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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #51  
Old 06-29-2010, 08:27 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Unfortunately, the shocks are on backorder w/Bilstein in Europe for six weeks. I ordered them from Bavarian Autosport, the rear part # is BE5 B458, Bilstein HD. I'm hoping that the new springs remove some of the roll. The X3 seems to "hop" quite a bit over bumps, especially in the rear, so I'm hoping the new shocks cure some of that as well. I'll post again once I get it delivered and replaced.
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  #52  
Old 07-02-2010, 10:37 AM
OMNI-Potent OMNI-Potent is offline
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Just wanted to add to the thread.

My wife's 07 X3 with 39,000 miles on it had a small squeek in the rear. I heard it (being a car guy), but my wife did not.

It's still under warrranty and I told her to take it in. Both rear springs were broken and they replaced the same day under warranty.

I figured it had to be a common problem. Dealerships normally don't stock those types of replacement items! And then I found this thread.
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  #53  
Old 08-15-2010, 07:36 AM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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The backordered shocks finally arrived from Germany and I installed them this weekend. The rear suspension now consists of the Eibach springs (p/n 2079.540) and Bilstein HD shocks (p/n BE5 B458). When I replaced the springs a few weeks ago, I noticed that both rear springs were broken. The new springs definitely helped with the rear sway but the ride was still jarring over bumps since the shocks needed to be replaced. After installing the shocks and test driving last night, all I can say is it is a night and day difference. No more hopping over imperfections in the road - the car has a much easier ride yet is still firm and holds well through the turns. See the photos below:

Upgraded suspension


Broken rear springs


Rear Shock comparison OEM vs Bilstein HD


The new shocks are longer than the OEM Sachs, and have a shorter bump stop. I'm pretty certain the original shocks would hit the bump stops occasionally.
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  #54  
Old 08-15-2010, 08:30 AM
UncleJ UncleJ is offline
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If the Bilsteins are longer than the Sachs could that account for the broken springs caused by the shorter shocks hitting the bump stops? Just a thought, but it appears that these springs shouldn't be breaking for no reason. This really sounds like a engineering problem that might be solved with the longer shocks, thus keeping the springs away from hitting "bottom" with the bump stops. I wonder if BMW just used the same spring/shock combo for the X3 they had used in the earlier 3 series (a lighter car) it was based on.
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  #55  
Old 08-16-2010, 10:53 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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chagrin. That's awesome. I'm glad it made a difference.. .
I'm planning on doing the same thing to my wife's 2004 X-3. 107,000 miles now.
Do you have any photos showing how it looks now that it's a little lower?
Any negatives you can think of with this setup?? Thanks.
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  #56  
Old 08-16-2010, 12:12 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Good job No DIY for the FAQ's?
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  #57  
Old 08-16-2010, 05:04 PM
Speedo6 Speedo6 is offline
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Looking at the fracture it is a torsional fatigue break. Assuming you are not doing off road racing, normally springs do not break if they are correctly manufactured. Most likely the springs have been poorly manufactured. The usual problem is that the spring steel has been overheating in forming which caused surface decarburisation of the spring resulting in poor fatigue properties. I would say that you would have a claim for a latent defect of manufacture. Should be able to get other springs that fit without paying Bring My Wallet (BMW) prices.
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  #58  
Old 08-16-2010, 05:20 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Good job No DIY for the FAQ's?
No need; the full instructions from the BMW TIS are attached. Very straight forward, except they say you need to remove the rear seats. Removing the rear seats is not necessary since you can access the shock tower once the side panel has been unfastened from all the locations except under the rear seats.

Here is a photo of the rear shock access from the rear cargo area; the side panel is still attached at one point below the rear seats, I just pulled it away from the side of the car so that I could remove/install the shock:
Attached Files
File Type: pdf BMW X3 rear shock install instructions.pdf (675.9 KB, 629 views)
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  #59  
Old 08-16-2010, 06:15 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OMNI-Potent View Post
Just wanted to add to the thread.

My wife's 07 X3 with 39,000 miles on it had a small squeek in the rear. I heard it (being a car guy), but my wife did not.

It's still under warrranty and I told her to take it in. Both rear springs were broken and they replaced the same day under warranty.

I figured it had to be a common problem. Dealerships normally don't stock those types of replacement items! And then I found this thread.
I hear a couple of squeeks on mine on bumpy roads from time to time. I hope my springs are ok.

The X3 seems to drive fine otherwise, though.
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Last edited by madurodave; 08-16-2010 at 06:17 PM.
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  #60  
Old 08-29-2010, 06:07 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
chagrin. That's awesome. I'm glad it made a difference.. .
I'm planning on doing the same thing to my wife's 2004 X-3. 107,000 miles now.
Do you have any photos showing how it looks now that it's a little lower?
Any negatives you can think of with this setup?? Thanks.
Our X3 is at 97k miles and has had the original suspension up until now. Granted, all of the OEM shocks and struts were still functioning, just not that well. The reason I replaced the suspension was because I found one broken rear spring but when I replaced the rear shocks, I then noticed that both rear springs were broken. It's strange that they were both broken since this X3 has only seen the suburbs and the highways. When I replaced the front springs and struts, there was no apparent damage but it was obvious that the front springs had lost the ability to keep the car at the original ride height.

