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      12-06-2012, 12:18 AM   #1
capri
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How many of you here changed / modified suspension after replacing RFT to non-RFT ???

hi guys,

i just ordered a set of non-run flat tires, Potenza S-04. 225 , 255.
My concern now is this, after you guys change the stock tires and eventually rims, is there a need to change the suspension ?
I dont plan to race or track the car. I just want to comfy, cruiser and fast on the straight aways. i do love corners but as long as its good enough, its fine for me. I don't take the corner too fast.

Our roads here in Philippines has potholes and roughie. Not the best road at all. some concrete, some asphalt.

Would appreciate some inputs.

Are there also here who after changed the RFT to NON_RFT that just stuck to the orig suspension and be happy ?

Is there a desire or need to change the suspension once you go to non-rfts ?

thanks for the inputs.
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      12-06-2012, 07:44 AM   #2
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My experience has led me to conclude that the semi-horror stories about changing over to non-RFTs are overblown. Tires and rims were the first mods I did. (I went with Michelin PSS.) The increase in comfort, decrease in NVH, and increase in stickiness FAR outweighed the slight increase in sponginess and very slight decrease in steering response. That said, from the factory these cars have a soft suspension with lots of movement and under-damped shocks. The common perception is that this was done intentionally by BMW to offset the effects of riding around on rubber bricks (the RFTs). I thoroughly hated the stock suspension with the stock tires and I still thoroughly hated it with the non-RFTs, so I re-did the suspension anyways.

Of course this is personal thing and you will have to decide what's important to you. If you're happy with the suspension now, chances are you'll be happy with it after the change to non-RFTs. Just stay away from soft-sidewalled tires and you'll be fine. Either Bridestone ss-04s or Michelin PSSs should work nicely for you.
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      12-06-2012, 07:47 AM   #3
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Yup, i bought Potenzas S-04s!! which tires out there are soft-sidewalled tires so i can avoid them.
I hope i dont have to mess around w/ the suspension.
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      12-06-2012, 06:46 PM   #4
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Capri -- There are several threads on this topic and thousands of opinions. Breeze did a good job summing up the benefits of non-RFTs and pointing out some of the limitations you can expect with the stock suspension. IMHO you should at a minimum consider swapping out your sway bar for an E92 M3 sway bar. The M3 sway bar will help reduce body roll without sacrificing comfort. I would also pull the pins in the strut towers and max out your negative camber. You'll only get a couple 10ths of a degree of additional negative camber, but doing this will help you retain some of your steering percission (especially since you are going +1 on your tire size). These minor mods will pay for themselves through improved tire wear, but keep in mind that finding the perfect balance can be a slippery and costly slope. Good luck!
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      12-07-2012, 10:59 PM   #5
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I switched to Michelin Pilot Sport A/S non-runflats and thought the ride improved somewhat. Then I switched out the OEM struts and shocks with Bilstein HD's (kept the OEM springs) and it reinvented the ride quality. Huge difference. The car could still use a front swaybar, but overall, changing tires and struts really made a big difference.
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      12-07-2012, 11:07 PM   #6
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How about the bushings ??? any experience on this ?

http://www.bimmerzone.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SRCH
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      12-08-2012, 07:14 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by capri View Post
How about the bushings ??? any experience on this ?

http://www.bimmerzone.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?Screen=SRCH
I could't follow the link but if you are referring to the rear subframe bushings, I would consider that stage 2 or 3 of the suspension upgrade. The job is pretty time consuming since you have to drop the rear subframe. In order to do this, you'll likely need a lift, and a transmission jack. It also requires the removal of the rear brake lines so you will need to bleed the brakes after everything is put back together. Indy shops in the US usually charge between $600-800 in labor for the job. If you are seriously looking to improve the handling characteristics of the car, this mod is well worth the time and money. Prior to replacing the stock bushings with M3 bushings, the predictability of the rear end was always in question. Any off-camber corner, or a corner with a crest or bump that unweights the rear end would completely upset the car. It almost felt like four-wheel steering would kick in at the worst possible moment. All that being said, I probably wouldn't go through the trouble of replacing the bushings until you're ready to move to a stiffer spring/damper setup or add camber plates up front (both of which will exaggerate the rubbery feeling of the stock bushings). Just see how you like the non-RFTs first and attack any concerns one by one starting with the simplest fix.
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      12-08-2012, 09:25 AM   #8
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Hi Pigfarmer,

