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X3 E83 (2004 - 2010)
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  #1  
Old 05-02-2011, 07:55 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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Bilstein Shocks - just purchased

Hi Guys,

Just wanted to let everyone know Bilstein shocks are finally on sale at BavAuto.
I just ordered a pair for our 04 X3 with 117,000 miles on it. Definitly overdue.
Pairing them with Eibach Pro Kit springs and all new associated strut mounts and pads.

Another member here, Chagrin, did the same suspension swap about a year ago.

I'll give an update when everythings done!
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  #2  
Old 05-02-2011, 12:03 PM
pdx-x3 pdx-x3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
Hi Guys,

Just wanted to let everyone know Bilstein shocks are finally on sale at BavAuto.
I just ordered a pair for our 04 X3 with 117,000 miles on it. Definitly overdue.
Pairing them with Eibach Pro Kit springs and all new associated strut mounts and pads.

Another member here, Chagrin, did the same suspension swap about a year ago.

I'll give an update when everythings done!
What did you order? Rear-only? I'm thinking to do the swap when my wife's 04 X3 hits 100K.
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  #3  
Old 05-02-2011, 02:58 PM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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I ended up getting all 4 corners. Planning on keeping the X3 for a long time so I thought id do all new suspension.

Sent from my PC36100 using Bimmer App
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  #4  
Old 05-02-2011, 03:11 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Can you take pics when you take the cargo area apart to access the top of the rear shocks ?????

It would make for a great DIY =)
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  #5  
Old 05-04-2011, 11:54 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
Can you take pics when you take the cargo area apart to access the top of the rear shocks ?????

It would make for a great DIY =)
Have you ever seen this thread? There are some photos showing the shock tower inside.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...g+thing&page=3

This is what promted me to go the Bilstein / Eibach Prokit route.
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  #6  
Old 05-04-2011, 12:07 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
Have you ever seen this thread? There are some photos showing the shock tower inside.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...g+thing&page=3

This is what promted me to go the Bilstein / Eibach Prokit route.
Yes, saw that awhile ago. The thread doesnt detail how to get your cargo area stripped out like that though =)
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  #7  
Old 05-05-2011, 08:40 AM
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mlukas161 mlukas161 is online now
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Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
Yes, saw that awhile ago. The thread doesnt detail how to get your cargo area stripped out like that though =)
Alright, I'll see what's involved when I do the suspension. Just saw that the shocks are on backorder 4-5 weeks, so looks like next month I'll hopefully give an update!
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  #8  
Old 07-11-2011, 08:02 AM
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Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
Yes, saw that awhile ago. The thread doesnt detail how to get your cargo area stripped out like that though =)
Well, I finally got around to replacing my Suspension on the 2004 X-3. It wasn't too bad... more difficult than replacing the suspension on my 330i. This was mostly due to removing the rear cargo panels and not necessarily knowing what had to be removed.

As requested, here are some photographs of the cargo area being disassembled.
Things that do not need to be removed include: rear seats, aluminum cargo rails in the floor, side airbag covers, cargo area floor panels. I repeat, these do not need to be removed.

I replaced all shocks and struts with Bilstein HD equipment. Springs are Eibach Pro Kits. Also, I replaced all shock mounts, rubber pads/spring seats, and strut bearings.
Both of the old rear shocks were pretty shot, and one of the rear springs had a broken "pigtail". Front struts were worn as well. 119,000 on original suspension.

The ride is definitely much more controlled. Cornering is crisp and tight. No more body roll or swaying back and forth on bumpy roads. The Eibachs do seem do absorb many of the small bumps and irregularities in the road. I'm on 17" wheels by the way. It's still a firm and sporty ride, not anything like a Lexus , but I knew that when I bought the X3.
The stance is approximately 1" - 1.5" lower. I'm assuming the springs may settle a little lower over the next few hundred miles.
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  #9  
Old 07-11-2011, 09:17 AM
codog2 codog2 is offline
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Thanks for the update
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  #10  
Old 07-11-2011, 10:20 AM
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Here are some photos of the X3 after the suspension change.
I don't have any before photos handy unfortunately.

Also, for anyone looking at Thule roof racks, this is the Thule 45050 rack system with a Thule Evolution 1600 box on top. It works really well with no noticeable wind noise.
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  #11  
Old 07-11-2011, 11:21 AM
AWBMWM3 AWBMWM3 is offline
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Do you have the sport package or just the standard suspension?

