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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 01-04-2010, 12:25 PM   #1
Mark M
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Join Date: Sep 2009
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My Ride: e30 M3 / e90 335d
XI Suspension Poll / Guide......

Piggybacking on what FreeRide1645 setup for the non-xi cars, thought we should do the same for XI cars to spread the knowledge / experience.

As we already know, most suspension manufacuters don't publish any real details about ride comfort, spring rates, etc. It is all a crap shoot.

So I'll start it out.

Year and body style: 2002 325xi
Setup being rated: H&R Coilover Kit
Adjustments: Rideheight and alignment set to 330 ZHP specs.
Additional aftermarket components: Fresh control arm bushings
Additional info: car has about 6000 miles on this setup.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I prefer a ride that feels connected to the road, firm and predictable, yet still suitable for daily use and road trips.
Would you recommend this setup? Handling, Yes. Comfort, No. The setup feels fine around town, a bit firm, but no issues. However, highway at ~80mph and the car just feels like it is too stiffly spung, bouncy. Whenever I hit a bridge transition or asphault seem the car bounces. I really can't tell if it is overly sprung, or under dampened. Either way, for NorthEast roads it is a bit too stiff. It is quite difficult to sip coffee on the morning commute without risking wearing it. However, the ability to adjust ride height is great!
Price paid, including installation (if applicable): $1250
Ride comfort: 6
Handling: 10 - Flat and on rails in the hardest of turns and no understeer. Phenomenal handling!
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Last edited by Mark M; 01-04-2010 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 01-04-2010, 08:25 PM   #2
White_Knuckles
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My Ride: 2003 325xi
..."difficult to sip coffee on the morning commute without risking wearing it"...

Now that's a good review point! Really, I get a clear image of that effect. My Wife has a MINI with bone jarring, "sport" suspension. That buggy with run-flat tires was a freakin' buck board.

Hee Ha!
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:39 PM   #3
Nachos23
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My Ride: 2004 330Xi
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Year and body style: 2004 330XI
Setup being rated: H&R Sports Kit with Bilstein Sports shocks and struts
Additional aftermarket components: ACS Strut Bar, ECIS Cold Ari Kit, AA Stage 2 tuning, SS Brake lines, Angel eyes, upgraded lights @ all corners, M3 Steering wheel with Paddle Stift kit, M3 Sports seats, upgraded all wood trim to Carbon Fibre, running M6 rims.
Additional info: car has about 20,000 miles on this setup and 170,000 miles total.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I prefer a ride that feels connected to the road, firm and predictable, yet still suitable for daily use and road trips.
Would you recommend this setup? Handling, Yes. Comfort, Yes. The setup feels tight but not overly aggressive. Not "coffee friendly" for first few sipps.....
Price paid, including installation (if applicable): $ never kept track. do my own work, so no installation charges.....
Rider Comfort: 7
Handling: 10 - Flat and on rails in the hardest of turns and no understeer. Phenomenal handling!
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:51 PM   #4
Chibo
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Year and body style: 2001 325xi Sedan
Setup being rated: H&R Coilover Kit
Adjustments: Can go .5" lower in the front, I think the back is most of the way up. I need to set the height and then go get an alignment.
Additional aftermarket components: 18x8.5/18x9.5 with Falken Azenis RT615s in 235/255, stock M3 rear swaybar, intake, exhaust, shark, SS brake lines all around, Hawk HPS pads
Intended use of car: Daily Driver, AutoX
Preferred ride style: Very stiff and controlled, I hate swaying and body roll.
Would you recommend this setup? Yeah, it's not real stiff or anything but it rides well enough to make up for it. I need to bring the back down but it already rubs with a decent size wheel gap in the back. I'll be cutting the fender lip off and lowering the back.
Price paid, including installation (if applicable): Came with the car
Ride comfort: 7
Handling: 8
A little bit too much body roll for me and there is a lot of up travel in the suspension, which I'm not used to. You really need a rear LSD, as it likes to lift rear wheels in heavy cornering. Camber plates are in the cards soon.
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1991 BMW 318iS - Alpine White - 5spd - GC Coilovers and stuff
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2000 Yamaha R1
2006 Suzuki GSXR750

