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      12-01-2012, 08:25 AM   #1
Ragi Elias
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Suspension Upgrade Advice

Hey Folks,

I've owned my 2010 335xi for a little over two years now and I'm starting to get to that point where some things really need upgrading. I'll hopefully be doing ECU tune soon, but I'm also sick and tired of how the XI's look like a 4X4 stock. I also want the car to handle much better.

My question is, should I go the coilovers route or not. I know that the coilovers will cost me about double, and so i'm trying to decide if it's worth it for my purposes. If it is, i'll save and wait.

My reasoning for upgrading is (1) for the stance (though I don't want it slammed) and (2) handling on the road. However, while I absolutely love spirited driving, this car will never ever be tracked. I'm also very concerned about (3) ride quality. I definitely don't want to sacrifice ride quality too much. I'm often in this car with my wife and/or other people. With that said, I also just switched to non run-flats, so I think I have some room for stiffer ride.

I've heard really good things about the TC-Kilne's in terms of handling and ride quality. Also, as they are coilovers, I can adjust them to the exact stance I like.

I've also heard really good things about the Bilstein - Eibach combo discussed in another thread here. It seems this combo also gives great handling and ride quality and stance.

So, how do I determine if I should shell out the extra cash for coil overs? What makes coilovers worth the extra cash? Is there a clear advantage in handling? Honestly, thats what I've always thought (in addition to being able to adjust your height). You should also know that, although I live in NJ, I won't be adjusting the stance during the winter. I know it's an XI, but if the snow is too high, I just won't drive it. Also, while I love the car, I'm not so anal where I'm afraid to drive it through snow (salty snow). I have a winter beater, and so the 335 is not currently my daily driver. I'm not afraid of the few days of snow.

Also, feel free to chime in different setups that you think are good. I'm not insterested in KW, Bilstein or H&R coilovers. I've read too many posts where everyone says they are too harsh.

Thanks.

Last edited by Ragi Elias; 12-01-2012 at 08:32 AM.
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      12-01-2012, 11:35 AM   #2
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I was in the exact position as you with the same wants out of a suspension for my xi. I wanted to lower the car, but not slam it. I wanted a slightly stiffer suspension, but not bone jarring over ever imperfection in the road. I never track my car either. I know you said that you don't want KW V1's, but I would suggest you reconsider. (KW V3's would be a lot harsher.) See if anyone in NJ has that setup and is willing to take you for a ride.

Here's my post of what I was looking for (and not looking for) in a suspension upgrade. Let me know if you have any questions about it

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=739662
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      12-01-2012, 11:40 AM   #3
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After debating over this for some time, I ended up going with the KW V1's as well, great stance on the car now I picked up used on the forum and saved about half over retail which addressed my other concern over cost.

The ride is much improved over stock and for a daily driver this for me was the right choice in the end

Also to address your concern over being a harsh ride, absolutely not, after reviewing many posts here I was assured of the ride quality and can tell you first hand that is was a huge improvement over the jarring ride I had previously with OEM, not to mention new cornering capabilities
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      12-01-2012, 12:50 PM   #4
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I've had H&R Sport Springs on stock shocks, H&R Sport Springs with Bilstein Sport shocks and now KW V1 coilovers and I can say with confidence that the KW's blow the other options away. They're so much better for daily driving and give you the opportunity to fine-tune the ride height. Best mod I've done on my E90 xDrive
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      12-01-2012, 03:04 PM   #5
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Sounds like I need to go for a ride in a car with KW V1s. I thought they were one of the harsher rides. I thought TC Klines were supposed to be much better/more compliant.
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      12-01-2012, 04:05 PM   #6
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It sounds like folks like KW v1s, Eibach/Bilstein Sports, and Eibach/Koni Yellows as the three top choices for daily driver E90 335xi setups. Anything with HR Sport springs involved seem to be thought of as too harsh.

I fit into the category of wanting better handling/less jarring bumps on bad roads, and a slightly lowered ride height, but not crazy low since I'm in Denver and I do drive the car in the winter on snow tires (17").

Any comments from peoples preferences of these three setups?

Thanks!
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      12-01-2012, 04:10 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragi Elias View Post
Hey Folks,

I've owned my 2010 335xi for a little over two years now and I'm starting to get to that point where some things really need upgrading. I'll hopefully be doing ECU tune soon, but I'm also sick and tired of how the XI's look like a 4X4 stock. I also want the car to handle much better.

My question is, should I go the coilovers route or not. I know that the coilovers will cost me about double, and so i'm trying to decide if it's worth it for my purposes. If it is, i'll save and wait.

