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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > BMW E90/E92/E93 3-series General Forums > General E90 Sedan / E91 Wagon / E92 Coupe / E93 Cabrio > Just installed a B12 Sport Kit on my 325i



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      03-17-2019, 11:30 AM   #1
ducatiti
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Just installed a B12 Sport Kit on my 325i

Took me around 13 hours to including a run to the dealership to purchase a bolt and nut I stripped. I had 86k miles on my stock non sport suspension. Only signs of my just realized blown shocks/struts were a clunk on the front struts, bottoming out at times, and car sits lower than before. No float or bumpy sensation.

Now after a few minutes drive, it's like having a brand new car. It absorbs each little bump and road imperfections like its supposed to do. So far, I didn't feel the harshness like others suggested. I guess any new suspension install will be an upgrade from blown shocks. Again, clunk is gone and happy after my first suspension install, no rattles or noticeable sounds for any errors in the process.

Quick question: I didn't see a paper gasket on top of the strut mount. Is this a must to have for a 2006 325i?

UPDATE: Provided a follow up in post #16.

Here are before pictures on stock non-sport suspension:




12 or so hours after the install. Hoping it lowers a bit more after it settles:





Note: I have a full size spare in the trunk.

Last edited by ducatiti; 03-21-2019 at 10:14 AM.
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      03-17-2019, 12:56 PM   #2
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I changed out my buddies' suspension and he didn't have a paper gasket either. I'm not sure which models actually used it, but it doesn't seem particularly important.
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      03-17-2019, 01:09 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Welcome to NBA Jam View Post
I changed out my buddies' suspension and he didn't have a paper gasket either. I'm not sure which models actually used it, but it doesn't seem particularly important.
Thanks for the input, for a little peace of mind.

Out of curiosity, how long did it take you for the install?
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      03-17-2019, 01:25 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Thanks for the input, for a little peace of mind.

Out of curiosity, how long did it take you for the install?
We did 2 shocks and a strut in about 6 hours, then did the last strut in about an hour the next day. The strut took us the longest amount of time because we didn't have the right tool and had to figure out how to decompress the shock to get the spring to sit correctly.

When I do it on my car, I expect to be able to do it in about 4 hours or less
now that I've got all the right tools, including strut-specific sockets.

The best advice I can give to people doing this is to watch videos, watch them again, watch more videos, then read some DIYs. Also, get this thing. So freaking worth it.

https://www.amazon.com/MILLION-PARTS...tRL&ref=plSrch
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      03-17-2019, 11:04 PM   #5
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looking great. I can not remember how long my install went on my b12 kit. I knew tI did hassle a bit with one of the front struts as the bushing tore apart while on the car. PITA
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      03-18-2019, 12:18 AM   #6
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looking great. I can not remember how long my install went on my b12 kit. I knew tI did hassle a bit with one of the front struts as the bushing tore apart while on the car. PITA
Thanks. Which bushing tore apart? As for me, it was a hassle for the rear to align control arm back after installing the spring. Had to get help from neighbor.

Also, did you come from a non sport suspension and how did does it compare for you:
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      03-19-2019, 10:36 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Thanks. Which bushing tore apart? As for me, it was a hassle for the rear to align control arm back after installing the spring. Had to get help from neighbor.

Also, did you come from a non sport suspension and how did does it compare for you:
I should clear up that it was the old bushing of the top mount that tore off. Driver's front.

Yep also came from a non-sport suspension. Like you, it was night and day difference in terms of better driving quality. Even at highway speeds the car was just wanted to plant itself to the pavement which I loved. I did wish it was a bit more forgiving over sharp bumps or gaps but that would mean I need to ditch the e90.

You will see a little more drop over time when it settles.
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      03-19-2019, 01:57 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by PichaDis11 View Post
I should clear up that it was the old bushing of the top mount that tore off. Driver's front.

Yep also came from a non-sport suspension. Like you, it was night and day difference in terms of better driving quality. Even at highway speeds the car was just wanted to plant itself to the pavement which I loved. I did wish it was a bit more forgiving over sharp bumps or gaps but that would mean I need to ditch the e90.

You will see a little more drop over time when it settles.
Thanks.

I had to drive to downtown SF yesterday, boy the roads over there are crap. I even felt the front shock bottom out once. Hope that didn't damage my new struts lol.

