Sport Shock Options

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cory58
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Sport Shock Options

Post by cory58 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 10:18 am

It seems that the remaining supply of new front Bilstein B8s for E12s has dried up. Wish I would have bought a set a few months ago when I read Siegel's Roundel column describing how hard is was to find front B8s for his early E24.

So what do we do for lowered suspension? My car came with lowering springs and Bilsteins that were purchased in the early 1990's (receipt came with the car). I would actually prefer a less sporty ride but love the lowered stance on BBS mesh wheels. So I was planning to just replace the current shocks with new Bilstein B8s.

Any recommendations from the E12 whisperers on this site would be greatly appreciated.

Cory
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

PatinaBeforePolish
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by PatinaBeforePolish » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:10 pm

I have an email from Bilstein stating the B6 is appropriate for this application and they have no plans to resume B8 production. The B6’s have been unavailable until very recently and I strongly recommend grabbing a set before they’re gone. There are no good alternatives if you want to maintain the stock set up. I purchased M535 spec strut inserts from Wallothnesch this summer- they were less expensive than Turner and shipping was free. They feel softer than the sport shocks but the ride is quite nice.
78 F150
79 528i
81 528i parts car
01 540i
86 944
08 X3 don’t judge me it’s there to preserve the others

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528i-1981
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by 528i-1981 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 5:39 pm

Are the M535i inserts usable with non-M535 stock springs? I was planning on using B6 inserts in the front as well as the rear on stock springs. I think the following will work but let me know if I’m mistaken:

B6 Cartridge - 34-003268
B6 Rear Shocks - 24-007306

I can confirm the rear shocks are correct as there is currently a pair with this number on my (stock) 528i.

-Eric
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

PatinaBeforePolish
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by PatinaBeforePolish » Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm

I'm using the M535i inserts with H&R springs that are about 1.5" lower. Here's the response from Bilstein and feel free to email or call them, maybe they'll get the message to bring back the B8. They're saying the B6's are for stock springs but will also work with lowered suspensions. I also have a pair of new B6's and the external dimensions are identical to the M535 units. The M535 units are softer like a B6 and very likely the same unit.

Also wherever you buy them be sure to ask for the plastic rings that fits around the strut housing. They're used to match the diameter of the bellows to the housing. The instructions say they're included but were absent in both sets I purchased.

Hello,

In the absence of a B8 for your chassis. The B6 will work with the 1.5” drop.

Kind Regards,
Michael Ritchie
Technical Sales & Warranty Support Expert
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc



T: +1 858 386-5909, michael.ritchie@thyssenkrupp.com
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc, 14102 Stowe Drive, Poway, CA 92064, USA, www.bilsteinus.com
78 F150
79 528i
81 528i parts car
01 540i
86 944
08 X3 don’t judge me it’s there to preserve the others

User avatar
528i-1981
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by 528i-1981 » Thu Dec 06, 2018 8:30 pm

Great suggestion, thanks.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

cory58
Posts: 103
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Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by cory58 » Fri Dec 07, 2018 3:24 pm

PatinaBeforePolish wrote:
Thu Dec 06, 2018 7:40 pm
I'm using the M535i inserts with H&R springs that are about 1.5" lower. Here's the response from Bilstein and feel free to email or call them, maybe they'll get the message to bring back the B8. They're saying the B6's are for stock springs but will also work with lowered suspensions. I also have a pair of new B6's and the external dimensions are identical to the M535 units. The M535 units are softer like a B6 and very likely the same unit.

Also wherever you buy them be sure to ask for the plastic rings that fits around the strut housing. They're used to match the diameter of the bellows to the housing. The instructions say they're included but were absent in both sets I purchased.

Hello,

In the absence of a B8 for your chassis. The B6 will work with the 1.5” drop.

Kind Regards,
Michael Ritchie
Technical Sales & Warranty Support Expert
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc



T: +1 858 386-5909, michael.ritchie@thyssenkrupp.com
thyssenkrupp Bilstein of America, Inc, 14102 Stowe Drive, Poway, CA 92064, USA, www.bilsteinus.com
Great info. Thank you! I just looked at the Walloth site and could not find manufacturer part #s. Also checked the Bilstein UK site and they list the same front B6 for 530i and M535i (part #34-003268), so I think your hunch is right that they are the same shock.

Very interesting response from Bilstein about using B6s on lowered springs. Contradicts the Bilstein company line. I think I will contact them with the same question, so I have a direct answer just in case I buy them and they don't work.

