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Suspension saga....

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Not much happening on the M5 section so thought I would detail a little story about my suspension (replacement) journey.


So 2019, car on 105k miles and front shocks are shot.  What to do? I  read up all the forums/advice and so forth and decide to go non OEM.  Perceived wisdom was Bilstein B8s and maybe OEM springs, maybe not.  I go for the Bilsteins and new OEM springs.  


From day one I hated it.  Terrible, bouncy ride.  Car sat too high.   So, after more research I decided the springs were to blame and that the best combination was the Bilsteins with Intrax springs.   So, after six months, off came the OEM springs and on went the Intrax.  Problem from day one was a  metal clang going over a bump.  The springs didn't seem to be able to take the weight of the car.  The people doing the work said they had been surprised the springs didn't have padding around the top section which would be the norm on their usual recommended Eiback springs. Anyway, they sourced some padding and retro-fitted it round the Intrax ones. 


Yes, I have had a beer tonight...:P   


So, combo of Bilstein B8 and Intrax with added padding was OK, maybe better than  OK.....but only if I was on nice smooth roads.  Nice smooth roads are a rarity where I live (London) but I have tolerated them throughout the last year or so. On uneven road surfaces my fillings moved.


A few weeks ago I took the car to an independent car guru I use as the driver seat had developed the dreaded BMW seat twist (look it up if you are not familiar!). That he fixed, thankfully, but he asked if I had noticed that the rear springs had virtually collapsed. The top section was sitting on itself. In effect it was not working.  


I had done no more than 1500 miles since it was fitted. Intrax springs do not appear to be able to take the weight in an M5 even when driven gently by an elderly gent (moi).


So, I have now bought via Cotswold BMW OEM suspension shocks x 4  (£1k) and still have the virtually new BMW springs. They will be fitted hopefully next week when my man returns from his holiday in Cyprus. If only I had done this from the outset and saved myself several £££s. Hopefully the ride will be more as I remember when I bought the car in 2006.


I will let you know....


thanks for reading, if you got this far!  



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Sorry to hear this tale of woe. Very frustrating!


I went the totally OE route when replacing my suspension, though didn't replace the springs since I work on the principle that the they get replaced every second damper change.


Just make sure your garage people seat the springs - and align the dampers correctly left & right respectively - as shown in my posting on the M5board: https://www.m5board.com/threads/spring-orientation-relative-to-strut-perch.291233/#post-5836105


Specifically, this piece of advice from Sachs:-




Edited by DepthHoar

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Great. Thanks for the advice which I will be sure to pass on. 


The guy who will do the work did say it was a shame I didn't still have the old springs as they probably wouldn't have needed replacing and new ones will make the car sit quite high for a while. Unfortunately the original ones were disposed of by the garage who did the refurb a couple of years ago.  


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UPDATE: Back on OEM suspension.


Now fitted, Hunter aligned and totally transformed. The car is sitting a little higher particularly the front (I think it looks fine and apparently it will settle a bit) but the ride is much smoother and more comfortable especially over uneven surfaces, of which we have plenty in London.  I really feel like I have my BMW back! 


The Bilstein B8s I had fitted were fine on perfectly smooth roads but I found them to be too firm and the car unsettled on poor roads. The B8 and Intrax spring combination came recommended on several forums but the springs seemed incapable of handling the weight and lost any spring after less than two years and 4k miles.


It's taken a while and too many £££s but lesson learned - by and large stick with what BMW originally thought was best for their car!


The springs will probably go in the bin but the four B8s will be advertised here if I manage to sort out getting my membership upgraded. Admin have been emailed.


I am not sure what they might be worth. They have done no more than 4k miles and cost around £700 two years ago. Any thoughts on what would be a fair price?








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