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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Bilstein B14 PSS Review



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      05-01-2017, 11:58 AM   #1
patsbimmer1
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Bilstein B14 PSS Review

With 83k on my original sport suspension I decided to trade up for a decent set of coilovers. I daily this vehicle and live in Wisconsin so I was more concerned about ride quality and warranty than getting super low. I did a ton of research and briefly considered a cup kit but ultimately decided that if I was going to do this I wanted to do it right.

I narrowed my options down to the KW V1 or the Bilstein B14 PSS. We're all familiar with KW's great reputation. They have a lifetime warranty, excellent reviews and it appears that their R&D is top notch. The only concern I had was that the ride might be too stiff. A lot of what I read was mixed but nobody really complained about the ride quality.

I went with Bilstein because of the reviews I read about their ride quality. Bilstein as a quality suspension supplier so I wasn't concerned about that. They put a ton of R&D into their products and are heavily involved in many forms of Motorsports and they back their products with a lifetime warranty. A lot of the ride quality reviews stated that it was very similar to the sport suspension but seemed to smooth out bumps better while supplying a firm ride when pushed. Admittedly though there weren't a ton of reviews about these which did scare me. I took the plunge and ordered them from a non-sponsoring vendor and paid $915 shipped!

The installation was no different than any of the other 100's of strut/shock installs I have done so there's not special to note there. I replaced the rear shock mounts with the Monroe 907984 and kept the stock front mounts. I kept the front's just off of the highest setting and set the rears about 30 turns from the highest setting.

I nervously set the car down and took her for a drive. My first reaction was "Holy S**t! These are amazing!" I put on about 10 miles during the test drive and I absolutely loved them! Since then I have put on about 300 miles and just as I read, they are smooth and eat up the bumps but when I push they hold true! I have no rubbing with a 245/40/r18 front tire and 265/35r18 rear with 12mm spacer. It's slightly lower than the sport suspension height giving it a more aggressive stance but I don't have to worry about scraping during egress or ingress. I definitely could go lower but in my old age (29) I kind of enjoy not worrying about scraping. I'm excited to get this back on the track and see how they work at the limit!

For now I have some crappy cell phone pics until I have time to take some better ones!

TLDR; Excellent! Definitely recommend! Do it now!



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      05-01-2017, 12:33 PM   #2
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I want these coilovers too, just to refresh the suspension. But even on the highest setting for most owners who have the Bilstein coilovers, I think they're still too low.

I plan on replacing the front top hats and spring pads. So hopefully that can give me some height.

Looks great btw!

Last edited by peterparker; 05-01-2017 at 12:39 PM..
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      05-01-2017, 01:33 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterparker View Post
I want these coilovers too, just to refresh the suspension. But even on the highest setting for most owners who have the Bilstein coilovers, I think they're still too low.

I plan on replacing the front top hats and spring pads. So hopefully that can give me some height.

Looks great btw!
Thanks! It looks lower then they actually sits. I took my wife for a ride withthout telling her I lowered the car and she didn't notice until she went to get in and said, "Did you lower this?". I smiled and said yes and she groaned knowing how my e36's rode when lowered. She admitted that it rode well and then didn't complain about it the rest of the ride! It's slightly lower than the stock sport springs with the potential to go lower. Trust me, after owning low cars I was really concerned about lowering this car. I didn't wan to deal with the hassle of a slammed car and this certainly meets my expectations.
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      05-01-2017, 06:33 PM   #4
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I have the same coilover kit and I 100% agree with you. After a year and putting at least 10k miles, every day I love them a little bit more. I'm almost at the same hieght as you are with 10mm front and 15mm rear, no rubbing, all good since installation.
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      05-02-2017, 08:15 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by agustincuenca View Post
I have the same coilover kit and I 100% agree with you. After a year and putting at least 10k miles, every day I love them a little bit more. I'm almost at the same hieght as you are with 10mm front and 15mm rear, no rubbing, all good since installation.
I'm with you! Every day I drive my car i'm glad I made this decision. These are awesome!
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      05-02-2017, 08:48 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patsbimmer1 View Post
Thanks! It looks lower then they actually sits. I took my wife for a ride withthout telling her I lowered the car and she didn't notice until she went to get in and said, "Did you lower this?". I smiled and said yes and she groaned knowing how my e36's rode when lowered. She admitted that it rode well and then didn't complain about it the rest of the ride! It's slightly lower than the stock sport springs with the potential to go lower. Trust me, after owning low cars I was really concerned about lowering this car. I didn't wan to deal with the hassle of a slammed car and this certainly meets my expectations.
Wife approved!

