In Reply to: (dare I ask it ?) Suspension (again) posted by Dragos on July 30, 2001 at 20:38:10:
Welcome back and just read the archives :o)
Suspension is an entirely personal preference. I had Bilstein Sports with H&R springs on my dearly departed '90 525i and my Fiance thought they were too harsh. I personally loved the ride, but she prefers the stock ride of my new 5'er even to her 325is. She is due for a lot of suspension work as well and I am planning on doing Bilstein Tourings all around with the stock springs since she likes comfort over a stiff ride. Stock springs will rarely deteriorate enough where you need to replace them, most people do it for the aggressive look and for the sportier handling. Personally, I plan to go the Bilstein Sport/H&R route again when it comes time for me to do the suspension on my 5er, but that doesn't work for everyone. I would bite the bullet and do all four shocks at once. As for springs, I would find a couple locals that have done suspension work and go for a ride with them to see if you like the way performance springs feel. They are definatly not for everyone. But, you will have to remove the springs anyway so why not replace them while you are in there if you want new ones.
As for Control arms, my '92 still has the factory ones and they are Aluminum. To be honest I cannot tell a difference between them and the steel ones that were on my '90. In short, as long as they are OEM I doubt you will notice a difference on what you have on there, but your bank account will :o)
I would assume that a shop would charge you around 4-6 hours labor to do the shocks. Although you can do them in an afternoon if you are moderatly handy with a wrench. It really is not that difficult of a job. If you are paying somebody to do it, I would have the Control arms done as well at the same time. Good luck in your decision.
'92 525i -- UUC'd
Finally reached the point where the susp will have to undergo surgery. I've read thousands of web sites, part catalogs, archive posts and I am still unclear.
I thought I'd post this question again, so please ignore it rather than sending me back to the archives.
Q: Should I replace the springs too ? (The plan was to replace only the front shocks, then it dawned on me to replace all of them)
Q: My shimmies are rather of the transversal type (ie, when cornering on bumpy surface, nothing under braking or acceleration). Should I replace both arms ? Are aluminum ones much lighter than the steel ones ?
Q: What would be a reasonable labor estimation ? (I read individual times on Bruno's site, but their sum is definitely not the correct answer)
Please reply privately if there is no public interest.
The Bavarian patient in question is a 93 535i 5spd, 98k mi most likely on original parts.