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BILSTEIN coilover for bmw 325i 2006

oracle10goracle10g Posts: 10
Thinking about changing to a BILSTEIN coilover for my 325i. anyone with experiences with this?
what about H&R brand? Thanks.


  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Why do you want to switch to coilovers?
    How often will you track the car?
    How much experience do you have at high speed driving events?
    Learn to drive your car to its limits BEFORE you start modifying it.
  • oracle10goracle10g Posts: 10
    Just day to day driving. I don't think that I need to push my car to the limit before I can appreciate the better handling of the car. I am looking for information on people who has installed these specific coilover, pros/cons ect..

    Just because someone likes the Porsche handling doesnt mean that they have to push the limit of the car to enjoy the overall feel of the car.

    Please give specific recommendation about what I'm looking for and not some overall arrogant remarks.

  • I thought coilovers were used so that you could adjust the height (as well as the stiffness) of the suspension. I may be incorrect (I had a kid who worked for me who used to talk about this stuff constantly), but isn't that something that you use more in a racing scenario? He put them on his car because he needed to adjust the ride height for different tracks. He used to make fun of people who put them on their daily driver cars since they never used them for the reason they were made. Again, I'm just repeating what I heard from my employee but for the money I'd definately check into the purpose before I spent a lot of $ on something I wasn't going to use.

    Please don't respond by calling me arrogant. I could give a crap what you put on your car. But you pretty much slammed the guy who responded before, and who was just trying to help, and I prefer not to read a similar response. Thanks.
  • oracle10goracle10g Posts: 10
    Primarily, I'd like to lower my car a little bit, stiffen up the suspension, change the wheel to an 18' instead of the stock 16', adjust the ride/height to my liking, etc...

    THe reason for the post is to find someone who has experiences with changing out the stock shocks/springs to a coilover systems in order to improve the handling of the car. As I stated before, you do not have to go to the tracks in order to enjoy your daily driving experiences.

    I'd like to know specifically from those who have replaced their stocks with Bilstein coilvers: the pros/cons, problems, issues so that I can decide whether I want to do it with that brand, another brand, what type of wheels/tires or sell the car and get another car with the ride and handling that I want.

    No track/racing intented here. People do things for different reasons, no one is right or wrong here.
  • I talked to my old employee over the weekend and asked him about Bilstein coilovers. He said that they markedly enhance the road handling character of the car (as the previous poster mentioned well beyond the skills of the average driver so be careful), he recommended installing anti-roll bars since you are doing all the work, and said that the biggest mistake is not getting a professional (read, BMW dealer) four-wheel alignment. He said that the alignment is particularly important and needs to be kept up if you drive the car on typical city streets. The installation was a bear but worth the improved handling. As I said, he tracks his car regularly.

    Hope that helps. Also, he said something about needing to buy special tools from Bilstein. I wasn't taking notes, so you might want to follow up on that one when or before you buy them.
  • Thanks for an informative input. I'll check into these things before I do it.
  • abfischabfisch Posts: 591

    I could not agree more with the second answer. You just bought a new BMW. A nice one. And paid for the struts that were in there. Why in the world would you want to do something like this, other than tracking the car.

    I have a 04 325ci with the sports package. I drive like you drive, sporting sometimes, sometimes just enjoying the drive at slower speeds. With the 5 speed and barely any options, to laden it with weight, it is a pure joy. Especially the suspension. When it hits 100K or so, yes, then it will be time to put in some NEW Koni FSD struts(double valved)and change the bushing in the control arms and trailing arms, possibly to PU if you like a harsher ride.

    I modified mine just a little, putsing around, with a UCC strut bar, UCC clutch stop V3, and I will probably change the CDV(clutch delay valve) which appears to dramatically change the engagement.

    But these are minor mods, that make it a little more precise without changing the overall character of the genuine sports car it is.

    Enjoy it now the way you bought it for awhile. Add improvements as things wear. Sounds like you have a nice vehicle.

