Newbie E39 DIY to test, select, buy, and replace front struts & rear shocks - Bimmerfest - BMW Forums



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E39 (1997 - 2003)
The BMW 5-Series (E39 chassis) was introduced in the United States as a 1997 model year car and lasted until the 2004 when the E60 chassis was released. The United States saw several variations including the 525i, 528i, 530i and 540i. -- View the E39 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 09-19-2009, 10:40 PM
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Newbie E39 DIY to test, select, buy, and replace front struts & rear shocks

What does a total newbie to suspensions need to know to diagnose, select, purchase, and install new shocks on an E39?

I ask because I was told my shocks are bad because I have violent ABS shudder upon low-speed braking apparently caused by ABS interacting with bad shocks which otherwise seem just fine.

I will try to do some research on these threads first (like I did with the ABS test procedure) so that I can pose some intelligent questions in this new shock R&R thread for newbies like me to follow in the future.
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Old 09-19-2009, 10:41 PM
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I had no idea my shocks were bad.

My symptoms are simple:
a) Violent shudder when ABS is activated on low-speed bumps (
b) 75,000 miles on the original Sachs 2002 525i non-sport suspension (which otherwise seems fine for me so far)
c) That's it (I do realize the Beisan Systems DIY lists other common symptoms)

What I would need (or anyone in this situation) would be to know:

1. How to definitively TEST for bad shocks & struts (aka dampers) on an E39:
- Front-wheel violent ABS shudder (this in and of itself is a definitive test, but only for the front wheels I think)
- Three-bounce test (this might not be definitive)
- Wallow while driving test (also might not be definitive)
- Leak test (this, like the ABS shudder test, is definitive)
- Uneven tire wear (this one seems really nebulous)
- ?others?

Likewise, what are the suggested tests, while you're under the car, for related suspension components:
- A test for whether the suspension springs are also bad or not
- A test for whether the RSM (rear shock mount) is bad or not
- A test for something in the suspension called a "thrust arm"
- A test for something in the suspension called a "control arm"
- A test for something in the suspension called a "sway bar"
- A test for something in the suspension called "thrust arm bushings"
- A test for something in the suspension called "control arm bushings"
- A test for something in the suspension called a "CAB"
- A test for something called a "strut guide"
- A test for something called a "protection cap"
- A test for something called "end links"
- The classic test for front wheel bearing play versus suspension parts (tire iron lever)
- Perhaps a test for ball joints (I'm not sure if they are suspension components or not)?
- Any other related suspension tests needed?

And, what do perform afterward:
- Alignment
- What else after a shock job?

2. Which shocks (for an E39 I6 non-sport suspension) to purchase & where to get 'em:
- Bilstein Heavy Duty - $$$ (see the many threads on Koni vs Bilstein)
- OEM Sachs Standard- $ (the shock the BMW designed and engineers tested in the car)

Note: If you have a sport suspension (i.e., shorter stiffer springs), additional options are:
- Bilstein Sport
- OEM Sachs Sport (http://www.zftna.com/sachs_usa)
- Koni Sport (aka Koni Yellow) - $$ (assumes you have sport springs or plan on buying matching Eibach springs)
- Koni FSD - $$ (this is a "kit" of both shocks and Eibach springs)

Note: Apparently only the ricers would consider any other shocks (e.g., monroe, etc.).

Note: I did see in the threads the "opinion" that the "Boge/Sachs are garbage" and that they only last 30 to 50K miles. However, just as in brake pads, rotors, and tire selection, the evidence must be logically overwhelming to sway me from what the BMW engineers recommended and stand by legally as OEM for the non-sport suspension. I am not an engineer and I would never presume to be able to select the proper suspension system components taking into account all the tradeoffs properly. So I generally go with OE or OEM (unless there is actual concrete unassailable evidence to the contrary).

