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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > NYC suspension refresh



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      06-06-2015, 12:22 PM   #1
Spitfire007
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NYC suspension refresh

Looking for input from those with realistic NYC input please!

Roads are horrible here.

I'm going to need new shocks and struts and associated mounting hardware.
Will also be changing to non-RFT A/S3 tires from the stock Bridgstones (should help, right?)

Car is a 2009 328i sedan, sport package, 67400 miles. .

Thinking of doing Bilstein B6 and new hardware, staying on stock springs, with non RFT Michelin tires.

Car is a daily driver, no track, no autocross. No interest in lowering the car.
Just want a better, more solid, SMOOTHER, non-crashing ride.

Any input? Will this be too stiff?
Thanks!
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      06-06-2015, 10:16 PM   #2
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I'd be interested to hear what people suggest.
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      06-07-2015, 07:03 AM   #3
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Me too!
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      06-07-2015, 09:08 AM   #4
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Chicago streets are not much better than NYC streets.I replace the stock shocks/struts with Koni yellow and the RFT with Michelin PPS. The ride is a lot better.
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      06-07-2015, 08:10 PM   #5
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I just went through the exercise and held off for months researching and contemplating before pulling the trigger. I drive approximately 25k miles a year, 50/50 split between LI and the Outer Boroughs. Car is going in on Thursday for the install.

My final decision is as follows (2011 RWD ZSP suspension, 55k miles):

1. "Old" Performance Shocks/Struts only because I have them sitting around. Bilstein B4 would probably be a good substitute.
2. Fresh set of Lemforder front strut mounts
2. M3 front control arms
3. M3 front sway bar
4. Whiteline rear subframe inserts
5. Dinan rear upper shock mounts

I've been running the M3 front control arms and Michelin Supersports for a season now.

My principal complaints were slow turn in, front body roll, reduced steering feel on non run flats, the second "bounce" over dips at highway speeds, and the rear end being kicked sideways when hitting a bump mid turn.

I also drive over shit roads and spend a lot of time in the car so balancing comfort with the performance improvement was a priority. Recent reports lead me to question the longevity and long term comfort of the Bilstein B12 setup which was my original plan. I think my configuration will prove to be the best balance of ride comfort and performance for my needs at my current power levels.
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      06-09-2015, 09:25 AM   #6
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Anyone with bilsteins care to chime in?
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      06-12-2015, 08:35 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jec1 View Post
My principal complaints were:
slow turn in > alignment
front body roll > springs + swaybar
reduced steering feel on non run flats > alignment + tires with stiffer sidewalls
the second "bounce" over dips at highway speeds > rear upper shock mount
rear end kicked sideways when hitting a bump mid turn >rear subframe bushings

Seems like you will have everything covered. I expect satisfactory results.
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      06-13-2015, 11:07 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire007 View Post
Looking for input from those with realistic NYC input please!

>SIGH<

Back in '09 everyone complained of Pothole Explosions....now it all seems forgotten....most just suffer. Have you not searched and found the cure?

Koni FSD. Requires Sport option or BMW Performance springs.

Install M3 rear subframe bushings - you'll like that.


.

Last edited by CALWATERBOY; 06-13-2015 at 07:06 PM.
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      06-13-2015, 11:58 AM   #9
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^ if you haven't lived in NYC, I don't think you understand. It doesn't matter what shocks you have on the car. You can play around with combinations, but you are simply mitigating the problem. It really does feel like driving in Somolia around here sometimes.

