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-   -   How to improve E90 ride quality? (http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/showthread.php?t=658048)

RH528i 11-13-2012 07:18 PM

How to improve E90 ride quality?
 
Hi Guys,

I have a 2006 330i Sports Package, already changed to non-run flat tire.
However, the suspension is still pretty rough/uncomfortable for my taste.
Since this is my daily commute car also for taking kids to school, is there
way to make the car ride quality better?

I have heard that Koni FSD can improve the ride qualtiy without changing
the spring on E90 sports package. How much improvement will I get by
changing just the stock sprorts shocks to Koni FSD? What else should I
change to make the car more comfortable and possibly raise the ground
clearnace by 1-1.5 inch without buying a new car or change the rim size?
Please advise. Tks.

Dave

CALWATERBOY 11-13-2012 07:41 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH528i (Post 7193446)
Hi Guys,

I have a 2006 330i Sports Package, already changed to non-run flat tire.
However, the suspension is still pretty rough/uncomfortable for my taste.
Since this is my daily commute car also for taking kids to school, is there
way to make the car ride quality better?

I have heard that Koni FSD can improve the ride qualtiy without changing
the spring on E90 sports package
. How much improvement will I get by
changing just the stock sprorts shocks to Koni FSD? What else should I
change to make the car more comfortable and possibly raise the ground
clearnace by 1-1.5 inch without buying a new car or change the rim size?


Why, yes it can.

How many miles are on your existing suspension?

Don't change ride height and expect a better ride....

tturedraider 11-13-2012 07:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY (Post 7193496)
Why, yes it can.

How many miles are on your existing suspension?

Don't change ride height and expect a better ride....

I started to tell him you'd be along shortly.

Sportsdad 11-13-2012 08:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by tturedraider (Post 7193522)
I started to tell him you'd be along shortly.

You shouldn't tease him about his height. :confused:

CALWATERBOY 11-13-2012 08:18 PM

1 Attachment(s)
Quote:

Originally Posted by Sportsdad (Post 7193569)
You shouldn't tease him about his height. :confused:


Attachment 349486

Evening liftin' - got lotsa screen time avail.

GarySL 11-13-2012 08:19 PM

Place CA H20 Boi & BJ together in the trunk & the ride will improve greatly. :thumbup:

RH528i 11-13-2012 09:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY (Post 7193496)
Why, yes it can.

How many miles are on your existing suspension?

Don't change ride height and expect a better ride....

The 2006 330i sports package sedan has 65K miles on it. The sports package is a little low for me especially during parking scratching the bottom side of the bumper quite a bit. Tks.

SilverX3 11-14-2012 01:00 AM

Put pillow on driver seat and sit on it
Or drive a camry for week then return to your car and smile and appreciate

CALWATERBOY 11-14-2012 04:55 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH528i (Post 7193719)
The 2006 330i sports package sedan has 65K miles on it. The sports package is a little low for me especially during parking scratching the bottom side of the bumper quite a bit. Tks.


New shocks'll make a pleasing diff. FSD's matched to BMW springs - I'd do that if I were you.

Naturally, you'll be checking suspension parts for bushing & ball joint wear.

Non-RFT's, def - that's the drill.

Spagolli94 11-15-2012 10:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY (Post 7193910)
New shocks'll make a pleasing diff. FSD's matched to BMW springs - I'd do that if I were you.

Naturally, you'll be checking suspension parts for bushing & ball joint wear.

Non-RFT's, def - that's the drill.

I had the same car as you. Regular tires helped. Koni FSDs helped some more. But still wasn't great. My issue was never with the firmness of the ride. It had to do with the crash/harsh/loud nature of the ride. Rough patches of pavement would rumble loudly into the cabin.

For the past two years, I had an RS4. It was firmer, with less body roll than my 330. But it was MUCH quieter over rough pavement. I could feel the bumps, but it didn't sound like the car was crashing over them. A lot of people blame the larger rims on the rough ride. Well, the RS4 actually had 19 inch rims, one inch larger than the 330.