I noticed my steering wheel is now not centered but the car still tracks straight. I'm not even sure if it was this way before.

Does an alignment fix the steering wheel issue, and how long did you wait for an alignment?
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      03-19-2019, 02:36 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Thanks.

I had to drive to downtown SF yesterday, boy the roads over there are crap. I even felt the front shock bottom out once. Hope that didn't damage my new struts lol.

I noticed my steering wheel is now not centered but the car still tracks straight. I'm not even sure if it was this way before.

Does an alignment fix the steering wheel issue, and how long did you wait for an alignment?
Yes, a good alignment shop should straighten the wheel.

Did you make sure to tighten the front control arms at ride height? When I did my BMW PI last year, I failed to do this, and the front of the car was higher than it should be. Then I bought ramps, loosened the control arm fasteners and torqued them back up with the car at the proper height, which lowered the front end of the car immediately. Just something to think about.
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      03-19-2019, 03:04 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phyrexia View Post
Yes, a good alignment shop should straighten the wheel.

Did you make sure to tighten the front control arms at ride height? When I did my BMW PI last year, I failed to do this, and the front of the car was higher than it should be. Then I bought ramps, loosened the control arm fasteners and torqued them back up with the car at the proper height, which lowered the front end of the car immediately. Just something to think about.
Yes, I lifted the car off the jack stands. 50 lbs, + 90 degrees. Thanks fo rthe heads up.

In regards to the steering wheel, will they have to do something out of the norm while aligning? After the alignment, if it still persists, what would you suggest?
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      03-19-2019, 04:06 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Yes, I lifted the car off the jack stands. 50 lbs, + 90 degrees. Thanks fo rthe heads up.

In regards to the steering wheel, will they have to do something out of the norm while aligning? After the alignment, if it still persists, what would you suggest?
If you want the best alignment in the Bay Area, go to Edge Motorworks in Mountain View.
They are the best by a long way. They will custom align not just manufacturer’s specs
I went there recently after installing new shocks and they did a great job. Tracks straight and wheel is perfectly centered
They are not cheap but worth it. Better than BMW dealer
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      03-19-2019, 05:18 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Yes, I lifted the car off the jack stands. 50 lbs, + 90 degrees. Thanks fo rthe heads up.

In regards to the steering wheel, will they have to do something out of the norm while aligning? After the alignment, if it still persists, what would you suggest?
The alignment will most likely straighten the wheel. Any competent alignment shop can do this easily, it's just a matter of adjusting the tie rods.
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      03-19-2019, 06:35 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabrwright View Post
If you want the best alignment in the Bay Area, go to Edge Motorworks in Mountain View.
They are the best by a long way. They will custom align not just manufacturer’s specs
I went there recently after installing new shocks and they did a great job. Tracks straight and wheel is perfectly centered
They are not cheap but worth it. Better than BMW dealer
Mind sharing how much they charge? I believe Peter Pan BMW charges $200 or so.
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      03-19-2019, 06:36 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dabrwright View Post
If you want the best alignment in the Bay Area, go to Edge Motorworks in Mountain View.
They are the best by a long way. They will custom align not just manufacturer’s specs
I went there recently after installing new shocks and they did a great job. Tracks straight and wheel is perfectly centered
They are not cheap but worth it. Better than BMW dealer
I booked an appointment with Agundis but will call Edge Motorworks as suggested.
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      03-19-2019, 09:24 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Mind sharing how much they charge? I believe Peter Pan BMW charges $200 or so.
I think it is about $280. You get a 10% discount if you belong to BMWCCA
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      03-21-2019, 10:11 AM   #16
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Second Opinion: After 150 miles, I would say that the ride is firmer and a bit bouncy at roads with multiple dips or imperfections. I've only had a sport suspension on an e46 but it must noticeably a softer ride on the E46 that is. Not that I'm complaining, if you are after comforts, stick with a Bilstein B4 or Sach's alternatives on stock springs.

Even wifey noticed the ride now and she is really not great at noticing these things. I don't plan to take my car to the track or anything but occasional drives is some twisties.

Hoping that the ride will get better over time. I'm scheduled for an alignment exactly two weeks after the install, which is next Saturday.