I do realize people drive differently. They have different abilities to choose suspension components. For them, saying "I like brand x" is fine, but, it's not a scientifically valid test. Basically, IMHO, the specifications either prove out one shock over the OEMs or they don't (including cost considerations). And no, sorry to break it to anyone, but, a supposed "lifetime warranty" is not a scientific test by any stretch of the imagination. Besides, I've NEVER returned an automotive part under warranty in my life ... so this is merely a marketing gimmick to me.

Likewise with the cool-yellow color or supposed chic coolness of the brand name - none of which in and of itself means anything to me. Also, I'm not likely gonna "lower my ride" or "stiffen my ride" under any circumstances other than a "real good reason" - it would just be silly to do so w/o knowing what I'm doing. All I want to do is fix my little blue BMW the right way, that's all! That simply means bringing it back to OEM condition. If I'm gonna change something, I'd need a mechanical engineering degree to figure out what that would be and I don't have that so whom am I fooling.

3. Where best to get the shocks and struts:
www.EACtuning.com
www.TireRack.com
www.Shox.com
www.bavauto.com (especially for OEM replacements)
??? ??? ???

4. The DIY for replacing shocks in an E39

See the list of DIYs below bearing in mind other suspension components might need to be tested (even more DIYs). Whew.

Here's my first attempt (so far) for the E39 to find the best DIYs:
- E39 DIY: 1998 BMW 528i COMPLETE FRONT SUSPENSION OVERHAUL (Note: Added afterward to help others find the really good DIYs!)
- E39 Beisan Systems Rear Shocks Writeup & Front Struts Writeup
- E39 Rear Suspension install

In addition to those best two, here are some really good ones:
- E39 Koni sport shock strut install
- E39 My e39 Koni FSD install and thoughts (Sachs owners especially need to see post #19)
- E39 Sport suspension in a non-sport
- E39 How to replace your thrust arms
- E39 H&R Install photos
- E39 ?let us know if you know of a good DIY not listed here?

And, here are some good ones found for other BMW models:
- E36 Rear Shock Mount DIY (E36 RSM DIY, E46 RSM DIY)
- E46 Installing Bilstein struts and shocks
- E46 Installing springs DIY

And, of course, advice on how to get any "very" special tools needed (i.e., defined only as tools you'd likely rent and not purchase outright):
- Two spring compressors
- ??? what else that we wouldn't already have or that costs more than $100 to purchase ???
Bluebee


Last edited by bluebee; 09-24-2009 at 02:17 PM. Reason: I will edit as needed so new information for newbies is added back
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  #3  
Old 09-20-2009, 05:29 AM
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I do not believe there is a definitive test to determine if shocks are good or no-good when they are still mounted on your car. Remember, a basic shock/strut is simply a damper whose performance is measured by a coefficient of damping in both compression and extension. Once those values go out of spec, it is technically "not good" and should be replaced. However, 90% of us are probably driving on out of spec shocks due to the gradual imperceptible changes in damping that occur since shocks/struts deteriorate at a very slow gradual rate (not to include blown shocks). Functionally, while out of spec, these shocks are perfectly adequate for everyday driving. They best way to determine if they are "bad" is exactly what you are doing, evaluating the variety of symptoms to determine the true cause. At 75K, your shocks are clearly past their prime but can remain serviceable if the car has not been driven too hard.

Regarding which shock is basically personal preference based on the tradeoffs. The primary considerations are ride quality, performance, durability and cost. The OEM shocks were clearly selected to provide a good balance between ride and performance. The various aftermarket shocks typically improve performance and last longer but usually sacrifice ride quality and cost a bit more. For most drivers, the cost of installation is almost as much as the cost of the shock/strut. If you intend to DIY, then the cost of installation is negligible and I would focus attributes you find most important. Personally, I think the OEM e39 blend of ride and performance is unmatched and the greatest engineering acheivement by those Bavarian suspension gurus. Plus the roads here in New England basically s*ck, which greatly reduces the desire to have a firm suspension.

