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      03-03-2013, 11:08 PM   #1
slimon
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e91 xi suspension advice - I've searched....

Hi All,

I've done a lot of reading and the requisite searches, still have a question:

I have a 2008 328xi wagon with 6MT. I use staggered 17s with summer tires and 16s with winter tires. Overall, I love the car.

It's biggest glaring fault is the suspension. To be specific, the ride is a bit soft, but the huge issue is constantly hitting the bumpstops and general pitch/roll/dive. I know this is a common complaint and there are good solutions, but here is where I get specific...

I have a AWD wagon because I need it's utility factor. I take the car everywhere, haul tons of stuff, drive in snow, live in NYC with terrible roads, etc. So, I really dont think I want to lower my car at all. I want to stiffen it up, have the suspension be better controlled and not constantly be blowing through it's travel and hitting the bumpstops.

So, am I crazy to consider bilstein HDs and the stock springs? Am I going to spend a ton of money for no performance gain? Bad idea to mix stock springs and aftermarket shocks? Have a better recommendation?

Any advice would be great.

Thanks!
Simon
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      03-04-2013, 06:26 AM   #2
ajsalida
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Someone else asked that question a while back and if I remember correctly the wagon has different springs than other XI models or non xi models. Mainly for the higher load capacity. So I think you'd be smart to stick with them for your reasons stated, as well as for the possibility that there simply are no aftermarket springs with the right characteristics, lowering or not.

You can go to realoem.com to check part numbers against other models to confirm. The only issue with the HD's might be that if the OEM springs are already a lot stiffer they may be more happy with Sports.

Other folks have paired stock XI springs with HD's and seemed to like them.
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      03-04-2013, 10:31 PM   #3
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If the xi KW V1's fit.. Id DEF recommend those.. I switched from the eibach/bilstein combo myself.. Huge improvement
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      03-07-2013, 08:30 AM   #4
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I guess there aren't too many people with wagons

so I'm thinking
Front
Bilstein + Eibach
Rear
Bilstein + oem
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      03-07-2013, 08:36 AM   #5
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I should note that with it being used during the winters coilovers are a no-go for me.

-Brad
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      03-07-2013, 08:40 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ruquik View Post
I should note that with it being used during the winters coilovers are a no-go for me.

-Brad
I agree entirely, I am not going to coilovers.

When you say bilstein in your post above, are you thinking HD or Sport?

Would there be any logic to adding a front sway/stabilizer bar if I dont change the springs?

Thanks,
Simon
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      03-07-2013, 09:00 AM   #7
ruquik
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I'm thinking sports as I want to lower the front some and the rears of the e91 seem to sit lower stock anyways.

Need the experts to chime in.

I really want to track day my car. PA offers lots of spirited driving road but they can be crappy so 17's and mild lowering in the front with rear bushings and swaybar (might try whiteline) is all I'm doing. AND brakes. Think I warped my brand new OEM rear rotors last weekend.

-Brad
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      05-01-2013, 07:53 PM   #8
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I am interested in this discussion as I am going to need to replace the shocks on my E91 XI soon too. I am looking for comfort as this is my daily driver and I live in Ohio (weather, poor roads, etc). It seems the choices for the E91 are a bit limited.

Are the Bilstein HD's with OEM springs the best choice? I have heard some good things about Koni FSD.

Can/should I use any other springs?

Where can I get new OEM springs for the best price? The site I looked at would be about $500 for just the springs.

Should I consider a coilover setup?

Thanks,

-X
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      05-03-2013, 11:08 AM   #9
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I'm running bilstein sport with H&R sport springs all around. Its a stiffer ride than OEM for sure, but well worth it in my opinion. Ride height won't be too low for winter unless there is a ton of snow. The OEM suspension was too soft and with loading a wagon full of laminate flooring probably didn't help.
If you're going to change the shocks, might as well do the springs too.

Keep an eye on the boards for used springs and shocks. Got my setup for $600 off here.

Just remember you'll need an alignment and may be a good idea to change some of the little parts (strut tops bushings, rubber spring seats, etc).

I also thought of coilovers, but with the way winters here in Canada (Winnipeg) are, they would probably take a beating and can't exactly climb under and readjust in the middle of winter.
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      05-23-2013, 11:25 AM   #10
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Any update slimon? I have E91 325xi with 112K miles. Front keep hitting bump stop so I am thinking to upgrade springs. I guess we can't use regular springs, have to by xi specific?
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      03-19-2014, 03:06 PM   #11
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Anyone find a good solution to aftermarket suspension for the e91's?

And Xplore, I've personally used Elsen's Autohaus in Loveland and Enthusiast Auto off of Reading Rd. I've had good experiences with both.
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      03-19-2014, 04:21 PM   #12
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to the op, if you are still wondering, have you thought about using stock xi springs with koni yellow shocks? from my research, it seems that the stock xi springs actually have a pretty high spring rate. the stock struts are pretty garbage if you ask me, and adding koni yellow's will give you tons of flexibility. you can set them as stiff as you would like, and they can be paired with stock springs just fine.
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      03-19-2014, 08:08 PM   #13
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I have an 07 e91 xi wagon and I will be installing the sonic tuning coilovers in a couple weeks. I'll post up a review once they are on and the stance has settled.
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      06-24-2014, 06:37 AM   #14
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Any updates here? I have a '10 e91xi Msport and I believe my shocks are done. I'm wondering what your experience has been with upgrading the shocks on the Touring??

BTW, typically how many miles do the OE shocks last? I have 80K kms on my car (~50k miles) I'm experiencing a slight vibration from the front end on anything from super smooth roads. It feels like there's a bump in the tires but the tires are brand new (albeit 18" RFT's but I'm sure these are not the issue as it felt the same with the old set) and the rest of the suspension has been checked.
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