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-   -   Install Bilstein Struts/Shocks, All New Lemforder Suspension, Rear Air Bags Delete (https://xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-forums/x5-e53-forum/104422-install-bilstein-struts-shocks-all-new-lemforder-suspension-rear-air-bags-delete.html)

bmw540san 08-17-2016 10:05 PM

Install Bilstein Struts/Shocks, All New Lemforder Suspension, Rear Air Bags Delete
 
I pretty much decided to keep my X5 for indefinite amount of time and I've been buying these parts in the span of few months. Suspension is pretty much stock and original with relatively low 106k miles and some parts were worn more than others but I decided to everything all at once, perform the alignment and be done pretty much for the rest of my ownership.

The suspension wear found: Front tension arms bushings, front tie rods rubber cracking around ball joints, front control arms bushing starting to crack, front sway bar links starting to leak grease past rubber seal, rear control arms ball joint rubber split.

I'm well aware that I could've put many trouble free miles on the current suspension but I do believe in " while in there" especially when it comes to my time. If I ever decide to sell it, I may not get my money back but X5 maintained as this one will find a buyer easier. Also after founding big crack on front left strut mount, I realize I'm not paranoid as I simply felt that front dumping has lately become more harsh which I believe is due to partialy worn strut.

I'm not suspension expert but math is simple: Bad roads + heavy SUV + wide tires equals accelerated suspension wear.

Another reason for this huge project is the rear air suspension. While I'm relatively new to X5 scene, I've read enough about it to conclude it'll eventually become an issue. I believe in simplicity and good quality conventional setup will outlast and outperform air option.

Also, my front left CV joint outer boot decided to split while on vacation in Florida and spit the grease all over. Since I had to put 700 miles on open CV joint to get back home and the fact that PO had dealer install complete new CV joint assembly on the right side, I decided the install complete GKN OEM shaft and OEM front differential seal for very reasonable total of $220.

And finally, while it's a lot of money, it's hard to put the price on pride and satisfaction that job will be done right. This very X5 was only maintained at dealer prior to me and I don't even want to start on crap I found that these "Highly skilled factory technicians" have done. I don't care where you go, most shops will simply try to do as little as possible in the shortest amount of time and then charge you inflated hourly rate and inflated parts prices.

Also, I keep reading about how Bilstein is harsh. I agree that Sport version with matching lowered springs is to harsh, but I'm using Perfromance (also known as HD) with stock springs. I have the same setup on both E39's and even my wife and daughter are happy with the ride. To me, nothing matches the feel Bilsteins which I always sum up like this: Controlled and firm but not harsh.

I believe there are 2 main reasons for Bilstein controversy: Different people have different preferences and more importantly I believe that some people simply match struts / shocks with non compatible springs and then they blame Bilstein for their errors.

Back to main subject:

Basically, for around $1850 I got the following (main expense was for Bilstein struts and shocks coming at just over $500 not including any hardware):

Front:

2 x Bilstein HD strut (reusing OEM springs) 35-107422 left, 35-107439 right

6 x BMW strut mount nut 31316769731

2 x Lemforder strut mount 31306779604

2 x BMW strut mount bearing 31331090612

2 x BMW upper spring pad

2 x BMW lower spring pad 31331096299

2 x Lemforder tension arm

2 x Lemforder lower control arm

2 x Lemforder inner and outer tie rod set

2 x Lemforder tie rod boot

2 x Lemforder sway bar link

Rear:

2 x Bilstein HD shock 24-107440

2 x Suplex coil spring S06204 (made in Germany, OEM identical) Originally went with BMW springs from ECS Tuning but they sent wrong springs.

2 x Vaico shock mount V200672

6 x BMW shock mount nut 33306760587

2 x BMW upper spring pad

2 x BMW upper spring pad bushing (holds pad in place)

2 x BMW lower spring pad

2 x Febi shock bump stop F21105

2 x Lemforder guiding link

2 x Lemforder wishbone

2 x Lemforder sway bar link

And finally P.A Soft scan tool which is proven way to get rid of suspension error message.



