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      10-20-2012, 03:50 PM   #1
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Birds Suspension Vs BMW Performance Suspension Vs AC Schnitzer Suspension

Hi.

I currently have OEM SE dampers with AC Schnitzer lowering springs (25-30mm). I want to improve the suspension, prefering handling/performance to ride quality by 65:35. I just don't want a set up where every time i go over a pot hole it breaks my back. So here are the options:

Birds B Suspension Kit

This is the most expensive but if its worth it then i'd get it. My only concern with this kit is that its "designed for UK roads". Does that mean this kit is only good for driving on predominantly bumpy roles ridden with potholes? Does it compromise tightness and performance compared to alternatives? For example would my other options be stiffer during hard cornering and braking? If i bought this kit i'd buy the sway bars in a few months.

BMW Performance Suspension with BMW Performance Yellow Springs

This is roughly the same price as the Birds kit, but also includes a front sway bar. Not sure if this would increase understeer? Edit: Reduce understeer?

AC Schnitzer Suspension

This is also a full suspension kit, and AC Schnitzer claim its "designed and researched thoroughly" for BMW E90 use, so the same as the other options. This is the cheapest option as i aready have the springs from this kit, and can get the shocks/struts at a good price. I'd then buy the rear sway bar in a few months.


At the moment compared to stock SE, the addition of the springs have improved things a lot. Body roll during fast cornering has improved, but it also has retained the ride comfort (which may be due to the SE shocks). However the rear is not as forgiving over bumps as the front and during hard cornering this could be annoying.

What i would like from the upgrade is the max reduction in body roll (which i think may not be possible without sway bars?) and a better handling. I want to be able to corner and be as flat and centered as possible (so minimal roll) and also minimise dips during heavy braking and acceleration. I guess i just want a set up which glues the car down and is pretty tight and fairly stiff when cornering hard. But i just dont want it to be rock hard over potholes, it should have a comfortable ride over bumps. The obvious choice would be the Birds as this is exactly what they claim their kit does, but im just concerned whether it would be less stiff during cornering than the others?

I would be really glad is anyone can help, a bonus if anyone has experienced these.
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      10-22-2012, 09:39 PM   #2
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Could you post a link to the Birds and ACS kits? I wonder what kind of dampers they're using.

I don't have experience with any of the kits you're looking at but the BMW Performance Suspension, based on reviews is almost impossible to go wrong with - especially for a street driven car.
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      10-23-2012, 03:39 AM   #3
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http://www.birdsauto.com/parts/25619 theres a pdf but not too much info
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      10-23-2012, 03:41 AM   #4
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http://www.ac-schnitzer.de/en/bmw-cars/products-models/3-series/e90-sedan-since-2005/suspensions/

http://preisliste.ac-schnitzer.de/acs_kpl/hp_kpl/bmw_engl/preisliste_ausgabe_pl.php?modell_auswahl=3er-E90/E91 (Select suspensions on top left)

Im thinking to go with the ACS shocks/struts at the moment.
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      10-23-2012, 12:39 PM   #5
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What does ACS use for dampers? They look like monotube, so do the struts have internal bumpstops? What does ACS recommend for rear bumpstops?
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      10-23-2012, 01:44 PM   #6
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Anybody know what the front roll bar does that comes with the BMW performance suspension; reduce understeer and body roll I would hope but haven't really seen a definitive answer on this....
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      10-23-2012, 02:19 PM   #7
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Op

I had acs3 suspension package on my e46 330i from rossiters. Very good.

I now have birds b3s full package and m3 bits at the front on my e91 335i Excellent. Tracked the car several times and regular trips with car fully loaded with family and luggage.

I think you get what you pay for with chassis upgrades.
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      10-23-2012, 02:44 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
What does ACS use for dampers? They look like monotube, so do the struts have internal bumpstops? What does ACS recommend for rear bumpstops?
Not really sure about who they use. They told me i didnt need to change anything else, so maybe the bumpstops are internal. I'll phone them and ask tomorrow.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Pave Dew View Post
Op

I had acs3 suspension package on my e46 330i from rossiters. Very good.

I now have birds b3s full package and m3 bits at the front on my e91 335i Excellent. Tracked the car several times and regular trips with car fully loaded with family and luggage.

I think you get what you pay for with chassis upgrades.
The Birds package is definately a quality upgrade. Price wise the ACS and Birds kits are very close, i think a difference of £10-20 IIRC. Im just getting a substantial discount off the ACS shocks which is why its a "cheaper" option than the Birds kit.

In your opinion would you say the Birds kit is softer during hard cornering?
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      10-23-2012, 10:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
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I would be really glad is anyone can help, a bonus if anyone has experienced these.
Cash bonus!

I am your man, sir.

