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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 06-30-2013, 01:10 PM   #1
bimmernyc
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E46 Struts and shocks?

So I need to replace the struts and shocks in my car... any recommendations for the oem parts?
I tried to look for Bilstein parts but I am confused with the lowered height with them.. I definitely want to put good parts in my car but don't know much about what parts should I be replacing there like struts, mounts etc...
I would appreciate some pointers from you guys...
By the way it is for my 2000 328I..(102K miles on it)
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:20 PM   #2
Zell
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Get Bilstein HD struts and shocks.

Easiest place to get OEM parts is at OEMBimmerParts.com. Just click on the Suspension section. Everything you need will be in there.

On my list, apart from my personal choice of struts and shocks (Koni FSD), I will be getting OEM versions of the following:

ZHP Control Arms F
Strut Mount F x2
Shock Mount x2
Control Arm Bushings F
Trailing Arm Bushings R
Sway Bar Bushings
Strut/Shock Bump x2
Sway Bar Link F x2
Shock Mount Gasket x2
Tie Rod Assy x2

Pretty much all of them are made by Lemforder.

I'm fairly sure that covers just about everything for a good suspension overhaul. You'll need to do some other stuff to get the full package, obviously, such as diff bushings, motor mounts, transmission mounts, rear sway bar links (IMHO near-impossible to take off the sway bar, BMW manual even says they're a bitch, I'm not going to do them), but this will get you 90% of the way there and honestly, that's good enough.

If you stick with stock RTABs, you will need to use the alignment tool ($99). Or look online and see the height it must be pre-loaded, but most people just get poly bushings and don't worry about it. I like my stock ride quality, so I am gonna buy the tool, use it, then sell it or loan it out. Also because I am going OEM, I am also going to buy the RTAB installer tool as well - it makes doing RTABs a 30-second job.
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:43 PM   #3
bimmernyc
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Thanks Zell for your response...

Has anyone had any experience with the "Bilstein Touring"? How are their front struts and Rear Shock Absorber? Bilstein HD seems to be twice expensive then Bilstein Touring....
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Old 06-30-2013, 01:46 PM   #4
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I just saw this one..

http://www.fcpeuro.com/products/bmw-...ring-22-103093

would love to get some feedback from you guys on this..
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:12 PM   #5
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I wouldn't hesitate to buy these Bilstein's if I was on a budget. Solid brand with a slightly upgraded quality level at a good price. Expect car to ride like new but no better.
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:22 PM   #6
Alex323Ci
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is your 328i with or without Sport Package?

how do you want the suspension to feel?
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFLD MIRRORS - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA TUNE - AA PULLEYS - AS 40% SSK - BILSTEIN PSS9s
CF CSL LIP - NAVI - BMWPERF CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC BRKLINES, TRANS, RTABs - H&R SWAYS - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:23 PM   #7
Alex323Ci
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the Suspension section of the forum is a good place to look stuff up

http://forum.E46Fanatics.com/forumdisplay.php?f=97
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFLD MIRRORS - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA TUNE - AA PULLEYS - AS 40% SSK - BILSTEIN PSS9s
CF CSL LIP - NAVI - BMWPERF CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC BRKLINES, TRANS, RTABs - H&R SWAYS - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 06-30-2013, 02:26 PM   #8
bimmernyc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
is your 328i with or without Sport Package?

how do you want the suspension to feel?
Actually.. it was 2000, 328i sedan sports package.. I definitely want to feel better than current... have been driving this for 7-8 years and now I think I am ready for a change
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:26 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmernyc View Post
I definitely want to feel better than current... have been driving this for 7-8 years and now I think I am ready for a change
New will be a big improvement.
You'll not get better for this money.
Is this the upper limit of your budget?
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Old 06-30-2013, 04:53 PM   #10
bimmernyc
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stinger9 View Post
New will be a big improvement.
You'll not get better for this money.
Is this the upper limit of your budget?
Yeah.. Bilstein HD are twice expensive than touring and the touring fits my budget right now so just wanted to see how those are... Of-course HD will be the best but was curious about the touring....
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:06 PM   #11
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I'm extremely happy with my FSD's, but they're more expensive. I use them with my stock springs.
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Old 06-30-2013, 06:45 PM   #12
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well now I am thinking of going for bilstein HD after seeing their reviews.. but one thing I am still not sure about the comfort.... Since I live in a city where roads are very rough so I need something that would give me better comfort... So what would be the best for that touring or hd? I need it for daily use and long drives so comfort is the number one priority..
love this board.. people are so nice here to give their inputs.. gonna order something tomorrow

Last edited by bimmernyc; 06-30-2013 at 07:04 PM.
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:18 PM   #13
Alex323Ci
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Bilstein "Touring" are more forgiving than the Bilstein HD/Sport. Also not as sporty as either the HD/Sports. Sports are just built a little shorter than HD line.
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFLD MIRRORS - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA TUNE - AA PULLEYS - AS 40% SSK - BILSTEIN PSS9s
CF CSL LIP - NAVI - BMWPERF CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC BRKLINES, TRANS, RTABs - H&R SWAYS - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 06-30-2013, 07:28 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bimmernyc View Post
well now I am thinking of going for bilstein HD after seeing their reviews.. but one thing I am still not sure about the comfort.... Since I live in a city where roads are very rough so I need something that would give me better comfort... So what would be the best for that touring or hd? I need it for daily use and long drives so comfort is the number one priority..
love this board.. people are so nice here to give their inputs.. gonna order something tomorrow
I suggested the HDs because of that reason, actually They're beefier and are designed for rougher roads. They actually even had mild offroading in the design of them! The tourings will be softer, but they will likely not last as long as the HDs on rough roads, if that concerns you at all.
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Old 07-01-2013, 10:27 PM   #15
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thanks for the input guys...

Last edited by bimmernyc; 07-01-2013 at 10:27 PM.
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Old 07-02-2013, 05:07 PM   #16
bimmernyc
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so I ordered the Bilstein touring struts and shocks today..

Should I order the OEM strut/shock mounts and bump stops for front and rear as well? I will order them if it is necessary to change them otherwise will go with the current ones... let me know guys what you think..
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Old 07-02-2013, 09:38 PM   #17
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First see what comes with the shocks and struts. My FSD's came with bump stops. And upgraded RSM's are always a good idea.

Turner Motorsports has a good selection.
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Old 07-03-2013, 01:49 PM   #18
YOnpds
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I am currently running Bilstein Sports Struts and shocks on my 2001 330ci. They feel great and they are self adjustable. You are probably due for new FCAB's (Front control arm bushings), RTAB (Rear Trailing Arm Bushings) and RSM's (Rear Shock Mounts) as mentioned above.

Notes:

FCAB's: you can either replace the whole control arm and bushing or just the bushing. There is a member here that rents the FCAB tool. Search under the classifieds section.

Struts: If you want to remove the upper strut nut properly, you will need a specialty socket so you don't damage the struts internally. A lot of people including myself (Until I finally got the tool) use an impact gun to remove this but it is not recommended.

RTAB: You definitely need a specialty tool to remove this. It will take less than 10 minutes to remove.

RSM: No specialty tool needed. Just wrench and sockets. I have Rogue Engineering RSM's installed.

See my signature below if you need the tools for the Struts and RTAB.
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