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      01-07-2013, 01:16 AM   #1
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BMW Performance Dampers w/stock base springs?

I have a totally stock base 'd. I drive some harsh, uneven roads and the base suspension does fairly well most of the time. However, over long bumps, it does not regain its composure fast enough and feels floaty at times.

I'm fine with the ride height and was thinking a shock/strut change only might tighten it up- before going aftermarket, (I initially was looking at Koni FSDs) would the BMW sport and/or performance shock/strut combo work well with otherwise a base suspension set up? If so what part #s do I need for the 'd? Any help is appreciated.
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      01-07-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
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I would not recommend it. At least buy some ZSP (sports package) springs to pair with the performance dampers, but even then the springs are not quite stiff enough, but certainly better then pairing with the base springs. Otherwise, Performanse springs paired with Performance shocks.
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      01-07-2013, 08:11 AM   #3
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You might need to cut the bump stops if you are going with the fsd.....
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      01-07-2013, 08:25 AM   #4
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Suspension Upgrade for Stock D

OILPowered,

Your quest is similar to mine, the only difference being that I may be further along in my journey toward handling nirvana.

The first thing I did to resolve my similar impressions about my stock handling characteristics was to put Bilstein B6 dampers all around but leave everything else the same. That model B6 was designed for the stock springs. (It actually raised the car slightly I think, although since I didn't measure, that is a sense). I was very satisfied with the expensive results. That is, until I drove a car with the sports package. I guess that's why dealers always have you test drive the loaded models.

So now I am doing my typical endless agonizing over what exact parts I should swap out, and I have been leaning toward an all BMW parts upgrade (BMW Performance Suspension Kit and E9X M3 Suspension Component Kit) with still some lingering doubts about whether the BMW parts (e.g., springs, dampers, sways) will be what I want. But the lingering doubts were drifting away in a confusing haze of analysis until that darn CSSNMS posted his comment "but even then the springs are not quite stiff enough". Darn you, CSSNMS (just kidding). Now he has thrown a small monkey wrench into my belabored thinking and I will have to drive CSSNMS' car to judge for myself.

Although our goals are probably different in many ways, my history of car driving since 1962, including 5 blissful years on the German autobahns and back roads, has conditioned my senses to want that undefinable sense that the car can comfortably cruise at 100+ speeds for hours on end on varying autobahn conditions without wallowing like an ocean liner, and then take the nearest ausfahrt and race around corners with little to no body roll and loss of contact with the tarmac. All without costing an arm and a leg.

Good luck.
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      01-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #5
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Springs for the Stock D

cssnms,

Are the ZSP springs you refer to the same ones that come with the BMW Performance Suspension Kit (getbmwparts.com), and the ones you feel are not quite stiff enough? And when you say "Performance" springs, are you referring to something like your Eibach or some H&R? What did you start with when you bought the car, the ZSP package?

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I would not recommend it. At least buy some ZSP (sports package) springs to pair with the performance dampers, but even then the springs are not quite stiff enough, but certainly better then pairing with the base springs. Otherwise, Performanse springs paired with Performance shocks.
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      01-07-2013, 08:51 AM   #6
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I changed my OEM NON Sport Shocks for the FSD's and DID no changes, the car rose about 1/4 of an inch and rides superbly down here in the roads of Puerto Rico!! I have used the same set up on my defunct 02 MCS with the Sport springs and the car to this day is still running in Puerto Rico as a matter of fact the new owner had previously driven an MCS and told me my car drove WAYYY better than the OEM sport pkg.
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      01-07-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335dFan View Post
OILPowered,

Your quest is similar to mine, the only difference being that I may be further along in my journey toward handling nirvana.

The first thing I did to resolve my similar impressions about my stock handling characteristics was to put Bilstein B6 dampers all around but leave everything else the same. That model B6 was designed for the stock springs. (It actually raised the car slightly I think, although since I didn't measure, that is a sense). I was very satisfied with the expensive results. That is, until I drove a car with the sports package. I guess that's why dealers always have you test drive the loaded models.

So now I am doing my typical endless agonizing over what exact parts I should swap out, and I have been leaning toward an all BMW parts upgrade (BMW Performance Suspension Kit and E9X M3 Suspension Component Kit) with still some lingering doubts about whether the BMW parts (e.g., springs, dampers, sways) will be what I want. But the lingering doubts were drifting away in a confusing haze of analysis until that darn CSSNMS posted his comment "but even then the springs are not quite stiff enough". Darn you, CSSNMS (just kidding). Now he has thrown a small monkey wrench into my belabored thinking and I will have to drive CSSNMS' car to judge for myself.

Although our goals are probably different in many ways, my history of car driving since 1962, including 5 blissful years on the German autobahns and back roads, has conditioned my senses to want that undefinable sense that the car can comfortably cruise at 100+ speeds for hours on end on varying autobahn conditions without wallowing like an ocean liner, and then take the nearest ausfahrt and race around corners with little to no body roll and loss of contact with the tarmac. All without costing an arm and a leg.

