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Discussion Starter #1
I know I’ll probably get killed for asking this question but I live in NJ and I want my e46 m3 to ride a bit smoother given how bad the roads are. I also think my shocks and struts are worn out (don’t think they were ever replaced and car has 105k miles now) which is why it feels so harsh. That being said, would you recommend switching to Koni yellows or get a sub 500 or 600 dollar set of coil overs ? I want to be able to keep the stock handling and height... just need a bit of a smoother ride.


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There's an old saying from a science fiction writer; Robert Heinlein. "There's no such thing as free lunch."

Having installed more flavors of coil overs than I care to think about I can offer this.
Most coil over systems are designed from the outset to offer a higher degree of cornering prowess. Therefore the average daily ride will suffer.
I have been amazed at some of the setups that TC Kline offers with the double adjustable and lower rate springs. Softer than the usual coil over spring rates and half decent everyday. Want to go play? Dial em' up on the shock settings.

On smoother stretches of 287 or 78 they actually ride smoother, as the car doesn't undulate much. As with any coil over. However these lovely NJ roads; when you hit that unexpected pothole or speed-bump, bam. All of that higher spring rate has to unload and go somewhere. TC's I feel is the best compromise, albeit not at cheapo prices.
 

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Lovely NJ roads.....

If I had a a penny for everytime I get like my car is breaking because of a pothole or bad road I’d be a millionaire. Sometimes I really wonder who designs them ... let’s put a hugeeee speed bump in the middle of a major highway (route 80) that’ll teach em... haha

Anyways so you prefer those coil overs over koni yellows ?


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Lovely NJ roads.....

If I had a a penny for everytime I get like my car is breaking because of a pothole or bad road I’d be a millionaire. Sometimes I really wonder who designs them ... let’s put a hugeeee speed bump in the middle of a major highway (route 80) that’ll teach em... haha

Anyways so you prefer those coil overs over koni yellows ?


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TC Kline makes great stuff. That being said it isn’t the solution to bad roads.

If you are running 19’s go to 18’s. Also suggest replacing the dampers with new OEM (or equivalent like a Bilstein B4). Cheap coil overs will wreck the ride even more as will any aftermarket “sport” damper. Koni Yellows are great dampers but even dialed back have more rebound and compression than stock. The idea is to retain as much of the stock wheel travel as possible and keep damping moderate. You might even want the springs and dampers from a 330. Stock M3 is already fairly firm.

Other option is get a different car (SUV) for a daily. This was my solution. I drive the M3 on nice days or weekends only and left my suspension stock - it’s already an M3!
 

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Discussion Starter #5
TC Kline makes great stuff. That being said it isn’t the solution to bad roads.

If you are running 19’s go to 18’s. Also suggest replacing the dampers with new OEM (or equivalent like a Bilstein B4). Cheap coil overs will wreck the ride even more as will any aftermarket “sport” damper. Koni Yellows are great dampers but even dialed back have more rebound and compression than stock. The idea is to retain as much of the stock wheel travel as possible and keep damping moderate. You might even want the springs and dampers from a 330. Stock M3 is already fairly firm.

Other option is get a different car (SUV) for a daily. This was my solution. I drive the M3 on nice days or weekends only and left my suspension stock - it’s already an M3!
Already have 18s on the car ... used to have 19 comp rims with Michelin pilot super sports which I love so much but the ride was just too harsh. Is it possible to put shocks and struts from a 330i on a m3 coupe ?


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for what you say you want:
I would get the Koni Sports (yellows) over cheap coil-overs.
I would look into getting the Koni Sports with adjustable rears from TCKline.
If able to replace the springs I would get Dinan springs to go with them all.
 

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I have Koni adjustable yellows on another car, a performance sedan of roughly the same size as this (‘92 MB 500E). For most of their lives they were on the soft setting you’re after. I dialed them up a bit to be more 500E ish — sharper handling the way Porsche intended.

If stock is too firm for you here, I wouldn’t hesitate to go that route on this car. The adjustability makes them great for dialing in exactly what you want on stock height.

Cheers,

maw
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I have Koni adjustable yellows on another car, a performance sedan of roughly the same size as this (‘92 MB 500E). For most of their lives they were on the soft setting you’re after. I dialed them up a bit to be more 500E ish — sharper handling the way Porsche intended.

If stock is too firm for you here, I wouldn’t hesitate to go that route on this car. The adjustability makes them great for dialing in exactly what you want on stock height.

Cheers,

maw
How was the ride when it was on the soft setting ? Was it fairly smooth and able to absorb bumps?


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How was the ride when it was on the soft setting ? Was it fairly smooth and able to absorb bumps?
Yes. It was ‘92 Mercedes flagship like. Still is, just a little tighter. I tightened it up to complement new OEM rear hydro struts on the car (rear hydraulic self leveling) and 18” wheels (vs 16” stock in ‘92). They work fine. That car is similar to this one in size (~3800lbs), weight distribution (50/50 ish), and power, although the V8 up front there is heavier and more powerful and that car is a sedan.

But that car is in FL, not NJ, so there’s your major consideration. The E46M is a naturally stiff chassis car, so there’s not a whole lot you can do for bad road surfaces, other than as someone else said, drive a different car, smaller wheels, all season tires instead of sport (which I do). But I have experience with Koni yellows, so I shared it. Hope this helps.

maw
 

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I’ve installed Koni Sports in four of my previous BMWs, including E46.
 

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I'm 100% on board with getting the Koni SAs in this application but I would stay away from the DINAN springs. I have them, the DINAN Konis and springs, they are aggressive. Phenomenal on the track but a bit harsh for a daily drive.

On my e39 540 I have well over 100k on the setup and is still a very smooth and comfortable ride with Koni SAs and H&R Sport springs. Very good for daily use.
 

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I'm 100% on board with getting the Koni SAs in this application but I would stay away from the DINAN springs. I have them, the DINAN Konis and springs, they are aggressive. Phenomenal on the track but a bit harsh for a daily drive.
On my e39 540 I have well over 100k on the setup and is still a very smooth and comfortable ride with Koni SAs and H&R Sport springs. Very good for daily use.
Sorry your cars aren't posted under your user title anymore.
So you have an E46 M3 with Koni/Dinan springs? Or you have and E39 currently Koni's?
 

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I have both. E46 M3 with dinan koni and dinan springs (dinan s1 package) and e39 540 with koni and h&r sport plus m5 rear sway bar.
 

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If you have 19" and want to smoothen the ride, try 18s on OEM suspension setup. The higher tire sidewall will combine itself to the spring and lower the overall stiffness.

Most aftermarket suspension setups have the opposite goal of what you're trying to achieve.

I get it, I live in Canada.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
If you have 19" and want to smoothen the ride, try 18s on OEM suspension setup. The higher tire sidewall will combine itself to the spring and lower the overall stiffness.

Most aftermarket suspension setups have the opposite goal of what you're trying to achieve.

I get it, I live in Canada.
That’s what I was afraid of. I’m actually originally from Toronto and when I used to live there I thought to myself, these roads couldn’t get any worse ... then I moved to NJ ...


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