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E46 (1999 - 2006)
The fourth generation 3 Series (E46 chassis) was introduced in 1999 and set the standard for engineering and performance during it's years of production including being named to Car & Driver's 10 best list every one of those years! ! -- View the E46 Wiki

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  #1  
Old 10-07-2012, 01:37 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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How do I verify If I have factory sport suspension?

I am the original owner of a 2002 BMW 330i and I need to order new struts/shocks. I special ordered this car from my dealer. I really wanted the two door model but to keep peace with the family I ordered a four door model with 5 speed manual transmission. I also ordered the the cold weather, premium and sport packages - which I thought included sport suspension. I still have the detailed window sticker that was on the car at delivery and it clearly lists my packages and under the "Standard Features" heading it lists among other items:

"Strut-type front sport suspension with forged aluminum lower arms" and
"Multi-link rear sport suspension with cast aluminum upper transverse arms"

I want to make sure I order the correct struts for my car since sport and standard are different lenghts. To verify that I have the sport suspension I had my dealership review my VIN (WBAEV53402KM02124) as well as a few parts suppliers. To my surprise all stated that I had the standard suspension. So between the window sticker listing and the VIN, I don't know what type of suspension I have. Short of taking my car to the dealer, is there any way to visually confirm that I have standard vs. sport suspension?
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  #2  
Old 10-07-2012, 02:07 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNMNL52 View Post
I am the original owner of a 2002 BMW 330i and I need to order new struts/shocks. I special ordered this car from my dealer. I really wanted the two door model but to keep peace with the family I ordered a four door model with 5 speed manual transmission. I also ordered the the cold weather, premium and sport packages - which I thought included sport suspension. I still have the detailed window sticker that was on the car at delivery and it clearly lists my packages and under the "Standard Features" heading it lists among other items:

"Strut-type front sport suspension with forged aluminum lower arms" and
"Multi-link rear sport suspension with cast aluminum upper transverse arms"

I want to make sure I order the correct struts for my car since sport and standard are different lenghts. To verify that I have the sport suspension I had my dealership review my VIN (WBAEV53402KM02124) as well as a few parts suppliers. To my surprise all stated that I had the standard suspension. So between the window sticker listing and the VIN, I don't know what type of suspension I have. Short of taking my car to the dealer, is there any way to visually confirm that I have standard vs. sport suspension?
Ride height is one way. Also looking at the shock body and getting the part # will tell you.

There are other things too, but they don't always tell the tale. Round airbag steering wheel is one way to tell as is sport seats and the 5 spoke ///M badged wheels.
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  #3  
Old 10-07-2012, 02:32 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Ride height is one way. Also looking at the shock body and getting the part # will tell you.

There are other things too, but they don't always tell the tale. Round airbag steering wheel is one way to tell as is sport seats and the 5 spoke ///M badged wheels.
Thanks. How can I evaluate ride height? What do I compare it to? Also, is the PN on the upper or lower part of the shock body?

I have the sport package which includes the M (5) double spoke alloy wheels, performance tires, adjustable front sport seats, aerodynamic package and leather sport steering wheel. These are all listed under the Sport Package listing. As I mentioned earlier, "sport suspension" is listed under Standard Features.
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  #4  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:06 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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If you have the sport pkg then you have sport suspension.
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  #5  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:37 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
If you have the sport pkg then you have sport suspension.
Ref my initial post on this thread, why can"t the dealer and a few retailers determine this from my VIN? They ask for the last 7 characters of the VIN and it always crosses to standard suspension. I am thinking BMW assigned the VIN to a four door sedan then modified maybe changed to a sport suspension per my special order. Could my VIN not have the correct suspension code form the factory?
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  #6  
Old 10-07-2012, 03:41 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Ride height is one way. Also looking at the shock body and getting the part # will tell you.

