Suspension replacement questions?
Alright, I've been asking a lot of questions and it's because I want to do everything to my car all at once. Suspension is probably what I know least about and is one of my larger concerns. I know the two major companies that have good reputations are Bilstein and Eichbach; I just don't really know what all I need to replace for a sportier ride and lower ride height. Are the shocks and springs the only things that I need to replace when it comes to re-doing the suspension? I'm not really interested in sway bars so we can rule that out, but what else goes with the suspension? Any help appreciated. Thanks guys
you can do a good service on the suspension
by replacing all spherical bearing bushings. most of it will be toast anyway, front and rear. Lots of them on the rear and all garbage by this time unless very low mileage (under 40k) and/or kept in a coldish environment. Heat kills them more then mileage.
a front and rear CSI sway bar is not a bad idea, not sure why you object them. inexpensive (fairly) and makes the car handle better without compromising the ride quality.
a front upper control arm bushing might be also toast, check that too while in there.
Bilstein is a good name although the quality imho isn't as good as most people think. I personally had lots of trouble with them and others too on the E39 and E39 M5 board.
Also their customer service isn't up to the level of their prices. If I would have to do it all over, I'm not sure if I'd go with Bilsteins.
Eibach is good as far as springs. H&R made a mistake on the E31 by doing the rear springs too soft, but what you can do is to cut the oem spring off by a full perch and using H&R fronts only.
a front camber plate is a good tool to dial in the cornering but since you don't want the sway bars already, that is not necessary then. Both of them helps raising the cars cornering ability only.
do it step by step to see the progress. if you do all mods at once and the end result isn't what you wanted, you will not know what killed that ride. <a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=8969"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=56726KDZYN&i=8969" border="0"></a>
1997 BMW 840CiA
1990 BMW Z1
1999 BMW 528iT (Hauler mobile)
2002 Astro Van AWD
2003 Nissan 350Z Enthusiast Package
1987 BMW 535i with 5spd manual (for sale)
1992 BMW 735iL (needs head and interior)
1977 BMW 320i (project racecar)
2007 Mazda CX9 AWD (Wife mobile)
1998 Yamaha Blaster+Breeze
1995 850CSI CD00177 (SOLD)
Re: you can do a good service on the suspension
Hey Laszlo, thanks for the info; I'm not sure what some of the things are though. I know what the upper control arms are and that bushings attatch to them, but I'm not sure of what spherical bearing bushings are, or how many of them I'd need to replace. What is a camber plate?
Also, your sentence "but what you can do is to cut the oem spring off by a full perch and using H&R fronts only." Yeah I dont know what any of that means.
Lastly, one of my larger concerns is that I'm looking to put 18" wheels on my car but I dont want to lower the ride and have the wheels look too large or unproportional on the car. Any suggestions?
Thanks for the responce and your help
Judging by your questions, you're gonna spend $$
Nothing wrong with that, just make sure you find someone you can trust to do the work so you don't get hosed. There is tons of info in the archives and just as many opinions. Front camber plates (fixed or adjustable) are to dial in some negative camber on the front to allow better turn-in. FWIW, I'm running Bilstein/H&R/Gen II K-Bar & Adj camber plate setup on mine with no issues whatsoever. The "K" stuff is no longer available but Laszlo's recommendation of the CSi sway bars is a good one. If you want a sample of how things look before & after, I offer mine:
Bone stock with 16's
<a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=71085h1fBA&i=14699"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=71085h1fBA&i=14699" border="0"></a>
Modified (lowered) with 18's
<a href="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=71085h1fBA&i=14700"><img src="http://mydrive.roadfly.com/photos/pic.php?u=71085h1fBA&i=14700" border="0"></a>
I guess the 18's keep the snow away too...
That was an expensive option, but worth it ;-)
Re: Suspension replacement questions?
If you have an early 850 without the x brace, the csi sways won't fit anyway.you would need to look elsewhere. The heavier swaybars were by far, the best 500 buck mod i've done to my car. this pic is a good example - it takes our cars, away from that "Jake and the fatman" sort of handling. 8^) the sways just stop the leaning and gives the car a flat ride in the corners.
with the choices of aftermarket springs, none really slam the car too low and 18" wheels will look/fit fine with any of the choices that are out there. If your shocks are good,why not try the eibach springs. its less than an 1" drop and has a decent spring rate. I have EDC and went with csi springs (very high spring rate) as i heard you can blow the edc struts and they are pricey to replace. Personally if i do it again, I will be going with eibach next time for the drop in ride height.
ps- Laz's post refered to having a complete circle of spring - cut from your stock springs . this gives you the drop in ride height and increases the spring rate. though for 320 bucks you can buy new eibach or csi springs and keep your old stock ones,just in case you want to change back- or ??
