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      04-28-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
Fireflyer239
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BMWP coils, Bilstein HD's, Pilot SS's

...have arrived, will be installed on 5/9, report to follow. I got the shorter bump stops also. Doing CDV delete at the same time.

Tires and springs were the easy choices, but deciding on which damper to go with was tougher. It was either the Billies, Koni Yellows or FSD's. Seems there are very few users of the Bilsteins on this forum, and I wonder if the misleading "HD" designation has something to do with this. Anyway, other BMW forums (3 and 5 series) turned up many favorable reviews, and my (very experienced) mechanic loves them. I did the Hotchkis front anti-sway bar 2 years ago and HIGHLY recommend this mod as the biggest bang for the buck - huge improvement. BMS P-Box has given me 25K miles of trouble-free enjoyment, a must-do for any N52 owner. I have been running Pilot Sport A/S's for the last 25K miles and they were great for their intended purpose until one track day really did them in (any further track days will be on dedicated wheels & tires!). I'll report on the SS's in the tire/wheel section.

Car has been leased but I love 'er so I'm keeping 'er. Mods still to come will be BMWP Aero front bumper, BMWP exhaust, SSK, then maybe the M3 rear subframe bushings and other recommended bits.

Big thanks to Dan at United for the springs, Jon at Turner for the Bilsteins, and Butch at Tire Rack for the donuts. They each provided helpful and friendly customer service. Cheers!

Last edited by Fireflyer239; 04-28-2012 at 11:42 PM.
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      04-29-2012, 07:04 AM   #2
GaryS
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I've ridden in cars that had Bilsteins. They felt very precise and balanced, but the ride was hard. I didn't drive the cars, but I'll bet the steering feel is great.

PSS tires will also give more precise steering feel, and they hold up under track use pretty well, but they have a nice comfy ride. You will have fun driving it.
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      04-29-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
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Interesting choice. The Bilstein HD is designed more as an OEM replacement (I think HD = heavy duty?). Comfort should be similar to stock if used with stock springs but the handling should be slightly better. I wonder how they will pair with the BMWP springs.

If it were me, I would have gotten the FSD as they have a better ride than the HDs but handle significantly better too.
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      04-29-2012, 09:35 AM   #4
Dackelone
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I've had Bilstein HD shocks in some older cars of mine. They are really good shocks.

Bilstein makes HD and Sport shocks. Both are valved the SAME, its just that the sports are designed to work on lowered(ride height) cars. HD's are for near stock ride height. They also make a "touriing" shocks - I had them on a VW TDiof mine... I would not buy them again. Very OEM ride. I really like the HD's though. You can drive the car for years and years and the ride is always firm, yet sporty. With other shocks you need to rebuild them after a year or two. Also with Bilsteins when you hit a pot hole teh shocks will not hit as hard as with other shocks, due to their quick valving. Something about rapid piston movement and the shocks dampen more than.
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      04-29-2012, 04:36 PM   #5
Fireflyer239
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From what I've gathered, the Bilstein HD's and Koni FSD's are intended for use with stock- or near stock height springs, going about as low as say, Eibach Pro-Kits would take us. Bilstein Sports are, as Dackelone mentions, valved the same as the HD's but intended for use with lower springs (Eibach Sportlines, H&R's etc) and I have verified this with a call to Bilstein. They recommended using the HD's with the BMWP coils as opposed to the Sports due to the minor (10mm) drop I will see with these springs. Even the Bilstein rep admitted the HD designation can be misleading. He reminded me that as enthusiasts, we want ANY sport damper we choose to be "heavy duty", which I think is a great point. Would any of us buy a shock labeled "light duty"? He went on to remind me that the HD's intended for BMW's have valving appropriate for a BMW's intended use, and the HD's intended for a Chevy pickup will have valving appropriate for that vehicle's intended purpose.

Interestingly, Koni's website states that their Yellows are for use with lowering springs, but I think many folks also use them effectively with stock ride height (at least with a sport package-type stock ride height).

I think they are all good quality dampers. As pnosker states, the FSD's do have a reputation for delivering both comfort and performance, and for me it really came down to these or the Bilstein HD's. I ultimately went with the HD's for the following reasons:

1) Although this is my DD, I am mostly in the car alone and use another vehicle when carrying clients. I do not mind a firm ride and don't anticipate it will be excessively harsh. I have decided I'm willing to trade the increased comfort I'd get with the FSD's in return for very sharp response and more road feel with the HD's. I like to feel the little pebbles I'm running over.

2) The BMWP springs represent a fairly mild upgrade in spring rate, and the Michelin Pilot Super Sports have been praised for their comfortable ride, so I'm banking on the combination of these springs and tires to work with the HD's in delivering a decent ride.

3) It seems Bilstein's mono-tube design offers outstanding long term performance and reliability. I could find almost no negative comments regarding these dampers, and trust that the Bilstein engineers have selected a valving which I will find ideal. It's just me, but I don't really want adjustability - I want to install them and forget them. I was told these dampers have been revalved in recent years to be slightly more forgiving.

As mentioned, I've already done the Hotchkis front ASB (my car has the Sport Package so I won't need the rear ASB), so did not want to purchase the whole BMWP suspension kit. While I am sure the dampers provided with the kit are of better quality than stock, the fact that the stock dampers have gone floppy after 30K miles has left me with a bad taste for BMW branded dampers, regardless of who makes them. I fully believe the Bilstein HD's will be a perfect match for the BMWP springs.

I value the input from fellow members here, and look forward to reporting on the results upon install. I regret not having the time to do this work myself, as I've always worked on my own vehicles, but such is life at this time!
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Last edited by Fireflyer239; 04-29-2012 at 04:53 PM.
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      04-23-2014, 02:29 PM   #6
cbl117
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Bringing a thread back from the dead...

So what was the verdict on this combination? I'm in process of doing the same combo except I'll be using Hankook V12s instead of PSS.
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      04-24-2014, 05:08 PM   #7
cbl117
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Anyone?

BMW Perf springs and Bilstein HDs. Who's tried this?
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      04-29-2014, 09:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cbl117
Anyone?

BMW Perf springs and Bilstein HDs. Who's tried this?
Close but not quite...I've got Bilstein sports, BMWP springs, eibach bars, Dinan plates, and powerflex rear strut bushings. This is the 4 th set of Bilsteins I've purchased in my life. Audi coupe, 318is, 323ci, and 135is. They are NOT like stock. They are definitely more firm than stock. Not too firm IMO but definitely more controlled.
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      04-29-2014, 10:59 PM   #9
cbl117
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Thanks Heeltoe. I have a set of gently used B6's so i'm trying to get some feedback from folks who have used the B6's with a real mild drop (<0.5"). From what i'm gathering it sounds like i'll be ok.
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