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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > School me on the basics of lowering your car (springs, shocks, coilovers)



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      10-30-2012, 12:28 AM   #1
RicheyBMW
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School me on the basics of lowering your car (springs, shocks, coilovers)

I've never really cared for lowering my car and I also never understood how everything went in terms of this topic.

Despite the gap look..what really prompt me to consider suspensions is that my ride comfort isn't the best, especially with my car bouncing on the highway or going over bumps.. it feels a bit too bouncy and I also feel like I'm driving a tank at times. And yes, I guess the gap look isn't appealing either.

Can lowering your car with new coilovers/springs eliminate this? Also, what are some top quality brands...I've heard of KW, Eibach, JRZ, and H&R. Are coilovers better than springs? What is everything I would need to buy for installment, just the coilover package itself? I hear stuff about shocks and struts are these the actually stuff included when you buy them? And lastly, how much does lowering affect rubbing and actually getting your bumper underneath scraped all the time?

If this is any help my current setup which does not rub on stock is:
19"x8.5" ET35mm Front 235/35/19
19"x9.5" ET33mm Rear 265/30/19
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      10-30-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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Pretty much, a Coilover kit comes with everything you need, they are adjustable to your liking. Coilovers replace the spring and the shock, after lowering your car with just lowering spring in the very near future your shock/struts will blow because its so much more pressure on them. Which means your going to have to replace them. Honeslty waste of money and time. Of course after you lower your car you going to need an alignment. I would go with KW I'm extremely happy with my set, it's up to you how much you want to spend but suspension is something you don't want to go cheap on. I have the same wheel spec as you and I'm slammed and I don't rub. Oohhhh yeah my car handles like no other now, no more boat like feeling at highway speeds.
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      10-30-2012, 02:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by 335_MI6 View Post
Pretty much, a Coilover kit comes with everything you need, they are adjustable to your liking. Coilovers replace the spring and the shock, after lowering your car with just lowering spring in the very near future your shock/struts will blow because its so much more pressure on them. Which means your going to have to replace them. Honeslty waste of money and time. Of course after you lower your car you going to need an alignment. I would go with KW I'm extremely happy with my set, it's up to you how much you want to spend but suspension is something you don't want to go cheap on. I have the same wheel spec as you and I'm slammed and I don't rub. Oohhhh yeah my car handles like no other now, no more boat like feeling at highway speeds.
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. Yeah..a few members have recommend KW V1 for me, seems to be a popular choice. I'm assuming the quality is good, like you said I wouldn't want to go cheap. I'll look into it. What's a good height to lower it to in terms of inches?
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      10-30-2012, 09:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicheyBMW
Quote:
Originally Posted by 335_MI6 View Post
Pretty much, a Coilover kit comes with everything you need, they are adjustable to your liking. Coilovers replace the spring and the shock, after lowering your car with just lowering spring in the very near future your shock/struts will blow because its so much more pressure on them. Which means your going to have to replace them. Honeslty waste of money and time. Of course after you lower your car you going to need an alignment. I would go with KW I'm extremely happy with my set, it's up to you how much you want to spend but suspension is something you don't want to go cheap on. I have the same wheel spec as you and I'm slammed and I don't rub. Oohhhh yeah my car handles like no other now, no more boat like feeling at highway speeds.
Thanks for your input, I appreciate it. Yeah..a few members have recommend KW V1 for me, seems to be a popular choice. I'm assuming the quality is good, like you said I wouldn't want to go cheap. I'll look into it. What's a good height to lower it to in terms of inches?
Be careful with KW V1s. i was originally going to go with them, but now im thinking BC Racing or ST since these have ride-stiffness adjustment. i wanted a stiffer and planted ride over stock sport suspension, so thats why im wary of V1.

Im not saying i know everything about coils, and look forward to replies, but this is what ive learned so far.
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      10-30-2012, 11:46 AM   #5
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if you don't like the stock suspension ride and think that's already too stiff, I highly doubt you'll like any aftermarket suspension setup.
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      10-30-2012, 03:37 PM   #6
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Having researched more info recently, I was wondering if a springs/shocks combo would be better? Been looking up Koni Yellows w/ H&R or Eibach springs. How is this combo compared to say KW v1 coilovers? Which is better for comfort for city street driving to eliminate that bouncy feel when you hit bumps or highway dips? I am looking for good quality products (durable and won't rust), I don't want to cheap out on these. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
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      10-30-2012, 03:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicheyBMW View Post
I've never really cared for lowering my car and I also never understood how everything went in terms of this topic.

