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E60 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series (E60 chassis) was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E60 is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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Old 06-29-2014, 07:59 PM
gconnoyer gconnoyer is offline
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Location: Edwardsville, IL
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2004 545i
545i BC Racing Coilover Install and Pictures

I just picked up my 545 a few months ago, and told myself that I would leave it alone....Riiiiiiiight.
So far I've just done piddly stuff. Changed the trans fluid/pan/filter, LED interior/exterior swap, etc. I bought some coilovers from Eric at Modbargains and got them last Wednesday and threw them on at work this weekend.
I was a little worried about how the install would go, with it being a BMW, but was AMAZINGLY surprised how easy it was. I've done tons of coilovers on US cars, and this was by far the easiest other than Corvettes.

-Racked the car and removed all 4 wheels.
-Opened the trunk and pulled the lining back to access and remove the 18mm nut, and (3) 13mm bolts.
-Raised the car back up.
-At this point, I pulled out the bottom mount bolt (18mm) with an impact, extension, swivel, and 18mm deep socket. (had to have all this to get past the exhaust on the drivers side)
-Pop the strut out of the bottom perch to release tension on the trailing arm you will need to remove to make room to slide it out.
-An 18mm bolt/nut on the inner side of the trailing arm, and a 21mm nut on the outer side will let you move it out of the way enough to pull the factory strut out.
-Slide the new coilover in, and put on the (3) 12mm nuts once you line up the top mount and poke it through the trunk.
-After the top is bolted, lift up the control arm and set the gold metal side of the bottom mount into the perch on the control arm. Tighten back down your long 18mm bolt.
-Put your trailing arm back on, and set your spring perch to where you think you might want it. For this, I built (4) 2x4 boxes to set wheels on so that I can check ride height on coilover installs without racking/unracking the car.

REMEMBER its much easier to adjust the ride height down and go with the tension of the spring, than to have to adjust up and fight against it.

For the fronts, they're really easy as well. But a friend here will be a HUGE help.
-Unbolt your (3) 13mm nuts up top from the engine bay.
-Remove the 18mm pinch bolt/nut from the hub, and pull the front and rear brackets away.
-Undo the 16mm bolt just behind the rotor backing plate.
-Here is the part where you need your friend. Have them press down on the control arm while you also press down on the top of the strut and pull it out of the fender. Do this quickly.
-With your strut hanging out of the fender, use a chisel or wedge and drive it in the gap of the assembly that clamps down onto the factory strut. Once its spread apart enough you can just twist/slip the factory strut out, and the new coilover in.
-Once the new coilover is in, you can get it back inside the fender by yourself because it is MUCH shorter than the factory strut.
-Once its back inside, line up the top studs into the holes in the strut tower and put on your (3) 12mm nuts.
-Put your front and rear brackets on, along with your 18mm pinch bolt/nut. ***MAKE SURE that you lift up the control arm until it hits the stop on the new strut to ensure that it is bottomed out and sitting in as deep as it can.***
-After its set where it needs to be, tighten your pinch bolt down, and put your 16mm bolt back in.
-Put your wheel back on and check/adjust ride height as necessary.

Congratulations, you just did your coilover install!

I think I spent more time measuring and adjusting than I did on the actual install.
I ended up at 23.5" on all four corners to get the look that I want. (measured from the bottom lip of the rear wheel to the lip of the fender)

Here are some before/after pictures.
For more before afters, click here - https://www.flickr.com/photos/gconnoyer/
I took the car behind the shop and marked the front and rear wheels, along with each spot I took a picture from to make sure that after, I could get the exact same distance, position, and angle.
I also put in some black grilles the weekend before, and that paired with the coilovers make it look like an entirely different car. I still want to get rid of these black wheels, do M bumpers, and wrap the chrome window trim black. Also will be building a custom exhaust soon.

Last edited by gconnoyer; 06-29-2014 at 08:03 PM.
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Old 06-30-2014, 08:57 AM
jim165 jim165 is offline
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Location: Texas
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Mein Auto: 2008 BMW 550i Sport
Looks fantastic! I'll have my coilovers installed this week, but I'm having a shop install them. Do you have any rubbing issues with fender-to-tire or tire-to-coilover? I'll be running my 172s for a while and was told I'll need 10mm spacers up front to clear the coilover. Already running 15mm in the rear.
2008 550i Sport
Space Gray, Black Dakota, Bamboo Anthracite
SAT, Sat, Shades, Cold Wthr, Comf Access, Nav,L7, PDC, LUX V3 AEs, BMW Perf. Grilles, HID fogs, ACS Roof Spoiler, M5 Lip Spoiler, RPI GT Exhaust

2006 Corvette Conv, Z51,6sp (wife)
2007 Honda CBR1000RR Sold
2005 Triumph Daytona 650 (wife) Sold

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Old 06-30-2014, 10:56 AM
boost7 boost7 is offline
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Mein Auto: 05 545
Looks good, how do they ride? Put some more seat time in with the new c/o and give us a review on them.
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Old 07-02-2014, 11:51 AM
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ModBargains.com ModBargains.com is offline
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Awesome write up the car looks great
Eric Lambert | Modification Expert | Eric@ModBargains.com | (714) 582-3330 x 8011
AIM: Eric@modbargains.com
We Specialize In: BMW M3 Wheels | BMW Brakes | BMW Suspension | BMW M3 Parts | VMR Wheels |
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Old 07-06-2014, 08:53 AM
gconnoyer gconnoyer is offline
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Location: Edwardsville, IL
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 6
Mein Auto: 2004 545i
Originally Posted by boost7 View Post
Looks good, how do they ride? Put some more seat time in with the new c/o and give us a review on them.
For the past week I've been playing with the different settings on the coilovers to see how they would ride. I started out at full stiff, and have just been going down a bit at a time.

These adjust from 1-30.
On 30, it feels like a gokart. AWESOME if you're playing, but not exactly comfortable for daily driving. And I dont have any sort of clearance issues to need it on full stiff to keep it from rubbing.

Going down to 25, the super firm gokart feeling is gone, but the body roll is still absolutely minimal and the car still handles amazingly.

15 is probably the sweet spot. (And where I'm at right now)
It pretty much feels just like the factory ride, although just a tiny bit more stiff. I wouldnt even wince at taking a corner/on or off ramp at double the "speed limit". Still handles great and has an awesome ride.

I would only imagine that going lower will increase ride quality, but the handling/body movement would suffer a bit. 15-20 is where I'm happy with them for daily use. And If I'm going out to purposely tackle some corners, I can just full over, pop the hood and trunk and throw them back up to 25-30 in just a minute.

Super happy with these and I would HIGHLY recommend them if you are considering doing ANY sort of suspension.
By the time you order lowering springs, and if you're smart, new struts, you're probably close to looking at about the same price. ALSO, with these they are a direct bolt in. So you wont have to disassemble your new or old suspension just to put your lowering springs on. And then after all that, you still wont have the ability to perfectly and easily adjust the ride height and suspension stiffness.
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Old 07-06-2014, 02:02 PM
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booyaazaa booyaazaa is offline
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Location: East Bay, CA
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Mein Auto: '09 AW 535i
Looks good.

2009 AW 535i
-Sport, Premium Package, and Comfort Access

-FBO, custom Cobb E30 map, 20" Forgestar F14 Black Gloss, KW V2 CO's
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