I use ModBargains.com for 95% of my purchases when it comes to things like this. My wheels, ///M3 bumper, and Koni STR.T's all came from them. Customer service has been beyond excellent and their prices are competitive. So yes... I am a bit biased towards them now.
I was in need of shocks and struts badly. They lost all compression, all rebound... my car didn't handle like an E46. The first thing I had to look at was price. Unlike many of the people on this forum, I do not have six Lamborghini's in my twelve-car garage with my supermodel girlfriend (without pointy elbows, of course) making me sandwiches, so cost efficiency is required. People told me to go with Eibach, Bilstein, Tekico, or (lastly) Koni. By the looks of everything, I was going to be spending upwards of $650 on just parts. Greaaaaaat...
I was considering going with the Koni FSD's at first, for the whole concept of them seemed pretty cool. About twelve seconds later, I started reading about them. Some people loved them, but the majority of the people didn't like them. They claimed they were a bit soft under hard turns which would require something a bit stiffer. The price seemed decent, but the word "mushy" appeared in more than one review killed that deal.
But wait! What's this? Koni STR.T's for $425? We might be onto something...
For $425, I honestly couldn't resist. Cheaper than OEM, stiffer than OEM, compatible with lowering springs, reduced body roll... what's there to lose? I needed to find out! Let the research begin!
"My shock just randomly busted!"
"Busted after 5,000 miles."
"Oil leaked out after 25,000 miles!"
"Did you ever hit a bad pot hole?"
That was easy.
As I said before, I'm on a tight budget. I can't afford electronically controlled Bilstein coil over systems (I can't lower my car, anyway... the terrain I drive over won't allow it). $425 was perfect for me AND they came with a lifetime warranty. If one busts, I ship it back and get a new one. It just seemed logical to me... so I bought them. ModBargains.com called me up the next day and wanted to verify what kind of car they were going on to ensure I didn't receive the wrong product. In less than a week, they were sitting at my door. I anxiously tore the boxes open (figuratively speaking) and began to admire these orange pistons.
The shocks and struts were exactly as advertised. They came with all necessary hardware (including new nuts and Koni window decals... more horsepower, right?) and were packaged up simply enough. After getting them installed (along with new adjustable sway links), I had to flog it around some. While leaving my good friend smolck
's (his username) house, I hammered some corners that say 15 MPH is the recommended speed. Not today! I think I railed through them at nearly 40 MPH*. My car felt more solid than it ever has. Body roll was next to nothing and I nearly went flying into my door panel from the amount of lateral force being applied to my body. Bumps felt a little harsh, but it was expected. They are NOT stiff enough to jar the fillings out of your teeth, but they are stiffer than OEM Sach's shocks and struts.
I think this investment is one worth suggesting.
The Bottom Line
If you're looking to an alternative to OEM shocks but don't want to spend gobs of money on something that does the exact same thing, look into the Koni STR.T's. They are VERY affordable at $425, give the car a more solid feel, and they come with a lifetime warranty. They also look pretty good through the wheel behind the brake rotor... they match the orange color of the bulb in my corner lights while lit. I've only logged about 60 miles on them so far, but I will post an update after I manage to rail through some of my usual stomping grounds*.
I hope you found some useful information in this review and give these a look when it comes time to replace your worn out shocks and struts. Also look at these if you just want a relatively noticeable upgrade to your suspension. Paired with the OEM sport springs, they feel phenomenal.
* - DISCLAIMER:
I do not encourage street racing, reckless driving, or any other activities that could endanger yourself or other people. I make my own choices and I know the risks associated with them. Always wear your seat belt and keep racing on the track. Say no to drugs and drink your milk. Prices and participation may vary. Batteries not included.