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Thread: Vogtland Springs from JDM for $199

  1. #1
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    Vogtland Springs from JDM for $199

    So I was going to hold off on any further mods until a bit more cash rolled in, but as I washing the 528i, i noticed a significant difference in clearance between the left and right rear wheels-to-fenders. So I figure, maybe I parked on uneven ground, so I turned her around and VOILA! no difference, still sitting low on the passenger's side rear. So if the spring is not broken, it certainly is not performing up to snuff.

    I still had the info on Freddie's negotiated deal, called up Jack and sure enough, we are still good for the price, so I ordered up a set. I can't stand how the car looks with it's nose in the air, so I am really excited about getting them installed.

    Is this a fairly simple DYI or are spring compressors involved? Not that I shy away from spring compressors, they just add to the program....

    I'm going to run the stock shocks for the time being due to cash flow, we'll see how it goes.

    THANK YOU Freddie for negotiating that great deal!!!!

    TIA for the input

    Geoff
    Last edited by gnilson; 04-14-2010 at 04:20 PM.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
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  2. #2
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    I went through for Freddie for this exact same deal and here's my pre-written statement about it (was just waiting for someone to get these so I could reply thusly!) and yes, you need spring compressors (rent them from autozone for free)

    Here’s my experience doing the Vogtland spring replacement on a 2003 BMW 525I for the fronts. Hope this helps some of you out there. First, I definitely don’t claim this to be a DIY at all. And, I have to give a shout to the excellent DIY’s that are out there that helped me do this job. Mainly, Beisan System and CN90.

    So, to start you’ll definitely want a quality jack stands and car jack, preferably a low profile model that can hit the jacking point under the engine. I had a Sears 3 ton model that wasn’t low profile so I used a second basic car jack to get the car lifted using one of the four frame jack points. I then took the right front wheel off, slid the large sears car jack under the engine, jacked the car up, replaced the basic car jack, and placed both jack stands under the front jacking points and lowered the car onto them, but still keeping the 3 ton jack in place for added safety as well as chocking the rear wheels.

    I pretty much followed the Beisan DIY, but I did not use a ball joint removal tool to allow for the lower control arm to lower enough to remove the strut. Instead, I removed one of the sway bar link joints. This definitely 100% works and really makes the job a lot easier.

    I also loosened the three upper strut bolts to flush as well as the main strut bolt, while still installed in the car. On a stock Sachs/Boge strut, that main bolt is 21mm, but an SAE socket wrench (can’t recall size) and 6mm allen wrench work just fine.

    Another area where I deviated from the Beisan procedure is the spring compression. I’m not sure if the spring compressor I got from Autozone (free rental with deposit) was faulty, but there was no way I was going to be able to place the ends of this compression tool over just the spring’s outer coils and be able to remove them after I released the compression. So, I placed one end over the top of the spring perch and one end on the lowest coil possible. I did this for the other end of the spring as well. Screwed both ends down, alternating every 10 turns and voila, main strut bolt came right off. This also works when installing your new spring.

    One final area where I would caution you is remember to remove the xenon level sensor located on the passenger side and attached to the sway bar. The armature here must be removed! I made the mistake of not removing it and when I removed the strut, the arm basically ‘flipped’ around (I’m just glad it didn’t break). If this happens, then your level adjusters for the lights won’t move anymore because this arm is part of what determines what level your xenon lights should be at.

    Also, be sure to tighten your pinch bolts for the struts with the full weight of the car on the struts. I did this with a jackstand to the rotors but a car ramps would probably be easier and safer. This ensures that you get the lowered height you’re after.

    Anyway, on the rears!
    Last edited by aa240sx; 04-14-2010 at 04:33 PM.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  3. #3
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    I installed Vogtlands last year. Great upgrade IMO. However, it's a lot of work. I did the front first and the rears some weeks later.

    I like wrenching, but I'm in my 50s and tire relatively easily. I cannot do it for more than 4 or 5 hours in a day. I lift weights, so I'm reasonably strong, but it's the stamina I run out of...

    Send me a PM if you want to talk some more.

    Good luck!




  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham E39 528i View Post
    I installed Vogtlands last year. Great upgrade IMO. However, it's a lot of work. I did the front first and the rears some weeks later.