To start with some parts porn:

https://s6.postimg.org/xbqz9smht/DSCN2834.jpgscreen capture tool



Big nut loosened fairly easy with air impact wrench:

https://s6.postimg.org/wbw30chy9/DSCN2822.jpgfree image uploader



While I tried everything over the years with my E39's, there is simply nothing better than factory BMW tool. It wasn't cheap but if I add all the frustration hours by uisng using inferior tools, it's worth every penny. It was almost like a child's play removing 13 year old original ball joints:

https://s6.postimg.org/l23d5ecwx/DSCN2825.jpggif hosting

https://s6.postimg.org/w2yiaf55t/DSCN2827.jpggif hosting



Another special tool

https://s6.postimg.org/m6xfarzdt/DSCN2830.jpgfree picture upload



PO had dealer install new bushings in 07 but they're already shot. I suspect that dealer technician could care less about tightening them with suspension loaded and simply just tightened them immediately after install and accelerate the wear:

https://s6.postimg.org/r84tc56u9/DSCN2832.jpgfree picture upload



Getting there:

https://s6.postimg.org/pud6gu7kx/DSCN2833.jpgfree picture upload



Since I was changing pretty much everything I decided to completely remove the hub which also helped me install new tension arm ball joint. I almost stripped E12 bolt and and it's worth mentioning that Lemforder replacement came with new T bolts:

https://s6.postimg.org/fgljf31lt/DSCN2840.jpgfree picture upload



Rented OEM slide hammer from Autozone and it pulled the inner CV joint with ease. I've had more trouble with separating hub from outer CV joint and I had to use modified hub puller:

https://s6.postimg.org/hg256hvxd/DSCN2836.jpgfree picture upload



Seal removed and in 2nd picture "special seal installer" which is matched $2 pvc pipe from Ace. Put wood on top of it and gently tap it in. Worked like a charm:

https://s6.postimg.org/bufq2fv8h/DSCN2838.jpgfree picture upload

https://s6.postimg.org/5fgp5roip/DSCN2837.jpgfree picture upload


As mentioned earlier almost stripped one E12 bolt:

https://s6.postimg.org/a3wp0ydpd/DSCN2839.jpgfree picture upload



Disassembling stock strut. Original strut mount on the left had big crack and I'm glad that I decided not to reuse anything. Also, while stock strut wasn't leaking, it was definitely tired:

https://s6.postimg.org/te3pkdzoh/DSCN2843.jpgfree picture upload



Bilstein in with reused and cleaned OEM spring. All new hardware:

https://s6.postimg.org/go42l1h41/DSCN2845.jpgfree picture upload



Reinstalling:

https://s6.postimg.org/m0swz650h/DSCN2846.jpgfree picture upload



Everything in with expection of new sway bar link. Genius packer at RmEuropean warehuose sent me 2 right links instead left and right. To their credit, they promised to ship out replacement quickly:

https://s6.postimg.org/kn1a3v5r5/DSCN2847.jpgfree picture upload

https://s6.postimg.org/dl3cho25d/DSCN2848.jpgfree picture upload



Tomorrow I'm starting on the right front which will go much faster since I'm not touching the CV axle and rear suspension after that.

To be continued...

Update 8/18/16:

Finished front right side today and got the missing link from RMEuropean. Earlist I can start on rear is Tuesday morning and including alignment, it shoud be done by next weekend. I'll include pictures of rear air bags removal but in reality it's quite simple.
Looking forward to get rid of air suspension crap for good.

itscoo2pyopants 08-18-2016 09:33 AM

Good work, can't wait to hear about your impressions of the new setup

Ricky Bobby 08-18-2016 09:45 AM

A fresh front end always feels amazing!

bmw540san 08-18-2016 05:17 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1085499)
Good work, can't wait to hear about your impressions of the new setup

Thanks. I finished the right front side today but I won't start on rear till next week. Including alignment it should be ready by next weekend.

bmw540san 08-18-2016 05:22 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Ricky Bobby (Post 1085501)
A fresh front end always feels amazing!

Yes. I'm not really impressed with stock struts. According to stickers, they're made in Spain by Delphi and they simply don't feel like a good quality.
Bilstein on other hand, regardless of different opinions is top notch quality.

itscoo2pyopants 08-18-2016 06:31 PM

did you get your parts from fcp euro? it looks like they put a kit together to swap out the air suspension for e53's. makes it waay easier to swap out with a one click order.

any other special tools needed for suspension work? I plan on doing this in the near future.

Miltr118 08-18-2016 07:08 PM

Thats a great write up, strong work! :thumbup: That's on my to do list, however I'm gonna do it a little at a time. first the front, minus the shocks. I'll wait a little and then will finish the rear along with the shocks.

bmw540san 08-18-2016 08:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1085541)
did you get your parts from fcp euro? it looks like they put a kit together to swap out the air suspension for e53's. makes it waay easier to swap out with a one click order.

any other special tools needed for suspension work? I plan on doing this in the near future.

I considered it but even with loyalty code, the price was about $150 more when compared to RMEuropean. I'm aware of their lifetime warranty but I doubt that I'll have issue with these parts during my ownership.
Also, I buy from them here and there and I wish them luck, but who's to say they won't go out of business soon and there goes you lifetime warranty.

