Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18

Thread: Suspension Opinions Sought

                  
   
  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    12

    Suspension Opinions Sought

    I know a lot of this is subjective, however, I'm hoping you guys can help steer me in the right direction here. Some background:

    I have a 2003 330ci Convertible with 50K miles on it. I've just replaced the lower control arm bushings. The mechanics I was working with at a NCCBWM DIY told me my lower control arms were the newer ones and did not need replacement, but it was obvious the bushings did and it made a very big difference in overall feel of the car. I bought the car used after a lease with 38K miles on it.

    I verified by VIN that it does not have the sport suspension package on it and I am looking to replace the shocks to as it feels to me that although the shocks are not completely gone, they are degraded enough for it to be noticeable.

    My question is which way to go on a suspension upgrades. I am not interested in tracking the car. I am looking for a comfortable ride with out a lot of body roll. Firm but not harsh. I've looked at three options:

    1) Sachs replacement shocks - currently on sale at BAV, roughly $588 for the set front & rear and rear shock tower bushings
    2) BMW performance retrofit kit sport suspension - roughly $1173, includes shocks, lower control arms, stabilizer bars (front & rear), bushings, springs
    3) Dinan D190-3251K Stage 1 suspension system - convertible, $1235.00

    Money of course is an object, but what are the characteristics one should expect from each of these setups, and what's the right one for me?

  2. #2
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    MD
    Posts
    469
    I'd recommend none of the set-ups you listed. I've had great results with my Bilstein BTS kit (H&R sport springs/Bilstein sport dampers). They are a perfect compromise for street driving and are tolerable even on the horrible Baltimore roads I drive everyday. I went with BavAuto performance bushings that are mediocre. I don't really know of any other economical and reliable set-ups unless you want to spend $1k+.

    Also, just an FYI, body roll isn't always a bad thing.

    http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/S...lar=&brand=all

  3. #3

  4. #4
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    570
    My first recommendation is sell the car and any valuable assets(children, spouse) and get a couple herding dogs and this vehicle:

    http://www.copleymotorcars.com/nas_d...3.1vo1148.html


    If you dont like that idea go with Bilstein Sport shocks, OEM M3 convertible springs and adjustable anti roll bars only slightly larger than stock.

    If the springs are not that much shorter than stock you could go w/ Bilstein HD's. Sports and HDs should be valved the same.

    I have a bais against Dinan and would never put their crap in any car.

    Dave Apker and the collies

  5. #5
    Senior Member Zchild's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Columbia, Maryland
    Posts
    561

    Cool

    My Sports Package suspension began bottoming out at 110,000 miles and I with the help of my friend Mike Robinson who owns Sports & Imports in Chesapeake, VA and is a member of our sister Tidewater Chapter recommended the Eibach Pro-System suspension kit. It included sports shocks, sports struts, sports dampers and sports springs which lowered my bimmer another inch and a half, reduced body role, lowered the center of gravity and improved my handling especially in the corners. The cost of the suspension set-up was 766.00 from TireRack.com. Just my two and a half cents worth. Happy Motoring...
    V/R Zachary Pullins Sr.
    Florida Suncoast Chapter BMWCCA
    2006 E90 325Xi & 1999 E39 540i M-Sport
    " Vision without resources is just hallucination"

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by Zchild View Post
    My Sports Package suspension began bottoming out at 110,000 miles and I with the help of my friend Mike Robinson who owns Sports & Imports in Chesapeake, VA and is a member of our sister Tidewater Chapter recommended the Eibach Pro-System suspension kit. It included sports shocks, sports struts, sports dampers and sports springs which lowered my bimmer another inch and a half, reduced body role, lowered the center of gravity and improved my handling especially in the corners. The cost of the suspension set-up was 766.00 from TireRack.com. Just my two and a half cents worth. Happy Motoring...
    I saw that setup at TireRack, it looked definitely interesting, particularly in the bang for the buck realm. How is the ride comfort? I spend far too much time on lousy DC roads...

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by bren View Post
    Thanks, I like what I've read about the FSD's, but I'm unclear as to whether I would need to change my springs as well. I do not have the sports package on my vert, so is it necessary to change the springs to the sports pack springs or the eibach springs in order to use the FSD's?

  8. #8
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    570
    Remember with a lot of springs that lower your car the spring rate may actually be softer than the stock rate. Eibach and Suspension Techniques and others use this a way of lowering the car.

    Now if you never track or really push the car you may never have any issues. However, these soft springs can bottom out or they can bind.
    Not fun and they dont do at moments when it doesn't matter.

    This why I suggested using M3 convertible springs with Bilstein shocks.
    you could use Konies too.

    I would talk to Turner as opposed to Tire Rip off I'm sorry Tire Rack. Or maybe the folks at Bimmerworld.

    I har the reviewers at Tire Rack's website gave Goodyear's tire at the Atlanta NASCAR race spectular reviews. there was one dissenting review form a reviewer named Smoke though.