Where did you purchase this kit from?
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      05-02-2017, 09:23 PM   #7
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How's the ride after several days compared to OEM Sport? I have Sport suspension and I think it's worn at ~70k and pretty harsh on Michigan roads (without run-flats) so I'm deciding what to get soon.
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      05-02-2017, 10:43 PM   #8
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Where do you recommend getting the coilovers of you don't mind me asking. Thanks for the review!
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      05-03-2017, 08:37 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsjr2006 View Post
How's the ride after several days compared to OEM Sport? I have Sport suspension and I think it's worn at ~70k and pretty harsh on Michigan roads (without run-flats) so I'm deciding what to get soon.
I installed the coilovers on April 21st so I have had them on for almost 2 weeks and I still love them. I'd describe them as slightly stiffer than the sport suspension but not unbearable. For highway driving these feel really good and ride smooth. For driving around town these ride well and I haven't felt like a bobble head yet. I've driven on everything from the country roads by my house to city roads and side streets last weekend and I haven't regretted it. For comparison, I had H&R race springs for about 10k miles when I first purchased the car with 44k miles and those were horrendous. This is still my daily driver/grocery getter/kid hauler/weekend track car and it feels like it can still perform all of those duties just fine.
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      05-03-2017, 08:39 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peterparker View Post
Wife approved!

Where did you purchase this kit from?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dleccord View Post
Where do you recommend getting the coilovers of you don't mind me asking. Thanks for the review!
I do some side work and work with a vendor as a wholesaler. PM me and I could get you some pricing.
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      05-05-2017, 08:54 AM   #11
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I have these on my car as well, they are great!
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      05-08-2017, 11:37 PM   #12
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How long do you think these would last? Never stepped into the coilover world.. a little curious about longevity.
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      05-09-2017, 01:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ubersmooth View Post
How long do you think these would last? Never stepped into the coilover world.. a little curious about longevity.
So, according to the OEM's the stock suspension should last between 50k to 80k. As far as the coilovers go I would expect these to last probably 30k - 50k before I notice the ride start to degrade. Now, these have a lifetime warranty on them so for the cost of shipping I will either get rebuilt or new ones sent back to me. Some of the others that have spoken up in this thread may be able to give you a better idea of what to expect.

Last edited by patsbimmer1; 05-09-2017 at 01:36 PM..
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      05-10-2017, 09:23 PM   #14
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Is normal wear and tear a warranty item? I would suspect you would just have to pay to get them rebuilt, but that's standard for any coilovers even the big $$ ones.
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      05-11-2017, 09:05 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by r4dr View Post
Is normal wear and tear a warranty item? I would suspect you would just have to pay to get them rebuilt, but that's standard for any coilovers even the big $$ ones.
When I spoke to Bilstein regarding their warranty they said that a worn or leaking part would be fully covered under their warranty if it were due to a part failure(e.g. worn out seal causing fluid to leak). Basically, anything other than failure due to misuse or impact damage is covered under their warranty. I also inquired about this with KW and received a similar response. In the case of Bilstein they will cover freight for all warranty conditions where as KW does not cover freight. Also, both will not issue a warranty until the part is inspected by them and determined to be a warranty condition.
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      10-09-2019, 04:45 PM   #16
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height

Quote:
Originally Posted by patsbimmer1 View Post
With 83k on my original sport suspension I decided to trade up for a decent set of coilovers. I daily this vehicle and live in Wisconsin so I was more concerned about ride quality and warranty than getting super low. I did a ton of research and briefly considered a cup kit but ultimately decided that if I was going to do this I wanted to do it right.

I narrowed my options down to the KW V1 or the Bilstein B14 PSS. We're all familiar with KW's great reputation. They have a lifetime warranty, excellent reviews and it appears that their R&D is top notch. The only concern I had was that the ride might be too stiff. A lot of what I read was mixed but nobody really complained about the ride quality.

I went with Bilstein because of the reviews I read about their ride quality. Bilstein as a quality suspension supplier so I wasn't concerned about that. They put a ton of R&D into their products and are heavily involved in many forms of Motorsports and they back their products with a lifetime warranty. A lot of the ride quality reviews stated that it was very similar to the sport suspension but seemed to smooth out bumps better while supplying a firm ride when pushed. Admittedly though there weren't a ton of reviews about these which did scare me. I took the plunge and ordered them from a non-sponsoring vendor and paid $915 shipped!

The installation was no different than any of the other 100's of strut/shock installs I have done so there's not special to note there. I replaced the rear shock mounts with the Monroe 907984 and kept the stock front mounts. I kept the front's just off of the highest setting and set the rears about 30 turns from the highest setting.

I nervously set the car down and took her for a drive. My first reaction was "Holy S**t! These are amazing!" I put on about 10 miles during the test drive and I absolutely loved them! Since then I have put on about 300 miles and just as I read, they are smooth and eat up the bumps but when I push they hold true! I have no rubbing with a 245/40/r18 front tire and 265/35r18 rear with 12mm spacer. It's slightly lower than the sport suspension height giving it a more aggressive stance but I don't have to worry about scraping during egress or ingress. I definitely could go lower but in my old age (29) I kind of enjoy not worrying about scraping. I'm excited to get this back on the track and see how they work at the limit!

For now I have some crappy cell phone pics until I have time to take some better ones!

TLDR; Excellent! Definitely recommend! Do it now!




How high could you set these coilovers? If you wanted to would you be able to set these to a near stock ride height?
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      10-17-2019, 11:54 AM   #17
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Quote:
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How high could you set these coilovers? If you wanted to would you be able to set these to a near stock ride height?
You could. I don't have the car anymore but a friend bought it and immediately raised it. From what I remember you could get it darn close to stock but it was still less than an inch from true stock height.
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