As for special tools, as seen in some of pictures:
I actually laughed today at ease that BMW factory ball join tool is breaking 13 year old ball joints.
It's not pictured, but I strongly recommend Hub puller that looks like a paw, although the one from AutoZone was to small and I had to modify it.
And of course, the bigger variety the better of combination 16, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22mm in wrenches and sockets.
Also, good quality coil spring compressor. Actually OEM, brand from AutoZone, even though is somewhat generic, it has served me well.
To finish it, big air compressor is must as nothing replaces it in situation when you need that sudden torque.

bmw540san 08-18-2016 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miltr118 (Post 1085545)
Thats a great write up, strong work! :thumbup: That's on my to do list, however I'm gonna do it a little at a time. first the front, minus the shocks. I'll wait a little and then will finish the rear along with the shocks.

Thanks. The reason I'm doing it in one sweep is that you really need alignment after. Also, since I really want to get rid of air bags, the rear is really not that much work as shocks and coils are separated and there is no compressing involved which I'm always vary of.
But, I can understand doing it in stages as you will.

Miltr118 08-18-2016 08:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1085550)
Thanks. The reason I'm doing it in one sweep is that you really need alignment after. Also, since I really want to get rid of air bags, the rear is really not that much work as shocks and coils are separated and there is no compressing involved which I'm always vary of.
But, I can understand doing it in stages as you will.

I understand, buddy of mine has a shop so we're doing the front followed by the alignment and when I do rear we'll throw it back onto the rack for another alignment. :D

I'm hoping once we do the alignment it will take care of the nasty camber on the rear now that I got her 20" wheels & tires...

bmw540san 08-18-2016 10:18 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Miltr118 (Post 1085553)
I understand, buddy of mine has a shop so we're doing the front followed by the alignment and when I do rear we'll throw it back onto the rack for another alignment. :D

I'm hoping once we do the alignment it will take care of the nasty camber on the rear now that I got her 20" wheels & tires...

I see. As long as 20" wheels are correct OEM offset I imagine you should dial it in. I'll try to bring in negative factory rear camber to save wear on inner sides of tires as long as it doesn't interfere the rest of alignment.
Is that your problem, to much negative camber?

Miltr118 08-19-2016 09:24 AM

2 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1085558)
I see. As long as 20" wheels are correct OEM offset I imagine you should dial it in. I'll try to bring in negative factory rear camber to save wear on inner sides of tires as long as it doesn't interfere the rest of alignment.
Is that your problem, to much negative camber?

I was having the same issue with inside tire wear with my 18" setup but now that I put the 168s on, the negative camber is more pronounced. Sorry for the crappy pics...

Ricky Bobby 08-19-2016 09:37 AM

^^^You guys need to zero out the toe on the rear - the negative camber is probably from the wishbones being shot (upper control arm)

bmw540san 08-24-2016 08:44 PM

Update 8/24/16

I was out of town and started on it Tuesday morning. Finished front suspension and started on rear:

https://s6.postimg.org/l0lnu5nmp/DSCN2853.jpgupload image online


Remove 30A fuse #87 to cut the power to air compressor:

https://s6.postimg.org/kp47he76p/DSCN2855.jpgupload image online


Everything removed to gain access to air bags and shocks:

https://s6.postimg.org/gh9f8n5r5/DSCN2856.jpgupload image online


Removing air bags. Pretty simple: releasing air, removing some clips and bolts:

https://s6.postimg.org/3r56vjxsx/DSCN2857.jpgupload image online

https://s6.postimg.org/es0c0kq1t/DSCN2858.jpgupload image online


Everything removed and ready for new springs and shocks:

https://s6.postimg.org/953z33nj5/DSCN2863.jpgimagehosting


Issue arrised with ECS Tuning coil conversion kit. I'm convinced and have proof that they sent wrong coil springs. Since they're slow to respond and of course convinced it's not their fault, I ordered Suplex springs (German made, identical to OEM) and doing some other stuff till they arrive on Friday:

Assembling Bilsteins with all new hardware. OEM ones were still ok but tired:

https://s6.postimg.org/ej2rand9d/DSCN2866.jpgimagehosting

https://s6.postimg.org/5zjdcw4wx/DSCN2865.jpgimagehosting


Everything removed and waiting on springs. I made a mistake instaling new arms before springs but it's easy to remove them:

https://s6.postimg.org/t2j33jl5t/DSCN2860.jpgimagehosting



At the meantime I took care of inactive suspension light. Extremely easy with $30 P.A.Soft scan tool and I'm glad that I did research as I've heard people paying big bucks to do it. Basicaly you un check suspension inactive light as shown on screen. Started the car the way it is (without all air suspension components) and no warning light whatsoever:

https://s6.postimg.org/bp4nubhep/DSCN2868.jpgimagehosting

X53Jay4.8is 08-24-2016 10:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1085921)
Update 8/24/16

