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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:08 AM   #1
allCAPS55
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Shock and Strut Replacement

Hey guys, first time posting on the site but I must say this is quite an amazing community. I have already gotten a bunch of help from reading hundreds of posts, but now I have a question that I cannot find an answer to. I currently own a 2001 325i ZSP package with 120,000 miles. It is over due for shock and strut replacement but as a college student the cost is quite intimidating so I will be doing it myself. I have been looking into the Bilstein Sport shocks and struts but I was wondering if I would need to also replace the springs if I were to go to this setup. The description states that the replacement parts are to be used in conjunction with sport springs but don't I already have sport/lowered springs with the ZSP package? Can I go ahead and use the stock springs as long as they are not cracked? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:13 AM   #2
Marshmallow
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At this point, everything is fatigued, so you should replace the springs. You'll be much happier with it if you do.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:18 AM   #3
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Thank you for such the fast response. I will probably end up doing just that then. Have you heard good things about Bilstein setup up or would you have any other recommendations? I've used Bilstein before thats why I trust them but they are one of the most expensive replacement parts and I am on a slight budget yet still looking for quality performance.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:24 AM   #4
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There is quite a bit of info on here about suspension replacement because there are so many options to fit different budgets and preferences. Bilstein may be expensive but it has a great record and lots of proponents here. We usually say that if you go with a cheap part, you'll be paying more in the long run, so it's a good idea to use OEM and good quality aftermarket parts. Have you read the Mango suspension guide? There is more than just springs, shocks, and struts that should be replaced. Are you familiar with strut tower mushrooming?
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:27 AM   #5
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Popular choices are,

1. Bilstein sports or HD or touring
2. Koni yellow or STR.t
3. H&R cupkit touring or sport -> comes with lowering springs as well.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:29 AM   #6
allCAPS55
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I will have to go check out that guide thanks. I am aware that I will have to be replacing the bushings and mounting brackets for the springs as well. I had the car looked over by a mechanic when I purchased it around 20,000 miles ago and was told that most other components had been recently replaced so I am hoping that there is not significant wear among the control arms and sway bar bushings. I am not familiar with the strut tower mushrooming could you please elaborate?
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:44 AM   #7
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One of the risks of putting a new, sportier suspension on the car is that new forces are put on the car. The strut towers under your hood are at a risk of "mushrooming" or deforming in a way that they push upwards to make a rounded top. That's why it's important to replace other components like strut mounts. You may want to read into it and look into a strut bar as well.
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Old 05-21-2014, 11:51 AM   #8
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I definitely will look into it. Thanks again for all your help! I just found a pretty good deal on the Koni yellow's that you mentioned white46 so it looks like its time to start saving up for those.
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Old 05-21-2014, 01:04 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by allCAPS55 View Post
I currently own a 2001 325i ZSP package with 120,000 miles. It is over due for shock and strut replacement.. I have been looking into the Bilstein Sport shocks and struts but I was wondering if I would need to also replace the springs if I were to go to this setup. The description states that the replacement parts are to be used in conjunction with sport springs but don't I already have sport/lowered springs with the ZSP package? Can I go ahead and use the stock springs as long as they are not cracked? Any input would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance!
yes you can use your current oe coupe springs as they are "sport springs".

Bilstein or Koni are my personal performance favorites, lifetime warranty is also always a plus.

as mentioned, it's nice to replace the springs if you can while you're "in there" to save on labor and having to do later. but unless the spring is rusted or cracked (rear coil) then they'll be fine.
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Old 05-21-2014, 05:33 PM   #10
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I would love to replace the springs as well but I am currently a college student who is searching for a summer job so finances are a little tight. I checked out the current springs and there seems to be no rust or signs of cracking so I hope I will be okay sticking with the OEM sport springs thanks for the input. Any ideas of where to purchase complete mounting kits? I've been searching all afternoon and have only had luck finding a decent kit complete with most everything I need from Turner Motorsport, wondering if there are any other alternatives besides buying all individual parts. Thanks!
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:27 PM   #11
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as mentioned, it's nice to replace the springs if you can while you're "in there" to save on labor and having to do later. but unless the spring is rusted or cracked (rear coil) then they'll be fine.
+1

