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

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Old 02-15-2011, 01:31 PM   #1
mattthecoxcomb
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Join Date: May 2009
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 31
My Ride: 2005 325i
Suspension Rehab.

Hello folks:

The handling of my 2005 325i (with 74,000 miles) has gotten a little sloppy lately. There is noticeable play in the steering wheel and overall things just don't feel as tight as when I bought it 40,000 miles ago.

I had the front control arm bushings replaced around 55,000 miles which I think is pretty standard so I believe they are not related to what I am experiencing. Further, as I understand, the symptoms of CAB failure are clunking noises accompanied by excessive squat and dive. I am not having these issues.

I read a great post from another user attributing much of what I am experiencing to a worn steering rack coupler as described here: (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=470103). Since this a $40-50 fix, I am going to attempt this as a matter of course.

However, I've also read that the OEM Sachs shocks seldom last beyond 60,000 miles and am wondering if I should just take the plunge and replace mine as they are probably shot.

If that ends up being what I have to do, it will be in consideration of the following:

I'd like to spend around $700. I'd like to preserve the stock ride height/handling/ride quality (although I am not opposed to something a little firmer). Crucially, I want an arrangement that outlasts the stock setup. I'd like to preserve the same level of handling and damping over a much longer time. Otherwise, I'd just buy a new set of stock Sachs shocks.

Based on these goals and my research so far, I've surmised that the best option for me is a set of four Bilstein HDs.

I'm open to alternatives and I'd also appreciate any reviews from users who have Bilstein HDs with stock (non-sport) springs.

Furthermore, I'd like to know what else I should replace while the shocks are out. The general view seems to be that it's good to replace the front and rear shock mounts. How important is this? If it's important, than I'd likely go with upgraded items like those offered by Meyle or Rogue engineering. Is there anything else I should be mindful of? Suggestions in this area are also appreciated.

I welcome all manner of relevant input on any of the ideas discussed here.

FYI: My car is otherwise functionally stock save for a set of HID P46 Projectors with Orion V2 angel eyes, courtesy of Umnitza (they are awesome).

Thanks!
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:25 PM   #2
mattthecoxcomb
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Bump!
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Old 02-16-2011, 12:50 PM   #3
alwaysbored786
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Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Fairfax, Va
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My Ride: Noble|M3|XJ
tischer bmw sells the bmw performance suspension for $500, ride qualty is a bit firmer, im not sure about ride height (i dont think it changes by much)

EDIT: heres link

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462
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Old 02-16-2011, 02:25 PM   #4
mattthecoxcomb
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Location: Washington, DC
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My Ride: 2005 325i
Hey -- thanks for the reply!

Tthat is an awesome deal! Certainly can't beat that price. I was about to place an order from them anyway because I broke the wood trim piece around my gear shift.

But, what do you suppose is the likelihood of these parts failing as early as original shocks (50,000-80,000 miles, depending who you ask)? These are probably the same manufacturer (Sachs). The Bilstein HDs I was looking at can be had for around $100 more and most people seem to think they last longer.

Does anyone have experience with either the Tischer kit or the Bilstein HDs or both?
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Old 02-17-2011, 09:47 AM   #5
alwaysbored786
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^ unfortunately i dont have experience with either suspension.But im going to guess the bmw performance one will last around 70-80k miles, and i dont think bilstein HD's will last much longer than that at all.
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