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      01-27-2013, 04:35 AM   #1
Dom
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520d ride just not good enough

Had my new 520d SE for 3 weeks now and although there are many positives, eg the best headlights I've ever had with the visibility pack, it is badly let down by the clatter from the rear suspension. I only have the standard 17s and every imperfection in the road is felt and heard. I don't have VDC.
I'm thinking of changing over to 18' rims with non-runflat tyres. Will that solve my problem?
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      01-27-2013, 07:01 AM   #2
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Although 18"s may be a lower profile, i would have thought non rft 18"s should do the trick.

Though take into account that lower profiles may have an adverse effect.
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      01-27-2013, 09:26 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom View Post
Had my new 520d SE for 3 weeks now and although there are many positives, eg the best headlights I've ever had with the visibility pack, it is badly let down by the clatter from the rear suspension. I only have the standard 17s and every imperfection in the road is felt and heard. I don't have VDC.
I'm thinking of changing over to 18' rims with non-runflat tyres. Will that solve my problem?
I would head for the dealer if I were you - my 520d SE is as smooth as glass. sounds like you have a problem. Some people have reported delivery blocks being left in place - worth a check...

This is in stark contrast to my E60 - the ride on it was horrible.
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      01-27-2013, 10:19 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arnsbrae View Post
I would head for the dealer if I were you - my 520d SE is as smooth as glass. sounds like you have a problem. Some people have reported delivery blocks being left in place - worth a check...

This is in stark contrast to my E60 - the ride on it was horrible.
It is smooth on good surfaces but when you're on bad rural roads it is very poor. I will check the delivery blocks though - cheers.
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      01-27-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom View Post
It is smooth on good surfaces but when you're on bad rural roads it is very poor. I will check the delivery blocks though - cheers.
You've answered what was going to be my question about road quality. My experience as well, in the F10 without the active suspension. Some of us have some pretty challenging road surfaces, don't we.

Definitely worth checking for transportation blocks, but I imagine there won't be any there.

I do suspect the run-flats are amplifying the road imperfections as road quality deteriorates. Had the same issue on my E91 330d, non run-flats changed the way the rear damped the poor surfaces.

Are you thinking of getting 18" wheels to allow keeping the 17" as is? If not, 17" non run-flats will probably give the best ride quality. I suppose it depends how much you are willing to experiment.

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      01-27-2013, 05:31 PM   #6
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+1 for visit the dealer.

My car ( 528i SE, 17" wheels and standard suspension) left the factory with faulty shocks (very bouncy tail) so not all BMWs are delivered in perfect health.

That said, once they replaced the shocks, I now feel every bump in the road, so maybe yours are as intended.

I swapped to non-RFT winters before Xmas; it's smoother, but not 1200 worth smoother.
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      01-27-2013, 07:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theig View Post
+1 for visit the dealer.

My car ( 528i SE, 17" wheels and standard suspension) left the factory with faulty shocks (very bouncy tail) so not all BMWs are delivered in perfect health.

That said, once they replaced the shocks, I now feel every bump in the road, so maybe yours are as intended.

I swapped to non-RFT winters before Xmas; it's smoother, but not 1200 worth smoother.
Looks like we should all have gone with the VDC!
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      01-27-2013, 07:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
You've answered what was going to be my question about road quality. My experience as well, in the F10 without the active suspension. Some of us have some pretty challenging road surfaces, don't we.

Definitely worth checking for transportation blocks, but I imagine there won't be any there.

I do suspect the run-flats are amplifying the road imperfections as road quality deteriorates. Had the same issue on my E91 330d, non run-flats changed the way the rear damped the poor surfaces.

Are you thinking of getting 18" wheels to allow keeping the 17" as is? If not, 17" non run-flats will probably give the best ride quality. I suppose it depends how much you are willing to experiment.

HighlandPete
As I am going to change over to non rfs I thought I might as well go to a slightly bigger wheel for cosmetic reasons - I just hope that doesn't defeat the purpose of the exercise!
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      01-28-2013, 04:42 AM   #9
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Just a thought, have you checked the tyre pressures. Not set too high are they, for your typical use? Perhaps experiment a little within the working range, as identified for the wheel size on the door plate.

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      01-28-2013, 04:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dom View Post
Will that solve my problem?
I test drove a 520SE with VDC and it was very quite and comfortable (17" RFT's).

