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Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 5 Series > F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)

F10 / F11 (2011 - 2016)
The sixth generation of the BMW 5 Series Sedan (F10) was produced from 2011 - 2016 with LCI updates arriving in 2014. In the US BMW offered a hatchback 5 Series Gran Truismo (F07) and the rest of the world also go a Station Wagon/Touring version F11.

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  #1  
Old 04-01-2016, 06:11 PM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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F10 535i Bilstein B12 suspension review

So i spent months researching the ideal suspension set up for my F10. I always suspected my suspension was worn and was, therefore, letting me down. My suspicions were confirmed when, after money shifting my N55 to approximately 8,000rpm, i drove a loaner 528i for several days. Yup, time for a change.

Light on its feet, agile, sure footed, refined, NONE of these characteristics described the suspension on my F10. I've driven Lincolns that felt more sporting.

After months of reviews, i landed on the B12, for three reasons.

1. Price. 4 Bilstein shocks, 4 Eibach Pro springs for <$800 shipped to my house. No REPUTABLE brand comes close. That's cheaper than JUST the Bilsteins alone!

2. Simplicity. I've used Bilsteins before on a 4Runner and they're good ****. A spring and shock combo meant to work together? Its simple.

3. There weren't any other review out there on the B12 for an F10 that I'm aware of. I shopped KW's and their ST variant. Koni yellows, Koni FSD's, Megan's, Vorsh-something or other, H&R, Eibach, Dinan, KSport's; the list goes. I figured for $800 what do i have to lose. Worse case, i have good shocks and not aggressive enough springs and change them later, best case i hit a home run.

The catch. If you do order these, be prepared to wait. These had to be made from scratch as NOBODY has these on a shelf. Had to be ordered from Bilstein and Eibach, in deucheland, and shipped in from Grrrrrrmany. The instructions were in Grrrrman. I thought it hilarious, my technician did not.

The result is I'm in love with my car again. It's how a BreakMyWallet is meant to handle. You can feel Bang on Center, i now have steering feel, astonishingly. It like suddenly the car remembered it was a BMW. It rides well in a direction that isn't straight ahead, no longer feels like a yacht, it's tidy, connected, steering is linear, just effingly epic.

The drop isnt DRAMATIC but noticeable, i just picked it up from my service bay two hours ago, so it needs to settle but yeah, buy these.
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  #2  
Old 04-16-2016, 05:59 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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After 3,000 miles and about two weeks, it looks like they have settled in. I rode on them from Ocala to Buffalo, even to Canada. Even on the ****tiest or **** roads, these rose very well. Not overly firm, they were never harsh, even for the in-laws in the back seat. The car followed the road well and responded to my inputs MUCH better than with the factory suspension. The suspension articulated over bumps elevations and imperfections far better than before. I would highly recommend these to anyone looking to upgrade from the boaty feel we have stock.
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  #3  
Old 04-16-2016, 06:00 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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  #4  
Old 04-18-2016, 07:18 AM
BimmerRules! BimmerRules! is offline
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Thanks for the feedback. Glad that you made the change that brought back the car's sportiness.

Car looks great!

btw, did your car have DHP (adaptive drive) package or M sport suspension?
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  #5  
Old 04-18-2016, 09:04 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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Neither. My car had the base suspension.
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  #6  
Old 04-18-2016, 09:19 AM
Secret_Asian Secret_Asian is offline
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None of these setups seem to be available for the xdrives
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  #7  
Old 04-18-2016, 10:31 AM
BimmerRules! BimmerRules! is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Running_Riot View Post
Neither. My car had the base suspension.
Have you driven any 5 with either of DHP or M sports suspension? I ask to check if such cars could also improve this dramatically with the Bilstein shocks or it their stock shocks by itself are fine given their better suspensions.

Based on what Secret-Asian just posted, this subject is moot for my case because the car I am about to buy is a xi, but something I am curious about.
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  #8  
Old 04-18-2016, 11:14 AM
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demas demas is offline
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Bilsteins are awesome had them in the E39, rock solid firm and sure. Had FSD's and hated them.

Couldn't find them for the F10 and went with the masses -ACS.

Better than stock but still too soft. I tried to find Racing Dynamics before that but no one had them available at the time and it was hard to know if you were getting the real deal.

Glad you like the transformation.
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  #9  
Old 04-18-2016, 08:03 PM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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The KWs looked mighty tempting and their cheap brand (i don't remember what they're called) are a bargain also plus have ride height adjustment for $100 more. But they were more competition oriented. These are more performance street oriented.

When your mother in-law compliments your ride quality, you're on to something.

