Quick xi Suspension Review - Bilstein + Eibach
I had my 50k mile OE suspension replaced last Friday (2008 335xi), and I thought I'd post up some comments on my new setup. I went with the Bilstein Sport Shocks/Struts + Eibach Prokit Springs based on the reviews here.
The goal was a sportier daily driver setup than OE that left the car much flatter in hard cornering and heavy braking situations, but was not overly stiff on typical Boston roads including potholes and freeze joints. I wanted the car lowered, as the xi's rake is too much for me aesthetically, and generally the car sits too high for a sport coupe. Alternatively, I did not want the "slammed" look, as I'm a professional and use the car for work, and am regularly seen in road meetings with public officials, consultants and financial partners. I also did not want to be constantly scraping on my driveway entrance and other hilly areas I frequent.
Essentially, I wanted the Goldilocks solution to modifying the xi's suspension. Lower, better performing in all areas, but not too much lower, and still comfortable enough to drive my wife around.
The verdict is simply that I think I got exactly what I wanted and hoped for. While the car hasn't completely settled, the stance is much lower and more even front to back (though there is still a small amount of rake). When driving, the car is very flat at speed on ramps and in twisties, and has a much more precise turn in and feel. On the highway, the floatiness and vagueness is gone at speed, and braking is dramatically flatter in stance, and more balanced and controlled.
With that said, I did some good driving this weekend to the south shore, and mixed in some good back road driving on hilly twisties and highway driving as well. My wife joined me, which is relevant if you're married, as I'd say the car definitely has a high WAF. Overall, I'm very, very pleased with the setup. My only two negatives at this point are that the rake wasn't completely removed (I'm not terribly bothered by this, as the improvement is so substantial, but there's a 0.25" rake left I think), and secondly that I already can tell I need an alignment. I did have some tracking issues during certain speeds on hard corners, and occassionally on different pavement types on the highway. I'll probably get the alignment done later this week when the settlment is most of the way completed.
Here's a quick crappy before and after. Apologies, as this was just a quick cell phone shot, but I think it's illustrative. The before shot includes my winter setup just after I purchased the vehicle in early 2008 (18" Star spoke 189s w/ Nokian rubber) and the after shot is my summer setup - 19" VMR CSL reps with Yokohama S Drives.
Last edited by AWD Addict; 03-19-2012 at 05:12 PM.