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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Which new front shocks for stock sport suspension springs



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      06-01-2020, 11:33 AM   #1
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Which new front shocks for stock sport suspension springs

I am cross eyed from reading 100 posts, and I haven't been able to figure this out.

I have a 2006 330i with sport suspension, but the fronts are blown. Can I just throw in a koni sport or a Bilstein B8 and will it work properly? I am looking for more cornering performance and less plush ride. Not jarring, but firm. The roads where I live are good.

If I were to replace the springs, which spring/shock combo is the best? I don't care about low or flush, just strictly performace. Actually would like to keep it closer to factory height, as I have speed bumps to deal with every day

Another question, do the factory springs sag after 14 years? The front end seems pretty low already, I scrape quite a bit and have to be careful in marking stalls.


Lastly, should I just buy some BC BR coilovers? Can get a new set for $700. But I don't want to go through the trouble and then be dissapointed by their performance. No autocrossing, but just canyon carving on a weekly basis.

TIA!
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      06-01-2020, 03:09 PM   #2
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So I pretty much decided on Koni Sport or Bilstein B8, but the remaining question is should I replace the springs too? I don't track, just canyon roads. Will these struts work with the stock springs? thanks.
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      06-01-2020, 08:07 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
I am cross eyed from reading 100 posts, and I haven't been able to figure this out.

I have a 2006 330i with sport suspension, but the fronts are blown. Can I just throw in a koni sport or a Bilstein B8 and will it work properly? I am looking for more cornering performance and less plush ride. Not jarring, but firm. The roads where I live are good.

If I were to replace the springs, which spring/shock combo is the best? I don't care about low or flush, just strictly performace. Actually would like to keep it closer to factory height, as I have speed bumps to deal with every day

Another question, do the factory springs sag after 14 years? The front end seems pretty low already, I scrape quite a bit and have to be careful in marking stalls.


Lastly, should I just buy some BC BR coilovers? Can get a new set for $700. But I don't want to go through the trouble and then be dissapointed by their performance. No autocrossing, but just canyon carving on a weekly basis.

TIA!
Bilstein B6 is equivalent to the Sport Suspension

B8's would be for M-sport
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      06-01-2020, 09:54 PM   #4
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When I did mine the top strut mount was smashed by about 1/8 in so the new ones made it look higher. There are also top strut mounts that are made to lower the front with no road harness penalty.
I went with the Koni yellows on stock sport springs. Seem about 10% stiffer than stock on the soft setting.
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      06-01-2020, 09:59 PM   #5
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This is what I was talking about: https://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=866192
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      06-01-2020, 11:23 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Bilstein B6 is equivalent to the Sport Suspension

B8's would be for M-sport
hmm.... i could have sworn i read somewhere that B6 is for std suspension and B8 is for sport AND M-sport, since they are very close in ride height. Or am I just making sh*t up again lol...
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      06-01-2020, 11:28 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoart View Post
When I did mine the top strut mount was smashed by about 1/8 in so the new ones made it look higher. There are also top strut mounts that are made to lower the front with no road harness penalty.
I went with the Koni yellows on stock sport springs. Seem about 10% stiffer than stock on the soft setting.
Thanks, I did see a thread that went into specifics with part numbers and old PNs and the such for M-sport vs sport vs std suspension, all from the Lemforder brand...
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      06-02-2020, 05:16 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
I am cross eyed from reading 100 posts, and I haven't been able to figure this out.

I have a 2006 330i with sport suspension, but the fronts are blown. Can I just throw in a koni sport or a Bilstein B8 and will it work properly? I am looking for more cornering performance and less plush ride. Not jarring, but firm. The roads where I live are good.

If I were to replace the springs, which spring/shock combo is the best? I don't care about low or flush, just strictly performace. Actually would like to keep it closer to factory height, as I have speed bumps to deal with every day

Another question, do the factory springs sag after 14 years? The front end seems pretty low already, I scrape quite a bit and have to be careful in marking stalls.


Lastly, should I just buy some BC BR coilovers? Can get a new set for $700. But I don't want to go through the trouble and then be dissapointed by their performance. No autocrossing, but just canyon carving on a weekly basis.

TIA!
Bilstein B6 is equivalent to the Sport Suspension

B8's would be for M-sport
Sport and M-Sport are the same springs, at least in the USA. OP should get B8s. The B6s have a long bump from the factory, he'll have no travel with the lower sport springs.

