E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld

Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
Sponsored by BimmerWorld

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 10-27-2008, 09:49 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: A pile of snow somewhere in Brunswick, Maine
Posts: 83
My Ride: 2002 BMW 330xi
Angry xi lowering thoughts

I'm a bit overdue on this, as I did the mod in early August. I did it out of necessity, as my left rear spring was broken. Considering the 4 springs in an Eibach Pro-Kit were cheaper than 2 new stock rear springs, it was a no-brainer to go aftermarket. Also, with there being 90k on it, I figured shocks and struts needed to go, so I did Blisteins.

VITAL TIP: If you have a 2002-up xi, you have the front strut reinforcement plates, therefore, you do not need to buy them. Not sure on earlier years, but my 2002 xi had them, so I wasted some $$$ because I didn't know.

INSTALLATION: There were headaches because the factory manual and the guide on this site are both WRONG in certain cases, but I'll get deep into that in another post. Basically, be prepared for headaches (like everything else with these cars), and have another car handy to make runs to get tools, because what's needed for the old parts are completely different for the new parts.

A big thing I recommend is taking your struts to a pro to get it them assembled, cause it's a pain in the *** to it yourself. The upper plate is in two pieces, but there's no guide nub to lock them together till you get the strut shaft in there, so a wall-mounted compressor alone won't work... but an auto parts store rental compressor doesn't compress it enough. I had to use a FUBAR combination of the two types of compressors to get it all to work right... plus, impact sockets won't fit in the hole: you need to use non-impact sockets with an impact gun... all in all, it was a miracle I got it together.

DRIVING: Alot of people say the ride is harsh when you get away from stock; I'm stuck up here in Maine... New England roads don't get any worse than up here, but it really wasn't any harsher than the stock suspension. Granted I had 90k on my stuff, but the only increase in harshness I felt was on the ungodly huge bumps that deserve traffic cones over them.

The surprising improvement was during braking, and clutch engagement from zero MPH. WAAAAAY less body shake... feels more hovercraft than car.
Obviously, the car handles better. I was constantly complaining about the body roll on the E46, as my Pontiac Fiero has none whatsoever, but this upgrade helped with that quite a bit.

Overall, it's worth it if you have suspension parts that need replacement... but holy crap... BMW needs to rethink this design, cause it's insanely stupid. I like my Fiero's suspension better... easy to work on, it doesn't take deep prayer to get it together, and frankly, the fact that I've pulled my neck muscles because of how tight I can take the turns in it just goes to show that American's do it a bit better (in my opinion).

More to come.
Avionics Technician Second Class
Michael C Casaceli
United States Navy
2002 BMW 330xi - 5-speed (manual)
1994 Chevy S-10 Pickup - 4.3L Vortec
1988 Pontiac Fiero - 2.2L Ecotec Turbo
fieroturbo is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 10-27-2008, 11:43 PM   #2
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: illinois
Posts: 408
My Ride: 2001 bmw 330xi
congrats on the new mods! please post pics! i have hr sport srings and it is a bit harsher than stock, maybe the eibachs are better with giving a more stock like ride. i still have the stock shocks at 75k, but im planning to switch to bilsteins by 80k. did you get the sport or hd version of bilsteins? did you take some pics of the front strut plates you were talking about? thanks.
winston330xi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-28-2008, 12:27 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 342
My Ride: 03' BMW 330xi
nice write up... how low are you now? pics?
chanlon7 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2008, 10:31 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Buffalo New York
Posts: 101
My Ride: 2004 Jet Black 325XI
Send a message via AIM to kylezee
i have the same problem! (with the broken rear left sping that is) i don't know what to do. i thought about getting newq springs but i can't get new shocks too. mainly because i don't have the money right now. can i get the new springs and deal with the shocks i have now, or do ihave to get new everything???
kylezee is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 10-31-2008, 10:32 AM   #5
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Buffalo New York
Posts: 101
My Ride: 2004 Jet Black 325XI
Send a message via AIM to kylezee
oh and where did you get the spings and shocks?
kylezee is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 06:44 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - 2016 performanceIX Inc - privacy policy - terms of use