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General E46 Forum
This is the place to get answers, opinions and everything you need related to your E46 (sedan, coupe, convertible and wagon) BMW!

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Old 11-17-2012, 09:59 PM   #1
peanutbarnes
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I NEED HELP!!!!! 2000 BMW 323Ci (E46)

I am wanting to do a suspension overhaul fast. I want to lower my car and also I want better handling. I DO NOT know much about suspensions at all but I have saw that you can either buy a shock/spring combo or a coilover system. What are good brands of either for good prices and also when I buy either of them can I just buy them and slap them on or do I need to buy other stuff like special mounts or stuff? Somebody please school me up on different brands as well as what I need to do. Just a heads up.....I LOVE A REALLY STIFF RIDE.....just personal preference! Thanks in advance guys and I appreciate all of your help!
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:17 PM   #2
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Ground control coils with stiffest springs possible.
You'll regret wanting a stiff ride
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:29 PM   #3
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Stock springs with koni struts is a good ride
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:33 PM   #4
peanutbarnes
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Ground control "coils"? What do you mean? Do you mean ground control "springs"?
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:34 PM   #5
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So if I go stock springs with Koni shocks my car wont be lowered will it? Dont the springs lower the car?
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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That would be the best way to go
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:47 PM   #7
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Ground control "coils"? What do you mean? Do you mean ground control "springs"?
no one really want to give you the whole speech on suspension. it's a long story but i'll try to help because i was once in your shoes.
there's essentially two options for you. a shock and spring combo and a coilover combo.
coilovers are springs that are on a threaded sleeve that allow for height adjustment and sometimes dampening and rebound adjustment.
the pros to the former is it's cheaper and there's a lot of options for different desires.
the pros to coil overs is that they are adjustable to get desired look or performance and the springs are typically matched to the shocks exactly.
shock valving is important to match to a spring rate. you don't want sloppy comfy shocks trying to dampen a crazy stiff ride from stiff springs.

many different venders sell all kinds of setups. you need to SEARCH to find what you want. it all comes down to budget.
if i had lots o money to spend i'd go with bilstien pss10 or kw v3 suspension. i don't and didn't when i did my suspension so i went with koni sports (adjustable) and h&r red sport springs. the height is not adjustable. the dampening rate is.

springs determine ride height. shocks and springs together determine responsiveness. shocks, springs, and sway bars determine body roll.

if you really want i can get into sway bars but that's a whole new ball game.
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Old 11-17-2012, 10:56 PM   #8
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The Koni sport shocks with the h&r springs.....how did you like them and how did it look? I wanna good lookin low stance. Also please get into the sway bars if you dont mind!
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:03 PM   #9
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The Koni sport shocks with the h&r springs.....how did you like them and how did it look? I wanna good lookin low stance. Also please get into the sway bars if you dont mind!
check out my "for sale" link in my sig. it shows some pictures of my car. that's how it looks with that setup.
it's an alright setup. for a daily driver i think it's the best shock/spring combo.
on my e30 i have ground control coil overs and that thing literally rides on rails. but i swear on every bump i feel my bones shatter. i know you like a stiff ride, and so do i. but my e30 is SERIOUSLY stiff and is too stiff for a daily driver IMO.
sway bars reduce body roll without affecting stiffness or ride quality.
certain combinations of sizes and settings will control your cars tendency to oversteer or understeer. it's really not something to play with until you've driven your car hard enough to understand it's on edge capability. you're not able to really understand this on the street.
if you want to upgrade them for street driving get some and set them to recommended spec. if you want them for more high performance driving (track days or autocross) then do more research and figure out what you need.
unless you've done some track time i seriously doubt you know what the car is like on the edge.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:08 PM   #10
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Ok.....I see you have the silver sedan if im not mistaken...unless i looked at the wrong one. I have a coupe with 19 inch rims. I dont know what size rims you have but will mine be as low as yours?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:10 PM   #11
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yeah the silver sedan is mine
i'm running 18" wheels. yours will be the same ride height assuming you're running the same springs.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:13 PM   #12
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Mine looks like this now...... I hope you can see it.

http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...800&highlight=
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:16 PM   #13
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So you are saying that ground control coilovers are too stiff for you? How much did they run you and did you just buy the coilovers and put them on or did you have to buy any "special mounts"? The reason I am asking is because I have heard of part like strut mounts and other things and I didnt know if I had to buy that stuff.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:20 PM   #14
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Another thing too man.....Sorry ahead of time if I am bothering you but you are really helping me. I am not car savvy and I have learned soooo much from this site. You guys are awesome! My question is: What is understeering and oversteering and the difference between the two?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:23 PM   #15
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the ground control coil overs are too stiff for a daily driver. i love them on my e30 but i don't drive that every day.
your car looks pretty low in the rear already
you should replace the rear shock mounts as well as add reinforcement plates to them. you should replace the front strut mounts if they need replacing. you should replace any and all bushings that are worn as well.
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:26 PM   #16
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Another thing too man.....Sorry ahead of time if I am bothering you but you are really helping me. I am not car savvy and I have learned soooo much from this site. You guys are awesome! My question is: What is understeering and oversteering and the difference between the two?
understeer: front wheels loose grip under intense cornering
oversteer: rear looses grip under intense cornering
from the factory they make the car understeer because it's a lot safer. it's much easier to recover from understeer than oversteer.
for a performance stand point you want it to be about as even as possible so it kinda power slides instead of either the front or rear loosing grip.

the only way you'll really be able to understand these is in a HUGE parking lot or at a performance driving event (track day, drivers school, autocross)
you do not encounter these while driving on the street
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:31 PM   #17
peanutbarnes
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You have a good eye my friend. My rear shocks are shot so that's why i wanna go ahead and redo the entire set up!
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:39 PM   #18
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looks like you might have a broken spring too. possibly...
post your budget, desired ride height, and over all goals. i'll try to find what works for you.

by goals i mean do you care about looks or performance first? do you need adjustability? do you use this car everyday? and how stiff do you really want to go?
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:42 PM   #19
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Please look at the link......Do you think that the "racing spring" would be too much of a drop? look at the measurements!

http://www.hrsprings.com/scripts/app...MW%20|%20323Ci
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Old 11-17-2012, 11:46 PM   #20
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To be honest my friend I really want it to LOOK GOOD AND LOWERED.......AGGRESSIVE...... I would like it to at LEAST handle better than stock of that aint too much to ask and my budget is......well.....i would like to keep it between $800-$1000....closer to $800 if possible!
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