I keep reading people from out of state saying how they've visited NYC, but I've been in several other of these locations with "bad roads" and they simply don't compare. Spend 25k miles a year on NYC roads and you'll understand that until they repave everything from the ground up changing to fancy expensive shocks in the hope of fixing the roads becomes an exercise in the law of diminishing returns. I'm sure they make it incrementally better but it's not solving the issue.
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      06-13-2015, 12:06 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jec1 View Post
It really does feel like driving in Somolia around here sometimes. Changing to fancy expensive shocks in the hope of fixing the roads becomes an exercise in the law of diminishing returns.
A lot of vehicle manufactures including BMW offer different suspension components ( for BMW different strut mounts and shocks) for markets known to have rough roads. I believe European entry level cars like 316/318/320i/d that will mostly end up in 2nd world countries come with thicker strut mounts. Perhaps you can look into sourcing out parts like that.
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      06-13-2015, 04:38 PM   #11
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Thanks for the input. NYC is a particular environment. A stiff suspension can be ok, but one must have durable components.
The conditions here are abysmal, and destructive ultimately.
I would like to get rid of harshness by switching to non-run flats.
I would like to compensate for the car's being oversprung and underdamped from the factory by switching to new/improved shocks that will last. (I like bilsteins, but maybe FSDs should be considered.)
I would like to prevent the rear hopping about by using whiteline subframe inserts and new shock mounts all around.
Hoping this will work out.
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      06-13-2015, 07:04 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jec1 View Post
^ if you haven't lived in NYC, I don't think you understand. It doesn't matter what shocks you have on the car. You can play around with combinations, but you are simply mitigating the problem. It really does feel like driving in Somolia around here sometimes.

I keep reading people from out of state saying how they've visited NYC, but I've been in several other of these locations with "bad roads" and they simply don't compare. Spend 25k miles a year on NYC roads and you'll understand that until they repave everything from the ground up changing to fancy expensive shocks in the hope of fixing the roads becomes an exercise in the law of diminishing returns. I'm sure they make it incrementally better but it's not solving the issue.

OK, check in with captainaudio over at BimmerFest.

He'll fill ya in re: Konis in NYC
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      06-14-2015, 01:58 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
OK, check in with captainaudio over at BimmerFest.

He'll fill ya in re: Konis in NYC
I've read his reviews previously. As best I can tell, most of his driving in the city is in Manhattan, where you likely aren't reaching more than 40mph and are spending most of your time crawling over 10" sunken manhole covers while trying to avoid being hit by cabs who could give two shits about your bent wheels.

I'm sure he drives out of the city too, but for those of us that spend most of our time driving AROUND the city and in the outer boroughs as opposed to the Midtown crawl the situation is a bit different. As a point of reference, the other night I was coming down the Harlem River Drive into FDR South to the 59th street bridge. Just past 125th street, all lanes FUBAR, you have to be going about 15mph to not feel like your car is being ripped apart, truly that bad, and to slow down enough to save the car you run a very real risk of getting rear ended and get brighted and honked regardless. That stretch lasts about 3/4 of a mile and is one of many.

To top it off, that night they were repainting lane markings meaning they obviously have no intention of repavng anytime soon, but the trucks doing the painting and concurrently warning you that the paint is wet were about a mile south of where I hit wet paint, essentially meaning you learn that you got lane paint on your car about 5 minutes after you already got lane paint on your car lol.

I'm sure for brief jaunts out of the city and midtown stop and go certain shocks can make the ride more tolerable, but for serious NYC driving, it really is a war zone and Koni FSDs ain't gonna help you. Nothing's gonna help you, just incrementally make the situation less brutal.
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      06-14-2015, 10:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spitfire007 View Post
Anyone with bilsteins care to chime in?
I have had the B12 kit running on my 2011 335iRWD for about 70k's now. I love this setup. More durable that the Koni's as documented. Suspension and "feel" are very subjective. I have had the opportunity to drive various suspension setups in the Toronto area due to the large number of forum members in the area. I have yet to find the holy grail of suspension that has been comfort and performance.

Given I do allot of both city and highway driving, I will be planning a refresh again next spring and will go in a different direction again to try another setup based on forum feedback. Surprisingly, I have driven a H&R Touring Cup kit recently and was really surprised by the comfort and feel. H&R does not get the respect it should I am finding. It is on my radar to look into further. Might go the Koni route or possibly back to a coilover setup.

Bottom Line: I have no regrets at all about the B12 setup. Great value. Stance is solid. Performance is as advertised.
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      06-22-2015, 11:47 AM   #15
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I highly recommend the Bilstein HD's on oem springs. The ride and performance is incredible in comparison to the oem x-drive struts/shocks. I need the ground clearance so I didn't get lowering springs.
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