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  1. #1
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    Yes | No

    Dilemma: Bilstein HD or Sachs OEM on my 97 528

    standard suspension.

    I just discovered my right front shock is leaking. For almost identical price I can get OEM Sachs with stoppers, spring pads, dust boots and strut mounts vs Bilstein HD (minus stoppers and dust boots-Bilstein comes with it). About $450 for either set up.

    I like Bilstein for their quality, but I also like the factory OEM ride feel.

    I've used search and read both sides of the aisle, but I'd appreciate some experiences with both.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts




  2. #2
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    Member No: 4328 jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    MikeMiller just answered almost the same question(

    in this months Roundel. If you want OEM ride get Sachs.
    Bilstein HD are better quality and a lot firmer than OEM. He also said not to overlook Koni which was between Sachs and Bilstein.
    Koni's have a softer ride than Bilstein that is a hugh improvement in performance over OE-type shocks.

    I really like my Koni FSD's.


  3. #3
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    Yes | No

    Jim, help me on something. I like Koni, but I'm

    confused which one to get here as I want to keep my OEM springs. I know it'd be better to get new springs as well, but it's a lot of money.
    http://www.koni-na.com/cat_search.cf...=14&submit.y=2



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  4. #4
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    Member No: 4328 jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev will become famous soon enough jimlev's Avatar
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    Yes | No

    I think you want the 6th one down, 2100 FSD kit (m

    BMW 97-03 5 series - E39 525i, 528i, 530i, including M-Technik, excluding EDC - 2100 FSD kit

    However it looks like you have to buy all 4.
    I think you were looking for just the fronts, right?

  5. #5
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    Yes | No

    Well, it does say that's designed to be used

    with Eibach lowering springs. If it was my 540, I may go that route, but not with 528. Thanks for your input.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  6. #6
    sktn77a
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    Yes | No

    Re: Dilemma: Bilstein HD or Sachs OEM on my 97 528

    If you want an OEM ride stay well clear of any Bilsteins! I replaced the OEMs with Bilstein HD on my E34 and it absolutely ruined the ride.

    Keith
    2001 530i 5sp

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    Yes | No

    glad I went with the Koni FSDs also


  8. #8
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    Re: Dilemma: Bilstein HD or Sachs OEM on my 97 528

    I've got Bilstein Sports and Eibach lowered springs on my '97 528i and love the combination. The Bilsteins do punch hard but I can live with it, they only get me bouncing when driving over bad corrigated roads at slow traffic speeds, other than that the combination is perfect for my taste.

    I've read were the Bilstein HD shocks are too harsh which looks like they would be as my non HD ones are just about right. I think with the lowering springs the travel is less so the shocks are less harsh. With the OEM springs you may be asking for a hammering as the shocks will be doing more work.

  9. #9
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    Yes | No

    According to Mike Miller (m)

    The HD's are recommended for use with original BMW springs.
    The Sports are for shorter, firmer aftermarket coil springs.

    So it sounds like the HD's have a bit softer ride than the Sports.

  10. #10
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    Yes | No

    (no subject)


  11. #11
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    Yes | No

    Check out Dinan's Koni offering...

    I understand that Dinan's Koni setup has a very good ride. I regret getting the Bilsteins HD and not getting the Dinan setup. There was a sale on these awhile back. Don't know if they're still on sale.

    I had very good results with the Bilstein HD on my 1978 530i but find them rather harsh in my 2000 528i with sport package. I miss the suppleness without compromising the handling. Definitely don't get Bilstein Sports as they're definitely more for track use.

  12. #12
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    Yes | No

    Update: Ordered Bilstein HD. I might regret it,

    but I've done a lot of reading and some people love them, some don't.
    My reasons:
    My spring height is within specs and Bilstein HD are designed to go with stock springs,
    Bilstein have high quality and it's unclear to me where current Sachs is made,
    I'm aware that Sachs gives OEM ride, but it seems it does deteriorate much faster then Bilstein,
    Most people have bad struts for a while and when they go stiffer strut, of course it's going to feel very different. It's all about indvidual opinion.
    I'll post an update after install.
    Nice thing about RMeuropean, if you spend $451+, you get free overnight shipping. My total was $452 for:
    2 struts, lower and upper spring pads, strut mounts with built in bearing and several different nuts.




