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E61 Touring Discussion The touring is also known as the wagon version of the 5 series.

530xi Suspension Refresh?

Old 01-12-2019, 09:42 AM
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Default 530xi Suspension Refresh?

I have a 2006 530xi wagon with 133k miles. As far as I can tell from the service records I have, no work has ever been done on the suspension, though it has been noted that the front lower thrust rod bushings need replaced. I have been getting more and more vibrations while driving. I do need new tires very soon and that may be contributing, but it's an old car with old suspension so I'd like to get it back up to par.

So, I'm trying to get my head wrapped around what parts I should be considering for a suspension refresh. This is my "comfortable commuter car" so I'm not looking to add any stiffness or performance, though I wouldn't say no to the car sitting a little lower. Also, as far as I know, I don't have any problems with the rear air suspension.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Thanks!
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Old 01-12-2019, 10:31 AM
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You're due for at least new shocks. If you enjoy your "comfort" ride, stick with the OEM Sachs shocks and avoid the Bilsteins.
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Old 01-13-2019, 03:15 AM
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Strut bushings are going to make a big difference. If you're doing them yourself - make sure to have a hydraulic press available. I just did mine - tried doing them with the bushing kit and threaded rod to provide the installation force and wrecked the tool.
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Old 01-13-2019, 07:21 AM
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One more thing to consider with these many miles are your rear shocks...they're very cheap to replace so I wouldn't ignore them...even if everything is okay with the air bags.
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Old 01-14-2019, 02:05 PM
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I went with the Bilsteins when our rear shocks leaked. I didn't notice an appreciable difference in ride harshness. It still feels great on the highway, yet firm in twisties. If you have air rear suspension, I would not worry about using Bilsteins in the back. Don't know about the front, though.

FCPEuro has full rebuild kits for the suspension bushings, and they come with lifetime warranty. That is the way I will go once our bushings needs replacing. Point of order on this one too. I don't replace just one bushing at a time. They all went on together, so they are probably all wearing out together. If one major bushing fails, they all get replaced.

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Old 01-18-2019, 06:26 PM
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I recently replace the rear shocks at 135k miles. They had zero rebound. I went with SACHS 2x 311-758 and 1x 900-128. Much better ride now.
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Old 01-24-2019, 05:05 PM
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Thanks for all the answers! I for sure need shocks all around and thrust arm bushings. I'm hoping not to need to replace everything, since just the front and rear control arm kits from FCP are $1200+. I guess I need to try to get the car up on a lift and get an inspection done to really know.
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Old 01-29-2019, 05:59 AM
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We went with Bilstein B4s in the front ('06 530xiT) and have no complaints -- didn't seem to appreciably firm up the ride in our view.
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Old 02-02-2019, 06:50 PM
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Suspension work is done. New hydrobearings and ball joints for the thrust arms and went with the Bilstein Touring struts all around. Then some new tires and everything is feeling good again!

Thanks again for the help!
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Old 02-04-2019, 12:19 PM
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Congrats, but just as a friendly comment. My hydrobearings did not show any leaks or signs of apparent wear, I still changed them because they were cheap and I had access to a huge press that allowed to easily removed them and reinstalled them...it made a BIG difference in how much more solid the suspension felt. My car had 104k miles at the time. You might want to consider replacing them in the near future.
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