Ended up buying 520 M with deleted sports suspension and 18" RFT's. My experience has been that it was noticeably louder at first but the more I have driven, the quieter it has got... it is a pleasure now... (275/40/18's at rear which are louder than normal)

I would have thought the 17" tyres would be even quieter due to higher profile.... so I'd go to dealer, and then let them run in for a while!
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      01-29-2013, 07:14 AM   #11
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I believe my 520d M-Sport has the sports suspension, but it is nowhere near as "rock hard" as my previous 320d M-Sport. I took delivery of it with winter wheels & tyres fitted, but they're also run-flats, and overall I'd say the ride is quite acceptable.
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      01-30-2013, 01:16 PM   #12
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Take it in mate ,they will fix it.. thats not right. dude.
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      02-06-2013, 10:44 AM   #13
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Agree, take it in to get looked at. Dealers do not always prepare properly - I've had seriously over inflated tyres on at least two occasions, for example.

For all my other quibbles with my F10 520d M-Sport (with 19" wheels), ride comfort is not one of them. It's way better than my old e60 M-Sport and an e90 320d I had recently.

Haven't tried non M-Sport suspension on the f10; so cannot give any indication of comparison.

Note that when I sit on the back, I find it firmer than when in the drivers seat. Even over the same roads... Still good mind. Must be something to do with the seat cushioning???
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      03-17-2013, 11:20 AM   #14
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[quote=en1gma;13435679]

Haven't tried non M-Sport suspension on the f10; so cannot give any indication of comparison.

[quote]

This is just my opinion.

I recently drove a 520D M Sport on M Sport suspension & 19s back-to-back with a standard SE on 18s (275 rears). There was very little difference with regard to bump absorption over sharp ridges and broken surfaces, but the SE felt far more wallowy when changing direction and the dampers didn't seem as well able to control the extra mass of the optional 18s as they did on the M Sport. Although the M Sport may have been a little bit softer riding, the suspension seemed nowhere near as well controlled as that on the M Sport version.
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      03-28-2013, 09:18 AM   #15
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[quote=F10N47][quote=en1gma;13435679]

Haven't tried non M-Sport suspension on the f10; so cannot give any indication of comparison.

Quote:

This is just my opinion.

I recently drove a 520D M Sport on M Sport suspension & 19s back-to-back with a standard SE on 18s (275 rears). There was very little difference with regard to bump absorption over sharp ridges and broken surfaces, but the SE felt far more wallowy when changing direction and the dampers didn't seem as well able to control the extra mass of the optional 18s as they did on the M Sport. Although the M Sport may have been a little bit softer riding, the suspension seemed nowhere near as well controlled as that on the M Sport version.
I can fully believe you: I wouldn't want any more movement than I perceive in my 520d M-Sport. Initial bump absorption is fine for me.

If anything, if I think about it more, It feels like there is an extra 'bounce' in the f10 compared to the e60 (both M-Sport) when going over speed bumps, for example. Maybe it is the longer wheelbase...

I also miss whatever it is they've changed in the settings when you put the auto into Sport mode in the F10. It used to stiffen/ do something which meant much tighter body control. I don't perceive any suspension changes when selecting Sports mode in the F10...
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      03-28-2013, 05:03 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by en1gma View Post
Haven't tried non M-Sport suspension on the f10; so cannot give any indication of comparison.


I can fully believe you: I wouldn't want any more movement than I perceive in my 520d M-Sport. Initial bump absorption is fine for me.

If anything, if I think about it more, It feels like there is an extra 'bounce' in the f10 compared to the e60 (both M-Sport) when going over speed bumps, for example. Maybe it is the longer wheelbase...

I also miss whatever it is they've changed in the settings when you put the auto into Sport mode in the F10. It used to stiffen/ do something which meant much tighter body control. I don't perceive any suspension changes when selecting Sports mode in the F10...
I assume you are running the standard suspension. If so it is softened a little compared to the E60.

The E60 never had any suspension adjustment, unless you were running Dynamic Drive with the active roll bars. Standard M-sport setup with sport auto, weighted up the steering in sport, that is the only extra feeling of body control you had. Which is the same with the sport auto in the F10. Configure to chassis and the steering has more of a sporty setup, which can feel as if the suspension tightens up. Again you need active suspension components to physically stiffen the suspension, VDC or the Adaptive Drive option in some models.

