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E60 / E61 (2004 - 2010)
BMW 5-Series E60 Sedan was first seen in the Unites States in the fall of 2003 with a 2004 Model Year designation. The E61 wagon followed shortly there after. The E60/E61 5 series is now available as a 528i, 528xi, 535i, 535xi, 550i and a 535xi sports wagon! -- View the E60 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 08-13-2018, 05:22 PM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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E61 with rear air suspension, b8 front struts...

I have a 2010 wagon with air suspension in the rear, oem shocks all around and H&R (i guess sport) springs in the front. I'm not pleased with the ride, so I assume it's the front shocks that need replacing. I ordered some Bilstein B8's today, but am unsure what to do about the rear. They may still be in ok shape, but the front are definitely beaten up. 67k on the odometer. Sits nice and low for such a big car.




Hope the new b8's in the front improve the ride a bit. Any suggestions for the rear?

Last edited by adonnan; 08-14-2018 at 04:57 PM.
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  #2  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:00 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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What's your goal? Comfort or performance? The OEM shocks are Sachs, front and back. Other posters have gone for Bilstein B4's and hated the ride. The B6s and B8s are both stiffer but more responsive due to the monotube construction whereas the Sachs seem to be a good balance of performance and comfort.

I replaced my shocks and struts at almost the 200,000 mile point. The fronts were definitely due but the rear shocks still had the gas charge, so I question whether I really needed to change them. The air bladders do a lot of heavy lifting....

Not to mention, it's a giant PITA to get at the top nuts for the rear shocks. The procedure requires dismantling most of the rear interior. Try to do it with out breaking any of the plastic parts ......
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  #3  
Old 08-13-2018, 06:03 PM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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I also have an E91 with OEM M-Sport suspension that rides like a dream. Wish I could copy that height and driving feel, but that is a challenge at 4000+ lbs and this low of suspension travel. Looks too good to raise it up though. Hope the refreshed strut improves the rebound a bit for daily driving.
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  #4  
Old 08-15-2018, 06:23 AM
jrx556 jrx556 is offline
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I have an '06 E61 (w/82K) still with original sports suspension. Love to hear how this turns out.

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  #5  
Old 08-15-2018, 06:37 AM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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Since all USA e61's came with xdrive, I'm pretty sure suspension wasn't changed for sport package. Maybe m sport? This car already has an m5 rear sway bar.

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  #6  
Old 08-22-2018, 04:39 PM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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B8 front struts are in, but had to order new tie rods to get the alignment dialed in. The adjustment nut is stuck tight. Less than 70k miles soooo, oh well.

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  #7  
Old 08-22-2018, 05:51 PM
Kurt_ Kurt_ is offline
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2008 and up they're all 535xit, but 2004 through 2007 came in rwd and awd with all engines. Or... Whenever they started selling wagons.
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  #8  
Old 08-23-2018, 06:23 AM
e61cat e61cat is offline
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I looking to replace the front struts as well. The issue is that the current stock struts are prone to bottoming out.

It is. 2008 535xit, with standard suppression. Was thinking of going with B4 but this thread indicates that people donít like the ride, what is the issue?
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  #9  
Old 08-23-2018, 07:33 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e61cat View Post
I looking to replace the front struts as well. The issue is that the current stock struts are prone to bottoming out.

It is. 2008 535xit, with standard suppression. Was thinking of going with B4 but this thread indicates that people donít like the ride, what is the issue?
The ride is too harsh with the b4s. There are a number of threads on this topic. Bottom line is that you get what you pay for. Sachs are bit more expensive but most of of us are happy with the balance between comfort and performance. B8s are a whole other quality level.
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  #10  
Old 08-23-2018, 08:20 PM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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The ride is definitely firm, but not bone jarring. Not too many options when paired with h&r springs. Kept the original top hats since they're only 68k.

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  #11  
Old 08-23-2018, 09:01 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonnan View Post
The ride is definitely firm, but not bone jarring. Not too many options when paired with h&r springs. Kept the original top hats since they're only 68k.

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H&R springs are shorter than OEM.
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  #12  
Old 08-24-2018, 08:24 AM
e61cat e61cat is offline
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Does anyone sell a strut and spring package assmebled?
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  #13  
Old 08-24-2018, 06:39 PM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
H&R springs are shorter than OEM.
Well, yeah that is pretty obvious. I've got a knocking under load when turning the wheels to the left. Either a top mount or plate or sway bar end link may be the culprit. Any ideas?

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  #14  
Old 08-24-2018, 07:59 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by adonnan View Post
Well, yeah that is pretty obvious. I've got a knocking under load when turning the wheels to the left. Either a top mount or plate or sway bar end link may be the culprit. Any ideas?

