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Olaf

My new SS Commodore... in a sharp german suit

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That's a bit 'o data! Stacks up very well doesn't it :D

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On ‎14‎/‎03‎/‎2017 at 3:02 PM, Olaf said:

After prevaricating, considering the market and options, TermiPete's 545i became available.  The domino effect of upgrading!  I'd thought about X5's, missed out on a 535d Motorsport Touring by 2 days, and thought about 550is.

So I bought this.  It's my SS Commodore.  Just in a sharply tailored german suit, rather than a Drizabone.  And it has a roundel where the lion would be.

And it's cool.  Pete has lavished a bit of attention on this vehicle since acquiring it in Oct 2015.  Now its my turn.

I've already ordered hardware for shock replacement (bump stops, boots, strut bearings, bolts etc)... now deciding which shocks to get.

  • Sachs standard (OEM)
  • Bilstein: Touring (B4), HD (B6), Sport (B8)
  • Koni Yellows

After doing the shocks on three of my last four cars, the last two I've stuck with factory IEM spec Sachs (my Volvo 855-T5 and BMW e46 Touring).  I'm not planning on changing the springs on this 545i and don't want to radically transform or make it too hard.  It has Standrard suspension, it's on 18" conventional tyres (no need for RFT's here as it has a spare), and has Dynamic Drive option (the active computer controlled anti-roll bars) and having driven a near-identical car without DD, I'm sold on it.

Koni Yellows I'm sure would be lovely, but they're a little more pricey.

Bilstein:  tempted to go HD (B6 Yellow), they're said to be made to work with stock springs but are up to 20% stiffer.  I think this would be similar to the addition of KYB Excel+ gas shocks to my old A32 Maxima.  Firmed it up and helped it hugely with roadholding and ride.   Alternately B4 Tourings are said to be 10% stiffer than stock.

Sachs:  The OEM shocks are equivalent to 31316766993 (Front left) and 31316766994 (Front right), and 33526766995 rear.  They'll no doubt "just work".

Would I be crazy to go Bilstein HD B6?

And as soon as the shocks are done, it's time for new boots (and panties).

Photos soon.

 

bmw-545i-2006.gif

well done , know the previous owner and its been well cared for :-)

 

Can also look at other car options for the wife without fear of buying a car out from under you.

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2 hours ago, SmithyInWelly said:

Wow, that's an insight... my inner bogan is having an identity crisis!

"release your inner bogan".  This is how we say "unleash the hounds of hell" in Wellington.

And to quote the bloke at the dealership (just quietly), "and it's a BMW V8, they go forever".

(Conveniently ignoring M62 timing issues methinks) still, very charming words

Edited by Olaf
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Today is shock ordering day.  Sachs OEM I think. Koni Yellows are eliminated as they're for lowering springs.  Bilsteins?  Hmm, probably not.  And a few more hardware items.  I go full out - new spring seats, bump stops, boots, washers... all fasteners.  BMW specify single use fasteners, I'm not about to second-guess them.  RealOEM is your friend here.

EDIT:  I'm stronly considering Bilstein HD (B6) now.  they're built for A: stock springs or B: lowering springs, (choose your application), and provide improved handling with apparrently no significant deficit in ride quality.  Here's the marketing guff: 
"Bilstein B6 Performance dampers are a performance upgrade to OE dampers designed to be paired with the OE factory spring. These dampers offer application specific valve settings with a monotube design to bring out the best handling performance of a vehicle. Each damper is rigorously tested for quality that meets or exceeds OE standards. B6 Performance dampers will provide improved safety and handling performance with the added benefit of world-famous Bilstein quality."

Edited by Olaf
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more forum reports.... 

Likes the B6 - but what's 'fidgety'?

 

(will edit this as I find more)

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17 hours ago, Olaf said:

"release your inner bogan".  This is how we say "unleash the hounds of hell" in Wellington.

And to quote the bloke at the dealership (just quietly), "and it's a BMW V8, they go forever".

(Conveniently ignoring M62 timing issues methinks) still, very charming words

I suspect the dealer will have no recollection of saying that if you ever have a problem with it !!

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oh, no question of that - I was just in chatting to the parts department, there's no warranty implied.  /BMW Dealer mode off. ;)

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10 hours ago, Olaf said:

more forum reports.... 

Likes the B6 - but what's 'fidgety'?

