Article by: Gerry at PhoenixMotorsport
Article applies to: all BMW models equipped with EDC shocks.
I will be demonstrating how to do what many say is not possible, and that fit Bilsteins to an EDC strut.
Firstly, remove the front suspension leg and spring assembly just as any other E31 except for the extra blue connector.
Securely hold the strut and using some large grips, or “Stilsons”, attempt to unscrew the lower EDC connector, close to the body of the strut, on the metal ring part of the plug.
This unscrews if you are very lucky, leaving a 35mm hole in the bottom of the strut. It is very common to have to split the threaded collar to remove this connection.
With this connector removed, pull out this valve part…
And using a 22mm socket undo….
This nut and remove it.
Repeat this procedure for the upper connector…
Then slowly pull out the insert, draining off the oil as you do so.
You will most certainly need to whack the piston rod to loosen the insert to get it started.
Now we get to do what others say is not possible….we need to remove the inner sleeve tube only found on EDC struts.
Using a large screwdriver in the holes left from the removed connectors, loosen an inner sleeve and feed it to the top of the strut.
Then pull it clear:
to reveal this holey tube.
The new Bilstein strut insert can now be……….well…….inserted.
In this case, we managed to remove the EDC connectors so to make a nice neat job, we cut the loom off and re-used the connectors to seal the holes.
Otherwise you will need to seal them with some 35mm grommets or bungs. (35mm core plugs would be great).
Check out the severe damage on the top of the original EDC strut caused by corrosion underneath the bump stop rubber:
And here, the cause of this EDC failure, the valve broken away inside and stuck on the end of the piston.
So there you have it…….the impossible done!!!