I can't really comment on your other questions as I haven't done my suspension yet. My suspension is on my list of to do for next Spring. I've got 70K on my e39 and should upgrade my suspension although it is still driveable.

Last edited by Fudman; 09-20-2009 at 05:33 AM.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:22 AM
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+1 on the above post.

...with just a couple of points:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
At 75K, your shocks are clearly past their prime but can remain serviceable if the car has not been driven too hard.
Due to your speed-bump/violent-shudder test, it is clear to me that your shocks are completely gone by now.

Shock brand selection: You are not planning to replace the springs (at 75K they are most likely still good). Therefore you are left with only 2 choices: Bilstein HD, or OEM. For your driving style, I'd say to stay with the Sachs OEM and be very happy.

mw
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
....... I noticed that thread called 'em "struts" so I assume a shock is a strut too.
On BMW the rear is a shock, the front is a strut. The difference is, a "shock" is just a shock. A strut on the other hand, is a shock that also performs as part of the suspension geometry. Meaning, the strut also holds the wheel in place and creates the up/down axis for the wheel movement.

You could remove the rear shock, and still drive a car. But you can't remove a strut and drive. The wheels will fall off their place.

This is a very simplified explanation. Google will probably point to a more technically precise explanation. (Wiki maybe? )

mw
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:28 PM
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Hello bluebee,

I just wrote this DIY: 1998 BMW 528i COMPLETE FRONT SUSPENSION OVERHAUL:
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=399580

While this may not address your original question of "How to diagnose Suspension" problems, I have learned over the years to address the Suspension as a whole rather than bits and pieces (more labor and alignment costs if doing it in bits and pieces).

So this DIY addresses the Whole Suspension issue.

HTH
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fudman View Post
I do not believe there is a definitive test to determine if shocks are good or no-good when they are still mounted on your car. Remember, a basic shock/strut is simply a damper whose performance is measured by a coefficient of damping in both compression and extension. Once those values go out of spec, it is technically "not good" and should be replaced. However, 90% of us are probably driving on out of spec shocks due to the gradual imperceptible changes in damping that occur since shocks/struts deteriorate at a very slow gradual rate (not to include blown shocks). Functionally, while out of spec, these shocks are perfectly adequate for everyday driving. They best way to determine if they are "bad" is exactly what you are doing, evaluating the variety of symptoms to determine the true cause. At 75K, your shocks are clearly past their prime but can remain serviceable if the car has not been driven too hard.

Regarding which shock is basically personal preference based on the tradeoffs. The primary considerations are ride quality, performance, durability and cost. The OEM shocks were clearly selected to provide a good balance between ride and performance. The various aftermarket shocks typically improve performance and last longer but usually sacrifice ride quality and cost a bit more. For most drivers, the cost of installation is almost as much as the cost of the shock/strut. If you intend to DIY, then the cost of installation is negligible and I would focus attributes you find most important. Personally, I think the OEM e39 blend of ride and performance is unmatched and the greatest engineering acheivement by those Bavarian suspension gurus. Plus the roads here in New England basically s*ck, which greatly reduces the desire to have a firm suspension.

I can't really comment on your other questions as I haven't done my suspension yet. My suspension is on my list of to do for next Spring. I've got 70K on my e39 and should upgrade my suspension although it is still driveable.
+2!
Excellent post/ reply!
What suspension are you thinking about using/ buying?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
+1 on the above post.

...with just a couple of points:


Due to your speed-bump/violent-shudder test, it is clear to me that your shocks are completely gone by now.

Shock brand selection: You are not planning to replace the springs (at 75K they are most likely still good). Therefore you are left with only 2 choices: Bilstein HD, or OEM. For your driving style, I'd say to stay with the Sachs OEM and be very happy.

mw
That was my thinking as well.
I am betting that the OEM Sachs setup from www.BavAuto.com would be best for Mr. BlueBee.


