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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

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  #1  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:08 AM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Tell us what suspension you run / how you like it?

I didn't find a thread like this so I figured I'd start one. What kind of suspension do you run, what kind of driving do you do, and how do you like it? - write a little review or post a picture if you want.


This thread will make life easier for people trying to get suspension mods. It's purpose is for e46's to hear first hand reviews of stuff in ONE thread from the people who use them.

I, myself keep searching and have found a few, one on the koni yellows (but its a dd car). Most of the other ones state that someone asks "what's best" every day, and to go find them. I didn't find much so leave the Noobs (me included) some of your PERSONAL advice and or links to the real threads discussing coilovers.
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  #2  
Old 01-15-2013, 12:53 PM
stilover stilover is offline
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Mein Auto: 2000 323i
Koni orange's with H&R sport and aftermarket sways. Mainly around the town and some highway driving. I love this set up in the backroad twisties
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  #3  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:05 PM
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jvr826 jvr826 is offline
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There is a huge database in the WIKI.

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  #4  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:45 PM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Quote:
Originally Posted by jvr826 View Post
There is a huge database in the WIKI.

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Thanks! What do I "search" for?

Edit: WOW I didn't know wiki had all this info. Still didn't find the coilover one but im reading the install DIY for the sway bars - NICE

Last edited by jmansour; 01-15-2013 at 02:05 PM.
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  #5  
Old 01-15-2013, 01:55 PM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Here's some useful info if anyone is wondering tire fitment.
http://www.bimmerfest.com/wiki/index...Ftire_fitments
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  #6  
Old 01-15-2013, 07:12 PM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Read this, all you need to know about MY combo. Read the whole thing as I update it over time.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=koni+yellow
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  #7  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:35 PM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
Read this, all you need to know about MY combo. Read the whole thing as I update it over time.

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ht=koni+yellow
Thanks! doing it now, I've been researching the yellows all day. sound good.


Edit: Already read it before Awesome help, it definitely helped me lean towards the yellows. It just didnt sound like you did too many crazy twisties so I didn't know how they would perform on that level?

Last edited by jmansour; 01-15-2013 at 08:47 PM.
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  #8  
Old 01-15-2013, 08:49 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Mein Auto: BMW e46 1,9l M43
Just using my car as daily transport, mainly inside town sometimes longer distances.
I'm running stock suspension so far, and it's fine, nice, no problem, but front shocks are almost finished and my idea is to improve everything when it's time to change.
H&R -35mm front springs are waiting already and planning on Koni orange shocks... when spring comes then it's time to update.
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  #9  
Old 01-15-2013, 09:31 PM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
Just using my car as daily transport, mainly inside town sometimes longer distances.
I'm running stock suspension so far, and it's fine, nice, no problem, but front shocks are almost finished and my idea is to improve everything when it's time to change.
H&R -35mm front springs are waiting already and planning on Koni orange shocks... when spring comes then it's time to update.
How many miles you got on it?
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  #10  
Old 01-15-2013, 10:06 PM
lgr122 lgr122 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmansour View Post
How many miles you got on it?
113400
Probably some parts were changed already at some point, but they were replaced with another similar.
Anyway even stock suspension in these cars is quite good.
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  #11  
Old 01-15-2013, 11:14 PM
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whinojosa whinojosa is offline
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Mein Auto: 325i W/O CDV
On my 325i, I've got the H&R Touring Cup Kit (progressive springs rates - actual rates remain unknown), H&R adjustable sway bars F+R set to full soft at both axles (outermost holes), 225/45-17 square setup on a 34mm offset. Also have Rogue Engineering FCABS and Meyle Control Arms, Tie Rods & Sway Bar End Links.

This setup is used as a daily driver and is absolute perfection. The car is perfectly neutral. I can corner (90-degree) at a pretty decent speed with the car staying extremely flat. On long sweepers, on-ramps and the like, the car really "squats/leans-in" and exhibits zero under steering characteristics making throttle steering very possible.

