3-Series (E21, E30)Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1975-1983 and 1984-1991 line. Specific models: BMW 315, BMW 316, BMW 318, BMW 318i, BMW 320/4, BMW 320i, BMW 320/6, BMW 323i, BMW 320i. E30 Family models include: BMW 325e, BMW 325i, BMW 325is, BMW 325ix.
The only time I have seen shocks change ride height is when my friend put Bilstein Sports on his car with stock springs, it lowered the car 1/2". I've been working on cars for almost 10 years and have been doing it as my job for the last 4 years. A cheep fix that will help is getting some E30 325i 4 door rear springs. I'm not going to deny that shocks won't help, but when the car is loaded down it is going to ride low and to help it not ride as low you need stiffer springs.
Like I said if you want something cheep go find some 325 4 door springs. Other than those most everything else on the market is going to be a lowering spring, but they will be stiffer. So unless you put wide tires on the rear and have heavy friends you should be ok with those. If you have the cash the combo I would do is H&R Sport springs with Bilstein Sport shocks. Make sure you replace your rear shock mounts when you replace your shocks. A cheep upgrade for the rear shock mounts is to get the ones for the convertable E30's, or for a little under $100 you can get some really nice ones from Ground Control.
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