BlueBee-
IMO, there is no specific way to really test the suspension.
I knew mine was toast for quite some time after I drove a newer 2002 530 with stock sport suspension.
It was pretty obvious after that...
Plus, my car would skip over bumps and not absorb any bumps on the road.
The dampening was gone.

Also, look at www.BeisanSystems.com under the front strut and rear shock DIY's.
There is a description of common symptoms from a failing strut and shock.
http://beisansystems.com/procedures/..._procedure.htm
http://beisansystems.com/procedures/..._procedure.htm

Quote:
Symptoms
Initially, the front struts will squeak and have an extra bounce on speed bumps. Within a month this will transition to the car landing hard on speed bumps and the suspension feeling stiff on road bumps. A loss of control can also be felt during and after excessively bumpy road conditions.

Over time failing struts can cause inner tire tread cupping and wear.
Badly worn struts can leak lubricating oil.
If the spring pads are badly worn, a clunk could be heard when landing from a speed bump.

Diagnosis
There is no practical DIY diagnosis for struts/shocks. Paying attention to the symptoms is sufficient to characterizing the failure. If one end of the car is presenting with failure symptoms, then it's likely the other end is not far behind.

Thanks!
Jason
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Old 09-20-2009, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
you are left with only 2 choices: Bilstein HD, or Sachs OEM
As you inferred, I'll most likely go with the Bavauto Sachs OEM; but may I ask, since I was under the impression there were three (not two) choices ... pray tell ... what knocked out the Koni shocks from consideration?

Do the Koni shocks require the springs to be changed? If so, that explains what knocked them out of the running.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
As you inferred, I'll most likely go with the Bavauto Sachs OEM; but may I ask, since I was under the impression there were three (not two) choices ... pray tell ... what knocked out the Koni shocks from consideration?

Do the Koni shocks require the springs to be changed? If so, that explains what knocked them out of the running.
No, the Koni's do not require you to replace the springs.
IMO, the Koni's are definitely an option, but from impressions I get on how you like your car to drive, it might be out of the equation, as well as the Bilstein HD's.

It seems that you prefer the OEM non-sport suspension feel, which is why it seems that the OEM sach suspension might be best for you.

I am not sure if you want to make your car drive and handle more sporty or not.
If so, perhaps you could install OEM sport springs with the Sachs struts/ shocks...

This would be my order of chosing:
1. Sachs
2. Koni FSD's or Sports (probably FSD's for you...)
3. Bilstein HD's
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluebee View Post
As you inferred, I'll most likely go with the Bavauto Sachs OEM; but may I ask, since I was under the impression there were three (not two) choices ... pray tell ... what knocked out the Koni shocks from consideration?

Do the Koni shocks require the springs to be changed? If so, that explains what knocked them out of the running.
Yes, you got it. Generally speaking, there are 2 types of shocks/springs combinations. Standard, or Sports. The sports have a shorter spring, and therefore require a matching shock (sports shock). Koni has the "Koni Yellow" which are the sport shocks, and the Koni FSD which is a kit of shocks & springs. So if you intend to keep your springs, the Koni is out for you.

The Bilstein HD model will use your current springs set. That is exactly what you see that cn90 did in his DIY.

And of course the Sachs OEM that will use your current springs set.

So you are left with 2 options. It's not really a big dilema, you can't go wrong either way.

mw
EDIT: oops Jason, you posted while I wrote this post. I took Koni off the options because she most likely will keep her current springs. The Koni FSD is a kit set.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
Yes, you got it. Generally speaking, there are 2 types of shocks/springs combinations. Standard, or Sports. The sports have a shorter spring, and therefore require a matching shock (sports shock). Koni has the "Koni Yellow" which are the sport shocks, and the Koni FSD which is a kit of shocks & springs. So if you intend to keep your springs, the Koni is out for you.

The Bilstein HD model will use your current springs set. That is exactly what you see that cn90 did in his DIY.

And of course the Sachs OEM that will use your current springs set.

