The BMW E30 is an iconic car for more reasons than one. When it came out, it offered unparalleled performance in its class, which earned it an evergreen reputation among car enthusiasts. That being said, we’re not here to talk about the perfection that is a BMW E30. Instead, we want to discuss what you can do to improve it even more. The rear suspension in the BMW E30 has an effective and simple design, but the E30 shock mount is a known weak point. As a result, most owners look for alternative ways of improving the mount, especially if they use their car as a track or rallying rig.
Article updated on 12/29/21. Original publishing date 05/04/17.
Why does The E30 Shock Mount need To Be Improved?
The BMW E30 shock mount handles a beating every time the car is on the road, whether it’s for a regular drive, on the track, or on uneven rally stages. The only difference is the time it takes for the mounts to wear out.
Worn-out shock mounts shouldn’t be ignored for long, or at all. If left unchecked, they will soon be the least of your worries, especially if you’ve been hearing knocking noises for a while. In the worst-case scenario, your shock absorber is completely going through the body of the car, causing all kinds of damage along the way. Not to mention the possibility of injury if things go south during a race.
The Difference Between a Stock and Improved E30 Shock Mount
If you’re using your E30 as a regular daily driver, there’s no need to use the improved E30 shock mount, but it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t if you want to.
The most obvious difference between stock and alternative E30 shock mounts is that the improved shock mounts offer more strength while keeping the softness of stock mounts. The improved E30 shock mounts can do this thanks to a solid metal piece that sits between the rubber bushings.
This little addition to the E30 shock mount not only gives it better rigidity to withstand extreme driving conditions, but it also changes the way the car absorbs corners.
Can You Perform This Upgrade At Home?
Replacing the E30 shock mount with a new OEM part is a standard procedure that needs to be done every now and again, and it’s something you can do yourself if you have the necessary tools and some good ol’ fashioned know-how. The same applies to upgraded and stronger mounts. It’s a pretty simple procedure, and we’ll go over the steps in a little bit.
We did the upgrade on our BMW E30 by using the JTDRS E30 shock mount, but due to the difficulty of finding this specific E30 shock mount upgrade, you can use any other alternative such as this awesome Lamfoerder shock mount kit that offers all the same benefits.
The Steps To Install An Improved BMW E30 Shock Mount
For installing the new mounts, you’ll need the following tools:
- 13 mm socket or Ratcheting wrench
- 17 mm socket or even better a Ratcheting wrench
- 7 mm wrench or vice grips
Here’s what you need to do.
Step 1 – Safely Jack Up The Car And Remove The Rear Wheels
Whenever you’re working on the suspension system of any car, this will be the first step. Once you have the car in position, leave it in gear and pull the handbrake. Loosen the wheel bolts while the car is still on the ground and put the car up on jack stands.
After the car is safely jacked up, remove all the bolts from the rear wheels and remove the wheels from the car. Put them on the side or underneath the car for added safety.
Step 2 – Remove Everything Restricting Access To The Strut Towers
This step will most likely be different compared to our car because our E30 was already rally-ready and didn’t have a trunk liner. All we needed to do is open up the trunk, and we could start working on the strut towers as soon as we moved spare parts out of the way.
You’ll likely need to move the liner, if you have one, before gaining full access to the strut towers.
Step 3 – Remove The Old E30 Shock Mount
When you get the main nut out of the way, you’ll need to remove the two 13 mm bolts holding the E30 shock mount in place. It may take some force to remove these so be patient when trying to loosen them.
Once all the nuts are removed, the E30 shock mount should become loose, and you can remove it from your car.
Step 4 – Install The New E30 Shock Mount And Dust Gasket
This step might require some assistance if you can’t reach the E30 shock mount position from the trunk and the wheel arch at the same time. We could, so it remained a one-man job, but in case you have any trouble, have someone around just in case.
You’ll need to place the new E30 shock mount through the holes and place the 13 mm nuts on the studs. After this, you’ll need to raise the shock stud into place by a few inches, so you’ll get to put the 17 mm nut and washer back to the shock shaft.
The entire process is the same for the other side of the car, so once you finish one side, you can go straight for the other one.
Where To Find All The Parts For The E30 Shock Mount Upgrade?
Keep in mind that this is the ideal time to do work on the rear suspension if you need to replace any other part as well. Regarding tools, you won’t need anything special or unique. However, when it comes to parts, it’s a different story.
It’s not as easy to find OEM parts for older European vehicles such as the BMW E30, let alone upgrade parts specifically designed for a certain vehicle. Thankfully, we at eEuroparts.com offer a wide selection of OEM and performance parts for most European vehicles. Our simple shop navigation tool ensures that the pars you order are a guaranteed fit for your car. Head over to our store and find what you’re looking for!