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      01-17-2012, 06:54 PM   #1
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My New Suspension Set Up - Koni Sport Adjustable Dampers/2011 M Sport Springs

I finally got my Koni Sport dampers and 2011 M Sport springs installed. Wow what a difference! The car now has very little lift and squat compared with my stock 2009 M Sport suspension and the ride feels better than the OEM set up. Just shows how bad the stock dampers are.

First some background. I wanted to improve my car's handling without lowering it since I have Alufelgen SF-71 19" wheels. I like the stance of the car with the wheels and I didn't want to have any rubbing issues. I also have rolled fenders because I previsously had some rubbing issues with more than one person in the car because of the soft OEM rear springs. I was looking to improve performance on the street without sacrificing ride quality. I have no plans to track or autocross my car. My car also has the E93 M3 28mm sway bar and the M3control arm/tension rod kit which were installed before the new dampers and springs. So my set up now consists of:

E93 M3 FSB and Bushings
M3 Control Arms/Tension Rods
Koni Sport Adjustable Dampers (with external front and rear adjustment)
2011 M Sport Springs

Since I was not able to find any aftermarket springs that didn't lower the car at least a half inch (and coilovers weren't the way I wanted to go) I decided to investigate the 2011 and later OEM M Sport springs when I found out that BMW had increased the spring rates and changed the springs from progressive to linear beginning on the 2011 model. http://www.bimmer-mag.com/issues/96/...-better?page=2 I was lucky enough to pick up a set of 2011 M Sport springs from a forum member who had swapped out his springs for aftermarket springs. I decided to pair the springs with Koni Sport adjustable dampers. I also considered Koni FSDs because because of their good ride quality, but ultimately decided that the adjustablity of the Koni Sports was more important to me. I purchsed the Koni dampers from Harold at HPA. Harold has been a great resource in helping make my decisons. He also has the Koni Sport dampers available with external rear adjustment. I have't seen them available through any other vendor with that feature.

The big question is how much of the improvement in my car is due the Koni Sport dampers and how much is due to the 2011 M Sport springs. There is no way for me to know since they were installed at the same time. All I can say is that if you already have the 2011/12 M Sport springs that the Koni Sport dampers, M3 FSB and control arms/tension rods make for a great set up. If you don't have 2011/12 M Sport springs and you want to maintain a stock ride height they are worth considering if you can find a set along with a good set of aftermarket dampers.
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Last edited by 1Pirate; 01-17-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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      01-18-2012, 12:42 AM   #2
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great write-up. thanks for the info... i've been back and forth between the FSD and sports.
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      01-18-2012, 09:29 AM   #3
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Thanks. Ultimately what made the decision for me to go with the Koni Sports is the adjustability and flexibility they offer. You have the option to set them anywhere between full soft and full firm. Initially you have to decide where to set them in order to get the ride and handling you want and you may have to keep adjusting them until you get it right. I have mine set at 2/3 of a turn from full soft in front and back. I plan to leave them at this setting for a week or so and see how I like it. I may adjust them more, but right now they feel pretty good.

With the FSD's you put them on and forget about them. But you have no further adjustability. It really depends on what you want.
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      01-18-2012, 12:55 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
great write-up. thanks for the info... i've been back and forth between the FSD and sports.
I've had both. FSD's if ride comfort is the priority. Sports if handling is the priority. Sports wil cause the car to move around more over undulating surfaces but have consistent damping. FSD's are nice but inconsistent and can crash through their travel if you hit the bstops hard.
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      01-18-2012, 01:03 PM   #5
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1Pirate:
Sounds like a sensible susp setup
I don't know about the E8x but most guys set the rear Koni's too stiff on the E90's, especially w/o M3 subframe bushings. 2/3 from soft sounds good (I set the rears at 3/4 from soft). May want to turn up the front struts tho..
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      01-18-2012, 03:09 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
1Pirate:
Sounds like a sensible susp setup
I don't know about the E8x but most guys set the rear Koni's too stiff on the E90's, especially w/o M3 subframe bushings. 2/3 from soft sounds good (I set the rears at 3/4 from soft). May want to turn up the front struts tho..
Thanks for the advice. I plan to play around with the settings some more this weekend. So far in my limited driving it feels good, but I want to get out on a backroad with some curves to see how it really feels.
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      01-19-2012, 03:11 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
I've had both. FSD's if ride comfort is the priority. Sports if handling is the priority. Sports wil cause the car to move around more over undulating surfaces but have consistent damping. FSD's are nice but inconsistent and can crash through their travel if you hit the bstops hard.
which setup did you prefer in the long run?
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      01-19-2012, 08:58 AM   #8
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As a follow up when I was packing up my OEM springs last night I noticed that the 2009 M Sport rear springs are visually different than the 2011 M Sport rear springs I just installed on the car. Unfortunately I didn't take pictures of the 2011 springs before installing them so I could post comparison pictures. The spring coils on both ends of the 2009 springs are spaced further apart than the middle of the spring whereas on the 2011 springs the spacing is the same over the entire length of the spring. This appears to me to be consistent with the 2009 springs being progressive and the 2011 springs being linear.
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      01-19-2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
which setup did you prefer in the long run?
sports
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      01-19-2012, 12:30 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
which setup did you prefer in the long run?
Koni Sport Yellows will give you the best performance overall. The FSD's in my personal opinion don't really ride any better than the Yellows at the softer settings, but have much less control on suspension movement.
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      01-19-2012, 01:32 PM   #11
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I would recommend following Harold's advice. He has been a big help to me and knows as much about mods to the 1 series suspension as anyone on this forum.
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      01-20-2012, 06:25 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Koni Sport Yellows will give you the best performance overall. The FSD's in my personal opinion don't really ride any better than the Yellows at the softer settings, but have much less control on suspension movement.
There doesn't seem to be a very big price difference between Koni Yellows with springs and say, ST coilovers.

