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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > Regional Forums > UK > UK Technical Forum > Birds B3 Suspension review



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      01-05-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
jasonprice07
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Birds B3 Suspension review

My suspension upgrade journey started about 4 months ago when after another horrible A and B road drive through the Garden of England I decided to get out the spanners and credit card and start modifying.
I've been modifying cars for almost 20 years and had hopped I'd grown out of it when I moved over to the BMW brand, but seems like you never do.
I knew the Birds B3 development story and it sounded like what I was looking for. After speaking to Kevin Bird I decided to fit the springs only and see how the car felt.
Did the fronts myself and drove the car for a couple of days before a mechanic fitted the rears. The front springs alone were pretty good. 10mm drop, bit less roll but also a bit better over the bumps. When the rears were done the roll balance shifted rewards a bit as the Birds rear spring stiffness is about 80% of the standard 335's. So overall the springs alone were an improvement but not to the amount I was looking for.
Forward to December and I had the B3 dampers plus an e93 rear-anti roll bar waiting to be fitted. I opted for the 15mm e93 bar over an M3 or after-market as I was worried about loosing traction with a much stiffer bar and I didn't want to fit the Quaife diff unless I really had to. Again I fitted the front shocks myself and drove for a couple of days until my mechanic fitted the rear stuff. This morning I had a Hunter alignment done to finish the job off.
So the big question, was it worth it. For me the car is much more pleasant to drive, still firm, in fact it may be firmer, but less harsh if that makes sence (it's not a Roller) but I can feel the dampers are responding much quicker so the car remains more composed. Also I am pleased with the reduction in body roll with the new bar, those who fit the M3 bars must have zero body roll afterwards !!!
Only negative with changing one component at a time over a number of months is I can't really remember how the car felt as standard, I know I didn't like it and I'm much more happy now so I guess the B3 stuff has worked but it would have been better looking back to have it all fitted in one go, if only I had a higher card limit

Jason
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      01-06-2013, 05:07 AM   #2
Mike in Hampshire
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jasonprice07 View Post
For me the car is much more pleasant to drive, still firm, in fact it may be firmer, but less harsh if that makes sence (it's not a Roller)
Good review Jason and I concur with your findings, although I had the whole lot (springs, dampers, M3 bushings, ARB's and Quaife) done in one go by Birds.
You don't mention if you are on runflats but changing those for decent conventional rubber helps a lot as well.
Leaving aside the Quaife diff, I find the biggest improvement is on typical A road bends, complete with tar banding, minor road repairs etc. Previously the car would skip about and bang and crash - which does nothing for confidence and just spoils any fun. Post Birds there is so much more composure and feel - in short the car now corners quite flat, feels reasonably sporty and I have confidence in it on our typical road surfaces.
I do wish it was a little softer around town but you can't have everything I suppose, without fancy adaptive suspension anyway.
In my opinion, the 335 doesn't handle terribly well "out of the box" with run flats and factory suspension. Get those sorted and (whilst still no M3) you have a car that copes really well with British road and traffic conditions. No doubt alternatives to Birds's solution are out there too.

So, when are you getting the sub frame bushings and Quaife done?!

Mike.
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      01-06-2013, 05:28 AM   #3
acerboo
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I initially fitted an H&R rear arb which was I think 20mm and it was awful making the car hop and it felt as if the bar was fighting with the springs and dampers so I fitted the eibach 15mm arb along with the front one, and that is superb. still running standard suspension and Pirelli p zero (not crap bridgestone!) runflats and have no complaints.
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      01-06-2013, 11:56 AM   #4
jasonprice07
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Runflats

Run-flats were removed pretty soon after buying the car, I agree that switching to normal tyres made an improvement, but I've always found the improvement small, other owners seem to report a huge change when making the switch.
I try and do mods that can be removed and sold on when I switch cars which happens on a regular basis
I'm pretty sure my diff will be of the welded type so once it's fitted it's in there for good and I can't really justify the cost no matter how much I try.
Interestingly Kevin recommended I not go for the M3 bushes due to the increase in harshness, maybe my old age had something to do with it
I've done less than 100 miles so far so I've still lots to discover.

Jason
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      01-06-2013, 03:09 PM   #5
Phil325i
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Garage List
Before everyone goes off down the Bird's Bilstein route, read this:

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=788638

As a fellow Ohlins user, I concur 100% with this favorable review.
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      01-06-2013, 03:17 PM   #6
idnan
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Guys, my Birds setup is for sale in the classifieds
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