FWIW, I made the same mistake, and have B6s with my sport springs. I have no travel and it's pretty harsh. When I get some time (7 month old at home, so of course no time), I want to pull the struts and trim the internal bump stops on the front and get some shorter ones for the rear.

As for spring sagging, it's more likely that it's the bushings. In the rear, the bushings in the control arms tend to break down and you'll lose ride height, and in the front, it's the strut mount rubber. Mine were compressed by almost a half inch after 110k miles.
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      06-02-2020, 06:27 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
Bilstein B6 is equivalent to the Sport Suspension

B8's would be for M-sport
hmm.... i could have sworn i read somewhere that B6 is for std suspension and B8 is for sport AND M-sport, since they are very close in ride height. Or am I just making sh*t up again lol...
B4 = standard suspension
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      06-02-2020, 08:44 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
B4 = standard suspension
B4 is an OEM equivalent twin tube. It comes in standard and sport lengths.

B6 is an upgraded monotube damper and its tuned to be a bit stiffer. It is the same length as the OEM standard suspension though.

B8 is the same construction as the B6 damper, and I think its even tuned the same in the E90 application. However, the B8 has a shorter shaft, paired with a shorter bumpstop in the front to accommodate shorter springs, such as the OEM sport package or Eibach Pro Kit.
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      06-02-2020, 01:25 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rothwem View Post
B4 is an OEM equivalent twin tube. It comes in standard and sport lengths.

B6 is an upgraded monotube damper and its tuned to be a bit stiffer. It is the same length as the OEM standard suspension though.

B8 is the same construction as the B6 damper, and I think its even tuned the same in the E90 application. However, the B8 has a shorter shaft, paired with a shorter bumpstop in the front to accommodate shorter springs, such as the OEM sport package or Eibach Pro Kit.
What he said...don't listen to anyone that tells you different.
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      06-02-2020, 01:28 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by autoart View Post
When I did mine the top strut mount was smashed by about 1/8 in so the new ones made it look higher. There are also top strut mounts that are made to lower the front with no road harness penalty.
I went with the Koni yellows on stock sport springs. Seem about 10% stiffer than stock on the soft setting.
Those new upper mounts you put in collapse after a couple hundred miles as well...this is a known phenomenon.

Also, the drop hats you are referring to do have "road harness penalty" in the form of reduced strut travel, which definitely puts you closer to the bumpstops.

Interesting that the the yellows are 10% stiffer than stock on the soft setting, thank you for sharing.
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      06-02-2020, 09:24 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
So I pretty much decided on Koni Sport or Bilstein B8, but the remaining question is should I replace the springs too? I don't track, just canyon roads. Will these struts work with the stock springs? thanks.
I went with Koni Yellows on my stock x-drive springs (e92) and I'm very very happy with them. At the softest settings they seem just a bit stiffer than stock, and where I have them dialed in now (about a full-turn up from full-soft) they feel nicely stiff for more aggressive driving without being harsh over bumps. I debated going with Bilstein but most of what I read suggests that Koni tends to provide a more comfortable ride for a given level of stiffness and so far I believe it.

EDIT: Also, with Koni, there is no fear of any change in ride height. Mine took a day or two to fully settle but ride height is perfect at stock height.
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      06-04-2020, 07:25 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
What he said...don't listen to anyone that tells you different.
So the last thing I was looking at is reliability. Which one will last the longest and has the best warranty? would like to have 70k + trouble free miles with a suspension if possible! I live in Hawaii so no snow thank god (grew up in Chicago lol).

Between Koni sport, ST X, B12, or B14, which would you choose for firm sporty handling (roads are good here), and most reliable.

Thanks for all the input!
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      06-05-2020, 09:04 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by FCobra94 View Post
What he said...don't listen to anyone that tells you different.
So the last thing I was looking at is reliability. Which one will last the longest and has the best warranty? would like to have 70k + trouble free miles with a suspension if possible! I live in Hawaii so no snow thank god (grew up in Chicago lol).

Between Koni sport, ST X, B12, or B14, which would you choose for firm sporty handling (roads are good here), and most reliable.

Thanks for all the input!
If you add:

1) the B12 kit
2) with M3 control arms
3) M3 rear subframe bushings
4) M3 differential bushings
5) Eibach front & rear swaybars
6) Adjustable swaybar links

You will have a suspension that will be almost second to none. Your car will be a lot of fun canyon carving and the like in Hawaii...

By the way, how did you manage that move?! Chicago to Hawaii - you must love it. I know the cost of living is considerably higher, but the weather!