Last edited by Running_Riot; 04-19-2016 at 09:29 AM.
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  #10  
Old 09-29-2016, 05:20 AM
tangggcarol tangggcarol is offline
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Your B12 runs with 18" rims? Are they run-flat tires?
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  #11  
Old 09-29-2016, 06:42 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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They were. Eventually I ditched them for Michelin PSS.
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  #12  
Old 09-29-2016, 07:15 AM
tangggcarol tangggcarol is offline
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I have the same setup as you except my 18" rims runs with run flat tires.

What are the improvements you experience after switching from run-flat to PSS?
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  #13  
Old 09-29-2016, 07:24 AM
bmw325 bmw325 is offline
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That's great news. The F10 has all the traditional BMW ingredients (505/50 weight dist, good suspension geometry, aluminum suspension components, etc). so its no surprise that it can be transformed with a good suspension. I'm quite pleased with my RWD msport suspension although even that allows more body roll than i'd like. Amazing price for springs and shocks- how much was the install?
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Old 09-29-2016, 08:34 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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Originally Posted by bmw325 View Post
That's great news. The F10 has all the traditional BMW ingredients (505/50 weight dist, good suspension geometry, aluminum suspension components, etc). so its no surprise that it can be transformed with a good suspension. I'm quite pleased with my RWD msport suspension although even that allows more body roll than i'd like. Amazing price for springs and shocks- how much was the install?
I work at a Honda dealer so I got hooked up on the install I think I paid $200 all in.
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  #15  
Old 09-29-2016, 08:42 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangggcarol View Post
I have the same setup as you except my 18" rims runs with run flat tires.

What are the improvements you experience after switching from run-flat to PSS?
I had Goodyear Eagle RFTs. Going from those to PSS turned it in to a different car. Linear steering, increased steering response and feel. THEY STICK LIKE GLUE! we've had some pretty horrendous torrential downpours here in Flarda and these tires won't break loose. Standing water, not an issue. Hydroplaning, not an issue. Everything you want in a tire, dry or wet. Fairly comfortable and relatively quiet tire. Some highway slap but nothing intrusive.

They look sexy as hell too.

I would highly recommend them. I had to order them from Discount Tire.
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  #16  
Old 09-29-2016, 09:29 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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Only complaint I have with the kit is the rear doesn't drop for ****. It looks like stock height.
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  #17  
Old 09-30-2016, 09:16 AM
tangggcarol tangggcarol is offline
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I am looking forward to swapping the Pirelli C7 rft with PSS next week for a more planted ride.

I did one more thing extra - replacing the dislodged stock front sway bar to M5's. I was told rear is not recommended.

I felt that the ideal wheel size for F10 is 19/20" for a more balanced look with or without M5 Bodykit. Nothing to do with performance. Just more musculine.

And to further increase performance, I could reduce rotational mass by swapping the existing cast alloy rims with forged rims. But with lesser rubber, it will surely be a harder ride if I opt for 19" instead of 18" especially for the non-anticipating passengers. 18" forged rims is kinda wasteful investment since forged rims are expensive and more prone to warping with potholes & kerb hits. So I decided against that for a more comfortable ride & less appealing look.

What else have you done to enhance your F10's road handling?
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  #18  
Old 09-30-2016, 09:26 AM
Running_Riot Running_Riot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tangggcarol View Post
I am looking forward to swapping the Pirelli C7 rft with PSS next week for a more planted ride.

I did one more thing extra - replacing the dislodged stock front sway bar to M5's. I was told rear is not recommended.

I felt that the ideal wheel size for F10 is 19/20" for a more balanced look with or without M5 Bodykit. Nothing to do with performance. Just more musculine.

And to further increase performance, I could reduce rotational mass by swapping the existing cast alloy rims with forged rims. But with lesser rubber, it will surely be a harder ride if I opt for 19" instead of 18" especially for the non-anticipating passengers. 18" forged rims is kinda wasteful investment since forged rims are expensive and more prone to warping with potholes & kerb hits. So I decided against that for a more comfortable ride & less appealing look.

What else have you done to enhance your F10's road handling?
As far as I know, all BMW factory wheels are forged. Rubber weighs less than metal so more metal and less rubber may not accomplish what you are trying to do.

I haven't messed with the sway bars yet, the tires shocks and springs are all I've done suspension wise but I avoid carrying anything unnecessary in the car to keep weight down.

I think the biggest let down on the 5 series is how slow the rack is. Sway bars and lower profile tires might help with turn in and steering response but remember our luxo-barges aren't meant for Laguna Deca, they're meant for commuting in I-95 for hours and hours.
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