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Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 05-14-2014, 06:00 PM   #1
willisw2001
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Sport to base suspension?

Hey all, pls bear with me if this sounds like heresy. My 06 325Ci convertible is terrific so far. The problem is my better half isn't happy with the Sport suspension's stiff ride on our deteriorating roads. My questions are 1) Is there any problem switching to Base springs and shocks/struts (keeping the Sport sway bars and wheels); 2) would this make a significant difference in ride comfort; and 3) is it crazy to consider this? I can compromise a little on handling if it keeps the Mrs. happy. Thanks for any advice.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:02 PM   #2
orb
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OEM shocks are crap for durability. Go for some Bilsteins or konis.

Last edited by orb; 05-14-2014 at 06:18 PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:08 PM   #3
325CiBrett
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Originally Posted by GDubois View Post
OEM springs are crap for durability. Go for some Bilsteins or konis.

How does this answer his questions?


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Old 05-14-2014, 06:08 PM   #4
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Sport to base suspension?

My non sport springs have been just fine for 14 years now. Why would anyone say they are not durable? You should have no problems with the swap.


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Last edited by Stickbuilder; 05-14-2014 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:08 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by GDubois View Post
OEM springs are crap for durability. Go for some Bilsteins or konis.

Can you clarify this statement ?


It reads like you're saying Bilsteins & Koni's are springs.



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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by willisw2001 View Post
Hey all, pls bear with me if this sounds like heresy. My 06 325Ci convertible is terrific so far. The problem is my better half isn't happy with the Sport suspension's stiff ride on our deteriorating roads. My questions are 1) Is there any problem switching to Base springs and shocks/struts (keeping the Sport sway bars and wheels); 2) would this make a significant difference in ride comfort; and 3) is it crazy to consider this? I can compromise a little on handling if it keeps the Mrs. happy. Thanks for any advice.

OP, to answer your question directly, I would first buy a set of koni FSD struts/shocks paired up to your Existing stock springs. This one purchase should solve your issue.


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Rob #43 ITS/ITR/STU, BMW 325I, STU LAP RECORD
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"Chance Favors The Prepared Mind"

I BUILD SUSPENSIONS (Consult) FROM MILD TO WILD FOR RWD & Xi E46's
Quote:
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:15 PM   #7
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Even my 1975 BMW did just fine with it's stock springs.
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"Would the codes indicate if it's the carburator?"
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Old 05-14-2014, 06:20 PM   #8
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I meant shocks. I'm saying if he's replacing the shocks, don't get new "base" OEM shocks.
For less money, you can get aftermarket shocks that are better.

The stock springs are fine, and don't need to be replaced unless they're rusted or have 200k.

Last edited by orb; 05-14-2014 at 06:22 PM.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:06 PM   #9
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And none of you are paying any attention to what he asked. He didn't ask what shocks are better, he wants a softer ride.

So yes, standard springs and "heavy duty" shocks will bolt right up and won't cause any issues. They'll simply raise your car an inch or so and soften the ride.
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Old 05-14-2014, 07:12 PM   #10
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One solution for softer ride is Koni FSD struts & shocks. The tirerack.com has them on sale http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/s...=Sport+Package. I upgraded the suspension on my 01 330ci coupe with Dinan Stage 1 suspension which turned out to have way to stiff of a ride for me. So replaced the Dinan tuned Koni yellow struts & shocks with Koni FSD struts & shocks and there was a huge improvement in the ride quality. I should have replaced the stock struts & shocks with the Koni FSD's in the first place. Here is a road test of Koni FSD's from the tirerack http://www.tirerack.com/suspension/tests/koni_fsd.jsp

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Old 05-14-2014, 07:31 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by GDubois View Post
OEM shocks are crap for durability. Go for some Bilsteins or konis.

You've owned 1 old used 325 for 2 years and suddenly you're an expert on the durability of OE suspension? How can you even make this statement when you were probably 4 or 5 years old when the e46 was first put on the market?