As far as durability, the above mentioned parts will be good for a min of 75,000 miles.

I live in Michigan and have this exact same set up; I have 50,000 miles on my set up through the salt invested winter roads & 4 seasons. Plus, Michigan probably has the crappiest roads in the nation. I'd say my set up is holding up quite nicely.
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      06-05-2020, 12:59 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
If you add:

1) the B12 kit
2) with M3 control arms
3) M3 rear subframe bushings
4) M3 differential bushings
5) Eibach front & rear swaybars
6) Adjustable swaybar links

You will have a suspension that will be almost second to none. Your car will be a lot of fun canyon carving and the like in Hawaii...

By the way, how did you manage that move?! Chicago to Hawaii - you must love it. I know the cost of living is considerably higher, but the weather!

As far as durability, the above mentioned parts will be good for a min of 75,000 miles.

I live in Michigan and have this exact same set up; I have 50,000 miles on my set up through the salt invested winter roads & 4 seasons. Plus, Michigan probably has the crappiest roads in the nation. I'd say my set up is holding up quite nicely.
That sounds like a good plan, I actually already have the M3 upgrade kit on order from FCP

Here is a wrench in the system, it appears the B14 is the same price as the B12 on many sites, plus you get adjustable ride height if you need, so seems like the better value? My other thought is to be cheap, save $450, and just get 2 Koni sports (adjustable) and throw those in and keep the OEM sport suspension springs (rear shocks were just replaced by PO). But the shipping is killer out here, it's $450 just for 2 koni struts, or $900-$950 for a B14 kit, which just seems like a great deal compared to $450 for 2 struts...

As for the move, it was a verrryyy long and indirect move, taking 12 years, moving to FL, CA, graduating college, then moving to HI, and an ex wife lol... Anyway, happy now, but will be happier when I get this car sorted. This is my first European car, I always loved the reliability and thriftiness of small japanese cars, so driving this is pretty amazing for me. Seemed like a good deal for a clean sport package sedan with 96k mi for $4500 in great condition. The only thing lacking is a manual, but i found the xHP trans mod, and that looks like a fun thing to do lol.

Yeah Michigan and Chicago are bleh, terrible roads and no scenery, at least in Chi. BUT, you can get on track at least, we have none on Maui. I listen to the Slip Angle podcast, so I'm living vicariously through those guys haha..

I read some bad stuff about the Bilstein on the 1er forums, I don't want to get caught up with a strut failing in 10k, having to send it in for warranty, etc etc etc.. I need this car to be bulletproof for the next 4 years while I drive my kids around to school, dance, and hockey...

Anyway, thanks for the input!
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      06-05-2020, 03:11 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jivenene View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
If you add:

1) the B12 kit
2) with M3 control arms
3) M3 rear subframe bushings
4) M3 differential bushings
5) Eibach front & rear swaybars
6) Adjustable swaybar links

You will have a suspension that will be almost second to none. Your car will be a lot of fun canyon carving and the like in Hawaii...

By the way, how did you manage that move?! Chicago to Hawaii - you must love it. I know the cost of living is considerably higher, but the weather!

As far as durability, the above mentioned parts will be good for a min of 75,000 miles.

I live in Michigan and have this exact same set up; I have 50,000 miles on my set up through the salt invested winter roads & 4 seasons. Plus, Michigan probably has the crappiest roads in the nation. I'd say my set up is holding up quite nicely.
That sounds like a good plan, I actually already have the M3 upgrade kit on order from FCP

Here is a wrench in the system, it appears the B14 is the same price as the B12 on many sites, plus you get adjustable ride height if you need, so seems like the better value? My other thought is to be cheap, save $450, and just get 2 Koni sports (adjustable) and throw those in and keep the OEM sport suspension springs (rear shocks were just replaced by PO). But the shipping is killer out here, it's $450 just for 2 koni struts, or $900-$950 for a B14 kit, which just seems like a great deal compared to $450 for 2 struts...

As for the move, it was a verrryyy long and indirect move, taking 12 years, moving to FL, CA, graduating college, then moving to HI, and an ex wife lol... Anyway, happy now, but will be happier when I get this car sorted. This is my first European car, I always loved the reliability and thriftiness of small japanese cars, so driving this is pretty amazing for me. Seemed like a good deal for a clean sport package sedan with 96k mi for $4500 in great condition. The only thing lacking is a manual, but i found the xHP trans mod, and that looks like a fun thing to do lol.

