Welcome to Bimmerfest -- The #1 Online Community for BMW related information! Please enjoy the discussion forums below and share your experiences with the 200,000 current, new and past BMW owners. The forums are broken out by car model and into other special interest sections such as BMW European Delivery and a special forum to voice your questions to the many BMW dealers on the site to assist our members!

Please follow the links below to help get you started!

Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)

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

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:25 AM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Koni FSDs or Bilstein HDs?

My 2001 330i Sport Package needs new shocks/struts at 126k miles.

Got it narrowed down to Koni FSDs or Bilstein HDs.

I've read a bunch of reviews (here and elsewhere) on both.

Has anybody actually had BOTH of these on their car to compare them?

OR

After having either one on the car for a while, does anyone wish they had gone with the other?

And, do both have lifetime warranties?

Some have commented that the FSDs have a more "compliant" ride. I don't consider the sport package on my car excessively stiff so even going a little stiffer shouldn't bother me. I know the FSDs outdid another Koni product in a Tirerack comparison, I just wasn't sure if the Bilstein's performed any better.

Lastly, other than feel (which is subjective), are there any clear advantages for one over the other?

Thanks in advance. Gonna drop some change on these and don't want any regrets or second guesses.
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
Advertisement
  #2  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:32 AM
Fast Bob's Avatar
Fast Bob Fast Bob is online now
Keeping it surreal
Location: Here, there, everywhere....
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 34,790
Mein Auto: 2004 330Ci ZHP 3 pedals
I`ve had Bilstein Sports on my old 530i and my wife`s E36....IMHO, they`re a pretty good balance of performance & comfort.
__________________
The road goes ever onward....
(R.I.P. Jever)

*Please support the Wounded Warrior Project*

When faced with choosing between two evils, always go with the one you`ve never tried before....
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:35 AM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
From what I have seen, Bilstein HD's tend to be pretty stiff. Koni FSD's are more compliant but "too soft" for most performance enthusiasts....
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:43 AM
tamvegas tamvegas is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 528
Mein Auto: 2000 328ci
Haven't had Bilsteins, but had Koni Sport adjustables for 2 years and now FSDs for almost a year.
The Sports were just too harsh on all small road imperfections but great for maneuvering.
The FSDs are the best of both worlds to me.
Smooth over all the little stuff on the road, especially at low speeds (cracks, seams, speed bumps, rocks and stuff) yet stiffen immediately for excellent handling for cornering, lane changes, emergency maneuvers etc.
This is with UUC sways front and rear at full stiff. And factory sport springs (which need to be replaced very soon, 90k miles).
And (as I remember) a lifetime warranty on the FSDs.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-15-2009, 10:43 AM
Keyser Soze's Avatar
Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
just like that, he's gone
Location: Northern California
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,476
Mein Auto: 2013 535
I have Bilstein SPORTS and they are super teeth jarring stiff on anything but a perfectly paved new road. the HD's or FSD's would be much more daily driverish'
__________________
2013 F10 535i M-Sport, Sophisto Grau, 6-speed MT
2011 E90 335i Sport, Jet Black, Sport Auto, Performance Edition
2002 E46 330i Sport, Jet Black, 5-speed MT, lots of upgrades
2001 E46 330Ci Sport, Steel Grey, 5-speed MT....and more

Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-15-2009, 12:21 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyser Soze View Post
I have Bilstein SPORTS and they are super teeth jarring stiff on anything but a perfectly paved new road. the HD's or FSD's would be much more daily driverish'
Pretty much what everyone seems to say. But do YOU like the Bilsteins? I mean, at the edge, how do they perform...?
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-15-2009, 01:26 PM
Keyser Soze's Avatar
Keyser Soze Keyser Soze is offline
just like that, he's gone
Location: Northern California
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Posts: 1,476
Mein Auto: 2013 535
I pretty much can out-corner anything at this point.........but yeah they are brutal on crappy roads/freeways.

Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Pretty much what everyone seems to say. But do YOU like the Bilsteins? I mean, at the edge, how do they perform...?
__________________
2013 F10 535i M-Sport, Sophisto Grau, 6-speed MT
2011 E90 335i Sport, Jet Black, Sport Auto, Performance Edition
2002 E46 330i Sport, Jet Black, 5-speed MT, lots of upgrades
2001 E46 330Ci Sport, Steel Grey, 5-speed MT....and more

Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-15-2009, 01:53 PM
SmokedE46's Avatar
SmokedE46 SmokedE46 is offline
chillen
Location: Fairfield CT.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,438
Mein Auto: 01 330CI 5spd.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyser Soze View Post
I pretty much can out-corner anything at this point.........but yeah they are brutal on crappy roads/freeways.
+1, I had Sports on my 540, with bav auto springs. almost NO body roll. I didnt have swar bars and such but amazing in the turn. However there were times when I thought my tires where going to explode from some pothole i hit.

