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Discussion Starter #1
i have a 96 323is manual, and the suspension is very hard, i feel everything on the road.

is that normal??
 

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BMWCCA 149159
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Ride Quality

It depends. Are you the original owner? If so you have sport suspension then the ride is stiffer but not harsh. If you are the new owner then maybe the previous owner put stiffer shocks/struts in.
The ride should be firm but not harsh. I had Bilsteins on my 325i with sport suspension and it was way to harsh but on my convertible they are just fine....
 

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Yes, agree with FUN2DRIVE, ride quality is generally firm even on the standard models. Sounds like someone may have had a fiddle with the suspension, or perhaps the rear support towers may be worn. This is a common problem, so maybe your suspension is affected by this. Get a specialist to have a look anyway is probably a good idea.
 

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My 1996 needed new struts and shocks after 100,000 miles. It made a world of difference. :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter #5
i have that car 3 or 4 months and i took her for a check and it came out just fine with good suspension, but i don't think it's not the original, maybe it's the tire pressure??

i filled the tires 30 psi, and the size is 205/60/15

i have a set of 17/235/45, and i'm going to put them today, how much psi it should be???
 

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bmw323!!! said:
i have that car 3 or 4 months and i took her for a check and it came out just fine with good suspension, but i don't think it's not the original, maybe it's the tire pressure??

i filled the tires 30 psi, and the size is 205/60/15

i have a set of 17/235/45, and i'm going to put them today, how much psi it should be???
In general, fill the tires to whatever pressure is specified in the driver's door jamb sticker, even if you change wheel/tire size. The suspension system is calibrated to the tire pressure specified. You may get a little better ride by increasing by 1 or 2 PSI, but any more and your ride will probably get worse. This is what I was taught, and it proved true when I switched up to 215/45-R17's. Also check to see you're not driving summer tires in the cold. The rubber gets very hard in cold weather, making the suspension worse.
 

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I disagree about using the same pressures listed on the door when changing wheel size. I went to 17" wheels from a 98 M3 on my 325. I use the M3 pressures on the low end (not max capacity). When I was using my OE 15", I used the recommended pressure for max capacity to get slightly better gas mileage. The 17's would be awfully soft at low 30's in the rear. With a much wider, lower profile tire, one would think you might need the slightly higher pressures. The pressures are only a few PSI higher from the 15" to the 17". Granted, tirerack or other sites might have more info when going to larger wheels.

As for firm ride, see if the car has bilsteins. If you have the sport or heavy duty, it will be a firmer ride than the OE Boge shocks. I have the Bilstein HD's on mine, and with the 17" wheels, it has great handling, especially in the corners. Bilsteins are easy to spot with the yellow shocks/struts.

BTW, like others have said, your ride will get firmer on larger wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
i didn't know that there is a different bitween winter tire or summer tire, good to know!

in a few days i will put the 17 and if it will be worse i will sell them
 

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motor_werke said:
I disagree about using the same pressures listed on the door when changing wheel size. I went to 17" wheels from a 98 M3 on my 325. I use the M3 pressures on the low end (not max capacity). When I was using my OE 15", I used the recommended pressure for max capacity to get slightly better gas mileage. The 17's would be awfully soft at low 30's in the rear. With a much wider, lower profile tire, one would think you might need the slightly higher pressures. The pressures are only a few PSI higher from the 15" to the 17". Granted, tirerack or other sites might have more info when going to larger wheels.
I think we're both in agreement, but I guess I'm being a little conservative. But wider, lower profile tires don't necessarily need higher pressures. Volume and pressure are two different things. If you took the same amount of air it takes to get to 30psi on the 15" wheel and put it in the 17", the pressure would probably be much lower. The larger tire would require more air, but not necessarily more density. It also depends on the individual tire's compound and construction. That's why you'll be hard pressed to find a general consensus on tire pressure, your best bet would be to consult the tire's manufacter. What I see is people jacking up the psi to 40 or 45 and even higher, which is definitely not good. That just makes the wheel bounce around like a basketball, very hard for the coils and shocks/struts to control, and you're more susceptible to damage from potholes. I'd say start with the pressures listed on the door, then experiment by going up or down by 1 or 2psi at a time, see how it feels.
 

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BuckFifty
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maybe you can sell your present struts on ebay and buy new ones.

Then you can keep your 17" and look kewler, and perhaps acheive the response that you'd like.


Hmmmm.....so why did the old owner swap in such hard suspension and kept the 15's ? or did he have 15' s fitted. Usually ppl would go with stiffer/lower suspension and larger rims.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
i have the original suspention, i think that this car was built for roads like in germany, here the roads are terrible, the germans built the car for handling and the car handle great but it's hard for roads like in my country, maybe in germany or in the US it's comfort. so i think it's not the suspention it's the stincky roads
 

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Well, if this is your first BMW, or almost any performance German car, the suspension will be much firmer than a mushy Japanese or American designed car. I personaly like a firm suspension for the handeling, and I can't stand mushy suspensions. In fact, I get nauseous in trucks, vans, and some large sedans which bob and sway in the turns.

As for the German roads, they are very well maintained, far better than roads in the US, especially the northeast.

Dudesky_E36, I think the main reason pressures are higher on the larger wheels is not because of the wheel radius, but rather the width of the wheel. For example, my 15->17 swap made the rears go from 205->245. That's a 4cm wider tire, and I think the higher pressure is used to support the center of this massive rubber. :)
 

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docrobot said:
It probbly needed new shocks much earlier...:stickpoke
I bought the car used with 94K miles. :slap: :slap:
 
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