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      03-04-2011, 02:00 PM   #1
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Thumbs down FULL REVIEW: (UPDATE, Thumbs DOWN) H&R Sport Springs on Bilstein HD Shocks

I have finally had a chance of installing the Bilstein HD Shocks on my e90 335i. First off, I would like to thank e90post forum member 'SCCAForums.com' for selling and shipping the shocks to me. His level of service and responsiveness is awesome! I did not at any point feel negative about purchasing suspension parts from someone I had never met. Thanks a lot Dave!!! Now on to the review.

Background:
I think this review will help quite a lot of members here, in that there are many who have been in my position. I originally bought my car in October of 2009, used from a private dealer. The car did not have the sports package, meaning no ZSP springs or suspension. Immediately, the first thing I upgraded was the wheels(19" linea corse dynas). Thanks to zoeb at wheeldude for the new kicks. I also installed the H&R Sport Springs the same week as the wheels. This setup was great, because it was a good bang for buck and the car looked sweet. I ran this setup for about 14k miles. I know, I know, you must be thinking I am crazy. Well, I did run it for that long, on STOCK SHOCKS. The first couple thousand miles on the springs, the suspension seemed to do okay. I did not feel that the car was not controlling the dampening or rebound well. Things are great for just springs. But months later and fast forward to 14k miles later, things seemed the same. The shocks just could not handle the dampening and with 2 passengers in the back, the car was not smooth.

Impressions on H&R Sport Springs with Bilstein HD Shocks
After months and months of reviews on different suspension setups (coilovers vs spring/shock combos), I decided to try my luck on the Bilstein HD Shocks. I saw that David (SCCAForums.com) was selling his set of Bilsteins with 10k miles on them, in the FS section. I just had the shocks installed last night. I only have about less than 10 miles on them and 20 minutes worth of a review to post. From what I can tell, they do feel a bit stiffer than the stock shocks. However, when I hit certain dips, previously on stock shocks, the car would bounce around, bottom out almost. Now, with the Bilsteins, the dampening level is about the same and I still bottom out on certain dips in the freeway. It doesn't appear these made any significant impact. I still sense bounciness and it just does not seem right at all. The shocks really do not do much as to soak all the bumps and dips on the road. I wish I would have switched to coilovers.

1 year UPDATE (9/12/12):

-After being on this setup for over a year, I regret to inform you that this is basically the same as running the springs on the stock BMW shocks.
-I am awaiting installation of Sonic Tuning S1 coilovers over the weekend and will post a review when I can.
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Last edited by vip; 10-09-2012 at 06:44 PM.
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      03-04-2011, 11:37 PM   #2
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Sweet, glad youre enjoying it.
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      03-04-2011, 11:47 PM   #3
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      03-06-2011, 07:46 AM   #4
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Interesting. Let us know how it feels after a couple thousand miles. I'm thinking of alternatives now too....
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      03-07-2011, 01:23 AM   #5
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bilstein HD is designed for stock ride height.
bilstein sport is designed for lowered cars.

The HD works 'fine' for now... just as your stock shocks worked fine for the first few months.


For those looking for other options, also check out Koni FSD (best shock for spirited daily driving imo) and the slightly firmer less compliant Koni Yellow.
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      03-07-2011, 06:09 AM   #6
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^^^^I have Koni FSD now. And like you said, it was fine for a while but I think now it's getting worse....
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      04-14-2012, 10:27 PM   #7
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Need before and after pics. Ride quality is important but considering the drop isn't adjustable, ride height is just as important to me.

Any pics of the setup?
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      04-17-2012, 06:54 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vip View Post
I have finally had a chance of installing the Bilstein HD Shocks on my e90 335i. First off, I would like to thank e90post forum member 'SCCAForums.com' for selling and shipping the shocks to me. His level of service and responsiveness is awesome! I did not at any point feel negative about purchasing suspension parts from someone I had never met. Thanks a lot Dave!!! Now on to the review.

Background:
I think this review will help quite a lot of members here, in that there are many who have been in my position. I originally bought my car in October of 2009, used from a private dealer. The car did not have the sports package, meaning no ZSP springs or suspension. Immediately, the first thing I upgraded was the wheels(19" linea corse dynas). Thanks to zoeb at wheeldude for the new kicks. I also installed the H&R Sport Springs the same week as the wheels. This setup was great, because it was a good bang for buck and the car looked sweet. I ran this setup for about 14k miles. I know, I know, you must be thinking I am crazy. Well, I did run it for that long, on STOCK SHOCKS. The first couple thousand miles on the springs, the suspension seemed to do okay. I did not feel that the car was not controlling the dampening or rebound well. Things are great for just springs. But months later and fast forward to 14k miles later, things got worse. The shocks just could not handle the dampening and with 2 passengers in the back, the car was not smooth, bouncy, and dangerous at most. It also didn't help that I was rubbing on dips in the freeway as well.

Impressions on H&R Sport Springs with Bilstein HD Shocks
After months and months of reviews on different suspension setups (coilovers vs spring/shock combos), I decided to try my luck on the Bilstein HD Shocks. I saw that David (SCCAForums.com) was selling his set of Bilsteins with 10k miles on them, in the FS section. I just had the shocks installed last night. I only have about less than 10 miles on them and 20 minutes worth of a review to post. From what I can tell, they do feel a bit stiffer than the stock shocks, but are more controlled and the dampening is far improved. When I hit certain dips, previously on stock shocks, the car would bounce around, bottom out almost. Now, with the Bilsteins, the dampening level is controlled, no bounciness at all. So far things are great. The shocks really do soak all the bumps and dips on the road. The shocks absorb a lot better than the stock non ZSP shocks. I really wish I had done this sooner. For anyone that is still on stock shocks, with aftermarket springs, I highly suggest switching out your stock shocks to aftermarket ones.

