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



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      08-02-2011, 05:10 AM   #1
gizmo335i
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2008 E92 335i  [4.73]
Sonic Tuning Coilovers installed

I just wanted to give my perspective on my experience so far with these.

First off, let me say that the place that I went to did not have a lot of experience installing coilovers. And I definately don't think they had ever worked on an E9X suspension. So I know what you're thinking...so why in the hell did you go there?!!??!

I just moved here. I don't know of any reputable shops and I don't know anyone to ask. I posted on here trying to find out. Only one guy replied and told me about a guy 70 miles away. I got in touch with him and he said it would be $475-$550 to do the install. First off, I work night shift, so getting up there would have been damn near impossible. Second, I thought that was a pretty high price.

So I met up with a member from here at the track. He had a damn nice E92 and seemed like a good guy. He recommended a place here. I looked it up and sure enough, it was right down the road from here. I called the owner and he said he'd do it for $300. So I went up there and he had Ferrari's, Porsche's, Lamborghini's, etc. all over the lot. The place was spotless with a lift right in there. He gave me a ride to my house when I dropped the car off in a 2007 Carrera 4S. God I love that car.

So anyway, he had the car for a couple days taking their time. I went up there to talk to them. They had a couple questions and called Ray at Sonic Tuning a couple times (after hours I might add) and he promptly answered and was very helpful. I even called a couple times as well with the same result. I was PM'ing Jose during this and he was helpful as well. The two main issues with these is 1. On the rear, Sonic Tuning recommends putting the perch on the bottom to support the spring. But we couldn't see how that would work so we put it on the top. And they said that was fine too and there has been no issue with that. 2. They said you have to make sure the rings are tight enough in the front so that you cannot rotate the spring.

When I first got the car out for a drive, there was a slight rattle coming from the front. They took it back in and tightened the spring and it has been fine since.

So now for the rest of the story...

I had H&R Sport/Koni FSD before this. I've had that setup for a little while now. The H&R Sport is a nice drop but I always did want just a hair more of a drop in the front to get perfectly flush. Well, I have that now. Iit is sitting absolutely perfect I think now. So I'm 100% happy with that.

I know that almost everyone (other than the ones who have the setup, and there are a few on here) says NOT to pair up FSD's with springs that drop the car more than an inch or so. So going with FSD's to pair up with the H&R's was a risk. But I...like almost everyone else on here wants to maintain comfort (if not have more) when dropping their car. And from all my research, other than coilovers, FSD's sounded like the best way to go. I was pretty happy with the ride. But it seemed a little too bumpy over time to me. I never did change the bump stops like some others recommended and I heard that would have made a huge difference. But I always wanted coilovers especially after reading how great they were. I just didn't want to spend the money on them like so many. And I heard so many times how they are overkill if you don't track. But over time of going back and reading the reviews on coilovers, they just seemed like the way to go if you are going to lower your car...especially if you want it really low.

So...along came Sonic Tuning. All of a sudden I see $850 for adjustable (dampening included) coils! I waited it out and read the reviews on a few members after installing them. So I figured WTH, I can spend the $850 and sell my other setup.

I have to say that I don't have a lot of experience with different suspensions even with all the cars I've owned. And I have never knowingly even ridden in a car with coils. So I had no idea what to expect.

But I was expecting to have an extremely comfortable ride with even dropping it so much. I guess this was un-founded.

When I first got the car back, it felt like a go-cart to me compared to before. It handles like a dream though. It turns like it's on rails and the car feels so planted that it even feels much faster to me. And I would never exaggerate that. It just feels like it wants me to push it now. And this is only on setting 5 all the way around. You can adjust it from 1-12 (1 being the softest). It is really easy to adjust it in the front. There are little knobs on the top. I cut out holes in my rear trunk liner to easily get to the rears. Otherwise you would have to pull back the liner which really isn't that hard. But it would suck if you wanted to change it often, which I guess I could only see doing that a lot at first....which I have been doing.

I figured I'd wait a couple weeks before I posted this. And I will say that after talking to Jose a few times and changing the settings, I am getting used to it. I finally ended up with 4 in the rear and 3 in the front and it really rides good now. It still handles great but still a little rough over cracks. I think that you need to let it settle for a couple weeks before making a judgement. I have really noticed a better ride than when I first drove it. I just notice that any small crack in the road is more noticeable. And it is a little more bumpy but I think it absorbs the bumps better than the my last setup.

I have come to the conclusion that if you are going to have your car sitting this low and have a stiff car that handles so well, you are going to have a little more rough ride than OEM ZSP or any other setup for that matter. I can only speculate this compared to KW's/Ohlins/H&R/etc.

I also want to say that I have not gotten an alignment yet or even played with anything since. Jose suggested that I release the tension in the front spring and then tighten it again. He says that it should not be rough like I'm explaining. But like I said, maybe my expectations are too high or maybe wrong altogether.

In the end, for the money I would say these are great for handling and a fun ride. This is my daily driver and I drive 45 miles round trip to work every day. Other factors could be that the roads in San Antonio are not the best (even though I think the drive to work for me is not bad) and my tires are Z rated and have about 20K miles on them so the tread is getting a little worn down now.

I hope I'm not coming across negative on these. I just thought once I finally got coilovers (even if I did go the cheaper route), I would have been 100% insanely impressed with everything....comfort and handling. I'd say at this point I'm close to that. I guess I'll see how I handle it over the next few weeks after playing with the settings some more.

Here's some pics...




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Last edited by gizmo335i; 08-02-2011 at 05:18 AM.
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      08-02-2011, 02:59 PM   #2
jose_sonictuning
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looking at the difference from your signature and these new pics...i can see how a difference in the drop that you wanted makes your car look a lot better. nice stance!!
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      08-03-2011, 03:12 AM   #3
gizmo335i
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2008 E92 335i  [4.73]
Jose is it possible anything was forgotten on the install from these pics? I'm just trying to be sure...

My old stuff..



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