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-   -   Lessons learned from upgrading/refreshing 335xi suspension (https://www.n54tech.com/forums/showthread.php?t=54637)

fryj00 08-21-2018 10:22 AM

Lessons learned from upgrading/refreshing 335xi suspension
I recently started a refresh/upgrade for my 2011 335xi (E9x chassis) as it now has 100K+ on it and I wanted to share some of what I have learned to maybe save others some time and bull**** (and by bull**** I mean sending **** back to the vendor from whence it came).

Rear suspension components between RWD and AWD models of all years seem to be compatible.

Front suspension components between RWD and AWD models are definitely NOT the same, though, some of the bushings and ball joints are interchangeable but the arms are not. The AWD struts are shorter and the RWD struts won't even drop into the steering knuckle of an xi.

AWD models do not have the same front bits between all years. N54 models (2006-2010) and N55 (2011-2013) models seem to be where the cutoff is. The sway bar is located slightly differently in each and is a different shape as well. Further, the sway bar end link mounting brackets on the struts are at a slightly different position and angle.

Urethane thrust arm bushings (and new ball joint) on the front make a huge difference in control over rough pavement. Braking also feels smoother. Really liking that one.

Rear sway bar is a son-of-a-bitch to install. I mean damn. If you aren't pretty comfortable with tools and cars, don't even try it. Nuff said.

Urethane inserts in the rear sub frame bushings nicely firmed up the rear without being overly harsh and, since I had the subrame lowered anyway, were a no-brainer easy install.

That's all for now. More to come.


hi rpm 08-21-2018 02:35 PM

Thanks for the info. I also have an E92 N55 xDrive and it's super low for what I assume is stock, but the front does seem a bit soft. Did you go aftermarket, other than bushings?

fryj00 08-22-2018 05:54 AM

I'm in the process of installing Fortune Auto MSC-1 coilovers. I say process because they don't exactly fit right and require a slight modification. This is how I know about the struts I mentioned above. :)

Marlinman 08-24-2018 08:20 AM

I worry constantly about snapping axles and other things with a lowered xdrive on upgraded turbos, have you guys experienced or heard of any issues pertaining to this?

fryj00 08-24-2018 10:11 AM

I think, if you lowered your car enough to cause that kind of axle/CV issue, you would have more pressing issues like driveability, tire life, etc. You would have very little ground clearance and extreme negative camber. I also think that you would need to be making a **** ton of power before that would be (remotely) a valid concern.

...but to answer your question more directly - no, I've not experienced nor heard of any issues like that.

fryj00 09-17-2018 09:17 AM

The coilovers are on now and, damn, what a difference! The car is planted and precise. No body roll and lots of grip. It is definitely stiffer but not to the point of being harsh. The damping feels pretty good for the spring rate but more time will tell for sure.

I was afraid that I would have a serious oversteer issue now that I've gone stiffer in the rear on the springs and the sway bar but only springs on the front (softer too...8k front, 10k rear) but it actually rotates quite crisply without oversteer in it's current state. Mind you, I don't have a ton of hard driving on them yet but the car feels really nimble. The stiffer front in combination with the AWD makes the car really dig in and turn when entering corners under power now and the braking is significantly better. I'm pretty happy right now. Well worth the $$$.

FYI, there was a very slight clearance issue between the spanner locking collar on the lower shock body and the front tires. If they were any closer, I would have to add a wheel spacer. As it is, it just barely kissed the inside of the tire and shaved off a very small amount of rubber. Crisis averted.

Now on to replacing the rear links/bushings, then alignment, then new tires.

Side note: every person that I've taken for a ride since the new changes has been astonished at how good the car handles. :-)

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