I'm in the process of my suspension rebuild and while I went with upgraded H&R springs, my OE ones are still in great shape after 120K+ miles.
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Old 05-21-2014, 07:31 PM   #12
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I would love to replace the springs as well but I am currently a college student who is searching for a summer job so finances are a little tight. I checked out the current springs and there seems to be no rust or signs of cracking so I hope I will be okay sticking with the OEM sport springs thanks for the input. Any ideas of where to purchase complete mounting kits? I've been searching all afternoon and have only had luck finding a decent kit complete with most everything I need from Turner Motorsport, wondering if there are any other alternatives besides buying all individual parts. Thanks!
If you're on a budget, then maybe look at the Koni STR.T struts/shocks. They are an upgrade over factory sport with a lifetime warranty and all four cost less than $350 shipped with the current promotions going on.

I'd strongly recommend the OE BMW strut tower reinforcement plates ($20 for the set) along with new strut mounts, spring pads and dust boots at a minimum.

I went a bit nuts and ordered everything brand new, but once I tore into the job, some of the items weren't in bad shape at all.
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Old 05-21-2014, 08:15 PM   #13
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I just bought Bilstein B4 Tourings for my 330CI vert. It is my commuting car in Boston, so I didn't want to do anything too stiff.

The HDs were on my 325 E46 and E90. The sports are on my 540.
The B4 tourings are matched to factory specifications; they offer sport and comfort options within the line. They cost about 100 less per shock than the HDs or Sports.

In my opinion, the HDs were a little too stiff for me. The sports are on my weekend car with m-tech suspension. I would try out the tourings.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:23 PM   #14
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I got the Dinan Stage 1 shocks and springs all around, which I believe are re-valved Koni Yellows. I like them. The ride isn't too harsh and they don't really lower the car much at all beyond the stock sport suspension ride height. Dinan often has sales, so during that time they might be competitive on price.

Last edited by dmarkle; 05-21-2014 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:42 PM   #15
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Thanks for asking this question op, I'm in the exact same situation you are.

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If you're on a budget, then maybe look at the Koni STR.T struts/shocks. They are an upgrade over factory sport with a lifetime warranty and all four cost less than $350 shipped with the current promotions going on.
Where are these available? Do you think the excel g struts/shocks are the same quality?
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:43 PM   #16
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I just went through this process, at about the same mileage. It cost me $1,000, or thereabouts. First, I replaced the front lower control arms and FCABs. Then, I replaced the front struts, along with the upper mounts, stops, etc. per Mango's thread. Lastly, I replaced the rear shocks. I spread this out over two months to minimize the cash flow.

I used all OEM replacement parts from FCPeuro. The improvement in handling was amazing. It's like I have a new car, as far as handling is concerned.
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Old 05-21-2014, 09:58 PM   #17
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Where are these available? Do you think the excel g struts/shocks are the same quality?
Tire Rack has them for $344 shipped, linked here.

They also have the adjustable Koni Sports for $570 shipped, linked here.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:02 PM   #18
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I refreshed the suspension with Koni STR.t and really like it for a cost efficient dd setup. Have about a month on the koni's while reusing the OEM sport springs and no complaints.

Last edited by clavinova; 05-22-2014 at 09:10 AM.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:09 PM   #19
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Tire Rack has them for $344 shipped, linked here.

They also have the adjustable Koni Sports for $570 shipped, linked here.
Damn that was fast, thank you for the response sir

Quote:
Originally Posted by clavinova View Post
I refreshed the suspension with Koni STR.t and really like it for a cost efficient dd setup. Have about on month on the koni's while reusing the OEM sport springs and no complaints.
Glad to hear you're liking the setup since that'll be the exact same thing Im going to run.
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Old 05-21-2014, 10:18 PM   #20
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Damn that was fast, thank you for the response sir.
No problem.

I'll make a more detailed thread reviewing everything once I finish the install, but here's the parts/cost breakdown for my suspension overhaul project:



Parts were sourced from Bav Auto, FCP Euro, RM European, Bimmerworld and ECS Tuning.
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