It sounds like FSDs are a good meeting point, between comfort and performance.I will most likely end up going with those when I can afford it.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-15-2009, 02:41 PM
smolck's Avatar
smolck smolck is online now
ROLL TIDE!
Location: Birmingham, AL
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 22,348
Mein Auto: 2004 ZHP Sedan
Quote:
Originally Posted by Keyser Soze View Post
I pretty much can out-corner anything at this point.........but yeah they are brutal on crappy roads/freeways.
My next set will be Bilsteins unless I go coil over.....
__________________

Check out my YouTube Channel for DIY's and other fun stuff HERE
Check out my BMWBLOG!
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fast Bob View Post
now, go burn your Man Card, and buy yourself a Camry....
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-15-2009, 11:19 PM
Watchdog Watchdog is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Burnaby, B.C. Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 385
Mein Auto: E90 335i; RX 350 (wife's)
I put Bilstein HD's on my car this past August. I've had them on for a while now and to me they seem to be a great balance of comfort and performance. I do not find them too stiff or jarring at all. However, I suspect that roads where I live are a lot smoother and not nearly as bumpy. Our weather is fairly similar to Seattle, so while we get a lot of rain it doesn't get too cold for too long (most years, this year was an exception) so the roads are usually in pretty good shape and we don't have the same problems with frost heaves or roads damaged from the cold.

Never had the Koni's on my car, but I will say after the Bilsteins that as long as I live in Vancouver I'll always put Bilsteins on my cars.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-16-2009, 10:04 AM
CaptainTrap's Avatar
CaptainTrap CaptainTrap is offline
a man made of men like me
Location: Bethel, CT
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 839
Mein Auto: 2001 330i 5MT ZSP
anyone have anything to say about the H & R Touring cup kit? Judging by the lower price im sure the quality isnt quite there with the Koni FSD's. Im looking for a new suspension and am in between the 2 kits offered by jlevisw.com the koni FSD's with eibach springs or the H & R Touring cup kit. As i said its a $200 difference. I have 124k on original sport suspension right now and am desperate need of an upgrade.

One of these new kits with some 18's......ill be riding pretty this summer.
__________________
2001 330i ZSP 5MT H&R Sport Cup Kit 18" VMR v710 18x8.5

BMW CCA #: 399644
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-16-2009, 10:07 AM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,643
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
I'd go for the FSDs. They were about the same stiffness as my stock ZHP shocks, by the way. Not stiff enough for me, so I got coilovers .
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-16-2009, 10:47 AM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Leaning heavily toward the Bilstein Sports. I believe I need the Sports as opposed to the HD's because of the shorter springs on my sport packaged 330i.

Set of (4) Bilstein Sport Shocks/Struts: $579.80
Set of (2) Shock Install Kit (dust sheild and bump stop for rear shocks): $42.95
Total: $622.75 with free shipping from Bavarian Auto

Set of (2) Rogue Engineering Rear Shock Mounts (kit comes with reinforcement plate): $100 plus shipping.

Should have everything I need for about $750 to my door.

Does anyone see any glaring errors here?
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-16-2009, 10:56 AM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,643
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Kidd View Post
Leaning heavily toward the Bilstein Sports. I believe I need the Sports as opposed to the HD's because of the shorter springs on my sport packaged 330i.

Set of (4) Bilstein Sport Shocks/Struts: $579.80
Set of (2) Shock Install Kit (dust sheild and bump stop for rear shocks): $42.95
Total: $622.75 with free shipping from Bavarian Auto

Set of (2) Rogue Engineering Rear Shock Mounts (kit comes with reinforcement plate): $100 plus shipping.

Should have everything I need for about $750 to my door.

Does anyone see any glaring errors here?


