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      06-21-2012, 03:41 AM   #1
INDPNDT
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Arrow M3 Upgrades - What Spring/Shock Combo?

Hey everyone.

I've been tearing through the threads for months going back and forth on different suspension options for my 135. Below is a little background and what I'm looking to accomplish.

The car:
2011 135i M-Sport, 6MT, (Linear springs for 2011)

My goals:
-Lowered by 1"
-Comfortable but sporty/aggressive daily driver
-Not being tracked
-Ideally a "set and forget" system

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What I'm currently thinking to tighten the control of the car:
-M3 Front sway bar
-M3 Front control arm upgrade kit (upper & lower control arms, tension struts, bushings etc.)
-M3 Rear Subframe Bushings

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I've considered Eibach Pro System but have heard mixed reviews - some saying its "bouncy".

I've considered Koni Yellows with H&R springs but have heard its a bad idea to mix and match a spring/strut.

I've considered going to ST's or buying used TCKline coilovers... but... this is probably way more than I will ever need and a waste of $$$

I've considered BMW performance but it only gives an extra .39" over the M-Sport suspension and is more expensive then going with ST's.

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**EDIT - DECISION MADE**
So, I finally bought a suspension after looking through a TON of different combos.

I ended up getting the TCKline Double Adjustable coilovers with the TCKline camber plates to match. Current spring rates are 450 front, 571 rear.

I'm playing with the idea of adding in the M3 rear subframe bushings although I'm going to talk with TC first and see if he recommends the subframe bushings or the M3 front control arm kit. I can't do both at the same time so it will have to be one or the other.

Looking forward to finally seeing how the car rides in a few weeks when I get it installed.

Last edited by INDPNDT; 07-14-2012 at 06:26 PM.
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      06-21-2012, 05:27 AM   #2
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No it's not over kill. It really depends on how settled you want the car to be. Also to be honest, the ST coil overs aren't over kill. They're a very plush ride and you'll be able to get the exact stance you want. I wouldn't recommend them for track use at all. I'd say the H&R with koni yellows would be your best track set up out of the options you listed. My recommendation would be the ST's or find a set of used V1's if you want the lifetime warranty.
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      06-21-2012, 09:02 AM   #3
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You cannot drop the car 1-1.5 inches and expect the same ride quality.

HR springs and koni yellows is an awful combination IMO, i had it on my 335i. It rode like trash, bounced and over-reacted to any imperfection in the road. It made me almost car sick to drive the car.

1-1.5 inches is excessive lowering for this car, and will result in signficant ride quality and comfort sacrifices.

The only way you will have a shot to lower that much and still maintian a stock comfort level ride on poor quality roads is to get something like TCK D/A setup or ohlins that have shortened shocks and struts that are high quality enough to handle a higher spring rate and a lower amount of suspension travel.

You go cheap, you will make comprimises. Bottom line. Just telling you the truth.
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      06-21-2012, 03:20 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
You cannot drop the car 1-1.5 inches and expect the same ride quality.

HR springs and koni yellows is an awful combination IMO, i had it on my 335i. It rode like trash, bounced and over-reacted to any imperfection in the road. It made me almost car sick to drive the car.

1-1.5 inches is excessive lowering for this car, and will result in signficant ride quality and comfort sacrifices.

The only way you will have a shot to lower that much and still maintian a stock comfort level ride on poor quality roads is to get something like TCK D/A setup or ohlins that have shortened shocks and struts that are high quality enough to handle a higher spring rate and a lower amount of suspension travel.

You go cheap, you will make comprimises. Bottom line. Just telling you the truth.
Definitely not expecting the same ride quality however I do want something "relatively" comfortable. This is not a track car and should by no means ride like one. I'm coming from an S2000 which drove on rails and I'd like to have some of that balance back.

Good to know about the koni/h&r setup.. thats been the reaction I've read a few times.

Not sure how 1" is excessive but I guess that's an opinion. Every spring out there with the exception of the BMW PS drops at least 1". Even so, I believe the BMW PS drops almost 1" from the non M-tech option, but only .39 with M-tech since it's already a little lower.

What about the Eibach Pro System? It's a shortened strut matched with a 1.2" dropped spring.

I'm not sure how everyones experience has been with it though.
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      06-21-2012, 04:21 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
Definitely not expecting the same ride quality however I do want something "relatively" comfortable. This is not a track car and should by no means ride like one. I'm coming from an S2000 which drove on rails and I'd like to have some of that balance back.

