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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:04 PM   #1
xdave
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More cheap Struts. A question

I ordered some of the cheap struts off of ebay for my '99 E46 328i. I'm getting a little tired of bouncing around due to lack of damping.

These are the yellow ones that use the term "sport" in the description. My intention is to use these with some eibach lowering springs if took off the car when the dealer did the inspection for the bad rear sub frame mounts.

OK so I have these struts here and checked them out. The rear shocks seem to be pretty stiff. The front struts don't seem all that stiff when compressing them off of the car. I was pushing them upside-down into a carpeted stage. The rebound of the fronts is stiffer.

I can fairly easily compress the front holding them in my hand. Does this seem about right or is a "sport" strut really difficult to compress by hand?

I figured I would ask before I installed them.

Last edited by xdave; 11-26-2012 at 08:06 PM.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:07 PM   #2
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No, that's not a good sign. Not that it's surprising, buying an inferior product and expecting it to be of an acceptable quality. This is NOT a place to pinch pennies.
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Old 11-26-2012, 08:55 PM   #3
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I don't recall exactly, but when I put Koni Yellow struts on my car, I put my full manly-mass on them and it was very hard to make them compress.

New struts should be considerably more difficult to compress than the old struts.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:14 PM   #4
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Even my teeny little boot lid strut is so strong that I can't compress it using arms alone. I can only compress it using body weight. I can imagine a suspension strut should be much much stronger. There's no way you can compresss it without tools.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:31 PM   #5
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Why did you go with cheap ones? How cheap is cheap? I saw some Monroe that would make your ride a little stiffer for 90 a piece and they had lifetime warranty.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:40 PM   #6
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Yeah man if you had to go bottom of the barrel to save cash, you shouldn't go any lower than Monroe...

...and that means Racelands are lower than Monroe.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:45 PM   #7
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Yeah man if you had to go bottom of the barrel to save cash, you shouldn't go any lower than Monroe...

...and that means Racelands are lower than Monroe.
Are Monroe's really that bad? I just installed some on a saab and it was way better than the stock ones it had.
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Old 11-26-2012, 09:56 PM   #8
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Are Monroe's really that bad? I just installed some on a saab and it was way better than the stock ones it had.
Oh I mean they're certainly not bad, but in terms of our vehicles I would argue that Sachs-Boge is better. Handling and suspension is a really huge part of these cars, and anything but at least the same standards as BMW is taking away a big part of the car that makes it a BMW, in my opinion. Shocks made by Koni, Bilstein, and Sachs-Boge are my top 3.
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Old 11-26-2012, 10:01 PM   #9
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Oh I mean they're certainly not bad, but in terms of our vehicles I would argue that Sachs-Boge is better. Handling and suspension is a really huge part of these cars, and anything but at least the same standards as BMW is taking away a big part of the car that makes it a BMW, in my opinion. Shocks made by Koni, Bilstein, and Sachs-Boge are my top 3.
Well I would never put them on my bmw no but since both my girl saab and mine needed front struts I'd figured I would give my car some down time. I'm either going for boge or koni with h and r springs and maybe doing brake pads and rotors while I'm there.




My girl always compliments how my car ride is wayyy smoother then hers ahaha (stock suspension too! 168k miles)
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:28 AM   #10
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I put the Midas sport shock on my Volvo 850 that came with OEM Boge. Gotta say they were plenty stiff and handled great. I did this on the advice of my mechanic, who feels the really stiff struts designed for racing are better left for track cars, not daily drivers. He still has one car set up for racing and is using a low line Boge - and the car handles and turns like it is on rails.

One thing to remember - like the SAAB, the Volvo is FWD and is a much different beast than the 3 series.
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Old 11-27-2012, 07:46 AM   #11
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Our beater has monroe's on them. I've installed them on a few peoples' cars who just want OE replacements on the cheap. They work fine. Would I want to put them on my BMW? No. But if I was in a financial bind and absolutely needed new shocks it wouldn't kill me to do so.

Ebay shocks...now that's a whole 'nother can of terrible. Return them. For the love of baby jesus don't put those on your car. Like others have said if you can compress them easily by hand it's either a) you're a gorilla b) the shocks are bad. Judging by your ability to use a computer I assume you are not a gorilla.
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Old 11-27-2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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Hahahaha a gorilla?? That made me laugh I needed that today!

