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Thread: Contemplating springs to go w/ my new 17s - advise/encouragement wanted

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    NYC/Boston
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    238

    Default Contemplating springs to go w/ my new 17s - advise/encouragement wanted

    Hello,
    I have a '91 535i for which I just bought nice 17"(x8/9) wheels that came off of a '00 540i sport (the alpina look-alikes).

    I was originally shopping for a set of 15"s, but no one had a set, so I got these.

    I've put them on, and man, they look great!!!
    Except for a huge gap in the front.

    My car has recently replaced shocks, they're BMW OEM, nice and stiff.

    I would love to get rid of the gap b/w the front wheels and fender, but I dont want to buy new shocks/struts along w/ springs, esp since there's nothing wrong w/ these.

    Here are my options, tell me what to do... the car is strictly a daily driver.

    - sell/trade the wheels for 15" + cash, leave suspenion as is, drive the car (the common sense thing to do)
    - keep the 17"s, get a set of springs, use OEM shocks (the ghetto way)
    - "waste money" on new shocks and springs (the right way)
    - drive around w/ a gap over the front wheel w/ 17's. (the unsightful way)


    what do to? what to do?
    feel free to throw any and all opinions at me... I plan on keeping this car till spring or so, unless it continues running really well, as it has.
    Yea, I'm one of these people that changes cars often.... a habit I'm trying to stop.

    I've spend around $1000 on it already, not including wheels... so I dont really want to spend a whole lot more.

    Thanks for reading/writing.... does this feel like group therapy yet or what?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    830

    Default

    Kamil, consider that a lowering would likely require rolling the inner lip of the fender well. The car will look very nice lowered on 17's....to wit:



    15 or 17....I just wouldn't be able to live with 2" of space above the wheel, looking like an AMC Eagle. You just have to decide if you're "in for a penny, in for a pound."

    Cheers,
    Duey

    1995 540i/6 Sport Pkg w/E.A.T. chip and Nikasil injection Duey's Gallery

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    240

    Default M-Tech springs

    along with 3mm spring pads will lower the car approx. 1" & will work with the stock shocks.

    Drew Zacharda
    6-speed Touring with factory sport springs/stock shocks



    Quote Originally Posted by DueyT
    Kamil, consider that a lowering would likely require rolling the inner lip of the fender well. The car will look very nice lowered on 17's....to wit:



    15 or 17....I just wouldn't be able to live with 2" of space above the wheel, looking like an AMC Eagle. You just have to decide if you're "in for a penny, in for a pound."

    Cheers,
    Duey
    Drew Z
    Formerly 540iT/6, now . . . 3, 5, 7

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    NYC/Boston
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by DrewZ
    along with 3mm spring pads will lower the car approx. 1" & will work with the stock shocks.

    Drew Zacharda
    6-speed Touring with factory sport springs/stock shocks
    Where do I get those Drew?
    ...and what are "spring pads"?

    I can imagine what they are by name, but....


    thanks

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
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    NYC/Boston
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    Default

    Ok, did search.... still little confused.... Mtech springs = E34 M5 springs (front only I assume, due to SLS in rear)

    where and how much?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Phx AZ
    Posts
    195

    Default My take....

    I would just get some springs and run them with your Boges. I assume you got Boges if you got BMW OEM? You can get some Bav-Auto springs and the stance will be perfect, and its not "ghetto". You won't have the performance ride of a Sachs kit or something, but you will get close to an OEM ride with the look you want. A reasonable compromise thats affordable and not without some common sense.

    I run 17's with this setup and it rides good, looks good, no fender rub either. Doesn't handle like a Porsche, but thats what a Porsche is built for. For me the BMW is a daily driver, not a race car.

    "Ghetto" would be lopping a coil off of your original springs...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,639

    Default check this out...

    http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/upgrade/suspensions

    Maybe someone can post the part numbers for the Mtech springs. I can't recall if you just install the fronts or all 4.

    The spring pads Drew mentioned are rubber donuts that isolate the spring from the strut. Two per spring - top and bottom. The upper spring pad on a stock E34 is 9mm thick. You can replace this spring pad with a 3mm pad from a 540 with EDC suspension. Good for about another 1/4" drop. Parts cheap and zero extra labor when swapping out the spring.
    Bellevue WA
    90 535iM - not much stock remains. 3.7 liters, ported head, cammed, 3.73 diffy, M5 brakes, MAFed, yadda yadda yadda
    86 Porsche 951 - Track Toy

  8. #8
    Drew Z Guest

    Default

    See if Tim can pull up the part no.'s for you. You can install fronts only, and be OK. IMO, the rear is low enough with the stock springs.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff N.
    http://www.bmwe34.net/e34main/upgrade/suspensions

    Maybe someone can post the part numbers for the Mtech springs. I can't recall if you just install the fronts or all 4.

    The spring pads Drew mentioned are rubber donuts that isolate the spring from the strut. Two per spring - top and bottom. The upper spring pad on a stock E34 is 9mm thick. You can replace this spring pad with a 3mm pad from a 540 with EDC suspension. Good for about another 1/4" drop. Parts cheap and zero extra labor when swapping out the spring.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    NYC/Boston
    Posts
    238

    Default

    Well.... in the end, I've ordered the BavAuto springs.
    They were getting mixed reviews from people... I'll only install the fronts, along w/ upper control arms w/ 750i bushings, and then I'll get an alligment.

    I tried, but I simply could not stand to look at that 4x4.

    Reviews & pics of the springs, Z3 short shifter, and Sirius satellite radio will be posted.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    1,639

    Default Bav auto springs...

    You're going to need the Bilstein sport shocks with the short throw. Otherwise you're going to bottom the shock out. Did you order new shocks?

    BTW - if you ARE going down this route ($200 for springs, $400 for shocks), better to buy the Sachs kit.

    If you don't plan to swap shocks, the suggestion to get the M-tech springs is muuuuch better. You are not going to like just the Bav auto springs in front. And it will ride like crap as it bottoms out the shock.

    Just ask Martin...his suspension sucks. Guess what he has.

    Jeff
    Bellevue WA
    90 535iM - not much stock remains. 3.7 liters, ported head, cammed, 3.73 diffy, M5 brakes, MAFed, yadda yadda yadda
    86 Porsche 951 - Track Toy

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