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5 Series DIY
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  #1  
Old 06-26-2003, 02:40 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Mein Auto: 2012 BMW F30 328i 8-Speed
M5 front swaybars - impressions and instructions

Last weekend, I installed M5 front swaybars on my 2001 540i/6 and on my neighbor's 1999 540i/6. The first install took 2.5 hours and the second install would have been under 2 hours, had the power not failed!

After finishing my car, we drove to Panevino for lunch, along a wonderful twisty road. However, the rain was torrential, so I didn't get to push the car. Even so, I could still tell that something had changed significantly. A few days later, I finally had a chance to go throguh the twisties again in the dry and the car has been transformed. What a huge difference! The body roll is ever so slight and the car feels 500 pounds lighter. For $120 in parts, this is a bargain modification. Now that I've got the M5 front bar, however, I plan to remove the M5 rear bar and replace it with a Dinan rear bar, in order to keep the understeer to a minimum.

In case you wondered what it would take to swap out your 540i front swaybar, here's the step-by-step instructions: http://www.zeckhausen.com/howto/bmwe...eplacement.htm
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------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
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  #2  
Old 06-26-2003, 02:58 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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2 hours???? Are you joking? You have to remove half the front-end just to get going!!

I wonder, how closely will these instructions apply to I6 engines? I am not sure I have a weekend to kill figuring it out but I bet it follows the same basic plan.

Nice write-up, Dave, but two hours??? I can buy a stubby wrench set but the "grind the 16 mm" wrench stopped me cold. However, with the Craftsman 500-piece tool set I got for X-mas last year, I got a set of SAE thin wrenches. Shoot, now I guess I gotta spring for some Metric thin wrenches!

Thanks for sharing!
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  #3  
Old 06-26-2003, 03:41 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ågent99
2 hours???? Are you joking? You have to remove half the front-end just to get going!!
Well, the two hours was with two of us working together. If I had to do it alone, it would probably take 3.5 hours. And it wouldn't be nearly as much fun.
Quote:
I wonder, how closely will these instructions apply to I6 engines? I am not sure I have a weekend to kill figuring it out but I bet it follows the same basic plan.
Not at all. The I6 engines are so tiny that there is tons of room for the front swaybar to come out! I haven't tried one yet, but I'm willing to bet the front bar can be swapped in about 40 minutes.
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Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #4  
Old 06-26-2003, 05:25 PM
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bmw540i bmw540i is offline
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I Also own a 2001 540i/6 are the m5 sways the same as RD sways or any other aftermarket sways or are they all the same thanks.
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  #5  
Old 06-26-2003, 05:38 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by bmw540i
I Also own a 2001 540i/6 are the m5 sways the same as RD sways or any other aftermarket sways or are they all the same thanks.
They aren't all the same. The M5 front bar is a couple millimeters thicker at 27mm diameter vs 25mm for the 540i/6 and 540iA Sport. The M5 rear bar is 16.5mm in diameter vs the 540i/6 rear bar at 15mm.

The Dinan rear bar is 17mm and is adjustable, with three holes at each end. You can vary the stiffness from just slightly stiffer than stock M5 bar at the outer holes, to MUCH stiffer at the inner holes. The front bar is not adjustable and is the same thickness, at 27mm, as the M5 factory bar.

I believe the Eibach front bar is 28mm and is adjustable, but their rear bar is not adjustable. AC Schnitzer has a 27mm/18mm adjustable setup. I have no first hand experience with it or with the RD Sport setup.
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Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #6  
Old 06-26-2003, 05:41 PM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DZeckhausen
The I6 engines are so tiny that there is tons of room for the front swaybar to come out! I haven't tried one yet, but I'm willing to bet the front bar can be swapped in about 40 minutes.
40 minutes???? Are you joking? You might have to remove half the front-end just to get going!!

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  #7  
Old 06-26-2003, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by Ågent99
40 minutes???? Are you joking? You might have to remove half the front-end just to get going!!

If you didn't eat so many Krispy Kremes at all your clinics, you might be able to move fast too!

Besides, the front end of the 530i is so little, removing half of it would be a 10 minute job.
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Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #8  
Old 06-26-2003, 08:19 PM
BillP BillP is offline
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Zing!
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  #9  
Old 06-26-2003, 11:34 PM
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vietsb vietsb is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DZeckhausen
I believe the Eibach front bar is 28mm and is adjustable, but their rear bar is not adjustable.
Actually, the Eibach's I have are 28mm-f/18mm-r and both are non-adjustable. That's fine cuz I doubt I'll ever get under there to make any changes.
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  #10  
Old 06-27-2003, 08:20 AM
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Ågent99 Ågent99 is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DZeckhausen
If you didn't eat so many Krispy Kremes at all your clinics, you might be able to move fast too!