Good luck.
I think you misunderstood. In fact I think "you" are barking up the right tree. What I was eluding to in a not so effective way, was to suggest that the ZSP/sports package springs are not quite stiff enough for the new Performance dampers. As a result, I think OilPowered would not be happy with the ride qaulity even w/ZSP springs. BMW Performance springs are appreciably stiffer then ZSP springs.

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cssnms,

Are the ZSP springs you refer to the same ones that come with the BMW Performance Suspension Kit (getbmwparts.com), and the ones you feel are not quite stiff enough? And when you say "Performance" springs, are you referring to something like your Eibach or some H&R? What did you start with when you bought the car, the ZSP package?

Jack
ZSP/sports package springs are different than the BMW Performance suspension kit found here... http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462

The ZSP package is what is found on msport and sports package equiped cars. The Performance in the link above is stiffer and a hair lower then ZSP. I believe you are on the right path with that package - that kit is designed/engineered to work together.

I started with base springs/shocks and I did a complete replacement.
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      01-07-2013, 11:54 AM   #8
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Thanks for the responses guys-couple of questions:
1.Ok. It looks looks like I'd have to change the springs as well if going ZSP. I don't think I'd be interested in the BMW Performance parts as they would be too stiff. So if I went with the ZSP set up, I'd be wise to go with the springs as well. Figured. Does the ZSP shock/spring set up work ok with an otherwise base set up?
2. Would the Bilstein B6 option or FSD still be the best choices if I wanted to keep the stock springs? I don't really want to increase the ride height, but a minimal increase wouldn't bother me.

Thanks again all-
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      01-07-2013, 12:07 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OILPowered View Post
Thanks for the responses guys-couple of questions:
1.Ok. It looks looks like I'd have to change the springs as well if going ZSP. I don't think I'd be interested in the BMW Performance parts as they would be too stiff. So if I went with the ZSP set up, I'd be wise to go with the springs as well. Figured. Does the ZSP shock/spring set up work ok with an otherwise base set up?
2. Would the Bilstein B6 option or FSD still be the best choices if I wanted to keep the stock springs? I don't really want to increase the ride height, but a minimal increase wouldn't bother me.

Thanks again all-
The ZSP package would work perfectly - technically if you made the switch your car would have the same suspension set-up as an m-sport or ZSP equiped car.

If you really want to keep the soft base springs switching the dampers to an OEM repalcement is really the only other way to go - you may notice enough of a difference to be happy with the money spent, but you may not.

If it were me and I were paying for the labor anyway to replace shocks and if you are looking to tighten things up a bit I would do the springs and shocks together. I think you can get new zsp springs/shocks for a reasonable cost through Tischer/GetBMWParts.

Also check out the classifieds section, there are often times people selling relatively new OEM set-ups for cheap after throwing coilovers on their cars.
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      01-07-2013, 12:37 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OILPowered View Post
I have a totally stock base 'd. I drive some harsh, uneven roads and the base suspension does fairly well most of the time. However, over long bumps, it does not regain its composure fast enough and feels floaty at times.

I'm fine with the ride height and was thinking a shock/strut change only might tighten it up- before going aftermarket, (I initially was looking at Koni FSDs) would the BMW sport and/or performance shock/strut combo work well with otherwise a base suspension set up? If so what part #s do I need for the 'd? Any help is appreciated.
I feel EXACTLY the same way. Especially from the rear there is way to little rebound damping. I know BMW had to compensate for the RFTs, but for the life of me cannot why they used the shock valving that they did, considering I understand they test dozens if not hundreds of combinations.

My thinking is to wait till shock replacement time and probably go for a set of non-sport bilsteins.
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      01-07-2013, 02:04 PM   #11
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So is that kit all you need to turn a non-sport into an occasional track D?
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      01-07-2013, 02:13 PM   #12
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So is that kit all you need to turn a non-sport into an occasional track D?
Well that depends on your expectations. , but essentially yes, the Performance kit includes springs and dampers.
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      01-07-2013, 04:02 PM   #13
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Are we sure? Will the ZSP springs be strong enough, have a high enough spring rate? The ZSP is probably only made for a gas engine, the Diesel engine weighs 200 lbs more if I'm not mistaken. So if you use ZSP springs designed for a gas engine, just sitting I'd expect the car will be REAL low in front.