 

(will edit this as I find more)

A less scientific version of what I said earlier ,  if you read the other reply in the same thread that has fidgety - it says "harsh"

The high compression damping and sticky nature of Bilsteins means all little imperfections (coarse chip, laps, edges , tram lines etc.) don't open the valving so the shocks are like rocks. However if you go into a hollow, dip or decent bump the shock valving opens up and the suspension moves.

So the ride is harsh / choppy / fidgety on small sh*t and goes soft -ish on big stuff  and the car "plunges and then snaps back because of inadequate rebound control.  

This is the opposite to Koni and Ohlins which allow movement to iron out the  little sh*t but firm up when you start pumping big oil  cornering or on undulations etc.

Not such an issue on the front but really annoying on the rear because the compression stiffness dominates the spring rate - to the point where my next task on the X5 is to ditch the rear Bilsteins and fit custom built Konis. I am over the shitty ride of the B6's ( and I like my cars FIRM)

 

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thanks William, that's really useful.  perhaps B4s then, as they're supposed to be closer to stock?

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Don't know what flavour of Bilsteins were in my Subaru GTB ( OE for the car) but they were similar but not quite as harsh. At speed on an undulating road they quickly over heated and started fading and after about 10,000km became quite sticky. I had them rebuilt 3 times in the 18 months I owned the car.

My view on road car shocks is it is very hard to go past Koni sport adjustable shocks - If there is one adjustment a shock needs to match it to a spring it is rebound control.

I've had 4 sets of Konis in Alfas, Subarus, and BMW's and they have always set up really well  - the current ones in my 328 went in at 29,000km  have been re-built at 120,000km  and 220,000km  - now at 265,000km -

I've had two sets of Bilsteins specific fit to the car and found then "Underwhelming" as pointed out in previous post and above.

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On 15/03/2017 at 1:56 PM, gjm said:

Most people don't realise that their car has somewhere to temporarily 'store' the filler cap while pouring fuel into the tank.

The cap tether seems to be a common fail. They're rubber and the atmosphere they work in isn't conducive to a long life. That and regular pulling and twisting tends to mean an early demise.

260k on mine and still there.

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20 minutes ago, 3pedals said:

Don't know what flavour of Bilsteins were in my Subaru GTB ( OE for the car) but they were similar but not quite as harsh. At speed on an undulating road they quickly over heated and started fading and after about 10,000km became quite sticky. I had them rebuilt 3 times in the 18 months I owned the car.

I've had two sets of Bilsteins specific fit to the car and found then "Underwhelming" as pointed out in previous post and above.

Interesting you should say that, I was talking with a mate today who'd put Bilstein yellows (B8's I think) in his V8 Mercedes and mentioned they overheat and get sticky after prolonged caning.    The GTBs use Bilstein yellows.

Oh dear.  It's beginning to sound as though I do need to do Koni Yellow with Eibach Pro Kit springs.    The good news is that a set of four Koni Yellows are running about USD640 at the moment.  My only concern is going LOW on my daily cruiser and family trip car.  

Maybe stick with Sachs OEM, at least they'll be matched to the factory springs.?

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and on the filler cap tether, I can't find the part number in Real OEM.  

The tether's still intact on my e46 after 15 years and 177,000kms

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go oem mate.well done dont lower it,daily drivers need to be user friendly as well as friendly to user!I think you will find you have a lot more car in a 5 series than a three series.Once you get the shocks done it will be very nice.The commy may be a better car than most people expect but a 6 speed auto will make all the difference.Look at the acelleration for "overtaking"The beemer kills the commodore,and it will be the gearbox that makes the difference.

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yes I've arrived at the same conclusion Paul. (I set Bio-Hadoop processing to run in the background while I slept).

Getting it sorted now with Sachs OEM.

(Though I did figure Koni+Eibach ProKit would be very close to Sport or MSport suspension settings).  

Edited by Olaf
lows I don't need

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Sachs 310-273, 310-274, and 2x 310-275 ordered.  

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14 hours ago, kiwi535 said:

The commy may be a better car than most people expect but a 6 speed auto will make all the difference.Look at the acelleration for "overtaking"The beemer kills the commodore,and it will be the gearbox that makes the difference.

Say what ??

The engine specs and the on road specs clearly identify the commie with the lardy wheezing 2 valve V8 is a dog with a dog of an engine  and that's just in a straight line  and it guzzles more fuel to come second in a two horse race - no more fake opinions please.

