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While replacing my front brake pads a couple weekends ago, I noticed that the rubber booty, which in theory should be sealing dirt out of my front shocks, doesn't actually connect to the bottom of the shock. The attached picture hopefully makes clear what I'm trying to describe. This picture shows the drivers side front shock, but the passenger side looked similar.

Anyway, is this normal? If not, it is bad? I suspect there is a lot less shiny metal exposed when the car is not on the jack and the front suspension is compressed.

-Brett
 

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When you raise the wheel off the ground by jacking it up you are extending the shock length. Once you lower the car the shock length will be reduced and the boot will cover the shock. Hope this helps.

Paul
 

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The boot is really to protect the shaft from getting dings a nicks from hard objects. There is a seal at the top of the shock cartridge that "sweeps" the shaft clean of any dirt. It the shaft gets a ding or a nick it will eventualy rip this seal.

You are probably fine. Just have a look at the shaft for any defects. I would not replace them unles you need to.

Jordan
 

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The bottom of the BMW boots are not attached to anything. When the car is jacked up, the rod will become exposed. What you are seeing is normal, even with a brand new flexible boot.
 
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