Cory
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

PatinaBeforePolish
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by PatinaBeforePolish » Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:41 am

The part # on the M535i box is A 31 32 1 124930. Here's the link:

https://www.wallothnesch.com/en/catalog ... 1321124930
78 F150
79 528i
81 528i parts car
01 540i
86 944
08 X3 don’t judge me it’s there to preserve the others

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maybeillbuyit
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by maybeillbuyit » Sun Dec 09, 2018 4:51 pm

I've had a similar experience with talking and emailing a tech rep at Bilstein USA. They recommend the same shock for stock and sport or lowering springs. Which seems to contradict everything else I've read. Bilstein seems to lack a lot of knowledge about theses cars. In the end they weren't much help at all. :?
1977 530i another project
1979 635csi Euro "project"
1987 635csi

Bert Poliakoff
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by Bert Poliakoff » Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:08 pm

That answer is way off base. The B6's will work in the front where the spring is "captive on the strut. But the rear is a different breed of cat. The difference between a B6 and B8 shock is the length of the stroke of the shock shaft. The problem with the B6 is the stroke is longer and allows the rear springs to come off their perches when fully extended, no if ands or buts. Yes they will work with lowering springs with the weight of the car on them, but as I described, when the weight of the car is off them it is another matter. So the correct answer is although B6's will work, they will not work correctly. Ask me how I know.I had been told that Bilstein can rebuild the B6's as B8's and if so, find a beat up set of B6's and get them rebuilt.call. Bil in Poway, CA and find out.

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maybeillbuyit
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by maybeillbuyit » Mon Dec 10, 2018 1:57 am

Bert, that reminds me also that when I talked to Bilstein USA regarding the fact that the HD or b6 shock will allow the the shock to extend enough that the lowering spring will come out of its perch, the rep just tut tuted and said" where did you hear that, the problem with these forums is that none of the people on there really know what they are talking about! I told him the enthusiasts probably know a lot more about these cars than people at a shock absorber company. He was pretty much useless. Like I said no help at all.
1977 530i another project
1979 635csi Euro "project"
1987 635csi

cory58
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by cory58 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:15 pm

PatinaBeforePolish wrote:
Sat Dec 08, 2018 8:41 am
The part # on the M535i box is A 31 32 1 124930. Here's the link:

https://www.wallothnesch.com/en/catalog ... 1321124930
Interesting. That is a superseded BMW factory part number (minus the "A"). Googling "Bilstein A 31 32 1 124930" returns no relevant results. Thank you.
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

cory58
Posts: 103
Joined: Thu Aug 25, 2016 8:49 pm
Location: Charlotte, NC

Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by cory58 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 3:22 pm

Bert Poliakoff wrote:
Sun Dec 09, 2018 6:08 pm
That answer is way off base. The B6's will work in the front where the spring is "captive on the strut. But the rear is a different breed of cat. The difference between a B6 and B8 shock is the length of the stroke of the shock shaft. The problem with the B6 is the stroke is longer and allows the rear springs to come off their perches when fully extended, no if ands or buts. Yes they will work with lowering springs with the weight of the car on them, but as I described, when the weight of the car is off them it is another matter. So the correct answer is although B6's will work, they will not work correctly. Ask me how I know.I had been told that Bilstein can rebuild the B6's as B8's and if so, find a beat up set of B6's and get them rebuilt.call. Bil in Poway, CA and find out.
Thanks for the info. As far as I can tell, rear B8s for an E12 are still available, even if Bilstein has stopped making them. Maybe B6 for the front and B8 for the rear will work.

I've always thought that one of the problems with using a shock made for standard height springs on a car with lowering springs is that the shock could bottom out on the internal bump stop. Is that not a concern in this situation?

The rebuild rout is definitely an option, especially since my car already has a 20+ year-old set of Bilsteins. A post in another thread here states that rebuild costs can get really high once Bilstein determines everything that needs to be replaced on the shock.

Cory
Last edited by cory58 on Tue Dec 11, 2018 11:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

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528i-1981
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by 528i-1981 » Mon Dec 10, 2018 6:46 pm

Cory - yes, that was Gary from West Oz who got a quote on a rebuild on Bilsteins, but he was comparing the rebuild cost to the cost of new shocks with the shipping, etc. If there are zero B8's available at any price and Bilstein agrees to rebuild B8s you have, then you may not have much of a choice.

I think the bottoming out is a possibility if the B6 is too soft for lowering springs, and it may be. The lowering springs should be stiffer, but it's a gamble imo. The B6 is designed for longer travel for it's full damping range, and constraining it to the upper end of it's range seems to me to be loading it in a way outside of its design specs.
(oo=00=oo) Eric
1981 528i Manual

Bert Poliakoff
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by Bert Poliakoff » Tue Dec 11, 2018 5:52 pm

My understanding from numerous posts on E24 forums is that the HDs and sports have the same valving. The difference is in the length of the stroke. So back to rebuild. If the money is there to spend, I believe Bil can rebuild B6s as B8s with the large part of the cost being in the new shafts. If I am right, just find some B6 beaters and have them rebuilt accordingly. ...If am right.

cory58
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Re: Sport Shock Options

Post by cory58 » Wed Dec 12, 2018 11:21 am

Thanks to everyone for the great information. I just ordered the rear B8s that Bav Auto says will fit an E12, and will be contacting Bilstein about rebuilding the front shocks.

Regarding the rear B8s from Bav Auto, they are the only seller that lists that shock (24-008198) as a fit for E12s. The Bilstein site and every other seller lists it just for E3s. To make it more interesting, the part number for the old rear shocks on the car (B46 081 9) cross references to the current part I ordered from Bav Auto.

I'll update the thread again after getting the front shocks rebuilt.

Cory
1977 530i
1988 320i Touring (euro)
1992 325i Cabrio
2015 328i (wife's car)
2001 325i (R.I.P., still missed)

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