I highly recommend this setup for daily driving. The ride can be rather firm at times but is no way uncomfortable - just noticeably firm at times.
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  #12  
Old 01-16-2013, 05:19 AM
jdauria jdauria is offline
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stock with UUC springs - they are compatible with the OEM shocks and struts. Lowers the front and rear just enough for me.

But if I had to go with aftermarket stuff, I would most likely purchase Koni Yellows with Eibach/HR springs. Can't go wrong with either.
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  #13  
Old 01-16-2013, 06:34 AM
TannerT TannerT is offline
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Mein Auto: 03 330ci 3pdl 89 325i
I am running stock should sport shocks/struts for now but will be getting koni yellows this spring. I have hotchkis springs and ucc three way adjustable swaybars on the stiffest setting front and mild rear. Love it! Lots and lots of grip and then even more!

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  #14  
Old 01-16-2013, 07:27 AM
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smolck smolck is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmansour View Post
It just didnt sound like you did too many crazy twisties so I didn't know how they would perform on that level?
That's all I do when I drive . I live on some very rural, very twisty (and recently blacktopped) roads. I flog the crap out of my car every day. The yellows, when really turned to full stiff, can do anything you want them to do. Unless you are going to go with a full coilover kit, the Koni's are the most versatile and best handling shock available. And they have a lifetime warranty.
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  #15  
Old 01-16-2013, 09:26 AM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgr122 View Post
113400
Probably some parts were changed already at some point, but they were replaced with another similar.
Anyway even stock suspension in these cars is quite good.
Not bad I'm at 142k... gotta replace everything Lol. Suspension is still TIGHT but when I go up to the mountains the body roll gets annoying (especially for passengers), I can control it really well but I want this car on rails... a treat to myself

Quote:
Originally Posted by smolck View Post
That's all I do when I drive . I live on some very rural, very twisty (and recently blacktopped) roads. I flog the crap out of my car every day. The yellows, when really turned to full stiff, can do anything you want them to do. Unless you are going to go with a full coilover kit, the Koni's are the most versatile and best handling shock available. And they have a lifetime warranty.
hahaha! I feel you on that. Sound like yellows are for me. Like I said I drove some the other day in the mountains and fell in love, even with the F/R being blown :P
That lifetime warranty is a WINNER



Thanks, Everyone else for the Posts! Useful info for everyone looking for some reviews.
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  #16  
Old 01-16-2013, 04:49 PM
Jimmys 530i Jimmys 530i is offline
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I have a full bilstien pss10 setup lowered 1.5 inches with solid bushings. Very very stiff and harsh ride but incredible on the turns.
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  #17  
Old 01-17-2013, 03:55 AM
stickbuilder stickbuilder is offline
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Everything stock. If I hadn't liked the way it drove out of the showroom I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.
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  #18  
Old 01-17-2013, 06:48 AM
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av98 av98 is offline
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Mein Auto: Mini Clubmn,Odyssey,Miata
Koni yellows (Front 50% tight, Rear 75% tight) + Hotchkis sways front & rear + ZHP/sport springs + Michelin PS2 tires on stock ZHP 135m staggered rims (F- 225/40/18, 255/35/18 or 265/35/18) + aggressive alignment (Front Camber= -1.1, Rear Camber= -1.5, F toe= 1/8", R toe= 0", F&R caster= stock)= The Ultimate twisty assassin

IMHO, perfect for my aggressive style of driving + daily driving, track days, auto-x.

ZHP with this setup on a track (ThunderHill)-

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  #19  
Old 01-17-2013, 05:50 PM
Cliff Cliff is offline
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Koni Yellows, Eibach Pro-kit springs with 1mm E30 spring pads on the rear, JTD rear shock mounts, Vorschlag camber plates, Vorschlag RTAB shims, UUC Swaybarbarians, and an M3 strut tower brace. I am not sure whether my shop used M3 bushings or regular OEM 3-series bushings when they were replaced at 60k miles. Front camber is adjustable from -1.3 deg to -2.3 deg, the rear is currently at -2 deg. The rear shocks are at 50% while the fronts are at 50% for street and full stiff for autox. Sways are at the middle position front and rear. Street wheels/tires are LTW EmPower 18x8.5 et40 with 255/35-18 Hankook V12, and autox wheels/tires are Tirerack TR2 in 17x8.5 et40 with 255/40-17 Hankook RS-3. The rear fenders have been rolled.

