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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > What to replace (All or None)???



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      02-09-2014, 09:09 PM   #1
mikew325
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What to replace (All or None)???

Ok, so here's the story:
I have an '06 325i Base Model with stock suspension on 16" Style 156's. I'm planning on upgrading the wheels this spring/summer to one of the OEM 18" models (not sure which yet --162's??). However, the stock suspension seems to be pretty worn at this point, and one of the rear dampers has been leaking for the past ~4k miles. There's a lot of body roll in turns and quite a bit of bounce on the highway bumps. I've done some research and found that I can get a set of Koni Yellows and Eibach Pro Kit springs all brand new from various online sources for a total of ~$880 shipped. Most reviews of this set up are pretty good, however I have two questions....will this setup be too harsh for the crappy Baltimore City roads I commute on, and will this drop be too low/goofy on the stock 16" 156's if I install the kit prior to getting new wheels this Spring/Summer?

Alternative would be to replace the rears only (since the fronts aren't leaking) with the Bilstein HD to maintain the stock ride height (~$230 for dampers + labor) and expedite the purchase of 18" 162's etc.

I was driving an e46 w/ 18x8/18x8.5 with stock non-sport suspension previously and it felt more planted than my current set-up. So maybe a wider set of wheels might stabilize the ride more than I think while improving the aesthetics at the same time?

Any opinions/pics are greatly appreciated!
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      02-09-2014, 10:12 PM   #2
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New shocks, and maybe new springs if the ride height has collapsed will go a long way towards restoring the stability...wider tires may just end up making it harsher and, if you're using them all year, are worse in the snow.
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      02-09-2014, 10:20 PM   #3
mikew325
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Thanks for the tips, any opinions on the Eibach Pro-kit drop w/ the stock 16" wheels? I've got some Michelin Pilot Sport A/S on them so I'm comfortable with their ability in the snow, just not sure of their looks with a drop and clearance/ride comfort paired up with the Koni Yellows.
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      02-10-2014, 07:07 PM   #4
mikew325
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Ok, so how about keeping the stock (non-sport) springs and just updating the shocks all around to koni-fsd? Do the FSD's require lowering springs? It seems like that might be a good middle ground?
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      02-10-2014, 11:46 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew325 View Post
Ok, so how about keeping the stock (non-sport) springs and just updating the shocks all around to koni-fsd? Do the FSD's require lowering springs? It seems like that might be a good middle ground?
if you have any plans on getting springs in the future, you may as well get them with the shocks. you'll just be paying for labor yet again instead of doing it all at once.

i've got eibach pro-kit springs on stock sachs shocks/struts and it's a little bumpy but i'm sure michigan roads are worse than baltimore.

if you get 162's and if they still have potenza re050a rft's on, get rid of those tires. their stiff sidewalls make the ride much rougher.

i can't find a pic of my E90 on eibachs and my old 162's as a reference but it'll look good. just need some spacers for a more flush look.
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      02-11-2014, 06:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Spec Dan
Quote:
Originally Posted by mikew325 View Post
Ok, so how about keeping the stock (non-sport) springs and just updating the shocks all around to koni-fsd? Do the FSD's require lowering springs? It seems like that might be a good middle ground?
if you have any plans on getting springs in the future, you may as well get them with the shocks. you'll just be paying for labor yet again instead of doing it all at once.

i've got eibach pro-kit springs on stock sachs shocks/struts and it's a little bumpy but i'm sure michigan roads are worse than baltimore.

if you get 162's and if they still have potenza re050a rft's on, get rid of those tires. their stiff sidewalls make the ride much rougher.

i can't find a pic of my E90 on eibachs and my old 162's as a reference but it'll look good. just need some spacers for a more flush look.
Are your oem stock shocks standard (non-sport) or part of the zsp??
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      02-11-2014, 09:33 PM   #7
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Another alternative is the BMW Performance suspension, keep an eye on the classifieds here as sets come up for pretty cheap (few hundred dollars). It will end up being a tad bit lower than the sport suspension when it settles, give or take (not a good option if you want to lower your car in other words).

I suggest you invest in a non-RFT tire to further improve your ride quality. 16" wheels are going to be the most comfortable due to the high sidewall; 17" is also good. 18" and up will be noticeably less comfortable than either of those sizes. There are some pretty good 17" options out there including the lightweight APEX ARC-8.
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Last edited by CJ421; 02-12-2014 at 12:00 AM. Reason: meant to say arc-8
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      02-12-2014, 08:28 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Spec Dan View Post
if you have any plans on getting springs in the future, you may as well get them with the shocks. you'll just be paying for labor yet again instead of doing it all at once.
+1

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Spec Dan View Post
if you get 162's and if they still have potenza re050a rft's on, get rid of those tires. their stiff sidewalls make the ride much rougher.
+2

Quote:
Originally Posted by J-Spec Dan View Post
just need some spacers for a more flush look.
+3


If you look at my pics in my profile you can see the Koni/Eibach on 189s w/spacers and non-RFTs. I use to have 162s, but didn't have it lowered at the time. I don't think it'll look funny on the 17s since it's they're taking up the same amount of space in the wheel opening, just with more sidewall than what you'd have with the 162s.

If you're thinking you want a little drop at some point then do the shocks/springs all at once, otherwise you will curse yourself later. Charlotte roads aren't the best either and I'm happy with my ride quality. With 17s yours will be even better.
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      02-15-2014, 10:18 AM   #9
mikew325
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So I ended up getting the Bilstein B12 Pro-kit. However, I'm running 156's with the stock tire size (for the non-sport suspension).
I know the bigger side-wall will give me a smoother ride (especially considering the fact I have Non-RFT Michelin PS A/S) I know the drop will probably make the 16"s look even smaller, but my big question is whether or not I will have any rubbing with the big stock sized sidewall?
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