Here is a photo of the X3 with the new suspension. Probably the most noticeable difference is the front wheel gap (or lack thereof) compared to a stock X3.



Here is the Eibach spring vs. OEM standard (non-sport) spring. The Eibach spring is shorter:


Here is the Bilstein vs. OEM standard (non-sport) strut. The Bilstein strut is longer:


The only negative I can think of with this setup would be for folks that are looking for "luxury" ride characteristics. The suspension is firm but because the springs are progressive, the little bumps and imperfections in the road are much less noticeable and make driving less annoying on the highway. I suppose this would be the equivalent of the sport suspension, but I don't know for sure since I've never driven an X3 with the factory sport suspension (the new suspension is still much softer than my E46 M3).

One of the biggest advantages is cost, since the price of the OEM springs/shocks/struts were approx $1k more than the aftermarket parts even when I priced them at some of the low-cost internet BMW part suppliers. Of course, if you do the work yourself you could save thousands more (our dealership charges $150/hour for labor). If you plan on replacing the suspension, I'd suggest replacing the front strut bearings as well as the steering arm pinch bolts (ours were heavily corroded). With the factory 17" wheels/tires the front is now 30" high at the top edge of the wheel well and the rear is 29.75". Previously our X3 measured 30.5" in the front and 29.5" in the rear, but that was with worn out front springs and broken rear springs.

Last edited by chagrin; 09-11-2010 at 02:41 PM.
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  #61  
Old 09-11-2010, 03:04 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Here is a comparison between the OEM and aftermarket costs. Excuse the formatting, as this was pasted from Excel.

OEM Parts
Item p/n Cost Qty Total
LF Spring . $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
RF Spring . $ 288.36 1 $ 288.36
RF Strut 31303451392 $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
LF Strut 31303451391 $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
Rear Springs . $ 143.50 2 $ 287.00
Rear Shocks 33503451402 $ 173.51 2 $ 347.02
Front Strut Tower Bearing 31 33 6 752 735 $ 52.66 2 $ 105.32
Total $ 1,820.69

Aftermarket Parts
Bilstein Front Right Strut - Heavy Duty VE3 B457 $ 206.95 1 $ 206.95
Bilstein Front Left Strut - Heavy Duty VE3 B456 $ 206.95 1 $ 206.95
Bilstein Rear Shock BE5 B458 $ 74.65 2 $ 149.30
Eibach SUV Pro Kit Springs BMW, X3 2079.54 $ 239.95 1 $ 239.95
Front Strut Tower Bearing 31 33 6 752 735 $ 39.95 2 $ 79.90
Total $ 883.05
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  #62  
Old 09-12-2010, 04:38 PM
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X3-terrestrial X3-terrestrial is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chagrin View Post
.
Like the stance How's the handling? hard cornering, etc? I have similar setting on my 89 Cabriolet but with H&R sport springs, I really like it.
Wonder why the OEM RF spring is more expensive than its twin....I think this is the way I will go when the time comes to do mine. Thanks for all the details!

Last edited by X3-terrestrial; 09-12-2010 at 04:39 PM.
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  #63  
Old 09-12-2010, 05:26 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by X3-terrestrial View Post
Like the stance How's the handling? hard cornering, etc?
I feel confident that I could take the X3 to the track and not have any issues taking turns at speed, although a front anti-sway bar would help it further. My motivitation to go with this setup was to replace everything and save money, not performance, but I am enjoying the added stability of the handling. However, I'm sure anything would feel better than the worn-out suspension that was on the vehicle.
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  #64  
Old 09-20-2010, 07:43 AM
Wongway Wongway is offline
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Whoa, BIG thanks for posting all of this information! I've been debating about replacing the entire suspension setup for awhile now since my X3 just hit 100k miles.

I'll be making sure I keep this information close at hand!!
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  #65  
Old 09-20-2010, 10:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chagrin View Post
I feel confident that I could take the X3 to the track and not have any issues taking turns at speed, although a front anti-sway bar would help it further. My motivitation to go with this setup was to replace everything and save money, not performance, but I am enjoying the added stability of the handling. However, I'm sure anything would feel better than the worn-out suspension that was on the vehicle.
Any issue with wheel camber? When I lowered my Z3 using Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, the rear wheel camber changed, causing the tires to wear more on the inner tread. Any similar issues on your setup?

I need to think about my next step when I get close to 100k miles (about 1 year away for me). I will probably do something similar as long as camber does not change!
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  #66  
Old 09-20-2010, 02:48 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madurodave View Post
Any issue with wheel camber? When I lowered my Z3 using Bilstein shocks and Eibach springs, the rear wheel camber changed, causing the tires to wear more on the inner tread. Any similar issues on your setup?

