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Suspension Advice

Discussion in 'E39 (1997-2003)' started by jnaustin, Jun 11, 2009.

    jnaustin guest

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    This 2000 E39 540 is aging well (150K +) but I think what it needs are springs.

    I had the original shocks replaced at 120K with the Bilstein HDs. I guess these are fine but the ride height increased after they were installed. Consequently, the alignment cannot be perfected - there is a slight undesirable negative camber in the front.

    I am considering some H&R springs to drop the overall height which would have the intended effect of looking nicer and allowing for some more aggressive camber in the front and possibly a more level rear end. Is it worth considering new (different) shocks at this time as well?

    Any experience out there with this kind of modification? I've had thrust arm bushings recently done with some heavy duty part from Bavarian Auto. They seem to be a good improvement over the stock piece.
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    granthr

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    H&R sport springs should be used with bilstien sprot shocks. They dampen about the same, but the sport shocks are shorter to go along with the shorter springs. I have H&R sport springs and bilstein sports on my 318i. I love the setup, much stiffer than stock. We will notice a more aggressive camper in front and rear. At least I did on my E30.

    jnaustin guest

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    so with the HDs, the shock is essentially always a little damped when you install the shorter springs? Couldn't be enough to have any serious deleterious effects could it?
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    granthr

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    You could end up bottoming out the shock on a regular basis, which would probably destroy them. I don't know about other damage to the car. But I don't have experience with this. All I know is that H&R recommends the sport shocks with their sport springs. Maybe someone else can speak to this or call Turner Motorsport and see what they say. They sell these products.
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    espcane

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    On our 528i e39 we are running Konis with Bav Auto springs in the rear and BMW Sport Package springs in the front. We ended up going with this setup as the front got extremely low and my parents use this car when they are in town for vacations. I don't have any good pictures but the front tires are tucked under the wheelarch and in the rear they are just about at the wheel arch. I have run Bilstein Sports and HR springs on a few other cars, e46s and e36s and was always happy with the ride quality, ride height, and performance.

    One thing that troubles me with your original post is that you state you ended up with more negative camber after the ride height increased, if anything I would think your camber would have become more positive. On the e39 now I am rotating tires pretty regularly as we have alot of negative camber front and rear. We are running all season Contis and I would easily estimate the tread life is about 1/2 of what we would see under factory camber values.
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    CRKrieger

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    Since when is slight negative camber in front undesirable!? :confused:
    "More aggressive camber"? What's that? In my book, it's negative and, quite simply, it's what you generally get when you lower the front end of any BMW. I think you need to do some brushing up on what camber is and what it does before jumping into suspension modifications with which you may very well be dissatisfied.

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