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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi. I'm trying to replace the dampers on an 89 3.6 M5 and would like to use Bilsteins.

However, the two Bilstein dealers I have tried to buy some dampers from have been of little help and, to be fair, the online Bilstein catalogue is ambiguous with the early models of E34.

I know that there is no listing for the M5 with SLS, but the SLS has been dealt with and I am of course looking at rear dampers that would be fitted to a 535, 525 etc...

My problem is that there are two part numbers listed, with no distinction as to what in particular makes them different. They are both listed for up to mid '90 with or without M-Technic Suspension, without SLS. The supplier won't supply either on a returnable basis and the distributor cannot (or rather, won't) tell me what the difference between them is.

The part numbers are 24-012478 and 24-014861.

Can anyone shed any light as to what the difference is between them please?

Thanks in advance....
 

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Sounds very similar to my recent probelm I had finding and replacing H&R springs for my car with SLS removed. Scroll down a few days in htese posts and/or search "H&R springs with SLS deleted" and see my comments/theory. Long and short of it is, I wonder if some of these part companies package the same product in different packaging and then charge more to put an "M" designation on it.

I just had the 525,535,540 H&R springs installled on my car yesterday (replacing Dinan springs) with SLS deleted. This was after relatively intense due diligence, talking to other board members, R&D and Eibach representative, and several mechanics including my own (Carrera Motors) and ROb Levison at UUC in GA.

In the short drive home last night, the 525-540 H&R springss were great (and very similar stance to the Dinan's), and if I had purchased the M5 springs I would not have been able to use the rears (and I would have spent $100 or 50% more to boot). My mechanic added to my theory when he said he once had a guy bring in aftermarket springs to replace in an E46, and the PN was exactly the same. He told the kid this, but the kids told him to swap it out anyway. Maybe the car performed better for him due to the marketing/packaging :)

Sorry I can't add specific advice about your Bilsteins, but at least some food for thought
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks David.

The trouble is I'm looking at dampers listed for the 535, rather than the M5, because they list nothing for the rear of the M5 due to the SLS.

But still there are two damper part numbers listed for the 535, same year, same spec.

I suspect the difference is just the pin diameter at the top, but Bilstein won't, or can't confirm this and won't accept returns on ordered items so if I take a chance on one set that turns out to be the wrong choice, they won't exchange them for the right ones.

It seems incredible that I'm trying to give some money to them and they are unwilling to do what's needed to accept it from me, especially the way things are just now....
 

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Do some internet surfing for other online dealers and see if they offer better descriptions.

I now a while back when we were all buying RD bilsteins at an obscenely low price, we ran into the front strut mount/pistion nut issue,... so mind the nut size (19mm vs. 22mm) and dust cap size ( big vs. small) on the fronts.

Non SLS rears from my experiance all have the same mount size, so it may just be sport or HD?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Non SLS rears from my experiance all have the same mount size, so it may just be sport or HD?
Thanks for the info re the fronts, but there's just the one type listed for the B8 fronts on my year (03/89) which is 34-030189 part #.

For the rear is specifically the 'sprint B8' spec I want, so I would assume they are neither sport or HD. I did do a search on the part numbers but all I got was generic 'Bilstein shock-absorber' pics and references to the online catalogue, which we know is ambiguous.
 

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Thanks for the info re the fronts, but there's just the one type listed for the B8 fronts on my year (03/89) which is 34-030189 part #.

For the rear is specifically the 'sprint B8' spec I want, so I would assume they are neither sport or HD. I did do a search on the part numbers but all I got was generic 'Bilstein shock-absorber' pics and references to the online catalogue, which we know is ambiguous.
if there is only one PN then i'd assume you're safe to order it. It was the changover during 1990 that causes confusion, some '90 built cars have the earlier mount, some have the later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
if there is only one PN then i'd assume you're safe to order it. It was the changover during 1990 that causes confusion, some '90 built cars have the earlier mount, some have the later.
There is only one listed for the fronts, and intended to order them along with the rears when I know exactly what to order for the rear. My problem is that there are two part numbers listed for the rear, with no distinction as to what in particular makes them different.

They are both listed for up to mid '90 with or without M-Technic Suspension, without SLS.

The part numbers are 24-012478 and 24-014861.

Cheers
 

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There is only one listed for the fronts, and intended to order them along with the rears when I know exactly what to order for the rear. My problem is that there are two part numbers listed for the rear, with no distinction as to what in particular makes them different.

They are both listed for up to mid '90 with or without M-Technic Suspension, without SLS.

The part numbers are 24-012478 and 24-014861.

Cheers
Must be a Bilstein thing... Boge only has one rear strut and there's only one type of non SLS rear mount.

These are the Sports part #s

24-012478 is for the early 525/535 89 to 07/90

24-014861 is for the later post 07/90

This is the HD part #... there is only on strut for all years on this one.

24-012218

As noted, if you were on the 07/90 cross over date, no telling what you need... My M5 has that build date and I had to visually sort and match the bits.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for that Bob.

The online catalogue I looked at had the 24-014861 for up to 7/90 too.

Cheers

Wayne
 

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