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      07-04-2011, 08:01 PM   #1
1speedbike
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Coilovers vs Springs + Shocks (for street handling)

Hey guys,

So I want to upgrade my stock springs/shocks. I had my heart set of coilovers (KW) but with school costing over a grand per credit and money from my other endeavors not coming in like it used to, I can't really justify spending $1500-$2000 for a suspension that I won't really track for at least another year or two when my warranty is up. My main issue is with comfort, since I've heard mixed things about setups like h&r springs with koni yellows, etc.

I care most about improving handling and don't really wanna have a "slammed" look, but a bit of lowering looks nice. Ive heard that the stance with coilovers is nicer than that with springs + shocks? I would maybe take the car to an AutoX and definitely some spirited drives, no all out track days til my warranty is kaput. Any suggestions for a car I drive up to 2 hours daily and take on longer trips occasionally? I don't need a ridiculous track system, and even if I go with coilovers I would just set them and forget them, no real adjusting as long as I'm happy. I am just tired of the stock handling and don't want to wait for track time to come a year or two from now to change suspension parts.

tl, dr: are a spring/shock set acceptable in terms of comfort and handling for street use versus a coilover system?
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      07-04-2011, 10:36 PM   #2
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^Sorry about the lack of decent grammar; I was typing on my phone over the course of about half an hour waiting for fireworks, and I lost my spot a bunch of times.
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      07-04-2011, 11:54 PM   #3
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I think you'd be happy with Koni's and a set of springs to go with it. Would cost you maybe 700-1k.

I'll give you a ride in my car one day, I have the HPA kit which is Koni's + Swift springs but the ability adjust height / dampening. I also set it once and forget about it.

It is stiff but I like it.
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      07-05-2011, 01:40 PM   #4
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I was in the same boat you were in. I have run race spec coilovers on a street car and loved the handling but hated the harsh ride. When it came time to do the suspension in my 135i I wamted something that would be comfortable but would be able to handle the added power that the car now has. I was pretty set on going with the KW V1's and almost pulled the trigger, but then I came across the KW Street Comfort series Coilovers. They are basically designed to keep the luxury feel of the BMW but perform like a coilover. They are adjustable for both height and dampening (unlike the V1's) so you can set the car to any hieght you want and adjust the firmness with the turn of a screw. I also opted for the Vorshlag Camber Plates as well for more adjustability with camber, but they are not necessary.
I have had them in for a week and so far I really like them. The feel is slightly firmer then stock but I have them dialed in about 2/3's tward firm. I took my wife for a ride for the first time since the install and she did not notice a difference, and she always commented on how smooth the car felt. Under acceleration the car feels more planted and the handling is definitely more stable. They are more expensive then the V1's but if you want the quality I guess you have to pay. I hope this helps. I will be posting pics when I get a chance.
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      07-05-2011, 02:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by twin fed View Post
I was in the same boat you were in. I have run race spec coilovers on a street car and loved the handling but hated the harsh ride. When it came time to do the suspension in my 135i I wamted something that would be comfortable but would be able to handle the added power that the car now has. I was pretty set on going with the KW V1's and almost pulled the trigger, but then I came across the KW Street Comfort series Coilovers. They are basically designed to keep the luxury feel of the BMW but perform like a coilover. They are adjustable for both height and dampening (unlike the V1's) so you can set the car to any hieght you want and adjust the firmness with the turn of a screw. I also opted for the Vorshlag Camber Plates as well for more adjustability with camber, but they are not necessary.
I have had them in for a week and so far I really like them. The feel is slightly firmer then stock but I have them dialed in about 2/3's tward firm. I took my wife for a ride for the first time since the install and she did not notice a difference, and she always commented on how smooth the car felt. Under acceleration the car feels more planted and the handling is definitely more stable. They are more expensive then the V1's but if you want the quality I guess you have to pay. I hope this helps. I will be posting pics when I get a chance.
How much were the coilovers? So is it supposed to be like the KW V2 but a bit more comfortable?
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      07-05-2011, 02:38 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chesterfan1230 View Post
I think you'd be happy with Koni's and a set of springs to go with it. Would cost you maybe 700-1k.

I'll give you a ride in my car one day, I have the HPA kit which is Koni's + Swift springs but the ability adjust height / dampening. I also set it once and forget about it.