Yeah Michigan and Chicago are bleh, terrible roads and no scenery, at least in Chi. BUT, you can get on track at least, we have none on Maui. I listen to the Slip Angle podcast, so I'm living vicariously through those guys haha..

I read some bad stuff about the Bilstein on the 1er forums, I don't want to get caught up with a strut failing in 10k, having to send it in for warranty, etc etc etc.. I need this car to be bulletproof for the next 4 years while I drive my kids around to school, dance, and hockey...

Anyway, thanks for the input!
I have almost never seen a complaint about the B12 kit on a 335i w/ regards to failure, in the 10 years I have been on this forum.

The biggest thing with the B12 kit is that it takes 2,000 to 4,000 miles to settle in. People like to complain about that out of ignorance (they didn't know about a break in period)

Koni yellow's are a good choice. I have never used them, but seen a lot good reviews.

Not too many guys get the B-14 Kit for their 335.

It's really, really difficult to beat the quality of a Bilstein shock & strut quite honestly.

I like the drop of the B-12 Kit. Personally, I wouldn't want to mess with height adjustments or hard & soft adjustments (Koni). I like a tried & true PnP system that I don't have to mess with & works. Like I said, I've had mine for 50,000 miles - no issues.

Another advantage with the B12 Kit is that it comes with Eibach springs. The Eibach swaybar Kit is specifically tuned to the springs in the B12 Kit. No other swaybar kit, that I'm aware of, has this advantage.

A lot of times, guys get H&R springs or M3 sway bars and then complain about under or over steer. Or they don't like how the car rides with the new springs & sway bars etc., and can't figure out why? It's because they bought only the front swaybar or they got springs or swaybars (maybe both) that don't really compliment each other at all (they aren't tuned to each other). YOU WONT HAVE THAT PROBLEM WITH THE B-12 KIT. In fact, it will be quite the opposite.

Feel free to explore Koni Yellows or the B14 Kit. However, I would encourage you to do the research regarding what springs & swaybars are "tuned" to each other & what combination of all 3 works best with each other, prior to purchasing.

The N54 motor is good for 300-400,000 miles. It's the external or surround hardware like water pumps & thermostats for example that tend to fail.

With that said, it's hard to argue with FCP and their lifetime warranty.
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      06-05-2020, 05:59 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mweisdorfer View Post
I have almost never seen a complaint about the B12 kit on a 335i w/ regards to failure, in the 10 years I have been on this forum.

The biggest thing with the B12 kit is that it takes 2,000 to 4,000 miles to settle in. People like to complain about that out of ignorance (they didn't know about a break in period)

Koni yellow's are a good choice. I have never used them, but seen a lot good reviews.

Not too many guys get the B-14 Kit for their 335.

It's really, really difficult to beat the quality of a Bilstein shock & strut quite honestly.

I like the drop of the B-12 Kit. Personally, I wouldn't want to mess with height adjustments or hard & soft adjustments (Koni). I like a tried & true PnP system that I don't have to mess with & works. Like I said, I've had mine for 50,000 miles - no issues.

Another advantage with the B12 Kit is that it comes with Eibach springs. The Eibach swaybar Kit is specifically tuned to the springs in the B12 Kit. No other swaybar kit, that I'm aware of, has this advantage.

A lot of times, guys get H&R springs or M3 sway bars and then complain about under or over steer. Or they don't like how the car rides with the new springs & sway bars etc., and can't figure out why? It's because they bought only the front swaybar or they got springs or swaybars (maybe both) that don't really compliment each other at all (they aren't tuned to each other). YOU WONT HAVE THAT PROBLEM WITH THE B-12 KIT. In fact, it will be quite the opposite.

Feel free to explore Koni Yellows or the B14 Kit. However, I would encourage you to do the research regarding what springs & swaybars are "tuned" to each other & what combination of all 3 works best with each other, prior to purchasing.

The N54 motor is good for 300-400,000 miles. It's the external or surround hardware like water pumps & thermostats for example that tend to fail.

With that said, it's hard to argue with FCP and their lifetime warranty.
Thanks, I need to keep that in mind, about having the sway bars tuned to the springs and shocks. Honestly I was going to leave the stock sports suspension bars on there before I upgraded anything, I wonder how the B12 or B14 will play with those?

but yeah it does seem like what you have is a very good PnP solution from a company that has a long motorsports heritage... I might be very convinced it is the only way to go because I also don't have the time or energy to tweak on things until they are right (kids and jobs and stuff lol...) I would rather spend that time driving up Haleakala at an irresponsible rate of speed haha

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