    I like wrenching, but I'm in my 50s and tire relatively easily. I cannot do it for more than 4 or 5 hours in a day. I lift weights, so I'm reasonably strong, but it's the stamina I run out of...

    Send me a PM if you want to talk some more.

    Good luck!
    Thanks for the input, guys. I kind of expected this level of work, but though I'ld ask. I have done similar work on my E34 back in the day, so I am not surprised.

    Yeah, once you hit 50, its all down hill..
    I find a beer or to give me the needed shot energy to finish the job.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Graham E39 528i View Post
    I installed Vogtlands last year. Great upgrade IMO. However, it's a lot of work. I did the front first and the rears some weeks later.

    I like wrenching, but I'm in my 50s and tire relatively easily. I cannot do it for more than 4 or 5 hours in a day. I lift weights, so I'm reasonably strong, but it's the stamina I run out of...

    Send me a PM if you want to talk some more.

    Good luck!
    Couldn't agree with you more! I did this work Sunday and my arms and hands are still sore. It's back breaking work. I would say the repetitive motion with the spring compressor is the most torturous part of it. I'm dreading the rear springs. I Plan to remove the rear tray and interior components tonight so I at least break up the work somewhat.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  6. #6
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    The spring compressor is a cake walk compared to the headache of getting the rear struts out of the car the first time if you have a non sport.
    >'97 528i, 200000 miles, Hella Xenons, 17" Stilauto wheels, Vogtland Drop Springs, Dynomax Race Muffler, Homelink, 540 brake upgrade, 15mm spacers >'65 & '74 MG Midgets BFC OT Lego Club #48 Manual conversion in process!!!



  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNY528I View Post
    The spring compressor is a cake walk compared to the headache of getting the rear struts out of the car the first time if you have a non sport.
    Oh GOODY!! I can't wait to here about this one. I can tell I'm going to be having fun because yes, I have a non-sport....sigh.

    OK, I'm ready. Why is it a headache the first time? With a 170k on the car, I doubt it is the first time, but I'm probably very wrong. And yes, it will most certainly be my first time.
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

  8. #8
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    Its easy to take out the rear struts, if you remove both upper rear control arms (Item #18 in diagram below). This isn't mentioned in the Beisan DIY. And this may well be what NNY is aludeing to.



    Quote Originally Posted by aa240sx View Post
    Couldn't agree with you more! I did this work Sunday and my arms and hands are still sore. It's back breaking work. I would say the repetitive motion with the spring compressor is the most torturous part of it. I'm dreading the rear springs. I Plan to remove the rear tray and interior components tonight so I at least break up the work somewhat.
    Yeah, break the work up into manageable portions.
    Last edited by Graham E39 528i; 04-15-2010 at 12:10 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost




  9. #9
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    Last edited by Jason5driver; 04-14-2010 at 11:56 PM.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNY528I View Post
    The spring compressor is a cake walk compared to the headache of getting the rear struts out of the car the first time if you have a non sport.
    I'm curious about this comment myself. I just removed the back seats and parcel tray. (45 min. flat! Very easy DIY on this one) and sitting back to follow up on threads when I came across this comment about non-sport being difficult?! I would assume sport would be tougher because the spring is shorter? Is it because the spring on a non-sport is longer? Does that make it tougher to remove. Please clarify.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  11. #11
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    I took advantage of this deal from Freddie also. Springs will be here tomorrow and I will be having them installed end of the month paired with koni adjustables. Can't wait!

  12. #12
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    wish i knew who Freddie was... i'd order a set myself

  13. #13
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    Freddie AKA WHITE E39

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by aa240sx View Post
    I'm curious about this comment myself. I just removed the back seats and parcel tray. (45 min. flat! Very easy DIY on this one) and sitting back to follow up on threads when I came across this comment about non-sport being difficult?! I would assume sport would be tougher because the spring is shorter? Is it because the spring on a non-sport is longer? Does that make it tougher to remove. Please clarify.

    The problem lies in the length of the rear spring/strut when in the car. it is long enough that it does not readily drop out of the fender area when released from the car the lower end is caged in by the suspension components. Perhaps removing the control arms will help, however that is creating a lot of variables you may want to avoid, the suspension arms have to be flexed beyond their normal range of motion to pop the strut out the first time, once the drop springs are on they can go back in with one hand.(see Orxan4iks thread on his suspension rebuild for a video of this) It is absolutely impossible to remove them without removing the fender liners, dont even bother trying they will not come out.

