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  #1  
Old 11-20-2019, 05:33 PM
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X5 E53 4.4is Retrofitting air suspension

Hi All,

Been browsing the forum since I purchased my X three weeks ago. I love it!
It's a 2000 4.4is and it is on 192003 miles now (309.000kms) It's in need of some repairs like front suspension bushings.

Currently it's running air in the rear only but I plan on replacing the front with air too and was looking into retro fitting OEM air suspension with aftermarket management but I was not able to find much about that.

I searched for hours but was not able to find any info about where the air supply comes from to the front accumulator. Is it just a small 4mm plastic hose that comes out of the compressor or is it T'ed of the blue and red hoses in the back?





If possible I want to keep the rear air system original with leveling sensors. If I would want to lower it I could make up some lowering links.

This is how i've got it in mind, but I'm new to air suspension so I'm not sure if this works, someone please let me know if this makes sense:



The front original accumulator is used as a storage tank only. Any EHC2 sensors wont be used, instead I want to make a manual paddle switch to control ride height manually.

Would there be need for a non return valve in line running to the front accumulator?


This is my X:




Thanks for looking and input :-)
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  #2  
Old 12-09-2019, 10:39 AM
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Here's what I can contribute to this that may be of help:

Front Air Suspension Strut Removal and Installation:

https://youtu.be/yW2NhlJ1ahM

EHC-II Demonstration (To keep you motivated! lol!)

https://youtu.be/udCNkliMiXc
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  #3  
Old 12-09-2019, 03:44 PM
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Thanks! I've seen those video's and I love how it works!


I have purchased most of the items to fit front air suspension. It will not be 100% OEM but I think it will work how I like it.

I will use the stock air compressor and feed an air line to an OEM pressure accumulator for the front air struts. Then from the accumulator to the front new OEM Replacement shocks. I will be able to control the height with a simple paddle valve.

I'm thinking of adding a non return valve to the line that runs from the compressor to the accumulator (not sure if this is needed)
I will add a safety release valve at the accumulator.

I might add a second paddle valve to control both front stuts independant. This will also improve sporty driving as air is then not able to escape to the other side when cornering.

The rear suspension will remain stock, keeping self leveling system intact as I want to use the X to tow. I will add some lowering links to bring it down a bit though.


Not sure when I will start the project but I will keep this thread updated.

It will be a big project as all the suspension bushes are shot too and I will replace them all at once front to back. Can't wait!
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Old 06-11-2020, 04:21 PM
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Just an update on this. Got it all working!

I have been running custom front air suspension since February 2020 with the rear self leveling suspension still fully working.

This is how I did it:
OEM Front air suspension
OEM Air accumulator
Manual air paddle valve to adjust ride height
6mm air tubing, various fittings and one way valves and one emergency release valve
Compressor toggle switch

I simply tapped in the 4mm air hose that comes out of the compressor, ran that into a non return valve that connects to the air accumulator under the car, from there to the manual paddle valve inside the car.
Then a line to both front airbags from the paddle valve.

I've added two schrader valves, one to pump up the front airbags with external compressor and the other one to fill the air accumulator under the car.

When the compressor runs to pump up the rear bags it will fill the air accumulator, giving me control to fill the front airbags when needed.

But I noticed that the compressor for the rear airbags rarely turns on, leaving no air in the air accumulator as there was a very slow leak. So I made a switch to turn on the compressor manually and fixed the leak.

The airbags


Compressor feed to solenoids, tapped in for a line to the front air accumulator


First schrader valve, second one is in the same spot.


First test, fully dropped.


some impressions






I almost gave up on this and wanted to get coilovers for the front but now that it is working I will keep it and see how long it will last. There is something cool about full airride
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  #5  
Old 06-11-2020, 07:01 PM
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Nice work getting it done! Great photos.

I took my X5 with 4 corner air to a friend's wedding in Cape Cod, MA a few years back when there were flooded local roads. Thankfully we took the X5 and were able to raise it up a little bit more!
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  #6  
Old 06-11-2020, 09:12 PM
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Great looking truck. Nice work on the retrofit. I just removed my air suspension and dread the day I have to ford water. Thankfully it's not a daily and spends most of her time in the garage.
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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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  #7  
Old 06-12-2020, 03:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crystalworks View Post
Great looking truck. Nice work on the retrofit. I just removed my air suspension and dread the day I have to ford water. Thankfully it's not a daily and spends most of her time in the garage.
Thanks!
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  #8  
Old 06-12-2020, 11:20 AM
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Looks great!!!
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  #9  
Old 06-12-2020, 01:02 PM
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Looks great! What rear roof spoiler do you have?
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Old 06-12-2020, 01:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Purplecty View Post
Looks great! What rear roof spoiler do you have?
AC Schnitzer. I'm rocking one as well. A replica one anyway. Available all over eBay. Mine came painted in imola for $120? Something like that.
__________________
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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