It is stiff but I like it.
Since you're speaking from experience, I'll trust you on this! And that sounds awesome, I'd love to take a drive sometime soon. I don't really care about the adjust-ability of it since I really will set it and forget it.. but I don't want to look too slammed, and don't want to look too raked, but want the maximum performance that would still make sense for a street set up.

What do you think of eibach pro kit springs vs H&R OE Sport and Sport springs? The H&R super sports are just way too low, and H&R's in general look pretty raked, but they seem to be a little more capable than eibachs to me for some reason. If you don't know, it's all good though, anyone can chime in about that..

Quote:
Originally Posted by twin fed View Post
I was in the same boat you were in. I have run race spec coilovers on a street car and loved the handling but hated the harsh ride. When it came time to do the suspension in my 135i I wamted something that would be comfortable but would be able to handle the added power that the car now has. I was pretty set on going with the KW V1's and almost pulled the trigger, but then I came across the KW Street Comfort series Coilovers. They are basically designed to keep the luxury feel of the BMW but perform like a coilover. They are adjustable for both height and dampening (unlike the V1's) so you can set the car to any hieght you want and adjust the firmness with the turn of a screw. I also opted for the Vorshlag Camber Plates as well for more adjustability with camber, but they are not necessary.
I have had them in for a week and so far I really like them. The feel is slightly firmer then stock but I have them dialed in about 2/3's tward firm. I took my wife for a ride for the first time since the install and she did not notice a difference, and she always commented on how smooth the car felt. Under acceleration the car feels more planted and the handling is definitely more stable. They are more expensive then the V1's but if you want the quality I guess you have to pay. I hope this helps. I will be posting pics when I get a chance.

That would be pretty awesome.. except I'm trying to spend less money here I don't really want to invest in something that costs even more than V2's to get something that's mushier And this is just for the street anyway, so it's unlikely I'd be able to take it to it's full potential anyway..
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      07-05-2011, 05:04 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oofie View Post
How much were the coilovers? So is it supposed to be like the KW V2 but a bit more comfortable?
I think that they list for about $1800 but I got them NIB from a forum member, shipped for $1100. And I would have to say that yes I guess they are about the same adjustability wise compared to the V2's but more streetable as far as ride quality.
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      07-05-2011, 05:17 PM   #8
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[/quote]That would be pretty awesome.. except I'm trying to spend less money here I don't really want to invest in something that costs even more than V2's to get something that's mushier And this is just for the street anyway, so it's unlikely I'd be able to take it to it's full potential anyway..[/quote]

I guess you have to decide how much you are actually going to get to the track to base your suspension need/cost on that. As much as I would like to get there I know it is not going to happen as much as I would like. I spend much more time on the street then I will on the track and really did not want to sacrifice ride quality. Therefore the money was justified, plus I got a real great deal on them, so that helped in my decision making. Good luck and if you have any questions please let me know.
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      07-05-2011, 07:11 PM   #9
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To be honest I know nothing about the eibach kit except it is stiffer than KWs
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      07-12-2011, 10:10 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1speedbike View Post
Since you're speaking from experience, I'll trust you on this! And that sounds awesome, I'd love to take a drive sometime soon. I don't really care about the adjust-ability of it since I really will set it and forget it.. but I don't want to look too slammed, and don't want to look too raked, but want the maximum performance that would still make sense for a street set up.

What do you think of eibach pro kit springs vs H&R OE Sport and Sport springs? The H&R super sports are just way too low, and H&R's in general look pretty raked, but they seem to be a little more capable than eibachs to me for some reason. If you don't know, it's all good though, anyone can chime in about that..

With our Koni or AST kits, you can spec your own spring rates. We usually suggest 336f/700r for mainly street driven cars. It still gives you the compliant ride but with increased performance. We have sold many kits with this set up and no complaints.

Coilovers will allow you to adjust your ride height as well as corner balance your car for better performance. Koni yellows ride great on the street and perform well. We will be releasing info on a Swift OE spring set up in the next couple weeks if you decide you don't want to go the coilover route.

-Tyler
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      07-12-2011, 10:53 AM   #11
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Tyler,

Been waiting on the release of the Swift sport springs. What are they going to do about matching bump stops?
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      07-13-2011, 08:49 AM   #12
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Shorter bump stops can be used if desired or you can trim the stock ones. Bump stops are there for reaon and act as a rudamentry spring as well as keep the shock from bottoming out.