I was out of town and started on it Tuesday morning. Finished front suspension and started on rear


Everything removed to gain access to air bags and shocks:

Removing air bags. Pretty simple: releasing air, removing some clips and bolts:


Everything removed and ready for new springs and shocks:



Issue arrised with ECS Tuning coil conversion kit. I'm convinced and have proof that they sent wrong coil springs. Since they're slow to respond and of course convinced it's not their fault, I ordered Suplex springs (German made, identical to OEM) and doing some other stuff till they arrive on Friday:

Assembling Bilsteins with all new hardware. OEM ones were still ok but tired:


Everything removed and waiting on springs. I made a mistake instaling new arms before springs but it's easy to remove them:

540san did you replace the sub frame bushings when you did the rear suspension components refresh?

bmw540san 08-24-2016 10:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is (Post 1085931)
540san did you replace the sub frame bushings when you did the rear suspension components refresh?

No. I've checked them and there are no cracks or fatigue.

o3x5e53 08-25-2016 12:22 AM

Great work! Im planning to do this too with my X5, I just finished doing the valley pan + manifold gaskets etc etc etc. I know you didn't do the passenger side axle... but would you know.. to take out the axle/driveshaft.. does the driver-side axle one have to be out before taking out the passenger side? Cheers.

bmw540san 08-25-2016 07:00 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by o3x5e53 (Post 1085939)
Great work! Im planning to do this too with my X5, I just finished doing the valley pan + manifold gaskets etc etc etc. I know you didn't do the passenger side axle... but would you know.. to take out the axle/driveshaft.. does the driver-side axle one have to be out before taking out the passenger side? Cheers.

Thanks.
No, they're completely independent.
The only difference is that passenger side has additional "extension" due to front differential being further from it than driver side.

bmw540san 08-26-2016 10:39 PM

Update 8/26/16

Finally resolved issue with ECS Tuning and they admitted their mistake and accepted their springs back while I got Suplex 06204 (OEM identical) at the meantime.

Did some research on Suplex and they're made in Germany and excellent quality. Suplex on right and ECS Tuning BMW spring on left with the finger pointing to issue of narrow top which would't fit spring pad:

https://s6.postimg.org/txxnjei8x/DSCN2871.jpguploading pictures




Suplex perfect fit both both pads:

https://s6.postimg.org/mj8br0wdd/DSCN2872.jpgimage upload no compression




It took some work but I didn't have to compress spring which woudl be very difficult due to limited room. I was just able to push the whole arm down enough to slip the spring in:

https://s6.postimg.org/quwxg13a9/DSCN2874.jpgimage upload no compression




Spring pad seated and shock mount installed:

https://s6.postimg.org/d3sgdtech/DSCN2877.jpgimage upload no compression




Bilstein shock and 2 arms installed:

https://s6.postimg.org/sb8fy6675/DSCN2875.jpgimage upload no compression




All installed. No traces of air suspension. I have extra room under the tire (air compressor gone) now and I'll fabricate nice custom trunk fllor support over the spare tire since air compressor had that function:

https://s6.postimg.org/fza4yf7q9/DSCN2878.jpgimage upload no compression




Things to do:
Install wheels, move car back and forth, bounce suspension and then fully tighten 2 control arms nuts and shock nut on each side.
Install trunk trim.
Alignment.
Done.

itscoo2pyopants 08-27-2016 02:07 AM

I just ordered all my parts as well to do a full suspension overhaul. I went with fcp Euro and their bilstein / h&r springs and their 20 pc. Suspension bushing kit. Looking forward to testing out the new spring shock combo. My suspension feels pretty worn with 125k miles

bmw540san 08-27-2016 09:09 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1086116)
I just ordered all my parts as well to do a full suspension overhaul. I went with fcp Euro and their bilstein / h&r springs and their 20 pc. Suspension bushing kit. Looking forward to testing out the new spring shock combo. My suspension feels pretty worn with 125k miles

If I'm not mistaken that's Bilstein Sport in conjunction with shorter (lowering) springs. I do hope that won't be to harsh for you. My setup will be basically a standard suspension and it's considered harsh for some. Good luck.

X53Jay4.8is 08-27-2016 06:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1086124)
If I'm not mistaken that's Bilstein Sport in conjunction with shorter (lowering) springs. I do hope that won't be to harsh for you. My setup will be basically a standard suspension and it's considered harsh for some. Good luck.


