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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > xi with Bilstein HD and stock springs review



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      11-07-2012, 11:01 AM   #1
ccraig13
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Thumbs up xi with Bilstein HD and stock springs review

The Bilstein HD ( Stock Springs ) are finally installed!

I've only driven 75 miles on them so far, so obviously, that's not enough time for a proper review. However, I'll give you my first impressions.

Original setup for my 2007 328xi:
- Tires : Hankook Ventus V12 (Non-RFT)
- Shocks: Original Sach with 84k miles

1. Comfort: Fantastic! These are far more comfortable than my stock shocks*. I was very nervous that they would be harsh, but it's completely the opposite. I was actually aiming at every pothole, manhole cover, etc. I could find just to test shocks and they handled them all great. Previously it sounded like the car was cracking in half or that I bent a rim. Not the case anymore!

*NOTE: It's possible that they're actually not more comfortable than brand new OEM Sach since I'm only comparing them to mine which had 84K miles on them. However, I've had plenty of seat time in the 328i loaners from the dealership, which has under 10k miles on them, and they where only marginally more comfortable than mine.

2. Handing: Night and day. At first I didn't notice any difference because I was just going over a lot of long highway stretches. However, when I finally found some twisties it was surreal. The car stayed completely flat through the corner! My car has never felt like this before. I'm used to getting thrown into my door and feeling like the car is about to flip. Very impressed with that. The other big complaint with xi suspension is that "floaty feeling", which I'm glad to report, is missing here too . I was able to weave back in forth in my lane at high speeds without body roll. Normally, doing that at 50mph is enough to upset the car's balance! Also, the nose doesn't dive when braking hard, which is always a plus.

3. Side effects: I heard that shocks might jack up my car a bit and I believe they did, but I can't tell by looking at it (Yes I know it looks like it in the pick but it looked like that before too) and it actually turned out to be a good thing. I'm used to constantly getting high-beamed by oncoming traffic at night due to my HID headlights. Now that should no longer be an issue because my headlights don't project straight out anymore. The stock rears must have been sagging quite a bit because now the car is noticeably higher in the rear, giving it a back to front, downward slope (Rake is still there). I even notice it while sitting in the car. I'm not sure if this will even out after a while, but for now it's kinda nice. Although, I do miss having the HID pointed straight out, I didn't even need to use high-beams before

Total cost after (including NJ sales tax): $1,058
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      11-07-2012, 02:47 PM   #2
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Great review, congrats!
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      11-07-2012, 04:41 PM   #3
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Shoulda thrown eibachs..
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      11-07-2012, 05:10 PM   #4
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You do know you can adjust your headlights level right lol.
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      11-08-2012, 06:22 PM   #5
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Shoulda thrown eibachs..
He got the HDs, not the sports. The HDs aren't valved for a lowering spring.
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      11-08-2012, 08:22 PM   #6
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I mean he shoulda just got the sports blistein and eibach that rake is awful
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      11-09-2012, 07:40 AM   #7
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You do know you can adjust your headlights level right lol.
that's what I thought. But I forgot to look that up haha. also until now I didn't realize it was a problem. I just figured my lights were really bright
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      11-11-2012, 11:55 PM   #8
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Thank you for your reviews. Just want to do that for my baby !
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      11-12-2012, 07:49 AM   #9
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Quick update about the headlights. after doing some more searching it appears the real issue is that my shop installed the auto leveling sensor incorrectly. I'm going to take it back there today and have them fix it. It should only take about 10 minutes. Right now the lights only the show about 15 feet in front of me!
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      03-11-2013, 02:49 PM   #10
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I'm about to get ready to install the same shocks on my 2006 E91 325xi wagon. I live in Northern NJ. Sounds like you got quite the deal, did your total cost of $1058 include installation? Did you change your shock mounts as well? Where'd you get the work done from?
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      03-11-2013, 03:03 PM   #11
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I'm about to get ready to install the same shocks on my 2006 E91 325xi wagon. I live in Northern NJ. Sounds like you got quite the deal, did your total cost of $1058 include installation? Did you change your shock mounts as well? Where'd you get the work done from?
Yes, the total included installation. The shocks were around $700 and $300 for the install. You can save on sales tax if you get them online from http://www.bavauto.com/. I didn't because my shop doesn't install stuff I bring in, but at least they matched Bav's price. I did not change the mounts. I got it done at http://ok4wd.com/. Not sure how far north you are, but I would imagine they'd be a bit far since I live more towards the middle of NJ. You can checkout the NJ BMW CCA's list of sponsors for a few reputable BMW mechanics http://www.njbmwcca.org/services/links/sponsors.php.
I've been a member for almost 3 years now and must say it's been a lot of fun. I definitely recommend joining. We have several driving events coming up that would be great for you to test out your new Bilsteins!
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      03-17-2013, 10:26 AM   #12
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So you not replaced the mounts? Everything alright for now?
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      03-17-2013, 12:15 PM   #13
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Yeah, everything has been great. I've read a few people who said they wish they didn't waste their money on new mounts. Remember, I'm running everything stock, so these were direct replacements. Maybe if I had lowered the car with Eibachs it would have made sense, but that's just me speculating. I'm no suspension guru. Next up, I may go for the M3 rear sway bar!
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      03-22-2013, 08:58 AM   #14
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Thank you for your review. I got bilstein on my E46 as an upgrade. Car was not so soft but bilstein HD make your car feel like a tank. After driving my E90 330xi for the winter, I notice the car is undrivable with stock shock.

