Sorry it's so late - been done since just after 6pm but stopped for take away and DVD afterwards, only just back at the computer. So... start at the start.
Well, started at the back, actually, because I knew it would be easier and quicker. Very straightforward, apart from disassembling the boot lining to get at the strut top nuts - but all the trim panels either screw or pull off.
One of the things I wanted to do was change the bump stops, because there have been a lot of reports on the American side of people lowering and ending up with worse suspension because the original bump stops were too long, and meant the damper had no travel at all once a shorter spring was fitted. What I hadn't realised was just how badly 5 year old bump stops would need changing...
Here's what a new one looks like, for reference:
And here's the one that came off my car this afternoon
Old and new side by side - the new one is from a Z4, it's a good 1cm shorter:
Rear springs from the Eibach Pro-Kit look virtually identical to the outgoing OEM parts:
Then on to the fronts. There are comprehensive DIY guides elsewhere on the forum, and following them proved straightforward too. Similar problem with the front bump stops - the front replacements are from an E36 M3 - easier in this picture to see how much shorter they are to allow for the reduction in damper travel:
Eibach front springs are noticeably shorter than the MSport ones, presumably this is why the kit lowers more at the front than the rear:
One front strut assembled and ready for re-fitting:
Just for sheer WhatTheFuck value, look what I found in between the strut top mount and bearing! As far as I know this car hasn't had any replacement parts or work done to it, so god knows how long this little gift had been hitching a ride:
And, what you presumably all want to see, the finished product. Bear in mind this has had NO time to settle, so may well end up another few mm lower in a week's time.
As you can see, the rear is virtually identical to the MSport ride height, which is fine by me - I was happy with the rear arch gap anyway. The front is much better now, exactly what I was hoping for.
How does it ride? Absolutely beautifully
Finally, after 15ish years driving, I understand what damping is!
While the Eibach springs are firm, they're certainly no firmer than the OE MSport springs. However, what the Bilstein B4S dampers have done is completely eliminate the harsh bounciness from the ride. When the car hits an imperfection in the road now, instead of feeling like it's doing this kind of thing:
It now feels like this:
Floating along, completely composed, just soaking up the bumps - but in a much more controlled way than, say, the SE suspension. I'm very, very happy with it and would recommend the same setup to anyone else without hesitating.
Once it's had a week or so to settle properly, I'll get an alignment sorted out.