I have taken the car on a couple of road trips to Arizona with this suspension and I find it perfectly comfortable. I am classed with stock E46 and E36 M3s for autox and the car seems reasonably competitive (I will freely admit that the slowest component is the clown holding the wheel). At this point I think different tires (Dunlop Star Specs) and maybe brake pads (mine are OEM) would help me more at autox than suspension changes. For street driving, I am happy.
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  #20  
Old 01-18-2013, 06:41 AM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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Mein Auto: 2003 325i, '99 e36 328is
Bilstein sports with Eibach pro-kit springs, Meylee hd c.a.'s and bushings. Dunlop star specs on a staggard set up(awesome tire, imo). Daily driver and occasional autocross. 70 mile round trip commute is just enough to get my jollies everyday. It's stiffer than stock, slightly lower and at 191k mi, a pleasure to thrash
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  #21  
Old 01-18-2013, 09:55 AM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by el****** View Post
Bilstein sports with Eibach pro-kit springs, Meylee hd c.a.'s and bushings. Dunlop star specs on a staggard set up(awesome tire, imo). Daily driver and occasional autocross. 70 mile round trip commute is just enough to get my jollies everyday. It's stiffer than stock, slightly lower and at 191k mi, a pleasure to thrash
How many miles have you put on that suspension / how many you have the car for? U aiming for a mileage to hit?

Awesome video Av98... you have those tires screaming for more lol.

Thanks again for all the input!
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Old 01-18-2013, 10:54 AM
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elhombre elhombre is offline
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"How many miles have you put on that suspension / how many you have the car for? U aiming for a mileage to hit?"

Probably 15k on the suspension. Looking at an upgrade on sways next, but I'm in no hurry- you know everything in its time.
As for mileage, the car is still loads of fun to drive and I'm paying close attention to clutch performance. I'll be happy going past 200k with no slippage but there are other areas like its getting a little "grabby" on the hookup. I'm looking forward to ditching the dual mass flywheel for a lighter solid unit with a fresh clutch. As long as it fun and hangs together, I'll be hanging on to it. And yeah, I bought it new- all the miles are mine.
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Old 01-18-2013, 01:56 PM
vandyboy vandyboy is offline
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Mein Auto: 01 325i automatikgetriebe
I am still running bone stock at 104K Compared to my previous car - Volvo 850 - I already feel like I am driving a sports car. As things die/as I get extra money, I do want to slightly upgrade some things.

I do have a question for you guys. Is there enough of an appreciable difference to go from the regular stock suspension set up to the sport stock suspension (I think BMW still has two suspensions on the E46 other than the M3)? Or, for the money, can I do a little better but not get too firm?
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  #24  
Old 01-18-2013, 03:50 PM
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MalibuMafiaV MalibuMafiaV is offline
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H&R racing cup kit. Tried KW2 coilovers, H&R coilovers, Bilstein PSS9 coilovers and in the end I took them all off and went with H&R racing cup kit. It's at the perfect ride height, perfect stiffness and an all out great feel. Enough for the daily commute or the track.
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Old 01-18-2013, 09:52 PM
jmansour jmansour is offline
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Mein Auto: 04 325i -5spd black/black
Quote:
Originally Posted by el****** View Post
"How many miles have you put on that suspension / how many you have the car for? U aiming for a mileage to hit?"

Probably 15k on the suspension. Looking at an upgrade on sways next, but I'm in no hurry- you know everything in its time.
As for mileage, the car is still loads of fun to drive and I'm paying close attention to clutch performance. I'll be happy going past 200k with no slippage but there are other areas like its getting a little "grabby" on the hookup. I'm looking forward to ditching the dual mass flywheel for a lighter solid unit with a fresh clutch. As long as it fun and hangs together, I'll be hanging on to it. And yeah, I bought it new- all the miles are mine.
THATS a keeper! I wish I could buy a car new like that and take care of it... It would never die.
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