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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 06-30-2017, 08:27 AM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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For my suspension experts: Couple Questions

First off, sorry for making yet another thread about suspension. I use to think that the shocks would outlast the car, but after reading others thoughts and experiences I do see merit in replacing them.

My two primary questions are as follows:

What kit should I get if I am looking for comfort?
- My goal is not to lower the car, although I am not opposed to it
- Really want a smooth (non-harsh ride) but would like to eliminate the body roll in corners
- I was thinking of the KW Street Comfort kit

Since I am having a shop do this (at some point). What other parts should be replaced while in there?
- Tie rods, upper wishbone, some other bushing or grommets?
- Any other parts I am unaware of that tie closely to the replacement?


------
Should I skip the suspension kit completely and just install a front strut brace?


EDIT: Guess I should add that I do not have the Dynamic Handling Package, so no Electronic Dampening Control. 2011 535i (RWD, Sport)
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Last edited by samadkins29; 06-30-2017 at 08:29 AM.
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  #2  
Old 07-04-2017, 01:35 PM
Roast Beef Roast Beef is offline
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Can't believe no one has replied to this yet.

To get started, ensure your control arm bushings and ball joints are new and tight all around. This will make a big difference in overall handling/control.

Personally,I really like bilsteins stuff. If you are looking for an OEM like ride quality, with perhaps a marginal improvement in handling go for the bilstein b6 struts. Personally, I would use a situation like this to my advantage and upgrade to the sport bilstein b8 which makes the car handle much better over stock with minimal body roll without sacrificing ride comfort or straight line stability. If you are to get a strut/shock combo, I recommend ACS or Eibach springs.

Another great setup is BC or KW coilovers, which are adjustable.

Keep in mind that the springs is what dictates a lower ride height, not the strut. A performance strut must be paired with performance springs, or vice versa for best ride quality, longetivity and performance.

As long as you properly match a strut to springs (like b8 with acs springs) you will get a completely transformed car with minimal body roll, involved and precise steering etc. I would also get some performance sway bars in there while I'm at it.
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Old 07-04-2017, 01:42 PM
Roast Beef Roast Beef is offline
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Also, you will want to get a full alignment after changing your suspension. Due to cost cutting etc, you need camber plates to adjust your front camber which is probably out of alignment due to higher mileage. You can go a little aggressive (-1 to -1.5 front camber to improve front axle grip and reduce understeer)

If you don't care for cornerning, at least ensure it's at -0.5, which is OEM front camber.
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  #4  
Old 07-04-2017, 06:19 PM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Hey Roast,
Thanks for the reply! Yea I was kinda surprised as well from the lack of responses haha. But I know its a rather complicated question with alot of personal preference built in.

Anyways, I ended up doing a full day of research after posting this. If I proceed, I think I am going with Bilstein B16 (PSS10). Included in all of this, is pretty much a ground up rebuilt of both the front and back suspension (including all the connecting arms). In addition I'll be throwing on Eibach front and rear sway bars, new ends links, and new left and right tie rods /boots.

I have a local alignment specialty shop. They are extremely good, especially with after market stuff. Now I just need the $4000 to get it all done.

Are the camber plates something else? Or do you have a P/N for them? They might already be on my list.
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  #5  
Old 07-04-2017, 07:04 PM
surly surly is offline
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If your #1 goal was to eliminate body roll and you were ok with everything else, I would suggest a set of H&R anti roll bars. Install in the driveway on ramps, no alignment, no more body roll, same comfort as before.




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Old 07-04-2017, 07:05 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samadkins29 View Post
Hey Roast,
Thanks for the reply! Yea I was kinda surprised as well from the lack of responses haha. But I know its a rather complicated question with alot of personal preference built in.

Anyways, I ended up doing a full day of research after posting this. If I proceed, I think I am going with Bilstein B16 (PSS10). Included in all of this, is pretty much a ground up rebuilt of both the front and back suspension (including all the connecting arms). In addition I'll be throwing on Eibach front and rear sway bars, new ends links, and new left and right tie rods /boots.

I have a local alignment specialty shop. They are extremely good, especially with after market stuff. Now I just need the $4000 to get it all done.