So you are left with 2 options. It's not really a big dilema, you can't go wrong either way.

mw
EDIT: oops Jason, you posted while I wrote this post. I took Koni off the options because she most likely will keep her current springs. The Koni FSD is a kit set.
You can buy the Koni FSD's by themselves, without the Eibach pro kit springs I think...
The Koni FSD kit has the Eibach pro kit springs included.

I know you CAN get the Koni FSD's seperately.
Ask BimmerFiver.
He has the FSD's on OEM sport springs.
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
You can buy the Koni FSD's by themselves, without the Eibach pro kit springs I think...
The Koni FSD kit has the Eibach pro kit springs included.

I know you CAN get the Koni FSD's seperately.
Ask BimmerFiver.
He has the FSD's on OEM sport springs.
But Bluebee has standard springs, that's why I took the Koni off. The Eibach are sports springs which are shorter (lower) than the standard.

mw
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Old 09-20-2009, 10:36 PM
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Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
But Bluebee has standard springs, that's why I took the Koni off. The Eibach are sports springs which are shorter (lower) than the standard.

mw
Yes, I agree.
The Eibach springs are shorter sport springs.
What's wrong with running non-sport springs with the Koni FSD's?
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Yes, I agree.
The Eibach springs are shorter sport springs.
What's wrong with running non-sport springs with the Koni FSD's?
It's a more general question: What's wrong with running non-sport springs with Sports shocks. (Or vise versa!).

For one, it has to do with the resting level of the car. That is what the shock is designed with, as the center point of it's range of movement. If you put a sports shock on a standard spring, than the spring is too long for it, and it's range of movement is off it's center. Too long on one side, too short on the other side. In addition, that can also change the damping characteristics of the shock since the wheel is at a different position than the shock thinks it is.

Secondly, a shock's valving (firmness level) is designed according to the stiffness level of the spring that it is supposed to work in concert with. A sports shock is designed to work with a stiffer spring. A standard shock is designed to work with a softer spring. If you turn this around, than you have a suspension that neither the spring designer or the shock designer engineered that part for.

mw
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Old 09-20-2009, 11:48 PM
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To clarify something in the above post. The center of the shock range is not necessarily the "middle" of the shock, but rather, it is the wheel's resting position. That 'center' of range could be, for example, 6" up, and 4" down (I am just making up these numbers!), not 5" up and 5" down. The center is designed according to the car's wheel range of movement and geometry, to allow the wheel full range of movement with the correct damping at each point.

mw
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Old 09-21-2009, 04:52 AM
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All really good points regarding the need to match the performance characteristics of suspension components to optimize a vehicle's overall handling performance. This is a point that is often overlooked when folks look to replace an OEM part. While it is possible to improve a car's performance, I think a lot of people install aftermarket components without properly matching them up and THINK they improve their handling while actually degrading it. There is a lot of engineering that goes into optimizing the ride and handling of any car and the use of mismatched components can actually detract from overall performance.
That is why I will defer to the suspension gurus in Munich and stay with OEM suspension parts. Of all the cars I have driven, I believe the BMW e39 sport suspension is as close to perfection (the blend of performance and ride quality) as possible. Since I am not that good of a driver, have no intention of racing anyone anywhere and plan to DIY, my decision is somewhat easy. I know the Sachs shocks have a limited lifespan and can accept that deficiency when I DIY.

Now that I have drawn the ire of all the mod happy e39ers, I I should reveal that I plan to add an M5 rear sway bar to induce a touch more oversteer and flatten the cornering. lol! Perfection is something that is always being sought and never achieved!
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Old 09-21-2009, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
To clarify something in the above post. The center of the shock range is not necessarily the "middle" of the shock, but rather, it is the wheel's resting position. That 'center' of range could be, for example, 6" up, and 4" down (I am just making up these numbers!), not 5" up and 5" down. The center is designed according to the car's wheel range of movement and geometry, to allow the wheel full range of movement with the correct damping at each point.

mw
I totally agree!
Great information!
I very much understood this concept while adjusting my H&R coil-overs.
Too low, and they ride VERY stiff, and you could blow out the valving.
Once adjusted correctly, they can ride much more smooth and dampen correctly.