I need to think about my next step when I get close to 100k miles (about 1 year away for me). I will probably do something similar as long as camber does not change!
Yes, negative camber increases with a decrease in spring height, so an all-wheel alignment is required to bring it back to factory specs and avoid uneven tire wear issues. An alignment is recommended with any suspension change, even when replacing worn items with OEM components.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wongway View Post
Whoa, BIG thanks for posting all of this information! I've been debating about replacing the entire suspension setup for awhile now since my X3 just hit 100k miles.

I'll be making sure I keep this information close at hand!!
You're quite welcome, I'm glad people have found this useful!

Last edited by chagrin; 09-20-2010 at 02:49 PM.
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  #67  
Old 09-20-2010, 03:27 PM
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madurodave madurodave is offline
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[QUOTE=chagrin;5484278]An alignment is recommended with any suspension change, even when replacing worn items with OEM components.QUOTE]

So the standard 4 wheel alignment was able to bring it back into spec - great news!

On my Z3, I had to buy some eccentric cam adjusters to bring alignment back in close to spec. I believe camber is fixed by the suspension components and can't be adjusted on the Z3.
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  #68  
Old 01-31-2011, 02:24 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is offline
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[QUOTE=chagrin;5461914]Here is a comparison between the OEM and aftermarket costs. Excuse the formatting, as this was pasted from Excel.

Here is a comparison between the OEM and aftermarket costs. Excuse the formatting, as this was pasted from Excel.

OEM Parts
Item p/n Cost Qty Total
LF Spring . $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
RF Spring . $ 288.36 1 $ 288.36
RF Strut 31303451392 $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
LF Strut 31303451391 $ 264.33 1 $ 264.33
Rear Springs . $ 143.50 2 $ 287.00
Rear Shocks 33503451402 $ 173.51 2 $ 347.02
Front Strut Tower Bearing 31 33 6 752 735 $ 52.66 2 $ 105.32
Total $ 1,820.69

Aftermarket Parts
Bilstein Front Right Strut - Heavy Duty VE3 B457 $ 206.95 1 $ 206.95
Bilstein Front Left Strut - Heavy Duty VE3 B456 $ 206.95 1 $ 206.95
Bilstein Rear Shock BE5 B458 $ 74.65 2 $ 149.30
Eibach SUV Pro Kit Springs BMW, X3 2079.54 $ 239.95 1 $ 239.95
Front Strut Tower Bearing 31 33 6 752 735 $ 39.95 2 $ 79.90
Total $ 883.05


I'm looking to buy some Bilstein HDs for my 2004 X3.
Does anyone know if these occasionally go on sale? or who has the best price?
( the above is a quote from Chagrin, but I think the formatting may be off )
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  #69  
Old 04-24-2011, 07:22 PM
JackalopeZX3 JackalopeZX3 is offline
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Just found both my rear coil springs broken also! (2007 X3) Lucky it was found during a brake job. My "ceritified" warrenty runs out in January of 2012. Called BMW and the problem will be taken care of with only the 50$ deductable out of my pocket. Aside from the occasional "Clunk" mentioned in another post, I might not have discovered the broken springs till after the warrenty was up.
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  #70  
Old 05-14-2012, 07:57 PM
derSpeed derSpeed is offline
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I took my 2007, in for the 60,000 mile service and was advised that I have a broken spring. I planned to install Eibachs anyway. It's hard to believe how common this is with E83s.
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  #71  
Old 05-14-2012, 10:56 PM
chagrin chagrin is offline
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Originally Posted by derSpeed View Post
It's hard to believe how common this is with E83s.
I agree. The last time I encountered a broken spring on a vehicle was when I had a 1989 Honda Civic that had 180k mi of city driving hammered into it. I never expected that I would ever see that happen again, let alone on a BMW.

It's been over 20 months since the suspension upgrade and our X3 is still handling exceptionally well for an "SAV".
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  #72  
Old 05-15-2012, 07:57 PM
derSpeed derSpeed is offline
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I'm just changing the springs since the Eibach pro kit springs are designed to function with oem struts and shocks. I have always installed Bils sports with performance springs, but this time I want to see how the oems compare. I would think that SUV shocks can handle one inch of lowering. Since the springs are progressive, the oem shocks should be able to control them. I need brakes at all four corners too, so I plan to knock it all out at the same time. I will post pics if anyone is interested. OT, I plan to get different wheels too. I have narrowed my choices to staggered Alzor 716s, oem style 191s or style 197s with spacers in the rear.
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  #73  
Old 05-16-2012, 10:15 AM
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This is a known issue
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  #74  
Old 05-16-2012, 07:03 PM
derSpeed derSpeed is offline
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I discovered the issue after I bought the car. I just didn't think it would happen to a low mile warm weather car. It's still a ridiculous issue for such a car to have.
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  #75  
Old 07-23-2013, 08:44 PM
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Spring time...

Glad I found this thread!
I just put these on...

Avante Gare M310 19x8.5 w/ Kumho 255/40r19 tires


... when It turns out both my rear springs are broken.

Now that you guys have had this suspension setup installed for a while. How do you like it? Do the springs hold up well when you're carrying a load?
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