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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 04-15-2013, 08:20 AM   #1
Tament
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Opinion on this Shock\Strut

http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...4_462273_2888_

Part Number: F4VNEA310BG

I am not planning on lowering the car or doing any form of performance MOD to the car. Just regular daily driver. What are your opinions on this shock? I see lots of information on the HD, but I am not doing anything performance wise, and just need to maintain the OE comfort feel while driving. I hear bilstein is good...Currently I have Delphi shock\strut on the car, they seem OE, as there are no suspension work in the history. The previous owner had a pretty good history on the car.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:25 AM   #2
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I'd say, as long as its a part that isn't considered highly suspect in breaking down (like expansion tank) especially in the motor area, not any kind of electronics or sensors, going aftermarket is ok. struts and shocks, you can go whatever you want and it'd be ok. my rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. if you didn't pay much, don't expect much and expect early replacement.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:31 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by NumbaOneNewb View Post
I'd say, as long as its a part that isn't considered highly suspect in breaking down (like expansion tank) especially in the motor area, not any kind of electronics or sensors, going aftermarket is ok. struts and shocks, you can go whatever you want and it'd be ok. my rule of thumb is you get what you pay for. if you didn't pay much, don't expect much and expect early replacement.
They are Bilstein and have a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer themself. I hear Bilstein is a well respected brand, I chose Autozone as the retailer, because they are close and convenient to return stuff if need be.

Has anyone ever installed these and can comment on the ride quality.
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Old 04-15-2013, 06:23 PM   #4
deezill
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I ran the bilstein hd's on my 87 dub and my s4 avant... LOVED THEM. Bilsteins are so nice and they hardly ever fail/break well worth the money. Not sure how they feel on a bimmer but i wouldnt hesitate to throw them on my coupe.. just my .02
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:34 PM   #5
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I just got Bilstein Tourings...my car feels the same as it did with the Sachs (OE) struts I had before.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:49 PM   #6
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I just got Bilstein Tourings...my car feels the same as it did with the Sachs (OE) struts I had before.
So even at your mileage you noticed no difference between the old and the new?

Shocks/struts have been on my list since I'm at 150k now, but I'm struggling with it because the car exhibits NO symptoms of them being blown or weak.
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Old 04-15-2013, 07:53 PM   #7
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I love the Bilstein Tourings. They have a great ride. I think they are a bargain; a few years back I got a set for $260 I think.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:09 PM   #8
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You get what you pay for. If you felt no difference, perhaps it wasn't them that needed replacing, although I'm sure eventually it would have. People tend to neglect the bushings that are so important in our cars
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Last edited by NumbaOneNewb; 04-15-2013 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:29 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by RG5384 View Post
So even at your mileage you noticed no difference between the old and the new?

Shocks/struts have been on my list since I'm at 150k now, but I'm struggling with it because the car exhibits NO symptoms of them being blown or weak.
I had Sachs struts replaced maybe 3 years ago with Sachs struts...but totally blew one out, so it had to be replaced.

So, I'm comparing the ride to that I had just a few days before the strut blew...so new Bilsteins, certainly better than blown Sachs, but really, I don't notice any difference in handling from the Sachs. They weren't old Sachs, not really, just went through a pothole.
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Last edited by dmax; 04-15-2013 at 08:33 PM.
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Old 04-15-2013, 08:38 PM   #10
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Koni Srt with H and R lowering

###didnt see you said no lowering ##
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Old 04-16-2013, 07:59 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by dmax View Post
I had Sachs struts replaced maybe 3 years ago with Sachs struts...but totally blew one out, so it had to be replaced.

So, I'm comparing the ride to that I had just a few days before the strut blew...so new Bilsteins, certainly better than blown Sachs, but really, I don't notice any difference in handling from the Sachs. They weren't old Sachs, not really, just went through a pothole.
Notice any difference when you replaced them for the first time?