However, I pretty much associate the FSD's as a non-sport suspension, although Koni sells them for both sport and non-sport applications.
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Old 09-21-2009, 03:17 PM
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Interestingly, the huge price swings of 60% or more over at Bavauto are not intuitive (Sachs vs Bilstein, and sport vs standard).

Contrary to what you'd think, the sport Sachs shocks are cheaper than the standard Sachs shocks.
Likewise contrarily, the Bilstein HDs are less expensive than the standard Sachs shocks.




MOST RECOMMENDED SHOCK SELECTION (for standard suspension & springs)
- Sachs Standard
- Bilstein Heavy Duty
- Koni FSD - (this is a "kit" of both shocks and Eibach springs so note that your suspension will change!)
Don't even think of anything else (e.g., Monroe, KYB, ACDelco, etc.).

MOST RECOMMENDED SHOCK SELECTION (for sport suspension & springs)
- Sachs Sport
- Bilstein Sport
- Koni Sport (aka Koni Yellow)
Nobody seems to recommend anything else (e.g., Monroe, KYB, ACDelco, etc.).

While we've narrowed the selection to just a few shocks, the pricing is wholly unintuitive so it deserves a price comparison (which I'll make and post the result of as soon as I finish up some work).

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Old 09-21-2009, 05:04 PM
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Mein Auto: E39 hamster w/ pin-wheel
More people buy the Sport suspension components.
That is probably why they are cheaper...
Did you try talking to Jared or Mark at www.EACtuning.com and see what kind of prices they can offer?

Do you want sport or non-sport suspension?
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  #20  
Old 09-21-2009, 09:46 PM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jason5driver View Post
Did you try talking to Jared or Mark at www.EACtuning.com and see what kind of prices they can offer?
I was just surprised that my first look showed wild swings in the price; it is not intuitive (to me anyway) that sport shocks cost that much less than standard shocks, nor that the Bilsteins cost far less than the Sachs/Boge shocks that most people seem to hate.

The rather unexpected pricing model makes little sense to me based on what I've read here in the past two days; but, perhaps macroeconomics issues such as volume for the sports shocks are playing a role to keep down their cost, as you suggested.

While BavAuto had shocks listed for two types of suspensions, it appears EACTuning lists shocks for three types of suspensions:
- Standard
- Sport
- M Sport

EACTuning lists wildly unbelievable "list price" numbers which probably compare to dealership prices (I haven't checked the dealers yet) but which are so far off base compared to the one supplier I checked as to make them unbelievable.

Here's the price comparison, so far for my non-sport, non M 2002 525i (sans tax and shipping charges):

Bavauto Sachs/Boge Front & Rear Struts/Shocks: $199.95 & $109.95
EACTuning Sachs/Boge Front & Rear Struts/Shocks: $225.93 & $120.78

Bavauto Bilstein HD Front & Rear Struts/Shocks: $182.95 & $87.95
EACTuning Bilstein HD Front & Rear Struts/Shocks: $167.08 & $86.14

As with BavAuto, the EACTuning Sachs sport front struts seem vastly less expensive than the standard front strut (sport struts at EACTuning being almost a hundred dollars less at $132.03); yet sport rear shocks, at $121.60 were the same as the non-sport rear shocks). Go figure.

None of these undampened price swings make any sense to me so I guess my recommendation so far is caveat emptor. I'll continue the research.
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  #21  
Old 09-21-2009, 11:39 PM
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MatWiz MatWiz is offline
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You could always check the internet prices on "Crown BMW" website for any parts. You'll see that at the dealer, sports shocks cost more than standard shocks.

