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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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  #76  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:24 AM
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wow that's real funny but sad--I too have the pss coilovers on my 1999 540i and recently experiencing excessive bouncing and noise when going over bumps. I thought the noise i was hearing was was the rear akebono brake pads loose in the caliper but come to find out after pushing the rear driver side i heard a clunk and seen a lot of rebound. I then pushed on the passenger rear and and heard no clunk. I proceeded around the car on both fronts and both were still stiff with no noise.
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  #77  
Old 06-25-2012, 08:32 AM
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540 m-sport What's the warranty on a pss coilovers from bilstein and what did you need to return them since i think my rear driver strut is shot--thanks bud.
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  #78  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdawg246 View Post
540 m-sport What's the warranty on a pss coilovers from bilstein and what did you need to return them since i think my rear driver strut is shot--thanks bud.
You need to contact them via email or phone, start with phone if possible. You will need your sales receipt. They have a west coast and east coast office, work with which ever is closest to you. If you request it, they will attempt to turn it around in 24 hours.

Be certain the problem is the shock and not the mount. I had an installation error with mine originally in the rear...if you forget to install the washers on top and below on the rear upper shock mount, the rubber insert can either push up and out, or pull down and out (it depends on which washer is left out...it will pull out in the opposite direction of the missing washer). In my case if pulled down and out, because the washer was missing on top. I removed the shock, took it apart, and used a hydraulic press to push the rubber back into the mount, and installed the washer, and reinstalled the coilover, and them bitched out the installer.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-27-2012 at 08:56 PM.
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  #79  
Old 06-27-2012, 05:58 PM
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Update

So, I noticed the faint knock returned today. I checked, and all the top nuts would take about 1/2 to 3/4 turn to get to proper torque, 30 NM. Obviously with red loctite, the nuts are not loosening, so either the studs in the upper strut mount are pulling through, or the upper mount is deforming or bending upward and outward. When I look at the studs closely, they are splayed outward very slightly...not anything like depicted at the BMP website: http://www.bmpdesign.com/technical/e...wer_damage.php So either could be the problem.

Regardless, I (and my tech) are pretty convinced the issue is damaged strut mounts, and possibly slight deformation of the strut towers as well. I am scheduled with the shop to install the BMP reinforcement plate kit, as well as new oem Sachs/Boge strut mounts on July 13th. I will report back after I have driven it for a while, but replacing both should be fix the problem and prevent it from returning. (fingers crossed)

I believe the reason this is happening is the stiffness of the kit is transmitting the shock and jolt right to the strut mount and tower.
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  #80  
Old 06-27-2012, 06:28 PM
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im getting the kit too
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  #81  
Old 06-27-2012, 09:30 PM
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The Pss kit is too d@mn stiff...!
LOL!
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  #82  
Old 06-27-2012, 10:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
The Pss kit is too d@mn stiff...!
LOL!
Oh man...I knew you were going to beat me up on that! lol That is the weird part, having driven a few other E39's with various aftermarket suspensions, they were not much more or less stiff than my PSS kit, so why are we not seeing more of this? My tech says many people simply don't notice or don't care...

BTW, I am ordering a front Strong Strut, strut bar as well. They have the thick, machined aluminum mounts that fit on top of the strut tower. I figure I am going "all in" on fixing this once and for all, and NOT have it recur. Strong strut mount on top, BMP reinforcement 3/8" thick steel plate below.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-27-2012 at 10:16 PM.
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  #83  
Old 06-27-2012, 11:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Oh man...I knew you were going to beat me up on that! lol That is the weird part, having driven a few other E39's with various aftermarket suspensions, they were not much more or less stiff than my PSS kit, so why are we not seeing more of this? My tech says many people simply don't notice or don't care...

BTW, I am ordering a front Strong Strut, strut bar as well. They have the thick, machined aluminum mounts that fit on top of the strut tower. I figure I am going "all in" on fixing this once and for all, and NOT have it recur. Strong strut mount on top, BMP reinforcement 3/8" thick steel plate below.
LOL!