Are the camber plates something else? Or do you have a P/N for them? They might already be on my list.
Nice, sounds like a great setup!

What is the difference between the bilstein b16 and the others, have you looked at b6 and b8?

Also, have you decided what springs you'll be getting along with the bilsteins?

I would take a look at the Dinan camber plates.
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Old 07-04-2017, 07:27 PM
F10-N52 F10-N52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by surly View Post
If your #1 goal was to eliminate body roll and you were ok with everything else, I would suggest a set of H&R anti roll bars. Install in the driveway on ramps, no alignment, no more body roll, same comfort as before.




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No. Sway bars on stock soft suspension = big no no unless you're getting something mild like a 550i rear sway.

Performance sway bars must be matched to performance Suspension.
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Old 07-05-2017, 11:28 AM
surly surly is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10-N52 View Post
No. Sway bars on stock soft suspension = big no no unless you're getting something mild like a 550i rear sway.



Performance sway bars must be matched to performance Suspension.


Sorry man. Not trying to pick a fight but you're misinformed on this one.

I have a 535xi with base suspension. For the last two years I was running the M5/650i combo. This spring I put the H&R bars on with no other changes so far. The balance is better, cornering is flat, and my daily driver is fun again (closer to my 704 suspension E90 and E39 in my past). I'm headed towards KW V3s (only option for coilovers on x drive) but not yet. The bars alone transform the car enough that I can precisely hit apexs, look forward to twisties and generally enjoy driving again.

Performance springs must be matched to performance dampers or the system will be underdamped. No such restriction on sways.

Last edited by surly; 07-11-2017 at 05:30 AM.
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  #9  
Old 07-05-2017, 05:24 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by samadkins29 View Post
First off, sorry for making yet another thread about suspension. I use to think that the shocks would outlast the car, but after reading others thoughts and experiences I do see merit in replacing them.

My two primary questions are as follows:

What kit should I get if I am looking for comfort?

Should I skip the suspension kit completely and just install a front strut brace?

2011 535i (RWD, Sport)
Responding to these two particulars.

1) How was the stock ride for comfort? If about right, go with OEM. My experience with aftermarket kits, especially suspension, has been imperfect and unbalanced results. Invariably, components are mismatched. i.e. spring rate high for stiffer response, then shocks that are excessively soft. Or vice versa. Also, matching spring rates from front to back is a real science, for each particular make/model. Often the result is a car that bobs back & forth continually, as if it were riding across seams of concrete pavement. (One end is too stiff, thus throwing the car to the other end. Then there is a delay due to softness on the other end, that rebounds the car back to the stiff end. Continually.)

2) Strut tower braces are designed for one single purpose; to take out latency in body twist during fast turn into corners. Unless you are serious and track your car competitively, you will never find value from such an addition. Once, the body has twisted and set, there is no more movement in the chassis; thus no more benefit from the brace.
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Old 07-05-2017, 05:39 PM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glaird View Post
Responding to these two particulars.

1) How was the stock ride for comfort? If about right, go with OEM. My experience with aftermarket kits, especially suspension, has been imperfect and unbalanced results. Invariably, components are mismatched. i.e. spring rate high for stiffer response, then shocks that are excessively soft. Or vice versa. Also, matching spring rates from front to back is a real science, for each particular make/model. Often the result is a car that bobs back & forth continually, as if it were riding across seams of concrete pavement. (One end is too stiff, thus throwing the car to the other end. Then there is a delay due to softness on the other end, that rebounds the car back to the stiff end. Continually.)

2) Strut tower braces are designed for one single purpose; to take out latency in body twist during fast turn into corners. Unless you are serious and track your car competitively, you will never find value from such an addition. Once, the body has twisted and set, there is no more movement in the chassis; thus no more benefit from the brace.
1) Stock ride seems abit harsh for my preference. The reason I am thinking of the B16 kit is that its all a matched set, struts with springs. Both front and back can be set to the same damper setting and I will most likely not drop the car at all (or a very minor amount)

2) The only reason I mentioned the strut brace was the amount of body roll I feel on some corners. But I think the overall setup will resolve much of that.

