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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #51  
Old 09-24-2009, 10:35 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Impressions on how the car rides with the Bilstein HD's?


Mucho thanks!
Jason
I am still asking...????
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  #52  
Old 09-24-2009, 10:53 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Jason,

I own 1998 Volvo V70 from new and 1998 BMW 528i since 2006. Here is my observation.

The 1998 Volvo V70:
-I just did a complete suspension overhaul (control arms, tierods, endlinks etc.) + Bilstein Touring (TC) Struts:
http://www.fcpgroton.com/product-exe...ategory_id/181
Since I own the Volvo from new (also has Stock Sachs Strut from factory like BMW E39), this is my observation:
- If the Sachs Stock has a firmness of 100% as a reference point of measurement,
- Then the Bilstein TC is about 110% or 10% firmer. Nice, controlled ride, even my wife likes it better than stock...
So for the Volvo Bilstein TC is just perfect
(They also have a Bilstein HD but the folks in the Volvo forums think it is too firm!!!)

The 1998 BMW 528i:
- I cannot tell how the E39 was when new but with the Bilstein HD Strut, it rides exactly like the Volvo: Nice, controlled ride, and probably 110% more than Sachs.
(But again, not owning the E39 from new, I cannot be sure).

So my theory is: Bilstein uses different terminology for diff cars. Here is Bilstein catalogue:
http://www.bilsteinus.com/305bilstei...ationguide.pdf

Here is the chart for Volvo vs BMW, so you can see the terminology difference:


My 2-cent conclusion is: Volvo Bilstein TC has the same damping characteristics as BMW E39 Bilstein HD.

Does anyone know if Bilstein ever publishes the spec's of their struts and shocks so I can look up their technical data?
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Last edited by cn90; 09-24-2009 at 11:11 AM.
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  #53  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:00 AM
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Jason5driver Jason5driver is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Jason,

I own 1998 Volvo V70 from new and 1998 BMW 528i since 2006. Here is my observation.

The 1998 Volvo V70:
-I just did a complete suspension overhaul (control arms, tierods, endlinks etc.) + Bilstein Touring (TC) Struts:
http://www.fcpgroton.com/product-exe...ategory_id/181
Since I own the Volvo from new (also has Stock Sachs Strut from factory like BMW E39), this is my observation:
- If the Sachs Stock has a firmness of 100% as a reference point of measurement,
- Then the Bilstein TC is about 110% or 10% firmer. Nice, controlled ride, even my wife likes it better than stock...
So for the Volvo Bilstein TC is just perfect
(They also have a Bilstein HD but the folks in the Volvo forums think it is too firm!!!)

The 1998 BMW 528i:
- I cannot tell how the E39 was when new but with the Bilstein HD Strut, it rides exactly like the Volvo: Nice, controlled ride, and probably 110% more than Sachs.
(But again, not owning the E39 from new, I cannot be sure).

So my theory is: Bilstein uses different terminology for diff cars,
My 2-cent conclusion is: Volvo Bilstein TC has the same damping characteristics as BMW E39 Bilstein HD.

Does anyone know if Bilstein ever publishes the spec's of their struts and shocks so I can look up their technical data?
Thank you!
I have often heard that the HD's valving is the same as the Sports.??
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  #54  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:14 AM
tspeed tspeed is offline
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Another excellent DIY by cn90!

All I can say is WOW and thanks!

...any plans for the rear DIY?
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  #55  
Old 09-24-2009, 11:45 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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My Rear End seems OK (I may do it later), but if you need a DIY, use this nice DIY by Michel "mmm635":

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=358553

Not a Step-by-Step but texts and pictures separately.

Last edited by cn90; 10-01-2009 at 06:58 PM.
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  #56  
Old 09-24-2009, 02:26 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Maybe you guys can ... figure out if there is something that will do what he would like in the open source domain since this is your area of expertise.
If it helps, I converted the DIY PDFs to editable Microsoft Word & PowerPoint (see below).

My PDF2OFFICE program somehow barfed on the photographs; but for the enterprising person, they can be pasted in afterward (I can't do it at this time due to time constraints).

I doubt this is very useful at this point; but I did it just so folks can see what results look like as a DIY-edit option.

a) We started with the web page
b) We converted the DIY web page to PDF
c) We converted that PDF to MS Office (Word and PowerPoint)

I guess we could have just directly converted the web page to MS Office (I didn't think of that until just now).
FWIW, Bluebee

NOTE: I had to "trick" the uploader into "thinking" the MS Word (*.doc & *.ppt) files were PDF so once you download these test files, please delete the last four characters of the extension (i.e., change *.doc.pdf to *.doc).