Why are you leaning toward the sports? They'll be a bit stiffer but much more uncomfortable. FSDs will be a teeny bit stiffer but way more comfortable. Not much more money either.
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-16-2009, 11:00 AM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Quote:
Originally Posted by KrisL View Post
Why are you leaning toward the sports? They'll be a bit stiffer but much more uncomfortable. FSDs will be a teeny bit stiffer but way more comfortable. Not much more money either.
So you think the FSDs would be stiffer (albeit only slightly) than the stock sport shocks?

I really wouldn't mind a bit stiffer - that was the only reason I was leaning toward the Bilsteins. If the FSDs are a bit stiffer than stock and offer a smoother ride, I'd absolutely consider them. The difference in price is negligible (especially since I don't plan on doing this again).
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #16  
Old 03-16-2009, 11:17 AM
KrisL's Avatar
KrisL KrisL is offline
Ubergeek
Location: San Jose, CA
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 15,643
Send a message via AIM to KrisL Send a message via Yahoo to KrisL
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
Originally Posted by J. Kidd View Post
So you think the FSDs would be stiffer (albeit only slightly) than the stock sport shocks?

I really wouldn't mind a bit stiffer - that was the only reason I was leaning toward the Bilsteins. If the FSDs are a bit stiffer than stock and offer a smoother ride, I'd absolutely consider them. The difference in price is negligible (especially since I don't plan on doing this again).
Yes, like I mentioned above, I considered them roughly equal to my ZHP shocks which I think are different (the ZHP suspension differences have been under debate). If you want stiffer than that, I'd just get a set of Koni yellow (aka koni sport)... they're adjustable. That's what my coilovers came with - I set them stiffer for autocrossing and softer for every day driving.

I just didn't like the Bilsteins I had on my E30 and I really like the Konis I've had on my E46. That's where my bias comes from .
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #17  
Old 03-16-2009, 11:17 AM
SmokedE46's Avatar
SmokedE46 SmokedE46 is offline
chillen
Location: Fairfield CT.
 
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,438
Mein Auto: 01 330CI 5spd.
Kris let me ask you. I had Bilstein Sports on my 540 with the bav auto springs, and it was a rough ride but I LOVED the handeling.
Would I be dissapointed if I took the step down to the koni FSDs?
__________________
Reply With Quote
  #18  
Old 03-16-2009, 12:19 PM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Just read the review on Tirerack where they used a 2004 330ci and tested the stock, Koni Sport and Koni FSDs.

I've read that before but always assumed it was based on the "regular" 330 suspension...but then realized ALL coupes had the sport suspension. So apparently they do seem a bit stiffer than the stock suspension (like Kris had stated) and inspire more confidence due to a more predictable and settled feel allowing quicker lap times (ie. better performance - at least for street driving).

DAMNIT!!! Now I'm leaning toward the FSDs!!!!

Just when I thought I could start ordering stuff....

Gonna place some orders tomorrow (left my wallet home today).

Now I'm leaning toward the FSD's and I'll probably just pick up the dust shields from the dealer after I see what comes with the kit. I have heard they already come with bump stops so I'll wait and see. And I'll definitely get the Rogue RSM's.
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #19  
Old 03-16-2009, 12:54 PM
ewc ewc is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: philadelphia
 
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 112
Mein Auto: 330cic 6mt
I'm not sure what your issue is. Struts/shocks on their own won't really improve handling all that much on their own. Why not just go with the FSDs, which clearly ride much better than the Bilsteins?

If you really want to improve handling match the shocks with some springs and/or get some stiffer anti-roll bars. Also, if you want to save some costs get the Meyhle RSMs. They should be sufficient, unless you are really tracking the car.
Reply With Quote
  #20  
Old 03-16-2009, 01:06 PM
tamvegas tamvegas is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Las Vegas, NV
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Posts: 528
Mein Auto: 2000 328ci
Quote:
Originally Posted by SmokedE46 View Post
Kris let me ask you. I had Bilstein Sports on my 540 with the bav auto springs, and it was a rough ride but I LOVED the handeling.
Would I be dissapointed if I took the step down to the koni FSDs?
When I was deciding on the FSDs, I called UUC (since I got their swaybars etc) and asked what they thought. The service person told me the she had put them on her 5 series as the Bilstein Sports had been way too harsh on all the dirt roads up there. Said the FSDs changed the commute from torture to adventure.
By the way, they don't sell Koni.