I've got an 2006 with 102k miles on the standard suspension and my left front strut just blew the seal and is leaking, so I'm trying to decide whether to replace the front 2 with OEM, the front 2 with Bilsteins and wait on the rear, or do bilsteins on all 4 corners.

I don't have tools or space to do my own wrenching, so it's going to cost me more at an indy shop.

I've been getting quotes from a couple of shops and both have recommended against the bilsteins and suggested OEM. The first shop mentioned that the bilsteins were more likely to wear out before OEMs. I got a quote for both and the price difference wasn't that much. The 2nd shop also suggested the OEM and said he actually owned an X3 for a couple of years. He said the bilsteins would handle better, but would make a "rough" ride even rougher since they wouldn't react to road imperfections as quickly as OEM.

Thoughts?
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  #12  
Old 07-11-2011, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWBMWM3 View Post
Do you have the sport package or just the standard suspension?

I've got an 2006 with 102k miles on the standard suspension and my left front strut just blew the seal and is leaking, so I'm trying to decide whether to replace the front 2 with OEM, the front 2 with Bilsteins and wait on the rear, or do bilsteins on all 4 corners.

I don't have tools or space to do my own wrenching, so it's going to cost me more at an indy shop.

I've been getting quotes from a couple of shops and both have recommended against the bilsteins and suggested OEM. The first shop mentioned that the bilsteins were more likely to wear out before OEMs. I got a quote for both and the price difference wasn't that much. The 2nd shop also suggested the OEM and said he actually owned an X3 for a couple of years. He said the bilsteins would handle better, but would make a "rough" ride even rougher since they wouldn't react to road imperfections as quickly as OEM.

Thoughts?
I've always heard the opposite; Bilsteins are supposed to last longer than OEM Sachs. The Bilsteins are also supposed to have a faster reaction time than OEM's ( or at least the same ).

Either way, you really can't go wrong. For me, the Bilsteins were on sale and less expensive than OEM. They Bilsteins shocks appear to be very high quality and so far I've been very happy I went this route.

The one thing I would recommend is doing all 4 corners at the same time. You already need 2 new front struts and those are the more expensive of the two. Rear shocks should cost about 1/3 of the front struts. Also, check for broken springs in the rear. These may be broken at the tail end, especially if they're original with that many miles on them.
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  #13  
Old 07-11-2011, 12:48 PM
spokelizard spokelizard is online now
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Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
The stance is approximately 1" - 1.5" lower. I'm assuming the springs may settle a little lower over the next few hundred miles.
Don't want less road clearance. Do you think the lower stance is because of the springs, the shocks, or the combo?
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  #14  
Old 07-11-2011, 01:51 PM
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Don't want less road clearance. Do you think the lower stance is because of the springs, the shocks, or the combo?
Springs are what determines the ride height. It's definitely due to the Eibach pro kit springs. OEM replacement springs would maintain the original ride height.
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Old 07-11-2011, 01:58 PM
AWBMWM3 AWBMWM3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
I've always heard the opposite; Bilsteins are supposed to last longer than OEM Sachs. The Bilsteins are also supposed to have a faster reaction time than OEM's ( or at least the same ).

Either way, you really can't go wrong. For me, the Bilsteins were on sale and less expensive than OEM. They Bilsteins shocks appear to be very high quality and so far I've been very happy I went this route.

The one thing I would recommend is doing all 4 corners at the same time. You already need 2 new front struts and those are the more expensive of the two. Rear shocks should cost about 1/3 of the front struts. Also, check for broken springs in the rear. These may be broken at the tail end, especially if they're original with that many miles on them.
Thanks for the feedback. I'll ask one of the shops for a quote on bilsteins all around. The quote I got for all 4 replaced OEM was $2300 including the 4 wheel alignment. $1245 parts, $960 labor and $109 tax. Does that sound reasonable?
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:26 PM
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Originally Posted by AWBMWM3 View Post
Thanks for the feedback. I'll ask one of the shops for a quote on bilsteins all around. The quote I got for all 4 replaced OEM was $2300 including the 4 wheel alignment. $1245 parts, $960 labor and $109 tax. Does that sound reasonable?
I spent around $600 on shocks and struts alone. Add another $250 for 4 coil springs.
(you didn't mention springs being replaced?? is that included? )
Then approx $100 on new strut bearings, shock mounts and associated hardware.
(make sure they replace these as they are probably worn out with this many miles)

Labor took me around 6 hours - taking my time and using a torque wrench and with the help of my older brother.