    Dave Apker and the collies

  9. #9
    Senior Member mcoupemindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Haymarket, VA 20169
    Posts
    1,931
    I think the first question you should ask is whether or not you are going to respring the car. If you're going to keep the stock springs, I would reccomend either OEM (Ticher BMW - Mileone.com) or Bilistein.
    Jonathan Thayer - jonathan.michael.thayer@gmail.com
    '99 Imola Red M Coupe, '08 Interlagos Blue Z4M Coupe

  10. #10
    Senior Member mcoupemindy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Haymarket, VA 20169
    Posts
    1,931
    Quote Originally Posted by jojomosgo View Post
    I saw that setup at TireRack, it looked definitely interesting, particularly in the bang for the buck realm. How is the ride comfort? I spend far too much time on lousy DC roads...
    You best keep the stock springs then ...
    Jonathan Thayer - jonathan.michael.thayer@gmail.com
    '99 Imola Red M Coupe, '08 Interlagos Blue Z4M Coupe

  11. #11
    Member wolfgang20878's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Gaithersburg
    Posts
    45
    I'm in the process of replacing the two blown Bilstein Sports on my '97 318is after two years of use. I am only hesitating a calling Bilstein crap due to the fact that the Sports may be too short for the oem "is" springs. (Yes, I'd love to put H&R or Eibachs but don't have the $$.) I had to replace an Eibach damper on my wife's Jetta after only six months. Sure, covered under warranty, but the hassle--hard to drive a car for a couple of weeks without the dampers--makes me look toward Koni or another brand.

    1. Any ideas?
    2. Do oem M3 springs really fit non-M e36 front struts?? What is the streetability like??
    - John
    Gaithersburg, MD
    2000 Porsche C2
    1972 BMW 2002tii
    1992 Miata (SCCA SSM)

  12. #12
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Rockville, MD
    Posts
    12
    Quote Originally Posted by OwnedbyDuncan View Post
    Remember with a lot of springs that lower your car the spring rate may actually be softer than the stock rate. Eibach and Suspension Techniques and others use this a way of lowering the car.

    Now if you never track or really push the car you may never have any issues. However, these soft springs can bottom out or they can bind.
    Not fun and they dont do at moments when it doesn't matter.

    This why I suggested using M3 convertible springs with Bilstein shocks.
    you could use Konies too.

    I would talk to Turner as opposed to Tire Rip off I'm sorry Tire Rack. Or maybe the folks at Bimmerworld.

    I har the reviewers at Tire Rack's website gave Goodyear's tire at the Atlanta NASCAR race spectular reviews. there was one dissenting review form a reviewer named Smoke though.

    Dave Apker and the collies
    Boy, with the Range Rover link and the suggestions about herding, I completely missed the fact that you had some useful info there. So, OEM M3 Springs and Bilsteins HD sounds like a decent compromise. Any reason you would go with the Bilsteins over the Koni FSD? I have heard the Bilsteins are stiffer than Koni which I've heard described as supple.

  13. #13
    Senior Member bren's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Location
    Timonium
    Posts
    226
    You better do some research on using M3 springs...you don't want the car to end up looking like a monster truck.

    You can use the OE springs with the FSD, and if you don't want to lower the car or alter the ride substantially that would be the way to go.

  14. #14
    Banned
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Clifton, VA
    Posts
    570
    I got 237k miles out of my Bilstein shocks without a problem. Unless Bilstein has changed things Bilstein HDs and Sports are valved the same.
    HD stock springs Sports- stiffer springs. Sports and stock springs may result in problems.

    My suspension on my old E30325i with Bilstein Sports, Eibach M3 comp springs, camber plates and Eibach anti roll bars was incredibly stiff. I could run off the change you threw down in the street and tell you exactly how
    much it was.

    The shocks in my car were still in good shape when I sold it.

    Koni's would a good option. Folks I know who have Bilsteins are pleased have no complaints or issues.

    You need to do your research and find a local shop with someone you can trust. Many shops just dont have a clue. Shop I used and my bro currently uses owner hs many customers with E30's so I benefited from their expensive mistakes. He replaced his turbo 320 w a E30325is several years ago.

    You dont want boy racer decal car which is why I mentioned the M3 convertible springs for your car. Somebody has done it on a car similar to yours you need to find them and see how it worked. Lowered is not always the hot ticket and many believe their car has stiffer springs. No it just feels that way because they either bottomed out or bound up. Also avoid carp from Bavauto and whatever name Electrodyne is using now. And anything put out by Autothority if they haven't gone belly up.

    A nice restored Land Rover Defender 110 reengined w a turbo diesel starts at a $120k and up. Thats right a $120,000.00+!

    Also rememebr any the glossy mags with like European Car and BMW etc are selling their advertisers products. Their project cars are marketing tools for the company and alot of the stuff they put on a car is garbage.
    I learned this the hard way over 25 years ago.

    Dave Apker and the collies

  15. #15
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Bethesda, MD
    Posts
    659
    Just as an FYI, Bilstein Sport shocks ride worse than most full on coilover setups in my experience. I too would recommend Koni FSDs plus OEM sport springs for casual driving.

    Lowering any further on springs is always a bad idea. BMWs come with very limited front suspension travel, and with stock length struts, you end up bottoming out constantly if you lower the car significantly.
    2006 GMC Sierra 2500HD 4WD Duramax LBZ/Allison 6-speed
    2002 BMW M3 - Alpinweiss III/Black
    1999 323i KP/GTS2 - Alpinweiss III (Black Hood, other stuff)
    1990 325is - Brilliantrot/Tan
    1989 325is - Alpinweiss II/Black (S50B32)
    1989 M3 - Alpinweiss II/Black (S62B50 in progress)



Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Suspension shop
    By KniceZ in forum Service
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 01-15-2008, 12:25 AM
  2. E36 suspension questions
    By gmufiji in forum Car Care
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 02-05-2007, 08:33 PM
  3. Full suspension overhaul
    By old skool in forum Do It Yourself
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 03-10-2006, 09:58 PM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •