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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > E91 X-Drive -Leveling- with no parts



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      10-18-2021, 08:28 PM   #1
INTMD8
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E91 X-Drive -Leveling- with no parts

Spent a bit of time reading threads about what is the consensus of the best solution to correct the front ride height of an X-drive car.

This is my second E91 X-drive and they both sit slightly higher in the front.

Not a lot but enough to bother me. Kind of a boat on plane look.

Most say the only solution is coilovers. Great solution I'm sure.

As for others, I didn't find much agreement. Many said cutting the spring put the strut in the wrong spot to work right (makes sense) and upper mounts may rub.

So......

This is what I did (and maybe it's been done but I didn't find any other threads about it).

On an X-drive car, the strut is stepped and there's a small lip at the bottom of the knuckle which limits the struts downward travel into the knuckle.

To -level- simply-

Mark the strut .300in above the knuckle. This is where it will get dropped to.

Remove strut (and at the same time I removed camber pin from top).

Cover CV boot with a towel.

Drop a 2 inch hole saw with no pilot bit into the knuckle, spray with some oil and run it through. Takes a minute or so tops.

Next, carbide burr to clean up slight remaining lip at the bottom.

Re-install strut, drop to the mark you made .300 up from it's original position.

Bolt everything back together. (I pushed the top of the strut in as far as it would go for some negative camber, will check on the alignment rack).

Enjoy your non-wheelie ride height.



Original slight wheelie-



Set caliper to .300, scribed strut, then removed-




Lip in bottom of knuckle-



2" hole saw-



After hole saw-



Cleaned up with die grinder-




Reinstalled, dropped in .300 lower-



Looks like this underneath-



Lower spring perch to tire-



Finished. There's room to drop it more but .300 put the fender lips exactly equal front/rear to the ground-


Last edited by INTMD8; 10-18-2021 at 08:34 PM..
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      10-20-2021, 01:48 AM   #2
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Damn thatís a great solution!
I did this on my e90 be cutting off the height alignment tab.

Will do this to my e91. I hate the front height on it.
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      10-20-2021, 10:01 AM   #3
Runnin'Rich
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The lip is there to stop the strut sliding through the knuckle and hitting the axle?

Will the compression of the pinch bolt alone stop it from moving on a deep pot hole?
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      10-20-2021, 10:56 AM   #4
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On the non x-drive cars there is no lip in the knuckle, just a small tab on the strut to locate it depth wise.

On that design, the tiny tab couldn't be tasked with all of the suspension force (or possibly stronger than the clamping force around the strut) so I have no reason to believe this would be a problem.
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      10-20-2021, 09:11 PM   #5
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You may want to make a more permanent mark, so you could easily keep an eye out for any slippage in the future.
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      10-20-2021, 09:47 PM   #6
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Well there are scribe marks into the steel so don't think those are going anywhere.

I have zero concerns for previously stated reasons but if you (or anyone else does) I would say simply, don't do it.

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      10-20-2021, 11:11 PM   #7
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My e90 has been this like for a year.
The shock has not slid further down the hub.
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      11-16-2021, 07:41 AM   #8
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You're one pot hole away from blowing the strut right thru the axle boot or worse
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      11-17-2021, 11:43 AM   #9
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One pothole? LOL. I drive on Chicago roads every day, zero movement
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      11-21-2021, 09:53 AM   #10
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So the stock knuckle has kind of a ridge to hold the strut from coming down out of the bottom apart from the bolt that tightens the knuckle around the strut. And you removed that ridge? This would mean the only thing now holding the strut in the knuckle is the bolt that holds the knuckle tight around it. I can't help but think that's a bit sketchy long term. Unless you still have a bit of ridge left.

I have heard of other ways of lowering the front such as using mounts from the rwd car or z4 which might be safer. Still cool this worked out
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      11-21-2021, 10:28 AM   #11
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Not sure I could be any more clear about exactly what I did and why but again, if you think it's sketchy to not have the ridge don't do it and don't buy a RWD car.
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      11-21-2021, 10:58 AM   #12
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I see that the RWD cars don't have the lip at the bottom, I guess it is indeed safe if bmw put it that way from the factory in rwd. Maybe the lip is only there on xi to raise it to the ride height and angle they want the cv axles to be at all the time.
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      11-21-2021, 12:09 PM   #13
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There's a thread from several years back where a few people also raised their car by the same method and didn't have any movement.

I suppose if it was jumped dukes of hazzard style it could, but then it could on any RWD car and would probably damage something on any car.

Even whatever happened with the photo above (that moved what, 1/4"?), wouldn't put the strut into the CV or tire into the spring mount on an XI car. It has around 1.25" of clearance on both. (after dropped)
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      11-21-2021, 01:14 PM   #14
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My e90 has seen a couple potholes and the shock has never moved after 2 years.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...1124654&page=3
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      11-21-2021, 01:41 PM   #15
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This is fine.

The groove or shoulder is only there for ease of assembly. The clamping force of the ring around the strut is more than sufficient to hold it in place. The strut mount will blow out first when going full dukes-of-hazard.
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      11-23-2021, 10:26 AM   #16
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This is good to know that this works fine. I'm going to use my Bilstein Xi struts on my now rwd car. I had considered getting the E30 perches to deal with the shorter height of the xi and weld a tab on the strut to get it to sit on top of the knuckle at the desired height. I might just say screw it all and put it together as is and clamp her down and see where the car sits for height.
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