The stock bump stops are fairly soft so the increase in spring rate is minimal. We may look into having custom bump stops designed since there seems to be so much concern.

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      07-13-2011, 09:52 PM   #13
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Shorter bump stops can be used if desired or you can trim the stock ones. Bump stops are there for reaon and act as a rudamentry spring as well as keep the shock from bottoming out.

The stock bump stops are fairly soft so the increase in spring rate is minimal. We may look into having custom bump stops designed since there seems to be so much concern.

-Tyler
"We may look into having custom bump stops designed since there seems to be so much concern."

That is a very good idea!
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      07-14-2011, 08:06 PM   #14
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I've had the Eiback/Koni FSD setup on my car for almost 1 1/2 years now and I am very happy. Subtle drop ar about 3/4", good ride, and with the M3 front sway bar just about the perfect setup for my level of driving (no track).
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      07-20-2011, 07:57 PM   #15
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A little update: I went with coilovers. I found ST coilovers for the same price that a set of H&R or Eibach springs paired with Koni yellows would cost. At first I was turned off by the ST's because everyone makes a big deal that they are prone to rust because they are galvanized and not stainless steel. Well.. Konis aren't even galvanized, they rust. So do springs. Soo... either way I would have to either apply a rust-proof coating or just be very careful. ST's also have a corrosion-resistant zinc coating, so that gave them a bit of a leg-up. The Konis would be dampening-adjustable, but the ST's are height-adjustable. Since I'd probably set it and forget it anyway, I prefer the option of height adjust-ability, just in case I ever get fed up with being too low or something. And since ST's ride just like KW V1's, and everyone seems to love those, I had no real worries about their ride quality. Anyway, now we play the waiting game until they come in
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      08-15-2011, 11:55 AM   #16
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2k is alot to spend but when you have them dialed in....amazing how well they handle. just save up by bring ramen to work lol
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      08-15-2011, 12:19 PM   #17
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I had Koni yellows + H&R sport it was nice but my ST Coils are even better for comfort.
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      08-16-2011, 06:45 PM   #18
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Quote:
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I had Koni yellows + H&R sport
I second this. Koni Yellows and H&R sports are a super setup.
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      08-16-2011, 07:11 PM   #19
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Quote:
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"We may look into having custom bump stops designed since there seems to be so much concern."

That is a very good idea!
YES! shorter slightly firmer bumpstops please! this could also help pacify some of the concerns people have with how the koni fsd copes with lowering springs.
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      08-16-2011, 07:35 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jzhang View Post
I had Koni yellows + H&R sport it was nice but my ST Coils are even better for comfort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rich@GTBPerformance View Post
I second this. Koni Yellows and H&R sports are a super setup.
I went with the STs because I got a great price on them (pretty much EQUAL to what the koni + h&r combo would have cost). plus i looked at JZ's pics and I want adjustable height. I just got the height adjusted to the final setting after a few weeks of letting the springs settle. I got the rake set to 6/16" = 3/8" and got the perfect moderate drop I wanted, no tiny drop and no slamming it. No ridiculous rake like with the H&Rs (though i wouldn't mind ridiculous rake, i'd just worry about either the front being too low or the rear being too high). Still got like 8 mm ground clearance the adjustability in this case wins for me!

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YES! shorter slightly firmer bumpstops please! this could also help pacify some of the concerns people have with how the koni fsd copes with lowering springs.
Hmm.. i was always under the impression that koni FSD are great for the stock springs and springs like the BMW performance springs which don't really drop the car too much, and the yellow sport shocks were meant for lowering springs. who knows, i'm happy with what i got
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      08-16-2011, 08:44 PM   #21
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Hmm.. i was always under the impression that koni FSD are great for the stock springs and springs like the BMW performance springs which don't really drop the car too much, and the yellow sport shocks were meant for lowering springs. who knows, i'm happy with what i got
correct. that's the case because of the way the FSDs work. they essentially analyze compression frequencies to determine how to adjust damper rates. when riding low, the oem bump stop gets a little more involved in the whole process than it would be otherwise. the FSDs reportedly have some issues interpreting the early ramp-up in their perceived springrate when running into the bump stop. a shorter firmer bump stop would allow more travel prior to the bump stop.
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      12-23-2011, 03:56 AM   #22
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OP - so how do you feel about the ST's for handling and comfort? It's been a few months - let's hear the update.
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