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2000 BMW E46 328i
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'll need new struts soon and fcp have 2 sets. One is for sport suspension and one is for standard. Are these interchangeable? Can I put the sport on if I have the standard? And is the sport worth the extra money?

923330
 

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2013 X1 M-sport
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22,476 Posts
Look up your VIN on a decoder to see if your 328i has sport suspension option or not. I think it is option code S226A.

Sport suspension has shorter springs. You can buy some good used stock sport springs and convert over if you don't have sport suspension already.
 

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2013 X1 M-sport
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22,476 Posts
After checking a bunch of 1999 328i VINs I finally found one with the sports suspension option code.
226: Sports Suspension Settings
 

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2000 BMW E46 328i
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
After checking a bunch of 1999 328i VINs I finally found one with the sports suspension option code.
226: Sports Suspension Settings
Awesome info, thanks! Great info about the sport springs. I'm wondering if it's worth the extra money. It'll probably be another month before I do this so plenty of time for research.
 

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5,117 Posts
As far as BMW is concerned, sport springs and dampers should go together.

The sport damping IS a pleasantly bit stiffer. And the wheel travel is lesser,
so there's more preload, in bikespeak.

If you want to go from one to the other, do buy a 'sport' spring
(there are several aftermarket versions, too, with varying degrees of stiffness)
rather than try sport dampers with non- sport springs.

I gotta say, for the 'commuter,' the factory sport suspension is about as stiff as I'd find comfortable-
and I drive racecars to get rid of all of my extra cash that's just lying around...

t
 

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2000 BMW E46 328i
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
After checking a bunch of 1999 328i VINs I finally found one with the sports suspension option code.
226: Sports Suspension Settings
Turns out I do indeed have the 226 sports suspension already. Guess that settles that then...

I did run the idea of an aftermarket kit past my bmw mechanic but he told me not to be stupid :)

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2005 325i Auto
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1,219 Posts
So then according to my VIN, I have the sports steering wheel but standard suspension? I'd heard that the sports steering wheel meant that sport suspension was fitted, but that my just be ZHP models in the US?

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330ci Coupe 6MT
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1,934 Posts
So then according to my VIN, I have the sports steering wheel but standard suspension? I'd heard that the sports steering wheel meant that sport suspension was fitted, but that my just be ZHP models in the US?
It doesn't definitively mean anything either way. People don't always appreciate that the sports, comfort, SE, M-Sport, whatever-the-importer-for-your-market-called-them packages are just packages. Importers would bundled together options the factory would happily fit individually and offered them at a price lower than buying them all separately. (Importers do that partly to help protect residuals and partly so they can order cars before having sold them when demand is quiet) For example, in my market, we had "SE", which came with standard suspension by default, or "M-Sport" , which came bundled with sport suspension, seats, steering wheel, gear knob, 18" wheels etc by default. But it was perfectly possible to option sports suspension on the SE or standard suspension on the M-Sport. And some people did.
 

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'03 325iT Mystic Blau
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6,872 Posts
Turns out I do indeed have the 226 sports suspension already. Guess that settles that then...

I did run the idea of an aftermarket kit past my bmw mechanic but he told me not to be stupid :)
I daily drive mine, and I would not want my car any lower or any more stiff than the stock sport suspension, FYI.
 

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2000 BMW E46 328i
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86 Posts
Discussion Starter · #14 ·
It doesn't definitively mean anything either way. People don't always appreciate that the sports, comfort, SE, M-Sport, whatever-the-importer-for-your-market-called-them packages are just packages. Importers would bundled together options the factory would happily fit individually and offered them at a price lower than buying them all separately. (Importers do that partly to help protect residuals and partly so they can order cars before having sold them when demand is quiet) For example, in my market, we had "SE", which came with standard suspension by default, or "M-Sport" , which came bundled with sport suspension, seats, steering wheel, gear knob, 18" wheels etc by default. But it was perfectly possible to option sports suspension on the SE or standard suspension on the M-Sport. And some people did.
So the million dollar question is, how do you really know what part you have? Get the part out and check the number? Would be good to know without pulling the part out
 

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330ci Coupe 6MT
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1,934 Posts
So the million dollar question is, how do you really know what part you have? Get the part out and check the number? Would be good to know without pulling the part out
Coincidentally, I posted the answer to that in an almost identical thread just the other day. By far the easiest way to tell for certain is to look at the coloured paint marking on the springs.

Alternatives are to use a VIN decoder, but that doesn't take into account any retrofits that might have happened in the 15-20 years since the car left the BMW network. Or to measure the ride height, but you'd have to load the car with the appropriate weights in the specified locations and also doesn't take into account worn springs.
 

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2000 328i ZSP Manual
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599 Posts
I did run the idea of an aftermarket kit past my bmw mechanic but he told me not to be stupid :)
That's good advice for the sports suspension cars. If you just replace with identical new parts (springs included) you won't believe the difference. Night and day. I did it a few yrs ago with the sports suspension on the same car as yours. Same Sachs shocks as the kit you've listed and all the goodies.
 
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