What do you think is the best direction at this price point? (Under 1k)
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      01-20-2012, 06:52 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
There doesn't seem to be a very big price difference between Koni Yellows with springs and say, ST coilovers.

What do you think is the best direction at this price point? (Under 1k)
It's the quality of the dampers, plus ST's aren't rebound damping adjustable.
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      01-20-2012, 06:59 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
It's the quality of the dampers, plus ST's aren't rebound damping adjustable.
So springs/dampers are the better route right? (unless stepping up to KW2-3 which is out of my budget and specific needs)
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      01-20-2012, 07:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
So springs/dampers are the better route right? (unless stepping up to KW2-3 which is out of my budget and specific needs)
If you are comparing ST to Koni with springs, Koni's are better. V1 vs Koni with springs are about the same, but you are paying more for the V1's to get height adjustability. For the price of the V1's and V2's you can easily get a Koni based true coil over kit with Swift springs, which offers much better performance for less.
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      01-20-2012, 07:10 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
If you are comparing ST to Koni with springs, Koni's are better. V1 vs Koni with springs are about the same, but you are paying more for the V1's to get height adjustability. For the price of the V1's and V2's you can easily get a Koni based true coil over kit with Swift springs, which offers much better performance for less.
Perfect! If I get the Koni Sports and springs now - can your Koni coil over kit be added later to the existing dampers/springs?
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      01-20-2012, 07:23 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
Perfect! If I get the Koni Sports and springs now - can your Koni coil over kit be added later to the existing dampers/springs?
Yes, the conversion kit was designed that way. However, you will need to purchase Swift springs for the front, but you can certainly reuse the rear springs if you like the ride height and how the vehicle rides.
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      01-20-2012, 09:31 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
Yes, the conversion kit was designed that way. However, you will need to purchase Swift springs for the front, but you can certainly reuse the rear springs if you like the ride height and how the vehicle rides.

Do your swift springs run with Koni yellows without the coil-over conversion kit?

I'm wondering if it would make sense to just get the swift springs now instead of the H&R Sport springs I was going to get anyway.
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      01-21-2012, 01:00 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
Do your swift springs run with Koni yellows without the coil-over conversion kit?

I'm wondering if it would make sense to just get the swift springs now instead of the H&R Sport springs I was going to get anyway.


No, it makes no sense to do a true coilover conversion and still use oe spring profiles.

Swift does not offer a sport spring at this time.

Here is what the front struts will look like after the conversion.
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      01-21-2012, 01:38 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HP Autowerks View Post
No, it makes no sense to do a true coilover conversion and still use oe spring profiles.

Swift does not offer a sport spring at this time.

Here is what the front struts will look like after the conversion.
Can you PM me a price for the swift springs and conversion kit?

I'm coming from an S2000 that basically felt like it was on rails. I will probably only go to the track once a year so I'm looking for a setup that is primarily great on curvy roads and spirited daily driving. I have the m-sport right now and I want to drop the car a little and get rid of the understeer. I have the E93 M3 sway bar also waiting to be installed.

Thanks for the help!
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      01-23-2012, 02:37 PM   #21
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Man you guys have highjacked my thread.

Update. Still loving the new set up. I did turn up the front dampers to 3/4 a turn from full soft. I'm liking the way that adjustment feels. Rear is set to 2/3 turn from full soft. I've got to believe that the 2011 M Sport springs are stiffer than the 2009s. That stiffness along with them being linear rather than progressive coupled with the Koni dampers takes away most of the squat and lift without compromising ride quality.
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      01-23-2012, 03:33 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Pirate View Post
Man you guys have highjacked my thread.

Update. Still loving the new set up. I did turn up the front dampers to 3/4 a turn from full soft. I'm liking the way that adjustment feels. Rear is set to 2/3 turn from full soft. I've got to believe that the 2011 M Sport springs are stiffer than the 2009s. That stiffness along with them being linear rather than progressive coupled with the Koni dampers takes away most of the squat and lift without compromising ride quality.
I apologize.

Guys, any question that is not directly related to the Koni setup, please PM me instead.

Harold
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