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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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  #1  
Old 01-11-2015, 07:19 AM
lloydallam lloydallam is offline
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Mein Auto:
Suspension oe spec or bilstein b6?

Hi,

Newbie on this.
I have a 2002 530d auto e39 msport, 110k on the clock and a leaky front shock although the whole suspension is a bit worn.

I have got all new top mount kits, m5 spec springs and I am about to buy the dampers.

So I would just like some advice if it is worth upgrading to bilstein b6 or remaining oe?

I realise these are pretty heavy lumps with the m57 engines, so I am wondering about the durability of the b6?
This is the daily driver but I want it to feel planted and smooth as possible!

I love the car and is an intended 'keeper' so I want to know the replacements will last. I can do anything between 30-40k per annum.

Any and all help appreciated

Lloyd
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  #2  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:25 AM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
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Posts: 4,126
Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
Bilstien has had problems with their struts , for the front suspension on our E39's. Do a search and you will find folks complaining about clunks at low speeds , and it was because of the strut problems. I for one went through this for about 2 years chasing down the problem. I finally called Bilstien and complained. They told me to send in the strut that was giving problems,,and the replaced it with no charge. Once that one was in,,then I could hear the other one clunking,,they replaced that one as well. I's been a little over a year,,and have to say that the car feels drives better than when new--this thing is planted now--I did upgrade to a sport sway bar for the rear..but I love how the car handles now,,more than ever. Need to add,,Bilstien , did step up to the plate and tell me that they knew there were problems with the struts and were replacing mine with no charge,I just needed to show them the receipt of purchase.
I don't know if they have changed the product to make the fix , for what ever problems that they had..but there aren't any problems as of yet , on the parts that they have issued back to me..They did take care of my problem --but not for the cost of labor or my unsatisfied feelings about the product during the year or 2 that I had problems..That's my review
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  #3  
Old 01-11-2015, 09:49 AM
lloydallam lloydallam is offline
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Poolman,


Thanks for the response.
Are they the b6's that you have?
Also have you only done the rear swaybar? Is that the m5 one?
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  #4  
Old 01-11-2015, 10:16 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
If you are changing the springs, you may want to ensure that your strut that is compatible with the new spring length (assuming the M5 spring is a different length from the original). The standard strut (Sachs) is not compatible with the sport suspension. Hence, whatever strut you get should be compatible with the M5 spring length.
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Old 01-11-2015, 12:27 PM
lloydallam lloydallam is offline
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Fudman,

The car was on msport suspension which is the same spring length as an m5 only an hd equivalent. I believe the m5 uses bilstein shocks instead of Sachs. The b6's are meant to be even better and also handle upto 40mm height difference before needing the shorter b8's.

So I'm presuming there shouldn't be an issue there?
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:46 PM
poolman poolman is offline
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Location: martinsville va
 
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Mein Auto: 525i station wagon
I have a touring , that came with a 13mm rear sway bar--I installed a sport 15mm bar. The M cars use a 16mm bar. Concerning struts, I used the Heavy Duty parts as replacements.
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Old 01-11-2015, 01:56 PM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
You need to talk with Bilstein directly regarding the correct compatibility with your springs. I do not believe Bilstein is the OEM strut on the M5 (at least here in the US). If you refer to the Bilstein application guide, the PSS9 system is the recommended replacement for the M5. Hence, they don't explicitly identify a strut to match the M5 spring. Rather than listen to random folks on the Internet (myself included) with suspect credibility, it would be better to ask Bilstein directly, for the best advice.
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