BMW 1 Series Coupe Forum / 1 Series Convertible Forum (1M / tii / 135i / 128i / Coupe / Cabrio / Hatchback) (BMW E82 E88 128i 130i 135i)
 





 

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      01-08-2013, 02:38 AM   #1
simianspeedster
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Adding Performance Suspension: any diff. between Base or M-Sport as starting point?

I'm likely to order a 128i soon and based on all the positive feedback about the Performance Suspension, I'm thinking about adding it to the order. It sounds like that means the Performance Suspension will be installed at the port pre-delivery, which would be ideal for me.

I did some searching but couldn't find a direct answer to this question: while I understand that different cars require different parts for the Performance Suspension kit based on their VIN, does the starting point of the car define the end point or do they all end up the same with the right parts? More specifically, if I order a 128i without M-Sport and add the Performance Suspension, will I end up reaching the same endpoint with the same benefits or will the originally M-Sport still have some suspension benefits over the originally base car?

If there are no suspension differences after the Performance Suspension is added, I might skip the M-Sport package altogether especially since I would change the suspension either way, I also plan to change the wheels and the sport seats can be ordered "a la carte."

Any advice is welcome.
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      01-08-2013, 05:50 PM   #2
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Personally I'd start with premium and sport packages, heated seats, and xenons - if nothing else but to protect resale value. The sport package adds way more than just suspension. The shadowline trim, sport steering wheel, and anthracite headliner are all very nice additions, as are the style 207 wheels.
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      01-08-2013, 07:03 PM   #3
simianspeedster
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Thanks for the reply. I have an M-Sport car now and there are some things I like about the package, but it may not make sense given my needs and I care more about getting the car I want than resale.

Unpopular as it may be with others, I prefer the chrome window trim over the shadowline trim, especially on the 1 Series. The windows on the 1 are already relatively small and the beltline is high, so the dark trim just accentuates those proportions to my eyes. Also, the 128i is going to be my last "old school" BMW (NA straight six, manual transmission, etc.) and the chrome trim reminds me of the E30 days. I'm on the fence about the M-Sport body kit, but I kind of like the simpler standard body for the 128i -- again, it looks more like a traditional BMW to me. As for the wheels, I'd be dumping them for 18s, so no gain there for me.

What matters most, of course, is the way it drives, hence my original question. If the M-Sport package + Performance Suspension offers any performance/handling advantages over Base + Performance Suspension, it's M-Sport all the way.
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      01-09-2013, 08:43 AM   #4
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The BMW PS would replace the items that make up the sport suspension, so if you don't care about the other items that are part of the sport package, it would make sense to simply skip the sport package. Note: I'm not sure if the ZSP adds bigger/better brakes or not, so that is something for you to research. A full brake upgrade would be expensive on it's own - far more than what the ZSP costs.

Also, be aware that while the BMWPS does address the under-damped shocks/struts, it doesn't address the weakest links in the 1er suspension - the soft hollow bushings that make the car so downright squirrelly. If you want a really tight handling 128, you should consider installing the M pieces as well. The BMWPS for the 128 does include a rear sway bar, which would mean the rear subframe would need to be dropped in order to install it. While they are in there, I would recommend adding the M rear bushings. The other M pieces are pretty simple bolt-ins, so you could do those at any time later. (Note that while installing the front control arms is very easy, the car would need to be aligned afterwards. Something to consider if you only want to pay for an alignment once.)

Point taken on the wheels. On a 128, I'd go with a square 18 set-up, probably 225 Michelin PSSs on 18x8.5/45 all around. Should be plenty of tire for the modest power of the 128, plus you'd reduce understeer, you'd be able to rotate, and there would be no danger of rubbing.

Last edited by TheBreeze; 01-09-2013 at 08:49 AM.
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      01-09-2013, 12:20 PM   #5
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Thanks again for all the details, Breeze.

The M-Sport package (there's no more regular Sport Package for 2013) doesn't do anything for the brakes. I recognize that the 128i has smaller brakes than the 135i, but I'm not going to track the car so I'm hopeful that the stock brakes will be sufficient for day to day use and some occasional hard driving, especially considering the relatively light weight of my preferred config.