I would look at the Mason Engineering Strut bar for the E39.
www.MasonEngineering.net

http://www.masonengineering.net/Subpages/E39.htm

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  #84  
Old 06-28-2012, 02:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
LOL!

I would look at the Mason Engineering Strut bar for the E39.
www.MasonEngineering.net

http://www.masonengineering.net/Subpages/E39.htm

Thanks, but no 540 application, and there is no close up photo of the mounting interface, which is critical for me. The mounting plate needs to be well fitted/contoured and rigid.
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  #85  
Old 06-28-2012, 07:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Oh man...I knew you were going to beat me up on that! lol That is the weird part, having driven a few other E39's with various aftermarket suspensions, they were not much more or less stiff than my PSS kit, so why are we not seeing more of this? My tech says many people simply don't notice or don't care...

BTW, I am ordering a front Strong Strut, strut bar as well. They have the thick, machined aluminum mounts that fit on top of the strut tower. I figure I am going "all in" on fixing this once and for all, and NOT have it recur. Strong strut mount on top, BMP reinforcement 3/8" thick steel plate below.
I agree. The PSS kit is far from stiff, especially the newer valved ones. The first kit I had on mine was more firm than stock, but certainly didn't rattle your teeth. The newer valved ones get even better feedback.
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  #86  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:07 PM
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It is not stiff in the rear any more--excessively bouncy so I guess I have to pull out the rear pss coilovers and send them to bilestein on the east coast for a rebuild


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  #87  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:10 PM
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They probably will valve them differently than the original valving sweet thanks for the info

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  #88  
Old 06-28-2012, 01:52 PM
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They probably will valve them differently than the original valving sweet thanks for the info

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Please check my post #78. I had a similar problem shortly after installation, and it was a problem with the upper shock mount. The installer forgot to install the fender washer under the top nut, so the rubber insert on the shock mount pulled free and down, under the mount. This allowed for basically no damping. You might have the same situation. Jacking up the car and inspecting will tell you for certain.
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  #89  
Old 06-28-2012, 02:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Please check my post #78. I had a similar problem shortly after installation, and it was a problem with the upper shock mount. The installer forgot to install the fender washer under the top nut, so the rubber insert on the shock mount pulled free and down, under the mount. This allowed for basically no damping. You might have the same situation. Jacking up the car and inspecting will tell you for certain.
I will as soon as I get them out but the bouncing in conjunction with that knocking noise means a blown out strut but of course im going to check the mounts and bearings

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  #90  
Old 06-29-2012, 11:16 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Oh man...I knew you were going to beat me up on that! lol That is the weird part, having driven a few other E39's with various aftermarket suspensions, they were not much more or less stiff than my PSS kit, so why are we not seeing more of this? My tech says many people simply don't notice or don't care...

BTW, I am ordering a front Strong Strut, strut bar as well. They have the thick, machined aluminum mounts that fit on top of the strut tower. I figure I am going "all in" on fixing this once and for all, and NOT have it recur. Strong strut mount on top, BMP reinforcement 3/8" thick steel plate below.
I was just messing with you...


IMO, I really do not think the Bilstein Pss coil-overs are any more stiff than my H&R's...
I do really like that the Pss kit has helper springs, and that the springs are a smaller diameter, that prevents the spring from coming into contact with the wheel/tire...




Quote:
Originally Posted by 540 M-Sport View Post
Thanks, but no 540 application, and there is no close up photo of the mounting interface, which is critical for me. The mounting plate needs to be well fitted/contoured and rigid.
You have to contact John Mason.
I think he custom makes these.
He is a VERY sharp guy.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1209198

http://picasaweb.google.com/mmm525i/...rInstallation#




Quote:
Originally Posted by Jared@EACTuning View Post
I agree.
The PSS kit is far from stiff, especially the newer valved ones.
The first kit I had on mine was more firm than stock, but certainly didn't rattle your teeth.
The newer valved ones get even better feedback.
That is great news if indeed Bilstein did re-valve the newer sets....!

