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      09-13-2006, 09:36 PM   #1
tx330i
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Question Considering sport springs

I have a non-sport 330i and am considering getting some sport springs. I have some questions:

1) in Houston, the highways are concrete with expansion joints and I thought the ride in a sport was harsh over the bumps and small pot holes. How much of the harshness do you think is contributed to by a) springs, b) shocks, and c) 18" wheels/tires? I could go for something in between sport and non-sport feel, but honestly, I thought I'd get tired of the sport feel after a couple of months.

2) it looks like the sport springs lower about .6" from non-sport. Will this be noticable in appearance and handling? Anyone have a picture of a sport next to a non-sport? Actually, anyone have a picture of a non-sport 330i with sport springs? Maybe I can just get each a picture of each and put the side by side.

3) Follow-on to #2, I don't want to slam it and look like a ricer. But should I bypass sport springs and go for H&R sport springs? If I do, what shocks would I need to get? I've heard people mention Koni, but what model #?

4) If I get oem sport springs, does it make a significant difference if I use my non-sport shocks or should I get the sport shocks too?

Thanks,
Robert
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      09-13-2006, 10:10 PM   #2
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You get better driving feel when you replace with springs and matched shocks. It really isnt bad if you just get the springs but you could be over-working you OE shocks depending on which spring set you buy.
The most common sets are Eibach and H&R. They both sell matched sets or either shocks or springs only. I have heard good things about SACHS suspension too. Typically, a car is lower between 1-1.5 inches on a sport set without looking slammed. This is enough to give improved handling. The Koni Sport shock is popular because it can be adjusted to suit your needs. If you think you ride is to harsh, you can adjust them to be a little smoother.
Hope this answers any of your questions.
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      09-13-2006, 10:17 PM   #3
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Thanks Pedro.
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      09-13-2006, 11:29 PM   #4
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Just read through all the pages on this suspension forum. If I get the sport springs and keep my non-sport shocks, will it lower .6", but still retain the softer non-sport ride? Or will it be mismatched enough to give a bad ride somehow? I'm thinking I may just go for some oem sport springs and keep my non-sport shocks. I'm not into auto-crossing, but would like to lower just a bit but without harsh ride.

Anyone have a picture of a 330 non-sport with oem sport springs? I don't plan on changing rims. Wife and kids cost too much money to have that kind of spare change...

Thanks,
Robert
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      09-14-2006, 02:17 AM   #5
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It's been mentioned here that BMW makes the best stock suspensions around - and so a lot of research has gone into making these systems work as they should. That being said, if you could swing it, I'd highly suggest replacing your shocks with ZSP sport shocks if you're going to replace your springs with the sport springs. They were designed to work in tandem, and I don't know the effects of lowering your car .6" on your stock shocks - as far as ride quality is concerned.

But I'd venture to guess that ride quality would be adversely affected (and NOT because I'm trying to sell mine, seriously.) My reasoning is that once you lower the car on the ZSP sport springs, you'll be losing that .6" of travel that the stock shocks used to have. I'm assuming that the dampening rate of the shocks are progressive, and if they're already compressed by that much, then the ride will be that much stiffer.

Take the ZSP sport shocks, which were made to work with the shorter springs, and you have a match designed by BMW...a perfect match! I know there are some much more experienced people out there that aren't chiming in...let me know if I'm wrong!
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      09-14-2006, 03:04 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMeezee
...Take the ZSP sport shocks, which were made to work with the shorter springs, and you have a match designed by BMW...a perfect match! I know there are some much more experienced people out there that aren't chiming in...let me know if I'm wrong!
Preach on brotha!

BTW, my ZSP suspension combo is available too! Sorry for the shameless plug!

Danny
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      09-14-2006, 09:30 AM   #7
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Hmm. I hadn't thought about the shocks being progressive. A stiffer sport shock versus a .6" compressed non-sport shock. I wonder if there are any charts that show the dampening rates.

However, I'll still have 17" wheels/tires. Am I correct in assuming the 18" sport wheels/tires contribute a lot to the harshness of the sport package? I don't mind firmness, but the sport just seemed to hit expansion joints and small potholes with hard impacts and what seemed like little dampening.

Thanks,
Robert
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Last edited by tx330i; 09-14-2006 at 09:51 AM.
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      09-14-2006, 02:50 PM   #8
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The thicker sidewall of the tires on your 17's should help to absorb some of the shock. In my previous car (civic) I went from 17" to 16" and the difference was definitely noticeable. But this was going from 21lb. rims to 14lb rims, and that could have been a big part of it as well.

Either way though, the thicker sidewall should help smooth out your ride.
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      01-15-2007, 03:01 AM   #9
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anybody got reviews on tein springs and see how well they work with oem shocks?
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      01-15-2007, 05:17 AM   #10
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Tx are you still running Run Flat Tyres?

If so 99% of the harshness you describe over the expansion joints can be attributed to the stiffer sidewalled RFT's.

I had an identical problem with my 330i, I replaced the RFT's, no more problem. Often it felt like the steering wheel was being pulled from my hands if you hit these things at any sort of speed.

As for lowering by 0.6", yes you will notice some improvement and reduced body roll as the centre of gravity has been lowered. You won't notice much from the visual side of things which such a small drop though.

Two weeks ago fit Koni Sport springs which dropped it 30mm and Koni dampers and the handling has improved dramatically.
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      01-15-2007, 07:54 AM   #11
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I've still got the RFTs. I wish they made a much better RFT. I like the idea, but they sure have their share of problems.

Robert
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      01-22-2007, 06:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tx330i View Post
I've still got the RFTs. I wish they made a much better RFT. I like the idea, but they sure have their share of problems.

Robert
RFT's make for a very rough ride. Swap those out and your ride will be alot smoother. My suggestion, if you have the money, is just getting a set of coilovers. They are after all a matched spring and shock set. And you can adjust the dampening and rebound on some, perfectly to your liking. Plus no worries about it being to low or not low enough, you get to choose. Just my $0.02
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