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Old 02-14-2020, 04:41 PM   #1
damon forrer
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Suspension advice for LS swapped 330ci

So I am at getting to the point of my project where I need to order a set of replacement struts, shocks and springs for my LS swapped 330ci.

The engine is complete and in the car. Most of the accessories are hooked up including the AC. The electrical is all finished with just a few wires left to tidy up.

My question for you guys is what do you recommend that will support the extra weight of the iron block LS engine?

Top of the list right now is the Bilstein B12 kit (Bilstein B8 shocks and Eibach Pro Kit springs)

Do you think this is a good spring rate for my project, or would the Sportline Kit be better suited?

Any other suggestions would be welcomed. I would like to stay around $1000 for shocks and springs, then maybe spend another $400 on the matching Eibach sway bars.
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Old 02-14-2020, 04:47 PM   #2
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This build looks insane, great engineering/fitment thus-far.
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:19 PM   #3
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Nice attention to detail! Whats with 2 oil pressure gauges though?
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Old 02-14-2020, 05:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by damon forrer View Post
So I am at getting to the point of my project where I need to order a set of replacement struts, shocks and springs for my LS swapped 330ci.

The engine is complete and in the car. Most of the accessories are hooked up including the AC. The electrical is all finished with just a few wires left to tidy up.

My question for you guys is what do you recommend that will support the extra weight of the iron block LS engine?

Top of the list right now is the Bilstein B12 kit (Bilstein B8 shocks and Eibach Pro Kit springs)

Do you think this is a good spring rate for my project, or would the Sportline Kit be better suited?

Any other suggestions would be welcomed. I would like to stay around $1000 for shocks and springs, then maybe spend another $400 on the matching Eibach sway bars.
The Bilstein B12 kit is very nice, but you may need to adjust the height to account for the increased weight, so maybe coil overs? BTW, what is the increased weight after the swap?

At least get camber plates for the strut tops so you can get the alignment set right.

A larger front sway bar makes a huge improvement in handling.
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Old 02-14-2020, 10:16 PM   #5
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The S54 has an iron block, why not use an M3 suspension?
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Old 02-15-2020, 12:20 PM   #6
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What's the weight increase?

What do you want to do with the car?

B8s are stiff, and even stiffer in low- speed compression. OK choice if you're going
to track it occasionally, miserable for leisurely Sunday drives with stoplight dragraces.

I like the M3 suggestion, too- but some form of adjustment that doesn't eat up spring travel
(i.e, DO use coilover sleeves or spring spacers, DON'T use a strut spacer) is probably going to be
cheaper in the long run, and give you a front ride height that you like.

t
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:07 AM   #7
damon forrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Overboost View Post
Nice attention to detail! Whats with 2 oil pressure gauges though?
Good eye. One is oil pressure, the other is fuel pressure. It was easier to use 2 oil pressure gauges than finding a matching fuel pressure gauge. Both are electric gauges with a sender mounted on the fuel rail for the fuel pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BaliDawg View Post
The Bilstein B12 kit is very nice, but you may need to adjust the height to account for the increased weight, so maybe coil overs? BTW, what is the increased weight after the swap?

At least get camber plates for the strut tops so you can get the alignment set right.

A larger front sway bar makes a huge improvement in handling.
I really don't know the weight difference, I would guess a couple of hundred pounds, but the weight is set slightly further back due to the V8 configuration.

Sounds like I should look a little more closely at adjustable coil overs. The BC Racing BR series coil overs look pretty good for the money.
Any opinions on these?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Renboy View Post
The S54 has an iron block, why not use an M3 suspension?
That's a good option, but sounds expensive. Is there an equivalent aftermarket option that matches the M3 specs, or close at least?

Quote:
Originally Posted by TobyB View Post
What's the weight increase?

What do you want to do with the car?

B8s are stiff, and even stiffer in low- speed compression. OK choice if you're going
to track it occasionally, miserable for leisurely Sunday drives with stoplight dragraces.

I like the M3 suggestion, too- but some form of adjustment that doesn't eat up spring travel
(i.e, DO use coilover sleeves or spring spacers, DON'T use a strut spacer) is probably going to be
cheaper in the long run, and give you a front ride height that you like.

t
The car will be street driven only, maybe an occasional Auto Cross but just for fun, not to actually try to win or anything. I definitely want comfort but also like the look of a lowered car. So like most people I want the best of both worlds.
So what's an option that's more comfortable than the B8's?
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Old 02-17-2020, 10:11 AM   #8
damon forrer
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On a side note, thanks for your input guys. I have pretty much given up with bimmerforums, this site is much more interactive.
Thanks again.
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Old 02-17-2020, 06:08 PM   #9
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I went the other direction with the LS swap, and did suspension first (I chose to fix all the mechanical things before starting on the swap, so I had a known good point of departure for the swap)...