Here is your ideal: Purchase & install Koni FSD shocks all 'round. Designed to be used with stock BMW springs, they will smooth your ride, especially and satisfyingly over potholes & sudden bumps, yet deliver a more sporting ride.

There. Kindly PM for my fee ammt and bank routing info.

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      10-24-2012, 05:24 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mob17 View Post
Hi.

I currently have OEM SE dampers with AC Schnitzer lowering springs (25-30mm). I want to improve the suspension, prefering handling/performance to ride quality by 65:35. I just don't want a set up where every time i go over a pot hole it breaks my back. So here are the options:

Birds B Suspension Kit

This is the most expensive but if its worth it then i'd get it. My only concern with this kit is that its "designed for UK roads". Does that mean this kit is only good for driving on predominantly bumpy roles ridden with potholes? Does it compromise tightness and performance compared to alternatives? For example would my other options be stiffer during hard cornering and braking? If i bought this kit i'd buy the sway bars in a few months.

BMW Performance Suspension with BMW Performance Yellow Springs

This is roughly the same price as the Birds kit, but also includes a front sway bar. Not sure if this would increase understeer? Edit: Reduce understeer?

AC Schnitzer Suspension

This is also a full suspension kit, and AC Schnitzer claim its "designed and researched thoroughly" for BMW E90 use, so the same as the other options. This is the cheapest option as i aready have the springs from this kit, and can get the shocks/struts at a good price. I'd then buy the rear sway bar in a few months.


At the moment compared to stock SE, the addition of the springs have improved things a lot. Body roll during fast cornering has improved, but it also has retained the ride comfort (which may be due to the SE shocks). However the rear is not as forgiving over bumps as the front and during hard cornering this could be annoying.

What i would like from the upgrade is the max reduction in body roll (which i think may not be possible without sway bars?) and a better handling. I want to be able to corner and be as flat and centered as possible (so minimal roll) and also minimise dips during heavy braking and acceleration. I guess i just want a set up which glues the car down and is pretty tight and fairly stiff when cornering hard. But i just dont want it to be rock hard over potholes, it should have a comfortable ride over bumps. The obvious choice would be the Birds as this is exactly what they claim their kit does, but im just concerned whether it would be less stiff during cornering than the others?

I would be really glad is anyone can help, a bonus if anyone has experienced these.
I have full PS Kit on my 330i and am very happy with it but can't compare to your other options since I am not familiar with them. Before I got it I talked to my BMW tuning shop and they recommended the OEM PS kit since it is specifically designed for the vehicle they told me all customers were very happy with it. You need to specify vehicle type if you order it and you will get springs that are designed for your model and match shocks.

Handling wise it is a significant improvement over stock sport, decreased roll, better turn in feel, damping - all of it. The front roll bar has a different geometry. It is more comfortable than sport yet it handles better. As you enter corners you can just tap the brakes lightly, turn in and voila. Much easier to drive, fast and slow, then before. You almost get two vehicles in one - dd and a nice set-up for track. Here is an additional impact. As soon as you put in this suspension you will notice how horrible the subframe bushings are but that will be the case even with other performance options. Guess what's my next mod?

Also, if you get good tires and M3 bits (at least in front) you will transform your car. This is how sport package should have handled from the factory. I am very happy with it.
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      10-24-2012, 09:05 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NokTurNaL 330i View Post
I have full PS Kit on my 330i and am very happy with it but can't compare to your other options since I am not familiar with them. Before I got it I talked to my BMW tuning shop and they recommended the OEM PS kit since it is specifically designed for the vehicle they told me all customers were very happy with it. You need to specify vehicle type if you order it and you will get springs that are designed for your model and match shocks.

Handling wise it is a significant improvement over stock sport, decreased roll, better turn in feel, damping - all of it. The front roll bar has a different geometry. It is more comfortable than sport yet it handles better. As you enter corners you can just tap the brakes lightly, turn in and voila. Much easier to drive, fast and slow, then before. You almost get two vehicles in one - dd and a nice set-up for track. Here is an additional impact. As soon as you put in this suspension you will notice how horrible the subframe bushings are but that will be the case even with other performance options. Guess what's my next mod?

Also, if you get good tires and M3 bits (at least in front) you will transform your car. This is how sport package should have handled from the factory. I am very happy with it.
Well the BMW PS certainly seems like a very good piece of kit. But I have decided now to buy the ACS shocks.

But thanks for your reply. Its made me wonder about changing the suspension bits after.
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      10-24-2012, 09:34 AM   #12
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I think the ACS dampers make the most sense given the price. Please let us know how it works out.
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      10-24-2012, 09:52 AM   #13
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I think the ACS dampers make the most sense given the price. Please let us know how it works out.
Sure. The plan is to drive to Aachen, Germany next week and collect. I'll post my findings after I have got them fitted.
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      10-26-2012, 01:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mob17 View Post
Not really sure about who they use. They told me i didnt need to change anything else, so maybe the bumpstops are internal. I'll phone them and ask tomorrow.