Op going with either the Koni FSD or the Bilstein tourings should be a good place to start. I would first change out the shocks and struts and then if that doesn't work look into a softer spring. I think you will be surprised with how just changing to the right shock/strut setup will soften the ride. Keep in mind that even a non sport e46 still has a little bit stiffer suspension than most cars out there. It just comes with the territory when you drive a BMW. Good luck and I hope you are able to sort this out.


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Old 05-14-2014, 07:58 PM   #12
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And none of you are paying any attention to what he asked. He didn't ask what shocks are better, he wants a softer ride.

...
Actually he did ask about shocks/struts, so recommending aftermarket ones is answering his questions. Besides, if the ones he has on his car now are blown out they're likely the entire cause of the harsh ride; not the springs. Worn out damping is a far more common cause of bad ride quality than a factory spring being too stiff. Getting OEM non-sport shocks and springs will likely fix the problem because he'll be replacing the blown out shocks, but he'll be wasting money by going OEM for the the shocks instead of good aftermarket and pointlessly losing performance and wasting money by replacing the springs.
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:37 PM   #13
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Maybe I'm wrong, but don't the convertibles and coupes only offer "sport" suspension? I thought only sedans and tourings had the option to get base suspension?
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Old 05-14-2014, 08:50 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by mjpgolf1 View Post
You've owned 1 old used 325 for 2 years and suddenly you're an expert on the durability of OE suspension? How can you even make this statement when you were probably 4 or 5 years old when the e46 was first put on the market?
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And where is it implied that I am an expert on the durability of OE suspension? Just because I've owned my car for two years doesn't make me oblivious to the fact that my 100k+ suspension is worn. The second part of the above statement
is irrelevant, as I've seen new BMWs first hand go from new to worn struts in about 50k miles. Yes, the wearing is very gradual, but it's there, and well documented on the forums if you'd search.

And then you have the nerve to give the same advice as me after poking at my credibility? Lol moron

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Old 05-14-2014, 09:10 PM   #15
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How much softer are the non sport springs anyways?
Somebody said they were the same, just taller.
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"Would the codes indicate if it's the carburator?"
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Old 05-15-2014, 12:35 PM   #16
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1. There is no such thing as a non sport ci suspension.
2. Your rough ride is most likely due to the simple fact that your shocks are worn out and need replacement! Probably other critical components like bushings also need help? if a soft ride is your only concern, stick with std replacement type shocks like Sachs, Bilstein Touring, std koni or FSD etc.
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Old 05-15-2014, 01:23 PM   #17
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And where is it implied that I am an expert on the durability of OE suspension? Just because I've owned my car for two years doesn't make me oblivious to the fact that my 100k+ suspension is worn.
wait a minute, you only owned a 325 for two years and you're only a teenager? I thought you were some older Porsche owning track junkie. my bad, I notice now the 911 in your sig is photoshopped in front of sign.

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1. There is no such thing as a non sport ci suspension.
we're not talking about "ci" as in Coupe, but Convertibles

OP I agree go with some comfort valved new struts/shocks. even some tires are softer, confirm you don't have run flats.
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFLD MIRRORS - CSL RACK - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA TUNE - AA PULLEYS - AS 40% SSK - BILSTEIN PSS9s
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Old 05-15-2014, 03:19 PM   #18
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wait a minute, you only owned a 325 for two years and you're only a teenager? I thought you were some older Porsche owning track junkie. my bad, I notice now the 911 in your sig is photoshopped in front of sign.
Lair joke
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Old 05-15-2014, 06:02 PM   #19
Alex323Ci
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Lair joke

oh so it's a joke. always confused when people post other peoples cars in their signature.
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFLD MIRRORS - CSL RACK - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA TUNE - AA PULLEYS - AS 40% SSK - BILSTEIN PSS9s
CF CSL LIP - NAV- BMWP CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC S/S LINES, RTABs - H&R SWAYS - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 05-19-2014, 12:50 AM   #20
willisw2001
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Many thanks for all your good advice. I've ordered Base spec shocks, springs, and strut assy's. If they smooth out my 325Ci's ride (happy wife) without undue handling loss (happy me), life will be good. I'll hang onto my original parts in case de-Sporting my beloved car turns out badly. Either way I'll let you know how it goes.
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