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Sorry, that was intended for E61cat.

With respect to the knock, is there enough clearance between the wheels and the suspension parts? On the Sachs struts, the side of the strut is pushed in to provide that clearance.
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2018, 08:45 AM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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I'm having tie rod inner/outer assembly replaced this week, so hopefully my technician will notice if anything has been rubbing. What's interesting is the noise is more apparent only when turning left (so additional weight on the right). Perhaps he installed the strut assembly wrong. We'll see.
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  #16  
Old 08-30-2018, 04:57 AM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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So the front swaybar was definitely making slight contact with the cv axle boot when turning left. I took some rough measurements to see if swaybar was off-center, or perhaps slightly bent, but in hindsight I think the steering angle was just probably not dead-center, making brake rotor to swaybar measurements not a reliable measure.

Anyway, I had to disconnect the end links from the swaybar. OEM end links on an AWD model are 16.75" give or take 1/8". Finding even longer end links is going to be a challenge.


you can see here where it made contact with the boot clip

here i've removed it, going to take measurements and look for extra-long end links
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  #17  
Old 11-05-2018, 09:47 AM
adonnan adonnan is offline
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A few thousand mile update - front struts definitely are now broken in and not as stiff, but the suspension travel is definitely short. If I do it again I'll probably go with a less severe drop.
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  #18  
Old 02-24-2019, 11:05 AM
e61cat e61cat is offline
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I have 113,000 miles will probably go with Sachs do I need to change the mounts? I don't have any noise the issue is that bottom out.

Last edited by e61cat; 02-24-2019 at 11:07 AM.
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  #19  
Old 02-24-2019, 02:04 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e61cat View Post
I have 113,000 miles will probably go with Sachs do I need to change the mounts? I don't have any noise the issue is that bottom out.
It's good practice to replace the top strut bearing at the same time as you do the struts, since you have it apart anyway.
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  #20  
Old 02-24-2019, 03:08 PM
e61cat e61cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
It's good practice to replace the top strut bearing at the same time as you do the struts, since you have it apart anyway.
Do you the springs since it bottoms out?
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  #21  
Old 02-24-2019, 03:59 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e61cat View Post
Do you the springs since it bottoms out?
I had to replace my springs due to one of them breaking. I discovered that both struts were past due for replacement because the gas charging had leaked out. I replaced everything in the strut assembly except for the special washers under the strut bearing as that was all that was reusable. I did this work just shy of 200000 miles.
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  #22  
Old 02-24-2019, 04:04 PM
e61cat e61cat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dharmabmw View Post
I had to replace my springs due to one of them breaking. I discovered that both struts were past due for replacement because the gas charging had leaked out. I replaced everything in the strut assembly except for the special washers under the strut bearing as that was all that was reusable. I did this work just shy of 200000 miles.
Where did you get the parts? Would you happen to have the part numbers?
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  #23  
Old 02-24-2019, 07:30 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Most parts from FCP euro. The springs are a special item. FCP can ensure that you get the correct ones. Go to realoem.com to get a list of the others.
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  #24  
Old 02-25-2019, 01:01 PM
Reefin' Dude Reefin' Dude is offline
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dharmabmw- are you on stock springs or H&R?

i am gearing up for a shock/strut refresh and trying to figure out which way to go. i am bottoming out on sharp bumps now on stock struts/shocks with H&R springs. i was thinking of going with the B8's, but if the Sach's are fine with the H&R, i might do that as they would be more comfortable.

G~
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e61LCI-Sport, Nav, Logic7, Lane Departure, Stop/Go Cruise, Vented seats, F/R heated seats, heated steering wheel, Night vision, HUD, E64 rear sway bar, E65 Front Brakes, H&R springs, Boost gauge, MHD 1+ tune, ER Charge Pipe, CSR Rear Spoiler, Backup camera, trailer hitch/wiring, CIC retrofit, SAT retrofit, Mishimoto catch can.
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  #25  
Old 02-25-2019, 03:11 PM
dharmabmw dharmabmw is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reefin' Dude View Post
dharmabmw- are you on stock springs or H&R?

i am gearing up for a shock/strut refresh and trying to figure out which way to go. i am bottoming out on sharp bumps now on stock struts/shocks with H&R springs. i was thinking of going with the B8's, but if the Sach's are fine with the H&R, i might do that as they would be more comfortable.

G~
I went with stock. I drive some pretty rough roads and the thought of slamming the front end, not to mention plowing through snow sometimes decided for me. I was warned off of bilstein b4s by my local supplier, so went with Sachs.

A quick note. I had everything assembled at a local Euro shop for 50$, then installed the assembly on both sides myself.
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