Thanks!
Jason
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  #91  
Old 06-29-2012, 12:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
I was just messing with you...


IMO, I really do not think the Bilstein Pss coil-overs are any more stiff than my H&R's...
I do really like that the Pss kit has helper springs, and that the springs are a smaller diameter, that prevents the spring from coming into contact with the wheel/tire...






You have to contact John Mason.
I think he custom makes these.
He is a VERY sharp guy.

http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1209198

http://picasaweb.google.com/mmm525i/...rInstallation#






That is great news if indeed Bilstein did re-valve the newer sets....!

Thanks!
Jason
Jason,
The reason I selected Strong Strut is they machine the upper mounting plates from aluminum so they closely fit the contours of the top of the strut tower, offering more support, which is what I need at the moment. Everyone else's mount is simply stamped steel, of varying thickness. The Mason Engineering looks very thick, but not as conforming as the Strong Strut. See this example (this is for another BMW, NOT E39) : http://www.strong-strut.com/underside_bar9.jpg

By comparison, the Mason bar appears to be resting on thick washers https://picasaweb.google.com/mmm525i...55809263732546, so not offering full support all the way around the strut tower. Again, it serves it's purpose (reducing movement or flexing of the strut towers), but I am looking for additional support of the strut tower on top, along with using the reinforcement ring from below, that comes in the BMP kit. so I am less concerned with strut tower movement, I am more concerned with strut tower (and strut mount) deformation.

I did note that my replacement Bilstein struts are a different part number than my originals, so they must be of the newer valving...I really didn't notice any difference. The valving is firm, but not unduly so.
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Last edited by 540 M-Sport; 06-29-2012 at 12:11 PM.
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  #92  
Old 07-04-2012, 02:49 PM
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i just cranked down on my strut mount nuts and i was surprised at how tight they werent. I mean they were falling off but considering i only had a stubby ratchet that has almost no leverage they were pretty easy to turn. I almost think they are more parallel to each other now and now splayed out in different directions.
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  #93  
Old 07-05-2012, 12:56 AM
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Interesting, but understand the nuts are not supposed to be all that tight. You will only know for sure if you use a calibrated torque wrench. Bentley manual says 22NM. My tech says 30NM. I have been using 30NM, and they simply will not stay tight, even with red loctite. I am not sure if it is from deformation of the strut tower or strut mount, or loosening. Last week I removed the nuts, and installed flat washers, then split lock washers, then a drop of red loctite and tightened to 30NM. Been one week and so far, so good, they are not loosening after about 500 miles of driving. No knocking either.So I have th
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  #94  
Old 07-12-2012, 08:27 PM
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Back to square one!

So I had new oem strut mounts installed, along with the BMP reinforcement piece installed from below, sandwiched betweeh the strut mount and the strut tower. In place of the BMP provided 3/8" thick washers, I instead had installed the Strong Strut front strut brace, which includes machined mounts the perfectly fit the top of each strut tower, further reinforcing it from the top. So we have thick metal above and below the strut tower, along with new oem strut mounts.

Prior to my bringing the car in, I had largely eliminated the knocking noise by installing flat washers and a split lock washer under each nut, as well as using Loctite to secure the nuts.

So after installation, what a surprise that the knock has returned!!

Too late in the day to do anything further, but will be returning the car for further diagnosis early next week! Frustrating to say the least, as I felt we had the diagnosis nailed. Will keep you folks posted on what we find.
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  #95  
Old 08-17-2012, 11:48 AM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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likely a different problem but i'll weigh in here. i too have had the clunking sound and feel from the front struts on my 528 (now with 171k mi). It is happening now on the 2nd set of Bilsteins with the same symptoms. for me it is definitely the strut and i is worse after lengthy highway driving though i don't feel it on the highway but once i pull off the exit and into low speed traffic.... quite annoying.... i go clunk, clunkety clunk over every little pebble. i can replicate the clunk when pushing down a front fender. it is as though the strut is seized somewhat and sticks for a bit before giving in with a clunk.