There are other things too, but they don't always tell the tale. Round airbag steering wheel is one way to tell as is sport seats and the 5 spoke ///M badged wheels.
Smolck - Just crawled under the car and pulled this number from the Sachs lower rear shock body: 81 4901 557 207. The was another number that was partially readable: 2352 6 7 X X.
Could not make out the X numbers on either rear shock. I did a parts search with the first number and nothing came up.
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  #7  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:29 PM
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jonathan2263 jonathan2263 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JNMNL52 View Post
Thanks. How can I evaluate ride height? What do I compare it to? .
As per instructio s in the Bentley Manual, measuring from the bottom edge of the rim to the bottom edge of the fender, for 17" wheels front should be 589 mm, rear should be 554 mm. For 18" wheels front should be 602 mm, rear should be 567 mm. For a car without broken springs, maximum deviation should be 10 mm.
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  #8  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:43 PM
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I don't know if it pertains to 2002 models (seems likely, given the label on the car from the factory), but in 2005 at least, the 330i came STANDARD with the sport suspension (just like the 325ci/330ci), with or without the sport package. The 325i came standard with the non-sport suspension, unless ordered with the sport package.

Even goofier, the 325xi/330xi didn't have the sport suspension even if they have the sport package.
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  #9  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:51 PM
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From the WIKI...

Changes for March 2001 Production
  • Gray Green replaces Sea Green on Converts, added to coupes
  • Oxford Green replaces Fern Green
  • Black Sapphire now available for all
  • Orient Blue now available for coupes
  • Topaz Blue now avail convert, sedan, wagons
  • Gray leather now avail w/Bright Red all models
  • Black leather/l'ette now avail w/Gray Green (coupes)

325i and 325iT:
  • New standard equipment: foglights, cruise control, & automatic climate control

325Ci and 325Cic:
  • New standard equipment: automatic Climate Control

330i:
  • New standard equipment: power Seats, harman kardon stereo, & sport suspension
  • BMW "Performance" short shift lever

330Ci and 330Cic:
  • New standard equipment: harman kardon stereo
  • BMW "Performance" short shift lever
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  #10  
Old 10-07-2012, 04:59 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
As per instructio s in the Bentley Manual, measuring from the bottom edge of the rim to the bottom edge of the fender, for 17" wheels front should be 589 mm, rear should be 554 mm. For 18" wheels front should be 602 mm, rear should be 567 mm. For a car without broken springs, maximum deviation should be 10 mm.
Thanks for this. I have 17" wheels. I just measured with a tape measure which is not all that accurate but I come up with Front: 23" converts to 584.2mm. Rear: 22 11/16" converts to 576.3mm.

I am within 4.8mm in the front; Rear is off by 22.3mm.

What do you think?
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  #11  
Old 10-07-2012, 05:00 PM
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tturedraider tturedraider is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
From the WIKI...

Changes for March 2001 Production
  • Gray Green replaces Sea Green on Converts, added to coupes
  • Oxford Green replaces Fern Green
  • Black Sapphire now available for all
  • Orient Blue now available for coupes
  • Topaz Blue now avail convert, sedan, wagons
  • Gray leather now avail w/Bright Red all models
  • Black leather/l'ette now avail w/Gray Green (coupes)

325i and 325iT:
  • New standard equipment: foglights, cruise control, & automatic climate control

325Ci and 325Cic:
  • New standard equipment: automatic Climate Control

330i:
  • New standard equipment: power Seats, harman kardon stereo, & sport suspension
  • BMW "Performance" short shift lever

330Ci and 330Cic:
  • New standard equipment: harman kardon stereo
  • BMW "Performance" short shift lever
hmmm.......I checked www.bmwvin.com for my previous 2004 330i ZHP and it lists the sport suspension. The OP's car does not.
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  #12  
Old 10-07-2012, 06:06 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Originally Posted by tturedraider View Post
hmmm.......I checked www.bmwvin.com for my previous 2004 330i ZHP and it lists the sport suspension. The OP's car does not.
That is what I discovered. I shoud have sport suspension code S226A listed but it is not. So according to the VIN code breakdown, I have standard suspension....but I still have my doubts. May have to let the dealer inspect it to get certain.
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  #13  
Old 10-07-2012, 06:08 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonathan2263 View Post
As per instructio s in the Bentley Manual, measuring from the bottom edge of the rim to the bottom edge of the fender, for 17" wheels front should be 589 mm, rear should be 554 mm. For 18" wheels front should be 602 mm, rear should be 567 mm. For a car without broken springs, maximum deviation should be 10 mm.
Do you have the measurements for 17" wheel standard suspension?
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  #14  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:09 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Looks like you have standard suspension. I say that because you stated your part number is 235267xxxx when it actually is 33526757045.