Despite the gap look..what really prompt me to consider suspensions is that my ride comfort isn't the best, especially with my car bouncing on the highway or going over bumps.. it feels a bit too bouncy and I also feel like I'm driving a tank at times. And yes, I guess the gap look isn't appealing either.

Can lowering your car with new coilovers/springs eliminate this? Also, what are some top quality brands...I've heard of KW, Eibach, JRZ, and H&R. Are coilovers better than springs? What is everything I would need to buy for installment, just the coilover package itself? I hear stuff about shocks and struts are these the actually stuff included when you buy them? And lastly, how much does lowering affect rubbing and actually getting your bumper underneath scraped all the time?

If this is any help my current setup which does not rub on stock is:
19"x8.5" ET35mm Front 235/35/19
19"x9.5" ET33mm Rear 265/30/19
Can you tell me more about what this means?
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      10-30-2012, 06:25 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by TC Kline Racing View Post
Can you tell me more about what this means?
Lol...my apologies for not clarifying it completely. What I meant was when I hit a dip on the highway or go over bumps on the road my car tends to "bounce" up and down on impact more so than I would like (possibly because too much wheel gap also?). It also feels high a bit as if I'm driving a boat/tank maybe because I'm on 19s without it being lowered. Therefore, I was wondering if lowering my car and with better suspensions would eliminate this problem.
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      10-30-2012, 09:32 PM   #9
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Wheel gap doesn't have much to do with it - the bounciness is related to the dampers and springs. The stock suspension has too soft of springs and dampers that aren't powerful enough. This is exacerbated with non-RFT tires because the RFT tires add noticeable spring rate(stiff sidewall); take those away and the car feels softer than ever, because it is.

Lowering the car will result in a stiffer ride regardless of the path you choose because there's less suspension travel available - so the car has to move less. Bumps will be more abrupt.

Rolling diameter of 16", 17", 18", 19" wheels ... all the same on our cars when the tire height is factored in, so that doesn't have anything to do with the ride height.

I'd stick to a height-adjustable kit for the reason that it's height adjustable. KW V1 is the popular choice. Perhaps TC Kline has something in your price range (which you didn't specify), they will certainly provide better ride quality and handling than KW.
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      10-30-2012, 09:52 PM   #10
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Thanks Charles for the schooling lol, you definitely know your stuff. I'm leaning towards KW V1 but i've heard rusting is a issue with these coilovers? Would choosing a shocks/spring combo such as koni yellow w/ H&R sport springs be an equal option minus the adjustable benefit? And any specific reason why TC Kline coilovers provide better ride quality and handling over KW?


Quote:
Originally Posted by CJ421 View Post
Wheel gap doesn't have much to do with it - the bounciness is related to the dampers and springs. The stock suspension has too soft of springs and dampers that aren't powerful enough. This is exacerbated with non-RFT tires because the RFT tires add noticeable spring rate(stiff sidewall); take those away and the car feels softer than ever, because it is.

Lowering the car will result in a stiffer ride regardless of the path you choose because there's less suspension travel available - so the car has to move less. Bumps will be more abrupt.

Rolling diameter of 16", 17", 18", 19" wheels ... all the same on our cars when the tire height is factored in, so that doesn't have anything to do with the ride height.

I'd stick to a height-adjustable kit for the reason that it's height adjustable. KW V1 is the popular choice. Perhaps TC Kline has something in your price range (which you didn't specify), they will certainly provide better ride quality and handling than KW.
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      10-30-2012, 11:12 PM   #11
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Mixed reviews on KW V series c/o's. I'd spend a couple hundred more and get KW Street Comfort c/o's. Linear rate springs engineered for oem flat ride and probably better damping than Koni's. Just m.o. I don't have 'em.

btw,
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      11-01-2012, 09:42 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RicheyBMW View Post
Lol...my apologies for not clarifying it completely. What I meant was when I hit a dip on the highway or go over bumps on the road my car tends to "bounce" up and down on impact more so than I would like (possibly because too much wheel gap also?). It also feels high a bit as if I'm driving a boat/tank maybe because I'm on 19s without it being lowered. Therefore, I was wondering if lowering my car and with better suspensions would eliminate this problem.

A coilover kit would absolutely eliminate this problem. You would also have complete adjustability in ride height and firmness. Our products come with choice of spring rates and a lifetime warranty on the dampers. Shoot me a PM or give me a call if you want to learn more about our products.

Single Adjustable Kit --> http://www.tcklineracing.com/webdocs.../Details16.cfm

Double Adjustable Kit --> http://www.tcklineracing.com/webdocs...Details374.cfm
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