EDIT: I was able to convert to MS Word and Powerpoint with the pictures also ... but now the file size is 20MB per file which will take too many 1MB chunks to upload here.

Last edited by bluebee; 09-24-2009 at 02:52 PM.
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  #57  
Old 10-04-2009, 06:51 AM
romroc romroc is offline
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great, Great, GREAT article on the E39 front suspension!!!!!

I now know that the mechanic who replaced my front struts and rear shocks in an emmergency while I was out of state, put the front springs in incorrectly. He hinted that he had problems with the lack of markings by Bilstein. So use mechanics' paint, duh!

I have a question: Is there a spring orientation at the top of the spring into the 'guide?' Since nothing was marked on reassembly, what's the correct orientation for the top perch, I know that this affects ride height, etc. The bit about the 12 o'clock, 4:30 was very revealing. It's obvious to me now that the bottom front springs on my car are not fully seated as the coil end is very close to the Bilstein notch, instead of the 4:30 position. I will be contacting the shop owner tomorrow morning to inform him of my findings.

Thanks again for the comprehensive and most thorough front suspension piece.
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  #58  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:35 AM
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mmm635 mmm635 is offline
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Damn CN, this is a nice writeup. I know you have invested a considerable amount of time with what you have done and want to extend a special thanks. These things take a lot of time and effort. Good job!
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  #59  
Old 10-04-2009, 09:41 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Thanks Michel, You covered the REAR and I cover the FRONT!
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  #60  
Old 10-04-2009, 10:21 AM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Thanks Michel, You covered the REAR and I cover the FRONT!
To each his own. I am not passing judgment.

mw
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  #61  
Old 10-04-2009, 10:33 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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LOL....

I meant Michel covered the REAR Suspension. This is Michel's DIY for those who need it:
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1205925

and I covered the FRONT Suspension.
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  #62  
Old 10-06-2009, 06:46 PM
velvetMonkey velvetMonkey is offline
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Just a quick one from me.

I did all this last weekend, and all I can say is it feels like a new car!!! Can't believe how shagged the old bushes were, and the thrust arm ball joints were very loose. 210k miles and counting, and it's not been done before.

Thanks for all the effort you put in preparing the step by step, much appreciated and I wouldn't have been able to do it without!

take it easy guys
Simon
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  #63  
Old 10-06-2009, 06:53 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Originally Posted by velvetMonkey View Post
Just a quick one from me.

Can't believe how shagged the old bushes were, and the thrust arm ball joints were very loose. 210k miles and counting, and it's not been done before.
I'll bet. 210K miles and original bushes and thrust arms? Must've drove like a camry or cadillac-floating like a boat.
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  #64  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:05 PM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Originally Posted by velvetMonkey View Post
Just a quick one from me.

I did all this last weekend, and all I can say is it feels like a new car!!! Can't believe how shagged the old bushes were, and the thrust arm ball joints were very loose. 210k miles and counting, and it's not been done before.

Thanks for all the effort you put in preparing the step by step, much appreciated and I wouldn't have been able to do it without!

take it easy guys
Simon
Glad I could be of help.

Front Suspension Overhaul, together with Cooling System Overhaul, are probably the 2 most important and most gratifying projects for any BMW with 100K+ miles.

Take care.
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  #65  
Old 10-06-2009, 07:23 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
I'll bet. 210K miles and original bushes and thrust arms? Must've drove like a Camry or Cadillac-floating like a boat.
I bet you, more than half E39s out there ride like that, and the owners don't even know something is wrong.

mw
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  #66  
Old 10-07-2009, 02:27 AM
velvetMonkey velvetMonkey is offline
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I bet you, more than half E39s out there ride like that, and the owners don't even know something is wrong.

mw
I think you're probably right mate! Before the E39 I had an E34 525i, and the bushes were shot on there. Also on the E34 530i I had! the weight of the V8 made it more apparent I reckon too.

