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      07-20-2020, 11:37 AM   #1
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From Bilstein/Eibach to KW

So, It's been ~80k miles since I swapped out my stock setup for the Bilstein/Eibach option, and about 8 years.

https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=664385

The setup's performed well for me, despite having a few warranty replacements for blow struts (potholes/freeze joints), and a pair of rears (a bit too many bags of compost in the trunk), but I'm getting older, and I think Boston's roads are getting worse.

Generally, particularly on the highway, this setup still feels great as a grand tourer. Stiff, flat, predictable and daily-driver capable, but on road imperfections, there's too much harshness for me. I can't deal with the crashing feeling any longer, and my wife is no longer tolerant of it at all. I'm on 19" wheels in the summer, and stock 18's in the winter (nonRFT).

I know the issue is with the amount I've lowered the front, there's just not enough distance for the piston to travel to actually properly dampen impacts. I've looked at going Dinan or switching to Konis, but I think I'd be getting a marginal improvement at best, and the Konis seem to fail more frequently. I also think the Eibachs might be a bit soft, allowing the piston to fully compress to easily and 'bottom out' on itself.

So against all my better judgement, I'm leaning towards coilovers, likely the KWs, instead of sticking with a struct/spring combo. My goals are the same, sporty daily driver, no rake, modest (adult) drop, and LESS CRASHING.

I've read lots of threads on this, and picked up some confidence that particularly with adjustable endlinks, I should be able to maintain the height and rake improvements I have, but with a better ride (though some say it's still a bit harsh - it's tough to tell from just forum posts).

What I'm stuck on, is if I should go v1 or v3. I don't care about price, I want the right part for the car. I'm inclined to go v3, even though I'll never track the car, just because it seems I can soften the dampening settings even softer than the v1, if for some reason that's too stiff. I'm not thrilled about adjusting these, as it seems like a pain in the ass, but I'm assuming once I get it dialed in, I'll never have to touch it again.

Questions for the peanut gallery:
* Am I going to be adjusting v3s for months before it lands where I want?
* I understand the v1s are basically right in the middle of hte v3s range on dampening/rebound. Is that right?
* Are either of these going to have a more daily-drivable (less crashing) for me? Am I chasing a phantom here?
* Do you guys think the v1s will be an improvement over this setup, crashing in particular?
* Based on posts/threads here, I'm also planning on upgrading swaybar endlinks, bushings, subframe bushings and maybe even control arms (up and low). Any other suggestions as I try and remake this car's suspension for the next few years?

Thanks guys.
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      07-20-2020, 11:58 AM   #2
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I did find this thread itneresting for my second question. Figured I'd put it here for posterity.

This is relating to the V2, which of course doesn't work on my car, but I'm feeling like the dampening/rebound range on v2 and v3 are the same. Perhaps that's a silly assumption.

Quote:
Hello,

I own a 2007 BMW 335i Coupe. Can you tell me how the V1 is tuned in comparison to the V2. I understand that the V2 is height and damping adjustable, while the V1 is only height adjustable. What I want to know is how hard is the V1 compared to the V2. For example, if the V2 is adjustable from 1 to 10, 1 the softest 10 the hardest, is the V1 then set at 5? I hope you can answer this for me.

Quote:
Hello!
Many thanks for your email. It is a little bit difficult to answer on such questions. But I would say that on the scale from 1 to 10 on the V2 with the V1 you are on the 3.
1 = soft
10 = hard



Mit freundlichen Grüßen/ Best regards

Dave Mehlow
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KW automotive GmbH
Aspachweg 14
74427 Fichtenberg

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      07-20-2020, 11:59 AM   #3
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I've previously followed your original thread when you did your current suspension setup. Lots of great information that I appreciate as I consider my options for a better setup (which we know are quite limited for xDrive) on my E92.

Most recently, I've been mostly considering the Dinan/Koni or KW V1 options for when the time comes (car is currently at 52k on original suspension, planning on upgrading around 60k).

Coilovers have always seemed pretty risky to me as I badly want to improve the handling dynamics but need to keep the car comfortable enough for city driving. I know I would be able to get the look I want (reduce the reverse rake) and the handling from the KW's, but really wish I could drive an xDrive with this setup to know what the impact on ride will be.

I like Dinan as a brand and believe they always do great R&D for their products. However, I think the design core suspension elements of the xDrive cars to allow for the front axles really limited what Dinan was able to do in this case. I also know that I won't be able to solve the reverse rake problem with this setup. This coupled with the seemingly somewhat frequent wear of the Koni dampers, as you mentioned, has me leaning more toward the KW's right now.