    Those Bilsteins coilovers, high pressure shocks/struts will change the ride dramatically, not all in a positive way unless you live on roads that are perfect.

  • div2div2 Posts: 2,580
    Great minds think alike! ;)
  • Friendly humor not withstanding I have a very serious topic I would like to get inputs on and as you may have guessed it is all about creating a Dr Jekyll monster from a rather placid Mr Hyde, the latter represented by a stock 2008 335xi.
    As captured in previous posts 3 major milestones will soon be achieved for the vehicle;
    One is the end of the 4 year complimentary service
    The second is reaching the mileage that will end the powertrain warranties
    and last but not least the fact that I have some experience with track racing
    What I sorely miss since moving to the US many years ago is the ability to locate resources and knowhow to have a vehicle modified properly.
    I am sure I may draw some fire since I am proposing to 'retire' to the tracks a non RWD model but I can live with the idea of non experiencing the 'spirited' dynamics of controlling a RWD while pushing it hard.
    I am also aware of some potential risks linked to the N54 engine and the issues withe the HPFP failures (mine gave me no troubles and was eventually replaced with the general BMW recall in 2010.
    So the above not withstanding the basic question I would start with is what type of engine and chassis modification are possible, and even better desirable, in an xDrive 335. Specifically when it comes to boosting engine performance what are the best tested options for the N54 block.
    I see the block is still used in the 2012 BMW 1 Series M but honestly the specs for the vehicle (lighter than the 3 series) do not impress me (basically within pretty much the actual tested outputs for stock 3 series equipped with the same engine). SO I am wondering if something better can be had. I remember hearing about DINAN and possibly a couple of other kits but they gave me the impression that were more of eye candy that substance (with reprogramming timing etc0 and basically a legalized way to remove the electronic governor.
    Is there anything that has some more meat to the bone?
    Enough about the engine. What about tweaking the chassis to maximize whatever gain can be had from the engine (spoiler alert, I am aware the transmission in the xDrive could be less amenable to modding)?
    Any thought (positive ones please) and advice in favor or against the idea are highly appreciated.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,369
    As you already know, a 335xi automatic is not ideally suited for HPDEs. If it were me I'd sell it and buy something more suitable for the track. That said, if you are intent on sticking with what you've got I'd consult Dinan and Turner Motorsport. My dealer had a CPO E93 335i with the Dinan Stage 3 software and it was very quick. In fact, I would have bought it had it not been a slushbox.
    You'll need an oil cooler if your car doesn't have one. Dinan's cooler is excellent but pricey. As for ECU reflashes, COBB, Dinan, GIAC, and Turner all have their proponents. No one I know tracks an xi car so I can't speak to long term durability of either the transfer case(or the autobox for that matter).
    Looking at the suspension, Dinan or H&R sport springs/Bilstein sports should work fine.

    Finally, you may want to try a couple of schools before you dive into modifications as may well find that the "spirited dynamics" of a RWD car are something to be enjoyed rather than feared.
    Please understand that I'm not saying that your xi is a bad car for the street. I just think that you'd be much happier in the long term with a car that is better suited for the track.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

  • You make very valid observations and I will follow your advice. I have not played with RWD since my early 20s ....may be I am forgetting something there....(hopefully not a true sign of senility).
    Thank you very much.
  • roadburnerroadburner Posts: 11,369
    edited February 2012
    Well, like I said, try your car at an HPDE before you start modifying it. If you like the way it performs you may want to go ahead with your plans. If you don't enjoy it, I doubt modifying it will change your opinion.
    The HPDE bug bit me bad, and it may get you too. It's a blast.

    Mine: 1995 318ti Club Sport / 2014 M235i / 1999 Wrangler / 1996 Speed Triple Challenge Cup Replica Wife's: 2016 i3 REX/2009 Cooper Clubman Son's: 2009 328i

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