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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Anyone else disappointed in Bilstein b14's?



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      09-22-2021, 10:46 AM   #1
haaken675
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Anyone else disappointed in Bilstein b14's?

I've had my car for a few years now and really haven't driven it much since It has been a constant struggle of rebuilding or fixing things. The entire drivetrain and suspension are pretty much new at this point, all new suspension bushings, m3 arms, rear toe arms, and solid subframe and diff mounts.

Today i finally took the car for a long drive on the highway. I have pretty much only driven the car around town or short highway trips at slower speeds thanks to city traffic.

I have to say, the bilstein b14's have not impressed me.....They are bouncy, rough, and I don't feel like the the value is there. I could have gotten fortune auto's or something similar and had better adjustability, would have been rebuildable and upgradeable, etc. Am i the only one disappointed in this suspension setup?
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      09-22-2021, 01:54 PM   #2
lowrydr310
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I can't comment on performance or ride quality, but I read a few posts about that kit which mentioned how much the springs are compressed at the highest ride height setting. Here's one:

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showt...1146603&page=3

Those same posts also mention how great they ride and how much of an improvement they are.

How low do you have them set? I wonder if that's related.

Last edited by lowrydr310; 09-22-2021 at 10:19 PM..
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      09-22-2021, 03:28 PM   #3
haaken675
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I have mine set moderately low. I get the impression that these are intended for a minor drop as lowering them compresses the spring unlike a proper coilover setup. Even with that though, the rebound doesn't feel too great. Going down the highway there were certain spots that just kept bouncing and bouncing like the rebound couldn't control itself.

I don't mind a harsher ride, and I bought the bilsteins thinking I would be getting something a bit more setup for a daily and these really don't meet that expectation. The car in general doesn't feel planted at all when the road gets even slightly bumpy. Really moved around a lot on the highway with expansion joints, uneven pavement, etc.
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      09-22-2021, 10:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haaken675 View Post
I have mine set moderately low. I get the impression that these are intended for a minor drop as lowering them compresses the spring unlike a proper coilover setup. Even with that though, the rebound doesn't feel too great. Going down the highway there were certain spots that just kept bouncing and bouncing like the rebound couldn't control itself.

I don't mind a harsher ride, and I bought the bilsteins thinking I would be getting something a bit more setup for a daily and these really don't meet that expectation. The car in general doesn't feel planted at all when the road gets even slightly bumpy. Really moved around a lot on the highway with expansion joints, uneven pavement, etc.
Hmmm. I'm assuming you replaced the strut mounts up front with new ones? How many miles are on the car? How good are the rear subframe bushings? Could be the cause of the "not planted" feeling. Is it possible the symptoms were there before but you just didn't notice because the old shocks/struts were masking them? On the other hand that rebound bouncing you describe sounds like a function of the shocks/struts and not the rubber mounting bits.
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      09-23-2021, 08:27 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lowrydr310 View Post
Hmmm. I'm assuming you replaced the strut mounts up front with new ones? How many miles are on the car? How good are the rear subframe bushings? Could be the cause of the "not planted" feeling. Is it possible the symptoms were there before but you just didn't notice because the old shocks/struts were masking them? On the other hand that rebound bouncing you describe sounds like a function of the shocks/struts and not the rubber mounting bits.
The entire suspension has a complete refresh. Hell, the entire car has had a total refresh. Both subframes out, new turbos, pretty much new everywhere aside from engine internals. New bushings literally everywhere. New m3 arms front and rear, all new bushings, new subframe bushings, diff bushings, toe arms, etc. I'm sure I'm getting a bit of bump steer from being lowered without a bumpsteer correction kit, but that doesn't have anything to do with the pretty terrible ride quality. I guess i just expected a lot more from the bilstein kit vs getting a proper coilover kit from something like fortune auto or any other higher quality kit. My e30 gutted race car on fortune's seems to have a better ride quality, or at least better rebound control over bumpy pavement.
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      09-23-2021, 11:03 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by haaken675 View Post
The entire suspension has a complete refresh. Hell, the entire car has had a total refresh. Both subframes out, new turbos, pretty much new everywhere aside from engine internals. New bushings literally everywhere. New m3 arms front and rear, all new bushings, new subframe bushings, diff bushings, toe arms, etc. I'm sure I'm getting a bit of bump steer from being lowered without a bumpsteer correction kit, but that doesn't have anything to do with the pretty terrible ride quality. I guess i just expected a lot more from the bilstein kit vs getting a proper coilover kit from something like fortune auto or any other higher quality kit. My e30 gutted race car on fortune's seems to have a better ride quality, or at least better rebound control over bumpy pavement.
Did you drive and push the car hard before doing all the upgrades you listed? I think from a baseline of stock sport suspension (myself) all the bits I've changed made a noticeable difference. The Bilstein setup shouldn't be compared to a full coil over kit on performance or cost. The driving experience you described showcases the weight of the 335i. You can't cheat physics.
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      09-23-2021, 12:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaronbwall View Post
Did you drive and push the car hard before doing all the upgrades you listed? I think from a baseline of stock sport suspension (myself) all the bits I've changed made a noticeable difference. The Bilstein setup shouldn't be compared to a full coil over kit on performance or cost. The driving experience you described showcases the weight of the 335i. You can't cheat physics.
It's not that the car doesn't handle well, It really does. I was just expecting something more comfortable from a ride quality standpoint, otherwise I would have bought something else.
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      09-23-2021, 01:54 PM   #8
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There's a ton of reviews on the 335i Bilstein B14 kit and it's mostly positive. I'm surprised by your experience. I haven't gone down the suspension upgrade rabbit hole ($$$) but I appreciate your honestly.
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      09-23-2021, 02:31 PM   #9
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I have them. They were very stiff and rough for the first 2-3 weeks but they soften up after some time breaking in.

I also lifted the back as I had it too low which No doubt contributed to the harshness.

Other than that I have zero complaints and would buy them again if I had the chance the handling and performance has significantly increased with them on.
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