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X5 E53 (1999 - 2006)
The X5 SAV Forum

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Old 03-11-2010, 10:11 PM
barbja barbja is offline
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Mein Auto: 2015 X6 3.5
Sport suspension/Self-leveling suspension/Adaptive drive

I'm planning on getting a 2011 X5 35d with sport package, which will include the sport suspension, a 3rd row seat, which adds the self-leveling suspension, and adaptive drive, which does all the magic that it does.

I was always planning on the sport+adaptive, but I just realized today that the self-leveling would end up being thrown in there too. Is that going to end up being too much conflicting computer gorp going on with my suspension? Is anything going to cancel the something else out, leaving me with a drive-feeling that I wont like, or is everything going to do the single job that its supposed to do, making me stuck to the ground in both the vertical (adaptive) and horizontal positions (leveling), while keeping me in tight control (sport)?

I have an '03 X5 with sport suspension now and I really like how it drives. I'm a very aggressive driver -- mostly on pushing the limits of my car, not Usually on p*ssing off other drivers.

So, any opinions?
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Old 03-12-2010, 09:26 AM
jpeytonii jpeytonii is offline
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Location: IL
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 82
Mein Auto: E39 M5, 996 GT3, E70 X5d
Unless there has been a sigificant change with 2011 vehicles the Sport Package is appearance only. There is no "sport suspension" other than the adaptive drive.

The self-leveling suspension uses inflatable airbags to raise the rear ride height (back to standard) when a significant load is carried (or a trailer is attached). I don't believe it does anything other than this.

Bottom line I would not be concerned with having both Adaptive Drive and the self-leveling suspension. BMW designed them to work together.
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Old 04-11-2010, 09:44 AM
Jamze132 Jamze132 is offline
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Mein Auto: 2014 228i
I have the Adaptive Drive in my 2010 and think its pretty cool but is it needed? :idunno:

I just know that when I turn it on, the suspension goes super tight and hugs the road with hardly any body roll. Yeah its a little bumpy, but its a cool feature if you feel like driving "spirited".
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:05 AM
mpoor mpoor is offline
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Location: Brooklyn
Join Date: Nov 2010
Posts: 17
Mein Auto: E70 XS SAV
There is a sports suspension on the E70

I know this is an old thread, but there are separate part numbers for the dampers. I can't find the spring part numbers, but typically BMW does not change dampening without a need (higher spring rate), and each configuration has a different bump stop, so it's likely the springs have different rates. The following is for the 3.0 only, not the diesel or the 8 cylinder vehicles. I ran into a brick wall at the dealer when trying to find out specifics about the myriad of suspension options available. I do know the swaybars are the same on all packages unless you get the Adaptive Drive. The inserts for that set up are completely different and include the EDC module and associated hardware.

-- Edit- looks like the S226A is only available outside the US, oh well.

I personally preferred the 19" all seasons with the sports package, but ride quality and handling are subjective, and need to swap tires come winter as well as road quality are individual factors (obviously depending on where you live). What you desire from the vehicle comes into play as well.

I also have not had an X5 before, my previous BMWs have been an E30 M3, E36 M3, E36 MC SC, and an E46 328. These are very very different animals, so perhaps my expectations of the SAV are not the same as someone else.

For Reference, the E70 6 cylinder suspension strut insert numbers are as follows.

Front (same L/R)-
Standard 31326781917
W/sport suspension (S226A) 31326781919

Rear (gets really involved, as there are many options)
Standard 33526781921/922
Sport (S226A) 33526781927/928
Self Level + 3rd Row (S220A + S4UBA) 33526781925/926
Self Level + Sport (S220A + S226A) 33526781877/878
Self Level + Sport + 3rd Row (S220A + S226A + S4UBA) 33526781931/932

If anyone could find out about springs that would be great, I'd love to know if they have different rates or if indeed it is just a change in the inserts compression/rebound settings.

Last edited by mpoor; 11-19-2010 at 12:10 PM. Reason: New info
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Old 01-24-2012, 01:58 PM
GaryRudolph's Avatar
GaryRudolph GaryRudolph is offline
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Mein Auto: Z4 35is, X5 50i
So, what I've found so far going along with upgrading to the sport suspension yourself (really baffling it's not offered here in the US as it's really plug and play). I guess they want people to buy AD. It seems like with AD it's the same for whether or not you buy the sport package (curious how AD feels to the sport suspension on a 4.8/5.0). Anyways... here's the parts to upgrade:

"Front spring strut" 31316781920 $464.16 x 2
Coil Spring

Rear (3rd row seat)
"Pneumatic spring, rear" 37126790080 $220.29 x 2
"shock absorber, rear left" 33526781931 $350.00
"shock absorver, rear right" 33526781932 $350.00
"Additional shock absorber, rear" 33536773236 $20.55 x 2
Coil Spring

The only catch is the "Additional shock absorber rear" or in layman terms (bump stop) doesn't have a sport + self leveling + 3rd row seat version. Have to pick two. I picked sport + self leveling.

$2,109.96 in parts + labor (probably a day $1k) so looking at $3k. Tough call to do that or just trade it in. I'm leaning towards doing it as I really like the diesel.

Plus, there is still the issue that the non-sport has a larger steering wheel. That's quite expensive and I would think affect the steering ratio feel.

Lastly, I'm wondering if the heavy steering on the 35d can be addressed with software (as it has the same sport steering components as everything else)?
Current: 2012 X5 xDrive50i, 2012 Z4 sDrive35is
Previous: 2011 X5 xDrive35d, 2008 M5, 2006 M Roadster, 2005 645Ci Convertible, 2002 X5 3.0i Sport
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