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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 08-28-2008, 02:15 AM   #1
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Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: San Diego
Posts: 41
My Ride: 2000 323iT
Bilstein Sports with stock sport suspension

I've got a 2000 323iT with the factory sports suspension. 75k miles.

Had to replace a leaky rear shock during the winter and my independent mechanic recommended (and installed) Bilstein Sports on the rear.

I'm thinking that it's time to replace the front shocks now, and as I've (belatedly) been doing some research, I'm trying to figure out if the sports are the best match for this suspension.

Read jpr's thread on Bilsteins ( and I guess what i'm trying to figure out is if the MY2000 sport springs are short enough to warrant the sport shocks (with their reduced body length), or if I would have been better off with the HDs.

If they were too short, what would I be noticing now? Bottoming out? The Bilsteins are definitely harsher than the stock (and worn) Sachs were, but I can't say that I feel like I'm hitting the bump stops a lot more than I had been before.

Bilsteins for the rear are only $75 a pop, so if I'd really be better off with the HDs, it wouldn't hurt to replace these almost new shocks back there while I'm at it (not counting the labor -- though I'm about to do my first ever shock change on my Miata, so i guess I'll soon know if I'm up to a DIY)

My preference, if it makes sense, would be to just put the matching Bilstein sport struts up front, but if I'm making a bad choice for these springs I won't.

(Of course if I replace the rears, wouldn't have to stick to the Bilsteins and could consider the Koni FSDs too....).

I searched, and did see some folks saying they were running the sports with stock sport springs, but also some posts that made me wonder if the HDs would be a better match. Any thoughts?

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