View Full Version : Sachs kit is IN! (long winded message including reflections on the project)

02-18-2005, 11:32 PM
Guys -

Well, after a marathon three week repair session, my car has now had every single part of the front end and significant aspects of the rear end replaced since last November. Specific to this past bit of time: I switched out my BavAuto springs and (what I thought were) stock shock inserts (more on that later) for the sachs kit, did rotors/pads/ATE Super Blue all around, rebuilt the cooling system (with the exception of the radiator, heater core, water pump, and heater valve), and a front caliper job.

This all began in early November, when I bought the car as a project for $900. Prior to owning Fritz, I *never* worked on my cars; rebuilding Fritz would've been impossible without the great people and information available through this forum -- and of course, my bentley manual.

In respect to the Sachs kit: first impressions are that I like it! Originally, I installed the rears, replacing out the stock boge/sachs labeled inserts on BavAuto springs that were installed in December. I rode around for a few days with just the rears on and it felt like the back half of the car floated above the pavement, while the front bounced around.

Yesterday, I attacked the fronts in my driveway. Unlike in Gale's page, I like to pull the struthousing completely. This led to problems on my pass side front, where I had previously used an impact wrench to tighten one bolt to all hell. *NOTHING* I did with hand tools would remove this thing. Not a breaker bar, not a 6 point socket, not two people working away at it. After having stripped the bolt head a LOT, I went out and bought a 12 point socket and a new wrench (I had broken my old/cheap one on it), also to no avail. So, very discouraged, I let it be while I did the driver's side, which went without a hitch.

I "discovered" a brilliant way to remove the collar nut. As illustrated on Bruno's site, I didn't have a second person to stand on one side of the struthousing while I was working away on it with a monkey wrench. Instead, I re-mounted the hub in the wheel (lying flat on the ground -- no need to lug-nut it on) and then held the housing in place with my foot. The collar nut came off in a jiffy.

Imagine my surprise when I popped off the struthousing collar nut to find, of all things, a KYB insert. All along I'd thought they were Boge automatics. Either way, it explains the HARSH ride I was previously getting -- they didn't look bad, but they FELT bad. The KYB's, I assume, showed up because I bought the struthousings with stock springs and mounts attached from a wrecked car. All of this is amusing to me because, when installing the bavauto springs, I had a set of brand new KYB "Gasryders", but decided to return them.

I worked away on that steering plate bolt until about 1:30am this morning (still in my driveway) to no avail, so I put it back together to drive over to my friend's garage, where I have access to air tools. Let me tell you - it's an experience to drive on ONE sachs insert/eibach spring and ONE KYB/bavauto spring. The sachs is hugely smoother, no bouncing around. Got to the garage and the KYB came out like a hot knife through butter.

When I put it all back together, I retorqued the control arms as WELL as the thrust arms under load. I loosened the control arms to facilitate removing the struthousing from the chassis. On the thrust arms: I'd advise doing it. My thinking here is that the thrust arm bushings were loaded while the bavauto springs were on (much lower than the sachs), and therefore driving around with the bushing LOWER (or HIGHER for stock springs) would wear it out quicker.

I also did a Diff service -- 3.91LSD got Redline 75w90, as well as replaced the speed sensor...now I have a speedo again :)

Preliminary feedback on the kit: It rides nicely, about what I'd expect. The car still doesn't handle like a porsche, or even an M car, but it is quite nice. And, finally, I can get into my driveway without scraping the bottom part of my bumper :)

I'm writing up a procedure for my install with pics. Send me an PM or email if you want it. Should be done in a few days.

Next crisis (tomorrow): replacing valve eccentrics, valve cover gasket, and adjusting the valves. Further down the road: My brake bomb is slowly leaking! argh! Closer down the road: time to replace the rubber fuel lines and the stuff around the regulator -- it's all looking worn out beyond comfortable levels. Also think I'm developing a hot start problem. Time will tell.

I took a glass of wine out to Fritz this evening when I got home (me still caked with dirt from playing around with the diff). Raised a toast to him; hopefully, after $5000 and countless hours of my time, he's returned to service with a good degree of reliability.

There is no other car in the world (that I know of) that I would have gone through this much hell with, and had this much fun with. Nothing like a Bimmer.

best, whit

02-19-2005, 12:44 AM
Good write-up and good job! When you're ready to (very easy after all of the work you've done) you should look into larger swaybars -coupled with the Sachs kit it's a good combination. (I'm running the M5T 25mm front, M5T Nurburgring 20mm rear and like it)

02-19-2005, 02:06 AM
Great write up whit. Ill be waiting for your pictures =).

02-19-2005, 08:40 PM
im interested in seeing the pictures as well!