Alignment at the dealer will be around $180

Some independant shops may let you purchase the parts off line and install them. You might be able to save some money that way. Not sure.
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Old 07-11-2011, 02:46 PM
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I too had to replace my leaking right front strut a month ago. So with a bit of a time constraint I went with the OEM struts for the front as well as front Lower Control Arms and sway bar links, came out to around $1400 for the job which was done in one day. I went to the dealer the next week for a $150 alignment bringing the total cost to ~$1700.

I thought about the Bilsteins but was worried they'd be too stiff. Don't get me wrong, I like to corner fast and appreciate the handling capabilities, but don't want to break my back. (I can do that on my hardtail mountain bike thank you very much). Plus I wasn't sure about the pricing for the Bilsteins; the indy shop charged me around $300/ea for the Sachs struts.
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  #18  
Old 07-11-2011, 03:19 PM
AWBMWM3 AWBMWM3 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
I spent around $600 on shocks and struts alone. Add another $250 for 4 coil springs.
(you didn't mention springs being replaced?? is that included? )
Then approx $100 on new strut bearings, shock mounts and associated hardware.
(make sure they replace these as they are probably worn out with this many miles)

Labor took me around 6 hours - taking my time and using a torque wrench and with the help of my older brother.

Alignment at the dealer will be around $180

Some independant shops may let you purchase the parts off line and install them. You might be able to save some money that way. Not sure.
The quotes I received were for shock/struts only. I'm assuming that replacing with OEM would negate the need for spring replacement unless one or more are damaged? What about the bilsteins though? Are those compatible with the stock springs?
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  #19  
Old 07-11-2011, 04:29 PM
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Yes, those are 100% compatible with the stock OEM springs. Most guys will replace the springs around 100k miles though. Probably because everything is apart anyway and they're relatively less expensive compared to the struts. Labor cost should essentially the same.

If I were you, I'd shop around and get a few different prices. Also see if any independents will install prepurchased parts.
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Old 07-11-2011, 10:25 PM
AWBMWM3 AWBMWM3 is offline
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Originally Posted by mlukas161 View Post
Yes, those are 100% compatible with the stock OEM springs. Most guys will replace the springs around 100k miles though. Probably because everything is apart anyway and they're relatively less expensive compared to the struts. Labor cost should essentially the same.

If I were you, I'd shop around and get a few different prices. Also see if any independents will install prepurchased parts.

Thanks for the advice. I don't know if I have the luxury of time to shop around at different shops and deals for pre-purchased parts though. I can already feel something wrong with the strut now when I hit rough patches of road and sometimes when braking also. I don't want to do any additional damage to related parts.
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  #21  
Old 07-13-2011, 10:16 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Thanks for the pics of the cargo area!
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  #22  
Old 07-13-2011, 08:36 PM
dkotanto dkotanto is offline
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Does anyone know if there are aftermarket springs that are OE length but better quality? I don't want the X3 to be lowered but don't want the BMW springs either.
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  #23  
Old 01-09-2012, 09:19 AM
jviss jviss is offline
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Originally Posted by dkotanto View Post
Does anyone know if there are aftermarket springs that are OE length but better quality? I don't want the X3 to be lowered but don't want the BMW springs either.
I'd like to know, too.

Thanks for the pics!
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  #24  
Old 01-09-2012, 12:44 PM
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Does anyone know if there are aftermarket springs that are OE length but better quality? I don't want the X3 to be lowered but don't want the BMW springs either.
I don't think there are. If there were, I would have definitely used them.

The Eibach spings lowered our X3 approximately 1". There was no problem getting the alignment back into specs.
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Old 02-17-2012, 11:14 AM
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Hi everyone. I am new to this forum and relatively new to BMWs. Anyway, I like this thread. I have been modifying german cars for a while and have always found Bils to be superior to any other shocks. I believe most come with a lifetime warranty too. I want to change the suspension on my 07 X3. I just got it in October. It is my first used car in while, but I like the older technology. It has a lot of charm too. There is not much in the way of upgrades though. I looked into ACS suspension because it has a matched set of shocks and springs and I had considered KWs as well. Now that I have read this thread, I am considering this option.

Mlukas161, I have read that the Bils HDs are for OEM springs only. And, of course the H&R and Eibach springs can be used with OEM shocks. Anyway, how is the set holding up? I am interested to know if the handling is good. Also, did the springs settle any further. I had alway found on previous cars that Eibachs never settled and H&Rs had. Thanks again for the install info.

Last edited by derSpeed; 02-17-2012 at 11:16 AM.
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