Two follow-up questions:

1) Do you know if the additional M pieces are also available for "factory install" (really port install from what I understand) as part of an order? I have to order the car to get a manual transmission anyhow, so I'd prefer just to spec everything the way I want up front and have it arrive assembled, if possible.

2) This may seem redundant given my original question, but I want to make sure I'm clear: you're saying the Performance Suspension replaces all the Sport/M-Sport suspension pieces so there's no eventual difference between starting with a base (non-sport) car vs. a Sport/M-Sport car once the Performance Suspension is installed. Is that correct?

I'll probably go for the new "Lifestyle Package" (hate the name, but love the mineral white exterior and brown interior) which comes with 18" rims (261M on the coupe, I think) and swap the run flats for 225 Michelin PSSs all around.

A 3,300 lb. RWD car with a NA inline-6, manual transmission, upgraded suspension and high performance tires sounds like a proper BMW to me!
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      01-09-2013, 01:51 PM   #6
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I would want the sport seats, but that's up to you.

1) No. Installing the M pieces is just something people figured out, it's not part of any official BMW program.

2) Correct. Though at least on the 135i, if you are starting with the sports suspension, then the cost of the PS is a little less b/c you don't have to replace the rear anti-roll bar.
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      01-09-2013, 02:40 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post
I would want the sport seats, but that's up to you.

1) No. Installing the M pieces is just something people figured out, it's not part of any official BMW program.

2) Correct. Though at least on the 135i, if you are starting with the sports suspension, then the cost of the PS is a little less b/c you don't have to replace the rear anti-roll bar.
Agreed -- thankfully sports seats are an "a la carte" option ($500 MSRP)
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      01-09-2013, 04:05 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post
I would want the sport seats, but that's up to you.

1) No. Installing the M pieces is just something people figured out, it's not part of any official BMW program.

2) Correct. Though at least on the 135i, if you are starting with the sports suspension, then the cost of the PS is a little less b/c you don't have to replace the rear anti-roll bar.
ZSP/ZMP on the 135 also includes the Oil Cooler. ZSP/ZMP is a must on the 135 IMO.
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      01-09-2013, 04:15 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simianspeedster View Post

1) Do you know if the additional M pieces are also available for "factory install" (really port install from what I understand) as part of an order? I have to order the car to get a manual transmission anyhow, so I'd prefer just to spec everything the way I want up front and have it arrive assembled, if possible.

2) This may seem redundant given my original question, but I want to make sure I'm clear: you're saying the Performance Suspension replaces all the Sport/M-Sport suspension pieces so there's no eventual difference between starting with a base (non-sport) car vs. a Sport/M-Sport car once the Performance Suspension is installed. Is that correct?

I'll probably go for the new "Lifestyle Package" (hate the name, but love the mineral white exterior and brown interior) which comes with 18" rims (261M on the coupe, I think) and swap the run flats for 225 Michelin PSSs all around.

A 3,300 lb. RWD car with a NA inline-6, manual transmission, upgraded suspension and high performance tires sounds like a proper BMW to me!
1.) I don't know. All the parts have proper BMW part numbers, but I have no idea how far they'd go to make you happy. I'm certain the delivering dealer would be happy to install any and all parts for you at a nice hefty premium, but I'm also thinking you'd pay a pretty stiff install fee for the BMW PS as well. Personally, I'd order the car and the parts you want separately and let a good Indy install them (the mods you are talking about is mostly pretty easy DIYs, though the rear bushings and rear sway bar are a b!tch).

2.) Yes. The BMW PS replaces shocks, struts, front and rear bars. There's nothing left to replace :-). The control arms and bushings are the same between base and ZSP.