I looked up your car in REAL.oem....http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...41&hg=33&fg=45

They list the part number of strut/shocks for both standard and sport....for your car the sport rear shock part number is:33522282461...standard suspension rear shock # is : 33526757045

Standard strut part number is: 31306757043
Sport strut part number is: 31312282459

Last edited by QAfred; 10-07-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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  #15  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:18 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
Looks like you have standard suspension.

I looked up your car in REAL.oem....http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...41&hg=33&fg=45

They list the part number of strut/shocks for both standard and sport....for your car the sport rear shock part number is:33522282461...standard suspension rear shock # is : 33526757045
Thanks QAfred. I saw that earler but I could not cross either of these rear PN's to the numbers on the rear shocks currently installed. Did you cross the standard suspension PN to what I have installed?
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  #16  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:23 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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I say that because you stated your part number is 235267xxxx when it actually is 33526757045.

sport rear shock part number is:33522282461...not even close to what you thought you read

Last edited by QAfred; 10-07-2012 at 07:28 PM.
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  #17  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:35 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
I say that because you stated your part number is 235267xxxx when it actually is 33526757045.

sport rear shock part number is:33522282461...not even close to what you thought you read
I believe you just cracked the code and I didn't see because of the way the numbers where laid out on the shock and a bit unreadable. I does look like it cross to the standard suspension.
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  #18  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:47 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Yes, I believe so.

The above WIKI quote/info stating 330ci from 3/2001 all have sport suspension must not be accurate.

I say that because I have a 2001, 330ci ZSP, Mfd in 6/2001, with sport seats, 17" staggerd M wheels (7.5" in the front, 8.5" in the rear) round horn button etc. and the part number on my shocks were the standard part number also.

I put the orange Koni's (Str t's) on them two years, 20,000 miles ago and I am happy with them.
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Old 10-07-2012, 07:47 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
I say that because you stated your part number is 235267xxxx when it actually is 33526757045.

sport rear shock part number is:33522282461...not even close to what you thought you read
Thanks for your help! This is in sync with the VIN code breakdown. It just doesn't make sense though that my window sticker stated:

"Strut-type front sport suspension with forged aluminum lower arms" and
"Multi-link rear sport suspension with cast aluminum upper transverse arms"

Sport package does not mean Sport Suspension is included.
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  #20  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:49 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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correct....we have sport package but apparently not sport suspension.
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  #21  
Old 10-07-2012, 07:52 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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I think we also needed to have the "Sports suspension settings S226A package"...as stated in realoem...to get the sport struts/shocks.

Last edited by QAfred; 10-07-2012 at 07:58 PM.
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  #22  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:00 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
correct....we have sport package but apparently not sport suspension.
Have you replaced your struts and shocks yet? If so, what brand did you select?
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  #23  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:05 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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yes, you missed it....I stated above that, I put the orange Koni's (Str t's) on them two years, 20,000 miles ago and I am happy with them.
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  #24  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:08 PM
JNMNL52 JNMNL52 is offline
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Originally Posted by QAfred View Post
yes, you missed it....I stated above that, I put the orange Koni's (Str t's) on them two years, 20,000 miles ago and I am happy with them.
Did you consider Koni FSD's?
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  #25  
Old 10-07-2012, 08:32 PM
QAfred QAfred is offline
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Originally Posted by JNMNL52 View Post
Did you consider Koni FSD's?
yes, I did. As I remember they say they are soft when you are cruising and stiff when you need it etc....well, when I am cruising on a highway I did not understand why I would want a softer ride? I want stiff on my 330ci all the time and they are. Anyway, I called the Koni rep and he stated the orange koni's are the same strut as the yellow koni, just not adjustable...i.e. they are set to a "nominal" setting....just watching Smolck adjust them yellows made me happy with my decision.
...getting too old for that *hit....made my elbows sore just watching him

I wish I would have put Billstein touring or Koni FSD's on my wife's 323i however. I think the Koni STR T's are too stiff for it /our sedan...but it has 212 k on it and probably will let her go in 3 years or so, when I get my new Silverado paid off.
I am holding the wife off as long as I can because, of course, she wants a new Bimmer...I want to retire next November...not sure who will win. I hope to get her to settle for a 2013 CPO in 2015/16?...unless she really cries like this.

The 330ci; I plan to keep at least 10 more years. I have changed motor mounts, tranny mounts, RTAB's, dif bushing recently and just put Michelin Super sport summer tires on it too (thank you Florida) and this thing runs/tracks better than the day I bought it in 2004.
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