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E46 Xi Forum
The E46 XI was produced from 01-05 in sedan and touring body styles. Powered by either a 2.5L inline 6 in the 325xi or a 3.0L inline 6 330xi. Discuss all thing about BMW AWD E46 'Xi' here.

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Old 10-29-2014, 10:08 AM   #1
MyBaby330xi
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Suspension Question

Okay, before you yell at me...Yes I do know that there is a large Suspension Thread at the top...I have read through it and there is a lot of old and contradicting information.

I just bought an '03 330xi with 91k miles. Love the car but the suspension is loose and I can hear a "popping...clunking" noise in the front drivers side. Sooooo, I am planning on just doing as complete a refresh on the entire suspension as I can afford. This way I will have a baseline for the car and a nice smooth ride.

I want a nice tight suspension that handles well but not too stiff. This is my DD and I will not be tracking it or doing any racing of any kind. I have heard that the Coilovers are the best handling/comfort package...true? Then of course I have read that you can't do a Coilover on an xi....Help.

What is the best bang for the buck and the most comfort with good handling?

I really appreciate everyone in this forum! I owned a SAAB for years and never had this type of support.

Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:25 PM   #2
Rob43
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They're many many ways you could go when picking a suspension system. Based on what you said I'd tell you to consider Just a strut/shock upgrade. So keep your current stock springs & add either Bilstein or Koni, both are great choices and both have their pros & cons. With either choice you will want to buy the 95-99 E36 M3 rear shock part number because the Xi needs the Larger tube Diameter/Piston/Oil Supply that comes with the E36 M3 design.



Good luck,
Rob43
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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
MyBaby330xi
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Thank you Rob43, I appreciate the heads up on the E36 M3 rear shocks. Is there anything special I need to do or additional parts I need to buy for the M3 style shocks?

Is the desire for the comfort the reason for suggesting not doing the Coilovers? Bilstein has the Sport and the HD, I am assuming the HD would be recommended?


Thanks!
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:57 PM   #4
Rob43
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E36 M3 rear shocks don't need any special hardware to make them work, I would recommend some type of new or upgraded RSM's.

I'd also recommend for you to do a bit of research on which way to go before you pull the trigger,....let others chime in & give their opinions on what might work best for you.

If you buy quality it's hard to go wrong,
Rob43
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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:58 PM   #5
JDUTHIE
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95 e36 m3 sport rears... aside from too much droop they were one of the best things i ever did to my measly XI
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:15 PM   #6
Rob43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JDUTHIE View Post
95 e36 m3 sport rears... aside from too much droop they were one of the best things i ever did to my measly XI
You forgot to mention which brand (You'd) go with,....Koni or Bilstein ?


Rob43
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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
SUMMIT POINT WV 1:24:229 SCCA
(DynoDynamics https:vimeo.com/8486878 Dyno Video)
"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 10-29-2014, 07:35 PM   #7
SamDoe1
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You obviously didn't read the first thread. Most of your questions are answered in the very first post in that thread.

Also there's no old information. This car has been out of production for nearly a decade. Nothing new is coming up anymore.

Not trying to be a dick but please read it again.

Lastly, your clunking is likely the sway bar links. Not your suspension.
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Old 10-29-2014, 08:25 PM   #8
MyBaby330xi
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Ouch. I did read the thread but I was hoping to get a new perspective and I figured that new manufacturers, new products from old familiar manufacturers might be available. I was also trying to get some personal advice and ask specific questions.

In regards to the noise I was aware that it had "nothing" to do with suspension in regards to shocks and struts.

I appreciate your feedback but you do realize that you could have easily passed over my thread instead of letting it upset you...right?
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Old 10-29-2014, 10:02 PM   #9
SamDoe1
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Most definitely not upset at all. Just saying that everything you asked is in that thread and various others. Totally understand if you have questions that aren't answered though.

Not likely that there will ever be new products and vendors for the E46 from here on out.
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Old 10-30-2014, 07:26 PM   #10
MyBaby330xi
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Originally Posted by SamDoe1 View Post
Most definitely not upset at all. Just saying that everything you asked is in that thread and various others. Totally understand if you have questions that aren't answered though.

Not likely that there will ever be new products and vendors for the E46 from here on out.

SamDoe1

I have re-read through your Suspension thread and I would like to say Thank you for all of the helpful information. I took my time as I read through and didn't have the distraction of my 4 year old.
Thanks again for all of your hard work and very helpful information!! Appreciate you!
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Old 10-31-2014, 08:49 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by Joellogan@live.com View Post
SamDoe1

I have re-read through your Suspension thread and I would like to say Thank you for all of the helpful information. I took my time as I read through and didn't have the distraction of my 4 year old.
Thanks again for all of your hard work and very helpful information!! Appreciate you!
No problem, glad you could get some use out of it. Like I said, please read and then if you have any questions feel free to ask. You can PM me if that would help as well.
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