Good to know about the koni/h&r setup.. thats been the reaction I've read a few times.

Not sure how 1" is excessive but I guess that's an opinion. Every spring out there with the exception of the BMW PS drops at least 1". Even so, I believe the BMW PS drops almost 1" from the non M-tech option, but only .39 with M-tech since it's already a little lower.

What about the Eibach Pro System? It's a shortened strut matched with a 1.2" dropped spring.

I'm not sure how everyones experience has been with it though.
not really much of an opinion. 1 inch is a lot of lost suspension travel. unless the shocks / struts are shortened to account for it, that is a very significant amount of travel lost, and will cause whatever shocks / struts you put in the car to operate in a range at which they are not designed to operate in. not to mention not being accurately valved for the specific spring rates that you will be using with aftermarket springs

bmw performance and dinan both use springs that drop about half an inch or less.

eibach and hr are well over an inch
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      06-21-2012, 04:31 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
not really much of an opinion. 1 inch is a lot of lost suspension travel. unless the shocks / struts are shortened to account for it, that is a very significant amount of travel lost, and will cause whatever shocks / struts you put in the car to operate in a range at which they are not designed to operate in. not to mention not being accurately valved for the specific spring rates that you will be using with aftermarket springs

bmw performance and dinan both use springs that drop about half an inch or less.

eibach and hr are well over an inch
I think what you are saying is 1" is a significant drop on STOCK struts.

None of the options I had mentioned included only adding lowering springs to the stock struts as this would obviously be a bad idea; and would wear out the stock strut significantly faster.
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      06-21-2012, 04:36 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
I think what you are saying is 1" is a significant drop on STOCK struts.

None of the options I had mentioned included only adding lowering springs to the stock struts as this would obviously be a bad idea; and would wear out the stock strut significantly faster.
Koni yellows and fsd are not shortened, rhy are stock length and designed for use with stock height springs.
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      06-21-2012, 04:46 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
Koni yellows and fsd are not shortened, rhy are stock length and designed for use with stock height springs.
From Koni's Website:
Unlike some shocks, KONIs are not position sensitive so they will work properly anywhere in their stroke range providing they are not bottoming or topping out. Different vehicle suspension designs have different stroke travels but a good rule of thumb is that most vehicles can be lowered acceptably about 1 1/2 inches, beyond that the possibility of bottoming increases rapidly although some longer stroke cars can go lower.



Also from Koni's site:

Sport Shocks
Why the industries first adjustable shock is still the best:

> Big handling improvements
> Reasonable ride quality
> Re-buildable for custom vehicle setups
> Best KONl shock for all lowering springs
> Lifetime Warranty
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      06-21-2012, 04:59 PM   #9
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Marketed for doesn't mean ideal for

Losing one inch of travel that doesn't get accounted for by a shortened damper is a problem

Run the setup and find out why, up to you.

I've said my piece, good luck with whatever direction you go.
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      06-21-2012, 05:20 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
Marketed for doesn't mean ideal for

Losing one inch of travel that doesn't get accounted for by a shortened damper is a problem

Run the setup and find out why, up to you.

I've said my piece, good luck with whatever direction you go.
At the end of the day these forums are full of incorrect information and if Koni designs their struts to work 100% effectively at a 0-1.5" drop I think it's important to put it on here.

The vast majority of struts are designed to work at their full length, however as Koni states on their website, their shocks are not designed this way. The shock is designed to work with lowering springs in mind therefor compensating for the "lost" travel.

In all honesty, it's a moot point since I'm really not even looking at running that setup.
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      06-22-2012, 07:32 AM   #11
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I've been very pleased with my Koni Sports. Although my car is not lowered, I do have the M3 bits though (FSB, control arms and tension rods), except for the M3 sub frame bushings. I am also using 2011 M Sport springs since at least the rears are linear rather than progressive. Shorter bump stops may also be of benefit if you are going to lower the car.

Another suggestion would be to consider the Konis with BMW Performance Springs. There are several people on the forum that have that set up and seem happy with it. I would have gone that route myself, but I didn't want to lower the car because of my 19" Alufelgen SF-71 wheels.
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      06-22-2012, 08:16 AM   #12
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You say you want decent quality but you're looking at the cheapest systems out there? Buddy that's a paradox I don think you quite grasp.

Also. A stock 135 has about 3 inches of suspension travel (yes that's a literal number) with about 2 inches of that being against the bump stops.

This car uses its bump stops as part of the suspension - when you lower the car you take out the travel before the bump stop. This makes the ride more firm and more uncomfortable.