Yeah I did the sachs original shocks and front struts with the H&R springs and my X has great composure without being too harsh. If I had Bilstein sports, I am pretty sure it would be too harsh.

tmv 08-28-2016 09:49 AM

The info for deleting "Self. Sus. Inactive" with PA Soft is very valuable. Thanks for sharing.
Good work, bmw540san

jcp240z 08-28-2016 11:59 AM

You can order the correct support for the load floor. Support, loading floor 51717001968. I'm seeing it for ~$40.
You need to verify but I believe the rails and tension straps ( the three triangular rails the compressor mounted to) are the same.

bmw540san 08-28-2016 02:46 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jcp240z (Post 1086207)
You can order the correct support for the load floor. Support, loading floor 51717001968. I'm seeing it for ~$40.
You need to verify but I believe the rails and tension straps ( the three triangular rails the compressor mounted to) are the same.

Thanks. I can get it from my favorite online dealer for $30.25. But, since I'd like to keep that area between spare wheel and battery empty (nice storage for small things) I'll fabricate nice support above bracket.

bmw540san 08-28-2016 02:50 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tmv (Post 1086201)
The info for deleting "Self. Sus. Inactive" with PA Soft is very valuable. Thanks for sharing.
Good work, bmw540san

You're welcome. But to be honest, due credit goes to member "D Unit" in post #6:

http://www.xoutpost.com/bmw-sav-foru...ar-n-cali.html

That's where I got the idea from.

bmw540san 08-28-2016 03:35 PM

Update 8/28/16

Total Success!

Other than alignment, all done. Ride is everything I hoped it'd be. Firm, controlled but not harsh. Yes, I'm Bilstein biased but I simply love the setup on all of my cars.

I only did a few miles around my subdivision in order for suspension to settle and to test for any noises and leaks.

Ride height is about the same and what I expected.

Before: (full tank, empty car) height is shown in inches:
LF-28, RF-28 3/8, RR-28, RL-28 3/4

After: (full tank, empty car)
LF-29, RF-29, RR-29 1/4, RL-29 1/4

Considering that Bentley states front axle 28.5 and rear axle 28.46 and the fact those figures include 150lb in each front seat, 150lb in the middle of the rear and 50lb in the trunk plus allowed deviation of 0.4 inches, I'm right on the money.

Few more pictures:

This morning I removed the $500 suspension control module:

https://s6.postimg.org/4krwieggx/DSCN2879.jpgadult photo sharing



And the ride height sensors from each rear axle:

https://s6.postimg.org/mozigs3j5/DSCN2880.jpgfree photo hosting



Final check, car running, driving, every single air suspension component removed, no inactive suspension warning light:

https://s6.postimg.org/uj0426bc1/DSCN2881.jpgfree photo hosting



Car is dirty in the picture and bad light for camera but you get an idea of ride height. Basically, unchanged:

https://s6.postimg.org/hsvvp33dt/DSCN2883.jpgfree photo hosting



And finaly, if anybody needs air suspension components, let me know. At the time of removal car had no issues with any component: 2 airbags, 2 air reservoirs, 2 ride height sensors, control module, air compressor, air lines:

https://s6.postimg.org/i6x7oonhd/DSCN2884.jpgfree photo hosting


Basically full box of potentially troublesome and expensive components to replace vs. $170 worth of 2 high quality made in Germany Suplex coil springs.

It was a long road and my first dealing with CV joint and while I made some minor mistakes, everything was replaced properly, all torques values and procedures followed as much as possible etc...

Finally, as I mentioned in beginning, I'm extremely proud of what I've done and I've saved boat load of money vs paying some shop and gambling on a fact who's actually working on your car, how much do they really care and how honest they're going to be.

Hopefully this can help somebody who wants to do this conversion and some other repairs along the way. Also, I'm not saying that everybody should get rid of air suspension. I simply wanted to prevent future problems and install the suspension I prefer.

jjmead1 08-28-2016 07:45 PM

asking price for unwanted goods dear sir?

bmw540san 08-28-2016 10:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jjmead1 (Post 1086240)
asking price for unwanted goods dear sir?

PM sent. Thanks

bmw540san 08-31-2016 03:04 PM

Final update:

Did alignment today. No problems, brought in some camber to save wear on tires but still negative enough to help handling.

After that, I've done about 30 miles with mix city and interstate driving. Handling is amazing and I got exactly what I expected.

Other than repairs I really have no other plans to upgrade X5.

bcredliner 08-31-2016 03:34 PM

Thanks for sharing.

bmw540san 08-31-2016 04:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bcredliner (Post 1086529)
Thanks for sharing.