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      05-10-2013, 12:00 PM   #17
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Thoughts please

Hi Guys
I am very new to the BMW worls so apologies if i have entered an incorrect thread. I'm looking at the 5 sreies as i need space due to new family and therfor could do with all the boot space etc.
I have seen the following spec on Auto Trader, Please could i have your feedback in regards to if this is a good deal for what you get and mainly common problems with such a car. I have added a link and also the decription of the car below.

http://www.autotrader.co.uk/classifi.../200?logcode=p

NEW SHAPE BMW 520d DYNAMIC SE saloon. 2010 (60) 8 speed auto. Showroom condition. Full BMW service history (LAST SERVICED 3/13) and includes 6 month's BMW warranty. 1 non-smoking owner. Sophistico grey metallic with oyster/black full leather interior. Over 5000 of options fitted incl: Professional navigation/media pack, DVD, sports seats/steering wheel, upgraded 19" alloys, Xenon headlights/washers, ambient lighting, grey windscreen shade band. Looks and drives like new, genuine reason for sale. (BMW individual LED rear lights available at additional cost) PRICE REDUCED due to timewasters!. 17,495
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      05-11-2013, 03:51 AM   #18
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Thumbs up

I think for that spec and mileage that is a very good price... I wouldn't hesitate. You'll still get a good 80,000 miles on before anything major needed servicing.

Rear space and boot space are more than enough for a family of four. 2 big, 2 medium and soft backs back packs can get stuffed in with ease, boot space kills Audi. I have 6ft children and they fit in the back fine behind me, I am 6ft 4" !

Problems, that will of curse vary by car, only issue I have had in 2 years is one valve for coolant needed replacement, otherwise goes like a dream

Strong suggestion: get an extended warranty when the old one expires... Warranty-Direct etc. for peace of mind.
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Last edited by jedpause; 05-11-2013 at 03:53 AM. Reason: Added advice
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      05-16-2013, 05:12 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
Configure to chassis and the steering has more of a sporty setup, which can feel as if the suspension tightens up. Again you need active suspension components to physically stiffen the suspension, VDC or the Adaptive Drive option in some models.

HighlandPete
BMW aren't very forthcoming with their technical specifications, especially regarding suspension options. My understanding of the F10 set-up is:

1. reduced (softer) spring & damper rates for models without M sport suspension

2. increased (firmer) rate and shorter springs (to reduce ride height) and increased rate dampers for models with M Sport suspension

3. reduced (softer) spring rates for VDC option, plus the facility to vary damper rates between the softer standard rate and the M Sport rate

If my understanding is correct then an M Sport model will still have firmer suspension due to higher spring rates than a VDC equipped standard set-up, even though damper rates will be the same if the firmest setting is selected on the VDC.

If anyone can shed some light on this I'd be interested to hear.

Last edited by F10N47; 05-16-2013 at 11:14 AM.
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      05-17-2013, 03:32 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10N47 View Post
BMW aren't very forthcoming with their technical specifications, especially regarding suspension options. My understanding of the F10 set-up is:

1. reduced (softer) spring & damper rates for models without M sport suspension

2. increased (firmer) rate and shorter springs (to reduce ride height) and increased rate dampers for models with M Sport suspension

3. reduced (softer) spring rates for VDC option, plus the facility to vary damper rates between the softer standard rate and the M Sport rate

If my understanding is correct then an M Sport model will still have firmer suspension due to higher spring rates than a VDC equipped standard set-up, even though damper rates will be the same if the firmest setting is selected on the VDC.

If anyone can shed some light on this I'd be interested to hear.
It is a big subject and agree we would like more technical data.

I think you are summing it up pretty much as it is, but it is even more complex if you are trying to determine the ride/handling balance of any particular setup, particularly when we add Adaptive Drive, which has the additional active anti-roll stabilization. At least BMW have given out technical data on the differences in performance to fixed roll bars with graphs and actual figures. Plus explained how it can change understeer and oversteer on the fly.

BMW have never been too specific of spring and damping rates, other than comments like "the M-sport suspension has a more sporty drive". Even official BMW media releases don't get near to what we really want to know. At launch, even Adaptive Drive was stated to have the 10mm lower ride height, which doesn't appear to be correct. I've never measured mine... as I've not found data to reference to.