Besides, the front end of the 530i is so little, removing half of it would be a 10 minute job.
Okay, Boca Burger/Barely Pop Man....

The 530i floats like a butterfly and out twists that hog front end you have!

Zing my A$$!!!!!
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  #11  
Old 06-29-2003, 07:50 PM
brigun brigun is offline
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I knew it, this what I was waiting for, that it! I'm ordering the M5 sway's.. I just was lurking to see if anyone tried them, this is the ONLY problem with my 528 handling of course the engine's still lame but it's alllll good gotta start somewhere!I have the ultimate road to my house twisty,man am I ready to test the swaybar's
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  #12  
Old 06-30-2003, 10:26 AM
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vietsb vietsb is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by brigun
this is the ONLY problem with my 528 handling
M5 sways for a 540 would be an improvement, but might be overkill for a 528. Plus, the actual shape of the swaybar might be different to accommodate the V8 instead of I6. Better check to see if anyone has installed them on an I6 in the past before plunking down the cash.
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  #13  
Old 06-30-2003, 10:51 AM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by brigun
I knew it, this what I was waiting for, that it! I'm ordering the M5 sway's.. I just was lurking to see if anyone tried them, this is the ONLY problem with my 528 handling of course the engine's still lame but it's alllll good gotta start somewhere!I have the ultimate road to my house twisty,man am I ready to test the swaybar's
As far as I know, the M5 front swaybar will not fit the 528i or the 530i. The bends in the bar are designed to clear a totally different subframe and I suspect the mounting points are different. Your only option for a front swaybar may lie in the aftermarket.
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Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #14  
Old 06-30-2003, 11:38 AM
DCC DCC is offline
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When comparing the M5 bars to the 540i 6sp and 540ia sport stock bars...
Anybody check to see if the 2003 540i 6sp, 540ia sport stock bars changed from the 2002 and earlier model years?
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  #15  
Old 06-30-2003, 12:31 PM
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vietsb vietsb is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by DCC
When comparing the M5 bars to the 540i 6sp and 540ia sport stock bars...
Anybody check to see if the 2003 540i 6sp, 540ia sport stock bars changed from the 2002 and earlier model years?
I'd assume the manual versus slushbox tranny would make no difference, as well as any 97-03 differences since the bottomside of the engine should be nearly identical. Since Eibach lists their swaybar kit as fitting 97-03 under the same P/N, I think they agree.
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Last edited by vietsb; 06-30-2003 at 02:13 PM.
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  #16  
Old 06-30-2003, 02:01 PM
brigun brigun is offline
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I know the 540 bar's will work people on this site have completed it.Are there major differences?what's availible in the aftermarket also isn't that great.
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  #17  
Old 06-30-2003, 02:05 PM
brigun brigun is offline
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You guy's are right I'll approach this cautiously and that's it.V8 I6 big difference,yeah,now I don't know what to do
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  #18  
Old 06-30-2003, 02:38 PM
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DZeckhausen DZeckhausen is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by brigun
I know the 540 bar's will work people on this site have completed it.Are there major differences?what's availible in the aftermarket also isn't that great.
Are you sure the folks who have done this are talking about the FRONT swaybar? I've transplanted many rear M5 bars and 540i bars into 528i and 530i models, including the Touring. But I could have sworn someone on the Roadfly E39 board posted that the M5 and 540i front bars did NOT fit on the 528i and 530i.

Of course, that wouldn't be the first time someone posted something there that wasn't true.
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Dave Zeckhausen
Owner, Zeckhausen Racing



------
2012 BMW F30 328i Luxury Line 8-Speed
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade

2001 BMW E39 540i 6-Speed (Traded-in for F30)
StopTech 4-wheel big brake upgrade
M5 Limited Slip Differential, Front Swaybar
Dinan Stage 3 Suspension, Strut Tower Brace
Rogue Short Shifter, Transmission Mounts
European Dash Conversion
CDV deleted
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  #19  
Old 06-30-2003, 06:48 PM
brigun brigun is offline
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Unhappy

Dave I'll take you word for it,I'm not going to believe anyone,like you said people can make thing's up.At this point not sure what to do.
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