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3-Series (E36) Chat relating to the BMW 3-Series from 1992-1999. Autodoodad Specific models include: BMW 316i, BMW 318i, BMW 318iS/ti, BMW 320, BMW 323, BMW 320, BMW 324, BMW 325, BMW 328.

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Old 11-14-2004, 04:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Having already searched the forums for a suspension comparison thread, and finding nothing good, I am creating my own.

I am looking to upgrade the suspension on my 97 328is, for better handling, and stiffness, moderate drop (1-1.5inch) in the front would be an added bonus, but the main concern is the performance. I already have 18X8 wheels, with pnero zero rubber, and hope to compliment it with suspension upgrades.

I am considering the Bilstein PSS, or PSS9 coil over kits. Priced at 1100$ and 1500$ respectively.

So my question is would I get BETTER handeling out of one of these systems (at 1500), OR would the money be better distributed like this: Bilstein Sport shocks (500), bav auto or eibach springs (250), front and rear sway bars (450), front stress bar (200)

Both options have the same price tag, so is the PSS9 so much nicer that I should take it over the sway bars and stress bar???

If people have any other suspension set ups they are satisfied or not with, please enlighten us.
Thanks for your help
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Old 11-14-2004, 05:31 PM   #2 (permalink)
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For street use I would go with the second setup. It is a much easier setup to deal with won't be as harsh, the sway bars make an amazing difference by themselves. You won't get any added performance on the street, from the coil-overs, unless you drive like you were playing a video game. Conversly if you track your car a lot I would go with the coil overs. There you could potentially get more usable performance. As you can see from my sig I do not have the setup that you are wanting to get, yet, but swaybars are definately on my list to get. I am not sure about the stress bar, you might get better results from strut tower braces or upgraded strut mounts. Or the rear X-brace is another way to get rid of some of the pushing our cars are known to do through corners, however, mine only does it at the limit, so once again, I am not sure you would really be getting your monies worth for street use out of it.

So please take this for whatever it is worth, I hope this helps.
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Old 11-14-2004, 05:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I've never dealt with Bilstein coil-overs... mainly because I dont think they make the best coils... but from what I've learned... and I've learned it the hard way... Coil-overs are good for one thing... adjustability... thats about it.. yes its a good ride.. yes they are wonderful.. yes they lower your car... but for sheer performance... I have reverted back to my old ways.. with Bilstein shocks/struts... and H&R springs... its a harsh set up... but with performance in mind.. there is no other way to go... in my opinion that is... If your looking to be able to hold a un turn doing 25 mph.. two only two lanes to do it in.. then your second set up is the thing.. if your looking for an all around.. performer.. then coil-overs is your thing.. it all depends on how much comfort you are willing to give up in the name of performance....

Good Luck,

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Old 11-14-2004, 08:42 PM   #4 (permalink)
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"Most" coilover kits also use Linear springs which means the spring rate doesn't change, this makes the ride really harsh. The result is "race-like" handling. Street springs like you would use with a spring/shock combo are progressive and therefore much softer. If you're not really into track or a performance kind of guy, as Les mentioned, coils are good for nothing else than ride height adjustability. That's a huge price increase just for ride height adjustability. If you want to lower 1-2.0" or even more go for a spring/shock combo with street springs.
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Old 11-14-2004, 09:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I'm getting Dinan stage 1 suspension installed tomorrow morning. Not cheap (1800 installed) with the Koni adjustable sports. Apparently this setup is not harsh, and improves handling in a big way. I'll let folks know after driving it in a couple days. I'm also getting M3 rear shock mounts put in while they're in there.
Dinan is the premier tuning co in the USA for BMW's, so you might want to check out their website.
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Old 11-14-2004, 10:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I have nothing to contribute to this thread but welcome to ze forums.

Nice rims, me like.
btw, it's pirelli pzero nero not pnero zero:P
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Old 11-15-2004, 01:37 PM   #7 (permalink)
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thanks for the help guys, looks like i should be going for the shock/spring set up. anyone have any really good web sites that outline a home install?
i will probably be doing the springs and shocks, together and the bars latter... as instant total funding is hard to find ;-)
is there any harm (besides not being efficient) in doing the sway bars and springs/shock at seperate times.
thanks
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:06 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here you go buddy: http://www.logun.org/suspension.htm

I just installed my UUC Stage 4 Suspension Plus and its AWESOME, two thumbs up!! I used this website and a Bentley and i got through it with almost no problems. I stripped one of my screws, but that's about it. Don't forget to rent a strut/spring compressor. Let me know if i can help you out.
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JC Chip * Cosmos Racing CAI * UUC System U * UUC Underdrive Pulleys * Fan Delete * UUC Sachs Stage 4 Suspension * Sway Barbarians * Racing Dynamics Front strut bar * X-Brace * Front Camber Plates * UUC TME * BBS 18x8.5 * 235/40/18 Yokohama AVS Sport * F&amp;R Zimmerman X-Drilled Rotors * SS Brake Lines * Rouge RSM w/enforcers * Clears all around * SilverStars * Pioneer Avic N-1 * Pioneer 6 Disc Changer * JL 450/4 and 1000/1 Amplifiers * 2 JL 12&quot; W6V2 * Diamond Audio Hexs 6.5&quot; in kick panel * MB Quart Premiums 4&quot; in Rear * Infinity Kappa 3.5&quot; in door * Batcap 400 * Optima Yellow Top
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Old 11-16-2004, 05:07 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Air tools are a must as well. They cut your job time in half
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JC Chip * Cosmos Racing CAI * UUC System U * UUC Underdrive Pulleys * Fan Delete * UUC Sachs Stage 4 Suspension * Sway Barbarians * Racing Dynamics Front strut bar * X-Brace * Front Camber Plates * UUC TME * BBS 18x8.5 * 235/40/18 Yokohama AVS Sport * F&amp;R Zimmerman X-Drilled Rotors * SS Brake Lines * Rouge RSM w/enforcers * Clears all around * SilverStars * Pioneer Avic N-1 * Pioneer 6 Disc Changer * JL 450/4 and 1000/1 Amplifiers * 2 JL 12&quot; W6V2 * Diamond Audio Hexs 6.5&quot; in kick panel * MB Quart Premiums 4&quot; in Rear * Infinity Kappa 3.5&quot; in door * Batcap 400 * Optima Yellow Top
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Old 11-19-2004, 05:01 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I've heard very good reviews on the Dinan stage 1 suspension kit
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