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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Bilstein PSS9 Installed/Review



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      06-10-2007, 11:29 AM   #1
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Bilstein PSS9 Installed/Review

Just installed PSS9 on my E92 335i. Part # F4-GM5-C051-H1. $1589 + $45 shipping. You can get them cheaper from SPP, Eric didn't call me until a day after I ordered them and gave me a lower price + cheaper shipping. Could have saved $100 if I went with them.

Review:
First of all I have to say I was VERY disappointed with the way the 335 handled stock. I took delivery without having a real test drive since no dealership here in SoCal had a 335i 6speed w/sport (and if they did, it was a car someone had ordered so they wouldn't let me drive it). The car does not handle anywhere near an e46 m3 and is not nearly as fast (partially because the long clutch and long throws). I really think BMW pays Car&Driver and other magazines for the rave reviews. Anyways on to the pss9...

I was contemplating between PSS9 and the KW V2 but decided to go with the PSS9 only because I've driven many after market setups in the past and KW always felt more cushy compared to the other coilover setups. With that said, I have never driven an e92 335i with KW V2s so I can not give you guys a precise evaluation of the two. But so far I am more than happy with the PSS9. I have it dialed in at 8/9 in the front and 8/9 in the rear. Really, for off the shelf shocks nothing beats Bilstein. Only thing I'm slightly disappointed is the spring rates. I think the springs can be slightly stiffer, and I am still wondering if I got the right part # since some others claim their PSS9 have a C050 part #. But I guess its pretty good since these shocks are so strong and makes up for the stiffness. It's a pretty easy ride with the stock 18". I am still waiting on my rims to arrive, so we'll see how they do over bumps with 20s. I might have to go 9/9F 9/9R so I wont rub with the 20s. Compared to other cars I've owned/driven in the past I think this is very nice setup for 1500-1600$. The change in handling characteristics is much better. I can still notice some body roll in the tail, and I plan to get the HR rear sway bars to fix that.

Past suspension setups owned/tested:
Audi A4 B5- Pss9
Audi A4 B6- Koni Coilovers (never buy koni or products with koni shocks, bilstein really is a superior shock. The koni twin tube is junk.)
Audi S4 B6- Tein SS Coilover (I know, why go JDM on a DTM? But this was one of the best kits I've had. Rides very different from PSS9s, but damn its a good feel)
Audi TT - Kw V2s (Felt way too soft. For the $ it just didn't do it for me. This was the main reason I didnt go KW for my e92)
VW Gti - Pss9. (This thing on full stiff was like a go cart)
BMW E46 M3 - H&R Coilovers ( pretty harsh on 20s )

Compared to all the past setup, only the M3 and GTI felt tighter on the roads, but then again I don't have it on 9/9F 9/9R yet. Still trying to let it brake in some before I go full stiff (to avoid premature shock failure). And I have a feeling even at 9/9F 9/9R it wont be that stiff. For those of you that are contemplating because you are afraid the ride will be too harsh, it really isn't. Its pretty smooth. But then again I like a stiff ride =P I still think I might have gotten the wrong Part#, can't believe Bilstein would have the springs so soft. Bilstein usually make the pss9 pretty stiff only HR make the springs stiffer than bilstein, but then again HR are usually not dampening adj. Anyways I'll take some pictures later and post it but I'm sure you guys already have seen many e92 dropped.


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      06-10-2007, 01:19 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StylePoints View Post
Just installed PSS9 on my E92 335i. Part # F4-GM5-C051-H1. $1589 + $45 shipping. You can get them cheaper from SPP, Eric didn't call me until a day after I ordered them and gave me a lower price + cheaper shipping. Could have saved $100 if I went with them.

Review:
First of all I have to say I was VERY disappointed with the way the 335 handled stock. I took delivery without having a real test drive since no dealership here in SoCal had a 335i 6speed w/sport (and if they did, it was a car someone had ordered so they wouldn't let me drive it). The car does not handle anywhere near an e46 m3 and is not nearly as fast (partially because the long clutch and long throws). I really think BMW pays Car&Driver and other magazines for the rave reviews. Anyways on to the pss9...

I was contemplating between PSS9 and the KW V2 but decided to go with the PSS9 only because I've driven many after market setups in the past and KW always felt more cushy compared to the other coilover setups. With that said, I have never driven an e92 335i with KW V2s so I can not give you guys a precise evaluation of the two. But so far I am more than happy with the PSS9. I have it dialed in at 8/9 in the front and 8/9 in the rear. Really, for off the shelf shocks nothing beats Bilstein. Only thing I'm slightly disappointed is the spring rates. I think the springs can be slightly stiffer, and I am still wondering if I got the right part # since some others claim their PSS9 have a C050 part #. But I guess its pretty good since these shocks are so strong and makes up for the stiffness. It's a pretty easy ride with the stock 18". I am still waiting on my rims to arrive, so we'll see how they do over bumps with 20s. I might have to go 9/9F 9/9R so I wont rub with the 20s. Compared to other cars I've owned/driven in the past I think this is very nice setup for 1500-1600$. The change in handling characteristics is much better. I can still notice some body roll in the tail, and I plan to get the HR rear sway bars to fix that.

