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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all,

I wanna change the shock absorbers as well as the strut bearings.
My car is a

E46 330ci with S226 and M-Package:
226 Sports Suspension Settings
338 M Sports Package Ii

VIN WBxxxxxxxxJT67877
E46, engine M54B30, 231PS,
Productiondate 2001-Nov

I looked at the two front shocks/struts, left and right. On one of them I found the Sachs part number 824903557695 as well as the original BMW OE part numbers (left/right):
31312282459 / 31312282460

I'm really not sure which one to go for now, as there are soooo many different parts available.
Any ideas?
Is Meyle HD a good fit or does it have to be original Sachs?

And yes, I did my research, that's what confuses me so much, also 50skid had problems getting the proper parts:

Unfortunately I'll not fix it myself, i.e. I need to absolutely order the correct ones the first time around.

Thanks so much!

EDIT:
And I found those part numbers for original Sachs / ZF for the front struts for 330ci with sports suspension:
317540 // 317539
They do not match the ones mentioned above by Sachs, but maybe the old numbers from Sachs were just replaced by newer ones. But again they differ from the 50skid video slightly.
 

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'04 330ci 6MT
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JT67877 had production date 11.2001 (according to bmwfans.info). That's relevant because BMW revised the suspension settings from 09.2001


Looking at the ZF webcat WebCat I get the same as you:
  • 317 539 links, mit sportfederung, ab 09.2001
  • 317 540 rechts, mit sportfederung, ab 09.2001

The webcat does list some old part numbers that have been replaced, but these are 290 949 and 290 950. Perhaps ZF used different part numbers on parts supplied direct to BMW from parts they sell on the aftermarket.
 

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2000 E46 323i, 3.0L and 2.0L Z3's
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I have used Meyle HD shocks and struts on E46's and Z3's. They are a good quality unit that matches the OE performance well. If you want something stiffer, look at other brands.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I have used Meyle HD shocks and struts on E46's and Z3's. They are a good quality unit that matches the OE performance well. If you want something stiffer, look at other brands.
For me, the "default" sport suspension stiffness as I have them, is sufficient.
Are your's like this? Or do you have the standard suspension (no sport package)?

JT67877 had production date 11.2001 (according to bmwfans.info). That's relevant because BMW revised the suspension settings from 09.2001


Looking at the ZF webcat WebCat I get the same as you:
  • 317 539 links, mit sportfederung, ab 09.2001
  • 317 540 rechts, mit sportfederung, ab 09.2001

The webcat does list some old part numbers that have been replaced, but these are 290 949 and 290 950. Perhaps ZF used different part numbers on parts supplied direct to BMW from parts they sell on the aftermarket.
Thanks, yes, manufactured 2001.09.
Im a bit irritated by this:

Before 09/2001, number 317 541 was used for standard AND for sport suspension with M package II?! But down below there's 317 547, also before 2001.09, but for only sport-suspension.

And today... there's ONLY sport suspension? so does it mean, there's no difference whether you have M package II or not? so S338 does not have any influence on the suspension, but only S226 ?
922253
 

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E30M3 Race F10 535 R1150Rt M Coupe
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Hi all,

I wanna change the shock absorbers as well as the strut bearings.
My car is a

E46 330ci with S226 and M-Package:
226 Sports Suspension Settings
338 M Sports Package Ii

VIN WBxxxxxxxxJT67877
E46, engine M54B30, 231PS,
Productiondate 2001-Nov

I looked at the two front shocks/struts, left and right. On one of them I found the Sachs part number 824903557695 as well as the original BMW OE part numbers (left/right):
31312282459 / 31312282460

I'm really not sure which one to go for now, as there are soooo many different parts available.
Any ideas?
Is Meyle HD a good fit or does it have to be original Sachs?

And yes, I did my research, that's what confuses me so much, also 50skid had problems getting the proper parts:

Unfortunately I'll not fix it myself, i.e. I need to absolutely order the correct ones the first time around.

Thanks so much!

EDIT:
And I found those part numbers for original Sachs / ZF for the front struts for 330ci with sports suspension:
317540 // 317539
They do not match the ones mentioned above by Sachs, but maybe the old numbers from Sachs were just replaced by newer ones. But again they differ from the 50skid video slightly.
And I found those part numbers for original Sachs / ZF for the front struts for 330ci with sports suspension:
317540 // 317539


This is a correct cross reference for the BMW numbers you supplied. Furthermore I entered your vin into my genuine ETK, and your numbers are correct.
 

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Before 09/2001, number 317 541 was used for standard AND for sport suspension with M package II?! But down below there's 317 547, also before 2001.09, but for only sport-suspension.