The fact is Im a little bit scared about bilstein. I experienced a lot of failing with bilstein HD on my E46. Is KONI are good shocks?
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      03-22-2013, 10:19 AM   #15
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That's interesting, because I've heard nothing but good things about Bilstein. Of course, there's always going to be lemons out there, as no one has 100% defect free manufacturing. As far as Koni is concerned, I'm told they make great suspension as well. I almost went with their FSD, but based on my research, it seems that they eventually loose that great ride after about 15K miles. I would imagine you'd be safe going with their sport model though, but that would require you to get lowering springs. With all that said, I would still recommend you go with the Bilstein HD models. My ride comfort has greatly increased, and handling has too ( Though now that I'm used to it, I'm hungry for more upgrades )
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      03-27-2013, 03:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
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That's interesting, because I've heard nothing but good things about Bilstein. Of course, there's always going to be lemons out there, as no one has 100% defect free manufacturing. As far as Koni is concerned, I'm told they make great suspension as well. I almost went with their FSD, but based on my research, it seems that they eventually loose that great ride after about 15K miles. I would imagine you'd be safe going with their sport model though, but that would require you to get lowering springs. With all that said, I would still recommend you go with the Bilstein HD models. My ride comfort has greatly increased, and handling has too ( Though now that I'm used to it, I'm hungry for more upgrades )
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      03-30-2013, 06:49 AM   #17
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what do you have on the rears? Does Bilstein make a rear HD for the xi?
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      03-30-2013, 08:51 AM   #18
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Great review can't wait till my will arrive
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      03-30-2013, 09:29 AM   #19
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what do you have on the rears? Does Bilstein make a rear HD for the xi?
Rear shocks & suspensions on Xi are same as corresponding non-Xi.
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      03-30-2013, 09:52 AM   #20
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Rear shocks & suspensions on Xi are same as corresponding non-Xi.
What he said
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      03-31-2013, 10:10 PM   #21
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Thanks - I just got the HD's for the front. Any suggestions for the rear? Maybe Konis...Also what non-rft tires are can you all suggest? I appreciate it
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      04-01-2013, 08:21 AM   #22
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Thanks - I just got the HD's for the front. Any suggestions for the rear? Maybe Konis...Also what non-rft tires are can you all suggest? I appreciate it
If you got HDs for the front then get them for the rear as well. I don't think it's a good idea to mix and match suspension. Also, the HD's increase ride height, so if you have them on the front and get another brand/sport models on the back the "rake" look will be exacerbated.

I'm running Hankook Ventus V12 with 38psi all the way around ( I mention that because at first I was running them at the runflat spec but that brought nothing but pain, suffering and loss of money... ). Car and Driver has a good wright up on the best non-Pilot Super Sports ( link ). The Hankooks came in 2nd. I was planning on trying the Kumho Ecstas next time since they came in 3rd, but their performance in the rain was poor. The Hankooks are amazing in the rain. In fact, I often find myself thinking that they handle better in it!
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