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AndytheAussie

Touring rear suspension - air for spring swap

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It certainly can be done, there was a thread on here recently with a link to an ebay kit to change it over, however i think the conclusion was that you could buy the bits a fair degree cheaper than the kit!

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I found a post elsewhere on the internet covering this. I just googled it again and it's no longer available, but is cached so I copied and pasted the text below. I haven't done this myself so have no idea how accurate the write up is, but the part numbers seem to stack up.......

Fitting Coil Spring In Place Of SLS On A BMW E39

before stating

You will need

Eibach Pro-Kit Touring E39 E2061-140 Lowers about 30mm all round

SPRING PAD LOWER x2 33531093785

SPRING PAD UPPER x2 33531093786

Cover x2 33531093787

Spring compressors

Socket set

Spanner set

General tools i.e. screwdrivers

Unplug the power to the air pump!!!!

Jack the car up and remove the wheel

Remove the small air line a bit to let the rest of the air escape and both sides

(High pressure air can be very dangerous be very careful)

When all air is removed release the black clip to remove the whole brass fitting

Then remove the spring retaining clips to release the top of the old spring

Then remove the bolt from the bottom, holding the bottom of the spring in place

Remove the long bolt holding the damper on to help movement in the wishbone/trailing arm to help replacement

With the spring removed put the lower spring mount in place it just pushes in

New spring and mounts

Fit upper mount in place

And hold in place with a spare socket in the top that’s big enough it doesn’t fall though

I used ratchet straps to compress the spring as I couldn’t get spring compressors in

(This is very dangerous and I don’t recommend this but was easier)

If you a struggling remove more components to make more space

Spring in place just removing the straps

New spring in place put the cap in the holes inside the boot I also put a foam pad to help dampen noise

Put it all back to gather put wheel back do both sides the front springs as well

For fitting the front spring seek a motoring guide designed for the car to get the overall lowered look

I have removed the air pump and its air line if you have a ramp you could remove the reservoirs and lines or cut off and blank off in the boot

Now the SLS Lamp will be on all the time now I have taken the cluster out and removed the LED that is solder to the cluster long nose pliers it is not a separate bulb are there is info on the net about shorting out a pin in the loom for turning the light out

LEGAL DISCLAIMER: I am in no way responsible for any damage you may inflict on your car. If you decide to perform this procedure, you are doing so at your own risk.

If you have any problems seek help from a competent mechanic.

i have attach a word doc with the how to with pics

just 2 things the Eibach is made for tourers dont get kits that use the front springs and expect you the electronicly lower the rear the apex kit i order 1st was basicly for the saloon and on ebay there are people sell springs for the touring but thay are for the saloon i rang one 1st to try and just get rear springs and thay was miles too big just some bit to watch out for and i got my springs from euro car parts very helpfull guys

i have now taken the sensors off and the wiring in the boot out with the control box nice and clean in the boot now

i couldent find anyone who had done it and bmw are not intrested and told my i needed new rear subframe and if i unpluged the pump the car would shut down but in my case now problem at all

If any one needs help just email me or needs help im in the north west

hope this is helpfull and just thought i would shere it with people

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Thanks for that sixer...

Off that and googling the part numbers I've found a few write ups about it on e39's and x5's

So armed with the confidence of that I've ordered all the bits today

Full eibach spring kit from Demon Tweeks and the genuine spring pads from Kev at Cotswolds BMW

My Cost is less than £250 in bits and will fit the rears up this weekend to get my ass of the floor....

Will report back on how it goes

If I get lucky I can sell air compressor on eBay and get some money back but slim chance

Andy

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I almost fitted the springs which came with my Apex coilover kit last month, but I couldn't get them in without undoing the arm bolts so didn't bother - my bags are still fine. Apex kit was £450 for all springs and shocks by the way...

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let us know how you get on. I have not probs with teh airsprings so will leave mine well alone; its never going to handle like an sports car, its a 1.75tonne tourer!!

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All done and all good

Feels good - not to stiff at all - as said its no sports car - to me this was a sensible thing to do cost wise...

Easy job - done in 2 hours for the first side and about an hour for the second

Little cheat for the hardest bit - which is compressing the spring / getting the hub to full droop was to just disconnect the shock and then the BMW jack will sit very nicely on top of the rear caliper and placing the top on the chassis rail above and gently wind her up until I had space to gently manhandle the spring in with a little prybar...

Easy way to do it as a one man job without spring compressors

All in all - well worth it for me as front springs n shocks want doing as well and I'll never have the drama of an airbag failure again - I was lucky I was close to home - if I had of been on an outing somewhere there would if been an expensive tow bill to deal with also.

Thanks for the info above

Andy

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I looked into this when i was having problems with mine but couldn't really get enough info and a definite 'yes sir this is the kit you need to completely do the conversion' so persevered with sorting the problems which i did in the end. Surprising to me how few people have done this given the age the cars are now. I believe bmw offered steel suspension as an option in certain markets so yes it can be done.

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All done and all good

Feels good - not to stiff at all - as said its no sports car - to me this was a sensible thing to do cost wise...

Easy job - done in 2 hours for the first side and about an hour for the second

Little cheat for the hardest bit - which is compressing the spring / getting the hub to full droop was to just disconnect the shock and then the BMW jack will sit very nicely on top of the rear caliper and placing the top on the chassis rail above and gently wind her up until I had space to gently manhandle the spring in with a little prybar...

Easy way to do it as a one man job without spring compressors

All in all - well worth it for me as front springs n shocks want doing as well and I'll never have the drama of an airbag failure again - I was lucky I was close to home - if I had of been on an outing somewhere there would if been an expensive tow bill to deal with also.

Thanks for the info above

Andy

I am trying to install the springs by myself and I even lowered the sub frame a bit but still could not get the springs in.

 

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You need spring compressors...................

 

I recently bought an E39 Touring for parts with the usual wanked rear suspension. In order to move it around I fired a couple of redundant Vauxhall Zafira springs in there - they went in okay and whilst not really suitable to actually drive the car on, the back sat up about right.

 

I dislike air suspension, an expensive pain in the bum when it goes wrong (and it will). I recall buying an old E34 520i touring to move house with a few years ago - that had standard coil suspension and I did three trips from Oxford to Notts in one day with the car absolutely rammed with stuff and don't recall any issues. 

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Does anyone have any pictures? I have a spring compressor but it cannot go in with the spring. These are the right springs from Turner Motorsport. Need help please

 

 

Hi,

Have you unbolted the shock absorber?

Cheers,

Gavin :)

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I agree with the handling but I was able to complete the swap without a spring compressor and it was easy. I used the OEM jack. I also did not need to change the front springs since my car had the sport suspension. Now rear suspsnsion trouble free for a looooonng time.

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It handles so much better, my mechanic had an nightmare with every bolt completely seized but was fairly simple according to him just time consuming,

I need to change the front tyres to a bigger profile so it fills the gap a tad better

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