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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Sonic Tuning Coilover Review



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      03-27-2011, 04:08 PM   #1
Hellrot Sachin
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Sonic Tuning Coilover Review

Hey everyone.. I installed a set of Sonic Tuning (not to be confused with ST) coils about 6 weeks ago and wanted to give a review.

I started with the stock ZSP suspension on my 2008 335i. The factory suspension had around 32k miles on them. I live in Chicago and bought the car in December - right before the roads really turn to pothole city with the abuse of winter.

I found the stock suspension quite comfortable compared with my previous ride (e36 M3 dropped on H&R coilovers). The sport suspension was reasonably compliant over most bumps, cracks in the road were transmitted by not harsh, and the ride was quite good. However, in the turns, the car would roll endlessly, off the line, the rear would squat down heavy.

Now, for the coilovers.. I had them drop the car around 1" all the way around. In all honesty, I didn't measure anything - did it more off instinct and to make sure I could still drive on the Chicago roads without being either a snow plow or cleaving off my bumper.

The look is perfect, on par with H&R sport. Even drop throughout. I didn't do the install but my shop didn't have any issues.

The shocks and struts having adjustable dampening (1-12). I started and have left it at 6. I think I could go down if I wanted a softer ride. The fronts are easily adjusted with a knob on top and then rears are easy enough too. I had the shop cut a small circle in the carpeting to facilitate adjustment.

I was most concerned about the ride. In reality, with such horrible roads, the is often a bigger issue than handling. I immediately noticed the ride was significantly stiffer than stock - particularly up front. The small expansions/cracks in the road are better absorbed than before. The bigger bumps also seem to be better absorbed. The only thing that seems harsher is on the downward sloping cracks/dips/potholes as the car almost feels like it's crashing forward - but these are so rare that with a little slowing down or moving over, they are a non-issue.

Handling.. well, it's definitely improved. Unfortunately, I'm running on snow tires and the Chicago roads and highways are not conducive to really allow me to get on it in the turns to much. Come true spring, I'll get some real tires and test it a bit more..

Sachin
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      03-28-2011, 11:20 PM   #2
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Hmmmm, Ive read this review several times since yesterday, and I dont find it to be very positive. The crashing forward thing and the very stiff front end is concerning. I assume both of these issues are due to the really stiff 450lb front spring relating to a modest 500lb rear.

I would imagine you could soften the front struts some and leave the rear at the stiffer setting to offset some, and for most C/O's, that is the preferred setup. Stiffer rear, softer front. I may have to get these coils as finances are a bit tight these days, so any feedback you can provide is very valuable. Ive paid 2k for Bilsteins before and was quite happy in some ways (ride handling), but very disappointed in the poor construction/design of the damping adjusters. I hear the PSS10s are much better in this regard, but even still there is a guy on the board with them who states one of his rears doesnt click at all, but since he has it set at full stiff, he said it was not an issue for him.

Another guy is selling his but has one of the shocks at Bilstein getting the adjuster repaired as he was having issues with adjustment as well.

Ugh, what to do, what to do...
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      03-28-2011, 11:38 PM   #3
jose_sonictuning
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fraggy View Post
Hmmmm, Ive read this review several times since yesterday, and I dont find it to be very positive. The crashing forward thing and the very stiff front end is concerning. I assume both of these issues are due to the really stiff 450lb front spring relating to a modest 500lb rear.

I would imagine you could soften the front struts some and leave the rear at the stiffer setting to offset some, and for most C/O's, that is the preferred setup. Stiffer rear, softer front. I may have to get these coils as finances are a bit tight these days, so any feedback you can provide is very valuable. Ive paid 2k for Bilsteins before and was quite happy in some ways (ride handling), but very disappointed in the poor construction/design of the damping adjusters. I hear the PSS10s are much better in this regard, but even still there is a guy on the board with them who states one of his rears doesnt click at all, but since he has it set at full stiff, he said it was not an issue for him.

Another guy is selling his but has one of the shocks at Bilstein getting the adjuster repaired as he was having issues with adjustment as well.

Ugh, what to do, what to do...
Fraggy,

There is no need to offset setting Front and Back, the dampening is designed to work with these spring rates.

We had another customer order lower spring rate for the front, after 2 month of running them he went back to the spring that came with the coils.

If that really bothers you you can order custom spring rates when you purchase the coilover.

Sachin,

Thank you for the feedback, glad you like the coils.
I will PM you regarding the down slope situation.

Let me know if you have any other questions!

Post up some pictures buddy!
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      03-29-2011, 09:12 AM   #4
Hellrot Sachin
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Jose - I am indeed very happy with the coils and thank you for all the customer service.

Fraggy - I can't compare them to the bilsteins. The spring rates are very similar to KW IIRC. This actually a good setup but no suspension can be perfect in all conditions - even stock. I'd say this rides better that stock sport suspension with my shocks set in the midrange 90% of the time... all the factory bouncing and crashiness is gone.

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      03-29-2011, 07:10 PM   #5
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This sounds good.
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