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BMW E60 M Sport Suspension ROUGH!!!

Old 12-04-2018, 04:40 PM
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Unhappy BMW E60 M Sport Suspension ROUGH!!!

Hello,
I have been feeling pretty depressed as of late with the M sports suspension installed on my 2006 530i SE suspension, it was changed due to the fact that it had been very worn out and soft and downright dangerous at some points on the highway. It started to rattle over bumps and I believe it was because the shocks were too soft for the springs at 240,000km. Now my M sport suspension has been installed and it feels sooooo harsh that it hurts to drive in comparison to the floaty soft drive. I drove my friends AMG C63 507 which was even stiffer on 19" rims and I still couldn't get used to it without going 5x the speed limit.
I also have had numerous people drive the car, my mom who drives a 2015 Ford Explorer with Sports suspension on 20" rims (Stiff Feel for me) and she said my car was a treat to drive, My friend who has an Audi on coilovers who said mine was "so soft". I couldn't believe what they were saying, so I booked an appointment with my local BMW dealership and which they were fantastic until they realized I wasn't actually buying anything LOL. I got a free test drive with the shop foreman who took it on a long drive and said it felt like it just left the assembly line. This is what bothered me is that everyone but me and my girlfriend finds it to be normal. I am now starting to believe that I have been so used to floating around like it is a 1988 Cadillac DeVille down the 401 to Toronto to visit her that the only cars I will find comfortable are ones in which are very disconnected to the road type cars. All this time I believe I thought BMW was a smooth rider in which now I believe it isn't supposed to be. My grandparents have a Bentley Flying Spur and Lexus ES300 and those are for sure old people cars, you cannot feel a bump or pothole if you tried to. However, I was aiming for my dads 550 F10 adaptive M feel suspension and it is nowhere near as smooth as that. What I'm trying to ask here is does anyone on here have the E60 704M Suspension option on their 5s? And if so does the car feel the road so much that it can become uncomfortable at times? I have spent $4000 at this point and I am very upset especially considering this car on bald summer tires drove like a limo this summer 5 hours north of Waterloo to the cottage with 4 people in it the best way imaginable I was so happy with it. Now it is all over the place (due to these awful winter tires) and seriously rough, the car has been aligned twice. The stealership quoted me on this M suspension install for $7000 and $5500 for SE. Therefore I may have something better than stock but not what I'm not used to. Please give your thoughts and insights below.

Cheers,

Braydon


Cheers,

Braydon
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:10 AM
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Your mom even likes your "stiff" riding car more than you do! Okay, enough laughing at you. There is a reason why BMW purposely labeled this as "M sport suspension", because this is the next best thing to riding in an actual BMW M car. Now I have grown accustomed to lowered, stiffer suspension since my very first car. And I will always prefer this compromise because I rather have the sporty driving feel instead of the luxurious disconnection with the road.

The F10 adaptive suspension slots in between the M sport suspension and the base standard suspension. The F10 adaptive suspension decouples the sway bars on straightline driving whereas the M sport suspension sway bars are always active, possibly where some of the harshness comes from. I don't believe this was an option for the E60.

I have the M sport suspension on my 550i, and coupled with the active sway bars, this heavy 4,000 lb car turns like it's on rails. The suspension has 121,000 miles and it still feels new, mainly because I avoid all potholes and road imperfections as much as possible. This is something you have to learn to do so that the suspension doesn't always feel harsh to you.

I've also noticed when I have a full tank of gas, and even with three other passengers, that the suspension feels a little softer. Most suspension has to be tuned to ride perfectly with a fully loaded car, otherwise it will be too dangerously soft. So when you are driving by yourself, especially with a near empty tank of gas, the suspension is now too stiff for the light "cargo" load, and it will feel harsh.

Your options are to go back to the stock suspension or keep what you already have and find ways to minimize the harshness. Avoid potholes. Drive with a full tank of gas. Lower the air pressure in your tires. And maybe just give yourself some time to become acclimated to the stiffer setup.
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:44 AM
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BMWs are supposed to feel connected to the road, and that means firm. Even with stock suspension on our X5, it's quite firm with new dampers. My 220,000km 535xi is in need of new dampers as it now feels as you describe yours used to - floaty and crashy on bumps and potholes. I keep thinking I'll go Bilstein B6 as I actually prefer a firm ride.

Check your tire pressure with a good gauge - could be way too high. Some people pump them up to the number on the tire, which is wrong, wrong, wrong. I wouldn't lower tire pressure if it were mine. You could experiment by lowering the tire pressure, but don't be tempted to lower it much, if at all, or you'll compromise tire life and safe handling. Whatever you do, keep the PSI difference between front and rear the same as the factory settings.
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Old 02-21-2019, 09:56 AM
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Thanks, man that was a great take on the setup. How would the stiffness of the 704M suspension compare to a newer M2 or M3 without electronic dampening? Is it relatively similar? I feel like the car needs bigger wheels as well because there's no point of putting small wheels on a sports car ride it just doesn't match the lowered look. I can deal with the stiffness if there isn't any wheel gap, as well the handling and steering are phenomenal but I am positive bigger wider wheels will make it much much better as far as good ride control.

Cheers,

Braydon
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:36 AM
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Bigger wider wheels will just make the ride harsher still. Go back to stock or learn to "tune" your sport suspension to your liking as others here have suggested. Do not lower tire pressures lower than recommended.
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Old 02-21-2019, 11:48 AM
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If you are on 19s that will make it pretty harsh. Go to 17s will help.
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Old 02-21-2019, 12:24 PM
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I'm on 17s now but they decrease handling and road holding because they are Winter Tires it feels awkward and stiff.
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Old 02-21-2019, 08:55 PM
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Originally Posted by Bmw530iboy View Post
I'm on 17s now but they decrease handling and road holding because they are Winter Tires it feels awkward and stiff.
Are you complaining about your setup on winter tires or on summer tires? Good winter tires do not decrease handling and road holding in cold conditions. In fact they are better than all-seasons or summer tires in cold weather, especially on snow!
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Old 02-26-2019, 08:15 AM
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Larger diameter wheels will increase ride harshness, partly due to an increase in unsprung weight which affects the tuning of the dampers (shocks), and partly due to the shorter/stiffer sidewall. I have 18" wheels with 3-season 245/40R18 ContinentalPureContact tires and the car has tons of grip for summer plus I'm not caught with my pants down if there's a skiff of snow. I run the OE 17" wheels with 225/50R17 Nokian R for winter and really don't notice much difference in ride, handling yes. I'd never recomment pure summer tires unless you track your car now since performance 3-season tires are so good.
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Old 05-13-2019, 01:54 PM
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I have now installed 19 M5 size wheels on continental extreme contacts DW and the car grips and handles like a Ferrari. However I think the thought of the awkward ride from before was actually caused by a number of things in my suspension that have since then gotten so bad the car is basically impossible to drive. Tie rods, thrust arms and stabilizers have all been determined to be shot. Meaning I have been having a loose, clunking and swaying in the wind ride for months now but only started to notice it with bigger wheels. The car will not go straight and the steering is so sloppy it feels as if it is disconnected to the car. Hopefully after this maintenance the car will feel really solid and will not cause anymore disconnection to the BMW feel. I have however began to adapt to the M sport suspension over time, just looking for the car to become more planted and aligned.
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