I sent one pair back to bilstein (i had no receipt for the purchase of these) and they rebuilt the struts, admitting that they had failed. These are still in a box in my garaged. a 2nd pair of stiffer bilsteins that i had bought used on ebay are now producing the same symptoms. I plan to have the rebuilt ones reinstalled but am wondering if i should bother with any sort of lock washer or thread lock as has been discussed in this thread. I have noticed some cracking between what i presume is the very top of the strut and the rubber around it visible in the engine bay. is this an issue that needs to be addressed?

thanks!
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Old 08-17-2012, 12:12 PM
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Originally Posted by bagodonuts68 View Post

I sent one pair back to bilstein (i had no receipt for the purchase of these) and they rebuilt the struts, admitting that they had failed. These are still in a box in my garaged. a 2nd pair of stiffer bilsteins that i had bought used on ebay are now producing the same symptoms.

thanks!
Thanks for weighing in. Without a receipt, they rebuilt them for free? I heard Bilstein was very strict on proof of purchase and warranty to the original owner only
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  #97  
Old 08-17-2012, 12:26 PM
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8/17/2012 knock update information

Since the replacement of strut mounts and installation of BMP strut tower reinforcements did NOT correct the knock, I returned the car for further diagnosis last week.

The shop went with the original premise Bilstein suggested, which is that on occasion, the seals get "stick" on their struts, and require relubrication internally. If you are not aware, Bilstein uses an "inverted" strut, within the housing...these larger bearing surface makes the strut stronger, but means a much larger bearing surface as well. The shop disassembled the struts and found what appearred to be some "ring" marks on the shaft...as if the seal was indeed "sticking" or stuttering as it went up and down. Noticed this more on the right strut than left. Also, there were some unusual wear marks on the right side shaft.

There was plenty of grease inside, and several seals used inside that appearred to all be in good condition. The shop cleaned things up, and used some real sticky, tacky grease in place of the oem stuff.

So the results? Not perfect, but much less knocking than before. So I think the issue IS a lubrication/seal issue internal to the struts. My plan right now, is to send them back to Bilstein for a proper rebuild, which would include new seals, along with greasing.

I think this lack of lubrication thing is what everyone is experiencing. I've noticed everyone seems to be having issues only with the front struts, which have the inverted strut design. No issues with the traditional shock design they use for the rear.

What a waste of time and dollars to come full circle back to the struts being the culprit. At least the shop has been very generous in comping me the labor on the most recent work.
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  #98  
Old 08-17-2012, 01:14 PM
bagodonuts68 bagodonuts68 is offline
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was the rebuild free? S$%* No! if i recall it was $75 per strut plus shipping (plus install labor, alignment, etc). It has been a real pain in the arse for a lot of people. I would love to get the bottom line answer to the problem from Bilstein. The clunk problem is a serious quality problem that should not be happening on ANY vehicle.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:30 PM
dvsgene dvsgene is offline
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was the rebuild free? S$%* No! if i recall it was $75 per strut plus shipping (plus install labor, alignment, etc). It has been a real pain in the arse for a lot of people. I would love to get the bottom line answer to the problem from Bilstein. The clunk problem is a serious quality problem that should not be happening on ANY vehicle.
Thanks for clarifying. Yes, $75 is the rebuild fee they charge. Just thought since it was clearly a defect to them, they might still honor the warranty without a receipt.
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Old 08-17-2012, 01:48 PM
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Thanks for clarifying. Yes, $75 is the rebuild fee they charge.
Just thought since it was clearly a defect to them, they might still honor the warranty without a receipt.
+1...!
That is a defect IMO.
Unless it says on the shock/ strut description that they are meant to to clunk from improper seals...
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