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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 02-13-2013, 10:46 AM   #1
Rigsby94
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KYB GR-2, Koni or Bilstein for 325xi

I have a 04 325xi and I am wanting to lower my car a inch to a inch and a half with some H&R or Eibach springs and I am just trying to get some opinions on what would be the best strut set up to go with...
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Old 02-13-2013, 12:33 PM   #2
Dave1027
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I don't know about the GR-2 model but we have KYBs in our 4runner and they are way too stiff. It's like riding an unruly beast. For that reason I would not go with KYB. I have Bilstein in my Tacoma double cab and Koni in my 330ci and like both. I don't think you can wrong with either.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:05 PM   #3
Rigsby94
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Originally Posted by Dave1027 View Post
I don't know about the GR-2 model but we have KYBs in our 4runner and they are way too stiff. It's like riding an unruly beast. For that reason I would not go with KYB. I have Bilstein in my Tacoma double cab and Koni in my 330ci and like both. I don't think you can wrong with either.
Yeah after I made this post I decided to do a little bit of searching and there seemed to be more negative about the KYBs then positive. I will probably end up going with Bilstein or Koni.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:27 PM   #4
drumsauce
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"Best" meaning performance or comfort?

More performance with less comfort: Bilstein Sport or Koni Sport
Less performance with more comfort: Koni FSD

I have Koni FSD/Eibach Pro Kit...BEST set up for a daily driver, IMO.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:30 PM   #5
drumsauce
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Also, it isn't always reliable to judge shock/strut performance across different car manufacturers...I have KYB's on my Minivan and had them on my Lexus LS400 and they were very comfortable. But, KYB GR-2's are meant to be a stock replacement, not a higher valved performance damper.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:29 AM   #6
Rigsby94
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Originally Posted by drumsauce View Post
"Best" meaning performance or comfort?

More performance with less comfort: Bilstein Sport or Koni Sport
Less performance with more comfort: Koni FSD

I have Koni FSD/Eibach Pro Kit...BEST set up for a daily driver, IMO.
Yeah I should have been more specific. I daily drive this car and honestly I like the way it rides stock. It just doesn't handle the way I want it too, it's just kind of mushy. Plus I want a small drop but nothing huge. How would you compare your set up which is the Koni FSD & Eibach Pro Kit to factory as far as ride quality and handling?
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:42 PM   #7
drumsauce
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If you haven't read this, it is a good read on how the FSD perform from Tire Rack:
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/tests/koni_fsd.jsp

With my touring with 115K old suspension that would crash on every bump and lean in every corner, I did a complete overhaul (most major bushings, pads, mounts, etc) and I went the "performance" route, getting a good deal on a used set of Bilstein PSS coilovers. Excellent street handling, but too much discomfort, however, for a daily car. It was...irritating (the best word I can think of...in the corners: Awesome; just driving with the fam, irritating). Of course this is a coilover kit, so comfort isn't really a strong suit in that regard.

After a year of trying to convince myself the PSS were ok, I was fed up, with the comfort level and decided to go with FSD/Eibach kit (comes in a package together), after much research.

As a late 30's father of three, not a young guy with steel kidneys and bullet-proof spine, I can honestly say that with about an inch drop, this set up is pretty close to what I think stock would be (115K stock is much different than NEW stock). It is smooth when it needs to be:around town and on the interstate, and planted when it needs to be: in the corners when you push it. It is pretty uncanny how it can be both...but it is.

My wife and I just went to the mountains in this weekend in the Touring, and it was excellent. Smooth, comfortable, planted, but when we got into the corners, it effortlessly hung on to the road. No busyness. No jittering. My wife even commented how smooth the car is (she cares nothing for "upgrades" to any of our cars). Are they as good as the Bilstein coilovers in the corners? No. The turn-in was much better with the coilovers. But, my confidence with this setup is greater due to the way it absorbs bumps and controls the car.

After having worn out stock suspension and coilovers, I have to say this is the best setup for a strictly daily driven BMW. It is so popular of a kit, Koni is having a hard time keeping up with demand. I had to wait a month to get mine.

HIGHLY recomended.

Last edited by drumsauce; 02-17-2013 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 02-17-2013, 11:52 PM   #8
Rigsby94
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Originally Posted by drumsauce View Post
If you haven't read this, it is a good read on how the FSD perform from Tire Rack:
http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/tests/koni_fsd.jsp

With my touring with 115K old suspension that would crash on every bump and lean in every corner, I did a complete overhaul (most major bushings, pads, mounts, etc) and I went the "performance" route, getting a good deal on a used set of Bilstein PSS coilovers. Excellent street handling, but too much discomfort, however, for a daily car. It was...irritating (the best word I can think of...in the corners: Awesome; just driving with the fam, irritating). Of course this is a coilover kit, so comfort isn't really a strong suit in that regard.

After a year of trying to convince myself the PSS were ok, I was fed up, with the comfort level and decided to go with FSD/Eibach kit (comes in a package together), after much research.

As a late 30's father of three, not a young guy with steel kidneys and bullet-proof spine, I can honestly say that with about an inch drop, this set up is pretty close to what I think stock would be (115K stock is much different than NEW stock). It is smooth when it needs to be:around town and on the interstate, and planted when it needs to be: in the corners when you push it. It is pretty uncanny how it can be both...but it is.

