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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > All-Wheel-Drive (Xi / xDrive) Talk > Calling all xDrive Suspension Gurus!



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      01-31-2020, 11:48 AM   #1
Blackeye30
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Calling all xDrive Suspension Gurus!

Hey All,

Car: 2011 335i xDrive 6MT, Sport package, 90k miles - Daily driven in the PNW, with possibility of occasional track days.

Goals: Firm up the float at speed/body roll/squat/dive, eliminate some of the wheel gap and remove the "xdrive rake"

I'm trying to plan an upgrade path for the car so I can save some sheckles before the weather clears up. But as there is a mountain of information out there, is it difficult to really understand the order of importance for a lot of components and I am far from a suspension expert. So a few questions:

Anyone have direct experience with both KW V1 and TC Klines? Positives/Negatives? Are the TCK's worth the additional price? The new xdrive Bilstein B14s are certainly an attractive price as well, but since they are brand new and untested I'm a little hesitant to go that route.

Besides Coils, what are the critical components that should be changed out for performance improvement and general maintenance at 90k? Bushings/Ball Joints/End links/control arms/sway bars etc? Any specific suspension refresh kits that are recommended? Hoping to do all installation together with the coilover upgrade.

Wheel and tire fitment - I am planning on a square set of Apex EC-7s in 18x9.5 Offset 31 on 255/35/18 PS4s - can anyone chime in that runs this setup or similar, and if this will fit without a fender roll? Will I need to drop to 18x9 and 245/35/18? not looking for crazy stretch and poke, just a nice flush fit (may need rear spacers with the square setup).

Appreciate the help!

~Cheers
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      01-31-2020, 10:44 PM   #2
Soravia
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FEAL 441 kit. Call it a day.
Also replace the arms with hollow bushing. They are most likely shot past 100k miles. You could replace just the bushings but I don't recommend it. Pressing them out without expensive specific adapters is very tricky. The metal area on the arms is very narrow.
I have an unused pair in package if you want them. I bought just bushings and then arms with bushings in case I couldn't press in bushings into old arms.

I filled my new hollow bushings with poly to make them stiffer.

Aside from the suspension, you want to check rear sub frame bushings, add in poly inserts or replace with M3 bushings.

Replace outside tie-rod ends. They are probably rusting in the threads anyway.

Replace the flex-disc, transfer case fluid, check for leaks on front diff seals, replace the drive axle nuts while you can remove them (310 ft-lb).
Put in poly into transfer case bushing if not cracked, yet.

Last edited by Soravia; 02-01-2020 at 03:51 PM..
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      01-31-2020, 11:16 PM   #3
nsjames
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guaranteed the tension strut bushings are wasted in your car.

I did the ST coilovers.
They're fine? I mean, they're miles better than worn out OEM shit but I don't have a new e90 to compare them too. They are firm, but not crashy and they're reasonably compliant over large bumps.
They're good daily driver/cruising material.
I'd assume the kw v1s are very similar since they come out of the same factory.
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      02-04-2020, 12:39 PM   #4
Blackeye30
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Thanks for the replies -

Soravia thank you for pointing out the Feal kit, I hadn't seen it recommended much on these forums. Do you know if it's a streetable/daily driver appropriate setup? I'm familiar with Odi Bakchis and Feal in the drift world, just curious why it isn't more frequently mentioned setup on here and what it may compare to. Are the front struts shortened like the tc klines to accomodate the xdrive suspension travel?

So looking at RSFBs (M3 or Whitelines), Control arms w/bushings (M3 also?), outer tie-rod ends, then check flex disc and basically anything that can crack/tear. Also good call on the axle nuts, i just looked up some pics of how rusted out they can get.

nsjames thanks for the feedback - so the STs are basically non-inox coated V1s? Do you know if the valving and height adjustment are the same as well?

~Cheers
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      02-04-2020, 07:08 PM   #5
Soravia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackeye30 View Post
Thanks for the replies -

Soravia thank you for pointing out the Feal kit, I hadn't seen it recommended much on these forums. Do you know if it's a streetable/daily driver appropriate setup? I'm familiar with Odi Bakchis and Feal in the drift world, just curious why it isn't more frequently mentioned setup on here and what it may compare to. Are the front struts shortened like the tc klines to accomodate the xdrive suspension travel?