Hopefully these Meyle HD ones are going to last, there's only one to suppliers of them over here.
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  #67  
Old 10-07-2009, 05:55 AM
romroc romroc is offline
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I had my local mech reset the front lower springs on my '98 528i thanks to this article. WOAH! The RIDE has improved remarkably. Apparently the mis-set springs were enough to cause sticktion of the front Bilstein struts leading to a rough ride. Car is top of the heap right now, dudes. Mech that messed up is gonna pay the damages. thanks for the timely help, just had this work done a month ago, would hate to think what would've happened if this situation hadn't been corrected. wonder if there are others cars out there with this problem?
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  #68  
Old 10-07-2009, 06:44 AM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velvetMonkey View Post
I think you're probably right mate! Before the E39 I had an E34 525i, and the bushes were shot on there. Also on the E34 530i I had! the weight of the V8 made it more apparent I reckon too.

Hopefully these Meyle HD ones are going to last, there's only one to suppliers of them over here.
Well if you want the Meyle HDs pressed into OEM arms, we do offer those and will ship internationally.

Jared
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  #69  
Old 10-07-2009, 07:33 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romroc View Post
I had my local mech reset the front lower springs on my '98 528i thanks to this article. WOAH! The RIDE has improved remarkably. Apparently the mis-set springs were enough to cause sticktion of the front Bilstein struts leading to a rough ride. Car is top of the heap right now, dudes. Mech that messed up is gonna pay the damages. thanks for the timely help, just had this work done a month ago, would hate to think what would've happened if this situation hadn't been corrected. wonder if there are others cars out there with this problem?
Hi romroc,

This is a lesson for any mechanic, whether seasoned or rookies Saturday mechanics: when not sure, especially when working on complex projects, take a close look factory setup and "copy" it.
This is why in my DIY I clearly mentioned that people should use the LOWER Rubber Pad and transfer the marking over to the new Strut Perch so the setup is correct.

Very often, people are too confident in taking things apart (the easy part) but during re-installation, they mess it up, a result of lack of observation!

TRUST YOR EYES AND BRAIN!

PS: Re Meyle Bushing, I just wonder for the sake of simplicity, why don't people buy the Meyle Thrust Arms so the bushing is already in there from factory.
The balljoint side, I don't have long-term experience on Meyle in E39 to comment about (i.e. how long it lasts).
But in my E23 (1983 735i 5sp): I installed Meyle tie rods, Arms etc. and they lasted 40-50K on the new parts w/o problems until I sold the baby.
I sorely miss my E23, but that is another story!

Last edited by cn90; 10-07-2009 at 07:37 AM.
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  #70  
Old 10-07-2009, 01:05 PM
hitmanpty hitmanpty is offline
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I will have to say exelent. your are a Jedi.....
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  #71  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:22 AM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
PS: Re Meyle Bushing, I just wonder for the sake of simplicity, why don't people buy the Meyle Thrust Arms so the bushing is already in there from factory.
The balljoint side, I don't have long-term experience on Meyle in E39 to comment about (i.e. how long it lasts).
But in my E23 (1983 735i 5sp): I installed Meyle tie rods, Arms etc. and they lasted 40-50K on the new parts w/o problems until I sold the baby.
I sorely miss my E23, but that is another story!
IMO the Meyle arms are not proven. Some guys say the ball joints don't last long. They look so horribly cheap that I'm embarrassed to even sell them. I can get them but you sure don't see them on my site. If they were a viable option I would gladly sell those instead of taking the time to press them ourselves. I just don't get the warm and fuzzies about them.
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  #72  
Old 10-08-2009, 09:25 AM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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Originally Posted by Jared@EACTuning View Post
IMO the Meyle arms are not proven. Some guys say the ball joints don't last long. They look so horribly cheap that I'm embarrassed to even sell them. I can get them but you sure don't see them on my site. If they were a viable option I would gladly sell those instead of taking the time to press them ourselves. I just don't get the warm and fuzzies about them.

Which is why we appreciate your special item, Lemforder arms with Meyle HD bushings. The best of both worlds: long lasting ball joints with longer lasting bushings which are not liquid filled like Lemforder. Thanks Jared!
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  #73  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:23 AM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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Originally Posted by dvsgene View Post
Which is why we appreciate your special item, Lemforder arms with Meyle HD bushings. The best of both worlds: long lasting ball joints with longer lasting bushings which are not liquid filled like Lemforder. Thanks Jared!
I'm definitely glad to help!
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  #74  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:29 AM
cn90 cn90 is offline
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Jared,

The TRW Thrust Arm: what bushing in there, liquid or solid?
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  #75  
Old 10-08-2009, 10:37 AM
Jared@EAC Jared@EAC is offline
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Jared,

The TRW Thrust Arm: what bushing in there, liquid or solid?
Liquid.
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