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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everyone,

It's been a while since my original post on the forums (http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=1106756) and my 2003 325i has come a long way in terms of reliability.

At this point I figure it is time to refresh the suspension. The goal for this job is to improve the daily drive quality dramatically, which I hope is realistic given the fact that everything on the car right now is the original parts.

Right now, here is the part list I am looking at:

1) Left and right struts
1b) Strut mounts x2
1c) Bump stop x2
1d) Strut reinforcement plates x2

2) Shocks
2b) Shock mounts x2
2c) Shock bump stops x2
2d) Paper gasket x2
2e) Shock reinforcement plates x2

3) Front swaybar endlinks and bushings x2

4) Rear swaybar endlinks and bushings x2 (NOTE: I called the repair shop where i am likely to have this work done and they said my car doesn't have a rear swaybar..hmm. My production date is 2002/09 if anyone can chime in here?)

My questions:

1) Does this part list look correct? Is there anything I am missing or should consider removing?

2) If my performance goal is "aggressive" daily driving (mainly going easy but i like to push it on some roads), should I be looking at Bilstein HD or Koni Yellows? Koni right now is doing a rebate for $50 off 4 shocks/struts of sports-level or above.

3) Do i also need to buy springs/coilovers for the struts/shocks? I am largely confused here, but if possible using the oem/currently-installed springs on the new struts/shocks would be ideal.

3) What can I expect in terms of improvements to driveability?

4) The shop quoted me $592 to install all listed parts. Can anyone chime in on how reasonable this is? It's the lowest by far I have been able to find but may also consider renting a garage out.

Many thanks in advance. Hoping this should get her to a point where I can put her on the backburner for a while and just worry about proper maintenance/fluids.
 

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If you have the sport suspension and your springs are not rusted, you may want to look into the Koni FSD. The will give you a comfortable ride and then tighten up nicely in curves on your spirited drives. I see are in Vegas, so if the car has lived its life without salted roads, your springs may still be sound.

How many miles on your car?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
If you have the sport suspension and your springs are not rusted, you may want to look into the Koni FSD. The will give you a comfortable ride and then tighten up nicely in curves on your spirited drives. I see are in Vegas, so if the car has lived its life without salted roads, your springs may still be sound.

How many miles on your car?
My car does not have sports suspension. The only parts on the car currently that might fall into that category are ZHP control arms which I read were okay to use in a non-ZHP/sports.

99,000 miles on it currently.
 

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I looked them up and you could still use the FSD on your car. They are on sale now for $722 at Tire Rack. There are several other choices that may be less expensive so you may want to do some research. I have the FSD and have been very happy with the performance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
Remember to get replacement bolts for the skid plate and the kingpin.
Fantastic I have added the skid plate bolts to my list. Isn't the kingpin a steering component though? It also looks pricey if it isn't a "must-replace" component like the shocks for instance?

Edit: realized you meant bolts for both. For anyone reading, the part numbers for the skid plate bolts and kingpin bolts are 31106772199 and 31306779487 respectively.
 

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2003 330cic, 2003 325iT
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Fantastic I have added the skid plate bolts to my list. Isn't the kingpin a steering component though? It also looks pricey if it isn't a "must-replace" component like the shocks for instance?

Edit: realized you meant bolts for both. For anyone reading, the part numbers for the skid plate bolts and kingpin bolts are 31106772199 and 31306779487 respectively.
Yes the bolts! Sorry about the lack of clarity
 

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Great thread. I have an e46 ZHP with 130K+ miles on it and was thinking of doing the same thing. I know I have some ZHP specific parts on mine. FCPEuro has a ZHP suspension refresh kits that has most, but not all of the parts mentioned in this thread so good info for me.
 

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fyi I've replaced my shocks/struts with Monroe (pretty cheap compared to billstein) and those are decent, even in the canyon twisties. Those are for "sport" suspension models, I guess pretty close to stock.
 

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Not too long, like a year and a half, I've replaced my struts/shocks at 120k (were completely shot), now im at 136k, still good at absorbing shitty roads
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Great thread. I have an e46 ZHP with 130K+ miles on it and was thinking of doing the same thing. I know I have some ZHP specific parts on mine. FCPEuro has a ZHP suspension refresh kits that has most, but not all of the parts mentioned in this thread so good info for me.
Yeah that is what I have found from experience..those kits and even plenty of DIY don't include the smaller parts needed (like the paper gaskets and bump stops in this job) which IMO are critical to replacing if your goal is a slow "restoration" though I wouldn't even call it that--just getting the car as close to its factory performance as possible. You don't want to spend $1k and then limp back to your garage because you cheaped on new bolts, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
fyi I've replaced my shocks/struts with Monroe (pretty cheap compared to billstein) and those are decent, even in the canyon twisties. Those are for "sport" suspension models, I guess pretty close to stock.
Good to know for the future. I was going to get koni yellows but I couldn't find them online without waiting over a month for a back-order to arrive.

I ended up going with all Bilstein B6 (HD) for both the front struts and back shocks. Hopefully it isn't too stiff but I guess I will find out.:pimpin:
 

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I am leaning heavily towards Koni Yellow sport struts/springs after reading more threads and the tempting $50 rebate which would put all 4 at $550. Are these usable with the factory springs or do i also need to buy new springs to go on the struts?
Yellows are for sport springs or lower really. Your stock non-sports are too soft for them probably. Your car will be over damped. Springs are surprisingly cheap though. Look in the classified for some used sport or performance springs or H&R Touring or Eibach ProKit.
 
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