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Old 04-16-2013, 10:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tament View Post
http://www.autozone.com/autozone/par...4_462273_2888_

Part Number: F4VNEA310BG

I am not planning on lowering the car or doing any form of performance MOD to the car. Just regular daily driver. What are your opinions on this shock? I see lots of information on the HD, but I am not doing anything performance wise, and just need to maintain the OE comfort feel while driving. I hear bilstein is good...Currently I have Delphi shock\strut on the car, they seem OE, as there are no suspension work in the history. The previous owner had a pretty good history on the car.
I am fairly sure that Sachs-Boge are the only brand used as an OEM shock, so those Delphi's you have are most likely replacements, and not very good ones at that. If I am wrong about this, I am sure someone will correct me.
The Bilstein HD's are certainly not a downgrade from the OEM shocks/struts, and I would think you would be pleasantly surprised with the ride, especially after having Delphi shocks. I would not be surprised if the PO left that purchase out of the service record. It sounds like he stuck something cheap on there so he could sell the car.
But, you could do much better on the price. I did a quick Google search for the part number, and the first result I got was $40 less per strut:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/p...n-BMW-3-Series
You may even be able to do better than that, with a bit of searching. Like I said, I just clicked on the first Google search result, and it was $40 less per strut.
I understand your logic about dealing with AutoZone because they are local, but your logic about that making returns easier may not be that much of an advantage.
I called AutoZone, and asked how they handle warranty returns for Bilsteins. Here is how the store manager explained it to me: You have to bring in a defective shock/strut, and they will place an order for a replacement, and when the replacement arrives, you basically get a new unit. So, there is a delay because of the re-order process.
I also called Shock Warehouse, to see how they handled warranty claims for Bilstein. He stated that you would go on their website, and fill out a warranty claim form. Then you will be redirected to the order page for that item. You would order a replacement, and pay for it, and they ship it to you. You would then ship back the defective unit in the same box with a copy of the warranty form, and ship it with a label that they provide. Once they receive the defective unit, they issue a credit for the replacement that you bought.
Honestly, it seems to me that the Shock Warehouse replacement process is not that much more difficult, and it would make the $80+ savings (and that is for the front only) worth the small difference in how they handle warranty claims. Since they have free shipping, there is no extra cost involved in using them.
If you decide to shop around a bit more online, I would suggest calling and asking how warranty claims are handled before buying from any site.
For the $80+ savings, I would buy them online, but that is entirely up to you.

And yes, I realize it is a bit odd that I went to the trouble to call two different places to ask about how they handle warranty claims for a stranger in an online post, but that is just part of the outstanding customer service we provide on e46Fanatics!
Actually, I just have a lot of time on my hands, and it was a combination of boredom and curiosity.
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Old 04-16-2013, 11:53 AM   #13
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http://www.eshocks.com/bil_Ind.asp?VC=21Q33&SubChar=Q

This is what I bought for my car back in December and they have been great. The ride is firm but not harsh and with my stock springs they handle perfectly fine. With all of the associated mounts and gaskets I paid $480 and installed the suspension myself.
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Old 04-16-2013, 12:13 PM   #14
HallisterJ1
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+1 For Konis STR T (The orange struts)

Plus you can say you're running Konis.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:03 PM   #15
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Bilstein Tourings are great, and so are the Koni Str.Ts. The Sachs/BOGE shocks for later E46s are decent but wear out quickly- the ones on early E46s (323s and 328s) with the sport package are far more durable and from a superior line in the Sachs lineup.

