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  1. #1
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    looking for inexpensive suspension

    I have an x5 2001 3.0 w/ self leveling & sport suspension

    Since paying 2.5k for new shocks & struts is not an option for me (dealer prices), I am looking for more reasonably priced shocks & struts.

    I am told KYB make a front shock/strut assembly that works on my car, but nothing from the rear.

    I see on some parts websites that 'oes genuine' makes rear shocks that are claimed to work w/ '2-axle self-leveling'.

    Can someone please either confirm the above, or recommend parts that will work with my car & suspension.

    Thanks!


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    How many miles?

    I have a 2001 4.4 sport with 190k miles and recently had to replace the rear air bags and shocks. I took it to an indy and he supposedly got BMW air bladders for half what the dealer wanted, and, I'm almost embarrassed to say, I bought Monroe shocks for $80 each. I doubt they will last long, but they seem fine so far, 10,000 miles later. Just make sure they get the ones for rear only self leveling.

    The fronts seem fine, so far. Too darn expensive to replace anyway.

    Good luck!

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    Re: looking for inexpensive suspension


    I just replaced an air strut with one of these, very Nice unit, Life time warrentee
    Remanufactured OEM
    Took @ 30 minutes to change in my garage.
    $299.00 and free shipping
    Call them they are great



    http://www.arnottindustries.com/part_BMW_Air_Suspension_Parts_yid21_pid137_gid533. html

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    Re: How many miles?

    135k. I went to a few mechanics that swear up & down that the only parts available are dealer parts... Crooks!

    Glad to hear the monroe shocks work/fit. Ashamed, are you kidding me? It's an air piston & nothing else, it's just not that fancy of an item! Thanks for the lead I'll try the monroes on the rear.

    BTW, FYI: I exchanged emails w/ KYB tech. It went like this:

    "Hi, I need shocks & struts for a 2001 bmw x5 3.0i. It has both the sport suspension, & self-leveling suspension. I am not sure if your products will work with these features. Can you please help me to determine if you have products that will work for this car."

    "Yes for the front struts, but no on the rear leveling units."

    "Which part specificlly is that for the front struts?"

    "334924 & 334925"

    And the KYB front struts are probably less than BMW's.

    As far as 'air bags' I don't know if mine need replacing. Is that separate from the air piston (shock) assembly, or are they integrated? (this would explain BMW's high price).

  5. #5
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    Re: looking for inexpensive suspension

    Thanks for the info & link. I will look into it. Looks like it's front only. KYB makes those as well.

    No special tools required to replace them yourself?

  6. #6
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    Re: How many miles?

    The air bag is beside the shock. It gets old and dries out and cracks. Most need it by about this age. Mine went down one day and it was barely driveable. The spring by itself will hardly keep the frame off the axle. They are not terribly expensive at an indy. Lots of cars have them, easy replacement. Easier than a shock. Maybe they will give you a break on labor or price if you ask them to do them at the same time.

  7. #7
    robertplattbell
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    Replacing Struts


    Pelicanparts has some pretty good prices on suspension parts. I am shopping for a whole new suspension for an E36. Not sure about the E53.

    Replacing a strut is not for the faint of heart. You'll need more than a Craftsman socket set for this one. You will need spring compression tools if you are removing the spring from the strut (Do the air suspensions have springs?) You can seriously injure yourself trying to take a strut out if the spring lets loose.

    The pix below show the work needed to replace the struts on my old SHO. It will give you an idea of the labor involved. Air tools really make this a lot easier.

    But ask your indy mechanic what he'd charge. Chances are, it ain't a lot.

    And of course, you'll likely have to get an alignment done once it is all over. So you'll have to take it to a shop anyway, most likely, unless you are really careful and put everything back perfectly.

    Good Luck!

  8. #8
    robertplattbell
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    Glad I don't have self-levelling!


    Seriously, I fail to understand the point of this feature. We load a camper trailer on this thing, weigh it down with hundreds of pounds of stuff, and it barely sags in the back. Maybe an inch, tops.

    I mean, it ain't like Daddy's 66 Impala Wagon, which scraped the ground when you loaded it.

    Does it really make the car drive better? Or is it just another expensive nightmare to fix later on?

  9. #9
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    Don't you have air shocks on yor other car?


  10. #10
    robertplattbell
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    Which car?


    Which car? I have six. No wait, sold the Willys. Five.

    I added aftermarket air bags to my pickup truck to tow a fifth wheel.

    They sort of worked. If I had it to do again, I would have bought a bigger truck.

    If they go low on air, the bags crease and then leak at the crease.

    And if the pressure wasn't just right, the ride was pretty bad.

    I am just wondering why they have self-leveling at all on the X5 (was it a land rover part, like descent control? A friend of mine had that on his land rover and it never worked right).

    Even fully loaded, these cars don't sag much. I fail to see the problem that requires such a complex and expensive solution, other than a marketing problem ("we have self-leveling suspension, too!").

    I am sure it is the cat's arse and all, but I can safely say I load my X5 more than most, and have never needed it.

    In fact, it would be a PITA towing a trailer with a load distributing hitch, I think.

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