrench. The e34 looks like more meat to deal with. Are the strut tubes threaded on the outside and the nut fits over the tube, or is it like the e30 where the strut tube is threaded on the inside and the gland nutsfits into the tube?

What will add to the challenge is that I'll have the Ground Control aluminum threaded sleeve on the strut tube. The sleeve runs to the top of the tube and I'm cranking the gland nut all the way down so it holds the Koni in place as well as sits flush against the top of the threaded sleeve. So caution needed as I tighten the gland nut so I don't screw up the aluminum sleeve threads. I'll tape up the sleeve in case the wrench slips.

The threads on the inside of the strut tubes have seen better days so the gland nut can be started by hand but not much more than that. After cleaning up the threads on the tubes its been getting easier and I've been able to test fit the gland nuts on the empty/bare tubes and use the pipe wrench tighten them all the way down so it will work and didn't chew up the lip too badly.  

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i hadnt considered the exposed threads of the new coilover tube would be at risk, good point.

is the OEM collar and the bilstein collar the same diameter?

would it be possible to 'notch' the oem one to match the bilstein collar so the tool would work for both?

second out-of-the-box idea - can you have zachypoo weld on some sort of tabs or posts or additional material to the collar to make removal easier by some other regular tool?

third crazy idea - can you modify the bilstein collar to work with the coilover setup?

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Enter the world of proprietary gland nuts and shock design.  Koni shocks are similar to oem shocks in that the shaft is roughly the same diameter (22mm?) and thus fits through the hole in the top of the gland nut with a little bit of clearance to spare. The bumpstops are external and end up resting on top of the gland nut at full compression. BiIsteins use an inverted shock design with the the narrow diameter shaft and bump stops both inside of the shock body itself and a much thicker piece extending out of the shock body up to the sock tower. The result is a very different gland nut with a much wider opening. Plus the bottom of the Bilstein gland doesn't sit as tight on the Koni strut body and the threads are about 1/4" shorter than the OEM nut, which means altering the length of the internal spacer to use with the short body Koni to make sure the nut locks the strut in place.  To deal with the larger hole I could fab an insert piece SAE washer to fit/weld inside the Bilstein gland nut but by that point it just makes more sense to use a pipe wrench on the OEM nut and be done with it.

Notching the oem gland nut would work if there was a thicker lip but as mentioned earlier it's thin. When trying to chisel off the old OEM ones I "notched" and destroyed much of the lip. Revisit cursing point in prior post above. The idea of Zach welding on some sort of tabs to the gland nut is an interesting  possibility for a plan B. 

Once again I'm just overthinking things. I could never do this for a living, projects for customers would never get done.  I'll try pipe wrench first. I've got a bunch of duct tape to wrap the aluminum sleeves so I don't score the threads. Thought about using antiseize on the gland nut threads to help lubricate the install but then again I don't want the gland nut to back out. Ah, there I go again...

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