BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > So how REALLY bad is lowering springs on stock shocks? (XI)

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      03-13-2012, 09:27 PM   #1
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So how REALLY bad is lowering springs on stock shocks? (XI)

Recently I've been growing more frustrated with the huge wheel gap of the XI suspension and have been thinking about lowering my car. My car is a lease and I don't want to spend coilover money to lower my car. I would be happy with just getting rid of some of the front rake and just want a very mild drop.

From my research, it seems that Eibach springs are very popular for just lowering the car on stock shocks. But owners have warned of a harsh ride and decreased ride quality. I live in NYC and some roads are pretty bad and even the stock susp feels rough in some areas. What I'm wondering is just how bad would it be to install eibachs on stock shocks? Would it be as bad as riding on a civic w/ cut springs? Or is it very comparable to stock but just a tad bit stiffer?

Am I better off just keeping everything stock? Is spending $1000+ the ONLY way to properly lower the car?
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      03-13-2012, 09:35 PM   #2
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used set of springs + new shocks = less than $1k
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      03-13-2012, 09:45 PM   #3
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Best bet is to meet up and get a ride with one of the people lowered on springs ...

Personally I cringe every time I see someone do it. It's the wrong way to lower a car assuming you care about maintaining a balance of handling/ride quality/long-term dependability.

As far as using stock shocks and lowering springs - the issue is this (quoting myself from another thread w/ same question):

Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
Using just lowering springs is a bad idea. It will wear out the OEM shocks because the shocks will have to compress much more to absorb bumps. It's logical; the spring is shorter and therefore the shock has to travel more when you hit [any] bump. That happening all the time means accelerated wear on shocks = you're looking at buying new shocks anyway.

Replace shocks/struts at the same time is cheaper in the long run. You spend less labor getting them installed at once and the shocks last. And you have your OEM shocks sitting around so if anything goes wrong with your aftermarket setup, you can swap 'em back.

The suspension is the hardest part of the car to mod. It is a system - you change one part, it will affect every other part. Like dominos.
Additionally you can look into a low-end coilover system (KW V1 comes to mind). I don't like them because they are unreliable and not good performers, but they are what they are - adjustable lowering kits, nothing more. Personally I would go matched springs/struts, assuming you can calculate out the ride height you want. Can't change it like you can with a coilover kit, as the spring itself determines the ride height.
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