    Quote Originally Posted by Graham E39 528i View Post
    Its easy to take out the rear struts, if you remove both upper rear control arms (Item #18 in diagram below). This isn't mentioned in the Beisan DIY. And this may well be what NNY is aludeing to.





    Yeah, break the work up into manageable portions.

    I would recommend caution at removing the upper control arms in that you could if not careful cause damage to the arm, the spindle or most problematic the axle or axle boots, the struts will come out with the suspension assembled which preserves the rear alignment settings(which are lost if the arms are removed) it just takes a little time and elbow grease. do not take this to mean that this is not a viable approach, i just want to point out the need to be aware of the issues and the potential problems for people who are less experienced than yourself. Personally i never considered removing them, perhaps in the future i will give it a try.
    Last edited by NNY528I; 04-15-2010 at 06:56 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    >'97 528i, 200000 miles, Hella Xenons, 17" Stilauto wheels, Vogtland Drop Springs, Dynomax Race Muffler, Homelink, 540 brake upgrade, 15mm spacers >'65 & '74 MG Midgets BFC OT Lego Club #48 Manual conversion in process!!!



  15. #15
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    'The problem lies in the length of the rear spring/strut when in the car. it is long enough that it does not readily drop out of the fender area when released from the car the lower end is caged in by the suspension components. Perhaps removing the control arms will help, however that is creating a lot of variables you may want to avoid, the suspension arms have to be flexed beyond their normal range of motion to pop the strut out the first time, once the drop springs are on they can go back in with one hand.(see Orxan4iks thread on his suspension rebuild for a video of this) It is absolutely impossible to remove them without removing the fender liners, dont even bother trying they will not come out.'

    It sounds to me like I should really follow the Beisan Systems DIY to the letter. Is that DIY, they go through the detail of removing both fender liners, and relocating fuel lines to give most access to the strut/spring for removal. Further, they ask you to use a piece of 2x4 wood that you use to jam open the lower arms against the lower body/carriage. I'm definitely not going to try and remove the control arms.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  16. #16
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    I want to tip my hat off to all you guys that are doing the work yourself.

    I wasn't brave enough to do it so i took the car to a shop.

    I would like to thank Graham E39 528i & NNY528I with 2 other local guys that let me drive both cars in order to make up my mind.

    As for the $199 deal all credit goes to Jack. I only spoke to him and asked if he can help forum members with the price and he did (twice). Thanks Jack.

    now you guys need to finish because i want to see some pics.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNY528I View Post
    The problem lies in the length of the rear spring/strut when in the car. it is long enough that it does not readily drop out of the fender area when released from the car the lower end is caged in by the suspension components. Perhaps removing the control arms will help, however that is creating a lot of variables you may want to avoid, the suspension arms have to be flexed beyond their normal range of motion to pop the strut out the first time, once the drop springs are on they can go back in with one hand.(see Orxan4iks thread on his suspension rebuild for a video of this) It is absolutely impossible to remove them without removing the fender liners, dont even bother trying they will not come out.




    I would recommend caution at removing the upper control arms in that you could if not careful cause damage to the arm, the spindle or most problematic the axle or axle boots, the struts will come out with the suspension assembled which preserves the rear alignment settings(which are lost if the arms are removed) it just takes a little time and elbow grease. do not take this to mean that this is not a viable approach, i just want to point out the need to be aware of the issues and the potential problems for people who are less experienced than yourself. Personally i never considered removing them, perhaps in the future i will give it a try.
    Is the spelling of Orxan4iks correct? His name never came up as a user on this forum?
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  18. #18
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    Do the Vogtland springs provide a drop? Or are they just replacements?

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by s car View Post
    Do the Vogtland springs provide a drop? Or are they just replacements?
    Depends on what you have now. If you have stock suspension, you'll get a dramatic drop something like over 1.2 inches in the front and 1.3 in the rear for that even dropped look.

    If you have sport suspension, very minimal at best. My drop difference was probably less than 1/2" for the front, which is low enough for me...for now...
    Last edited by aa240sx; 04-17-2010 at 11:27 AM.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by aa240sx View Post
    Is the spelling of Orxan4iks correct? His name never came up as a user on this forum?

