BMWLOVER

New Suspension

8 posts in this topic

Morning All,

So after having my exhaust done back in January I thought the next thing on the list for the 28 was to do the shock absorbers and springs. Bar having a pair of rear shocks in 2000 the suspension damping was original from what I could make out. I wanted a firmer ride with a slight drop in ride height, I didnt want an useable car.

After many hours of reading various threads on here with what you guys had tried it would seem bilstien b6 were a common choice dispite being steep in price! Eibach no longer produce springs for the 28 so next best was H&R. Also after having a chat with Splondike when he paid me a vist down at Fast Road Conversions made my mind up.

Cheapest place I could find the shocks from was Demon Tweeks Direct eBay site, free postage compared to there website which wanted a lot due to the weight of 4 shocks. The springs I ordered through Amazon for about £80 cheaper than anywhere else, this including coming from Germany!

The springs arrived in under a week after giving an estimated arrive time over 3 weeks so very impressed with that and the shocks arrived within the week so all ready for the weekend ;)

Couldn't wait so attacked the car on Friday 28th March!

The front came apart easily except having to heat the top retaining thread that holds the shock in. The shocks that came out were knackered! The shocks must have been leaking for years, I could pour the fluid out of the strut. The bilstien front insterts came with new threaded locks and protection tubes. The rear shocks had circlip height adjustment in 3 levels but the instructions recommend level 2 for e28's

I also replaced all the top mounts and rear protection tubes with genuine parts.

Initially couldnt see a difference in height but after a short drive to settle everything down I think it sits at a perfect height for me. At the moment the 17" BBS are off in pieces being referbed slowly so ive borrowed my dads TRXs from his e34 tourer.

The overall drive of the car now is incredible! The ride is very similar to my dads e61 m sport, firm but not a killer. Big potholes need to be avoided too! The car doesnt wonder anymore either and I have much more confidence in pushing it. The front is firmer than the rear so you have alot more grip before the back steps out but it can still be encouraged with a heavy foot ;)

I would recommend to anyone looking for a firmer ride and a much more direct and poised car but still retaining the comfort.

Next on the list is unrated brakes, im after 4 pot 8 series brembos but seems to be rare as hens teeth! How do people find single piston E34 M5 calipers or 8 series single piston?

Also anyone down south east way (im Rochester, Kent) fancy meeting up? Still need to meet you guys and see your fine machines!

post-31751-0-58596900-1397824389_thumb.j before

post-31751-0-56768900-1397824401_thumb.j after

Thanks for reading!

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Glad the suspension work has made such a big difference, it'll be interesting to see what effect re-fitting the 17s will have.

 

As for brakes, I went for E32 740i discs and calipers all round which made a big difference over standard.  I run DOT 5 fluid but standard pads for the road.  Track days just mean a simple pad swap although on my last outing at Castle Combe I left the road pads in; absolutely spot on all day with no fade.  Advantage of these is they are not that much heavier than the standard discs and calipers (unsprung weight), the front to rear bias is the same and I was able to keep the same master cylinder with an excellent pedal feel. 

 

Good looking car BTW.

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it looks good! exactly how i want mine to sit.

bilsteins are superb, had them on the rally car for a few years now and cant fault them.

So billies and H&R it is!

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Good looking car. Correct me if I'm wrong, but when you fit the front shocker in the tube, aren't you supposed to fill it to the top with oil before you screw the top back on to prevent corrosion and to stop water getting in? 

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@ATOHT - thanks for your comments and feedback. Are the e32 740i brakes same as the e34 540i brakes? When you say you notice an overall difference over standard, do you have better feel through the pedal? Feel more confident on the brakes? I know the brake set up is different anyway between a 535i and 525e but I wouldnt say the brakes were terrible on my car but the pedal genrally feels 'dead' and doesnt leave me with much confidence! I do know who ever owned it before put new pads on waffer thin discs so they have to go haha!

@alan1272 - in my mind thats how I picture I wanted my car to sit so extremely happy with the out come. Would recommend all day long just steap in price! But you get what you pay for.

@Goldsoul - honestly dont know, ive never heard of having to do this before...... I can see where your coming from to prevent corrosion etc but mine were definitely not filled, might of had 50-100ml in them and it smelt like leaking shock! Would be interesting if someone else also knows of this.....

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I believe the brakes are the same for the 740 and 540 but check the part numbers on realOEM.com to be sure.  In answer to your other Qs: Yes, but that is probably down to the stainless braided lines more than the actual discs/calipers; definately feel more through the pedal but most important is the confidence I have knowing I can 'stand on them' and repeat standing on them for many times without the loss of feel - for example a track day!

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Just re-checked my references about the point with the oil in the strut housing. BMW say........

 

Fill new shock absorber with engine oil prior to installing. Engine oil will carry off heat from shock absorber to the spring strut tube. (this applies to basic oil filled struts only)

 

If the struts are of the gas type then BMW advise against filling the strut tube with engine oil. 

 

Hope this helps.

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You only put a couple of table spoons of oil in the strut. The big advantage is that it helps to keep the big nut lubricated. If you overfill them you get a bit oozing out which makes it look like the insert has failed. I've got my excellent MOT tester educated on this point now!

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