Thanks for reading.
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      03-21-2019, 11:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Thanks for reading.
Thanks for sharing!

I'm in the same boat- need new shocks, with a dd/family hauler that can be sporty when the kidlets are dropped off.

Did you replace/upgrade any other hardware or just the shocks/struts?
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      03-21-2019, 11:43 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thorin View Post
Thanks for sharing!

I'm in the same boat- need new shocks, with a dd/family hauler that can be sporty when the kidlets are dropped off.

Did you replace/upgrade any other hardware or just the shocks/struts?
I would say if you have other vehicles, go for it considering it may not be that comfortable with passengers.

In regards to the hardware, I replaced the following:

Front:

Upper Strut Mount Assembly with bearing
Upper rubber Spring Seat (although the stock rubbers were fine upon inspection, no noticeable wear)
Lower rubber Spring Seat (although the stock rubbers were fine upon inspection, no noticeable wear)
Sway Bar Links (went with the "beefier" Meyle)

Another tip is that a regular socket won't fit on the strut mount. You will need is a thin walled socket or even better, the Schwaben socket available from ECS of which has a provision to insert an allen key to tighten/loosen. A strut spindle spreader works like wonder as well. No hassle at all with this tool, twisted and pulled right off without any need of lubricant. It spreads the spindle without any guesswork needed of what tool to insert.

Note: B8 struts have internal bumpers.


Rear:

Upper/Upper Shock Mount (my stock mount was still OK, no noticeable wear; still clean)
Upper/Lower Shock Mount (my stock mount was still OK, no noticeable wear; still clean)
Shock Lower Mount (black rubber where the bottom of shock mounts, one had a tear on hole but no effect or noise prevalent)

Total for above was around $80 from FCP Euro, lifetime replacement warranty.



Note: B8 shocks have included bumpers and miscellaneous hardware. If I would do this again, I would replace the upper and lower rubber spring seats. I notice I had one tear/hole where the upper spring ends.

Last edited by ducatiti; 03-21-2019 at 12:38 PM.
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      Yesterday, 02:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ducatiti View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by PichaDis11 View Post
I should clear up that it was the old bushing of the top mount that tore off. Driver's front.

Yep also came from a non-sport suspension. Like you, it was night and day difference in terms of better driving quality. Even at highway speeds the car was just wanted to plant itself to the pavement which I loved. I did wish it was a bit more forgiving over sharp bumps or gaps but that would mean I need to ditch the e90.

You will see a little more drop over time when it settles.
Thanks.

I had to drive to downtown SF yesterday, boy the roads over there are crap. I even felt the front shock bottom out once. Hope that didn't damage my new struts lol.

I noticed my steering wheel is now not centered but the car still tracks straight. I'm not even sure if it was this way before.

Does an alignment fix the steering wheel issue, and how long did you wait for an alignment?
Lol man are you in for a world of gun shots in the cabin on crumpy roads . This setup certainly amplifies those hits inside.

Your steering angle being off was probably from the shop adjusting the tie rods. Happened on my car recently with a new shop that I went to. Since it's messed with now; the shop (or new one) should adjust/reset your steering angle sensor while correcting the adjustments made before.
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      Yesterday, 06:05 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PichaDis11 View Post
Lol man are you in for a world of gun shots in the cabin on crumpy roads . This setup certainly amplifies those hits inside.

Your steering angle being off was probably from the shop adjusting the tie rods. Happened on my car recently with a new shop that I went to. Since it's messed with now; the shop (or new one) should adjust/reset your steering angle sensor while correcting the adjustments made before.
I installed the struts/shocks myself and didn't touch the tie rods. Probably affected it while pushing the control downwards to remove the strut assembly.

Steering Angle Sensor? Do the base models have these? I have regular halogen lights fyi.
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      Yesterday, 06:06 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PichaDis11 View Post
Lol man are you in for a world of gun shots in the cabin on crumpy roads . This setup certainly amplifies those hits inside.

Your steering angle being off was probably from the shop adjusting the tie rods. Happened on my car recently with a new shop that I went to. Since it's messed with now; the shop (or new one) should adjust/reset your steering angle sensor while correcting the adjustments made before.
Setup amplifies the sound of pot hole hits? I don't see any difference in the sounds, actually a much quiet ride with the new suspension.
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