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      10-31-2016, 10:29 AM   #1
patonjames
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E91 335i M-Sport Suspension - NASTY

All,

Need some advice please as to what modification route to take next with regards to suspension and general handling.

The car is running a Stage 2 Evolve tune and I have Performance uprated Brembo discs and pads, so thats the going and stopping taken care of.

As for the ride... Its just 'nasty' as the title suggests. The car has completed just over 70k miles and was wondering if its the mileage that is the issue or simply the suspension, bushes and linkages are just cr*p from the start?

Im not running runflats, the car has 19" Avant Garde M359s with Kumho Le Sport tyre so that is ruled out.

The ride is crashy over bumps and potholes, feels like its skipping across the road (oversprung/underdamped?).

Very much a lack of control when pushing on also through fast corners, the car does not feel very planted, this results in a lack of confidence. However, I cannot put my finger on exactly why, it doesnt feel understeery or oversteery, just nervous.

Also, some light vibration is now occuring at motorway and dual carriageway speeds, this can be felt through the seat and a little through the steering wheel.

So, to embark on the next stage, is there a phased approach on what to change and when. e.g. at this mileage start with Bushes and Linkages, then move to Springs/Shocks, etc.

Could the vibration be my Guibo Flex Joint on the way out?

Any stories of similar challenges welcomed :-)

Cheers

James
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      10-31-2016, 02:24 PM   #2
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The standard suspension isn't great, either a matched spring/damper or decent coilover will be a good start. Bushes should be fine at that age but you can never say for sure. You could start replacing bushes and the like but I do think it's the standard spring and damper that are the issue, it always felt to me that the spring is a lot stiffer than the damper, causing the crashy rise and skittering over bumps during cornering.
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      11-01-2016, 06:28 AM   #3
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This is a definite case of you gets what you pay for. My view is the E9X series is inherently harsh in the ride department and with 19" wheels, most suspension 'upgrades' will only make matters worse.

My recommendation (and it's not cheap) is Ohlins Road and Track. Gives you an amazingly supply ride with excellent handling and lots of adjustability when needed.
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      11-01-2016, 06:55 AM   #4
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Cheaper than Ohlins would be the Bilstein B12 kit, or the B14 if you want it adjustable.

A lot less crashy than the stock M-Sport suspension.
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      11-01-2016, 07:03 AM   #5
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Go back to 18".. 19's suck on our cars in the ride quality dept.
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      11-01-2016, 09:38 AM   #6
patonjames
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I was looking at the Bilstein kit and maybe M3 Subframe bushes as a starter.

Any preferred supplier of Bilstein kit in the UK?
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      11-01-2016, 11:55 AM   #7
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The Birds kit is regarded as one of the best ways to go for UK cars, as they developed the suspension on UK roads.
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      11-01-2016, 12:37 PM   #8
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I've had both the Birds kit and Ohlins on my car.

The Birds kit is superb for sure but for was too low as I kept hitting the underneath on speed bumps etc. It's not that cheap either really but is great if you want a fit and forget application.

The Ohlins are a whole different ball game as firstly they are very suitable to our roads as they do offer excellent compliance and comfort. When pushing on they do react and are superb again without being crashy or harsh. They do offer adjustability in both damping and height. But then you do pay more for them.

The B12 kit is a good compromise for someone who wants a good kit that will be fit and forget and offers a fairly good compromise between cost and road compliance and handling.

It all depends on budget and what you really use the car for.
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      11-01-2016, 12:41 PM   #9
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+1

I've driven both Birds and Ohlins and the Birds (which uses specially valved Bilsteins) definitely rides harsher than Ohlins.
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      11-01-2016, 08:19 PM   #10
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It's worth mentioning prices in here, I didn't actually look at either option as I chose CAtuned coilovers, and spec'd 7/12k springs and valving for my usage/ride height. It's probably a little soft if I wanted to go any lower/wider. 6/10k would be a real nice comfortable ride I think, I'm not sure what spring rates the other kits are, but I think 6/10k is still about double what standard M Sport is, but mine feels a million times better, much more compliant, confident on the road, you feel bumps but you feel it absorbing them rather than crashing over them.
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      11-02-2016, 05:20 AM   #11
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I experienced pretty much exactly the same feeling as you describe with my 70k 335i and after reviewing all the options I took a chance on the KW Street Comfort Coilovers. I'm also running 19"s and i have to say i've been very impressed, the handling is so much better and the ride is excellent on the recommended damper settings. I'd say the ride comfort is virtually the same but more compliant in a way.
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      11-02-2016, 09:19 AM   #12
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I have the KW ST's which are the galvanised less posh non stainless versions but valved/specced the same but without rebound etc and I agree with fast monkey, impressive and not harsh at all for our lumpy hole ridden flat(ish) top roads.
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      11-02-2016, 08:43 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Digitalize View Post
The Birds kit is regarded as one of the best ways to go for UK cars, as they developed the suspension on UK roads.
Agree on birds B3. I have that and the ride massively improved rather than get harsher !
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      11-03-2016, 10:20 AM   #14
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I am suffering the same dilemma.