Add in F11 rear suspension.... I personally like the F11 suspension better than the F10, as it has rear self levelling air suspension. So we get variable spring rate according to load, and that improves low speed/low load ride quality. I agree with many others who find the sport springs in many BMW models are to stiff, they are fine for high speed driving, but very knobbly at low speeds and low loads.

In my own experience with Adaptive Drive, I find the spring and damping rates are pitched just right. Enough spring rate to give the widest working envelope and damping rates which fit around the spring rate. 'Normal' is well balanced as we would expect, with 'comfort' feeling slightly under damped and 'sport' slightly over damped, but well in the range of the spring rate. I wouldn't want a stiffer spring, even in my M-sport, as it would start getting knobbly on my daily driving roads. It is not just the stiffness for me, but the frequency at which the suspension works, stiff springs raise the frequency and I find that wearing over distance.

But how we get the specifics and technical details/data of individual setups, appears impossible, only trying them can give us the real differences it seems.

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      05-19-2013, 03:50 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HighlandPete View Post
I agree with many others who find the sport springs in many BMW models are to stiff, they are fine for high speed driving, but very knobbly at low speeds and low loads.
I agree with that; which is why it's so important to try as many suspension/tyre variations as possible before purchasing. My local roads are very poorly maintained so the ride is quite choppy around my home, but as I spend a lot of time travelling on smoother, well maintained roads the M Sport set-up works for me for most of the time. I do, however, wish I'd had a drive in a VDC equipped car before ordering. Unfortunately, this option seems to have a poor uptake so suitably equipped demonstrators/used cars are few and far between. IF VDC takes the edge off the impacts in comfort mode but can be sharpened up to provide the exact same control as the M Sport rates, then I can only imagine it to be well worth the money.
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      05-20-2013, 05:13 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by F10N47 View Post
I agree with that; which is why it's so important to try as many suspension/tyre variations as possible before purchasing. My local roads are very poorly maintained so the ride is quite choppy around my home, but as I spend a lot of time travelling on smoother, well maintained roads the M Sport set-up works for me for most of the time. I do, however, wish I'd had a drive in a VDC equipped car before ordering. Unfortunately, this option seems to have a poor uptake so suitably equipped demonstrators/used cars are few and far between. IF VDC takes the edge off the impacts in comfort mode but can be sharpened up to provide the exact same control as the M Sport rates, then I can only imagine it to be well worth the money.
I waited several months to get in a demo F10 with Adaptive Drive. Had to come up from BMW stock, so dealer had to wait until available.

As I see it, the problem with VDC in the 5-series, it is a half-way house. It is not a sport suspension equivalent, due to softer spring rate, standard ARBs. The F30 3-series is different, the Adaptive M-sport suspension is based on the passive M-sport spring and ARB. So the VDC is giving a comfort and sport mode 'around' the original passive M-sport settings. It has a mixed user response, but many feel the sport setting is as good as, or even better than the passive M-sport suspension.

My personal view, if you want a similar but more refined suspension to passive M-sport in the 5-series, you need Adaptive Drive. ARS is the part that gives that sporty cornering ability, without needing firm springs. Just isolating VDC to straight line driving (where ARS is less involved), changing modes (the VDC setting) makes a noticeable difference to how bumps and hollows are absorbed. Obviously it is difficult to gauge how each part works in cornering, but certainly complement each other as cornering is flat and controlled, even in comfort mode. Something you never get with a softer passive setup. Both roll and damping are stiffened up.

Kevin Bird has developed suspension kits for the E9*-series cars where the spring rate is decreased, ARBs stiffened and damper curves more finely tuned. The result is a softer ride with better handling. I understand the initial feeling is a softish setup, but push on and it exceeds the abilities of any BMW OEM M-sport setup. (Sporty doesn't have to be hard and unforgiving, as Lotus has proven in many a setup). The negative as I see it will be single wheel bumps where stiff ARBs do add a conflict. But as spring rates are decreased, the effect will be less than having both being unyielding. This is where BMW have been able to widen the working envelope, with Adaptive Drive, softer springs but with the ability to virtually decouple the ARB function when possible (with ARS fitted) as part of the adaptive package.

But back to the original point of test driving the setups, we'd really need all the options lined up for a given model and back to back test, pick the setup we prefer.

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