wow, that is too much work. No way. Like what you suggested, i will just try out the new tires first and see how that goes.
Our roads here in Philippines is rough and some are unpaved, the new tires with a softer feeling is a welcome. If i loose some preciseness in cornering, well, we dont have much corners here to speak off to be really critical off. AnywAYS, LETS SEE what happens. One at a time. Thanks again for the details!!!
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      12-09-2012, 05:44 AM   #9
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Since I have replaced my stock rims/tires to VMR 19in with Michelin Super Sports rubber I have found the car opposite to the above replies.
Sure the ride is softer and quieter, though the car is bouncing all over place and forget precise cornering, I now lack confidence in hard or fast cornering.
As a person who has modded a few cars in the past (mainly VAG cars), this is the first I have found such a terrible response from just changing tires.
I am now confused on how to correct this and have read so many different responses on this issue.
I was thinking that from my past experiences that it be best to get a set of KW V3 coilovers rather than playing around with so many factors and see if that can maybe help the car get back to a least a spirited ride.
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      12-09-2012, 02:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by totobmw View Post
Since I have replaced my stock rims/tires to VMR 19in with Michelin Super Sports rubber I have found the car opposite to the above replies.
Sure the ride is softer and quieter, though the car is bouncing all over place and forget precise cornering, I now lack confidence in hard or fast cornering.
As a person who has modded a few cars in the past (mainly VAG cars), this is the first I have found such a terrible response from just changing tires.
I am now confused on how to correct this and have read so many different responses on this issue.
I was thinking that from my past experiences that it be best to get a set of KW V3 coilovers rather than playing around with so many factors and see if that can maybe help the car get back to a least a spirited ride.
The bouncing is caused by the OEM dampers being tuned to the rock hard run-flats. Coilovers, while nice if you can afford them, are unnecessary. a good set of Koni/Bilsteins will fix you right up. I got my Bilsteins for $470 from Bavauto.
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      12-09-2012, 04:02 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012one35i View Post
The bouncing is caused by the OEM dampers being tuned to the rock hard run-flats. Coilovers, while nice if you can afford them, are unnecessary. a good set of Koni/Bilsteins will fix you right up. I got my Bilsteins for $470 from Bavauto.
Thanks for this, I will give it a go. From what I read Koni Yellows are better buy?
Also will I have to change the springs or will this be fine with just a replacement of shocks?
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      12-09-2012, 05:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2012one35i View Post
The bouncing is caused by the OEM dampers being tuned to the rock hard run-flats. Coilovers, while nice if you can afford them, are unnecessary. a good set of Koni/Bilsteins will fix you right up. I got my Bilsteins for $470 from Bavauto.
Thanks for the info, which model of the Bilsteins are you referring to ? $470 for 2 fronts and 2 rears ?
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      12-10-2012, 01:29 PM   #13
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Generally agree with the advice to replace the dampers first then assess. Can't judge Bilstein vs. Koni but I will tell you - if you choose Konis - to buy the Yellows and avoid the FSDs. The FSDs are a comfort-oriented shock and are very soft in their initial travel. It's not a good match for our cars.
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      12-10-2012, 06:06 PM   #14
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Quote:
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Generally agree with the advice to replace the dampers first then assess. Can't judge Bilstein vs. Koni but I will tell you - if you choose Konis - to buy the Yellows and avoid the FSDs. The FSDs are a comfort-oriented shock and are very soft in their initial travel. It's not a good match for our cars.
Thanks for chiming in. Which one are the dampers ? are these the springs ?

if you can point out to me a www or url where i can check these out, that would be great. Which brand of damper should i be looking at ?

Thanks a million.
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      12-10-2012, 06:28 PM   #15
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Sorry: Dampers = Shocks
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      12-10-2012, 06:42 PM   #16
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Quote:
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Sorry: Dampers = Shocks
Thanks for clarification!!! did you also change the bushings or mountings when you upgraded for the Koni yellows ?
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      12-10-2012, 07:44 PM   #17
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In both my MINIs the RFTs were the first thing to go. Expensive as sin to replace, and awful ride and traction. I never noticed any suspension issues afterwards (in fact, I was thrilled at all the grip I gained), but hey, they're not 1 series, things could be different.
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      12-11-2012, 09:20 AM   #18
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I would venture to say that the majority who have replaced the runflats with non runflats have made at least some suspension modifications. As others have said the stock suspension is soft and set up for the hard run flat tires. In my opinion the stock dampers are the weakest link in the suspension (and the springs as well in pre 2011 model year cars), although there are certainly other parts of the stock suspension that could use improving. I'm also a proponent of the Koni Sport (Yellow) dampers.

For various reasons I didn't want to lower my car so after replacing the runflats with non runflats and larger 19" wheels I changed my springs to 2011 M-Sport springs, which in the rear are linear versus progressive like the 2008-2010 rear springs, and added Koni Sport adjustable dampers. My other suspension mods are all M3 pieces. Those include M3 FSB, front control arms and tension rods and rear guide rods. I next plan to add M3 rear subframe bushings.

My car now rides and drives so much better. Less body roll, better compliance and better handling. And because I went from 18" to 19" wheels it looks lower even though I haven't lowered the ride height.
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      12-11-2012, 09:31 AM   #19
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Quote:
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Thanks for clarification!!! did you also change the bushings or mountings when you upgraded for the Koni yellows ?
No if you don't change the ride height you don't need to change anything when you change the dampers. If you have a pre 2011 model year car you might consider changing the rear springs to 2011+ springs at the same time you change the dampers.
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      12-11-2012, 09:19 PM   #20
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is it safe to assume if my car has the N55 engine its the 2011 model ?
On the vin # it says it was build 5/2010 ? am a bit confuse. Thanks for the clarifications.
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      12-12-2012, 10:22 AM   #21
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It is my understanding that BMW began using the N55 engine in the 2011 model year 1s, but I'm not certain of that. You don't know what model year your car is?
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      12-12-2012, 02:44 PM   #22
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Quote:
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is it safe to assume if my car has the N55 engine its the 2011 model ?
On the vin # it says it was build 5/2010 ? am a bit confuse. Thanks for the clarifications.
If your car was built in May 2010, then it's almost certainley a N55 engine, as production of the N55 engined 135i started from April 2010 onwards.

If it looks exactly like this under the hood (bonnet) then it's a N55

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