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E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006 - 2013)
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  #1  
Old 10-16-2012, 11:34 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Bilstein's Touring Class or Koni FSD

Hello,
I am refreshing my stock 06 330i non-sport suspension w/ runflats. The ride is getting floaty and showing signs of a tired suspension. I would like a conservative ride, hence the options I am looking into.

Tirerack pricing:
Bilstein's Touring Class: ~$338
Koni FSD: ~$808

Any thoughts on Bilstein's Touring Class versus Koni FSD? Obviously there is a significant cost difference, but are the FSD worth it?
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  #2  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:08 PM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
Hello,
I am refreshing my stock 06 330i non-sport suspension w/ runflats. The ride is getting floaty and showing signs of a tired suspension. I would like a conservative ride, hence the options I am looking into.

Tirerack pricing:
Bilstein's Touring Class: ~$338
Koni FSD: ~$808

Any thoughts on Bilstein's Touring Class versus Koni FSD? Obviously there is a significant cost difference, but are the FSD worth it?
Here is a vote for the FSDs.
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  #3  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:12 PM
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nathand nathand is offline
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I'm looking at the Koni FSD's for my car based off CaptainAudio's recommendation in the pothole explosion thread. I haven't heard about the Bilsteins before so I'm not sure about those.
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  #4  
Old 10-16-2012, 12:35 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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In my opinion the Konis are worth it. Improved handling and huge improvement in the way the car handles potholes and poor road surfaces. The "Dual Personaility" nature of the FSDs is a perfect match for the rather poorly sorted out, overly harsh 3 Series Sport suspension.

I have no experience with the Bilsteins but I know they make a quality product.

CA
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Last edited by captainaudio; 10-16-2012 at 01:10 PM.
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  #5  
Old 10-16-2012, 01:14 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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I really do not like how the stock suspension + run flats handle mid corner bumps. The rear end gets scurry when its unsettled under load. I did not have this experience with my E46 with stock or non-stock suspension setups.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2012, 01:36 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bluskye View Post
I really do not like how the stock suspension + run flats handle mid corner bumps. The rear end gets scurry when its unsettled under load. I did not have this experience with my E46 with stock or non-stock suspension setups.
I felt the same way and named that particular phenomenon CT0 (Crappy Tire Oversteer). Replacing the RFTs and installing Koni FSDs eliminated the problem.

CA
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2012, 04:57 PM
ramblinman ramblinman is offline
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I have an e92 with sport and I installed FSD's that improved the ride over bad roads. But I have found that the ride can get bouncy over washboard type road surfaces, maybe worse than oem. There's only so much you can do with RFT's and a sport suspension. The GSD's are better but it's not perfect.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2012, 05:31 PM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ramblinman View Post
I have an e92 with sport and I installed FSD's that improved the ride over bad roads. But I have found that the ride can get bouncy over washboard type road surfaces, maybe worse than oem. There's only so much you can do with RFT's and a sport suspension. The GSD's are better but it's not perfect.
I have not had that experience with washboard roads but I got rid of the RFTs when the car was a few weeks old.

CA
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  #9  
Old 10-16-2012, 09:18 PM
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I have heard that Koni FSD's cannot be installed on an x drive e90 sedan. What is the reason for this? I am looking for the best replacement dampers for my 328xi, 2008 w/sport package. I am looking for a solution to the same exact problems that captain audio experienced.
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  #10  
Old 10-17-2012, 08:28 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jertronic View Post
I have heard that Koni FSD's cannot be installed on an x drive e90 sedan. What is the reason for this? I am looking for the best replacement dampers for my 328xi, 2008 w/sport package. I am looking for a solution to the same exact problems that captain audio experienced.
AWD models have a different front strut design. Koni must not have designed the FSD for the AWD variant. This has been the case with alot of aftermarket struts for for a while.
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  #11  
Old 10-17-2012, 11:11 AM
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The KONI FSD shocks are a great choice and we've had nothing but positive feedback from all of our customers. KONI FSD adjusts damping automatically, so there is no need to manually adjust the shock absorber. These shocks replace OEM shocks and actively controls stiffness, and dramatically improves handling. Most people don't know this, but the KONI FSD are also original equipment on Lamborghini Gallardos! We have the KONI FSD for $749.95 + S&H and you'd save some money going through us
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  #12  
Old 10-17-2012, 04:36 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Both are good and I have done both. The touring Bils are a little stiffer (dampening) than stock.
The Koni's are always excellent. Bils have a life time warranty to the original owner. I don't think Koni's do unless they recently changed their policy.
Can't go wrong with either...
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  #13  
Old 10-18-2012, 09:11 AM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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fun2drive, thanks for your input.