Your project sounds interesting and unique. Good luck!
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      01-09-2013, 05:09 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheBreeze View Post
1.) I don't know. All the parts have proper BMW part numbers, but I have no idea how far they'd go to make you happy. I'm certain the delivering dealer would be happy to install any and all parts for you at a nice hefty premium, but I'm also thinking you'd pay a pretty stiff install fee for the BMW PS as well. Personally, I'd order the car and the parts you want separately and let a good Indy install them (the mods you are talking about is mostly pretty easy DIYs, though the rear bushings and rear sway bar are a b!tch).

2.) Yes. The BMW PS replaces shocks, struts, front and rear bars. There's nothing left to replace :-). The control arms and bushings are the same between base and ZSP.

Your project sounds interesting and unique. Good luck!
Thanks again. Based on my needs, I may just stick with the Performance Suspension and have it installed as part of the original order so I only have to deal with BMW if anything goes wrong. I used to do more customization work to my cars (suspension, stereo, etc.), but there's always a decent hassle factor involved so I plan to keep it simple.

Considering the car I'm coming from (2011 335i Coupe M-Sport) and my goals this time around (lighter, simpler, nimbler), a 128i with "factory" PS and non-runflats should be more than good enough. Once you have to order a car (manuals are almost impossible to find in Southern California), you might as well get what you want!
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      01-13-2013, 06:13 AM   #11
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Interesting that you're going from a 335i to a 128i...care to elaborate? I have a 128i and love it. Don't track on stock brakes, if you want real brakes get ap racing or stop tech kits up front, BMW performance brakes are a marketing scheme with little added benefit. Definitely get sport seats. And get the BMW ps, it's worth every penny over stock unless you plan to get aftermarket stuff. Oh, and please Post photos on delivery
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      01-13-2013, 03:37 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by mikal7 View Post
Interesting that you're going from a 335i to a 128i...care to elaborate? I have a 128i and love it. Don't track on stock brakes, if you want real brakes get ap racing or stop tech kits up front, BMW performance brakes are a marketing scheme with little added benefit. Definitely get sport seats. And get the BMW ps, it's worth every penny over stock unless you plan to get aftermarket stuff. Oh, and please Post photos on delivery
It's kind of a long story:

Prior to my 335i Coupe I had a Z4 Coupe. I loved most things about it, but the ride quality was often harsh on run-flats -- in that car, you almost sit on top of the rear wheels -- and I eventually grew out of a two seater. Is it too much to ask for a car that allows me to cart around a wife and a dog at the same time? Had I the parking space, I would have kept the Z4 Coupe, swapped the tires and added a daily driver, probably an E90 328i Sedan. I loved the styling, the special feel of that car, and especially the 255HP variant of the N52 engine but I sold it to get something a bit more practical.

In retrospect, the 335 Coupe was a reaction to the lack of utility and ride comfort in the Z4. It's been a great car, but it's a little too heavy and floppy for my tastes. It certainly performs well, but it's kind of a cruiser at heart. Also, as sacrilegious as it may sound, I find that it has too much power. Yes, you read that right. The power is almost unusable in my area without getting into trouble. Similarly, I find all the low end turbo torque to be useful, but not as much fun as NA engine. I drive manual, so I prefer a car where I can have fun rowing the gears and revving the engine without going nuts. It's just more engaging to me even if I give up some speed.

Looking at the landscape, there's not much out there that appeals to me especially since I'm looking for a relatively light performance car with a rear seat (however small). For kicks, I drove a Genesis Coupe 3.8 Track and it was a no go -- not a bad car, but it's basically a Korean take on a heavy American muscle car. I also tried a Golf R, but it was such a short drive that I couldn't form a solid impression. I'll try it again soon to see if it's an option. A TT-S looks fun, but no manual transmission is probably a deal killer. Lastly, I do plan to drive a Subaru BRZ -- I sat in one at the local dealer and it has a great sports car feel but the dealers are playing games with them because they're in short supply, and I don't need to deal with that petty crap.

Since I'm really trying to split the difference between the Z4 and an E90 335i and I'm a huge BMW fan, a 128i Coupe makes the most sense. Lighter? Check. Smaller? Check? Rear seat for the dog and other practicalities? Check. NA inline six? Check, though I would kill for the 255HP N52 in place of the 230HP variant. Manual transmission? Check. Really, it's the most sensible choice, so there's about a 90% chance that's what I'll get.

