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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Is this what XI handling feels like?



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      12-10-2008, 07:27 AM   #1
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Is this what XI handling feels like?

I took the coupe for some spirited runs through the places I test out my cars. Mainly highway off ramps and empty malls parking lots with lots of tight turns.

The car basically felt like it was driving on water. The wheels where firmly planted, but the top half of the car felt like it was floating around. Taking a hard turn, the back felt like it was wiggling.

The whole car felt floaty. It didnt feel like it was point and shoot. During tight turns I felt that any little bump or movement of the steering wheel would take me into the guard rail.

I know people have complained about the xi suspension, but Im trying to understand if what im complaining about is the suspension. I want the car to feel like its stuck to the wheels. Not floating on top of them. Is the floaty feeling the high ride height or non sport suspension or something else? My GTI and G35 seemed to handle the turns in a more gokart like fashion. So I dont want to complain. I just want to know if the feeling I had was what everyone else considered the bad suspension?

Last edited by Prowess Symphony; 12-22-2008 at 10:00 PM.
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      12-10-2008, 08:48 AM   #2
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It's the suspension and sway bars. Pretty pathetic for a car that is so-called "Ultimate Driving Machine" and costs 50k+.

Anyway, KW V3's will fix the problem and adding sway bars will make it even better.
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      12-10-2008, 09:03 AM   #3
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yup thats sure what it felt like for me. pure crap. the KWs much improved the ride and responsiveness
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      12-10-2008, 09:04 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90ice View Post
It's the suspension and sway bars. Pretty pathetic for a car that is so-called "Ultimate Driving Machine" and costs 50k+.

Anyway, KW V3's will fix the problem and adding sway bars will make it even better.
Yeah, I expected a bit better but Im glad I know what the problem feels like and that im not alone in the dislike.

I thought sway bars didnt fit the xi the same as i? Or was that different front suspension stuff?

I wish there was a cupkit available. 2k for coils seems a bit much. I figured there would be a nice spring/shock combo out there without the cost of coils.

Last edited by Prowess Symphony; 12-10-2008 at 09:34 AM.
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      12-10-2008, 10:10 AM   #5
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I tell ya I swore to myself i'd never do coilovers. After owning for 9 months, I now have them, and wish I would have done them sooner (even with the high price). Just do it, cringe for a bit about the price, and then you'll love your car far more.
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      12-10-2008, 01:52 PM   #6
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Yup, that is the xi suspension.

I have an M3 sedan now and it is leagues above the xi in terms of handling. Better all around and drives better with the EDC.

I am winter drivng now and not a problem, just use winter tires.

My advice, get a 335i or and M3.

GL
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      12-10-2008, 03:02 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sparkyg View Post
Yup, that is the xi suspension.

I have an M3 sedan now and it is leagues above the xi in terms of handling. Better all around and drives better with the EDC.

I am winter drivng now and not a problem, just use winter tires.

My advice, get a 335i or and M3.

GL
I dont really have the money to get an i or m3 after just buying a xi. And I need the awd. Best I can do is upgrade to coils. Cupkits are just as expensive.
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      12-10-2008, 05:13 PM   #8
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Is there a way out there to test what the difference i vs xi on snow? I live in New England and a used i is so much cheaper than the xi version. I have seen fully loaded i sold for under 30k while the cheapest fully loaded xi is 37.5. That's a big difference. Being in school, i really don't want to do this whole experiencing i in snow with my car because after that, no matter like/dislike, I will be stuck with that.
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      12-10-2008, 05:21 PM   #9
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I have an xi. Buy the KWv3, it's worth the investment. Be ready for a lot firmer ride, but it will handle like it's on rails.
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      12-10-2008, 05:24 PM   #10
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i thought most people say the KWv3's give you a much harsher ride?
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      12-10-2008, 05:29 PM   #11
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I dont care if its harsh or firm as long as it takes away the floaty feeling. Driving a boat on land is quite a unique experience.

Anybody know if the KWv3s have a nice lay-away plan?
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      12-10-2008, 05:38 PM   #12
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OP, I'd caution you to take your xi stock to a HDPE event first and find the handling and traction limits in a more controlled fashion. Some cars (such as Subaru WRX do not have good body control (ie they lean a lot during cornering) but they have excellent wheel control (ie wheels follow the pavement and absorb bumps very well)

just because a car is leaning doesn't mean it can't carry a substantial amount of speed through a corner. Also, cars with 'more lean' typically have more compliance which makes the car handle mid corner bumps much easier. Also, part of what you are experience is the increased mass that comes with driving a large, heavy AWD car

I've seen many owners 'upgrade' to an expensive adjustable suspension, dial up the firmness and have a car that feels great (doesn't lean) but handles awful (too stiff, corner weights wrong, etc). not the best use of $$$$ in my opinion
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      12-10-2008, 09:23 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
I dont care if its harsh or firm as long as it takes away the floaty feeling. Driving a boat on land is quite a unique experience.

