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Old 06-08-2020, 12:15 PM
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crystalworks crystalworks is offline
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BC Racing Coilovers Review - Another EHCII System Removed

So, it pained me to remove the EHCII system from Red as I used the system a fair amount. Almost every time I drove the truck. Loved being able to go over curbs (slowly) and then lower it for washing. But with the system just starting to give me issues and seeing the many horror stories regarding the system on here I (wife pushed too) decided to switch to coilovers. There are already threads on BCR change but figured I'd add my experience with the BC Racing I-20-BR kit. There is another kit from them as well, the I-76-BR. The only difference between the two, that I can find, is the spring rate of the rear springs. The I-20 has 12k rear and the I-76 has 8k rear spring rates.

I-20-BR Specs:

9k Front and 12k Rear Spring Rates
Linear Front and Rear Springs
2 inch minimum and 3+ inches of total potential drop

What You Get:

Here's how it arrived and everything you get. It's a budget setup so not too great, but it still presents as upscale. The front left strut assembly did have a bent bracket for the brake line, but no real damage.


Installing these on a 4 corner air setup X5 is about as easy as anything gets on this chassis. I won't go into it as we could have installed the entire setup in under 3 hours easily. Took us closer to 6 because we were carefully removing all the air lines, junctions, air tanks, valves, etc. You know, because racecar. But no really I didn't want added weight from leaving the carcass of the air system in there when it will never be added back into the truck. Not sure if this helps or hurts resale value. By the time I'm ready to find out, it either won't matter, or I won't care.

This was the worst part because aero kit problems. The aero kit makes it very difficult to remove the inner fender liner here in order to get at the air lines. This took the most time and was the most frustrating part of the whole install. Everything else was smooth.

Torque specs:

Front knuckle to strut assembly (x2/side) - 184ft/lbs
Front strut to top of chassis (x3/side) - 25ft/lbs
Front sway bar to strut assembly (x1/side) - 74ft/lbs
Rear strut to chassis (x3/side) - 20ft/lbs
Rear strut to swing arm (x1/side) - 94ft/lbs

Going to rebuild a storage setup for under the rear load floor now as with the air compressor turtle gone there is a ton of room for activities. Should be a pretty nice compartment area. You can see where I added 3 layers of sound dampening over the old rear accumulator tank holes. Will add some foam underneath at some point but I took it for a drive as is and it's fine. Also going to replace that battery preventatively. Over 4 years old now and I can always use a good spare sitting on the shelf.

Had to remove the Dinan strut bar and mounting plates so the alignment tech would have access to the adjustment plates. Final alignment is below.

For those who were wondering, will a Dinan strut bar work with the coilover setup? Well, yes and no. You will need to do some clearancing in order to get it to work. Not a lot, but a little. Took a few minutes on the CNC lathe (AKA the angle grinder) to clearance the eye for the bolt so that the adjustment knob on the coilovers wasn't interfering or getting smashed. It's a tight fit. It pained me grinding on a $1000 strut bar to clear a $1000 coilover setup... but what are you going to do? Automotive enthusiast right.

And the final result.

While adjusting stiffness and ride height I found a side benefit to the coilovers is the suspension droop is SUBSTANTIALLY reduced. Requires a much lower lift height to get the wheels off the ground.

Driving Impressions/Final Thoughts

I am comparing to factory air setup at factory ride height. The ride is much more planted while still being compliant. This is with the dampening on the front set to 13 clicks on the soft side and the rear set to 13 clicks on the hard side. I drove it through downtown to get a real test of how rough or smooth the setup would be. It's not bad at all. I would put it at slightly stiffer than the air suspension, but not uncomfortable or jarring in any way. I am very satisfied and pleased with the coilover kit. Quality is good (as long as it lasts) and adjustment is easy. I was getting a little too much suspension travel in the rear after initial install and rubbed slightly on a large speed bump so I raised the rear 1/4" and added 2 clicks stiffer dampening. Problem solved. The versatility is very nice though I doubt I will mess with it much anymore as I am happy with where it is at. Overall I'd highly recommend this setup. I'm not sure I would be as happy with the softer rear springs on the I-76 kit. After driving with the 12k rear springs I'm not sure the 8k versions would be stiff enough to handle the weight of the rear of the truck.

My Air Ride Heights (bottom of rim to bottom of fender):

Front - 27.25" (692.15mm)
Rear - 28.00" (711.2mm)

*Note: My air ride heights are lower than stock specs in TIS. Not sure why, I never did any coding or adjustments to them. Maybe a previous owner did?

Coilover Ride Heights (bottom of rim to bottom of fender):

Front - 27.00" (685.8mm)
Rear - 27.25" (692.15mm)

2005 X5 4.4i Build 04/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, Pano, Sport (Purchased 06/14 w/ 109,000 miles) (Sold 8/15 w/121,000 miles)

2006 X5 4.8is Build 11/05 Maintenance/Build Log
Nav, DSP, Pano, Running Boards, OEM Tow Hitch, Cold Weather Pckg (Purchased 08/15 w/ 90,500 miles)

2010 X5 35d Build 02/10
Nav, HiFi, 6 DVD, Sports Pckg, Cold Weather Pckg, HUD, CAS, Running Boards, Leather Dash, PDC, Pano (Purchased 03/17 w/ 136,120 miles)
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