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2010 2011 BMW 5 Series Forum F10 F10 Technical Topics Wheels / Tires / Suspension / Brakes Think I made a mistake with lowering springs
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      08-24-2021, 12:59 PM   #1
justahobo
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Think I made a mistake with lowering springs

I have a 2011 535i with around 140k miles on it. Replaced the original Shocks/ struts/ springs about a week ago with Bilstein B4's paired with H&R's OE Sport Springs set. The springs advertised a 1" drop all around.

Good news, handles far better than it used to. Bad news is the drop doesn't seem even all around. Not sure if the front's lower than it should be, or if the rear's higher. I'm not really one for the lowered look, I just figured it was time to replace the original springs.

Measurements from the top of the wheel to the apex of the wheel well are:
Front: 8cm
Rear: 16.5cm

I've read the B4's aren't meant for lowering, so I'm wondering if I should swap the front for B6's, or swap the front springs. But I'm not sure how smart a mismatched setup would be.

Edit: Shop swapped front & rear springs.
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Last edited by justahobo; 08-26-2021 at 11:28 AM..
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      08-24-2021, 03:08 PM   #2
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How long has it been since you installed them? I'm pretty sure there's a little bit of time for the springs to settle. Not sure how long that is though.
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      08-24-2021, 05:12 PM   #3
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Rears are way too high. That's higher than stock suspension. Did you take this pic right after lowering the car from the jack? If so, drive around the block and then check the height. Suspension typically stays jacked up when first put back on the ground
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      08-24-2021, 06:21 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post
Rears are way too high. That's higher than stock suspension. Did you take this pic right after lowering the car from the jack? If so, drive around the block and then check the height. Suspension typically stays jacked up when first put back on the ground
Yeah I guess itís the rear thatís too high. I got it done at a shop about 5 days ago, driven 100~ ish miles since.
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      08-24-2021, 07:02 PM   #5
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Is it at all possible that the front and rear springs got swapped? I'd check that first.
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      08-24-2021, 07:21 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justahobo View Post
Yeah I guess itís the rear thatís too high. I got it done at a shop about 5 days ago, driven 100~ ish miles since.
100% not normal. Go back to the shop. As cdmulders said, my money is they swapped front and back.
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      08-24-2021, 08:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmulders View Post
Is it at all possible that the front and rear springs got swapped? I'd check that first.
Low and behold, it appears they swapped the front & back springs.
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      08-24-2021, 10:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdmulders View Post
Is it at all possible that the front and rear springs got swapped? I'd check that first.
That was my first thought as well. I remember another thread where an F10 was lowered and the shop mixed up the front and rear springs.

I'm going to go out on a limb and guess the rear of your car feels pretty stiff? The spring rates on the F10 are much higher on front springs since the lower control arm attaches the shock inboard of the outer ball joint, giving the suspension about a 30% mechanical advantage on the spring. If your springs are switched front/rear, correcting them should not only make a difference in ride height but feel/handle better too.
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      08-24-2021, 10:19 PM   #9
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Another tip: assuming the springs are installed backwards, make sure the shop fully releases and re-tightens all of the rubber bushings in your suspension AFTER the springs are installed correctly WITH THE FULL WEIGHT OF THE CAR COMPRESSING THE SUSPENSION. This should not be an issue since they need to re-align the car anyway.

Most of the settling people see after a spring install is the tension in the suspension bushings gradually relieving. This not only accelerates the wear on your bushings, but also reduces the lowering you get from the springs since the bushing tension is trying to keep the car at its original height.
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      08-25-2021, 08:05 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justahobo View Post
I'm not really one for the lowered look, I just figured it was time to replace the original springs.
You should've asked before going with new springs. It is extremely unlikely that your 10 year old coil springs needed to be replaced if you didn't want to lower the car. However, yes, it should handle better (and ride more firmly).

