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

ISC Coilover install and review

Old 06-04-2016, 02:50 AM
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Default ISC Coilover install and review

I contacted Andrew at ISC after seeing the group buy. I was only in need of the front coilovers because I was happy with my stock rear shocks.

Some of you may know me from the M5board.com and my 600hp E39 M5. I have worked with MANY vendors and companies, buying and reviewing a lot of products. ISC is one of the best companies I've worked with to date. Andrew was always on top of it. We went through quite a few stages to get the car where it is now. Here is the journey......

The original set of front coilovers they sent me were impressive. The build quality is fantastic. I was concerned with the height of the springs and the length of the shock shaft. I purchased my car with CKS coiloves on it, which I was less than pleased with. They corroded horribly and are no longer adjustable at all. The car rode like an E36 set up for track duty. I needed something much more comfortable.

The initial set used 12kg springs 140mm long with their comfort shocks.

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The camber plates are very nice, but unfortunately, they are underneath the shock tower sheet metal. The only way to adjust them is to completely remove the coilover. I had to remove mine a few times to get them set correctly to get back in to factory alignment settings.

After installing the coilovers, I quickly discovered no matter how I adjusted them, I would get a very large "bang" and bottom out when going over large bumps. Andrew and I started exploring our options. The first try was to go with 12kg 180mm springs. Andrew shipped them out and I installed them. We still found the car would bottom out over large bumps. The decision was then made to try a longer shock cylinder. Andrew had a custom set made up and shipped out.

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This combination worked perfect. No more bottoming out and a very nice ride.

12k springs 180mm long with a new style, longer shock body.

I wanted a more comfortable ride, almost stock, so we decided to go with a lighter spring. Andrew sent me a set of 10kg springs 180mm long to try out. I also made the decision to install a set of ISC rear shocks, and retain the SLS. The ISC rear shocks actually offer more shock travel than the stock shocks.

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My car now rides perfect for my taste. My car is my daily driver. We also use it to take family vacations, so I wanted something stock like, but have the ability to lower it a bit. That's exactly what ISC has provided. After all of the testing and trying, Andrew was fantastic. I am very impressed with his business ethics. I wish more companies out there were honest and stood behind their product like he has.

I am building another E39 M5 with a Twin Turbo LS drivetrain. I will definitely be calling Andrew at ISC when it is time to install a coilover system........


Final pictures...

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Last edited by timmay77; 06-04-2016 at 05:14 AM.
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Old 06-04-2016, 06:21 AM
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That's very exciting news.. So I'm confused, the group buy came with the shorter bodies and the tighter springs, and now you have a different setup? Have you compared your ride with anything else other than the CKS? Also, how did you determine the alignment? One last stupid question.. how did you decide to adjust the sway bar end links.. I've only dealt with non adjustable ones or.. 2 settings on a sway bar, so it's either super duper tight...or tight but it's a matter of just picking which mounting point.

My plan is later this year to perhaps change to some better suspension setup. Although I'm relatively happy with the H&R lowering springs, I do get some bad bumps/dips on the highway as well as the rough side streets.. makes me want to go to softer/more dampening.
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Old 06-05-2016, 05:01 PM
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Originally Posted by rice_rocket88 View Post
That's very exciting news.. So I'm confused, the group buy came with the shorter bodies and the tighter springs, and now you have a different setup? Have you compared your ride with anything else other than the CKS? Also, how did you determine the alignment? One last stupid question.. how did you decide to adjust the sway bar end links.. I've only dealt with non adjustable ones or.. 2 settings on a sway bar, so it's either super duper tight...or tight but it's a matter of just picking which mounting point.

My plan is later this year to perhaps change to some better suspension setup. Although I'm relatively happy with the H&R lowering springs, I do get some bad bumps/dips on the highway as well as the rough side streets.. makes me want to go to softer/more dampening.
I did not participate in the group buy, I contacted Andrew on my own, I wanted a more custom set up. I just wanted to share my choices.

My only experience with the E61 is on stock suspension and CKS, now ISC.

I took the car to my buddy's shop and did an alignment on it. That's how I determined it was correct.

I adjusted the end links until the sway bar was in the stock location.
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Old 06-06-2016, 09:32 AM
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Great to know... I might have to speak with them about the "custom" sizing.. since I don't like the big dips that I hit. I'm not sure if I would call it bottoming out, but I'll call it a major pucker moment. It might be the E60 is just too sound proofed so I wouldn't say it's the same experience as other cars bottoming out. Still not exactly sure how you get the sway bar to be in the "stock" location since there aren't a lot of markings to go with. Your review is fantastic though, as with the extra info about trying out all the spring rates and lengths.
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Old 06-07-2016, 12:31 AM
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Originally Posted by rice_rocket88 View Post
Great to know... I might have to speak with them about the "custom" sizing.. since I don't like the big dips that I hit. I'm not sure if I would call it bottoming out, but I'll call it a major pucker moment. It might be the E60 is just too sound proofed so I wouldn't say it's the same experience as other cars bottoming out. Still not exactly sure how you get the sway bar to be in the "stock" location since there aren't a lot of markings to go with. Your review is fantastic though, as with the extra info about trying out all the spring rates and lengths.
I took measurements and pictures of a stock suspension and where the sway bar was located under load. I then adjusted the links on the new set up so the sway bar measured the same. Not sure how else to explain it........ It's not like there are a lot of adjustments.
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Old 06-15-2016, 10:57 AM
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Thanks for the review. This is the exact kind of setup I was looking for.

Have you had a chance to ride in any e61's with KW3's on them by chance? Wondering how it compares?
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Old 06-16-2016, 10:03 AM
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Originally Posted by Alpine003 View Post
Thanks for the review. This is the exact kind of setup I was looking for.

Have you had a chance to ride in any e61's with KW3's on them by chance? Wondering how it compares?
Sorry, modded E61's aren't plentiful in Ohio.
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Old 06-18-2016, 02:41 AM
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Originally Posted by timmay77 View Post
Sorry, modded E61's aren't plentiful in Ohio.
Hey I'm in Columbus and just picked up an e61 535xi. Beautiful ride! What are you doing with the old coilovers you had?
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Old 06-21-2016, 06:05 AM
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Originally Posted by JNJ View Post
Hey I'm in Columbus and just picked up an e61 535xi. Beautiful ride! What are you doing with the old coilovers you had?
Right now they are sitting in my basement. I have almost 2 full sets. Would you be interested in them?

PM me if you'd like......
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Old 08-04-2016, 03:54 AM
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Just wanted to give an update......

I went back to the 12kg springs. After the 10kg springs broke in, I started bottoming out very little over VERY large bumps. I don't like bottoming out at all. So the 12kg springs went back in. All is right with the world.

I'll also leave this link to my old CKS coilovers I am selling for $300.

https://5series.net/forums/private-m...%24300-145406/
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