Personally, I'd say to remember the swaybars and a strut tower brace also. IMO of course.
__________________
[SIGPIC]
Reply With Quote
  #21  
Old 03-16-2009, 01:18 PM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Quote:
Originally Posted by ewc View Post
I'm not sure what your issue is. Struts/shocks on their own won't really improve handling all that much on their own. Why not just go with the FSDs, which clearly ride much better than the Bilsteins?
"Gonna drop some change on these and don't want any regrets or second guesses."

That's all. Don't plan on doing this again so I'd like to be comfortable in what I go with...and based on reviewing everyone's feedback, look as though I'm going with the FSDs.

I'm going to stick with the Rogue Engineering RSMs due to two main factors:
1) they come with a reinforcement plate
2) the bushings are easily replaceable when they need it (for $6).
-just seems like a no-brainer.

I like the Meyle design but I planned on getting the reinforcement plates anyway. Rogue's take care of that PLUS the replaceable slightly stiffer bushings....

So, unless a Bilstein rep shows up at my door tonight and convinces me otherwise, I'll be shopping for some FSDs tomorrow.
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #22  
Old 03-17-2009, 06:39 AM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
Thanks to all for their input and advice.

Ordered the FSD's and Rogue RSM's this morning.
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #23  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:39 AM
Watchdog Watchdog is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Burnaby, B.C. Canada
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Posts: 385
Mein Auto: E90 335i; RX 350 (wife's)
Would love to hear your impressions of the shocks after you've had them on your car for a little while. Having said that I'm sure you'll love them, not only because I've heard they're good but you'll be comparing them to stock shocks with 126k miles on them which I'm sure are completely blown by now. Even if you went with stock replacements I'm sure you'd notice a huge improvement.
Reply With Quote
  #24  
Old 03-17-2009, 10:58 AM
J. Kidd's Avatar
J. Kidd J. Kidd is offline
Coyote Racing Team
Location: Southern New England
 
Join Date: Dec 2001
Posts: 593
Mein Auto: 2011 Mustang GT
I'll be sure to post:
1) Install description
2) Initial impressions
3) Impressions after some time.

Yah - my current shocks are shot. I noticed a tiny puddle of oil in the same spot in the driveway and not in an area where I park - nor in a spot that would leak oil. I was confused to the point where I suspected someone was parking in my driveway while I was at work...

For sh!ts and giggles, I figured I'd just make sure nothing was leaking. Didn't even have to jack the car up. When I peaked to look at the differential, I noticed my passenger side rear shock completely covered in fluid. Driver's side looked like it had just begun leaking because there was some caked on dust, but not obviously wet like the passenger side.

I had noticed a bit more "bounce" in certain turns but attributed it to snow tires or frost heaves or a combination. Apparently it was just spent shocks.

Should be a night and day difference (like you said, even if I replaced them with stockers).

But I can't complain. 126k miles on the original set ain't too bad.
__________________
2011 MUSTANG GT
Premium / Brembo Pkg / 6 spd / 3.73s
Kona Blue with Black/Cashmere Leather

Steeda Sport Springs / Roush Axle Back / MGW Shifter / BOSS Front & Rear Fascia / BMR Adjustable Panhard Bar /
BMR Relocaton Brackets / BMR Lower Control Arms / Staggered AMR Charcoal Rims / BAMA Tuned
Reply With Quote
  #25  
Old 03-17-2009, 11:23 AM
SocalZHP's Avatar
SocalZHP SocalZHP is offline
Officially Welcomed to the 'Fest
Location: Cal State Northridge
 
Join Date: May 2007
Posts: 814
Send a message via AIM to SocalZHP
Mein Auto: 330i ZHP
Quote:
The service person told me the she had put them on her 5 series as the Bilstein Sports had been way too harsh on all the dirt roads up there.
Well..., theres your problem right there.
__________________
2004 330i ZHP
Alcantara . Xenons . Factory Alarm . Auxiliary Jack . Black Cube
Axxis Ultimate Pads . 6000K HID headlights/foglights . CCFL Angel Eyes
Headers . PlanetAudio Dual 12" Subs/1000W Amp . Dynamat
OEM Clear Corners . Eagle Eye LED Taillights . Black Kidney Grilles
Passport 9500i . Tinted 15% . Navigon 2100 GPS . Michelin PS2's
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks


Forum Navigation
Go Back   Bimmerfest - BMW Forums > BMW Model Discussions > 3 Series / 4 Series > E46 (1999 - 2006)
Today's Posts Search
Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On



Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 03:39 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
© 2001-2011 performanceIX, Inc. All Rights Reserved .: guidelines .:. privacy .:. terms