My wife and I just went to the mountains in this weekend in the Touring, and it was excellent. Smooth, comfortable, planted, but when we got into the corners, it effortlessly hung on to the road. No busyness. No jittering. My wife even commented how smooth the car is (she cares nothing for "upgrades" to any of our cars). Are they as good as the Bilstein coilovers in the corners? No. The turn-in was much better with the coilovers. But, my confidence with this setup is greater due to the way it absorbs bumps and controls the car.

After having worn out stock suspension and coilovers, I have to say this is the best setup for a strictly daily driven BMW. It is so popular of a kit, Koni is having a hard time keeping up with demand. I had to wait a month to get mine.

HIGHLY recomended.
This is some really great information in the whole set up and I appreciate you taking the time to post this up! Where can I buy this kit where they come together? And since you have obviously changed out your suspension, as far as lowering a BMW which the Eibach's is about a 1.5" drop, is there any alignment or camber issues you run into with this set up?
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Old 02-18-2013, 12:17 AM   #9
drumsauce
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No problem, happy to help.

I bought the setup from NOPI.com, for about $820 shipped to my door for the FSD/Eibach kit. (this was in November)

After messing with the suspension, you definitely want to get an alignment. BMW's are very sensitive to suspension changes. Put an alignment in your budget.

The actual drop was about an inch all around. This is compared to my OLD stock Sport set up that was probably sagging anyway. Not sure if your xi is a sport set up or non-sport, because the amount of "drop" depends on what you are starting with.

Here is what mine looks like after about a month:
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...890867&page=11
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Old 02-18-2013, 01:41 AM   #10
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this irritates the **** out of me but for the last time when regular I owners try to give XI owners advice but the XI suspension is different than that of an I!!!!!!!!!!!

I know drumsauce means well but, OP you gotta use the search function on this site before you start asking questions. had you actually made the purchase per drumsauce's recommendation, you would've ended up with a really expensive mistake
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Old 02-18-2013, 03:15 AM   #11
drumsauce
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Kaboom - good point. However, I have seen several xi's running coilovers and from my understanding, xi owners cannot lower more than an inch or so without running into problems. Correct me if I am wrong. With seeing guys running H&R coilovers (and I know they don't make xi specific coilovers), I assumed doing something more mild like the shock/spring combo would work.

Again, I assume. Since you are in the thread, care to give more info as what is needed to correctly lower an xi?
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:26 PM   #12
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Ok...did some reading in the past 15 min, and found that people with XI's run many set ups that regular I's do: Eibach Pro Kits, H&R Springs, Bilstein Sports, Koni Sports, H&R Coilovers, FK Coilovers, KW Coilovers.

Concerns with lowering the XI that I found:
* engine sits lower in the bay on the XI, so there is a greater chance of bottoming out if you lower too much
* the front CV boots may wear out faster if they are not at least parallel to the ground, but I did not find anything conclusive. Some had problems, some have not.

So, from my quick search, the FSD/Eibach would fit the bill perfectly for your XI.

Kaboom- no need to be irritated!

Last edited by drumsauce; 02-18-2013 at 08:27 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:59 PM   #13
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-koni fsd was never made for XI

-koni adjustables were the only shocks koni made for the XI and is vastly different in terms of features than FSD. its manually valved

-bilstein made XI specific shocks too but are known to blow towards the rear. bilstein recommends using e36 me rear shocks but even then that is not a permanent solution

-XI specific versions of Eibach pro kits, HR coilovers, FK coilovers, and KW coilovers are not compatible with RWD models. These were the first "lowering kits" out for the XI and as far as I know, there have been no revisions since so I cant say if they were thoroughly thoughout for the XI. But to give you some comparison, bilstein, dinan, koni, and eibach did not release a lowering kit until 2-3 years after the XI was released in the USA. Koni has had 3 design revisions to their shocks as of 2012 due to its uniqueness.

-HR springs are the harshest spring set and deepest drop for the XI. You will cry mommy after putting them on and the only shocks that can handle them are Koni's. Stock, GYB will blow out immediately after a few thousand miles of use.

-Eibach has a spring rate slightly harsher than the ZHP's 330i but less than that of an m3. drop is modest. usable on Konis or Eibachs.

again these are all XI specific and not applicable to RWD which has many many more options so any solutions suggested by an RWD owner does not apply in terms of compatibility, comfort, performance because regardless of brand. the application is unique with an XI and not the same setup. If that were the case, I would've put in an OEM ZHP suspension into my XI and called it a day.

Last edited by kaboo0m; 02-18-2013 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 10:31 PM   #14
drumsauce
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Kaboom - Good info. I never new the XI was so specific. I retract my previous post....clearly the choices for XI's are limited to XI specific components.

OP - Kaboom gave good specifics and info. Having an XI, you will need to search more diligently since the parts are so specialized. Sorry for any misinformation, and good luck on your search! =)
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Old 02-19-2013, 10:28 AM   #15
Rigsby94
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Thanks for both of your inputs, on the xi most guys run a strut being Koni or Bilstein and either a Eibach or H&R spring. I haven't looked up if they make a Koni FSD for the xi but I do know they make a Koni Sport. If they make a FSD I will be going with the Eibach and Koni FSD set up. I don't want a big drop or anything to harsh just a small drop with a little but better handling and response.
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