Last edited by kbsilver; 01-08-2013 at 08:58 AM. Reason: Corrected comment - mixed up ZSP with ZHP.
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      01-07-2013, 04:31 PM   #14
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I do not have an issue on EPK springs and V.1 Performance dampers, so I do not expect it will be an issue w/V.2 Performance springs and dampers. The new Performance yellow springs have a higher spring rate than EPK springs and the matched dampers are designed for that higher spring rate and thus stiffer than even my old V.1 Performance dampers.
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      01-08-2013, 01:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kbsilver
Are we sure? I believe the ZHP springs will not be strong enough, have a high enough spring rate. The ZHP is only made in a gas engine, the Diesel engine weighs 200 lbs more if I'm not mistaken. So if you use ZHP springs, just sitting the car will be REAL low in front.
Ok, is there a 'd specific ZSP kit, or is the E90 ZSP spring/damper combo universal? Sorry, I'm sure this has been discussed before.
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      01-10-2013, 12:19 AM   #16
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Anyone? Just want to make sure I order the right parts if I decide to pull the trigger. Thanks-
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      01-10-2013, 05:35 AM   #17
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OilPower just go for it or better yet contact the manufacturer to confirm it can take the DIESEL Load its the only advise i can give you
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      01-10-2013, 09:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OILPowered View Post
Anyone? Just want to make sure I order the right parts if I decide to pull the trigger. Thanks-
OILPowered,
I guess I know what you are going through, since I have been doing the same for a few months now. As I understand it, you are settled on getting a ZSP-feel for your suspension and want to insure it will fit on your D. Afraid I can't help you there because I never considered that as an option.
Everyone's idea of what feels right is different, so giving advice is hazardous. I considered coilovers and also aftermarket springs/dampers, both of which bring satisfaction for many depending on their needs and probably would for me too.
At this point I am settled on the BMW Performance Suspension Kit as my basic upgrade, and I'm not sure but what that might actually be a better approach for you too. I don't think it will over-stiffen your ride. Admittedly I am still agonizing over whether that combination is best for me, and a speed shop I am working with in Philly is actually suggesting something else. But regardless of which way I go personally, based on what you have said it seems that the BMW kit might work. Regardless of whether I go at the end with the BMW kit or the alternative this shop is suggesting for me, I do intend to go beyond that because I want to go beyond where I think you are going. Not with still stiffer springs and dampers, but with other components to stabilize the ride, such as sway bars, M3 components (from their kit), and a limited-slip differential.
However, if you feel that the ZSP is the safer approach for you, like PR said it would be best to consult with somebody like Evan at GetBMWParts.com as to whether it will work for your car.
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      01-10-2013, 09:35 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OILPowered View Post
Ok, is there a 'd specific ZSP kit, or is the E90 ZSP spring/damper combo universal? Sorry, I'm sure this has been discussed before.
Yes there is a "d" specific ZSP kit (Sports Package Kit). E-mail Evan at Tischer/GetBMWParts.com and he will help you select the right kit for your car from their weibste. BTW, they also have the best OEM prices on the net.

The Performance kit would work too, although I do not beleive BMW has kit model designated for the "d."

ewinstead@mileone.com
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      01-10-2013, 10:37 AM   #20
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Yes there is a "d" specific ZSP kit (Sports Package Kit). E-mail Evan at Tischer/GetBMWParts.com and he will help you select the right kit for your car from their weibste. BTW, they also have the best OEM prices on the net.

The Performance kit would work too, although I do not beleive BMW has kit model designated for the "d."

ewinstead@mileone.com
I corresponded with Evan at GetBMWParts.com (email as above), and provided him my year, model, VIN. This is what he replied:

"I'd start w/ the BMW Performance suspension we have on special here: http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462

Then, if that doesn't get you to exactly where you want to be, check w/ the guys on the forum to see about retrofitting the M3 components we run on special here: http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...47&startrow=76
"
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      01-10-2013, 11:40 AM   #21
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Great suggestions @ Chris and 335d fan, base on my ROADS here and my previous experience with my 02 MCS OEM shocks I decided back then to stay with the OEM Sport Springs and put Koni FSDs which ENHANCED the driving on that car. All that said, my main concern was I did not want to pay and extra 3k for the sport "D" thus save it for the FSDs which are in place now and stay with the OEM springs, it works for me since my usual racing is straight line, DAMN I miss my Mini!!!
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      01-10-2013, 11:48 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 335dFan View Post
I corresponded with Evan at GetBMWParts.com (email as above), and provided him my year, model, VIN. This is what he replied:

"I'd start w/ the BMW Performance suspension we have on special here: http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...catalogid=4462

Then, if that doesn't get you to exactly where you want to be, check w/ the guys on the forum to see about retrofitting the M3 components we run on special here: http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...47&startrow=76
"
That's what I would do if I were you and what I proposed earlier. This (Performance) set-up is appreciably stiffer then the base suspension whereas the ZSP although stiffer you might not find the cost/benefit to be worth it. It is a great price too. And since you're in MD you can go pick it up at Tischer in Silver Spring and save on shipping.

PS Evan is the man and very knowledgable, so not only are their prices great, but if you prove to be a good customer (like me ) he's a wealth of information when it comes to all things OEM.

PSS If you need a local shop to install and to the allignment, I recommend GP Auto Group in Rockville. They shoudl be able to do it for $350 installed to include an alignment right after install so you can drive the car, plus a follow up alignment 2 weeks after the install which will allow the suspension to settle - thus throwing off the original alignment specs.

Last edited by cssnms; 01-10-2013 at 11:56 AM.
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