I was looking at mostly V1's as I was having a hard time justifying the added expense of the V3's and had read reviews saying the adjustability wasn't as useful as people had hoped - read several posts of people saying they ended up just leaving them on the recommended settings since the car was either too bouncy or too hard otherwise.

I've also been following a handful of new reviews of the bilstein coilovers for xDrive, but it sounds like they're nearly impossible to get your hands on due to low demand and really long shipping delays from the factory. They're also supposedly just B6 dampers with a threaded collar.

Good luck with your decision and I look forward to seeing what you end up going with.
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      07-20-2020, 12:49 PM   #4
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I have ST coilovers on my wagon and the rumor on the internet is that they're just like the v1s on the inside and it's just different body material. So take my impressions with that in mind.


they soak up large bumps pretty well. They do not do washboard surfaces well, but that's probably so they soak up large bumps well. compromises and all.

I'd put myself in the same consumer category as you. Just looking to have a fun and comfortable car that was refined enough to drive across country, and didn't look like stupid with 4 inches of front wheel gap.

They're certainly less crashy than the stock XI stuff, but it was also old when it was replaced, so that's always a bit of a cliche thing to say when you put new shocks and struts on a car.
Well yeah, I can't remember what a brand new one felt like.

My wife doesn't hate how it rides. That's probably the best review I can give you.
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      07-20-2020, 03:02 PM   #5
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I ended up getting kw v1 for my xi and the ride quality is very good for a daily driver. Perfect option if you just want a low sportier feel. It doesn't crash over bumps like it used to. I do try to avoid them where possible so I haven't hit too many. I still need to get end links so it doesn't feel as twitchy but overall I would recommend them over bilstein/h&r and bilstein/eibach which I had on my previous cars.
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      07-21-2020, 03:38 PM   #6
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Super helpful. What size wheels are you running? I'm hoping to keep my 19s, but I have to admit, I've been eyeing a set of 18" RGRs or RSGT for a bit of a change of pace, if the crashing isn't fully remedied. Damn 19s just look so good!

I think I'm going to take the leap. Currently planning on adding endlinks, upper/lower control arms, swaybar bushings, and rear subframe bushings. From a sporty daily driver perspective, anything else I should be thinking about on a 120k mile vehicle?
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      07-21-2020, 05:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD Addict View Post
Super helpful. What size wheels are you running? I'm hoping to keep my 19s, but I have to admit, I've been eyeing a set of 18" RGRs or RSGT for a bit of a change of pace, if the crashing isn't fully remedied. Damn 19s just look so good!

I think I'm going to take the leap. Currently planning on adding endlinks, upper/lower control arms, swaybar bushings, and rear subframe bushings. From a sporty daily driver perspective, anything else I should be thinking about on a 120k mile vehicle?
I am at 133k on mine and haven't done anything else besides coilovers yet just because it hasn't needed anything.

I am just running 18" 400M wheels. Picture before I put spacers on.

Last edited by slowgan; 07-21-2020 at 05:12 PM..
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      07-22-2020, 09:56 AM   #8
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Nice looking whip.

I know at least some of my discomfort with this setup is the small sidewall on my 19s. I run 18s in the winter with my snows, and it's definitely a little better. I think your 18s look bigger than mine though (if you know what I mean).

Always loved that color. OT, what % tint is that? Looks perfect.
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      07-22-2020, 10:59 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AWD Addict View Post
Nice looking whip.

I know at least some of my discomfort with this setup is the small sidewall on my 19s. I run 18s in the winter with my snows, and it's definitely a little better. I think your 18s look bigger than mine though (if you know what I mean).

Always loved that color. OT, what % tint is that? Looks perfect.
Thank you! I know what you mean these do look big for 18s but ride like 17s with the suspension. I believe 20% not sure though since it was already done when I bought it.
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      07-22-2020, 11:36 PM   #10
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If you don't care about price then get the Ohlin's original (there is a newer version with higher spring rates) and get the softest springs they have - prolly will be 200/440lb/in F/R respectively. If you want to stay low AND have ride quality this is the only way in my mind.

Or just guild out an OE set up.

I just installed Konis and love them, but I'm an OE+ fan boi and that's exactly what they are. Hard to imagine them failing as often as you went through bilsteins. Would I slam them and expect a good ride on 19s? No. But there is no sets up that will do that well.

Raise it up to stock sport height and put high quality twin tubes in OR go Ohlins OR go OE.

Nothing else will get you comfort.
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      07-28-2020, 03:27 PM   #11
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I am in the same boat as you, got my BC coilovers about 2 years ago and love the city ride... that said I absolutely HATE long road trips with the BCs. I decided to do a front end suspension refresh and switching over to the KW V1s.
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      08-04-2020, 02:00 PM   #12
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Hi Twinning. Saw you were making a similar move in your other thread. Good luck.

