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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

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

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Old 11-06-2008, 08:40 PM   #1
rkneeshaw
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which coilovers

There are lots of options and all of these kits seem to be in the same price ballpark ($1k - $2k) and have the same features, so are they all equal?

AST 4100
Bilstein PSS10
TrackSport Coil-over Suspension Kit by Turner Motorsport
Koni Threaded Suspension Kit
H&R Street-Perf. Coil-Over
H&R RSS ClubSport Coil-Over
Eibach Pro-Street Coilover System
TEIN Super Street (SS) Coilovers
KW Coilover Variant 2
Ground Control Complete Coil-over Kit, E46 Street / Touring

Personally I want something great for street and occasional track days, so I'm thinking a coilover that lets me have a 1 way stiffness setting on the shocks is a good fit. Quality and longevity is a big deal with me. I dont want to spend more than $2k... So which kit do I want?

Anyone ever compared spring rates on these kits?
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Last edited by rkneeshaw; 11-06-2008 at 08:47 PM.
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:00 PM   #2
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Of the list you've got, the AST's are definitely the superior product. They may, however, also be the most expensive product.

There are already many similar threads on subject only a search away, but here's a good one to get you started - http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=539125
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Old 11-06-2008, 09:07 PM   #3
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Ryan - I'd love to write more about this, I just stumbled on to this thread while I am out at SEMA(on a laptop) - But to answer your question. No contest to your question - KW V2 (or V3) if you are willing to do it. I'll have one of our ModBargains reps help you.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:01 PM   #4
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Excellent thread, thank you! That gets me a few steps further. Monotube adjustable is the way to go here, that seems clear. So if we eliminate all but monotube adjustables we have:

AST 4100 ($1950, with springs)
Bilstein PSS10 ($1500)
KW Coilover Variant 2 ($1700)

That makes things much easier. I like that AST provides a choice in spring rates.... cant' seem to find any spring rate info on the bilsteins or KW's though....

Anyone have comments on quality of these three setups? I'm in michigan so it would see salt occasionally and would need to stand up to that environment....
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:06 PM   #5
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Hmm. I thought the KW's were twin tubes.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:31 PM   #6
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i use to LOVE my ground control setup.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr View Post
Hmm. I thought the KW's were twin tubes.
That's what their web site says.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
Excellent thread, thank you! That gets me a few steps further. Monotube adjustable is the way to go here, that seems clear. So if we eliminate all but monotube adjustables we have:

AST 4100 ($1950, with springs)
Bilstein PSS10 ($1500)
KW Coilover Variant 2 ($1700)

That makes things much easier. I like that AST provides a choice in spring rates.... cant' seem to find any spring rate info on the bilsteins or KW's though....

Anyone have comments on quality of these three setups? I'm in michigan so it would see salt occasionally and would need to stand up to that environment....
I guess I'm the designated AST fanboy since I'm one of the very few here to actually run them.

Regarding their quality and construction:
http://ast-usa.com/ast-shock-strut-t...principles.php

I'm running with 500f/550r Hyperco springs on my daily driven car. It's very firm but never harsh. The linear rate springs definitely cause the car to follow the road surface more, it's not bouncy but it also doesn't mask road imperfections the way softer progressive rate springs would. Of course, the linear rate springs are also more responsive and predictable. Nice thing about the AST though is that you're not stuck with a single spring choice. I've yet to have anyone complain about the ride quality of my setup though.

If you have any specific questions about the AST setup, especially about what would be good for your needs, I would highly suggest contacting the guys at Vorshlag. Their customer service is great and they are more than willing to answer questions and offer advice.
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Old 11-06-2008, 10:59 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by TxZHP04 View Post
That's what their web site says.
I couldn't find it specified on their website, so I googled it. Found a site saying the KW's were monotube.... if you found their website saying its not monotube then we have to trust that....
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Old 11-06-2008, 11:07 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rkneeshaw View Post
I couldn't find it specified on their website, so I googled it. Found a site saying the KW's were monotube.... if you found their website saying its not monotube then we have to trust that....
http://www.kw-suspension.com/en/20_T...Suspension.php
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:12 AM   #11
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If you plan on tracking your vehicle often then an adjustable rebound coilover kit like the KW v2s would be a good choice.