I now have a 2009 335 with a sport package. Even with stock shocks and RFTs, the ride isn't as loud as my 2006 was. It's nowhere near as quiet as my RS4, but it's passable. And I know I can likely improve it with Koni FSDs and regular tires.

I'm not sure why the ride on my 2006 was so bad. Yes, you can improve it further with FSDs (especially at higher speeds), but don't expect a miracle. Good luck!

steveo90290 11-15-2012 06:58 PM

I am considering a move to 16" wheels on my wife's '07 328 xi wagon. From what I've read the xi isn't a real sports package so I don't think the Koni's would be the answer, and I don't think they are available for the xi. I'm struggling with the thought of non RFTs since it is the wife's car. I bought a used set of 16s today but the tires are shot so I won't truly be able to evaluate the effect of the wheel change until I replace the tires.

RH528i 11-15-2012 07:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spagolli94 (Post 7196718)
I had the same car as you. Regular tires helped. Koni FSDs helped some more. But still wasn't great. My issue was never with the firmness of the ride. It had to do with the crash/harsh/loud nature of the ride. Rough patches of pavement would rumble loudly into the cabin.

For the past two years, I had an RS4. It was firmer, with less body roll than my 330. But it was MUCH quieter over rough pavement. I could feel the bumps, but it didn't sound like the car was crashing over them. A lot of people blame the larger rims on the rough ride. Well, the RS4 actually had 19 inch rims, one inch larger than the 330.

I now have a 2009 335 with a sport package. Even with stock shocks and RFTs, the ride isn't as loud as my 2006 was. It's nowhere near as quiet as my RS4, but it's passable. And I know I can likely improve it with Koni FSDs and regular tires.

I'm not sure why the ride on my 2006 was so bad. Yes, you can improve it further with FSDs (especially at higher speeds), but don't expect a miracle. Good luck!


Thank you Spagolli94 for the info. I guess it is possible that the 2006 E90 is not as refined since it is the first year model. Based on the information, the KONI FSD may provide some improvement but definte no miracle to make the car ride like a lexus is or audi a4 which is what I am hoping for.

captainaudio 11-15-2012 07:47 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH528i (Post 7197726)
Thank you Spagolli94 for the info. I guess it is possible that the 2006 E90 is not as refined since it is the first year model. Based on the information, the KONI FSD may provide some improvement but definte no miracle to make the car ride like a lexus is or audi a4 which is what I am hoping for.

I have Koni FSDs and Continental DWS tires on my 2007 335i E93 with sport suspension. The ride is a huge improvement over the factory shocks and the OEM RFTs. It is firm but not harsh and the handling is better than it was with the stock setup, particularly on rough roads.

CA

BMWTurboDzl 11-16-2012 06:45 AM

Why not OEM Non sport shocks and springs? IIRC the early models had progressive springs

Sent from my MB525 using Bimmer App

CALWATERBOY 11-16-2012 07:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Spagolli94 (Post 7196718)
I now have a 2009 335 with a sport package. Even with stock shocks and RFTs, the ride isn't as loud as my 2006 was. It's nowhere near as quiet as my RS4, but it's passable. And I know I can likely improve it with Koni FSDs and regular tires.

I'm not sure why the ride on my 2006 was so bad. Yes, you can improve it further with FSDs (especially at higher speeds), but don't expect a miracle. Good luck!


BMW's good about refinement; wheels grind slowly in Munich.

But good things happen at Ground Control - combined w/delrin surfaced M arms, their yellows/matched linear springs combo has eliminated pothole explosions for this li'l boy.

That's linear, not progressive BMW units. Goes around a corner, too. HP Autowerks has alternative setups.

.

chumrider 11-17-2012 03:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RH528i (Post 7193446)
Hi Guys,

I have a 2006 330i Sports Package, already changed to non-run flat tire.
However, the suspension is still pretty rough/uncomfortable for my taste.
Since this is my daily commute car also for taking kids to school, is there
way to make the car ride quality better?