For those of you looking into the Bilsteins, there is no attainable difference between the HD and Sport shocks. The shocks itself are identical. I think the sport ones fitment are a little different to accomodate lowering springs. But again, the HD work just fine.

Please feel to ask questions. I will post more updates as I put more miles on the shocks.
I have the same setup but the front bottoms out at times. Could it be the bump stops?
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      04-17-2012, 07:39 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmroxm5
bilstein HD is designed for stock ride height.
bilstein sport is designed for lowered cars.

The HD works 'fine' for now... just as your stock shocks worked fine for the first few months.


For those looking for other options, also check out Koni FSD (best shock for spirited daily driving imo) and the slightly firmer less compliant Koni Yellow.
Exactly. They're fine for now but will prematurely wear out just like stock shocks. There's a reason Bilstein makes both an HD and Sport shock...they're meant for different applications. Sorry but the HD shocks are not an appropriate application for lowering springs.
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      09-12-2012, 07:01 PM   #10
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hey guys, thought I would post an update. I almost forgot about this thread.

Sad to say, but the performance absolutely sucks on this setup. The car is pretty bouncy and dampening is pretty bad. I am scheduled to install Sonic Tuning S1 coilovers this Saturday. So will post an updated review on those sometime next week.
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      09-12-2012, 07:19 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vip View Post
hey guys, thought I would post an update. I almost forgot about this thread.

Sad to say, but the performance absolutely sucks on this setup. The car is pretty bouncy and dampening is pretty bad. I am scheduled to install Sonic Tuning S1 coilovers this Saturday. So will post an updated review on those sometime next week.
I wouldn't expect much of an improvement.....
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      09-12-2012, 07:39 PM   #12
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Anything will be better than lowering springs on stock shocks so you should like it more
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      09-12-2012, 11:32 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stangorang View Post
I wouldn't expect much of an improvement.....
are you saying the coilovers wont be any better?
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      09-12-2012, 11:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassBimmer View Post
Anything will be better than lowering springs on stock shocks so you should like it more
yeah im hoping on it!
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      09-13-2012, 04:52 AM   #15
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So even an aftermarket damper/spring combo is not a decent solution? Are you saying coil overs are the only way? Or are there other setups that people have had gd experience with?
Thanks for coming back and finishing your review! The "honeymoon" period with shocks initially blinds people, and only after living with the setup for prolonged periods do we find flaws... No I'm not describing my relationship with my women....... Well, not Entirely hah
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      09-13-2012, 07:55 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh1a1h
So even an aftermarket damper/spring combo is not a decent solution? Are you saying coil overs are the only way? Or are there other setups that people have had gd experience with?
Thanks for coming back and finishing your review! The "honeymoon" period with shocks initially blinds people, and only after living with the setup for prolonged periods do we find flaws... No I'm not describing my relationship with my women....... Well, not Entirely hah
No, the key here is that he didn't buy the right aftermarket shocks to pair with lowering springs. He should have purchased Bilstein Sport shocks (which I have with HR) to go with lowering springs. That pairing would have been a LOT better.
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      09-13-2012, 12:24 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh1a1h View Post
So even an aftermarket damper/spring combo is not a decent solution? Are you saying coil overs are the only way? Or are there other setups that people have had gd experience with?
Thanks for coming back and finishing your review! The "honeymoon" period with shocks initially blinds people, and only after living with the setup for prolonged periods do we find flaws... No I'm not describing my relationship with my women....... Well, not Entirely hah
I think since I have had H&R sport springs with stock shocks and bilstein hd shocks (equivalent to stock shocks pretty much), I can attest that coilovers are the best way to go out of the box. Sure you can get "mated" shock/spring combo, but I think money well spent should be on a proper coilover setup. I appreciate it as I did not want to leave this review to be misleading by any means. I was blinded for sure and the honeymoon is well past over lol.
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      09-13-2012, 12:25 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MassBimmer View Post
No, the key here is that he didn't buy the right aftermarket shocks to pair with lowering springs. He should have purchased Bilstein Sport shocks (which I have with HR) to go with lowering springs. That pairing would have been a LOT better.
You are correct sir. Doing more research initially is the best way to go. I have my appointment to get the S1 coilovers installed this Saturday. I will link you to the review on this post after I have rode on them for a bit.
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      09-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #19
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Well i am back to square 1. Thanks for updating this though! Much appreciated
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      09-14-2012, 11:59 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Josh1a1h View Post
Well i am back to square 1. Thanks for updating this though! Much appreciated
Very welcome! I hope you make the right choice. Look out for my Sonic Tuning coilover review soon. I am getting them installed tomorrow. Will post initial review soon after installation.
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      09-15-2012, 12:16 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gizmo335i View Post
^^^^I have Koni FSD now. And like you said, it was fine for a while but I think now it's getting worse....
hey bro, didn't you have sonic tuning s1 coilovers? why did you switch those out? im getting them installed in the next hour.
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      09-15-2012, 04:10 PM   #22
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Thanks for the update. Looks like the HDs will be going into storage and not on the car
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