Lastly, I'm kind of an old school BMW fan; I had an E30 M3 back in the day and it's still my favorite car. The 2013 128i is the last production year of BMW's last (IMO) old school car and that makes me want one even more. I'm saddened by the direction BMW is taking these days, though I understand why it's happening, so I see the 128i as the last stand against the tyranny of turbos, electric steering, etc. My wife has an F30 328i and we would never buy it again. I know others like theirs just fine and I'm not trying to put down others' tastes, but the F30 simply doesn't feel like a BMW to me.

So that's probably way more than you wanted to know, but I'm giving this a lot of thought because I'm a car nut and, as I've mentioned before, I have to order a car in SoCal to get a manual, so I might as well do the research and get what I want.

Since you brought up the brakes, would you mind chiming in on my separate thread on brakes? http://www.1addicts.com/forums/showthread.php?t=791101
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      01-14-2013, 12:20 PM   #13
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It's actually refreshing to hear other people share sentiments. Since your in Cali you should visit tc Kline and get some goodies for your car after you put some mileage on it I love the z4 coupe but like you I needed a backseat (just in case) and because I drive a lot and already have a toy (rx7 turbo) I went na and didn't regret it one bit. My only complaint is the lack of LSD. I want an os giken mechanical unit with a 3.9 final. That'll really pep the car up.
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      01-14-2013, 05:15 PM   #14
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I still wish I could keep a toy car for the weekends. I started to look into a local garage spot, but they're expensive here so I scrapped the idea.

Thanks for the tip on tc Kline -- I'm going to try to resist the urge to mod the car beyond what I can get from the factory/port, but you never know...

Oh, and I rode in a friend's twin turbo RX-7 back in the mid '90s -- it was an unabated monster!
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      02-08-2013, 04:05 PM   #15
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i just ordered a stripped manual 128i with no options except for the m sport package for the same reasons. i really see it as the last of the real bmws. it's such a great engine- probably one of the best, most bullet proof powerplants ever and in its most evolved form. it'll go for 300,000 miles. honestly, i think these cars are going to be somewhat collectible although i don't care about that. the car is kinda seen as a barbiemobile but it really isn't. it's a real bmw sports coupe- light, refined, n/a slant six, rwd and comfortably seats two and has some useless back seats for the yuppie dog breed of the month or amputees.

i'm coming out of an mustang bullitt-before that i had a r32 that i hated because of the stupid dsg transmission. prior to that i had an e46 m3- that thing was nice- but so big and so heavy and way too fast for how quiet it was....anyway- i think the 128i is pretty perfect.
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      02-09-2013, 02:24 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by cgaulzetti View Post
i just ordered a stripped manual 128i with no options except for the m sport package for the same reasons. i really see it as the last of the real bmws. it's such a great engine- probably one of the best, most bullet proof powerplants ever and in its most evolved form. it'll go for 300,000 miles. honestly, i think these cars are going to be somewhat collectible although i don't care about that. the car is kinda seen as a barbiemobile but it really isn't. it's a real bmw sports coupe- light, refined, n/a slant six, rwd and comfortably seats two and has some useless back seats for the yuppie dog breed of the month or amputees.

i'm coming out of an mustang bullitt-before that i had a r32 that i hated because of the stupid dsg transmission. prior to that i had an e46 m3- that thing was nice- but so big and so heavy and way too fast for how quiet it was....anyway- i think the 128i is pretty perfect.
Thanks for the post -- we're definitely thinking along the same lines.

Sad as it may sound, the 128i may be my last BMW because none of their new products really speak to me. Sure, they produce good numbers, but they're simply not what comes to mind when I think of a proper BMW -- too big, too fat, too detached. Maybe all this makes me sound a crotchety old bastard, but it I know what I like so I'm following my own trail on this one.

I'll be ordering my 128i in about a month. I have the config worked out and I'm excited. Keep us posted on your order progress!
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