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Discussion Starter #1
Greetings All,

I purchased a very well sorted 540i M-sport a year and a half ago (Charlie Kindel's) and at 90k miles the time has come for shock replacement. I am still undecided as to weather or not I want to bite the bullet and replace the EDC shocks or opt for an aftermarket setup.
Is there an appreciable ride heighth differential between the Bilstein sport/ H&R setup the stock EDC system? Any pics showing ride heighth with H&R shocks would be greatly appreciated. Does the aftermarket setup behave more like the Sport or Comfort EDC setting?

Thank You,

Ben
 

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From looking at pictures and comparing to mine, I'd say the drop is about 15-25mm.

If you use the 255 rear tyre option then expect the occassional rub and SLS warning when loaded or going through compressions.

I'd say the ride is firmer than the sport setting on EDC (by a good 25%), but I like it. Just be careful on bumpy twisty roads as you'll have less 'give' in the suspension to eat the bumps up.


My current 3.6 with H&R springs...



My old 3.8 with EDC...
 

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Ben - congratulations on purchasing Charlie's old M-Sport. It certainly was a well sorted example and I suspect still is.

Incidentally, I have #62 of the 70 Australian equivalent cars - the 540i Manual Limited Edition (or 540iLE) which externally, is almost a twin of how Charlie's used to look (same colour, M-Parallels etc). Some current pics would be welcomed on this site.

In terms of your shock replacement decision, although I acknowledge that it is entirely your choice as to what you do with your car, can I urge you to discount the option of anything other than replacement with oem EDC items. Despite the many cosmetic bits and pieces that the M-Sport came with that other lesser variant 540i's did not, what really sets it apart from all other 540i's is the suspension. The fact it has the full 1995 M5 electronically adaptive suspension is what makes it an M-Sport.

And if you do a search on EDCIII replacement on this site, I think that you will find the general consensus is that, even 13 years later, a well sorted EDCIII suspension is still hard to beat by anything aftermarket that you choose to put in. Further, the costs savings will be minimal (if at all) by the time you get the new suspension sorted.

Of course, if you want to spend the time and money, you can set your car up to be better on the track, or more supple onver bumps etc - but not to do all the things that a properly well sorted EDCIII suspension can do so well - at once. My view is that if you really want to set a car up as a track warrior, then use a normal 540i/6 as the base.

Also, because the suspension is the main differing factor in an M-Sport, the resale value of your car will suffer greatly if you pull it out.

May I strongly urge you to look at replacement of the original items and at the same time replace as much of the other suspension bits as you can afford. Eg, if replacing front struts, also replace springs and bushes etc.

The end result will suprise you.

Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for the kind words about the car. Ours are very nearly twins with the exception of some interior trim bits. Of course my steering wheel is much uglier than yours could ever hope to be! Sorry to say I don't have any current pics of the 540, but rest assured it is in the same or better condition than when purchased. The only changes I have made to the car other than keeping up the retentive maintainance schedule are the addition of a lower ratio limited slip differential and a Remus exhaust system. No performance gain from the exhaust of course, but the note is definitely more pleasing. I can heartily reccomend the shorter rear end as the diff ratio on the US 540 was rather long in order to meet emission standards at cruising speeds.
I'm really on the fence as far as the suspension replacement goes. Of primary concern is the longevity of EDC replacement. Reports of premature failure of replacement shocks coupled the extremely limited demand for these parts worldwide makes me question the liklyhood that "new" parts were manufactured within the last five years. My admittedly limited experience with maritime hydraulic systems has led me to believe that production dates of are of critical importance as the degeneration of seals begins upon exposure to fluids. Do we have any way of determining manufacturing dates of replacement EDC shocks? I can stomach the expense once as it is a reasonable price to pay for an elegant and versatile system, but premature replacement would be unbearable. I have owned and looked after older BMWs for 20 years and as someone who maintains a '72 CS in perfect trim I am no stranger to paying $500 for the odd $75 part, however my loyalty may end at paying userous prices for potentially sub-par parts. That being said, as a purist at heart I am still undecided as I would much rather have a fully functioning EDC that could be counted on for the long term. Apologies for the long post; again thank you for the kind words and advice.

Ben
 

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OK, I take your point. I had always looked at it on the basis that the first set of dampers generally last 60-100,000 miles and that is not bad and worth the investment in a replacement set.

I have not heard too many stories of replacement units failing. Is this common with the US based cars? Surely if they fail early, they would still be under BMW new parts warranty?

Cheers
 
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