I have heard that Koni FSD can improve the ride qualtiy without changing
the spring on E90 sports package. How much improvement will I get by
changing just the stock sprorts shocks to Koni FSD? What else should I
change to make the car more comfortable and possibly raise the ground
clearnace by 1-1.5 inch without buying a new car or change the rim size?
Please advise. Tks.

Dave

I feel the same way about my 2011 320D. I replaced the original run-flats with 17 x225x 45 Bridgestone ER300's. There is some improvement over the run-flats but I still get the rumble over coarse pavements. I am considering changing to 16 x 225 x 55 tyres. This is the first bmw that I have owned but on other cars I have noticed that the 16 inch wheel with a 55 tyre is quieter than the 17 inch wheel with a 45 tyre. There is quite a bit of money involved in the new tyres and wheels so I would like to think it is the right way to go. Does anybody with E90 and 16 inch wheels feel disappointed with the tyre noise?

cblandin 11-24-2012 08:22 AM

I would suggest finding a non-sport equipped car and doing a test drive. It will likely have smaller rims, correspondingly larger (taller sidewall) tires, the different shocks/struts and springs - in other words, it will probably be a good representation of the "best case scenario" with regard to ride quality. Two examples:

We purchased a Volvo XC60 R-Design for my wife back in March and quickly realized it was just too rough riding for us (20" rims, lower profile tires, and firmer springs/shocks were all part of the RD package on that car). We got a loaner with the base suspension (17" rims, softer shocks and springs) one day for comparison and while still not perfectly smooth it did give us an idea of what it could be "best case" from Volvo. After driving the car for a couple more months and really paying attention to the source of the rougher ride I decided (on that car) that the rear suspension was inordinately harsh. I then swapped out only the rear springs and shocks for the base suspension units which made a significant improvement. Enough so that I haven't really considered doing the fronts or swapping to smaller rims. The car does not have RFTs, but does have a comparatively heavy Pirelli tire. When they wear out, I'll be going with a set of the Continentals which weight about 4 lbs less a tire (in hopes of an incremental improvement).

Prior to the Volvo, I had swapped rims on her NON-SPORT 530i from 16" to 17" with a correspondingly lower sidewall height. This worsened the ride quality, but not that much (which I was happy about). My guess is that gong to a smaller rim size might not generate as much of an improvement as you would like.

In short, I'd check out the non-sport packaged cars and consider non-sport springs/struts first. You will have more wheel well gap, but there is no free lunch.

sunny5280 11-24-2012 09:01 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by BMWTurboDzl (Post 7198134)
Why not OEM Non sport shocks and springs? IIRC the early models had progressive springs

That's a possibility but if he's going to swap out these components I suspect he'd find more value / satisfaction replacing them with the Koni FSDs. Even the stock non-sport suspension gives a fairly harsh ride. From what CA has said the Koni's go a long way in improving the ride (wrt comfort) over both the non-sport and sport suspension.

Saintor 11-24-2012 02:39 PM

Get slightly higher wall tires. I got 225/45/18 instead of 225/40/18. This helped tremendously. My winter wheels (225/45/17) gave me a smooth ride, but 2 sets of summer tires (225/40) gave an horrible ride on bad pavement. No wonder that BMW updated their 18" on the F30 with 225/45 profile. Much better.

Check for any sign of seepage on the shocks. If there is any, they may not doing their job. My car wasn't bouncing excessively yet there was some sign of a leak. I changed the front shocks; one of them was clearly shot. BTW, I have a lowered car and ride with the changes I just mentioned is very good.

UnderSteer 11-24-2012 06:17 PM

I think some here are making this very overcomplicated. I say change out the shocks for Koni FSDs and be done with it.