Koni Yellows/FSDs and Bilstein HDs/Sports are in another league though.
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Old 04-16-2013, 02:51 PM   #16
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I have the sport package on a cabrio and I never had any issues with my shocks/struts. I am getting ready to replace them (it's actually my next DIY project) so I am interested in what everyone's using to replace their stock sports Sachs/BOGE...
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:14 PM   #17
MJLavelle
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Originally Posted by HallisterJ1 View Post
+1 For Konis STR T (The orange struts)

Plus you can say you're running Konis.
Except for the fact that the annual Koni sale is going on right now, and most major vendors are out of stock right now. There was a post last week about this, and the Oap had been through the list of most of the Koni vendors, and everyone he had contacted was out of stock.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:25 PM   #18
MJLavelle
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Originally Posted by comova View Post
I have the sport package on a cabrio and I never had any issues with my shocks/struts. I am getting ready to replace them (it's actually my next DIY project) so I am interested in what everyone's using to replace their stock sports Sachs/BOGE...
You may want to be more specific about what you are looking for.
Do you want an OEM replacement, or something stiffer? Do you want to lower the car a bit, with new springs?
If you want something close to an OEM ride, then the shocks the OP asked about are pretty close. According to DMax, there was no noticeable difference.
The Koni STR.T is pretty much an OEM substitute as well, but, as I mentioned in the post above, the Annual Koni sale is going on now, and it seems like most major vendors are out of stock right now, and they are back ordered. You could try buying them now, and see if they will honor the sale price on back ordered stock, although most places restrict the sale to existing stock, so when they are gone, they are no longer available at the sale price.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:26 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by Grande D View Post
Bilstein Tourings are great, and so are the Koni Str.Ts. The Sachs/BOGE shocks for later E46s are decent but wear out quickly- the ones on early E46s (323s and 328s) with the sport package are far more durable and from a superior line in the Sachs lineup.

Koni Yellows/FSDs and Bilstein HDs/Sports are in another league though.
Bilstein Tourings' suck, I have the struts.
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Old 04-16-2013, 03:36 PM   #20
Tament
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MJLavelle View Post
I am fairly sure that Sachs-Boge are the only brand used as an OEM shock, so those Delphi's you have are most likely replacements, and not very good ones at that. If I am wrong about this, I am sure someone will correct me.
The Bilstein HD's are certainly not a downgrade from the OEM shocks/struts, and I would think you would be pleasantly surprised with the ride, especially after having Delphi shocks. I would not be surprised if the PO left that purchase out of the service record. It sounds like he stuck something cheap on there so he could sell the car.
But, you could do much better on the price. I did a quick Google search for the part number, and the first result I got was $40 less per strut:
http://www.shockwarehouse.com/site/p...n-BMW-3-Series
You may even be able to do better than that, with a bit of searching. Like I said, I just clicked on the first Google search result, and it was $40 less per strut.
I understand your logic about dealing with AutoZone because they are local, but your logic about that making returns easier may not be that much of an advantage.
I called AutoZone, and asked how they handle warranty returns for Bilsteins. Here is how the store manager explained it to me: You have to bring in a defective shock/strut, and they will place an order for a replacement, and when the replacement arrives, you basically get a new unit. So, there is a delay because of the re-order process.
I also called Shock Warehouse, to see how they handled warranty claims for Bilstein. He stated that you would go on their website, and fill out a warranty claim form. Then you will be redirected to the order page for that item. You would order a replacement, and pay for it, and they ship it to you. You would then ship back the defective unit in the same box with a copy of the warranty form, and ship it with a label that they provide. Once they receive the defective unit, they issue a credit for the replacement that you bought.
Honestly, it seems to me that the Shock Warehouse replacement process is not that much more difficult, and it would make the $80+ savings (and that is for the front only) worth the small difference in how they handle warranty claims. Since they have free shipping, there is no extra cost involved in using them.
If you decide to shop around a bit more online, I would suggest calling and asking how warranty claims are handled before buying from any site.
For the $80+ savings, I would buy them online, but that is entirely up to you.

And yes, I realize it is a bit odd that I went to the trouble to call two different places to ask about how they handle warranty claims for a stranger in an online post, but that is just part of the outstanding customer service we provide on e46Fanatics!
Actually, I just have a lot of time on my hands, and it was a combination of boredom and curiosity.
Your response blew my mind, "please keep your heads out of the gutters " thank you for the explanation, made this meeting I am currently in go by quicker. I did not realize that is how the warranty process work. In that case that online option is pretty good. Thanks again
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