You're welcome. The thing I'm most surprised with is how easy was to get rid of inactive suspension warning light. I'm sure there is a "shadow" code in the DME but nothing is showing on the the dash nor there are any type of warnings whatsoever.

itscoo2pyopants 09-15-2016 10:59 PM

Got my bilstein shocks / struts and H&R springs installed the other day.

http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/...pszcalbm7z.jpg

http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/...ps5rjsogpe.jpg

feels much better than a tired air suspension. its only been approx 200 miles, but so far I am satisfied with this setup.

now i just have to find some time to do the rest of the suspension refresh.

bmw540san 09-16-2016 02:57 AM

I like the way it looks. Are those Sport Bilstein's with matching lowered springs?

X53Jay4.8is 09-16-2016 09:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1087877)
Got my bilstein shocks / struts and H&R springs installed the other day.

http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/...pszcalbm7z.jpg

http://i1359.photobucket.com/albums/...ps5rjsogpe.jpg

feels much better than a tired air suspension. its only been approx 200 miles, but so far I am satisfied with this setup.

now i just have to find some time to do the rest of the suspension refresh.

Yeah the H&R spring set produces what I call the perfect ride height. I installed the H&R springs on my X5 and used the sachs sport shocks with them and the ride is superb. very worthwhile mod.

X53Jay4.8is 09-16-2016 09:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1087877)
Got my bilstein shocks / struts and H&R springs installed the other day.

feels much better than a tired air suspension. its only been approx 200 miles, but so far I am satisfied with this setup.

now i just have to find some time to do the rest of the suspension refresh.

Wait are you running a square set up on the X5 (10.5 inch rims all four corners)?

Does look

bcredliner 09-16-2016 10:40 AM

Nice Stance!

itscoo2pyopants 09-16-2016 04:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by X53Jay4.8is (Post 1087906)
Wait are you running a square set up on the X5 (10.5 inch rims all four corners)?

Does look

:iagree:

itscoo2pyopants 09-16-2016 04:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1087886)
I like the way it looks. Are those Sport Bilstein's with matching lowered springs?

I bought my kit from fcp Euro. Not sure if these are the sport or hd bilsteins, but they looked exactly like yours. Springs should be sport (I don't think they have the "race" version for the x5). Mild drop. Good combo package for converting from air suspension.

Thanks for the inspiration to swap my suspension. I've been putting it off since I bought the vehicle 3 years ago. Felt bad to scrap a perfectly good air suspension, but at 120k miles it was about time for a refresh. Was on the fence with getting the bc coilovers or just getting a spring /shock combo. Glad I went with the bilsteins. Install it and forget it. No need to make adjustments

bmw540san 09-16-2016 04:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1087956)
I bought my kit from fcp Euro. Not sure if these are the sport or hd bilsteins, but they looked exactly like yours. Springs should be sport (I don't think they have the "race" version for the x5). Mild drop. Good combo package for converting from air suspension.

Thanks for the inspiration to swap my suspension. I've been putting it off since I bought the vehicle 3 years ago. Felt bad to scrap a perfectly good air suspension, but at 120k miles it was about time for a refresh. Was on the fence with getting the bc coilovers or just getting a spring /shock combo. Glad I went with the bilsteins. Install it and forget it. No need to make adjustments

No problem. Mine was at 106k miles yet one of the front mounts was cracked. I know the difference probably wouldn't as big when compared to brand new OEM suspension but I simply believe in good Bilstein setup with either stock or some other springs over air suspension.

Bmwtvboy 09-16-2016 11:12 PM

Have you done the rear springs?

X53Jay4.8is 09-17-2016 06:22 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bmwtvboy (Post 1087977)
Have you done the rear springs?

According to the OP and the last post all of the springs on the X5 were converted over to a coil setup.

itscoo2pyopants 09-19-2016 06:23 PM

OP did you replace the Ball Joint Rear (In Rear Wheel Carrier)? Im starting to look for some guides to replace my suspension bushings. it looks like i will need a special ball joint tool:

https://youtu.be/tKgNV8Ve7Dg

Bmwtvboy 09-19-2016 06:24 PM

Just finished the left side. Put the spring in, what a hassle. It definitely is easier if you have the spring compressor, but you still may have to release the front and rear arms, the sway bar links and maybe sway bar and the shock. Tour tech product is adequate. The left side looks perfect height. I didn't like the bottom setup, the cradle sits at an odd angle and the spring sits straight so we'll see how it performs. Also, the top rubber grommet sit firmly but there is some play around the body protrusion that holds in the old air shock. Not an easy install by any means.

