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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 03-13-2011, 07:21 PM
emachines emachines is offline
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Mein Auto: 2002 525i
How do I know my front suspension is going bad

Replaced the front suspension last July. After that, I like driving my car. However after two months later, when I drove over the seals on a bridge or bumps on the roads. I did feel that the suspension could not stablize my car, the feeling is vague and it is difficult to describe, though. What I meant is when I drive over seals and bumps, it is really uncomfortable, I did feel my car jump up and down quickly and feel no cusion. Here is an test I did this morning and hope it helps to make the feeling clear. This morning, I drove over a bumper at speed around 20-30km/h, I heard/felt two sound from the suspension. From my intuition, something wrong but just do not know what is going on.

The parts have replaced to address this issue,
1. Upper / Lower arms X2 (Lemforder)
2. Both Tie rod X 2 (Lemforder)
3. Stabilizer X2 (Lemforder)
4. Rubber for supporting stabilizer bar X2 (Lemforder)
5. Brand new wheel. Toyo C1S
6. Wheel alignment is done.
7. Guide support is replaced when replacing suspension struts.

Part did not replace,
Springs.

Drove the car to the mechanics and drove the car with him. He said this is normal and the best he has driven. However, I drive this car everyday and the feeling is not good after two months since replaced the suspension. Replace the front chasis parts, the feeling is better but now it is bad.

I am thinking to bring my car back to the garge again and have the mechanic to check the suspension again. Two questions,
1. Is there anything I should talk with the mechanic for addressing this feeling?
2. Do I have to replace the springs?

P.S: The suspension strut is Saach.

Last edited by emachines; 03-13-2011 at 07:26 PM.
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  #2  
Old 03-13-2011, 08:31 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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4. Rubber for supporting stabilizer bar X2 (Lemforder)

this is not a good idea to update only rubbers
i have done it and i don't like it
I think stabilizer bar need to be updated as well

looks like your real need some work
if car has less than 120k miles no need to replace springs ( or you want to lower it )

Last edited by champaign777; 03-13-2011 at 08:58 PM.
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  #3  
Old 03-13-2011, 09:32 PM
franka franka is offline
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Springs and anti-sway bars do not reqr replacement. They are good for 400K miles.

My first thought is your control arm bushings. Were they replaced? If not that is what I would do. I have 230K miles and I'm on my 3rd set. Next time I will try the Meyle control arm bushings.

Other hard bushings will give you a harder ride with very little performance improvement. I would stick with OEM bushings except for the Meyles.
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  #4  
Old 03-13-2011, 11:30 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Does your car have the Standard or Sport suspension? Which version of the Sachs struts did you have installed?
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  #5  
Old 03-14-2011, 05:42 AM
cn90 cn90 is online now
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I did the exact same thing (Front Suspension: everything replaced minus Springs and Front Bearing).

The problem now is in the REAR suspension: I will do that soon (? April) and post a DIY.
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  #6  
Old 03-14-2011, 05:49 AM
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AnotherGeezer AnotherGeezer is offline
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I'm with cn90 on this one. Your rear ball joints and all associated parts are probably worn and giving you the squirmies.

You also didn't mention whether you installed new struts and shocks. Might be high time for new ones.
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Old 03-14-2011, 07:03 AM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pleiades View Post
Does your car have the Standard or Sport suspension? Which version of the Sachs struts did you have installed?
My 97 540 came with the 6 speed and the OEM Sport suspension. At that time you had to get a 6 spd if you wanted the Sport suspension and vice versa.

I tried the Bilstein HDs shocks first. Then lowered the car on Eibachs and all was very good. I should have stopped there but didn't.

After a while I tried the Konis, single adjustable. I got tired of them in a few months because they are single adjustable but not on the compression side. And the compression side is very soft, like a non-Sport suspension shock or even softer than that. The car would bottom very easily.

So then I tried the Bilstein Sports (SPs), after the rumor that they had been changed and were no longer so hard. Well that was not true and is still not true today. That is BS. They still ride very hard, but I left them on hoping they would soften up a bit, but they haven't. This saga has been over the last 6-7 years.

I'm older, wiser and have personal experience with all the above. If I could snap my fingers and have the HDs back on the car, that is what I would do.

