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Date: Wed, 13 Dec 1995 18:49:37 -0500
From: (Pete Read)
Subject: E28 M5 Load Leveling

Evan Evan asks:
>How can you tell if your self-leveling system is not operating?
>I don't notice any change in ride height or hear pump noises when
>I load the car up. Since I've never heard or felt them working
>I don't know what to listen for or expect. How/what has to be
>done to defeat the system and replace with new shocks?


To check your load leveling, measure the ride height just in front of the rear tires at the rocker panel. With engine off (load leveling only adjusts with engine running, I think), put 200 lb or so in your trunk and measure again - it should be less. Then start the car and measure one more time - it should be back to the original height.

Load level elimination is nothing more than disconnecting the electrical connection beneath the spare tire and removing the stock rear shocks and hoses. Standard 535i size shocks, shock mounts, springs, spring pads etc. are used inplace of the larger diameter load leveling parts.

I noticed that BMP's new catalog offers a load leveling replacement kit. It must be the same thing - basically 535i parts. The trick is to get rear shocks and springs that work well with the front suspension pieces.

Dinan Stage 3

I'm planning on posting (real soon now) my experiences with the Dinan stage 3 suspension, first with load leveling, then with load leveling removed. I still need to find some of my notes to finish the article (measurements, part numbers for load level replacement, etc.).

Until then, here's what I've written on ride height with the Dinan springs:

Ride Height - Rake Adjustment

Ride height is controlled by front spring length. Then rake is adjusted with either the stock load leveling system or adjustable Bilstein sport shocks if load leveling is removed.

Dinan recommends 0.5 - 0.75in front to rear rake measured at the rocker panel behind the front wheel and just in front of the rear wheel.

Load level height is adjusted by rotating the U-clamp at the center of the rear sway bar. As the rear suspension drops, the sway bar rotates and moves a load level sensor arm. The load level system pumps the rear ride height up until the sensor arm is back in its original orientation. Ride height is changed by "reorienting" the U-clamp and attached sensor arm.

Bilstein sport rear shocks are height adjustable via a circlip and six grooves 0.375in apart at the lower spring perch. With the rear Bilsteins set at the fourth groove down from the top and Dinan springs, my car ended up with 7.75in front and 8.5in rear (0.75in rake). It was lowered about 0.75in at each end. Clearance to Cat 4.2in and about 5.2in to the oil pan.

Hope this helps,

Pete Read
88 M5

<Pete: Great info! Keep it coming. -ed.>

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