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      06-15-2023, 01:48 PM   #1
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Lifted F15 Success!

I've had quite a few folks between the forums and bookface ask about the lift, so I thought I'd toss up a thread about it.

Is this the first lifted F15? Maybe! Might be some shops somewhere that have fabricated lifts for specific applications. I now have roughly 5k miles on this setup with zero issues.

I have rear air, so I went with the ECS Tuning 1.5" lift kit for the E70. This was the only kit I could find that was listed as available that stated it was for both rear air and rear spring. I realize there are a couple companies that make 3 inch lifts for the E70, but none of their websites had an order button.

With that said, I can not speak for the Ebay kits and wether or not they will work. They visually look to have a smaller center bore on the front spacers, which will cause issues when installing. You'll see why later on.

Now, on to the good stuff.

Everything bolted right in MINUS the front spacers. The F15 front strut top-hat has a lip thats 3.070" in diamter, and the center bore for the spacers is 3.000" in diameter. What I had to do was bevel out the spacer to clear the lip (see photos). It has been mentioned that you may be able to swap for E70 strut top-hats, but I can not confirm if they fit the F15 shock stem.

Things to note**

- F15 and E70 share the same rear air strut. No need to worry about fitment or air lines.

- When installing the front you will need to remove the top-hat from the strut. Make sure you mark the spring in relation to the strut so you can reinstall in exactly the same spot. The top-hat bolts are not symmetrical and will only fit one direction, and if your spring gets clocked around even the slightest bit it makes reinstall a real pain. Ask me how I know...

- It's not easy to press the suspension down to get the front struts back in place after the lift is installed. Get creative, but be mindful that you don't pull your axle joints apart, and if you do make sure you get them back in place.

- The front spacer strut mount studs are a tad shorter than I would like to see. They engage all threads, but just. I may pull them out and install longer studs. They are pressed in.

- The ECS kit will likely come with incorrect hardware for the rear spacers. I received M8 bolts, but it requires M10. This is not an issue with F15 vs E70 as the E70 uses the same M10 bolt and others have reported the same issue. I reached out to ECS and they didn't seem too concerned, they just offered to refund what new hardware costs. Double check your hardware before starting the install.


Front top hat lip


Lip diameter


Spacer center bore diameter


Spacer beveled out to fit the lip. I wish I would have jst turned this in a lathe, but was short on time.






Fronts installed.


Rear bag spacer installed


Lift installed with factory wheels. The rear raised slightly more than the front. I'm not sure why, maybe teh rear air sensor arms are a different length between the years, but I like the slightly higher rear anyways, especially since I tow a lot.


After wheels and tires are installed.


Hooked up to the trailer with matching ride height, wheels and tires.



Now, since everyone always asks, wheels and tires...

I am running:

265/60R18 Falken Wildpeak AT3/W
18x8 +18 Drag DR79
20mm rear spacers

265/60 is the most common off-road tire size on the X5, which comes out to 30.5 inches tall. You MUST be at a minimum +20 offset to clear the front upper ball joint, but I recommend lower. If you run a wider tire or a taller tire you'll need to be around +10 minimum offset.

With a 265/60 I have light rubbing on the front side of the front inner fenders at full lock. I had to trim the drivers side inner fender because the vents in the liner would catch the tire tread.

Also, when searching for wheels keep in mind you need to pay attention to center bore and weight ratings, especially if you often have a full vehicle or tow a lot. Wheels need to be rated at minimum 1700lbs to meet GVWR specs. Most "tuner" aftermarket wheels do not have high enough weight ratings for our vehicle.

Alright, that's it for now. I'll update as needed!
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      06-15-2023, 08:05 PM   #2
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nicely done and thanks for sharing! have you considered modifying OEM or adding additional yellow fog lights?
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      06-16-2023, 08:19 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shimmy23 View Post
nicely done and thanks for sharing! have you considered modifying OEM or adding additional yellow fog lights?
I have yellow film on the OEM fogs. I don't like the OEM placement though. I am ordering a overlanding basket today that I'll have a light bar on
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      06-16-2023, 09:52 PM   #4
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Nice work. Curious how the lifted X5 performs against other SUVs you have used for offroading and towing.
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      06-17-2023, 12:02 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Longboarder View Post
Nice work. Curious how the lifted X5 performs against other SUVs you have used for offroading and towing.
I'm coming from Jeeps and Yota pickups, so in comparison to those I don't expect much out of the X5. I havent had the chance to test it offroad yet, but I can say that I've been told by others that they do surprisingly well for being awd and not 4x4. They stuggle a little when you get opposite corners off the ground because of the highway diffs and control systems, but having DHP I'm hoping I'll be a little better off than most, but I don't plan to see too rough of terrain. This will see mostly min maint roads and trails, snow, the rare very mild water crossings. I wanted something to get to lesser traveled trail heads and camp sites.

I dont suspect any issues towing offroad. Its not a crazy lift and retains all factory components, and rear air really helps keep things level and stable.
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      06-18-2023, 02:29 PM   #6
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Love this! As a fellow 35D owner in MN, always great to see what others are up to with theirs!
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      06-19-2023, 12:01 PM   #7
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Wow. Fantastic outcome. Thanks for sharing!
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      06-28-2023, 11:54 PM   #8
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I LIKE THE BEEF!

We finally get an entry into the lux off-roader show against those Cayenne and GXers.
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      06-30-2023, 10:24 AM   #9
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Looks great!

Yeah, the rear is higher bc you applied the same height spacer to a lever arm thatís farther away from the wheel. So, higher lift at the wheel.
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      07-15-2023, 10:33 PM   #10
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I like it! F15 Dakar Edition
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      07-19-2023, 10:02 AM   #11
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Great thread! Your F15 looks awesome with the beefy tires.

Couple questions:

Any concerns or issues with CV/axle durability due to the increased operating angle?

Have you done any research on the "F15" kits? They're about half the cost of the E70 kit you used.

https://www.ebay.com/itm/16616011017...MaAlmEEALw_wcB



I am running a 265/60/18 Hankook on Style 93s and could benefit from the increased ground clearance due to heavy snow here in WNY. Also thinking of throwing on some small fender flares as the 93s poke out a bit due to the use of a spacer to adapt from 74.1 to 72.56.

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      07-19-2023, 12:44 PM   #12
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Great stuff man, love to see it!
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      07-19-2023, 01:08 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsogiba View Post
Any concerns or issues with CV/axle durability due to the increased operating angle?
With this small of a lift I am not concerned. No different than lowering 1.5 inches which is quite common.


Quote:
Originally Posted by nsogiba View Post
Have you done any research on the "F15" kits? They're about half the cost of the E70 kit you used.
As stated in my original post, the ECS kit was the only one that specifically stated it worked with air suspension.
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