So looking at RSFBs (M3 or Whitelines), Control arms w/bushings (M3 also?), outer tie-rod ends, then check flex disc and basically anything that can crack/tear. Also good call on the axle nuts, i just looked up some pics of how rusted out they can get.

nsjames thanks for the feedback - so the STs are basically non-inox coated V1s? Do you know if the valving and height adjustment are the same as well?

~Cheers
You can adjust the spring rates on those kits, before or after buying. That's what the adjustable dampers are for as well. They can easily go 20% more or less on spring rates.
They say their suspension will be 1" lower than OE at max height. But I doubt that's due to length of the strut body. More to do with spring length. Even if the dampers are shortened, they still travel more than what the car sits at OE height. I'd get the at standard setup or about 30% stronger springs at same length if you want OE ride height
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      02-09-2020, 08:13 PM   #6
nsjames
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they're made of steel instead of stainless.

they appear to have a pretty heavy chromate coating.

5 year warranty, so we'll see.
I live in the rust belt and they're currently covered in salt water i'm sure.
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      02-14-2020, 12:58 PM   #7
Soravia
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsjames View Post
they're made of steel instead of stainless.

they appear to have a pretty heavy chromate coating.

5 year warranty, so we'll see.
I live in the rust belt and they're currently covered in salt water i'm sure.
If you live in rust belt, change out your hub nut. They got rusted due to salt staying inside the wheel hub cap and corrosion fused the nut to the axle shafts. Impossible to replace hub bearings, etc.

You only need punch, hammer, 310 ft-lb torque wrench, and $4 nuts.

Now for the rest of the car, pressure wash the under side, brush with soap, spray 3M brand rubber coat (better than all others on spray pattern and chemical resistance), and spray Liquid Film into tight spots like your sub frame to body contact point where salt get stuck and already rusting out your body. Trust me. I just replaced entire rear sub frame.

Rust also between front of the fuel tank and body. Pull out the under body trays and side skirts to get them.

Apply liquid penetrators on the hard brake line to soft line fittings. Don't take them out without a line wrench or you will strip them. I had to replace the hard lines, the nut fused to hard lines and ripped the lines as they were turned to disconnect from the soft lines.
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      02-14-2020, 02:03 PM   #8
nsjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Soravia View Post
If you live in rust belt, change out your hub nut. They got rusted due to salt staying inside the wheel hub cap and corrosion fused the nut to the axle shafts. Impossible to replace hub bearings, etc.

You only need punch, hammer, 310 ft-lb torque wrench, and $4 nuts.

Now for the rest of the car, pressure wash the under side, brush with soap, spray 3M brand rubber coat (better than all others on spray pattern and chemical resistance), and spray Liquid Film into tight spots like your sub frame to body contact point where salt get stuck and already rusting out your body. Trust me. I just replaced entire rear sub frame.

Rust also between front of the fuel tank and body. Pull out the under body trays and side skirts to get them.

Apply liquid penetrators on the hard brake line to soft line fittings. Don't take them out without a line wrench or you will strip them. I had to replace the hard lines, the nut fused to hard lines and ripped the lines as they were turned to disconnect from the soft lines.
I've lived here my entire life.

I assure you I know how to deal with corrosion and how to wrench on rusty piles of shit.

and rubber undercoating is the devil.
never use it.

use fluid film.
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      02-17-2020, 09:24 PM   #9
6Inarowmakesitgo!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nsjames View Post
I've lived here my entire life.

I assure you I know how to deal with corrosion and how to wrench on rusty piles of shit.

and rubber undercoating is the devil.
never use it.

use fluid film.
I am in Wisconsin and Illinois, and they DUMP salt.

What is wrong with rubberized undercoating? I have used it extensively along with 3M cavity wax, Cosmoline and Fluid Film all with excellent corrosion resistance. I happen to also like the sound deadening effect of properly applied rubber undercoat.

The only times I have seen it cause a problem is when the surface is not prepared correctly and/or there is a moisture ingress point.
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      02-18-2020, 04:07 PM   #10
nsjames
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 6Inarowmakesitgo! View Post
The only times I have seen it cause a problem is when the surface is not prepared correctly and/or there is a moisture ingress point.
like when a fat rock hits it and ships the coating and then it traps moisture against the steel that never dries and you can't see until it all peels off in a giant rusty rubber sheet?


that's what the problems I've seen are.
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      02-29-2020, 11:22 AM   #11
Soravia
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3M is not like others, they stick more like paint or plastic dip. Actually better than plasti dip
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