Bluebee, I know people have asked you before already. But is there any possible way that you could post your screen shots at a page width? It is close to impossible to read the smaller print. Thanks!

mw
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  #22  
Old 09-22-2009, 06:12 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by MatWiz View Post
You'll see that at the dealer, sports shocks cost more than standard shocks.
From RealOEM, it looks like I need the following part numbers:
Front Strut:31311096858 $420.68
Rear Shock: 33521093646 $334.80

As soon as I read you suggested CrownBMW, I called the Crown BMW Dealership at 866-756-1437 who quoted what they called "dealership prices" for the fronts at $339 and for the rears at $269 and they had no idea what the shipping would be; but the dealership parts guy kindly told me to call the "Internet Parts" department at 336-323-7078 for better prices when I asked about shipping to California.

Nobody answered at that CrownBMW "Internet Parts" number when I called multiple times (5:30am my time, 8:30am theirs).

Then I looked up my own post on the best suppliers ... and found the number and internet address to be:
CrownBMW 866-756-1437

Guess what. The folks at that Crown number quoted exactly one dollar less (and they didn't know shipping either).
Front: $337
Rear: $268

Unfortunately, the parts lookup for crown on the web came up blank. I'm a bit confused since the information doesn't match ... so maybe I'll try that "Internet Parts" number again later in the day when they've had their morning coffee.

Quote:
Bluebee, I know people have asked you before already. But is there any possible way that you could post your screen shots at a page width? It is close to impossible to read the smaller print. Thanks!
I'd be glad to. In fact, I thought I was doing that. I guess the problem is the definition of a page width.

What's a page width? I've been shrinking the screen shots to 640 pixels (which I assumed was a page width expressly to fit on the screen of most people). Is there a different page width you like? I could use any number of pixels. Would 800 pixels wide be better? (Note: The wider it is, the easier it is for me to add value to the screenshots since I rarely just leave it at the screenshot - I generally cut and paste and edit to add value where needed.)

This is 800 pixels wide (I can make it whatever you like). Wider is easier for me but at some point it's too wide.

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  #23  
Old 09-22-2009, 06:25 AM
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bmw_n00b13 bmw_n00b13 is offline
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Location: Cambridge, ON
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Posts: 6,373
Mein Auto: 99 528iA
800px is "standard" still web-page width, despite the widescreen displays. For me, anything over 1024px wide is a pain.
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  #24  
Old 09-22-2009, 07:10 AM
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Fudman Fudman is offline
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Location: Sudbury, MA
 
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Posts: 6,886
Mein Auto: '02 530i Sport auto
For those looking for OEM BMW parts, try Bill Dodge BMW in Westbrook ME (207-854-3200). Ask for Dan Arsenault. They offer between 25%-40% off list, depending on your source of retail cost

For instance, I just bought a cold weather CCV #11-61-7-533-400 (RealOEM has it retailing at $82.22, Bill Dodge quoted the retail at $65.78) for $49.33. I got an M5 rear sway bar #33-55-2-229-136 (RealOEM retails it at $199.60, Bill Dodge quoted retail at $159.68) for $119.76. Both were 40% off RealOEM prices and and 25% off their own retail price.

You need to set up an account (no charge) with them and then just order. Worth a call.
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  #25  
Old 09-22-2009, 09:02 AM
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bluebee bluebee is offline
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Location: San Jose, California
 
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Posts: 25,199
Mein Auto: 02 BMW 525i M54 auto 130K
Quote:
Originally Posted by cn90 View Post
Hello bluebee,

I just wrote this DIY: 1998 BMW 528i COMPLETE FRONT SUSPENSION OVERHAUL:
https://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...d.php?t=399580
This is a GREAT writeup. I printed your fantastically annotated DIY landscape to PDF with the links all intact even in the PDF so that people could save the file for the future in their BMW DIY flashcard or printed 3-hole binder.

Sorry for the three files; each had to be below 1MB in size for bimmerfest to accept 'em.
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