Last edited by Chibo; 01-06-2010 at 04:32 PM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:58 PM   #5
FCPGroton
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Seems like everyone here is a fan of H&R kits. Does anyone run anything else?
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Old 01-06-2010, 02:59 PM   #6
Chibo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew@FCP View Post
Seems like everyone here is a fan of H&R kits. Does anyone run anything else?
I really want to hear from someone that has run the H&R coilovers and KW or GCs back to back. I'd be willing to switch.
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1991 BMW 318iS - Alpine White - 5spd - GC Coilovers and stuff
2001 BMW 325xi - Alpine White - 5spd - H&R Coilovers, Catback, Sharked, Azenis RT615s, etc.
2000 Yamaha R1
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Old 01-06-2010, 03:11 PM   #7
MileHiXi
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My Ride: '02 330xi
Year and body style: 2002 330XI
Setup being rated: Dinan stage 1
Additional aftermarket components: none pertaining to suspension. 18's in the summer, 17's in winter.
Additional info: car has about 10,000 miles on this setup and 110,000 miles total.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I really just want a drop without any sacrifice in terms of comfort. I don't track the car or race around. I can feel a big difference in comfort with 17s vs. 18's. With 18's the ride feels slightly harsh, but not overly so. The drop is only slight, meaning my car has about the same ride height as a ZHP (I actually compared side by side).
Would you recommend this setup? Possibly. For the price I'd look into coilovers. I was (and am) concerned with the stories I've heard about axle failure on cars that have been slammed. The Dinan setup doesn't slam the car, which is what I was looking for.
Price paid, including installation (if applicable): $1100
Rider Comfort: 8
Handling: 8

Last edited by MileHiXi; 01-06-2010 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 06:31 PM   #8
dpgrand
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My Ride: 2005 330xi
Year and body style: 2003 325xi
Setup being rated: Koni Struts, H&R Sport Springs
Additional aftermarket components: Dinan rear swaybar, Dinan front strut bar
Additional info: car has about 10,000 miles on this setup.
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: I wanted to get rid of the 4x4 look, while improving the handling. By doing both of these, I knew ahead of time and realized that ride comfort would be sacrificed. With stock 16s comfort is still decent, however with 19s, you feel every bump. This setup has virtually no body roll.
Would you recommend this setup? Yes - I just got a 330xi and will be putting this same suspension on it.
Ride comfort: 4 (stock is 5)
Handling: 9 (stock is 5)
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Old 01-06-2010, 07:19 PM   #9
athayer187
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My Ride: 2004 330xi
Year and body style: 2004 330xi
Setup being rated: Koni Struts (rears full stiff, fronts 1/2 turn from full stiff), stock springs
Additional aftermarket components: UUC SSK
Additional info: Car has about 3,000 on this setup
Intended use of car: Daily Driver, I've got my E28 when I want a very firm ride
Preferred ride style: Firm, but compliant. Northeast daily driver, so I left the stock ride height for winter snow clearance.
Would you recommend this setup? Yes -slightly firmer than stock, I may add swaybars in the future to get rid of more body roll.
Ride comfort: 5 (stock is 5)
Handling: 7 (stock is 5)
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2004 330xi - stock except for UUC SSK, RE RSM's, Koni Yellows, UUC TSE1
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Old 01-06-2010, 08:15 PM   #10
wdeerfield
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sorry to interrupt the thread but i like what im reading. I currently do not have an upgraded suspension so this thread will come in handy as others post as well.. waiting on Ryan and ///A to post.
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Old 01-06-2010, 09:27 PM   #11
Vade46!!!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chibo View Post
Additional aftermarket components: 18x8.5/18x9.5 with Falken Azenis RT615s in 235/255
I thought I've been reading that a "staggered" setup on XI's is bad.....