More info:
Looks like the folks in UK confirmed the shocks on the E90 330i are in fact Bilstein B4/Touring class shocks, but valved with BMW specs. So that would mean the aftermarket Bilstein touring class shocks would be excellent replacements with Bilstein's own valving specs (which may be good if you dont like BMW's spec) stiffening the ride a tad while extending shock life.

Tirerack offers the Bilstein part numbers for sport and non-sport suspensions.

FYI, here are the part numbers for non-sport setups cross referencing Bilstein's application guide:

22-135001 Shock Absorber
BILSTEIN - B4 Gas (Ersatzteil)
Fitting Position Front Axle Left; Suspension Strut; Gas Pressure; Twin-Tube; Top pin;

22-135018 Shock Absorber
BILSTEIN - B4 Gas (Ersatzteil)
Fitting Position Front Axle Right; Suspension Strut; Gas Pressure; Twin-Tube;

19-135021 Shock Absorber
BILSTEIN - B4 Gas (Ersatzteil)
Fitting Position Rear Axle; Gas Pressure; Twin-Tube; Top pin; Bottom Pin;

The misc parts that should be replaced with a shock/strut refresh comes to approx $250 from bavauto

Last edited by bluskye; 10-18-2012 at 09:18 AM.
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  #14  
Old 10-18-2012, 09:24 AM
jertronic jertronic is offline
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What are the best options for shocks on my 2008 328xi sport package. Of course, since x-drive does not get the true sport suspension, it's more a question of which product will provide a less jarring, jolting and teeth chattering ride. I have already ditched the RFT's and put a set of DWS's on the wheels.

On the trade off of the harshness is how great the car handles and corners. But, with the crap road surfaces in the NE I get banged around pretty good on a daily basis.
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  #15  
Old 10-18-2012, 10:19 AM
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captainaudio captainaudio is offline
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Contrary to popular belief a car does not have to have a harsh, jarring ride to handle well.

CA
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  #16  
Old 10-18-2012, 11:35 AM
anE934fun anE934fun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
Contrary to popular belief a car does not have to have a harsh, jarring ride to handle well.

CA
+1. I suspect the popular belief has been sustained by non-Koni manufacturers trying to keep sales going of their harsh, jarring shocks.
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  #17  
Old 10-21-2012, 12:07 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Just an update:
I ordered the Bilstein Touring Class (B4) shocks and misc parts that are recommended. Will give an update once I put them on. I still have the crappy bridgestone run flats on. I wont change those until spring but it will be interesting to see how the aftermarket Bilstein with their own valving spec differs. When winter hits, I will put my non-run flat michelin snow tires on so another update will be posted once that occurs.
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  #18  
Old 10-21-2012, 05:40 PM
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fun2drive fun2drive is offline
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Tourings are only slightly stiffer than stock and have performed fine for me.
It is true that you don't need stiff ride for excellent handling.
I made the mistake of installing Bil Sports on a 325 sedan which handled well and it ruined the car.
Actually both of my M3's road softer than most stock 3 series...
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  #19  
Old 10-28-2012, 01:15 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Update 10/28/12:
Installed the rear shocks myself. As you can see, the shocks look identical in physical design. I replaced both lower and upper rear shock mounts. Having a ton of prior E36/E46 suspension work experience, I thought this shock replacement was straight forward. I literally had more issues futzing with the interior trunk panels.

