Home Forums Articles How To's FAQ Register
Go Back   Xoutpost.com > BMW SAV Forums > X5 (E53) Forum
Bimmer Tool Rental
User Name
Password
Member List Premier Membership Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Xoutpost server transfer and maintenance is occurring....
Xoutpost is currently undergoing a planned server migration.... stay tuned for new developments.... sincerely, the management


Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 06-19-2012, 02:39 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Posts: 101
X5Kiwi is on a distinguished road
Rear Air Spring Replacement - with photos

I finally got sick of my leaking air suspension and decided to replace both rear air springs, even though only the right one was leaking. I figure they are both 12 years old and have done 220,000km so it was best to replace both, especially when shipping from USA was $80 for one spring or only $100 for both.

I purchased the new air springs from Arnott Industries for just $99.25 each. I also found a discount code BENZWORLD0312 which gave me 10% off :-)

The links to the new springs are:

New Rear Right Comfort Air Suspension Air Spring for 2000-2006 (w/ rear air leveling ONLY) X5
New Rear Left Comfort Air Suspension Air Spring for 2000-2006 (w/ rear air leveling ONLY) X5

I found the sales team at Arnott to be very helpful in confirming the part numbers and was given a quick quote for shipping to New Zealand.

The parts were shipped on Thursday and arrived in New Zealand on the Tuesday, which is excellent considering the distance and timezones crossed. Parts were well packaged too.

As mentioned in other posts, pulling the car apart takes longer than actually changing the springs, in fact changing the springs was so quick that I went through the documentation again thinking I must have missed some steps!

Name:  P1030337.JPG
Views: 9953
Size:  244.1 KB
Putting the springs side by side shows how perished and out of shape the old springs were.

Name:  P1030338.JPG
Views: 7915
Size:  210.4 KB
The cracking in the old right spring (the one that was leaking) is very obvious.

Name:  P1030340.JPG
Views: 15490
Size:  233.1 KB
Most of the time was spent getting all the plastic parts out of the boot (trunk for you Americans) and getting the X5 up on the axle stands.

I had only the supplied jack to use, which SUCKS since it doesn't lift straight up, but actually pulls the X5 towards you as it lifts. It is pretty scarey when you are lifting the second side up, and notice the axle stand on the far side leaning over about 15 degrees! I ended up grabbing the jack from my wife's car, which worked much better as it lifts straight up.
I lifted the whole rear of the X5 up and placed it on my 4ton axle stands so I could work on both sides at once. DON'T DO THIS JOB WITHOUT AXLE STANDS!

After I had the X5 on the axle stands, and had the wheels off, I then pulled the fuses and released the air from the reservoirs by undoing the banjo bolts slightly. It takes a few minutes for all the air to empty out, so be patient and grab a beer.

Name:  P1030341.JPG
Views: 7871
Size:  207.4 KB
Name:  P1030342.JPG
Views: 7834
Size:  226.0 KB
One of my air reservoirs was replaced a few years ago (due to a broken plastic clamp) so I had the original one on the left side and the newer one on the right. The older one was easier to work with, as the pipe from the reservoir to the air spring can be disconnected at both ends, giving you more freedom to work. The newer one can only disconnect at the air spring, so the black pipe (which is very stiff) is constantly in the way.

Name:  P1030343.JPG
Views: 7835
Size:  187.2 KB
Name:  P1030344.JPG
Views: 7803
Size:  196.1 KB
Name:  P1030345.JPG
Views: 7672
Size:  157.5 KB
This is what the left side looks like once the air spring is out. I was happy to see that even with 12 years and 220,000km on the clock, there is no rust anywhere. It was also a good chance to check all the bushings and boots. You can also see my nice new bright yellow shocks, replaced just two weeks ago (one was leaking so I replaced them both).

Name:  P1030346.JPG
Views: 7801
Size:  186.4 KB
When I pulled the old air springs out, each one had this cardboard gasket sitting on top between the spring and the car. There was no mention of this in the TIS documentation, and no replacement with the new springs, so I gave them both a good clean and put them on top of the new springs. They just sit on top, no glue or anything. I guess they are just there to prevent rattles?

Name:  P1030347.JPG
Views: 8161
Size:  207.7 KB
Name:  P1030348.JPG
Views: 7657
Size:  214.7 KB
As mentioned, replacing the springs is very easy. Actually placing the new springs is best if you have a helper to help guide the pins into place from above and attach the clips, but this only takes about 2 minutes per side and doesn't cause dirty hands if you have a wife that doesn't like spending time in the garage :-)

Probably the most difficult part of the whole process (apart from the useless OEM jack) was getting the clips off the bottom of the old air springs. I found a long handled flat head screw driver helped in pushing them part way off, and then I could pull them the rest of the way off with my fingers. You will need a torch as well to see what you are doing.

After I had everything back together, I plugged all the fuses in, expecting the air compressor to start pumping, but nothing. I tried turning on the key, and even started the car (while still on the axle stands) but still nothing. No errors, just nothing.

So I turned the key off again, pulled the fuses and put the wheels back on so that I could lower the truck onto the ground. I lowered the whole rear end down so it was still on the axle stands, but at their lowest setting. This had the truck sitting at about half of its normal height, and avoided having it sitting on completely deflated air springs. I then put the fuses back in and immediately the compressor kicked in and lifted the truck up off the axle stands. Success!

I checked for leaks with some soapy water, and then went for a 20km drive. Everything seemed fine.