    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  13. #13
    rwthomas1
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    Yes | No

    Re: Update: Ordered Bilstein HD. I might regret it,

    FWIW, I put Bilstein HD's in a MB I own. They were harsh, and other MB owners stated so, but they loosen/soften up a bit after 10-15K. I have 50K on the set in the MB and the ride is very nice now, composed, taut but not harsh like in the beginning. YRMV....
    RT

  14. #14
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    Yes | No

    I'm interested to hear your opinion on this...

    I'm due for struts/shocks on my non-sport setup. I'd like a bit more stiffness, but not to the point that it rattles lut my fillings. So, either Bilstein or Koni.
    Ed CT
    1998 528i (aka, best car I ever owned!)
    5-Speed
    Aspen Silver
    Aubergine Leather
    Zeckhausen CDV
    Nokia CK-7
    D-Con Cache on Fuel Pump Cover

  15. #15
    Horstl
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    Yes | No

    Re: Dilemma: Bilstein HD or Sachs OEM on my 97 528

    just my 2 cents:
    I run Bilsteins on all of my cars (323i E21, M3 E30, Audi A4) - they are quite ok when they are new.
    Over time and milage they tend to get very stiff and undriveable - I noticed this last WE on my A4 and rebuild the complete suspension then.

    This is one of the reasons (for me) that I replaced my stock Mtech suspension from my 530d E39 with stock shocks (Sachs Advantage) and not with Bilsteins.

    rgds

    Horst

  16. #16
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    98 528i, standard susp + Bilstein HD, I love it

    I am close to 50 years of age (if it means anything to you guys LOL), I have 98 528i, standard susp + Bilstein HD, I love it.
    I installed the Bilstein HD in Spet 2009 and love it everyday I drive to work for the last 18 months!

    Here is the DIY I wrote back in Spet 2009, delete "hyphens" to see it.Every single detail is included in the DIY:


    http://www.b---immerfest.com/forums/...d.php?t=399580

  17. #17
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    Re: 98 528i, standard susp + Bilstein HD, I love it

    Actually, I have your link saved up and you're one of the reasons I went with Bilstein. Feel free to take that as a compliment. I've done few write ups, but they don't even start to compare to yours, JimLev's, Euro's and few others.

    Hats off to you and I'd be honored to help you out if chance ever arises. I've also did secondary air pump replacement, thanks to your write up and I mentioned you deserve the credit for it.

    Thanks again and I'll post an update when all's done.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  18. #18
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    Re: I'm interested to hear your opinion on this...

    Will do. As you can see, some hate it, some love it. Make sure your springs are still OK. I have a feeling that many negative comments are comming when people are reusing allready tired springs and then the stifness of strut is even more apperent. This is just a guess, as I'm not expert on the subject.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  19. #19
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    Re: Update: Ordered Bilstein HD. I might regret it,

    That's exactly what I expect to happen. I don't understand when people say it get's worse over time. The only thig I can think of, springs loose the original rebound and then strut does more work, making it people think it's to stiff strut. Thanks for the feedback.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



  20. #20
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    Yes | No

    Re: Dilemma: Bilstein HD or Sachs OEM on my 97 528

    Thanks for the feedback. As I mentioned in some of my other responses, is it possible that your springs are degraded to a point where strut does more work making it stiffer ride. It should be the opposite, ride should get softer?
    Anyway, I don't question your experience as I never had any experience with Bilstein and it seems you had plenty.



    1998 BMW 540i 6 speed
    Arctic silver, M sport suspension (euro delivery), prod. date 05/98, non VANOS
    Staggered 18" style 32 OEM wheels
    3.15 open differential
    Remus exhaust
    AFE CAI with improved heat shield
    Z3 shifter
    VDO oil pressure and temperature gauges in place of headlight/fog switches
    Powder coated valve covers-satin black
    CDV delete
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module (aftermarket daytime running lights)

    1997 BMW 528iA
    Alpine white, premium package, prod. date 04/97, single VANOS
    Staggered 17" style 32 OEM wheels
    Debadged
    AEA DRL module
    Custom made sun blinds for rear seating area

    2000 Nissan Frontier Desert Runner, AKA "The Work Horse"

    Garage aids:
    Direct Lift Pro Park 8
    Campbell Hausfeld 28 gallon oil lubricated air compressor
    Newair ACP-1400H portable air conditioner and heater
    Auto Enginuity scan tool with BMW enhanced option
    Actron 9135 scan tool-for quick readouts



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