OCGuy 12-09-2012 12:41 PM

IMO tires ( specifically RFTs ) and suspension ( shocks or dampers ) affect ride more than wheel size. Going from 16" RFTS to 18" non RFTs I noticed barely a difference in ride. Driving a loaner with sport suspension and 17"RFTs for a few days seemed fine until I got back my base suspension 18"non rft, so much more supple and smoother. While I love the look of the lower sport suspension ( jealous of you guys ) I prefer the comfort of my setup. I'd do what u did, ditch the RFTs ( if u get a flat, you're gonna call AAA anyways, who changes tires on their own anymore? Plus replacements will be so much cheaper, especially if u r getting new left and rights ), then maybe shocks? Or keep your setup and drive wifes/ girlfriends car when the family goes for a spin. My brother in law has a sport suspension and 18" non rft, but family still prefers sisters car, they say that the choppy ride gives them anxiety, oh brother! ;)

Squidget 12-09-2012 02:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by UnderSteer (Post 7212143)
I think some here are making this very overcomplicated. I say change out the shocks for Koni FSDs and be done with it.

+1

Unless you have lots of experience in this kind of stuff, do the low hanging fruit first.

FSDs are great, relatively cheap, and don't have unexpected side-effects. AFTER that, if you still want more, move to the next step.

MP3_E46 12-09-2012 02:52 PM

What psi are you running? 17" wheels without runflats at a lower psi has to help. Mine are at 35psi but might be too high - need to investigate. Certainly I doubt they need to be as high as the stock low profile runflats which are 42psi in the rear IIRC.

captainaudio 12-09-2012 03:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by MP3_E46 (Post 7239614)
What psi are you running? 17" wheels without runflats at a lower psi has to help. Mine are at 35psi but might be too high - need to investigate. Certainly I doubt they need to be as high as the stock low profile runflats which are 42psi in the rear IIRC.

I found that with the sport suspension and 18" Non-RFTs the ride quality actually improved when I ran higher pressures. I realize this is completely counterintuitive but my wife made the same observation and when I posted my impression here (thinking we may have been imagining it) there were others who had expericenced the same thing.

CA

Spagolli94 12-10-2012 08:47 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by captainaudio (Post 7239663)
I found that with the sport suspension and 18" Non-RFTs the ride quality actually improved when I ran higher pressures. I realize this is completely counterintuitive but my wife made the same observation and when I posted my impression here (thinking we may have been imagining it) there were others who had expericenced the same thing.

CA

CA, I'm wondering if that's b/c the stock sport suspension was meant to work with RFTs. So, putting more pressure in a non-RFT was a better match for the suspension.

I just put on Pirelli Sottozero RFT on the stock rims (2009 335i sedan, sport pkg). I originally wanted non-RFT winter tires, but couldn't find any for sale. I was shocked at the improvement in ride quality over the stock Bridgestone RFT. I've played around with tire pressure a bit with them and the higher pressure trick didn't improve ride quality this time around. Rather, it made them sound similar to the crash stock Bridgestones. For my winter RFTs, the pressure on the door jams seem perfect. Why are these cars so sensitive to tire pressure?

Anyway, I have a set of Koni FSDs on the way. But with the way the car is riding, I'm not 100% sure I need them. This car rides firm and a bit noisy over patches, but I only get harsh bangs over the worst city pavement. The car is worlds better than my old 2006 was. That car was hopeless. Not even Koni FSD and non-RFT could save it.

What pressure are you running with non-RFT and Koni FSD? Above or below recommended? I would think that with the Konis, you'd need a decent amount of pressure to transmit the higher frequency to the shocks to let them do their thing, no? If you were to lower the pressure with a non-RFT, I'm wondering if that would take the edge off too much, causing the Konis to stay in their stiffer mode?

I also see a lot of people talking about going with a higher sidewall. Not sure that will make much of a difference. I went +1 on my 330. Wasn't the fix I was after. With a properly sorted suspension and non-RFT, 18" and even 19" rims can ride just fine. My RS4, as well as a few S4s I test drove all had big rims and low profile tires. They all road very firm, but were never the least bit crashy.


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