Bimmerfest BMW banner

1 - 20 of 26 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
So I just picked up a 2003 540i M-sport 6MT and I'm getting ready to start refreshing the car in increments. After I do the cooling overhaul, I was going to look into the suspension. What's the best option out there for refreshing said suspension? I looked on turnermotorsports, but it was all bilstein, and nothing was specified for the 03' M-sport. Isn't it different from a regular 540? Has anyone gone with that bilstein package from them? If so, what were the results? I'm not looking to lower the car or anything. I just want it to feel like fresh new suspension.

Thanks in advance for any comments/help/suggestions :)
 

·
....
Joined
·
1,421 Posts
bilstein, koni, dinan. many brands of coilovers....stock springs or lowering springs - a lot of info out there, just search here and bimmerforums

if youre keeping stock springs, OEM or Koni probably easiest (koni are adjustable and lifetime warranty)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
47 Posts
I personally would stay with OEM setup, since M Sport is already lower than other 540i and pretty sporty.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,835 Posts
Koni struts are very nice and adjustable. Ive read that bilstein are very nice as well.

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
I want to stay with the OEM setup but haven't been able to find a kit that was specifically listed for the 2003 m sport
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,835 Posts
I believe sachs struts are oem. How many miles does it have?

Sent from BimmerApp mobile app
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
The first critical question is: what do you wish to accomplish?
I've had my '99 540i/6sp since new. Like all 6 speed 540's it came with sports suspension and staggered wheels. As I found good play roads I discovered that it had way more understeer built in than I liked, and not enough rebound damping. I was happy to live with a firmer ride to tighten things up and get a more neutral feel.
My solution was Dinan's stage 3 package with the rear anti-roll bar set in the most aggressive setting. Worked for me. It might not be the best solution for you - it definitely stiffens up the suspension. I've had the package (also front & rear strut/shock braces and the lower control arm monoballs in lieu of the standard bushings) for almost 150,000 miles and still love it. Of course, I've replaced most of the bushings and the shocks as they got tired.... Dinan is definitely not the cheap solution, but the package is well-integrated and is firm without being harsh. Also there are some elements that are a bit time-consuming to install - like the stiffer front anti-roll bar, the camber plates and the rear shock tower brace. I'm sure that many folks on the forum have found other highly satisfactory approaches that met their preferences.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
That is a good question. I want the car to be an excellent daily driver that still maintains the ability to really handle when I'm feeling spirited. I don't want to lose any of the ride comfort it currently has though, I commute about 1-1.5 hours on the highway each day. I know that's not a HUGE commute...but I still like a nice quiet/smooth ride to and from work/home.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
Eck...that clunk seems to be a common problem with most aftermarket suspension kits. The Tein struts on my prelude did the same thing after a year.

Probably safe to assume dinan doesn't have that problem though?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
15,514 Posts

·
Member Supremo
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
The 2003 540i Msport uses MtechII shocks, which if you compare part numbers, are identical to M5 shocks.

IMO: Go KONI Yellow sport adjustables.

I bought some lightly used M5 shocks as replacements, but went KONI shortly after, no regrets.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
58 Posts
Discussion Starter #14 (Edited)
I thought I had read that it was slightly different. Koni yellows huh? Pretty close to OEM feel? Maybe a bit stiffer? And you liked them more than the stock m5 struts/shocks?

Also, did you buy the m5 ones? Or the 540 ones?
 

·
Member Supremo
Joined
·
1,593 Posts
I felt the ride was a bit stiffer, but partially due to me adjusting the Koni's on the firm side. I wanted the advantage for occasional canyon runs, but didn't want coils.

Since they have a lifetime warranty i consider it money well spent.

Koni Yellow adjustable shocks should be the same for the 540i & M5.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,324 Posts
The 2003 540i Msport uses MtechII shocks, which if you compare part numbers, are identical to M5 shocks.

IMO: Go KONI Yellow sport adjustables.

I bought some lightly used M5 shocks as replacements, but went KONI shortly after, no regrets.
Correct! The M-Sport Suspension II as used on the USA spec 540 M-Sport uses M5 shocks/struts. They are ungodly expensive, but do have a nice balance of ride and handling. If you want to save money, the less expensive option is Sachs "sport" shocks/struts, which are similar valving to regular 540 Sport and should be fine. The "upgrade" would be to get the Koni Yellows...

I have Bilstein PSS kit and the front strut knocking is annoying...I have had them warranteed three times now
 

·
AgouraM5
Joined
·
89 Posts
Bilsteins

updated my '03 540 sport with the Billy sports and after 100+K miles it put the 540 back on rails... also did all the front end bushings and I have no problem with smooth ride even on rough TX roads. Never planned to drop to coilover level or to adjust for track.

ymmv
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
316 Posts
I replaced my rear shocks with Koni Yellows about 2 months ago. They are great!! I am very happy with them.
 

·
Under the lift arms
Joined
·
12,899 Posts
You will all be very upset to know this: so ill try to break it 2 you qently...
But there are only 2 types of suspention, pre 99 and post 99.... the m5 is post 99

everything else is the same,
35-114086 fits a 2001 540 (my car with "sport" suspension if you will) but is also the same part number for a 03 mtechnic


so insted of shakeing your stick in front of the mirror of you glory of m5 dreams and M technic This and that, lets go back to the value of this thread... which is what you will need to replace

FIRST THINGS FIRST, 4 struts and tops. take care of that... (thus only having to seperate your balljoints once b4 finishing the job)
2nd after you have installed your new struts. your going to want to do your front control arms.... make sure these have the polyflex eurothane bushings (you will also not be seperating these joints again after this step)
3rd your pitman, idler, and center drag link,

your front of the car is done,
The rear of the car isnt so critcal because you wont have to seperate any ball joints other then to replace that compoent, Unfortuantly the rear will cost you more, theres 3 arms on each side, plus swap links and bushings..

1500$-1700$ for the intire cars rebuild suspention... Unless your gonna go with adjustable coil overs... which in that case you just need to staple another grand or more on the overall.. The build is the same..

also watch your headlight level swithes.
 

·
Under the lift arms
Joined
·
12,899 Posts
sorry... I should have been a little more clear... Theres 2 types on the v8's Then the rest is all that i6 jazz... thos are different
 
1 - 20 of 26 Posts
Top