Project E39 M5, Part 3: Installing and Adjusting KW V3s


Our new KW Variant 3s looking so fresh and so clean! Right now all of the adjustment knobs are easily accessible, so now is a good time to dial in your initial settings. We always start with rebound at full soft. We will dial in our desired amount of bump/compression on our initial test drive, we chose to start at 50% bump.
The fronts are a piece of cake, the rears not so much. The actual removal and installation of the struts is not bad at all. It's accessing them that is a major pain! It's not out of the realm of the weekend mechanic, but you will save yourself a ton of aggravation if you leave this part to the professionals that have done this before and are well aware of how to properly remove all the OE panels involved. 
The entire rear interior shelf of the car needs to be removed in order to access the rear struts! An easy task in the early model sport compacts I'm used to working on. Definitely not the case here. There's an auto shade that needs to be removed, the rear amplifier tray, seat belts, head rests, seats, everything basically needs to come out. 
One of our new rear coilovers ready for assembly. Laid out are the parts that will need to be reused, along with the new OE upper strut mount we're replacing. 
A look at the rear bump/compression adjuster with the rear KW coilover installed. Not very difficult to access once on the car, but you will need to jack up the rear a bit to do so. Just like the fronts, we set the rebound adjustment at full soft and went with 50% of the bump/compression adjustment.
This is the top part of the rear shelf. The shark-fin cut you see here is to access the rebound adjuster once everything is put back together. The rear speaker grills will need to be removed to make this adjustment, but at least the cut will allow us to stick a super long allen in there and adjust rebound without having to completely take the interior apart again.

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