First off completely understand you get what you pay for... however i'm struggling with cost vs function - after all it is a E91 335i road car, I will not be doing track days in it, the daily commute gives no opportunity to push on therefore I am looking for something that is compliant enough daily (I'm not bothered if it has hard ride) but will provide good feedback on occasions I do find some open, twisty roads. Hence B12 kit was looking favorable, but noticed the B14 kit can be had at an all too tempting price point.

I'm not after a hellaflush look and would like the car to remain practical, however I believe the front end needs dropping and would like it to be aesthetically pleasing, so the B14 kit gives me more options.. decisions decisions. Ideally spending less than 1k (without fitting)

This is what I have found - other prices may be available

All inc VAT - kit only (not fitted): E91 335i

B12 620

B14 734 (really tempted at this price)

Birds B3 960 - are these really worth the extra vs above? or is it the Birds premium I'm paying for?

Ohlins - not considered these as ideally I don't want to spend over 1k. Did look and could only find them for the E90 - Should i assume it is the same kit for a E91? Circa 1500

Other Opinions/Options?

Last edited by tuckerjenkins; 11-03-2016 at 11:31 AM.
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      11-03-2016, 11:39 AM   #15
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If all you want is a street-worthy, comfy car, why not just fit KONI FSDs dampers to your standard springs?
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      11-03-2016, 11:57 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phil325i View Post
If all you want is a street-worthy, comfy car, why not just fit KONI FSDs dampers to your standard springs?
Thanks another good option

The issue with the touring is the front end ride height which I believe is mainly caused by the springs.. (my old E90 was not like this so assume it's a touring thing) Front sits higher than the rear and I would ideally have a little front end rake as my preference. Realise I could just go springs, but having a new setup where the damper is matched to spring rate is more appealing especially as I do like to push on when the opportunity presents itself.

Also at ~570 it leans me toward the b14's for value for money.



James the OP hope this is helping you too!
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      11-03-2016, 11:57 AM   #17
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What affect will there be if fitting SE dampers to an M sport? Im guess handling wont be as good, but will ride comfort be improved?
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      11-03-2016, 02:49 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tuckerjenkins View Post
Thanks another good option

The issue with the touring is the front end ride height which I believe is mainly caused by the springs..
If it's just a little drop at the front you need, then consider lowering perches...

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=523044
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      11-03-2016, 06:35 PM   #19
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I had the Birds B3 kit on my E91 330i and it was excellent. Supple and well damped with great body control. Makes my current F31 335i seem harsh and unsettled for the most part.

I'll be looking at the Birds kit for my F31 if ever I get the funds.
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      11-04-2016, 07:13 AM   #20
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I have fitted Spring Perches and they do make a difference to the front ride height on the E91, levelling the car nicely with the same gap now front and rear between the top of the tyre and the arch.

Im in the same boat as Tuckerjenkins in that I wont be tracking the car, do not want to hang with the slammed yoof cars at McDonalds, just want a more compliant ride and confidence when pushing hard through fast corners.

Birds B3 vs Bilstein B14?

worth the extra I suppose is the question?
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      11-04-2016, 07:21 AM   #21
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MattOz, are you the same MattOz that used to have the GSXR1000RR in Suzuki Endurance colours on PH?
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      11-04-2016, 10:37 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patonjames View Post
MattOz, are you the same MattOz that used to have the GSXR1000RR in Suzuki Endurance colours on PH?
I am indeed and I still have it. Not sure which one you saw, but have had red K5 and blue K7. It's the blue K7 that I still have.




Last edited by MattOz; 11-05-2016 at 11:16 AM.
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