And today... there's ONLY sport suspension? so does it mean, there's no difference whether you have M package II or not? so S338 does not have any influence on the suspension, but only S226 ?
The situation is complicated for the Coupe, unlike the Saloon and Touring. In my market (UK) and in the US market (and maybe in every market, I don't know), BMW supplied the Coupe with Sports Suspension settings as standard up until 09/2001. After 09/2001, at least in my market, the series suspension (ie non-sports) on the Coupe was a halfway-house: that is to say it had the same shorter coil springs as the Sports suspension but it had series dampers (and series anti-roll bars, and series control arms).
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Is there any experience with non-Sachs dampers?
Which one can be taken? Monroe? Meyle HD?
The original Sachs are ~500 bucks for 4 dampers - there is a Meyle HD package for 220€ including the upper suspension-strut mount:


Even though I'm not 100% sure they fit exactly my length / stiffness.

But at least in the description it says:

These shock absorbers correspond to the sporty chassis tuning or the M chassis of BMW. ( Equipment: S226A )
and it also says:

production-date till 04.01 for vehicles with standard chassis or
production-date from 09.01 onwards Axle version: Sport equipment var. M-Sportpack II for vehicles with sport suspension for vehicles with bad road design for vehicles without M-Technik for vehicles without sport suspension for vehicles without bad road design Installation location front axle
So exactly as @elfer mentiones.
Any experience with Meyle HD on suspension?
 

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While we wait, hopefully, for someone with experience of the Myle HD to answer your question, I can at least share my experiences of the brands I have tried. I happen to really like the BMW Sports suspension and, to me, that feels just right. When i wasn't able to buy new Sachs or Boge sports-specific dampers for the rear, I bought the Sachs standard dampers (because the webcat said they were for either sports or standard) but I found them noticeably under-damped. I took them off after a year and fitted Bilstein B6, but i found those very much too firm. After a year of those, I changed to the Bilstein B4. They're not as firm as the B6 but, nevertheless, I still found them firmer than the BMW sports dampers, and the rear axle is still unnecessarily over-damped as a result (though not as much so as with the B6). I have yet to find an identical substitute for the BMW sports dampers or sports-specific Sachs/Boge.

I hadn't considered Monroe but, because you mentioned them, i just looked at their EU webcat. Most aftermarket manufacturers offer the same dampers for both standard and sports chassis so it's encouraging that Monroe list different dampers for each. That at least implies they have attempted to tune their sports suspension specific dampers to match the sports spring rates. I always thought of them as a bit of a "cheap" brand, but now I'm curious and would be interested to try them :)
 

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I have used Meyle HD shocks/struts in both Z3's and E46's. They are good quality and provide an OE style ride. Meyle HD are the cheapest option down here in the South Pacific.

If you are after something stiffer/sporty then Bilstein have options.
 

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Using this page as my guide, RealOEM.com - Online BMW Parts Catalog, if I go down the list of Item 1, I come to a place where it says, S226 = Yes, then shows the left and right side strut. I would order these two struts. Moving to the page where the lower control arms are shown, you want the parts under S338 = Yes. Moving to the rear, you still want to find S226 and S338 = Yes.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
While we wait, hopefully, for someone with experience of the Myle HD to answer your question, I can at least share my experiences of the brands I have tried. I happen to really like the BMW Sports suspension and, to me, that feels just right. When i wasn't able to buy new Sachs or Boge sports-specific dampers for the rear, I bought the Sachs standard dampers (because the webcat said they were for either sports or standard) but I found them noticeably under-damped. I took them off after a year and fitted Bilstein B6, but i found those very much too firm. After a year of those, I changed to the Bilstein B4. They're not as firm as the B6 but, nevertheless, I still found them firmer than the BMW sports dampers, and the rear axle is still unnecessarily over-damped as a result (though not as much so as with the B6). I have yet to find an identical substitute for the BMW sports dampers or sports-specific Sachs/Boge.

I hadn't considered Monroe but, because you mentioned them, i just looked at their EU webcat. Most aftermarket manufacturers offer the same dampers for both standard and sports chassis so it's encouraging that Monroe list different dampers for each. That at least implies they have attempted to tune their sports suspension specific dampers to match the sports spring rates. I always thought of them as a bit of a "cheap" brand, but now I'm curious and would be interested to try them :)
Hi Elfer,
the thing is:
Mine are 20years and 215k km old, so they are supposed to be broken since a long time.
As I purchased the car with 185k km, I guess they have been broken already when purchasing.
So whichever way I go, I guess I can't even compare to the original BMW/Sachs dampers in working-mode.

So the question would be:
How do broken dampers behave?
The will be kinda loose I suppose, so probably more or less all "new" dampers will def. feel a lot stiffer, isnt it?
 

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In my experience, as they wear they become less effective. After you go over a bump, the car will oscillate up and down a bit before settling down to level. And, when you corner, the car will be quicker to lean.

I suppose the next question might be: Do you want to restore the factory balance between body control and comfort? Or do you just want better body control than you have at the moment, even if the resulting balance is a bit different than that chosen by BMW's chassis engineers?
 
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