Quote:
Originally Posted by wdeerfield View Post
sorry to interrupt the thread but i like what im reading. I currently do not have an upgraded suspension so this thread will come in handy as others post as well.. waiting on Ryan and ///A to post.
........same here.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:15 PM   #12
Chibo
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vade46!!! View Post
I thought I've been reading that a "staggered" setup on XI's is bad.....
Adds to the understeer, but as long as you keep the tire diameter pretty close it'll be fine drivetrain wise. This car has 100k miles of staggered mileage.

A lot of people here run a 225/40 255/35 stagger and that is really close in rolling diameter. I'm a little off with a 235/40 and a 255/40 but I'm not worried about it... it all depends on if the tire is square on the rim, tire pressure, etc.
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1991 BMW 318iS - Alpine White - 5spd - GC Coilovers and stuff
2001 BMW 325xi - Alpine White - 5spd - H&R Coilovers, Catback, Sharked, Azenis RT615s, etc.
2000 Yamaha R1
2006 Suzuki GSXR750

Last edited by Chibo; 01-06-2010 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 01-06-2010, 10:27 PM   #13
///A
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My Ride: e92 335is JB4
Year and body style: 2004 330xi
Setup being rated: KW V1 Coilovers
Additional aftermarket components: Rogue Engineering RSM
Additional info: 19'' wheels
Intended use of car: Daily Driver, show car
Preferred ride style: Stiff
Would you recommend this setup? Yes, excellent.
Ride comfort: 3 (stock is 5) (anyone rating the comfort of coilovers better than stock is bu11sh1tting)
Handling: 9 (stock is 5)







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Old 01-06-2010, 11:54 PM   #14
hammerheart
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Very nice thread. Looking forward to more information and examples as a 330xi owner
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:57 PM   #15
Kubica
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Wow . . .I bet a few people jump on this . . .

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-325...wfkcoilblowout
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Old 01-08-2010, 10:16 PM   #16
mekaneck
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I think "noise" should be a rated category as well, since my setup seems to transfer road noise into the cabin much easier than stock, so it's much louder when going over potholes. ///A - I'd like to IM you about this but your inbox is full...

Anyway here's my setup:

Year and body style: 2003 325xi
Setup being rated: KW V1 Coilovers
Additional aftermarket components: Rogue Engineering RSM, Vorschlag Camber Plates, Powerflex CABs, UUC Strut Bar
Additional info: 18'' wheels
Intended use of car: Daily Driver
Preferred ride style: Stiff
Would you recommend this setup? Yes
Ride comfort: 3 (stock is 5)
Handling: 9 (stock is 5)
Road Noise Damping 2 (stock is 5)



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Old 07-18-2010, 05:55 PM   #17
330exeye
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Would Like to bring this back to life. More shots of set ups please
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Old 07-21-2010, 06:51 PM   #18
capps330xi
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A+++ thread. Where can I purchase a new stock suspension for my 2001 330xi if I decide to go that route rather than an aftermarket setup and about how much will it cost in relation to aftermarker?
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Old 07-23-2010, 09:31 AM   #19
TurboBimmer
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My Ride: 325xiT, 325ixTurbo
For the H&R coilover owners:

How would you compare the comfort of your H&R coilovers?
Would it be more like sport springs (1"drop) or more like race springs (2"drop).

According to H&R, their springs are progressives and yield a comfortable ride in normal driving, and stiffen up on big bumps. But from the reviews here, the comfort in normal driving is rated 3/5.

Oh, I also want to see more xi on coilovers.
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Old 07-23-2010, 10:24 AM   #20
LittleChrist12
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My Ride: 2003 BMW 325xi
I'll reserve a spot here for my post. I've got Bilstein Sports, an Eibach Pro Kit and a BMW Performance strut bar sitting in my garage. I'm waiting on the rear shocks to come in, they seem to be on factory backorder and none of the sponsors have them in stock.
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