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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 10-22-2008, 07:29 PM   #1
rkneeshaw
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well balanced suspension

hello everyone,

Was looking at suspensions for the 330i and there are a lot of options. I'm looking for a setup that moderatly lowers the car to an attractive stance (not slammed) while providing the best handling characteristics. I define best handling characteristics as those that keep the car as flat as possible in the corners with a slight hint of oversteer. I believe that you cannot acheive this by simply grabbing any strut/spring combo and matching it with any old sway bar setup so I'm thinking a full kit from a single manufacturer will include components that are all designed to work together.

I see that Eibach offers a complete kit that includes springs, struts, and swaybars. So does UUC. Anyone have any feedback about these two suspensions and which one would be most likely to provide me with the desired effect?

Koni has a FSD kit too that looks pretty good....

I see most sway bars available for the 330i are also adjustable... does this mean that I can probably go with whatever spring/strut combo I like and I'll be able to dial it in anyway?
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Old 10-22-2008, 10:18 PM   #2
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Old 10-24-2008, 07:56 AM   #3
rkneeshaw
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any concerns matching sway bars to that kit without disrupting oversteer/understeer balance?
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:27 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
hello everyone,

Was looking at suspensions for the 330i and there are a lot of options. I'm looking for a setup that moderatly lowers the car to an attractive stance (not slammed) while providing the best handling characteristics. I define best handling characteristics as those that keep the car as flat as possible in the corners with a slight hint of oversteer. I believe that you cannot acheive this by simply grabbing any strut/spring combo and matching it with any old sway bar setup so I'm thinking a full kit from a single manufacturer will include components that are all designed to work together.

I see that Eibach offers a complete kit that includes springs, struts, and swaybars. So does UUC. Anyone have any feedback about these two suspensions and which one would be most likely to provide me with the desired effect?

Koni has a FSD kit too that looks pretty good....

I see most sway bars available for the 330i are also adjustable... does this mean that I can probably go with whatever spring/strut combo I like and I'll be able to dial it in anyway?

Your sort of on the right track, you stated FSD, that is definetly not going to be the best handling suspension that is for sure, if you want strictly handling and done care about confort or money you need to get Ground control or TC Kline. Or you can get both in a KW V2. Are you going to track your car?, For best results your will need to change your RTAB's and put shims, replace control arms and bushing with some Polly bushings and get thicker sway. good luck.
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Old 10-24-2008, 10:42 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
any concerns matching sway bars to that kit without disrupting oversteer/understeer balance?
No. That's the point of having adjustable aftermarket bars. They allow you to fine tune the balance of your car once everything else is set up.

H&R and Hotchkis both offer great bars.
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Old 10-25-2008, 07:45 PM   #6
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Yes, I would plan on tracking the car occasionally. I'm also looking specifically for a ZHP model, so I know it will have a somewhat sporty suspension to start with but I'm assuming I would need something a little better. Since the bars would be adjustable I'm guessing any decent spring/strut combo would be good, and the H&R Cup Kit has had great reviews....
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:53 PM   #7
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Alright, Im back after some fresh research.

Should I go with coilovers or a spring/strut kit. I'm sure I wont be interested in adjusting the ride height very much, once its set I'll leave it there. So I suppose if I like the look of the H&R cup kit, I should just do that. I would however be sure to get a spring/strut kit that has adjustable shocks. That way on track days I can tighten it up, and for daily commute I can soften it up. Anything else I'm missing why I might want to still go with coilovers?
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Old 10-25-2008, 09:55 PM   #8
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You could try the Koni Adjustables (Yellow) if you want adjustable shocks. Heard plenty of good feedback about them but can be a pain to adjust for the rears. The fronts are 8741-1390LSPORT (left) and 8741-1390RSPORT (right). The rears are 8040-1250SPORT/8040-1271SPORT depending I think on ride height. Around $600-$700 for the whole set.
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:37 PM   #9
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Coilovers offer more flexibility and the potential for higher levels of performance than you will get with a spring/shock combo.

Honestly, your goals are a little vague. You really have to decide just how much performance you really want, how important ride quality is, and how much you're really willing to spend. Since you probably don't really know the answers to these questions yet, I would encourage you to start simple. Just upgrade your antiroll bars and see how much difference it makes. If that's enough of a performance gain but you still want to lower a little bit, then just get some good lowering springs. If you find yourself wanting both more performance and a lower ride height, then you can consider coilovers. I guess what I'm trying to caution you against is just going in and making wholesale suspension changes without a very clear understanding of what you're trying to achieve. Otherwise you'll end up spending a lot of money on something you might not be happy with.

EDIT:
Just curious, why are you assuming you'll need a suspension better than what the ZHP offers? The stock suspension is more than capable of handling anything you can throw at it on public streets without endangering others. An antiroll bar upgrade is really all I would suggest unless you're planning some serious track duty. Even then I would encourage you to keep the stock suspension until you developed enough track experience to know why you needed something better.
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Old 10-26-2008, 01:59 PM   #10
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First I would suggest doing some track events or autocross with your stock suspension. If you can't even get good times with your stock suspension, stiffer less forgiving suspension isn't going to help much.

If you are serious about handling, then an H&R cup kit isn't very good. The shocks kinda lose their damping after a few thousand miles as well as the springs are still kinda soft since they are made more for ride comfort and looks than performance. Most pre-assemble sub $1000 kits are made more for appearances and comfort than handling.

If you want the best of both worlds, get some adjustable coilovers. With coilovers you can corner balance your car, which will give you a slight edge in terms of handling as well as keeps handling the same say if you remove your spare tire and get a carbon trunk or hood. Also with shocks that have adjustable damping, you can firm up the suspension for trackdays or autocross, and then soften everything for the rest of the time you drive your car.

I've also heard plenty of good stuff about the H&R anti-sway bars. These are what you would use to adjust the oversteer and understeer of your car. Making the rear end stiffer will usually cause your car to oversteer more, while making the fronts stiffer will make the car understeer more.
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Old 10-26-2008, 03:10 PM   #11
rkneeshaw
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I'll try out the stock suspension and as suggested maybe start with just sway bars. If I decide I'd like to swap springs/struts then it seems the best option is to get a decent adjustable coil-over kit for the benefits stated. I certainly think the ability of the suspension to adjust with the evolution of the car as I mod it is very smart.

Thank you all very much for your inputs.
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Old 10-26-2008, 05:32 PM   #12
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Coilovers will provide the best performance since they will have higher spring rates. Get some adjustable damping ones for optimal tuning.

Spring/strut combos (good ones) are sufficient for the street but the springs are still too soft for most track type events.

But be warned when running coilovers with low profile tires and bad roads - if you are not accustomed to a rough ride it may take some time to get used to. Also, expect more rattles and suspension parts wearing quicker if you do not swap out OEM stuff like bushings for polyurethane components instead.
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Old 10-28-2008, 01:56 PM   #13
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To start of with, I recommend going with some good sway bars. Hotchkis are an excellent choice. Once you have those installed and you still feel like you need better performance, I would go with some KW V2 coilovers. They feature adjustable rebound dampening that will be more than enough for track and street use. Let me know if I can help you out with anything.

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