My reasoning for upgrading is (1) for the stance (though I don't want it slammed) and (2) handling on the road. However, while I absolutely love spirited driving, this car will never ever be tracked. I'm also very concerned about (3) ride quality. I definitely don't want to sacrifice ride quality too much. I'm often in this car with my wife and/or other people. With that said, I also just switched to non run-flats, so I think I have some room for stiffer ride.

I've heard really good things about the TC-Kilne's in terms of handling and ride quality. Also, as they are coilovers, I can adjust them to the exact stance I like.

I've also heard really good things about the Bilstein - Eibach combo discussed in another thread here. It seems this combo also gives great handling and ride quality and stance.

So, how do I determine if I should shell out the extra cash for coil overs? What makes coilovers worth the extra cash? Is there a clear advantage in handling? Honestly, thats what I've always thought (in addition to being able to adjust your height). You should also know that, although I live in NJ, I won't be adjusting the stance during the winter. I know it's an XI, but if the snow is too high, I just won't drive it. Also, while I love the car, I'm not so anal where I'm afraid to drive it through snow (salty snow). I have a winter beater, and so the 335 is not currently my daily driver. I'm not afraid of the few days of snow.

Also, feel free to chime in different setups that you think are good. I'm not insterested in KW, Bilstein or H&R coilovers. I've read too many posts where everyone says they are too harsh.

Thanks.
coil overs, if you want to go low low its not gunna happen without custom stuff, i came to that realizatio
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      12-01-2012, 04:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by greenman View Post
It sounds like folks like KW v1s, Eibach/Bilstein Sports, and Eibach/Koni Yellows as the three top choices for daily driver E90 335xi setups. Anything with HR Sport springs involved seem to be thought of as too harsh.

I fit into the category of wanting better handling/less jarring bumps on bad roads, and a slightly lowered ride height, but not crazy low since I'm in Denver and I do drive the car in the winter on snow tires (17").

Any comments from peoples preferences of these three setups?

Thanks!
First get rid of your RFT's if you have them, we have very similar winters, 17" in the winter, lowered but did not raise for winter, no more jarring ride, KW all the way
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      12-01-2012, 06:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipstic View Post
I know you said that you don't want KW V1's, but I would suggest you reconsider. (KW V3's would be a lot harsher.)
KW V3 has infinite rebound damping adjustments to moderate comfort. You can set them for the track and of course they'll be mega-responsive but you can also make them reasonable for the street.

KW V3

KW V1 is preset 'for the best balance between sporty driving, comfort and safety'. Its a quality unit for the money. The V3 is 2 steps up in price.

KW V1
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      12-01-2012, 09:41 PM   #10
Ragi Elias
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So then what makes the TC Kilnes and ASTs so superior to the KWs?
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      12-01-2012, 09:54 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragi Elias
So then what makes the TC Kilnes and ASTs so superior to the KWs?
Better dampers and choice of spring rates. Go TC or AST if u gonna track. If not then KW.
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      12-01-2012, 10:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wonka View Post
KW V3 has infinite rebound damping adjustments to moderate comfort. You can set them for the track and of course they'll be mega-responsive but you can also make them reasonable for the street.

KW V3

KW V1 is preset 'for the best balance between sporty driving, comfort and safety'. Its a quality unit for the money. The V3 is 2 steps up in price.

KW V1
Yeah, you're right; thanks for correcting. For whatever reason I always think that if people get the V3's they generally set them on the stiffer side.
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      12-02-2012, 07:04 AM   #13
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So is the general consensus that the KWs on non-RFTs is a less jarring ride than stock suspension on RFTs?

Is there a particular vendor known to have the best pricing on them?
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      12-02-2012, 03:33 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipstic View Post
Yeah, you're right; thanks for correcting. For whatever reason I always think that if people get the V3's they generally set them on the stiffer side.
You're right as well. The KW V3 is typically set for race standards, especially for RWD. However, due to the choice limitations for the X Drive (V1 and V3) there's a few more non-race applications seen on the road.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ragi Elias View Post
So is the general consensus that the KWs on non-RFTs is a less jarring ride than stock suspension on RFTs?

Is there a particular vendor known to have the best pricing on them?
In regards to consensus, the sidewall is generally more compliant on a non-RFT. A quality aftermarket suspension system will give you much more variability for damping options. However, if you are lowering, the physics progress toward 'jarring' in order to be driveable and responsive. It sounds like you are looking to lower your car; therefore, you must take on some of the lowering qualities (a stiffer ride), to get the stance and the improved driving dynamics. In my case, I love the stance and the system was adjusted to a comfort level that was tolerable.

For purchasing, mod*bargains.com was my choice. (Remove the asterisk) Solid. In anyone's case, discover the price of a few reputable vendors and choose the one, based on your research, that has quality customer service.

Last edited by Wonka; 12-02-2012 at 03:48 PM.
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