Jump to content
Mike

Lowering an F11

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 

Apologies if this has been covered, I've done some searching and it's hard to find anything definitive and with good references to any DIY guides or details of the equipment used.

 

I understand there's two ways to lower the rear, either with coding or fitting shorter links. Does anyone know where these links can be bought from? I'd go coilovers up front, but a lot of the listings for F11 coilovers include rear springs as they're just stock images. Has anyone fit coilovers and can I ask where you bought them and can you confirm you did just receive two front shocks and springs, or does a full coilover kit come with the shorter links for the rear?

 

Oh and I'd be looking to keep the stock 19s but spacing them out a bit so if anyone has any pictures of what spacing suits, feel free to post here. Easy to measure but pictures are always nice. Wheels are 351s.

 

Confusion.

 

Thanks,

Mike.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Just use an ENET cable and ISTA to electronically reset the rear ride height to where you want it. I would think if you use shorter links the car electronics would start playing up as they would constantly be trying to get the car to the preset ride height.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would prefer to go with the shorter links TBF because that's just letters to me. I'm not a computer boff so would need literal step by step instructions on the process for ISTA, if those are anywhere? Or if anyone knows a joint in Yorkshire that can do it.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Mike said:

Would prefer to go with the shorter links TBF because that's just letters to me. I'm not a computer boff so would need literal step by step instructions on the process for ISTA, if those are anywhere? Or if anyone knows a joint in Yorkshire that can do it.

 

I'd always look to do it the right way and it just seems like a bodge to go and use shorter links - you don't want to cause issues for the compressor or its valve block in the future as that can get costly. Look for a good specialist BMW indi in your area who may have the software tools to set a lower ride height.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

Just use an ENET cable and ISTA to electronically reset the rear ride height to where you want it. I would think if you use shorter links the car electronics would start playing up as they would constantly be trying to get the car to the preset ride height.

 

 

Apologies for the thread hijack.

 

Is it possible to do this on the fly (adjust the height with 'ENT and ISTA cable',  I have an old lab, I'd love to be able lower the car (2012, Tourer with self-levelling, Msport), every time he needs to get in and out.

 

When I had a problem with rear suspension (sorted through warranty), the car dropped right down with zero gaps between the top of the wheels and wings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, vroomvroom520d said:

 

Apologies for the thread hijack.

 

Is it possible to do this on the fly (adjust the height with 'ENT and ISTA cable',  I have an old lab, I'd love to be able lower the car (2012, Tourer with self-levelling, Msport), every time he needs to get in and out.

 

When I had a problem with rear suspension (sorted through warranty), the car dropped right down with zero gaps between the top of the wheels and wings.

 

I wouldn't do it. What you are talking about is fully deflating the airbags while the car's weight is on the suspension. Never a good idea. Buy a small set of steps for the old lab to use to climb in rather than mess around with the suspension.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Matthew Ashton said:

 

I'd always look to do it the right way and it just seems like a bodge to go and use shorter links - you don't want to cause issues for the compressor or its valve block in the future as that can get costly. Look for a good specialist BMW indi in your area who may have the software tools to set a lower ride height.

 

Fair. This seems more like an opinion rather than fact, if anyone can confirm this to be the case? (no offence, but 'seems' and 'would think' sound speculative). Surely if the electronics assume it's at an incorrect height the compressor would keep running to try inflate the bags and burn out? I thought the adjustable links method tricked a sensor rather than being a physical limitation on the height. Anyway, happy to do either but without a step by step I'm lost on ISTA and I'm far too anal to tell a specialist '-10mm please' and be happy with it, I'd be playing all day at 0.5mm increments if I had my way :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Mike said:

 

Fair. This seems more like an opinion rather than fact, if anyone can confirm this to be the case? (no offence, but 'seems' and 'would think' sound speculative).

 

Unless you find someone who has done this exact modification, and I only know of people who have had their's dropped using software, any feedback is going to be speculative and based on opinion and my knowledge of the systems at play on a non-modified car. I make no reference to this being a fact.

 

9 minutes ago, Mike said:

 

Surely if the electronics assume it's at an incorrect height the compressor would keep running to try inflate the bags and burn out?

 

That is my point.

 

9 minutes ago, Mike said:

 

I thought the adjustable links method tricked a sensor rather than being a physical limitation on the height.

 

Maybe, I have no idea. I just know how easy it is with the correct software.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've read the links version being done on E61s, just couldn't find anything for F11s. I'd imagine the compressor would fail within a matter of minutes or hours if that were the case. I suppose 'easy' is subjective, I'd find it much more of a faff to find then drive to a specialist to sort it out for me vs going outside on my drive and undoing two bolts. Of the people you know who have done the ISTA method, did they do it themselves and could point me in the right direction on the software?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I lowered my F11 this year. Eibach springs up front, and for the rear I used an old laptop with INPA (running F** datasets) and a D-Can cable. I lowered the rear by 20mm, and it took about 30 seconds to do.

The cable I used was from Cableshack, and looking at their current offering, the K+Dcan switched cable is probably the closest to what I have (you just switch it to Dcan mode).

There are many ways to skin a rabbit here, e.g. with Enet cables & ISTA as mentioned above. But INPA and a DCan cable works perfectly well too.

I'm not that much of a tech guy, but I was able to follow instructions to install the Cableshack suite of products, then load the new F** datasets in there too. 

 

I had written a comment on the prospect of using shortened links, and about how the level of the car is determined only by those sensors - so if the car reaches its prescribed level, it stays there. But I don't know enough about it to definitively say one way of the other. The recognised way to lower by computer isn't much different though. There is a set existing level in the ECU. You compare this to the 'actual height'; for the actual height, you just insert (say) 20mm plus the level saved previously in the ECU. That way you're telling the car it's stitting 20mm too high, so it drops the level by 20mm - and leaves it there. This new level is written to the EEPROM of the ECU, so permanently saved. Once saved, the car drops immediately to the new level.

 

I have 12mm spacers on the rear of mine; but I am running BBS CK 8.5 x 18 alloys all round, so not a direct comparison to an OEM 19 inch wheel.

Edited by BFleming

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I bought my f11, with adjustable screws, to adjust hight from behind. Front was lowered 3 cm. First thing I did was buying standard springs for the front and adjusted the rear by 3 cm. Why, I felt every bump of the road. The standdard air spring cannot be lowered, without bumping on the endstop of the shock adsorber. You need then special air springs. I chose for increasing the hight of the car. Perfect now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
19 minutes ago, Goos said:

The standdard air spring cannot be lowered, without bumping on the endstop of the shock adsorber.

I'm not sure I agree with the generality of that statement. You can lower it moderately without any issues - like the 20mm I did. There's no compromised ride whatsoever. If you carry out extreme lowering, i.e. springs with a massive drop (or lower on the airbags massively), then I agree - it's the same on any car - you run out of travel on the shocks, and are siting on the bump stops.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×