Does that answer your question?
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Dirrezas (4) @ 275/35-18, Eibach springs & bars, Bilstein Sports, Dinan Stage 2, slotted ATEs, Hi-Temp HTP pads, SS Lines, UUC-SS, White/Tan, Bling-free & Stealthy

Last edited by franka; 03-14-2011 at 07:06 AM.
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  #8  
Old 03-14-2011, 07:19 AM
franka franka is offline
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I have 230K miles on the odometer. I replaced the whole front end, every thing that had pivios and bushings, except the anti-sway bar bushings, and the car still rides like new. I haven't done anything to the rear except replace a ball joint while still under a 100K warranty.

I have 275/35-18s on all 4 corners, have Eibach springs and Eibach bars front and rear. I run 36 psi in the front and 34 in the rear and I'm getting very good and even wear all across the full 9" of tire tread that contacts the road.

Some rear components have been a bit loose for several years but the car runs very straight and smooth and the wear rate on my Dunlop Direzza Stars is surprisingly good.
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  #9  
Old 03-14-2011, 02:35 PM
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champaign777 champaign777 is offline
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franka
keep talking
looks like you have more to tell , very interesting

suspension is a key of perfect BMW , i like such stories

here is my story
enjoy

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1153147
http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1175290
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  #10  
Old 03-14-2011, 03:52 PM
pleiades pleiades is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by franka View Post
My 97 540 came with the 6 speed and the OEM Sport suspension. At that time you had to get a 6 spd if you wanted the Sport suspension and vice versa.

I tried the Bilstein HDs shocks first. Then lowered the car on Eibachs and all was very good. I should have stopped there but didn't.

After a while I tried the Konis, single adjustable. I got tired of them in a few months because they are single adjustable but not on the compression side. And the compression side is very soft, like a non-Sport suspension shock or even softer than that. The car would bottom very easily.

So then I tried the Bilstein Sports (SPs), after the rumor that they had been changed and were no longer so hard. Well that was not true and is still not true today. That is BS. They still ride very hard, but I left them on hoping they would soften up a bit, but they haven't. This saga has been over the last 6-7 years.

I'm older, wiser and have personal experience with all the above. If I could snap my fingers and have the HDs back on the car, that is what I would do.

Does that answer your question?
I should've been clearer as my question was intended for the OP. Somewhere I read of people with standard-susp. cars buying/installing the struts for the Sport suspension simply because they are much less expensive, and not liking the results.

Your reply is very informative though as I've been mulling which struts and shocks will work well for me. Sounds like the Bilstein HDs are the ticket....
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  #11  
Old 03-14-2011, 04:15 PM
franka franka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by champaign777 View Post
franka
keep talking
looks like you have more to tell , very interesting
I have been talking for years, with over 7600 posts here alone. I will be glad to answer questions and provide info when and where I can help.
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540/6

Dirrezas (4) @ 275/35-18, Eibach springs & bars, Bilstein Sports, Dinan Stage 2, slotted ATEs, Hi-Temp HTP pads, SS Lines, UUC-SS, White/Tan, Bling-free & Stealthy
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  #12  
Old 03-22-2011, 07:35 PM
emachines emachines is offline
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Back to this fourm from hard work.
My front struts are both Sachs and it is OEM for Original. I did not mension in the first post, after two months later after the front axle overhaul, I did the rear axle overhaul, changed near everything. It was nice after rear axle overhaul. But recently, when driving the car over the seals, feel the car jump up and down with little cishion, I think. Discuss this with the mechanics, he told me I can install a spring supporter to stablize the spring when the car is passing over bumps. Does anyone know the part number of this spring supporter?
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  #13  
Old 03-22-2011, 08:57 PM
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Mack Mack is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 525i
Stock front bushings are fluid filled and mine were 100% bad when replaced at 120k but most likely went bad at 80k. Now have all HD (Meyle) bushings up front and feel confident they will last quite awhile and feel great. Also with my recent replacement of front and rear sways the bushings weren't shot, but they weren't exactly in great shape either. The replacement Eibach bushings are of a superior quality and giving a better and firmer feel. CN90 I'm with you bro. I'll be looking to replace some rear items here at some point. I should know more once I get a chance to truly test the new sway setup. Also e are you going to replace the front end links? I'd put that on the list.
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