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  #1  
Old 06-23-2013, 04:08 PM
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Replacing Rear Air Spring - Suspension Component X5 e70

I had to recently do this work on my e70 X5 and thought it may be helpful to do a little write up (since I had a problem locating it)

What you need:
- e70 x5 (my 2008 X5 E70 4.8i)
- jack stand
- car lift
- basic tools
- new air spring / bag (about $280.00 at your local BMW dealer, $250.00 if you use http://parts.bmwofsouthatlanta.com/, locate the spring and ask them to price match)

Disclaimer: in no way does reading this post authorize you to do this repair yourself. You should always service your BMW at an authorized BMW Service point. Death and injury may/will result if you undertake this repair.

Things to know/review:
- BMW calls this part Air Spring
- Full Video I recently found
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WXxrI5QFdk
- Some additional research/review
BMW Leaking Air Strut E70 X5 - YouTube
- This is for Front Air Spring but some information is the same
BMW X5 Air Strut Replacement DIY Guide - YouTube

Work to be performed:
- park your SAV on a level surface
- remove all stuff from your trunk
- lift spare compartment door / spare tire door
- check to see if you have original bags or have a replacement unit already installed. You can do this by looking at the top of the bag.
Black = original bags installed by manufacturer,
Tan or whitish plastic = they've been replaced




- block the wheels as to prevent the SAV from rolling off of stands
- loosen wheel bolts, with wheels on the ground
- lift the back of the SAV. You will have to place jacks under both left and right sides of the truck. This probably will take most of your time. Here is a picture of two location I found ideal for this job:





make sure to lift the truck high enough to clear the ground (even though the driver side back wheel appears to be on the ground in my picture it was a little above it)

- at this point you should locate the air compressor. I did not do this because I like to live dangerously
- disconnect the positive cable from your battery. I also did not do this because I like to live dangerously (make sure the key is not in the car or in vicinity of the car, as to prevent it from powering on any components)
- remove the already loosened bolts and remove the wheel from the hub
- you will notice the bag. It is the component next to the shock/strut forward of the wheel compartment



- using a regular utility knife cut the air spring / bag open (stand back a little to prevent dust getting into your eyes), you can also use a drill, and drill a small hole in the bag (I used 3/8 bit)
- unclip the bag from the lower carrier, I used a long flat screwdriver to help myself




- next unscrew the top of the bag from the chassis by turning it clockwise
- with bag being cut and no air in it, it will be really easy to compress the bag and slide it out from the space it's occupied



- be careful not to break air line feeding the bag



- using a small open end wrench remove the fitting from the bag



- remove the keeper and slide the threaded nut off of the air line
- slide the new air spring / bag into compartment and compress the bag to release the air from it (this will allow you to manoover the bag after you insert the line)
- insert the air line through the top housing
- insert the air line into the valve. Push it hard until it seats itself. (do not unscrew the valve/keeper assembly from the new bag)




- insert the bag into the top of vehicle carrier and lock in place by turning counterclockwise: verify from above that it has seated property
- stretch and clip in the bag into lower carrier (may be a little hard but it will clip in)

- here is a picture of the old bag



- here is the picture of new bag installed (from trunk compartment)



- reinstall the back wheel
- reconnect the positive cable (if you have disconnected it earlier)
- with bag seated and clamped into the frame start the engine for the air to start filling up the bag (I understand that you do not want to seat the car on empty bags as damage to bag will occur)
- remove the SAV from the stands
- run the car again to make sure bags are inflated (one bag may have more air than the other but soon they will balance out)
- drive and test

UPDATE 2016/05/07: I just did another bag, this time the driver side. I also updated the contents a little.

Last edited by gregg3gs; 05-07-2016 at 06:29 PM. Reason: edited to add move links
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  #2  
Old 06-23-2013, 08:12 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to take the pictures and provide the commentary.
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Old 06-24-2013, 01:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lubehead View Post
Thank you for taking the time to take the pictures and provide the commentary.
It seems that there are no write ups on this forum. Since I come from a VW/Audi world I plan on changing that.

And you are welcome.

Last edited by gregg3gs; 06-27-2013 at 09:48 PM. Reason: spelling
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Old 06-24-2013, 09:11 AM
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Thanks for the pictures, I think that its inevitable that this will have to be changed, as the e70 ages.
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Old 06-24-2013, 11:45 AM
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Nice write-up!
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Old 06-24-2013, 12:46 PM
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Thanks for the informative write-up. There is no real DIY section for the E70 so thanks for sharing.

Just curious how did you know your air suspension needed replacing? Was there a fault that appeared or was it due to ride comfort or visually one side was sagging?
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Old 06-24-2013, 08:31 PM
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Thank you, I did my air spring on my E70 today, this write was a major help.


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Old 06-26-2013, 07:18 PM
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Stellar write-up, thanks for taking the time!


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Old 06-27-2013, 09:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by balx5 View Post
Just curious how did you know your air suspension needed replacing? Was there a fault that appeared or was it due to ride comfort or visually one side was sagging?
good point.

I would, from time to time, notice that the rear end of the SAV would just go flat (if I may) after being parked in the driveway for a while. This would sometimes take a whole night, other times would be ten minutes.
This especially would happen if I hit some potholes right before I parked the SAV.
In my case there was no error codes that I could see, but I currently do not have chassis scanner so I am limited to obdII codes only (that I can read).
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Old 06-28-2013, 12:22 PM
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Thanks,

Awesome write-up and it will definitely help others.
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