Re: Judging by your questions, you're gonna spend $$
I do like the look of yours with the 18's, so I guess the fear of the wheels looking unproportional to the car are gone; but what products did you get from bilstein and h&r? I'm guessing that the gen II K-bar is a sway bar? I'm still a little confused on the camber plate thing or even where to get one or who makes them. Are those all the things that you did to your suspension? Did you do upper control arms or anything else? Bushings?
Re: Suspension replacement questions?
Hey Walt, thanks for the info. So eibach springs are good to go with. What about a good replacement for the shocks? I have a 1991 850 so I'm guessing that the CSi sways are out of the question. Could you reccommend a good brand of sway bars that would fit (I know I said I wasn't interested in sway bars, but with all the input I think I've changed my mind?) What are spherical bearing bushings? Where are they? Why should they be replaced?
Vvhat .. you saving commrad 8^)....
it take a few seconds for the site to open. its an old russian link but it should say "shame on you or WTF were you thinking ..heheh,
front end completely rebuilt 5 years ago, as well
as adding Bilstein sport shocks and H&R springs on all 4 corners. K-Bars are indeed sway bars (with a storied past, don't ask). For a quick reference, info on the camber plates available here . Make sure whoever does your suspension does it properly. You just don't "bolt stuff on".
Yeah, saw the pic. hence the wtf. :-)
DAMN IT Walt!! You made me throw up again...
Camber plates are $330 by the time you
get them sent over the pond. Check Gerry's ebay listing: $180 for the plates and £100 for shipping (that is $148!!!)- glad I got mine before the price explosion.
ahh... the rare swaybars...
The only place i know that are still making them is Kmac, at a price.. (years back we had a group buy at a cost of 500.00 for the set, made here in N. America.)
Kmac wants 460.00 per bar. see here
still a great mod and a decent price.. but it should be cheaper imho.i guess exclusivity costs 8^)
as far as struts go - (as with most aftermarket mod's for our cars) we have very few choices.
do you have EDC in your car? (S/K mode switch on your console) you have oem for replacement only. (that i'm aware of)
for struts - bilstien and oem - though folks have repeatedly tried to get koni and the likes, to make us some custom valved struts. i am unaware of any headway made in this area.
As far as sperical bushing -i think Laz might be refering to upper and lower control arms that are a common replacement due to wearing out. (we have heavy cars)
When your on a board like this one, you have to be careful what you ask as what can "they recommend" to replace or upgrade on the suspension. as the folks here can recommend alot of replacements - bushings , boots ,and mounts. the rear end has a whack of bushings. and alot of the folks here have replaced them as well.Alot of time and $$ spent into their mistress. 8^)
Hope this helps, Walt
Nope; camber plates are $200 shipped. They ship
from the US now, to avoid the lunatic postage from the UK. I'm handling order fulfillment for Gerry, since I send out HIR bulb orders of my own every day anyway. Payment is by Paypal, directly to Gerry using "[email protected]" as the Paypal send-to address. This way, he gets paid for his product at the time it's sold, and the buyer gets same-day shipping. I believe there are several sets of camber plates here now, ready to go, along with many other e31 items.
but you told Mark to get them from Ebay site ???->
he almost went and did it, until he saw the outrageous shipping.
I am just going to copy mine for him - $22 in materials...
you can use front bar from
an e32 sport - you'll still need to grab the kmac for the rear though. I lucked out and found a hartge rear bar on the 'bay to pair with my e32 sport bar and it's been a great combination.
Who? To clarify, I never recommend that anyone
buy anything off of ebay, including my own customers. Gerry posts his stuff on ebay because it's a necessary evil for anyone trying to market a niche product. They rape you on commissions and fees. What I tell buyers is to use Paypal to buy items from Gerry directly, not to actually buy off his ebay page. Simply send him a paypal payment and a note telling him what you want; no need to checkout through ebay. The ebay listing is just there as a reference for prices; maybe the prices are also on his regular web site, not sure. Perhaps this method needs a bit of refinement?
Gerry's business is separate from mine, and I don't accept payment for his products. His prior distribution model ran into some problems, so I offered to help him with shipping his stuff from the US. I add a modest handling fee ($15 first item, $5 per additional item)to cover my time. Shipping is at actual cost, generally by USPS priority mail, and usually the same day payment is confirmed. If you have questions about shipping cost on multiple items, email me. There are times when Gerry can't answer emails, plus the time difference, so I'm available for pricing questions generally.