I used this Bilstein kit from Pelican parts... It sounds alot like what you are leaning towards...


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Old 02-18-2020, 08:14 AM   #10
damon forrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bremerd1 View Post
I went the other direction with the LS swap, and did suspension first (I chose to fix all the mechanical things before starting on the swap, so I had a known good point of departure for the swap)...

I used this Bilstein kit from Pelican parts... It sounds alot like what you are leaning towards...


Dan B
Dan, that is exactly what I am looking at. What is your opinion of the spring and shock combo on the LS swap?
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Old 02-18-2020, 07:50 PM   #11
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The car is still at the shop getting the LS swapped in (in-progress thread here), so I can't speak to the 'post-swap' feeling, but I DO have two of these cars (a '00 323Ci and the '03 325Ci). The '00 323Ci's suspension/bushings/bits were refreshed at the beginning of 2017, so it's not too old for a comparison. (I went with Koni, and stock springs).

In the 325, I did a subframe re-enforcement at the same time I did the suspension (knowing I was going to swap a LS in), so I'm sure that added to some of the stiffness.

There is absolutely no comparison between the two - the Bilstein components are BY FAR better than than the Koni/stock-spring setup. The 325 with the Bilstein components feels MUCH more planted and nimble.

The sway bars I ordered from UUC have been on backorder since the beginning of October, I'm sure these will reign in the body roll for the 325 (not that it was bad to begin with).

If I had it to do again (and I do ----> the 323Ci is going to get this same kit), I would definitely do the exact same thing.




Both my sons also drive e46's (both in '00 323i sedans). We did a stock suspension-only refresh for Christmas in 2018. It's no comparison there either.

Hope that helps!


Dan B
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Old 02-19-2020, 09:09 AM   #12
damon forrer
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bremerd1 View Post
The car is still at the shop getting the LS swapped in (in-progress thread here), so I can't speak to the 'post-swap' feeling, but I DO have two of these cars (a '00 323Ci and the '03 325Ci). The '00 323Ci's suspension/bushings/bits were refreshed at the beginning of 2017, so it's not too old for a comparison. (I went with Koni, and stock springs).

In the 325, I did a subframe re-enforcement at the same time I did the suspension (knowing I was going to swap a LS in), so I'm sure that added to some of the stiffness.

There is absolutely no comparison between the two - the Bilstein components are BY FAR better than than the Koni/stock-spring setup. The 325 with the Bilstein components feels MUCH more planted and nimble.

The sway bars I ordered from UUC have been on backorder since the beginning of October, I'm sure these will reign in the body roll for the 325 (not that it was bad to begin with).

If I had it to do again (and I do ----> the 323Ci is going to get this same kit), I would definitely do the exact same thing.




Both my sons also drive e46's (both in '00 323i sedans). We did a stock suspension-only refresh for Christmas in 2018. It's no comparison there either.

Hope that helps!


Dan B
Thanks so much for that.

I am really leaning towards the Bilstein / Eibach combo using all new top mounts etc. But I am slightly concerned with the extra weight of the LS that I might be better with adjustable coil overs. Sounds like I compromise ride quality with adjustable coil overs, but if I get the BC coil overs I get adjustable shock damping and rebound to soften it up on the street.

Think I will try and get a little more info on the BC coil overs, but I need to make a decision soon, I am running out of things to do on my project.

Dan, do you happen to have a side view of your 325? I would very much like to see the ride height.

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Old 02-19-2020, 06:00 PM   #13
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The 'coil over' part is JUST the adjusting ring-
you can make a quality strut into an adjustable- height
strut with some careful machining, and some inexpensive collars
and rings from ePay.

We do it for the raceycars all the time, and convert to either 5" or 2 1/2"
springs at the same time. Then all sorts of rates and lengths are available,
for $50- odd dollars a spring. It DOES become a bit of a science
project, but if you like fiddling with it, it's easy. A lot of work, though,
if you just want to do it once and never think about it again.

fwiw,
t
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Old 02-19-2020, 07:04 PM   #14
bremerd1
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I don't currently have any side pics of the car with the LS in it, but either tomorrow or early next week, I'll stop by the shop to check in with them. I'll snag a couple of pictures for you (assuming the car is not on a lift at the time). Give me a couple days...

It honestly doesn't look any different (from what I gather from the wisdom of the internet, the LS+Transmission is only about 50 pounds more than the M54).





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Old Yesterday, 11:42 AM   #15
damon forrer
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After a good bit of investigating the BC Racing BR series adjustable coil overs I think I am going to take the plunge and order a set. Not the super lows, just the regular drop. I spoke to sales at BC Racing, explained my application and he suggested changing the front springs from 8K to 10K to support the extra weight of the iron block V8.
Turner Motorsports is creating a part number for me to order. I am also adding the extended rear adjusters. Total cost $1035 with free shipping.
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