 

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18 hours ago, 3pedals said:

A less scientific version of what I said earlier ,  if you read the other reply in the same thread that has fidgety - it says "harsh"

The high compression damping and sticky nature of Bilsteins means all little imperfections (coarse chip, laps, edges , tram lines etc.) don't open the valving so the shocks are like rocks. However if you go into a hollow, dip or decent bump the shock valving opens up and the suspension moves.

So the ride is harsh / choppy / fidgety on small sh*t and goes soft -ish on big stuff  and the car "plunges and then snaps back because of inadequate rebound control.  

This is the opposite to Koni and Ohlins which allow movement to iron out the  little sh*t but firm up when you start pumping big oil  cornering or on undulations etc.

Not such an issue on the front but really annoying on the rear because the compression stiffness dominates the spring rate - to the point where my next task on the X5 is to ditch the rear Bilsteins and fit custom built Konis. I am over the shitty ride of the B6's ( and I like my cars FIRM)

 

Does this apply to all cars, say the factory bilsteins in my M535i?

Also what do you for an E28 where konis are NLA?

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44 minutes ago, eliongater said:

Does this apply to all cars, say the factory bilsteins in my M535i?

Also what do you for an E28 where konis are NLA?

I would speculate not - but I have no experience of them - its more the uprated ones which have increased "control" dynamics as offered in the GTB and the HD version B6's I have in my X5 .

For E28 ones you might talk to Russell at stocks to see if he can build a pair/ set  that's what I will do for the X5

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1 hour ago, eliongater said:

Does this apply to all cars, say the factory bilsteins in my M535i?

Also what do you for an E28 where konis are NLA?

one would expect the factory-spec'd bilsteins and springs were perfectly matched.  Can you still get the factory part for the e28 535?

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16 hours ago, kiwi535 said:

go oem mate.well done dont lower it,daily drivers need to be user friendly as well as friendly to user!I think you will find you have a lot more car in a 5 series than a three series.Once you get the shocks done it will be very nice.The commy may be a better car than most people expect but a 6 speed auto will make all the difference.Look at the acelleration for "overtaking"The beemer kills the commodore,and it will be the gearbox that makes the difference.

 

2 hours ago, 3pedals said:

Say what ??

The engine specs and the on road specs clearly identify the commie with the lardy wheezing 2 valve V8 is a dog with a dog of an engine  and that's just in a straight line  and it guzzles more fuel to come second in a two horse race - no more fake opinions please.

yes the commode is surprisingly good, I rode in one recently.  Less efficient, certainly.  The data bears out that the '04 SS Commode and the '04 545i are fairly close together through acceleration.  Dynamically the 545 is superior, as you'd expect.  And I agree, that six-speed trans certainly helps.  Still - curves aside, it's a *close second*.

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I suppose the VE (and on-wards) Commodore is helped by the fact that they used the E39 as the bench mark. They even got the ZF tiptronic boxes in them from the SV6 upwards anlong with the fords... if I'm correct...

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I s'pose it must be 10 years ago now, but one of the motoring TV magazines did a comparison between the BMW M5, Holden Monaro and... Something else. This sort of comparison was popular at the time, featuring one or another of the GM group cars, often badged as a Vauxhall, eg VXR8. (Other cars that featured in these test were the Jaguar S-Type, whatever the contemporary hipo Cadillac was, and so on.

The summary, when compared to the GM car? The M5 was typically the better car. But so it should have been given the substantial difference in price. More than one review reported that spending the difference in purchase price on the Vauxhall/Holden would probably see a very different outcome, certainly in performance terms.

For an everyday car - the M5. It is 'the package'.
If you want to tune it to do silly things... Is there a limit to the power that has been made from a GM small block?

These days, a s/h M5 is a bargain. The perceived complexity marks it down, while the national pride and greater simplicity of the Holden means prices are holding up well. A Monaro in NZ costs quite a lot more than a Monaro in the UK at present.

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6 minutes ago, treone said:

I suppose the VE (and on-wards) Commodore is helped by the fact that they used the E39 as the bench mark. They even got the ZF tiptronic boxes in them from the SV6 upwards anlong with the fords... if I'm correct...

No, they got a clunkier GM six speed, the Falcon got the ZF.

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