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#1 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 06:32 PM
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Looking for best suspension combo

What is the best suspension combo for my car. I was thinking about bmw oem sport supension. Bear in mind I live in NY, and use car almost everyday. I've seen the factory sport setups before w/ 17's, and like the way these cars sit. I'm running a set of 18" Rondell 058, staggard, on stock suspension. Any ideas?
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#2 (permalink) Old 07-10-2006, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39 5ive
What is the best suspension combo for my car. I was thinking about bmw oem sport supension. Bear in mind I live in NY, and use car almost everyday. I've seen the factory sport setups before w/ 17's, and like the way these cars sit. I'm running a set of 18" Rondell 058, staggard, on stock suspension. Any ideas?
My car is a '99 Sport suspension model with the 17" wheel/tire combo. A few months back, I swapped out the sport springs for H&R sport springs, which offered a .75" front/0.6" rear drop. I also installed Koni Sport (yellow). I also know a gentleman who last month installed the H&R Sport springs on his car, and used the new-technology Koni FSD struts in lieu of the Koni Sports. We both have the M5 sway bars, front and rear. Both of us are running the OEM size 17" wheels/tires.

Me: The handling is better, but with some ride compromises.
Him: The ride is better, as well as the handling, no compromises. However, he isn't happy with the H&R springs; seems his front dropped more than advertised, the rear dropped less.

My recommendation: I think the ideal combo would be to go with the OEM Sport suspension springs, and add the Koni FSD struts. If you have to go even lower, the H&R (50464) Sport Springs offer a good ride trade-off, but I think the stock Sport suspension springs offer the best overall compromise. Dinan's Stage 1 springs are good I hear, but they're pricey.

In other words, after spending $1200-$1500 re-doing my suspension (and supplying all my own labor), if I had to do it again, I'd keep my stock Sport springs, and add Koni FSD struts to all 4 corners. The M5 sway bars aren't bad if you have a 540, but you'll need to go Eibach or other aftermarket brand for sway bar upgrades if you have a 6-cylinder E39.

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#3 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 08:58 PM
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I really don't want to have the ride change all that much. A better stance and better handling is what i'm after. Referring to struts, are the Koni's equivalent or better than stock sport? What is the price difference? Are springs what determine ride height? Exuse my lack of knowledge on the subject, but you seem like the perfect man to ask.
By the way, your car is tight. I'll have pics of mine up soon. 540i sport is HOT. Hopefully I will upgrade to that car sooner than later.
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#4 (permalink) Old 07-11-2006, 09:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e39 5ive
I really don't want to have the ride change all that much. A better stance and better handling is what i'm after. Referring to struts, are the Koni's equivalent or better than stock sport? What is the price difference? Are springs what determine ride height? Exuse my lack of knowledge on the subject, but you seem like the perfect man to ask.
By the way, your car is tight. I'll have pics of mine up soon. 540i sport is HOT. Hopefully I will upgrade to that car sooner than later.
If you want a better stance, I assume that means you'd like it to be a little lower. I believe the H&R Sport springs offer the best compromise between handling and ride, while lowering the car. And yes, the springs basically determine your ride height. There are other brands, but most seem to make the ride much worse. As mentioned, Dinan offers springs that reportedly don't degrade the ride much, but they are pricey.

The stock struts are made by Sachs and Boge, depending on your exact model. They are very good quality pieces and have been OEM suppliers for years. Popular aftermarket suppliers for E39s include Bilstein and Koni, among others. Koni and Bilstein offer a firmer ride and handling that is improved over stock, but it isn't a huge difference IMHO if you already have the OEM Sport suspension. They're all different in different ways. Koni, at least, offers a lifetime warranty to the original purchaser, so the quality is as good or better than OEM. As pointed out, Koni now has TWO different struts from which to pick.

I recommend you do your homework and search this and other forums on this topic and seek many opinions and reports, and then decide for yourself which way to go. If only we could try and compare all at once, but that's tough to do. You might want to attend a local BMW CCA club event or two and see if you can network with someone who has already made their mods that'd be willing to take you for a ride or even a drive. Good luck to you!

PS - Thanks for the props on my car! I just topped 129K and it is still going strong! I'll be on the lookout for you photos!

<span style='colorurple'>Eric S.</span>
2006 Honda Odyssey EXL-RES
2006 Honda Accord V6 EX-L Sedan
1999 BMW 540i 6-Speed (Sold to M3UOND on 9/21/06)
1991 Honda Civic Si - Occasional Beater
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#5 (permalink) Old 07-12-2006, 12:15 AM
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Very cool, and I appreciate all your time. I will definately be doing a whole mess of research. Thanks again.
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