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Suspension Air Pump Replacement
 
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Pelican Technical Article:

Suspension Air Pump Replacement

Nick Czerula

Time:

1.5 hours

Tab:

$150

Talent:

***

Tools:

Set of sockets 10mm, flathead screwdriver

Applicable Models:

BMW X5 (2000-06)

Parts Required:

Suspension air pump, air pump mounts (if damaged)

Hot Tip:

Bleed airline before removing pump

Performance Gain:

Car will start well

Complementary Modification:

Replace battery vent hose

On BMW X5, E53 models, the large lower control arm carries the weight of the car. The rear air spring is mounted in between the lower control arm and the spring perch on the body. As the spring goes over bumps it compresses as it absorbs the shock. A spring that is under tension wants to return to its original position as soon as it can. When the rear coil spring expands it can slam the wheel back into the ground. This alternating between the rear coil spring absorbing the shock and expanding can lead to the car bouncing up and down and a poor ride. The main job of the rear shock absorber is to slow down the rate of return of the rear coil spring so it does not slam back into the road. The coil springs part in this is to maintain a ride height when it returns to the normal rest or loaded position. The air springs in BMW X5 models allow the vehicle to maintain that ride height even when vehicle load on weight changes, giving the X5 an adjustable rear suspension. To adjust the suspension, an air pump is used in conjunction with an accumulator. The pump creates air pressure and volume and delivers it to the accumulator where it is stored until it is needed. At times the air pump or a solenoid on the pump can fail, when this happens you will have to replace the entire pump.

If your suspension seems to sag or lose ride height, or maybe the pump runs too frequently, there may be a leak. To test for leaking air springs, spray the air springs with soapy water and look for bubbles. Bubbles indicate an air leak.

Remember, your car may have been serviced before and parts replaced with different size fasteners used in the replacement. The sizes of the nuts and bolts we give may be different from what you have so be prepared with different size sockets and wrenches.

Protect your eyes, hands and body from fluids, dust and debris while working on your vehicle. If working with the electrical system, disconnect the battery before beginning. Always catch fluids in appropriate containers and properly dispose of any fluid waste. Recycle parts, packaging and fluids when possible. Never work on your vehicle if you feel the task is beyond your ability.

Our vehicle may vary slightly from yours as models do change and evolve as they grow older. If something seems different, let us know and share your info to help other users. Do you have questions or want to add to the article? Leave a comment below.

The air pump in BMW E53 X5 models is located in the center of the luggage compartment, below the spare tire (green arrow).
Figure 1

The air pump in BMW E53 X5 models is located in the center of the luggage compartment, below the spare tire (green arrow). 

Working in the trunk, lift the lower carpet panel and suspend it using the supplied tether and hook (green arrow).
Figure 2

Working in the trunk, lift the lower carpet panel and suspend it using the supplied tether and hook (green arrow).

Remove the spare tire center mounting stud.
Figure 3

Remove the spare tire center mounting stud. Unscrew the wing nut. Remove the metal retainer. Then unscrew and remove the entire stud (green arrow). This makes getting the spare tire out easier as the tire doesn't hang up on the stud. Remove the spare tire from the vehicle.

Remove the four 13mm metal support bracket fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 4

Remove the four 13mm metal support bracket fasteners (red arrows).

Then lift the support bracket up and lay it aside, as shown.
Figure 5

Then lift the support bracket up and lay it aside, as shown. You now have access to the vehicle suspension air pump (red arrow).

Working at the right side of the luggage compartment, press the air pump electrical connector release tabs (red arrows) and pull the connector apart to disconnect it.
Figure 6

Working at the right side of the luggage compartment, press the air pump electrical connector release tabs (red arrows) and pull the connector apart to disconnect it.

Using a 10mm wrench, slowly open the airline to bleed the system.
Figure 7

Using a 10mm wrench, slowly open the airline to bleed the system. Then remove both airlines (red arrows).

With the electrical connector and airlines detached, lift the support bracket with air pump and remove it from the vehicle.
Figure 8

With the electrical connector and airlines detached, lift the support bracket with air pump and remove it from the vehicle. Place it on a solid surface for disassembly.

Remove the three 10mm air pump fasteners (red arrows).
Figure 9

Remove the three 10mm air pump fasteners (red arrows). Counterhold the nut while loosening the bolt (inset).

Using a trim panel tool, lever the plastic mount off the support bracket.
Figure 10

Using a trim panel tool, lever the plastic mount off the support bracket. There are two attachment points (red arrows).

Remove the pump from the support bracket.
Figure 11

Remove the pump from the support bracket.

This photo shows the support bracket (yellow arrow), mounting plate (blue arrow), fasteners and bushings (green arrows) and the pump.
Figure 12

This photo shows the support bracket (yellow arrow), mounting plate (blue arrow), fasteners and bushings (green arrows) and the pump. Reverse the removal steps to install the new pump. Be sure to install the bushings between the support bracket and the pump (inset).







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Page last updated: Sat 12/3/2016 02:44:21 AM