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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 01-10-2011, 07:14 PM   #1
Glissco27
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wheels or suspension upgrade

so ive been racking my brain for the last few weeks on what to blow some money on...currently have those 16" style 46's with the stock suspension on my Xi....what do you guys think in terms of purchasing first....should i go with a new sporty suspension and then purchase wheels or should i just buy wheels?

sidenote: consider the fact that i also want an mtechII bumper haha. whats the general consensus of the Xi community
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Old 01-10-2011, 07:27 PM   #2
tb330
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I did suspension first and come spring I'll install the wheels and bumpers that I got. I would probably say that order just because the drop and wheels make the biggest difference IMO.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:04 PM   #3
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what kind of suspension did you go with? i was in between the fk silverline coilover only cuz its 900 bucks and the kw v1 coilover which was around 1200
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:12 PM   #4
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I just went with H&R Sport Springs on my stock shocks at the time. I'll be upgrading to coils this summer, but I haven't heard a bad thing about either one of those setups so I'm sure either one you go with will work great for you.
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Old 01-10-2011, 08:21 PM   #5
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yea and if i decide not to do a coilover kit i was thinking maybe the h&r sports with eibach konis
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Old 01-10-2011, 10:12 PM   #6
theviking
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First thing I did was finding a good deal on H&R's and once I installed them and got the 1" drop, the car handled like it should have with the "sport" package and factory rims... I would also look for a deal on a strutbrace, since I noticed how much it flexes when installing one... (BMW OEM is really nice...)

I didn't buy my XI to have a car to go offroad, and neither to have a car that would scrape every bump. I got my XI, because I like to drive it hard and still not worry about the few snowy days we get here. (If I wanted a track car, I would have gotten a Lotus.) So the 1" drop is perfect for me. Still good for everyday driving, just being a bit more careful with bumps etc.
I would keep my eyes open and look for a deal on wheels and get them after you have the suspension figured out.
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Old 01-10-2011, 11:28 PM   #7
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viking thanks for the input...did that one inch drop give it that "slanted downward look" cuz thats what i want: that sportier/stiffer ride but not slammed to the ground.
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Old 01-11-2011, 02:48 AM   #8
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ive been debating the same thing, i believe i have stock 17's and have debated getting 18's when i have to get new tires in a couple thousand miles. i know i also need new suspension in the near future and have thought about konis with h&r springs or eibachs. any thoughts???
(not trying to hijack your thread)
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Old 01-11-2011, 05:22 AM   #9
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First coils you will have the benefits and satisfaction immediately, wait the springbreak for the wheels
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Old 01-11-2011, 08:36 AM   #10
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if i do go with the kw v1 or and coil over kit for that matter wont i be putting to much stress on the cv joints/axles?....i JUST had the passenger side replaced
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:30 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Glissco27 View Post
if i do go with the kw v1 or and coil over kit for that matter wont i be putting to much stress on the cv joints/axles?....i JUST had the passenger side replaced
I have the KW V1 inox on my 330xi with brand new axles and control arms.

I just lowered my car to eliminate the wheel gap typical of xi models but i can bring it down even more.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:35 AM   #12
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Old 01-11-2011, 11:27 AM   #13
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so first things first, i guess we can all agree that my next mod should be the suspension (based on those 3 options) only thing left to figure out is which one to choose....so many good ones
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Old 01-11-2011, 01:55 PM   #14
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Tires are the biggest performance aspect of any car.
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:18 PM   #15
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In terms of tires, how would everyone rate the continental extreme contact dws? And would it be better to go with coilovers or a complete new system with springs (my suspension i dont think has ever been replaced and i have about 75k miles on the car)? And would it be advantageous to switch to 18s or not worth the extra money? Thanks
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Old 01-11-2011, 10:37 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Glissco27 View Post
viking thanks for the input...did that one inch drop give it that "slanted downward look" cuz thats what i want: that sportier/stiffer ride but not slammed to the ground.
I got a bit of the slanted look, but in my case I'm considering changing out the rear spring pads, to make it more level...

I'll try to get some pictures tomorrow, on the street... the pictures I have were taken in my "slanted" driveway and it exaggerated the look...

I would not go with coilovers unless you have money to burn. Don't get me wrong, they are better than just getting lowering springs and shocks/struts.

But is it worth it on an "old" car like ours? Unless you plan to track her, I would personally rather spend that extra money on good tires; see Kubica's comment.
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Old 01-12-2011, 10:35 AM   #17
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good point, yeah i really dont wanna burn too much money on the suspension, im thinking maybe i could get the struts/springs for around 850 and looking forward to the pics.
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:02 AM   #18
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....would like a couple more opinions just to see which you guys did first
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Old 01-13-2011, 09:48 AM   #19
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I did wheels/tires first, brakes, wheels/tires again, H&R/Bilsteins, brakes again and ended up with this:



The wheels/tires made the biggest difference, espeially coming from the stock 205/55-16 Contis, so that's usually what I do first.
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Old 01-13-2011, 03:45 PM   #20
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....would like a couple more opinions just to see which you guys did first
Glissco, can you put a picture of your car
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