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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:07 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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How Did Active Roll Stabilization Work and Evolution of Sport Package

Two questions:

1. My 2006 550i CPO included Sport Package. According to window sticker that $2,300 option included sport suspension and "active roll stabilization." How did "active roll stabilization" work--i.e. did shocks stiffen up when sensors detected roll or are there some hydraulic systems that actively work to counter roll or just stiffer shocks or???

2. Has Sport Package option evolved since 2006 so I will have to look for other items beyond just Sport Package if I want "sport suspension" on a newer CPO? For instance, on BMW website looking at 2011 550i which lists Sport Package as option. But unlike my 2006, description of Sport Package option on the 2011 CPO does not seem to do anything to suspension (except tof wheel/tire)--it mentions only (1) 19 inch alloy wheels, (2) sports leather steering wheel; (3) multi-contour front seats; (4) shadowline trim; (5) increased top speed limiter. No mention of "sport suspension" or anything related to handling.
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  #2  
Old 01-07-2013, 02:45 PM
H F H F is online now
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My 05/545 came with anti roll stabilization and its a hydraulic sway bar that is computer controlled to keep the car level when hitting the corners hard,
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  #3  
Old 01-08-2013, 11:39 AM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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HF, thank you for feedback.
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  #4  
Old 01-08-2013, 12:22 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by H F View Post
My 05/545 came with anti roll stabilization and its a hydraulic sway bar that is computer controlled to keep the car level when hitting the corners hard,
+1

1. The sport package was as good as it gets for 2006. I have a 2004 545i with the sport package and it is amazing how this large, relatively heavy car takes the corners. And of course as you already know the 8 cylinder power is totally addictive.

The front stabilizer bar is split in half with a torsional valve in between. As the car's computer receives input from level sensors in the car it pressurizes the valve to twist the sway bar, forcing the suspension down on the side of the car (on the outside of a curve) that wants to raise. I have seen my car put through the ARS system test at the dealer and the car appears to be possessed.
Here is a link to a video of the ARS test being run:

If you are interested in the details the resource I have attached (BMW Chassis Control Systems) is good for telling you everything you might want to know about BMW overall chassis control and the dynamic drive/ARS system in particular. The section covering the active roll stabilization starts on page 207 of the PDF.

Every time I read through this I am amazed at how complicated the E60 is and wonder how all of this equipment continues to run correctly.

2. The F10 chassis has become even more sophisticated, especially the rear suspension which controls the camber dynamically (thus avoiding the excessive inner tread wear on tires). I have also attached an article regarding interviewing the suspension designer. The only negative feedback I keep hearing about the F10 is that the electronic steering that replaced the hydraulic system does not give the same feedback. But I cannot speak from experience as I have not driven an F10.
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  #5  
Old 01-08-2013, 01:35 PM
H F H F is online now
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Great info,,,, thx ,, I have driven a f10, and IMHO thought my 545 handled better, but what made me draw wood,,,was the 8 speed tranny,
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  #6  
Old 01-08-2013, 03:08 PM
denniscasey denniscasey is offline
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Bimmerfan52, very informative and thanks for resources also. I am talking to BMW sales person about what was included in 2011 sport package (per my first post) so will see what he comes back with. For kicks I was looking at 2013 and see the complexity you mention: dynamic damper control and "Adaptive Drive" which says it combines "antiroll stabilization with dynamic damping control."
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  #7  
Old 01-08-2013, 04:15 PM
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6ICEMAN9 6ICEMAN9 is offline
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Great read!! Thank you gentlemen. I've always wondered how it worked.
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  #8  
Old 01-12-2013, 07:14 AM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Only problem with ARS is that after 5 years the hydraulic tensioner tends to leak and eventually need to be replaced. I plan to eventually remove them and install a heavy fixed sway bar, like H&R.
I already have a small leak but living with it for now.

Agree that F10 steering is awful. Makes it feel like a Buick.
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  #9  
Old 01-12-2013, 09:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
Only problem with ARS is that after 5 years the hydraulic tensioner tends to leak and eventually need to be replaced. I plan to eventually remove them and install a heavy fixed sway bar, like H&R.
I already have a small leak but living with it for now.

Agree that F10 steering is awful. Makes it feel like a Buick.
mine hasnt leaked ,,yet.. i think if u go with a conventional sway bar The car will not handle the same.. and loose its cornering ability.. not to mention alll the error messages that will come from removing the ars.. and the computers trying to figure wats goen on.

after reading thru the information That Bimmerfan posted i knew that the the syspension was high tech,, but was amazed at how sophisticated the the ARS technolgy really is.. this is what separates BMW handleing from the rest.. In my opinion,,, this is the best feature on the e60. especially hitting 30mph turns at 70 mph is when this suspension really shines... think twice b4 u remove it.. and the negative effects it will difitnatley have on the cornering abilitry. not to mension the loss of value..
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  #10  
Old 01-12-2013, 08:59 PM
bimmerfan52 bimmerfan52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oceans10 View Post
Only problem with ARS is that after 5 years the hydraulic tensioner tends to leak and eventually need to be replaced. I plan to eventually remove them and install a heavy fixed sway bar, like H&R.
I already have a small leak but living with it for now.

Agree that F10 steering is awful. Makes it feel like a Buick.
You probably could remove both the front and rear ARS bars and replace them with the stock E60 (non-sport) bars, then reprogram the computer system. I haven't heard of anyone who has driven the sport that wants to go to the non-sport.

You mentioned that you would go to a heavier bar. Unfortunately to get anywhere near the dampening effect of the ARS system the ride will be much rougher when traveling in a straight line over road irregularities.

I haven't seen a rebuilder who advertises rebuilding ARS bars in addition to steering racks, but it is only a matter of time, given how many manufacturers are presently using them or are investigating their use in new models.

ZF Sachs is the ARS bar OEM with some specialized valve seals from Trelleborg. My guess is that presently ARS cores removed for replacement go to a factory service center for overhaul and are then recycled back into the market in the same fashion that ZF Lenksysteme handles the steering rack program.

If the leak is slow I would recommend topping off the steering reservoir as I'm sure you have been doing. For a slow leak a can of CHF 11S lasts a long time at $15. You may also want to try the repair described in the attached from this forum. I don't know if it is a long term solution but it sounded interesting.
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  #11  
Old 01-12-2013, 11:15 AM
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DAI DAI is offline
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Impressive system based on the video.
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  #12  
Old 01-12-2013, 03:44 PM
H F H F is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DAI View Post
Impressive system based on the video.
Read thru the information that Bimmerfan posted.. ull be even more impressed,
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  #13  
Old 01-12-2013, 04:26 PM
Mike Swing Mike Swing is offline
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Awesome thread, fellas. Makes me love the car that much more.
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  #14  
Old 01-12-2013, 10:45 PM
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Oceans10 Oceans10 is offline
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Thanks Bimmerfan. Good points.
I was going to try glueing the seals shut as described on the 7 series board. That would be first step before getting more extreme.
So far i just top off with steering fluid, maybe once a year. I just expect it to get worse at some point. The car was built in 2007.

Appreciate the reminder.
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