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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 06-17-2010, 12:39 PM   #1
ianmc54
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Suspension-Getting it right the first time

So I am about to do a suspension overhaul from completely stock (sport package on my 01' 330i sedan with 65k) It seems like I've been doing research on what I would get for over a year now and yet I'm still unsure. I'll try to explain my goals clearly, so before people just chime in and suggest opinions please look at my goals.

Again, I HAVE searched many forums, I just want to get it right the first time.

GOAL This car will probably never see the track. I commute to work in another car but this is my primary car. I love to drive spirited, and push my car. I like my staggered 17's and will probably keep them. I like my ride height as it is now on stock sport springs. I don't like my body roll, turn in and I know the handling can get much much better. Right now, the ride is not too harsh for me.

I've narrowed it down to a couple of options:

Option A
Koni FSD - $600
Eibach Pro kit -$225
I already have FCAB.
Meyle RSM - $40
M3 RTAB/limiters - $100
Front sway bar endlinks - $100
Turner Sways - $370
Total - $1,435

I decided I probably don't need Z3 reinforcement plates or front upper strut mounts.

Likes about this option:
Great reviews
Not having to worry about bumps
Hesitations to this option are as follows:
Koni's will be softer than my current suspension and I will loose the "feel" of what makes cornering in a BMW so fun.(If I don't get the Prokit springs that will make it even softer)
Price is as almost as much as coilovers.

Option B
ST V1 - $975
RTAB, RSM, - $150
Total - $1,125

Likes about this option:
I like being able to corner balance my car and adjustable ride height because I am super picky when it comes to that.
I have decent coilovers for less money, which comes with front endlinks.

Hesitations about this option or any other coilover:
Ride height! I really don't want to lower my car at all. I think the ST V1 lower .8 which is more than I really want, but could be acceptable.
Are there any coilovers that don't lower my car more than .5in?
Having to deal with leaking dampers.
Being too harsh.

Thanks for your input. I'm not only looking at ST V1 coilovers. And if you see something that I missed or have other suggestions, please let me know. For example, koni adjustables with stock springs, or adding 15mm spacers if the pro kit is too low for my liking in the rear.

Last edited by ianmc54; 06-17-2010 at 02:39 PM.
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Old 06-17-2010, 01:46 PM   #2
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I think the main decision comes down to whether you need the adjustment or not. For a street setup, I typically recommend a spring/shock combo like the first setup. Coilovers are nice to have but you don't have to spend the extra amount for adjustment. IMO, you are going for a very high quality spring/shock combo and that is well worth it- the Koni FSDs/Eibach Pro Kit will offer more than you need in terms of handling and comfort.
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Old 06-17-2010, 02:36 PM   #3
ianmc54
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Are FSD's with sport springs a bad idea? I've read that to get better "feel" out of the FSD's, they should be paired with the Pro-kit springs they were engineered to work with.

Seems like:

sport springs=koni adjustables
Pro-Kit springs=FSD

Also could getting some used ZHP springs be better than stock sport springs? Are ZHP springs lower than sport? By how much? .5in and .25in?

As you can see, I'm very finicky when it comes to ride height.

Last edited by ianmc54; 06-17-2010 at 03:20 PM.
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Old 06-18-2010, 07:16 PM   #4
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suspension

Quote:
Originally Posted by ianmc54 View Post
Are FSD's with sport springs a bad idea? I've read that to get better "feel" out of the FSD's, they should be paired with the Pro-kit springs they were engineered to work with.

Seems like:

sport springs=koni adjustables
Pro-Kit springs=FSD

Also could getting some used ZHP springs be better than stock sport springs? Are ZHP springs lower than sport? By how much? .5in and .25in?

As you can see, I'm very finicky when it comes to ride height.
ZHP does not have unique springs, same as the sport package.
The ZHP has a exclusive front control arm, which is about the only difference on the suspension side.
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Old 06-23-2010, 04:57 PM   #5
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ok thanks, went with FSD's and keeping my stock sport springs. Also getting Meyle RSM and M3 RTAB / Vorshlag limiters. Decided not to do it myself and am paying $400 in labor for everything. That pushes the cost up to $1,100. Sways will most likely come in the next couple of months and I'll do those myself.
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Old 06-28-2010, 11:51 AM   #6
ianmc54
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got the FSD's and M3 RTAB/limiters and RSM installed. Am i impressed? No. When going over low speed bumps, the car bounces around. So key point here, getting FSD's and using sport springs doesn't really change much in regards to handling characteristics, it changes ride characteristics a little.

Last edited by ianmc54; 06-28-2010 at 11:52 AM.
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Old 07-04-2010, 11:58 AM   #7
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I question why at 65K you felt the need to replace the shocks in the first place. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with your shocks to begin with and this is the reason why you don't see much difference.
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Old 07-04-2010, 12:13 PM   #8
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What tires do you have on the car ?
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Old 07-04-2010, 06:34 PM   #9
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you have to understand the people that jump from car to car often have NO MONEY

they are usually making poor financial decisions and rolling over debt.

No offense to some members on the group but there are dudes making less than $35K driving in fairly new cars - lol like leasing a $40k car - wtf - the car is worth more than what you make in a year!

OP just be sensible - good luck!
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Old 07-04-2010, 07:00 PM   #10
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I would recommend the stock sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks/struts and Turner Motorsport Sway bars. If you like the ride height. It will feel stiffer and the sway bars are adjustable.

Or Koni Sport shocks if you want adjustability on the shocks and struts as well.
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Old 07-04-2010, 10:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46techtuner View Post
I would recommend the stock sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks/struts and Turner Motorsport Sway bars. If you like the ride height. It will feel stiffer and the sway bars are adjustable.

Or Koni Sport shocks if you want adjustability on the shocks and struts as well.
I agree 100% with this post.

The Bilstein Sport and Koni Sport dampers are significantly higher quality than any other option mentioned so far, and Turner Motorsport sway bars are less expensive and rebranded H&R sway bars, who in my mind make the best aftermarket sway bars for an E46 street car.
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Old 07-06-2010, 09:43 AM   #12
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I would assume your roads are fairly decent. You might be able to find some PSS for under $1k. They don't have the damping adjustment. IMO, not really needed for the street. Just an option...
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Old 07-08-2010, 03:58 PM   #13
ianmc54
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I question why at 65K you felt the need to replace the shocks in the first place. Perhaps there was nothing wrong with your shocks to begin with and this is the reason why you don't see much difference.
Perhaps, but I've heard/seen it recommended around that mileage numerous times.

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What tires do you have on the car ?
Falken 452 I think, any suggestions when I upgrade?
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:06 PM   #14
ianmc54
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My reactions are quite different now. I finally got to push the car around some bumpy windy roads. near you MKODAMA, (grizzly peak/wildcat canyon) The FSD's did a great job, definitely could not zip around like that in my old shocks. I bought some hotchkis sways and turner reinforcement plates, will be installing those in about a week or two. Should be enough for my needs.
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Old 07-12-2010, 10:33 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ianmc54 View Post
Perhaps, but I've heard/seen it recommended around that mileage numerous times.



Falken 452 I think, any suggestions when I upgrade?

I wanted to know, because I was looking at FSDs myself.

And if you were on crappy all seasons there was a possibility your tires were giving up before you could get anywhere near the good part of your suspension.
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