Past suspension setups owned/tested:
Audi A4 B5- Pss9
Audi A4 B6- Koni Coilovers (never buy koni or products with koni shocks, bilstein really is a superior shock. The koni twin tube is junk.)
Audi S4 B6- Tein SS Coilover (I know, why go JDM on a DTM? But this was one of the best kits I've had. Rides very different from PSS9s, but damn its a good feel)
Audi TT - Kw V2s (Felt way too soft. For the $ it just didn't do it for me. This was the main reason I didnt go KW for my e92)
VW Gti - Pss9. (This thing on full stiff was like a go cart)
BMW E46 M3 - H&R Coilovers ( pretty harsh on 20s )

Compared to all the past setup, only the M3 and GTI felt tighter on the roads, but then again I don't have it on 9/9F 9/9R yet. Still trying to let it brake in some before I go full stiff (to avoid premature shock failure). And I have a feeling even at 9/9F 9/9R it wont be that stiff. For those of you that are contemplating because you are afraid the ride will be too harsh, it really isn't. Its pretty smooth. But then again I like a stiff ride =P I still think I might have gotten the wrong Part#, can't believe Bilstein would have the springs so soft. Bilstein usually make the pss9 pretty stiff only HR make the springs stiffer than bilstein, but then again HR are usually not dampening adj. Anyways I'll take some pictures later and post it but I'm sure you guys already have seen many e92 dropped.


Next Mod : Lambo Doors, Underbody Neon Lights, Super Wide body, GTR Wing, 20" chrome Giovannis :rocks:

NOT!
Nice review! I'm probably going to pick up the PSS9's too. I have it on my current car right now.

I'm looking for a smooth luxury ride feel. I don't want it bouncing up and down throwing punches at my stomach on the freeway.
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      06-10-2007, 03:34 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stooken View Post
Nice review! I'm probably going to pick up the PSS9's too. I have it on my current car right now.

I'm looking for a smooth luxury ride feel. I don't want it bouncing up and down throwing punches at my stomach on the freeway.
Congrats! I went with the Tein SS-P on the E92 and I feel the same way you do.
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      06-10-2007, 05:16 PM   #4
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The lower the # the stiffer the ride. 9 is full soft. 1 is full hard on.
If you are liking the way it handles at 8, wait until you try it at 4!
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      06-10-2007, 08:06 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc View Post
The lower the # the stiffer the ride. 9 is full soft. 1 is full hard on.
If you are liking the way it handles at 8, wait until you try it at 4!
Hmm, I think you are right. I've had few different setup and I recall pss9 on the A4 was stiffest at higher #. I might be wrong.
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      06-10-2007, 08:15 PM   #6
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Read the instruction manual. The lower the number, the stiffer the setting.
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      06-10-2007, 09:41 PM   #7
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Yep...this is the same as my pss9s on my A4....lower number...stiffer setting.
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      06-10-2007, 09:48 PM   #8
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I wish I could drive a car with these to feel how much different they are than my setup. Im not unhappy with my Koni's, but hey, if you can get a smoother ride and same handling, who wouldnt want that?
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      06-11-2007, 12:22 AM   #9
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I have my PSS9's on #2 all around and its stiff, but very smooth.
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      06-11-2007, 04:41 AM   #10
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Quote:
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I wish I could drive a car with these to feel how much different they are than my setup. Im not unhappy with my Koni's, but hey, if you can get a smoother ride and same handling, who wouldnt want that?
Konis are old school technologies. Twin Tube Air shocks vs Bilstein's Monotube Gas shocks. Konis make your car ride like a truck.
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      06-11-2007, 08:49 AM   #11
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Yea, I had Bilstein Sports on my first E46 with H&R Sports, it was nice. Too bad Bilstein doesnt make Sports for the E90.
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      06-11-2007, 09:49 AM   #12
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Mine are set at 4F & 4R and its stiff but my car is low. Im going to rase it up a little more and go with 5F & 4R.
Also, im still riding on my RFT tires. This adds to the stiffness.
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      09-17-2007, 11:43 AM   #13
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For peoploe that have the pss9s: everyone says the part number for the kit is f4-bm5-c050-h1, but that is just the # for the rear shocks right? what is the number for the front shocks?
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      09-17-2007, 12:44 PM   #14
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GM5-C051-H1 this is the part number mine had. I have a 335i sedan. This was for the front and rear.
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      09-17-2007, 01:06 PM   #15
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wierd. my rear shocks have a part # of f4-bm5-c050-h1 and the front shocks are f4-vm3-c048-h0 and f4-vm3-c049-h0
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      09-17-2007, 01:26 PM   #16
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the part number I listed is the number needed to order my whole set
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      09-17-2007, 02:39 PM   #17
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So how do you like the Bilsteins now after a few months?
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      09-17-2007, 03:42 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stressdoc View Post
So how do you like the Bilsteins now after a few months?
It did every thing I was hoping the PSS9's would do and more. I love the ride and the handling.

The part I was not sure about was the damping settings. If it would be a difference from one setting to another. Answer, yes. Setting #9 is soft. #1 is race track hard. I have settled on #6 setting on the front and #4 setting in the rear. I have tried a lot of different settings. This setting works the best for me in handling and the ride I want.
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