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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 01-03-2013, 01:12 AM   #1
NWA_Flagship
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2001 BMW 325i e46 Suspension

So I have a 2001 BMW 325i with 140,000. No suspension work has ever been done to my knowledge. Im a daily driver (75-150 miles a day, territory sales rep). When I am driving straight it's fine but any bumps I hear a THUD and then it levels out. I imagine my struts are blown.

What do you recommend I get to have it comfortable ride, lowered maybe an inch, and handle slightly better then stock?

I know that's a lot to ask, but if you don't ask you don't get an answer 100% of the time.

Im looking at getting these: http://www.ebay.com/itm/251065288242...84.m1423.l2649
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:22 AM   #2
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I'm sure there are other bushings that need replacing, but the common, thuds due to bumps, noise is often attributed to FCABs(front control arm bushings). You should start there. Struts being blown shouldn't really cause a thud. You would just have a slightly more bouncy ride. Look for leakage around the strut to see if they are in fact truly blown.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:34 AM   #3
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For a daily driven car, a good choice for a moderate drop and excellent ride / handling compromise would be either stock ZHP springs with Koni FSDs or Hotchkis springs and Koni FSDs. At your mileage you will need FCABs, RTABs, and very likely will also need front control arms. Might as well get it all taken care of while you're in there.

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Old 01-03-2013, 10:32 AM   #4
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For the amount of the Bilsteins you could consider a coilover kit. Here is a thread on the Street Edge Coilovers we offer http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=932527

Here is the link to our website
http://thesuspensionsource.mybigcomm...eries-e46-2wd/
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:47 AM   #5
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I had the front control arm replaced about 15,000 miles ago, both sides. I hope that's not the problem again The ride is DEF bouncy though, and yeah the rear struts are leaking everywhere. In regards to the the Street Edge Coilovers im wondering if those are better then the Bilsteins.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:58 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NWA_Flagship View Post
I had the front control arm replaced about 15,000 miles ago, both sides. I hope that's not the problem again The ride is DEF bouncy though, and yeah the rear struts are leaking everywhere. In regards to the the Street Edge Coilovers im wondering if those are better then the Bilsteins.
Cruise thru the review thread. A couple customers have posted feedback. We offer a 45 money back guarantee. If you feel the Street Edge kit hasn't met your exceptions you can simply return the kit for your money back within 45 days.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:03 PM   #7
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okay cool! Other ones i as thinking were... http://www.ebay.com/itm/380547930693...84.m1423.l2649
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:11 PM   #8
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With how much you drive your car, don't you want to put a quality product on it? There's no benefit to coilovers unless you plan to adjust the ride height. You can achieve your goals with higher quality components that will last for the life of your car (Koni shocks and OEM ZHP springs).

Just my $0.02.
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloII///M View Post
With how much you drive your car, don't you want to put a quality product on it? There's no benefit to coilovers unless you plan to adjust the ride height. You can achieve your goals with higher quality components that will last for the life of your car (Koni shocks and OEM ZHP springs).

Just my $0.02.
I honestly just don't know. The thing is the car is old, so I only plan on getting two more years out of it. My company gives me $1000 a month for car allowance so this one's paid off and I just want to keep pocketing the cash. Thus, I don't want to invest too much into it, since in about a year ill be buying something new.

Are those Bilsteins any good? Koni seem good too, can I lower the car about an inch with either one of those?
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Old 01-03-2013, 12:56 PM   #10
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Bilsteins and Konis are both very high quality shocks with lifetime warranties. The FSDs will give you a better ride than the Bilsteins, the Bilsteins are arguably a little more "sporty" feeling as they have higher initial compression damping and are less digressive.

Both of those dampers will tolerate a moderate drop. I have the FSDs on my street-car 330 ZHP and it rides and handles better than it did with the factory dampers.

I have very expensive coilovers on my race car, and while it's true you can get a budget set of coilovers for your street car, there is no advantage to doing so, while there are a few disadvantages. They are cheap for a reason.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:43 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SoloII///M View Post
Bilsteins and Konis are both very high quality shocks with lifetime warranties. The FSDs will give you a better ride than the Bilsteins, the Bilsteins are arguably a little more "sporty" feeling as they have higher initial compression damping and are less digressive.

Both of those dampers will tolerate a moderate drop. I have the FSDs on my street-car 330 ZHP and it rides and handles better than it did with the factory dampers.

I have very expensive coilovers on my race car, and while it's true you can get a budget set of coilovers for your street car, there is no advantage to doing so, while there are a few disadvantages. They are cheap for a reason.
So in your opinion would you recommend going with the FSD's? I like a sporty feeling, but im assuming that translates to a stiffer ride, which is not advantageous.
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Old 01-04-2013, 05:00 AM   #12
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In that case, you'd be very happy with the FSDs.

In my experience unless you're willing to buy some really high quality coilovers, they are more trouble than they're worth.
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Old 01-04-2013, 10:35 AM   #13
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I just installed those Bilstein's on my 323i and I love them. I'll point out a few things about them:

*You can configure that combo cheaper elsewhere online. I paid $320 for the shocks/struts and another $160 for the associated mounts, gaskets, etc. In total it came out to $480.
*The ride is a bit firmer than the stock suspension, but not incredibly so. My old suspension had 153k miles and it rode like crap. The car rides great now and going over bumps doesn't emit any noise in the cabin other than tire noise.
*The handling is much improved. Cornering is more controlled and the body roll is much better than before.
*According to the Bilstein website, the Touring suspension isn't designed for lowering springs. Installing lowering springs on the car will cause the struts to wear quicker and the warranty won't cover that. I have stock non-sport springs installed on mine and it's fine. It did raise the height of the car a few millimeters if that means anything to you. It doesn't bother me.

Overall I'm very happy with the suspension and I would buy it again. However if I did want to go lower than I would buy the Koni's as they are designed for lowering springs from the get-go.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:21 AM   #14
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Super helpful, thanks a ton guys. I might try the FSD's. As I drive everyday and still have that inner drive to rip around the corner. I got my eye on an Audi S5 so we'll see

Thanks guys! Im gonna try the FSD's, now another dumb question, will I have to or should I replace the springs?




Quote:
Originally Posted by ryannel2003 View Post
I just installed those Bilstein's on my 323i and I love them. I'll point out a few things about them:

*You can configure that combo cheaper elsewhere online. I paid $320 for the shocks/struts and another $160 for the associated mounts, gaskets, etc. In total it came out to $480.
*The ride is a bit firmer than the stock suspension, but not incredibly so. My old suspension had 153k miles and it rode like crap. The car rides great now and going over bumps doesn't emit any noise in the cabin other than tire noise.
*The handling is much improved. Cornering is more controlled and the body roll is much better than before.
*According to the Bilstein website, the Touring suspension isn't designed for lowering springs. Installing lowering springs on the car will cause the struts to wear quicker and the warranty won't cover that. I have stock non-sport springs installed on mine and it's fine. It did raise the height of the car a few millimeters if that means anything to you. It doesn't bother me.

Overall I'm very happy with the suspension and I would buy it again. However if I did want to go lower than I would buy the Koni's as they are designed for lowering springs from the get-go.
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Old 01-04-2013, 02:06 PM   #15
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You do not need to replace the springs but if you want to lower the car then you will need springs.

The Bilstein shocks meant for use with lowering springs are their Sport model.
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