And yes saabs are other completely different cars
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Old 11-27-2012, 10:51 PM   #13
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It would be very easy for any shock manufacturer to match the damping and spring rates to oem specs. No problem at all. In fact, they might have even chosen specs that feel "better" to some drivers. Raceboys change their settings all the time and and they certainly don't agree on the same damping and spring rates.
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Old 11-28-2012, 06:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by choxor View Post
Our beater has monroe's on them. I've installed them on a few peoples' cars who just want OE replacements on the cheap. They work fine. Would I want to put them on my BMW? No. But if I was in a financial bind and absolutely needed new shocks it wouldn't kill me to do so.

Ebay shocks...now that's a whole 'nother can of terrible. Return them. For the love of baby jesus don't put those on your car. Like others have said if you can compress by hand it's either a) you're a gorilla b) the shocks are bad. Judging by your ability to use a computer I assume you are not a gorilla.
I just put new Sachs Super Touring struts on the front end, and I could compress them by hand, not easily and not all the way, but I could.....I always wondered why I liked bananas so much...
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:21 AM   #15
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I was practically able to play my front Koni STR.t's like an accordion when I put them in, granted not quite as well as the blown ones I took out. I was quite shocked by that as I am not a gorilla, nor do I spend large tracts of time picking up and putting down heavy objects. However they work quite well, with a nice ride and good behavior when pushed, even on a track, so I guess Koni knows a thing or two about shocks that I don't. The rears required body weight to compress though.

Having said that though, I still plan on replacing them with a nice coil over kit next year as they were simply a stop-gap because I didn't have the $$$ for coil overs at the time.
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Old 11-29-2012, 06:06 AM   #16
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I was practically able to play my front Koni STR.t's like an accordion when I put them in, granted not quite as well as the blown ones I took out. I was quite shocked by that as I am not a gorilla, nor do I spend large tracts of time picking up and putting down heavy objects. However they work quite well, with a nice ride and good behavior when pushed, even on a track, so I guess Koni knows a thing or two about shocks that I don't. The rears required body weight to compress though.

Having said that though, I still plan on replacing them with a nice coil over kit next year as they were simply a stop-gap because I didn't have the $$$ for coil overs at the time.
I think it has something to do with applying fast pressure over slow pressure. When you hit them hard they resists a lot more then when you push on them slowly. But, im not an expert....that just makes sense to me.
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Old 11-29-2012, 08:51 AM   #17
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Sometimes shocks have to be primed, too. I always do this. Push them in all the way and let them decompress. Do this a few times and they should firm up. Different shocks are going to have different dampening characteristics. Some are going to be easier to push in than others, but it should never be "easy" after they're properly prepped.

However, if a compressed shock doesn't decompress on its own it's toast.

OP, if you're still going to use those shocks try priming them.
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Old 11-29-2012, 09:04 AM   #18
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So what shocks did the OP buy anyways? Curious
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Old 12-24-2012, 08:01 PM   #19
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Here's a quick update;

I finally installed the front struts along my Eibach Pro kit lowering springs. The springs had been back to the originals over considerations of the subframe repair process. Stock '99 328i's have some pretty tall springs with a lot of fender clearance and a mild spring rate, ugh...

The original Sachs struts that were on there were incredibly blown out. I could compress the front right with one finger!

The car is 1000x better now! I think these struts are a little stiffer than the stock non-sport struts. They seem to work well. The car has awesome control again and I can really drive it without fear of bouncing off the road after turning into a corner.

I still have to install the rears.Its cold here in the Northeast and I don't have a garage so you really have to pick your days.

I paid $180 shipped for struts/shocks. The ebay link is posted below although the price is $199 in this ad. The struts are yellow and have "CB Sport" on them. You can say what you want about Chinese suspension but I can tell you most of the mountain bike stuff is made there and it is high quality. I don't have much in my budget for cars right now so the price is definitely right!

After a few months I'll post an update. Thanks everyone for your input!

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-NEW-BMW-E4...5964a1&vxp=mtr
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