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General E46 Forum
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:09 PM   #1
eek142
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What coilovers perform the best while not slamming the car itself?

I searched and read a lot of things about Tein's and KW's and Bilsteins. My goal is to not slam the car as much as it is to improve the handling and really stiffen/tighten everything up.

Live in NYC, so I can't afford that much of a drop. Already on sport suspension and wondering which brand will drop at most 1" and still perform the best. Also, i'd prefer if it doesn't look too raked...Adjustable damping is a must have...

Would love to hear some opinions/facts
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:11 PM   #2
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Ive heard good things about PSS9s, sorry I cant say from personal experience. Im picking up Tein Basics soon, Ill throw in my .02 as soon as theyre on
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:14 PM   #3
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Ive heard good things about PSS9s, sorry I cant say from personal experience. Im picking up Tein Basics soon, Ill throw in my .02 as soon as theyre on
Tein basics are awesome for the money.
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Old 01-18-2008, 04:39 PM   #4
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Well, if you want features such as adjustable ride quality, adjustable ride height (coilovers), and effective on-track performance you need to do some research. I am not going to give any recommendations other than to say the best racing shock designs can also have better ride, but they are never the lowest cost. Think "monotube adjustables"...

There is a myth that "coilovers" automatically means "harsh ride". This couldn't be further from the truth. Again, research the better race oriented shocks (in the track forums) and then ask those that also use them on the street how they ride when adjusted for street use. I think you will be surprised....
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:00 PM   #5
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Tein basics are awesome for the money.
I was considering the Tein SS as my #1 choice, but I read that if you do not drop the car low enough, then the shocks will perform poorly in terms of handling
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:30 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by eek142 View Post
I searched and read a lot of things about Tein's and KW's and Bilsteins. My goal is to not slam the car as much as it is to improve the handling and really stiffen/tighten everything up.

Live in NYC, so I can't afford that much of a drop. Already on sport suspension and wondering which brand will drop at most 1" and still perform the best. Also, i'd prefer if it doesn't look too raked...Adjustable damping is a must have...

Would love to hear some opinions/facts
well since you will be making the stance by how you lower the springs perches, this shouldn't be a factor.

fwiw- a coil-over system is often not the best choice.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:33 PM   #7
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I have Bilsteins PSS coilovers... I don't really like it 'cause when I wanted to raise my suspension for winter mode, it doesn't go up that high... only 1 or 2 fingers gap (depending how how thick your finger is.. lol) at the front, but the rear can go up higher. The ride quality is a little hard for my taste. If I was going to replace these, I would do GC coilovers 'cause it uses Koni which what I had on my old car and it rides great!!
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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well since you will be making the stance by how you lower the springs perches, this shouldn't be a factor.

fwiw- a coil-over system is often not the best choice.
Hmm, from what I've heard, the PSS9's will give you a raked look b/c the front gets dropped way more than the rear and the front cannot be raised that high.

I guess I could live with a slight rake as long as the coilovers perform without the ride being slammed.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:36 PM   #9
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Best would probably Motons or Ohlins.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:40 PM   #10
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Best would probably Motons or Ohlins.
Aren't those really expensive lol? Have you ever tried them?
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:42 PM   #11
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Best would probably Motons or Ohlins.
Motons??? That's a lot of money... I'd do Motons IF I seriously tracked my car which I don't.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:45 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eek142 View Post
Aren't those really expensive lol? Have you ever tried them?
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Originally Posted by e46TiAg View Post
Motons??? That's a lot of money... I'd do Motons IF I seriously tracked my car which I don't.
I saw the word "best" in the thread title and just spouted off what the best ones are supposed to be.
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Old 01-18-2008, 05:46 PM   #13
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I saw the word "best" in the thread title and just spouted off what the best ones are supposed to be.


Well, I guess here's another question...Which coilovers drop your car the least!?
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:07 PM   #14
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I'd go with Ground Control if I were you...
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Old 01-18-2008, 06:24 PM   #15
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The trouble with suspensions, as with many things, is that the sky is really the limit on much they cost. A much better question that "what's the best?" is "what's the better choice within this specific price range?"

Generally speaking though, here's my recommendations on what to look for:
* stay away from the bottom end coilovers, for the same money you will get better quality and performance out of a standard shock and spring setup
* adjustable damping is a critical feature. Single is good enough for street and basic track, double or even triple if you want to go really hardcore.
* monotube dampers have some inherent advantages over twin tubes, but adjustability is more important. If you can afford adjustable monotubes, then you've struck gold
* look at the ease and cost of swapping springs. If at some point you want to asjust your spring rates, it will be easier on some than others.
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Old 01-19-2008, 03:53 PM   #16
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The trouble with suspensions, as with many things, is that the sky is really the limit on much they cost. A much better question that "what's the best?" is "what's the better choice within this specific price range?"

Generally speaking though, here's my recommendations on what to look for:
* stay away from the bottom end coilovers, for the same money you will get better quality and performance out of a standard shock and spring setup
* adjustable damping is a critical feature. Single is good enough for street and basic track, double or even triple if you want to go really hardcore.
* monotube dampers have some inherent advantages over twin tubes, but adjustability is more important. If you can afford adjustable monotubes, then you've struck gold
* look at the ease and cost of swapping springs. If at some point you want to asjust your spring rates, it will be easier on some than others.
What makes monotubes better than twin-tubes? Are they more durable and stay firmer longer?
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Old 01-19-2008, 04:23 PM   #17
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What makes monotubes better than twin-tubes? Are they more durable and stay firmer longer?
It's not really an issue of durabilty, more of function. The benefits are all related to trying to stuff less things in to a given package size, namely a larger piston and cylinder. This allows to monotube to be a little smoother and more finely tuned. It also lets it shed heat a little quicker, is a little structurally tougher, and generally HP gas pressurized (to prevent cavitation) but those benefits don't mean much except at the hardcore edge.

But wonderful as all that is, I still don't think it trumps the ability to adjust the damping levels. Which is why at a given price point I believe the twin tube Koni sports are a much better choice than the non-adjustable monotube Bilstiens.
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Old 01-19-2008, 08:40 PM   #18
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If you are looking for a more conservative coilover setup, then the PSS10s are the way to go. This is the new replacement for the PSS9 system that Bilstein offers and is less drastic in the amount it actually drops your car. You can run no gap or some gap depending on how low you setup the suspension and the 10 levels of comfort adjustment provide OEM smoothness during normal driving but still offering a stiffer ride setup and improved performance. Please let me know if you have any questions about Bilstein's offering, I have this setup on my personal car and can really vouch for the quality of the product.
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:15 AM   #19
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Here's some more references on the differences between monotube and twin tube dampers"
* Koni Technical Guide has a nice little write up and diagrams of the internals. Koni mostly makes twin tubes, but they also make monotubes for their more high-end applications - http://www.koni-na.com/cat_search_form.cfm

* Sport Compact Car magazine has a nice write up as well - http://www.sportcompactcarweb.com/te...5/dampers.html

* Bilstein obviously is the big name in monotubes, but their website is actually a little thin when it comes to technical explanations. Still worth a look though - http://www.bilstein.com/tech.php

* There's a much better description of how/why monotubes work over at AST-USA. In the damping adjustable coilover market, they're the other one to look at in comparison to the PSS9 or PSS10. They're about the same price but have some additional performance advantages - http://www.ast-usa.com/ast_monotube_...technology.php
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Old 01-20-2008, 09:20 AM   #20
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also, BTW - you might be interested in following this thread -
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Our goal: create a kit that is as good on the street as it is on the track - one that preserves good handling characteristics but is still truly streetable.
- http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=538264
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