The Birds package is definately a quality upgrade. Price wise the ACS and Birds kits are very close, i think a difference of £10-20 IIRC. Im just getting a substantial discount off the ACS shocks which is why its a "cheaper" option than the Birds kit.

In your opinion would you say the Birds kit is softer during hard cornering?

From my experience of acs3 on my e46 v birds on my e91, my vote goes to the birds setup. It has to cope more weight, more power and more torque which it does so as a DD and on track days.
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      10-26-2012, 03:46 AM   #15
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have you considered Ohlins?
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      10-26-2012, 12:20 PM   #16
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Quote:
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have you considered Ohlins?
I hadn't actually heard of them but after a bit of reading they seem like good quality products.

Is the DFV technology really that good and whats it like on our roads?

Also if you don't mind how much did you get the whole kit for?
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      10-26-2012, 06:08 PM   #17
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honestly cant remember how much I paid. I got it though a friend who was sponsored by Ohlins so it was a really god deal. Prior to deciding on the kit Kevin Bird has taken me around in his 335 twice and I cant say there was anything wrong with the Bilsteins. However I always considered Ohlins to be at least one class higher. Mine has been driven all over the Alps, at the ring and on UK roads and its a great piece of kit (otherwise I would have changed it by now;] ). One thing I would opt for before buying is slightly harder springs than standard. Ohlins will supply whichever rate you want free of charge.

I think its between Birds and Ohlins. I would not consider the other two
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      11-07-2012, 05:19 PM   #18
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I have the BMW performance suspension. Coming from a base model 335i (non sport), the difference was pronounced. Cornering is much flatter and neutral, it hugs the road through dips and humps waaaaay better, and the ride quality on crappy streets is a tad rougher, but still very good.
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      11-16-2012, 12:55 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mob17 View Post
Not really sure about who they use. They told me i didnt need to change anything else, so maybe the bumpstops are internal. I'll phone them and ask tomorrow.




The Birds package is definately a quality upgrade. Price wise the ACS and Birds kits are very close, i think a difference of £10-20 IIRC. Im just getting a substantial discount off the ACS shocks which is why its a "cheaper" option than the Birds kit.

In your opinion would you say the Birds kit is softer during hard cornering?
Hello. I have the birds full kit. Definitely not soft if you include the arb and perfect in corners too. but then they will want you to have lsd too. but they do a package.

Regards
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      01-31-2013, 05:06 PM   #20
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Quote:
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honestly cant remember how much I paid. I got it though a friend who was sponsored by Ohlins so it was a really god deal. Prior to deciding on the kit Kevin Bird has taken me around in his 335 twice and I cant say there was anything wrong with the Bilsteins. However I always considered Ohlins to be at least one class higher. Mine has been driven all over the Alps, at the ring and on UK roads and its a great piece of kit (otherwise I would have changed it by now;] ). One thing I would opt for before buying is slightly harder springs than standard. Ohlins will supply whichever rate you want free of charge.

I think its between Birds and Ohlins. I would not consider the other two
Had a slight chang of circumstances. I sold my 320D and the ACS springs and have now got an E92 335D

So is the Öhlins kit worth the premium over the Birds kit? Would you advise to only buy them direct from Öhlins or are internet retailers ok, in terms of after care support? Also, the Birds kit markets itself as being designed for UK roads, how does the Öhlins deal with this? And finally, how does the Öhlins kit compare to BC BR coilovers which are a lot cheaper?

Many thanks
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      01-31-2013, 06:25 PM   #21
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I'm up the road from you in Bedford and have an E91 with all M3 bits, H&R rear bar and Ohlins with custom spring rates. I ran with the M sport standard stuff for a while, then upgraded to Koni yellows and eibach springs, then the Ohlins.

I'm really into chassis setup and work out the suspension frequencies and such to work out the spring rates I want etc.

I also sprint a self built 700ps Evo 6 thus the E91 tow car!

Maybe worth while meeting up and you can try my car and I can help you decide. I still have the Koni's and eibachs which had 1000 miles of use!
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      01-31-2013, 06:40 PM   #22
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I'm up the road from you in Bedford and have an E91 with all M3 bits, H&R rear bar and Ohlins with custom spring rates. I ran with the M sport standard stuff for a while, then upgraded to Koni yellows and eibach springs, then the Ohlins.

I'm really into chassis setup and work out the suspension frequencies and such to work out the spring rates I want etc.

I also sprint a self built 700ps Evo 6 thus the E91 tow car!

Maybe worth while meeting up and you can try my car and I can help you decide. I still have the Koni's and eibachs which had 1000 miles of use!
Pm on its way
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