bmw540san 09-19-2016 11:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1088197)
OP did you replace the Ball Joint Rear (In Rear Wheel Carrier)? Im starting to look for some guides to replace my suspension bushings. it looks like i will need a special ball joint tool:

https://youtu.be/tKgNV8Ve7Dg

I replaced both control arms in rear suspension. Front ones (the ones with adjustable toe settings) had shot rubber around ball joint while rear ones were in good shape.
I debated to leave rear ones alone but decided to replace them and be done.
Subframe bushings looked good so I left them alone and I believe they can be replaced later without removing much.

bmw540san 09-19-2016 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Bmwtvboy (Post 1088198)
Just finished the left side. Put the spring in, what a hassle. It definitely is easier if you have the spring compressor, but you still may have to release the front and rear arms, the sway bar links and maybe sway bar and the shock. Tour tech product is adequate. The left side looks perfect height. I didn't like the bottom setup, the cradle sits at an odd angle and the spring sits straight so we'll see how it performs. Also, the top rubber grommet sit firmly but there is some play around the body protrusion that holds in the old air shock. Not an easy install by any means.

While it wasn't easy in my case I wonder if your springs and pads are identical to OEM as they should be when it comes to dimensions.
What I mean is once you install upper spring pad and lock it in with plastic bushing there should be no play. Also, the bottom of spring should sit flush on lower spring pad without odd angle.
On the other hand, once you install everything and lower the car and roll it back abd forth your angle shoud improve as everything settles.
Post some pics if you don't mind.

estorilx53 09-23-2016 11:27 AM

P.A scan soft
 
Good stuff ! I wanted to ask where i can buy the P.A soft scan.

bmw540san 09-23-2016 06:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by estorilx53 (Post 1088631)
Good stuff ! I wanted to ask where i can buy the P.A soft scan.

I got it here:

Scanner 1 4 Car Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Code Reader Series Z4 E38 E39 for BMW | eBay

Although my packet was shipped from US, the package was clearly from China at some point as it had Chinese shipping label underneath US one.

You probably do know that you have take the plastic body apart, solder some pins together and either get old Window XP laptop or just use virtual Windows XP on newer laptop as I did.

diyanich 09-29-2016 05:49 PM

Hi there,

I am expecting PA Soft clone to arrive soon,what is the procedure with the pins soldering?

Quote:

Originally Posted by bmw540san (Post 1088670)
I got it here:

Scanner 1 4 Car Diagnostic Tool OBD2 Code Reader Series Z4 E38 E39 for BMW | eBay

Although my packet was shipped from US, the package was clearly from China at some point as it had Chinese shipping label underneath US one.

You probably do know that you have take the plastic body apart, solder some pins together and either get old Window XP laptop or just use virtual Windows XP on newer laptop as I did.


bmw540san 09-30-2016 10:30 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by diyanich (Post 1089225)
Hi there,

I am expecting PA Soft clone to arrive soon,what is the procedure with the pins soldering?

Remove 4 screws, take the plastic body apart, solder pins: 7 & 8 together, 1 & 2 together. Reassemble.

oldskewel 09-30-2016 03:15 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by itscoo2pyopants (Post 1088197)
OP did you replace the Ball Joint Rear (In Rear Wheel Carrier)? Im starting to look for some guides to replace my suspension bushings. it looks like i will need a special ball joint tool:

https://youtu.be/tKgNV8Ve7Dg

It sounds like the OP did not replace those. I did not see any mention of them anywhere here. :dunno:

When I did suspension work on my '01, soon after getting it, prompted by excessive, uncorrectable rear camber and rear tire wear, I was pretty careful about not replacing things unnecessarily.

On my car, those carrier-arm ball joints (BTW, they're called ball joints, but there is no ball, they seem closer to what I would call bushings) were perhaps the only items that NEEDED to be replaced. I did replace many other things, "once I was in there" (integral links, since you R+R them to get to the ball joints; and then, hey, since you're paying for an alignment, may as well replace anything that seems less than perfect on the front - that's what I did).

I used Lemfoerder 33-32-6-767-748, "Rear Ball Joint", superseded from 33 32 1 095 631. Same both left and right.


I took a quick look at that video - looks good. He gets to the actual pressing out of the ball joints around 7 minutes in. Don't be fooled.

Doing that without the right tool can be somewhere between frustrating and impossible. I used local-rented general purpose tools, and it took a lot of work/experimentation/fabrication/swearing to get them to work. The BMW-specific tool for this job has (I think) a special cutout in one of the cylindrical pieces, allowing it to sit properly in place. This minor feature (as I've heard, and can fully believe) turns the almost-impossible into easy.:thumbup:

This particular job is very important on these cars, and you'll find a lot of references on this forum.

bmw540san 09-30-2016 08:52 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldskewel (Post 1089275)
It sounds like the OP did not replace those. I did not see any mention of them anywhere here. :dunno:

When I did suspension work on my '01, soon after getting it, prompted by excessive, uncorrectable rear camber and rear tire wear, I was pretty careful about not replacing things unnecessarily.