IMHO, I would really suggest the KW v1 with a set of UUC adjustable sway bars. That's what I'm running on my 330ci and would never go back to v2 coilovers. If you have anymore specific Qs just hit me up. I'd be more than helpful to answer them
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Old 11-07-2008, 10:16 AM   #12
TxZHP04
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Originally Posted by Mike@F1 AutohaŘs View Post
If you plan on tracking your vehicle often then an adjustable rebound coilover kit like the KW v2s would be a good choice.

IMHO, I would really suggest the KW v1 with a set of UUC adjustable sway bars. That's what I'm running on my 330ci and would never go back to v2 coilovers. If you have anymore specific Qs just hit me up. I'd be more than helpful to answer them
You make it sound like the v1 are better than the v2. Why would you never go back to the v2? Are they bad for some reason? Don't like making adjustments? Don't like removing the rear shock to make adjustments? To me, having to remove the rear shocks to adjust rebound makes the feature useless for dual duty cars (and there are much better options for dedicated track cars). It's so useless in fact, that I recently saw a post by another member indicating that he just leaves the rear at medium and then adjusts the front from soft to firm for daily or spirited driving (respectively).
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Old 11-07-2008, 11:41 AM   #13
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i have KW V2 and love them, they are soft and confy when on soft rebound and, and when you get serious about corners you adjust them.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:24 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by TxZHP04 View Post
You make it sound like the v1 are better than the v2. Why would you never go back to the v2? Are they bad for some reason? Don't like making adjustments? Don't like removing the rear shock to make adjustments? To me, having to remove the rear shocks to adjust rebound makes the feature useless for dual duty cars (and there are much better options for dedicated track cars). It's so useless in fact, that I recently saw a post by another member indicating that he just leaves the rear at medium and then adjusts the front from soft to firm for daily or spirited driving (respectively).
I don't mind making adjustments. It's the fact that most people who buy the V2s kits typically make one-time adjustments in the front and and leave the rear as-is out of the box because they don't know how to fool with it and/or inconvenient to adjust. What's the point?

For adjustable rebound coilovers, many prefer their settings kinda stiff for better pitch/roll behavior because having them set soft doesn't feel right. With that in mind, stiffer settings also decrease the life span of the shocks which is not a good thing.

Customers that ask me advice on a better suspension setup with the best budget, I usually tell them to go with a KW v1 or ST coilover and pair it with a set of adjustable sway bars from UUC. You'd get much better ride comfort and handling as well for daily/spirited driving AND it feels similar to the KW v2 on a "tuned" setting.

Also, the price purchase difference between a set of KWv2 vs KWv1 + UUC adjustable sways is only a $100. You save even more if you decide to go w/ the STs.

v2 and v3 are overkill for streets for the price that you pay and should be considered for dedicated track cars as you mentioned. I'd rather see members and clients leaving informed than seeing them spend more money on something they don't need.

Last edited by Mike@F1 AutohaŘs; 11-07-2008 at 01:27 PM.
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Old 11-07-2008, 01:43 PM   #15
TxZHP04
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike@F1 AutohaŘs View Post
I don't mind making adjustments. It's the fact that most people who buy the V2s kits typically make one-time adjustments in the front and and leave the rear as-is out of the box because they don't know how to fool with it and/or inconvenient to adjust. What's the point?

For adjustable rebound coilovers, many prefer their settings kinda stiff for better pitch/roll behavior because having them set soft doesn't feel right. With that in mind, stiffer settings also decrease the life span of the shocks which is not a good thing.

Customers that ask me advice on a better suspension setup with the best budget, I usually tell them to go with a KW v1 or ST coilover and pair it with a set of adjustable sway bars from UUC. You'd get much better ride comfort and handling as well for daily/spirited driving AND it feels similar to the KW v2 on a "tuned" setting.

Also, the price purchase difference between a set of KWv2 vs KWv1 + UUC adjustable sways is only a $100. You save even more if you decide to go w/ the STs.

v2 and v3 are overkill for streets for the price that you pay and should be considered for dedicated track cars as you mentioned. I'd rather see members and clients leaving informed than seeing them spend more money on something they don't need.
Thanks for clarifying your previous statement, the explanation behind the statement adds much more value to the discussion.
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