I know I am asking for the impossible: soft/smooth ride, yet no roll in a turn (non track)
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Old 07-05-2017, 06:22 PM
Glaird Glaird is offline
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You're not asking for the impossible. But, you are asking for something that is very difficult to achieve. Think about the money that BMW spent, developing the stock vehicle; a lot of engineering expertise, engineering hours, CPU time in simulations, etc.
Of course, ride/handling/performance is in the eye of the beholder. As an experienced amateur racing enthusiast, I think my 550 M-sport is a pretty good balance between both. My wife's M4, in her opinion, is not unreasonably harsher in ride. In both of our opinions, it is a beast in HP/weight.
Back to the eye, or seat of the pants, of the enthusiast. This could be truthfully said for each aftermarket company. Whoever designed their kit, assuming best intentions, still designed something to their tastes.

Lastly, my neighbor brought home a Mustang GT. Next thing I hear/see is suspension & exhaust bits coming off the car, right and left. Grudgingly, he now admits the car handles and sounds grotesque, compared to its mediocre origins in the showroom. Some, aftermarket parts people do not design parts for the best intentions.
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Old 07-06-2017, 07:30 AM
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Interesting discussion, I've never been one to monkey with factory setup, even less inclined now since they offer the different ride settings. Good luck with your decision!
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Old 07-06-2017, 02:49 PM
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good discussion.

I too with my car handled like my e92 coupe did (Sport) but then I'd have to degrade the comfort of my touring sedan and might end up with something I don't like.
Its why I went with Msport and while im sure it could be improve some, the cost to do so might not be worth it. Im thinking of just getting a used z4 or TT and have my fun that way.
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Old 07-06-2017, 03:12 PM
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samadkins29 samadkins29 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daders View Post
Interesting discussion, I've never been one to monkey with factory setup, even less inclined now since they offer the different ride settings. Good luck with your decision!
I just miss the dynamic handling package. I forgot about it when I made my car purchase. But driving without it leaves a lot to be desired. I am hoping that if I set them more towards a softer ride and upgrade the sway bars I can get pretty close to a smooth ride that doesn't roll in the corners (none of which I am racing around).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nalod View Post
good discussion.

I too with my car handled like my e92 coupe did (Sport) but then I'd have to degrade the comfort of my touring sedan and might end up with something I don't like.
Its why I went with Msport and while im sure it could be improve some, the cost to do so might not be worth it. Im thinking of just getting a used z4 or TT and have my fun that way.
Im still 50/50 on it. I really want it, but then again $4-4.5k might not be worth it considering I dont drive that much.
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  #15  
Old 07-07-2017, 11:57 AM
Pickled Ginger Pickled Ginger is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glaird View Post
You're not asking for the impossible. But, you are asking for something that is very difficult to achieve. Think about the money that BMW spent, developing the stock vehicle; a lot of engineering expertise, engineering hours, CPU time in simulations, etc.
Of course, ride/handling/performance is in the eye of the beholder. As an experienced amateur racing enthusiast, I think my 550 M-sport is a pretty good balance between both. My wife's M4, in her opinion, is not unreasonably harsher in ride. In both of our opinions, it is a beast in HP/weight.
Back to the eye, or seat of the pants, of the enthusiast. This could be truthfully said for each aftermarket company. Whoever designed their kit, assuming best intentions, still designed something to their tastes.

Lastly, my neighbor brought home a Mustang GT. Next thing I hear/see is suspension & exhaust bits coming off the car, right and left. Grudgingly, he now admits the car handles and sounds grotesque, compared to its mediocre origins in the showroom. Some, aftermarket parts people do not design parts for the best intentions.
Like someone else said before, if the Suspension setup is well paired to the chassis, performance will be excellent. The 5 series' series suspension may be sporty enough for the average buyer, but many enthusiasts have complained of the overly soft suspension tuning in this car. The chassis itself is brilliantly tuned by imperceptibly switching between straight line comfort ahd handling agility whenever the driver pleases. I feel like a revised suspension setup could completely transform this vehicle. As observed in the sportier m sport and m5 models.
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