    Lots of vidoes of suspension in here. The one i was talking about was the second to last one in post 18, however most of them may be helpful to you in some form or another.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ght=suspension
    >'97 528i, 200000 miles, Hella Xenons, 17" Stilauto wheels, Vogtland Drop Springs, Dynomax Race Muffler, Homelink, 540 brake upgrade, 15mm spacers >'65 & '74 MG Midgets BFC OT Lego Club #48 Manual conversion in process!!!



  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNY528I View Post
    Lots of vidoes of suspension in here. The one i was talking about was the second to last one in post 18, however most of them may be helpful to you in some form or another.

    http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...ght=suspension
    Thanks, I plan on spending a significant amount of time memorizing the steps so that once the springs are here i don't have to "read the directions".
    2002 Schwartz II 530 5spd Sport Premium
    1967 F/bird conv 400/4spd 450hp (gone but not forgotten)
    1966 Mustang f/b longterm project
    1964 Chevelle 4dr LT1 4L60 f/s (In the garage getting finished!)
    1996 Malibu ski boat
    9 1968-73 2002s, all gone......
    1995 530i w/4.4 conversion (sold).
    1985 535i w/mods, sorely missed.
    BMWCCA member #110881

    He who dies with the most toys, wins....

  22. #22
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    rear springs - my experience

    Just did the rear springs yesterday. Sadly, I'm not so sure Vogtlands actually do much to lower the rear of a sport suspension E39 I6. I'll put pictures up of the ride height difference, but from my unscientific finger measurements I would say there is no diff after the install. Granted, I haven't driven it at all, but I'm not expecting much. here's a spring comparison:



    Seems like they're the same height?!?

    That said, the rear install actually not that bad if you take your time. I used the Beisan Guide and in that guide it recommends using a 9 1/2" piece of 2x4 wood to hold the lower control arm down so that when you remove the strut, the orientation remains the same. This makes it easier to put the strut with the new spring back in.

    Before



    Well, that didn't work for me. The wood slipped and caused the control arm to move, which made it impossible to put the bolt back through the lower part of the strut, so I used this



    That's the scissor jack and it works great. Plus you have tons of control in setting the control arm to the height you need to put the strut back in and it doesn't get in the way of the strut either.

    Otherwise, I followed the Beisan guide to a T.
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  23. #23
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    It's really easy if you have two people when trying to get the strut in / out. I know someone said not to remove the upper control arm to preserve the rear alignment, but it is really easy if you just un-bolt all the control arms. Then have someone push down on the brake caliper and pull the strut out. If you have a non-sport you may want to compress your spring, it makes it much easier.

    If your just putting in new springs it may be nice to preserve the alignment. But if your putting in coilovers, or new struts/shocks and springs, I would get an alignment anyways. Especially if you haven't had one in a long time. Make sure you go to the right place though, I went to some place and they said they could only fix part of the camber on the rears...... And they charged me $110....

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by legitsnowe39 View Post
    It's really easy if you have two people when trying to get the strut in / out. I know someone said not to remove the upper control arm to preserve the rear alignment, but it is really easy if you just un-bolt all the control arms. Then have someone push down on the brake caliper and pull the strut out. If you have a non-sport you may want to compress your spring, it makes it much easier.

    If your just putting in new springs it may be nice to preserve the alignment. But if your putting in coilovers, or new struts/shocks and springs, I would get an alignment anyways. Especially if you haven't had one in a long time. Make sure you go to the right place though, I went to some place and they said they could only fix part of the camber on the rears...... And they charged me $110....
    I'm in SD too, where did you go for your alignment. Since my drop from sport height was minimal at best, I probably wont get an alignment but was curious where you went incase I decide later to get coilovers. Also, if you get coilovers and then an alignment, do you have to get an alignment each time you go in to change the ride height, camber, and/or damping?
    2003 BMW M3 - Alpine SMG

  25. #25
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    aa240sx

    This is what i had with my car from front tire to fender lip with the same wheels & tires:

    non-sport - 4 finger gap

    sport - +2 finger gap

    Vogtland - 1 finger gap

    Did you get to see if the front suspension is seated all the way down?

    in a few weeks your car will also settle.

    post some more pics when you finish.

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