Did you at least get the B4's made for the M-sport suspension? Those would be a better match for the OE sport springs.
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      08-25-2021, 02:05 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justahobo View Post
Low and behold, it appears they swapped the front & back springs.
Honestly, how do so many shops get it backwards?
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      08-25-2021, 08:42 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beegeezy View Post
You should've asked before going with new springs. It is extremely unlikely that your 10 year old coil springs needed to be replaced if you didn't want to lower the car.
Given all four springs ran me about $250, and I was already replacing the shocks/struts, figured I'm already paying labor, why not spend the extra $ while they're down there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by beegeezy View Post
Did you at least get the B4's made for the M-sport suspension? Those would be a better match for the OE sport springs.
Nah. Guess I made a mistake there. the advertised stiffness was a turn off. Yeah these B4's will probably wear faster. Guess that's a problem for future me.
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      08-25-2021, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post
Honestly, how do so many shops get it backwards?
No idea. The whole point of paying a shop to do it was to ensure it'd be done right. Live and learn I guess...
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      08-26-2021, 07:57 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by justahobo View Post
Given all four springs ran me about $250, and I was already replacing the shocks/struts, figured I'm already paying labor, why not spend the extra $ while they're down there.

Nah. Guess I made a mistake there. the advertised stiffness was a turn off. Yeah these B4's will probably wear faster. Guess that's a problem for future me.
I definitely understand the "while you're in there" perspective.

At least they have a lifetime warranty, but you're paying for labor so that stinks.
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      08-29-2021, 04:32 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Unspec View Post
Honestly, how do so many shops get it backwards?
That's why when u go for surgery on one of your limbs they write in big black letters which one to operate on..
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      04-10-2023, 05:52 AM   #16
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sorry for reviving an old thread because apparently my shop swapped front and rear springs


This time I replaced the whole springs with the stock one after months riding on super jarring vehicle on lowering spring (Eibach lowering spring, black one)

As far as I remember, I never had that many fender gap on rear wheels so I suspected it might be swapped, pictures taken yesterday on stock springs:





I tried to tell the mechanics that it might be swapped considering visually the gap on front and back are off for stock spring, but they say it's impossible to swap it due to different spring pad. Is that true?

Please let me know what you guys think

Last edited by Johnkwick; 04-11-2023 at 01:36 AM..
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      04-10-2023, 05:08 PM   #17
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Idk bout rev'n up a old page, i read post from '15 like they was posted today, my car is '15 thats why and its some good stuff on here to go back too. I dont think there's a difference in them, idk but i thought the spring itself looks different.
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      04-11-2023, 01:33 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Double Nickel View Post
Idk bout rev'n up a old page, i read post from '15 like they was posted today, my car is '15 thats why and its some good stuff on here to go back too. I dont think there's a difference in them, idk but i thought the spring itself looks different.
The pictures above were taken after installing stock springs. Pics below taken w/ lowering springs installed. You can notice that the changes in wheel gap were visually insignificant

View post on imgur.com


Went to 2nd shop for 2nd opinion, they also said it's impossible to swap front springs with rear springs. They ruled out strut as well because in case of blown front struts, it won't significantly affect ride height

Strut is Bilstein B4, OEM springs.

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      04-11-2023, 09:51 AM   #19
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The OP confirmed their springs were installed backwards, and others have had the same thing happen. Something is messed up, and itís not your fault.

With front springs being MUCH stiffer than rears on the F10, the car will have a dangerous oversteer tendency. I wouldnít leave it that way.
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      04-11-2023, 11:24 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blue Angel View Post
The OP confirmed their springs were installed backwards, and others have had the same thing happen. Something is messed up, and it’s not your fault.

With front springs being MUCH stiffer than rears on the F10, the car will have a dangerous oversteer tendency. I wouldn’t leave it that way.

At first, I believed it's only possible with lowering springs but then I realized there's no difference in the inner diameter between stock springs and lowering springs. I guess I have to visit another shop to swap the springs for me because the other 2 hesitate to do a pointless job (they 100% sure front and rear springs can't be swapped). Can't really complain with the $50 labor cost I've paid for the springs swap job tho and now I'd rather pay twice for a better shop.

Last edited by Johnkwick; 04-11-2023 at 11:31 AM..
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      04-12-2023, 08:21 AM   #21
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Update: Visited the third shop and I brought the lowering springs (1 front + 1 rear) and let them guess which is which. They guessed wrong because I didn't let them see the VA & HA label. Exactly during that moment I convince them it's possible to install front spring on rear and vice versa.

Now it looks like it suppose to be

View post on imgur.com
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      04-12-2023, 08:29 PM   #22
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Well done!!!
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