I pulled the trigger last week, and should have everything in 10 days at the shop to get started. Here's the list for my refresh.

KW VARIANT 1
STRUT MOUNT-FRONT
TURNER CUSTOM LENGTH SWAY LINKS
UPPER SPRING PAD

M3 REAR SUBFRAME BUSHING KIT
M3 REAR ARM HARDWARE KIT
M3 REAR UPPER CONTROL ARM KIT
SHOCK MOUNT
UPPER GUIDE SUPPORT
LOWER GUIDE SUPPORT
SHOCK MOUNT INSULATOR
SUPPORTING CUP

I'm going to be doing pads/rotors as well, while I'm in there. 120k miles, and I've only replaced them twice. Gotta love a 6MT!

Anything else I should be thinking about while the wheels are of? I hear some talk about better mounts, as the softer OE units will prevent the damper from absorbing small rough hits?

AA
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      08-14-2020, 09:51 AM   #13
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I had Bilstein B8's + 'i' springs for a few years -- and also found the combination too harsh for Boston roads. I swapped out the front Bilsteins for Koni Yellows 3 years ago. There was a substantial improvement in ride quality. Still firm -- but much better on small bumps. Overall, I'm pretty satisfied. I wound up selling the (used) B8's. I think the net cost of the front swap to me was $450 parts + $200 labor. This included replacement of the mount + all strut fittings. So far the Koni's are still damping quite well.
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      08-20-2020, 10:55 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by AWD Addict View Post
I pulled the trigger last week, and should have everything in 10 days at the shop to get started.
AA
Any updates? How do you like the new setup? I've been running KW V1's for 8 or 9 years. 19's in summer and 18's in winter. I've been very pleased with them.
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      08-24-2020, 09:23 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipstic View Post
Any updates? How do you like the new setup? I've been running KW V1's for 8 or 9 years. 19's in summer and 18's in winter. I've been very pleased with them.
Running V3's in my XI on the out of the box recommended settings since February. Loving it, in comparison to the Ohlins on my RWD car, also on the out of the box settings, the Ohlins have a softer ride. Not sure I prefer, just different. Cars are set up identically with AMG lower and upper shock mounts out back, but the XI has turner monoballs in the thrust arms. Planning the same for the Ohlins car so I'll have more of a direct comparison.

Having said that if I want to adjust the Ohlins, very easy compared to the KW V3, but they are single adjustable.

Pros and cons to either, don't think the Ohlins are an option on an xdrive car. I wanted the adjust-ability on the V3s in case I wanted to change the ride. The FCAB upgrade is huge, look into that when they need replaced.
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      09-03-2020, 12:02 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zipstic View Post
Any updates? How do you like the new setup? I've been running KW V1's for 8 or 9 years. 19's in summer and 18's in winter. I've been very pleased with them.
I drop her off Tuesday. Parts are all waiting for me at the shop.

One she settles a bit and is aligned, I'll report back fully.
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      09-03-2020, 12:49 PM   #17
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I drop her off Tuesday. Parts are all waiting for me at the shop.

One she settles a bit and is aligned, I'll report back fully.
Did you go with the V1 or V3?
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      09-05-2020, 07:57 AM   #18
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Quote:
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Did you go with the V1 or V3?
V1; check post #12
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      09-30-2020, 01:41 PM   #19
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stelvio is right. V1s.

Hit a small bump in the road with my rear subframe/axel carrier. While everything underneath the car looks great, the rear (and front for that matter) subframes are rusting pretty badly. Front will survive for a while, but the welds on the rear looked bad. Picked up a used one online for $400.

Anyways, she's pretty much all back together, and my brakes should start going on today (as noted above, they were ready.) I went with stoptech rotors and OE pads.

I'm hoping to have it on Friday. My guess is I'll let it settle for a week, re-align and make any final adjustments, then post up some pics.
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      09-30-2020, 01:44 PM   #20
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Some progress shots with the subframe back in. You can see it's all sprayed for rust proofing.
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      09-30-2020, 04:20 PM   #21
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Some progress shots with the subframe back in. You can see it's all sprayed for rust proofing.
Looks good! Do you have any miles on this yet? Did you replace the subframe bushings at the same time?
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      09-30-2020, 05:34 PM   #22
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Some progress shots with the subframe back in. You can see it's all sprayed for rust proofing.
It's interesting how the two subframe's seem to rust fairly easily - I've noticed the same thing starting on my own E92 with only 50k miles. Gotta love those NE winters.

The rest of the underside of your car looks great, especially for a Boston car. Excited to hear what you think once everything is back together again.
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