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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > E39 (1997 - 2003)

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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  #1  
Old 11-24-2011, 11:26 PM
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MidnightBlue528 MidnightBlue528 is offline
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Options for Lowering

Got a 00 528i non-sport, and i would like to lower my car. I'm running stock suspension and style 5s. I would like to lower my car to get a flush look so fairly low. I'm kind of confused as to what the difference would be between springs and coilovers. From what ive gathered with coilovers you can usually go lower and have a lot better of a ride. Im not concerned with the performance aspect of the coilovers as much as the aesthetics. I think i would have to have the capability of lowering at least 2 inches to get this. Ive tried to do a little research on the options. So ive seen very good reviews on BC coilovers, i dont really mind paying that much if i have to, but i dont want to if i have to. My wants are the lowering capabilities and still a decent ride. I know springs arent adjustable so i dont really know how to tackle that. Are there any other options for lowering? Ive heard the brand H&R a lot and Bilstein. Thank You
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  #2  
Old 11-25-2011, 07:35 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightBlue528 View Post
Got a 00 528i non-sport, and i would like to lower my car.

My wants are the lowering capabilities and still a decent ride.
There are many options for lowering but you are asking for two characteristics that are somewhat incompatible. When you lower your car, you reduce your suspension travel. When lowered, to prevent bottoming out, you must use stiffer springs (& shocks) to accomodate the shorter travel. Stiffer springs & shocks will result in a rougher ride. The lower, the stiffer (rougher). The upside is you will typically get improved handling, assuming you match the springs to the right shocks. While many who have made this change claim their ride quality is fine, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You must remember that a suspension system is a very complex system of matched components. Changing any component(s) will change the way the system reacts. I recommend caution when considering suspension changes. If you have a non-sport suspension now, a change to an aftermarket suspension will be somewhat signficant in terms of change in ride quality since the focus of these systems is usually to improve handling performance, not appearance. You may want to consider the sport suspension, as this lowers the car and preserves the ride quality. It's also very affordable on the used parts market.
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  #3  
Old 11-25-2011, 08:27 AM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Most neophytes don`t know the difference between "Roadholding" and "Handling"....although these terms are used haphazardly and interchangeably, they are NOT the same thing...."Roadholding" (in a nutshell) is your car`s ability to generate a certain amount of G-force while negotiating a turn. "Handling" is how the car FEELS while performing this duty.

You can build a car with great *roadholding* ability, but at the same time, you destroy it`s *handling* prowess. Stiff, short-travel suspensions might be the cat`s ass for generating good numbers on a track or skidpad, but will make daily driving on public roads an experience that you will *quickly* tire of....you can`t have it both ways.
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  #4  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:21 AM
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MidnightBlue528 MidnightBlue528 is offline
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Well i can see that this a complex subject and do want to do it right the first time, ride quality is not of the utmost importance to me, im 17 haha. I am not necessarily looking for the performance aspect of the subject considering i do not consider my car a race car. Im fine with it not being fast so ive focused more on appearance and audio. What im looking for is a safe drop to make the flush look. That means, according to a ruler up against the outside of the car, about a 2 1/2 inches in the front and 2 inches in the back, and it could probably go lower if it had to go in any direction, those numbers due seem kinda of large though. So could i even get that large of a drop from springs? or do i need coilovers? and if i get either of them would i need to get different shocks or struts and why? thank you guys for the advice, i really appreciate it
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  #5  
Old 11-25-2011, 09:33 AM
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doru doru is offline
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I had the same debate with myself a while back.
Reading through a lot of posts on different forums (and there are tons, which will make your head turn), I ended with 3 alternatives.
Two were sport springs & sport shocks, the 3d was coilovers.
I opted for the 3d, and went the PSS9 route. I don't regret it one bit, and I would go as far and say this is the biggest and more noticeable upgrade I made to my car concerning handling and ride quality.
I set them at stock sport height (which is 14.25" all round from center of roundel to the bottom of the fender), and 7 setting for compression/rebound. The ride is phenomenal, just a hair stiffer than non-sport shocks, but more planted. This summer I played a bit with ride height, and it's not difficult to alter the heigth, not sure how much this alters the alignment. Next spring, I will probably start using "summer" and "winter" settings, meaning once the summer wheels are on, I will lower the car a bit, then rise it as soon as winter will be back.
In terms of economics, I had a deal I could not pass from Turner Motorsport. Comparing costs to overhaul the non-sport suspension components to sport suspension, and compared to coilovers, the pricing was a bit higher for the coilovers, but I have the flexibility to alter the height and compression/rebound settings. Also, going through numreous DIY's, and after I installed the coilovers, it seemed to me that installing coilovers is much easier than installing traditional shock/spring combo, due to the fact that you have to pay extra attention how you align them. Not so with coilovers. Also a few less bits of hardware involved.
Tightening the components will have to observe the same methods/steps as traditional shocks/springs combos (full tank of gas, weights on seats & trunk, preloaded bushings), folowed by alignment.
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  #6  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:07 AM
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MidnightBlue528 MidnightBlue528 is offline
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Ive heard the PSS9 doesnt lower very much, i dont doubt the improved handling but im focusing more on looks in this situation
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  #7  
Old 11-25-2011, 11:53 AM
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doru doru is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightBlue528 View Post
Ive heard the PSS9 doesnt lower very much, i dont doubt the improved handling but im focusing more on looks in this situation


They can lower pretty good (to be in the spec sheet of the PSS9 coilover), you can end up with the rubber just tucked inside the fender arch.

So basically you want it slammed. I am not aware of sport springs that can lower more than that unless you cut them.
Also, I am not sure you searched and read through the wealth of info that is out there for e39 suspension settings, so I do you a favor: Suspension survey
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Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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  #8  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:00 PM
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Fast Bob Fast Bob is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MidnightBlue528 View Post
Ive heard the PSS9 doesnt lower very much, i dont doubt the improved handling but im focusing more on looks in this situation
Or, you can go all the way, and airbag it....(probably not a good DIY project though, unless you`ve got lots of experience)
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:18 PM
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MidnightBlue528 MidnightBlue528 is offline
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I've done some searching and read several threads, however it confused me more than helped me, i heard a lot about springs and dampening and ratios of pounds per inches and other things that affect it, but the thread was more about lowering an inch not 2 or more, plus I have the non sport height so I have to lower more to get the bottom of the fender flush with the tire so idk I guess I'll just do more research thanks guys let me know if u have any more info for it is all helpful
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  #10  
Old 11-25-2011, 01:33 PM
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doru doru is offline
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Here you go for a bit of read:
Exhibit a
Exhibit b
Exhibit c
Exhibit d
Exhibit e

There are at least 20 or 30 significant more posts you can find on your own.

Good luck
__________________
Looking for a DIY? Parts? Check this out, it might be your ticket
TMS underdrive pullies - Stewart WP - PSS9 - Beisan Vanos seals - Zimmerman cross-drilled & Akebono Euro - Deka 649 MF - 55w HID headlights - 35w HID foglights - Hualigan double din - ACS (rep) alu pedals - Euro central storage console - Breyton Magic Racing staggered wheels - M5 bumper - M5 steering wheel - Tint
Stable: e39, e53, e46 & Tribby
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