On my car, those carrier-arm ball joints (BTW, they're called ball joints, but there is no ball, they seem closer to what I would call bushings) were perhaps the only items that NEEDED to be replaced. I did replace many other things, "once I was in there" (integral links, since you R+R them to get to the ball joints; and then, hey, since you're paying for an alignment, may as well replace anything that seems less than perfect on the front - that's what I did).

I used Lemfoerder 33-32-6-767-748, "Rear Ball Joint", superseded from 33 32 1 095 631. Same both left and right.


I took a quick look at that video - looks good. He gets to the actual pressing out of the ball joints around 7 minutes in. Don't be fooled.

Doing that without the right tool can be somewhere between frustrating and impossible. I used local-rented general purpose tools, and it took a lot of work/experimentation/fabrication/swearing to get them to work. The BMW-specific tool for this job has (I think) a special cutout in one of the cylindrical pieces, allowing it to sit properly in place. This minor feature (as I've heard, and can fully believe) turns the almost-impossible into easy.:thumbup:

This particular job is very important on these cars, and you'll find a lot of references on this forum.

I did not replace them and possibly I made a mistake by not doing it. I'll take a second look at them and report back.
Part of my not paying to much attention to them comes from E39 where they're original on both E39's with no issues. It does seem due to X5 being heavier and with the monster tires, they go bad faster.
When I did alignment, the best the guy could do was -1.8 camber which is barely in the spec and it will wear out inner tire.
That should've been alarm enough but having 3 aging BMW's, my attention is constantly fluctuating between them.

oldskewel 10-01-2016 01:29 PM

The uncorrectable rear camber was exactly the problem I had. One of my rear upper control arms was bad too, so I replaced both of those.

Regarding a "second look," you may find videos on how to apply a jack to the swing arm, allowing you to see if there is excessive play. I tried to do that without a lift, and without fabricating a special jack attachment (some very creative solutions to this on this forum), and was unsuccessful. So I proceeded anyway with disassembly, and sure enough my ball joints were shot. Practically disintegrating - but there's nowhere for them to go, so they end up being just really too loose.

As I recall from my pre-repair research, the problem with the failed ball joints is not so much that it makes camber too negative - it is that when you get on the gas, the loose ball joint allows the wheel to move significantly in a way that really tears up the inner corner of the tires.

And if my budget (what's that? ;-) ) for my suspension overhaul had been $70, those two ball joints would have been the only things to replace, and this was at ~170k miles. And the next thing I would buy (or rent/borrow), knowing what I know now, would be the BMW-specific ball joint press tool.

bmw540san 10-01-2016 04:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by oldskewel (Post 1089335)
The uncorrectable rear camber was exactly the problem I had. One of my rear upper control arms was bad too, so I replaced both of those.

Regarding a "second look," you may find videos on how to apply a jack to the swing arm, allowing you to see if there is excessive play. I tried to do that without a lift, and without fabricating a special jack attachment (some very creative solutions to this on this forum), and was unsuccessful. So I proceeded anyway with disassembly, and sure enough my ball joints were shot. Practically disintegrating - but there's nowhere for them to go, so they end up being just really too loose.

As I recall from my pre-repair research, the problem with the failed ball joints is not so much that it makes camber too negative - it is that when you get on the gas, the loose ball joint allows the wheel to move significantly in a way that really tears up the inner corner of the tires.

And if my budget (what's that? ;-) ) for my suspension overhaul had been $70, those two ball joints would have been the only things to replace, and this was at ~170k miles. And the next thing I would buy (or rent/borrow), knowing what I know now, would be the BMW-specific ball joint press tool.

Thanks for the info.
Even though I only had 106k, some parts of my suspension were bad including smaller control arms on the back which had torn rubber around ball joints. I suspect 4.6is is harder on suspension due monster tires (wide and low profile).
I know now that I should have replaced them regardless since they're not expensive and I've done everything else anyway. It's alright, if I made a mistake it'll cost me one alignment ($100).
I'll update what I end up doing and thanks again.

CleanIsFast 12-17-2016 10:05 AM

Would you mind sharing the part numbers from your first post?

bmw540san 12-17-2016 12:44 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CleanIsFast (Post 1096043)
Would you mind sharing the part numbers from your first post?

I've updated few. The rest can be found on realoem. I need to go through my records to update the rest.

Paulpen 03-14-2019 06:56 PM

Are the part numbers in the first post still correct ?


Is it possible to do it with second hand parts as I need my car back on the road and can upgrade to Bilstein in the summer then ?


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