The rear has tightened up and tucking in corners like they used to. Mid-corner bumps are not as scurry anymore. I expect things to be alot better once I replace the worn out runflat bridgestone EL42 (terrible tires) next spring.

I will take the car into a shop to get the front struts replaced this week as I am too old now to be futzing with a spring compressor.

Rear shock pics here: https://dl.dropbox.com/u/12236539/Ph...%2055%20PM.jpg
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  #20  
Old 11-01-2012, 02:21 PM
bluskye bluskye is offline
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Update 11/01/12:
Got front shocks installed at a shop (The famous Ben Thongsai outside Chicago). This included all misc rubber bits/bump stops/upper strut mounts. Sway bar links and sway bar bushings replaced 2012 spring. So with the exception of the control arms, the suspension has been refreshed this year.

The car drives amazing again!! The car barley rides firmer, but bumps are handled with no sloppy rebound. The big acoustic/psychological bonus is there isnt a resonating "thunk" over big bumps, but more of a solid "thud". Hard to explain. Keep in mind, I have worn out crappy Bridgestone EL42 run flats on still.

Whatever BMW spec'd Bilstein to do with their factory shocks/struts, it was no bueno. The aftermarket Bilstein touring/b4 shocks are definitely a good replacement option for RWD models at quite an affordable price.

$340 for shocks/struts + $250 for misc bits that should be replaced with the shocks/struts.
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  #21  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:03 PM
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I had FSD's installed last Thursday. Definitely an improvement over the 70K miles old sport suspension I was riding on. I do notice a bit more bounce at times but it's not bad and an easy trade off for pothole explosions. The car is quieter over bumps but now I notice the squeaks that are just a factor of the car's age and normal wear and tear. Handling feels sharper and once the Continental DSW's I'm riding on now are toast I may actually go back to a sportier tire.

I did get an alignment for what it's worth.
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  #22  
Old 11-07-2012, 03:38 PM
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CALWATERBOY CALWATERBOY is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by captainaudio View Post
In my opinion the Konis are worth it. Improved handling and huge improvement in the way the car handles potholes and poor road surfaces. The "Dual Personaility" nature of the FSDs is a perfect match for the rather poorly sorted out, overly harsh 3 Series Sport suspension.

I have no experience with the Bilsteins but I know they make a quality product.

In this case OP will get what he pays for.

Words to the wise: German name no guarantee of quality.

But I gotta say, Capt'n, that w/yellows, non-progressive springs, non-RFT's & M parts, pothole explosions are no more.

So what did it? Dunno. My theory's that the more linear shock curve & yellows are most of it; Delrin might have payed a role. Whatever....I'm a happier guy, as are you....
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  #23  
Old 11-13-2012, 06:36 PM
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After a couple of weeks the FSD's continue to impress. Do shocks/struts require a break in period? They seem to perform even better now than when installed, as if they've settled a bit. Can't wait to wear out the DSW's and go back to a true summer tire.
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  #24  
Old 11-14-2012, 01:08 PM
Daily Driver Daily Driver is offline
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But I gotta say, Capt'n, that w/yellows, non-progressive springs, non-RFT's & M parts, pothole explosions are no more.

Calwaterboy, which "non-progressive springs" are you using? Did you change the sways?
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  #25  
Old 11-14-2012, 05:22 PM
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groundeffect groundeffect is offline
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Howdy Daily Driver.
I had my sport suspension tweaked in a good way with the Dinan 3 by Budd's in Oakville .
I gotta' say, it rides the imperfections way better and now has 0 roll (no serious track time as of yet)
This is how the suspension should have come out of the factory inmo- stiff-yet compliant!
Cheers,
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