Anybody know if the KWv3s have a nice lay-away plan?
Wow, if you think that a stock xi is a boat...you haven't driven any other cars then.

try driving a Jetta, or more averaged cars.
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      12-10-2008, 09:32 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Reggie@MWDesign View Post
Wow, if you think that a stock xi is a boat...you haven't driven any other cars then.

try driving a Jetta, or more averaged cars.
lol, a boat compared to 335i sport. Not normal cars. And im coming off of a g35 and gti both with real tight suspension. Im holding the BMW to a higher standard for being both 50k semi-sports car and a BMW.
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      12-17-2008, 08:55 AM   #15
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I disagree for the HPDE. You hit a rumbler on the track with stock suspension and your done for. My Mazda3 hatchback has more compliant road handling than my xi. The KW evened that out but as Nick pointed out at a very imbalanced price point.
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      12-17-2008, 09:02 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by jgalaxy View Post
I disagree for the HPDE. You hit a rumbler on the track with stock suspension and your done for. My Mazda3 hatchback has more compliant road handling than my xi. The KW evened that out but as Nick pointed out at a very imbalanced price point.
KW v3, UUC sway bars, Hotchkis chassis brace, h&r springs. Is that the only xi options? No m3 parts fit?

Which of the xi handling mods would be considered the best bang for the buck? I could get new sway bars and the chassis brace, for less then half of the kw's.
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      12-17-2008, 04:40 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prowess Symphony View Post
KW v3, UUC sway bars, Hotchkis chassis brace, h&r springs. Is that the only xi options? No m3 parts fit?

Which of the xi handling mods would be considered the best bang for the buck? I could get new sway bars and the chassis brace, for less then half of the kw's.
I'm sure there as many answers as there are applictions for these suspension/handling options.

I weighed my options and decided that the one number issue for me was that the handling was darn right dangerous at speed. Number two the SUV look had to go and I might also get a slight benefit with a lower center of gravity once lowered another inch or so.

Sway bars, strut and chassis braces would be last if I even attemped it.

My next trial will be bushing replacements/upgrade.

I'm looking forward to some of the other XI folks input here as well.
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      12-17-2008, 09:07 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgalaxy View Post
My next trial will be bushing replacements/upgrade.

I'm looking forward to some of the other XI folks input here as well.

There's an interesting discussion going on in the suspension forum about that. Orb has done a lot of work retrofitting e92 M3 suspension links onto a 335. It sounds like these would fit an xdrive model. In his opinion the stock 335 bushings are quite sloppy. You can purchase M3 suspension kits from a vendor (see link). I think I might do this at some point.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177028

I finally got KW V3s myself. I can't decide if I should install now or wait until spring weather.
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      12-17-2008, 11:15 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HERR FSTIR View Post
There's an interesting discussion going on in the suspension forum about that. Orb has done a lot of work retrofitting e92 M3 suspension links onto a 335. It sounds like these would fit an xdrive model. In his opinion the stock 335 bushings are quite sloppy. You can purchase M3 suspension kits from a vendor (see link). I think I might do this at some point.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177028

I finally got KW V3s myself. I can't decide if I should install now or wait until spring weather.
Can someone confirm that we can fit these e90 m3 suspension parts? If so, I will be installing these along with coilovers next summer
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      12-17-2008, 11:22 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HERR FSTIR View Post
There's an interesting discussion going on in the suspension forum about that. Orb has done a lot of work retrofitting e92 M3 suspension links onto a 335. It sounds like these would fit an xdrive model. In his opinion the stock 335 bushings are quite sloppy. You can purchase M3 suspension kits from a vendor (see link). I think I might do this at some point.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=177028

I finally got KW V3s myself. I can't decide if I should install now or wait until spring weather.
I'll likely try the bushings this summer. Links I'm not too sure about. This may not work with the XI.

Seeing that your from the great white north and your snow clearing cant be any better than mine, I'd wait so that you'll get a chance to have them installed, setup and adjusted correctly on pavement. In the winter I raise the car to leave as big a gap as possible and soften the settings 3 clicks from my regular summer street setup.
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      12-17-2008, 11:24 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jgalaxy View Post
I'll likely try the bushings this summer. Links I'm not too sure about. This may not work with the XI.

Seeing that your from the great white north and your snow clearing cant be any better than mine, I'd wait so that you'll get a chance to have them installed, setup and adjusted correctly on pavement. In the winter I raise the car to leave as big a gap as possible and soften the settings 3 clicks from my regular summer street setup.
Im thinking of making a list of all the xi suspension parts so it will be easier in the future to find all the xi stuff.

And your avatar always makes me laugh. I think of that cat wearing the fruit helmet, all pissed off about his BMW not handling correctly.
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      12-17-2008, 11:29 PM   #22
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The front control arm and tension rod will not fit our cars. The rear subframe bushings will though.
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