Even better, 4 days later and the truck has not deflated at all! And with new air springs and shocks, it feels great, much less body roll through the corners. With 1200km of driving over mostly rough gravel roads coming up this weekend while chasing the WRC Rally, it will be nice knowing everything is nice and new.
__________________
Current

Sold



Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links

  #2  
Old 06-19-2012, 12:27 PM
TwinsPoppa's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 3,523
TwinsPoppa is on a distinguished road
Good job and thanks for sharing!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 06-19-2012, 12:47 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: J'village
Posts: 69
Koody is on a distinguished road
Quote: so be patient and grab a beer...... ehm...... only one? XD

Tnx for sharing, great write-up!
__________________
'01 E53 4.4i exe sport >155K-miles [daily driver]
'00 E46 323i sport >90K-miles [sold]
'01 LR freelander 2.5 V6 >90K-miles [sold]
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 06-19-2012, 02:02 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Wenonah NJ
Posts: 333
sockethead is on a distinguished road
Thanks for taking the time to do the write up and take the pics. I always think of doing this after it's too late and the job is almost done
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 06-19-2012, 05:42 PM
AZX54.4's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Phoenix,AZ
Posts: 457
AZX54.4 is on a distinguished road
Great write up!! I just got my arnott replacements yesterday. I couldn't find any discount codes, oh well. How does the bottom of the air strut go into the A arm. Is there anything holding it in or is it just held in by compression?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 06-19-2012, 08:19 PM
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Hamilton, New Zealand
Posts: 101
X5Kiwi is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZX54.4 View Post
Great write up!! I just got my arnott replacements yesterday. I couldn't find any discount codes, oh well. How does the bottom of the air strut go into the A arm. Is there anything holding it in or is it just held in by compression?
If you look in my 7th photo, you'll see a hole that the bottom of the air spring fits into. This hole has a notch in one side which you need to make sure you get lined up right, otherwise you will not be able to get the clip on underneath. It is pretty easy to move everything around until it drops into place, just remember to take the cap (or whatever you are using to protect the hose connection on the top of the air spring) off first, otherwise you will not be able to expand the air spring down to meet the A arm. The clip underneath goes on much easier than it comes off.

Also, make sure you fit the top of the air spring with its clips before you attempt to do the bottom.
__________________
Current

Sold



Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 06-19-2012, 10:05 PM
mgbmwx5's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PNW WA.
Posts: 308
mgbmwx5 is on a distinguished road
Great job and thanks for sharing your experience!
__________________
/ / / Mike
BMW X5 Xdrive50i 2015 F15
BMW 325iC 1992 E30
BMW X5 4.4i - sold

BMW 335i X Drive 2010 - sold

BMW Z4 3.0is 2006 - sold
BMW 325is 1993 - sold
BMW 2002 1976 - sold


X5 Garage

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:01 PM
rogerkiu's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Hong Kong
Posts: 1,049
rogerkiu is on a distinguished road
The Arnott spring costs $100 each, plus shipping cost, the total cost will not be cheaper than the OEM. In Hong Kong, each side brand new spring costs $160 (not from BMW official dealer but some automobile retailer), one pair costs $320. If I order Arnott spring, one pair costs $200 plus around $50 shipping cost, total cost is $250, only $70 difference between oem and Arnott. In this case, I will rather lean to oem, unless the product quality of Arnott is much better than oem. Anyone can shed some light on this decision please?
__________________
--2004 E53 X5 4.8is - ECE version; right hand drive; Located in Hong Kong; ext. black sapphire metallic; int. leather black; adaptive dynamic bi-xenon headlights; 16:9 onboard monitor w/o navigation; 20" genuine BMW Y-spoke 214 wheels with Bridgestone Dueler H/P Sport tires; Int. rear view mirror w/ compass.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 06-19-2012, 11:28 PM
mgbmwx5's Avatar
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: PNW WA.
Posts: 308
mgbmwx5 is on a distinguished road
Quote:
Originally Posted by rogerkiu View Post
The Arnott spring costs $100 each, plus shipping cost, the total cost will not be cheaper than the OEM. In Hong Kong, each side brand new spring costs $160 (not from BMW official dealer but some automobile retailer), one pair costs $320. If I order Arnott spring, one pair costs $200 plus around $50 shipping cost, total cost is $250, only $70 difference between oem and Arnott. In this case, I will rather lean to oem, unless the product quality of Arnott is much better than oem. Anyone can shed some light on this decision please?
Arnott provides a life time warranty, BMW OEM does not. It's your choice.
__________________
/ / / Mike
BMW X5 Xdrive50i 2015 F15
BMW 325iC 1992 E30
BMW X5 4.4i - sold

BMW 335i X Drive 2010 - sold

BMW Z4 3.0is 2006 - sold
BMW 325is 1993 - sold
BMW 2002 1976 - sold


X5 Garage

Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 06-20-2012, 12:52 AM
Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Boise, ID
Posts: 60
X5Boise is on a distinguished road
Nice work in your descriptions and pictures. Will bookmark this for future reference.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
air suspension, diy

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On





All times are GMT -4. The time now is 08:14 PM.
vBulletin, Copyright 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd. SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0
2017 Xoutpost.com. All rights reserved. Xoutpost.com is a private enthusiast site not associated with BMW AG.
The BMW name, marks, M stripe logo, and Roundel logo as well as X3, X5 and X6 designations used in the pages of this Web Site are the property of BMW AG.
This web site is not sponsored or affiliated in any way with BMW AG or any of its subsidiaries.