The Dinan system uses shorter bump stops - you should pick up a set of those if you drop the car.

Also 1.5" is excessive for the 135 - this slams the car, how do you expect decent ride quality on a slammed car on the cheap?


You want 1"? M3 bits Bilstein PSS 10 and done.

KW if you want to cheaper - Ohlins if you're willing to spend a bit more
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      06-23-2012, 09:48 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrokenVert View Post
You say you want decent quality but you're looking at the cheapest systems out there? Buddy that's a paradox I don think you quite grasp.

Also. A stock 135 has about 3 inches of suspension travel (yes that's a literal number) with about 2 inches of that being against the bump stops.

This car uses its bump stops as part of the suspension - when you lower the car you take out the travel before the bump stop. This makes the ride more firm and more uncomfortable.

The Dinan system uses shorter bump stops - you should pick up a set of those if you drop the car.

Also 1.5" is excessive for the 135 - this slams the car, how do you expect decent ride quality on a slammed car on the cheap?


You want 1"? M3 bits Bilstein PSS 10 and done.

KW if you want to cheaper - Ohlins if you're willing to spend a bit more
Thanks for the info however I think there might be some confusion. I never said I was looking at the cheapest solutions out there.

In fact, I said I was looking for options and peoples recommendations. I had merely put the systems that I had looked at in order to avoid everybody coming in and saying.. look at this or that. (The solutions I already looked at). Also, the systems I mentioned above are the systems that a solid 80% of the people on here are using.

I see people on this forum go out and get only springs - now thats a cheap solution that you and I both know is not the right way of doing things. I doubt running coilovers is considered a "cheap" solution. Additionally, last I checked, dropping over $2,500 on suspension upgrades (between swapping to M3 parts and struts/springs) is not the "cheapest solution" out there.

For what it's worth, I'm going to be running 19's and ultimately plan on being dropped about 1.2".
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      06-23-2012, 09:51 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1Pirate View Post
I've been very pleased with my Koni Sports. Although my car is not lowered, I do have the M3 bits though (FSB, control arms and tension rods), except for the M3 sub frame bushings. I am also using 2011 M Sport springs since at least the rears are linear rather than progressive. Shorter bump stops may also be of benefit if you are going to lower the car.

Another suggestion would be to consider the Konis with BMW Performance Springs. There are several people on the forum that have that set up and seem happy with it. I would have gone that route myself, but I didn't want to lower the car because of my 19" Alufelgen SF-71 wheels.
Thank you for a solid suggestion and helpful insight to your experience. You are one of the rare ones who actually read the thread and gave some good info without jumping in and bashing. Haha.
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      06-23-2012, 11:53 PM   #15
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^ Different car but +1 for BMWPS springs and Koni sports. I'm happy with this set up but didn't want to lower my car 1+". If lowering your car that much is that important to you and you want to maintain good ride quality for a DD, I think you have to look at c/o's. Since you mentioned DD and ride quality, one product that doesn't get mentioned much but I considered is KW Street Comfort c/o's. There's plenty of other c/o options though. If you don't want c/o's, Eibach pro kit, Dinan or BMWPS springs are probably your best bet for retaining ride quality.
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      06-24-2012, 06:20 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
Thanks for the info however I think there might be some confusion. I never said I was looking at the cheapest solutions out there.

In fact, I said I was looking for options and peoples recommendations. I had merely put the systems that I had looked at in order to avoid everybody coming in and saying.. look at this or that. (The solutions I already looked at). Also, the systems I mentioned above are the systems that a solid 80% of the people on here are using.

I see people on this forum go out and get only springs - now thats a cheap solution that you and I both know is not the right way of doing things. I doubt running coilovers is considered a "cheap" solution. Additionally, last I checked, dropping over $2,500 on suspension upgrades (between swapping to M3 parts and struts/springs) is not the "cheapest solution" out there.

For what it's worth, I'm going to be running 19's and ultimately plan on being dropped about 1.2".
You aren't going to get decent ride quality while simultaneously going for 19"s and looking at the inexpensive systems that you're considering (yes eibach and ST are cheap)

I tried to explain why. And I don't think you have me enough credit. I read your op and I gave a decent answer. It may not have been what you were looking to hear.

But just because I didn't agree with you doesn't mean I was bashing

Also none of what you mentioned is $2500 even with the M3 parts. ST run about $1100, eibach about the same, Koni yellows and BMW perf ccombo is $1400 last time I checked as was Koni/HR.

I mentioned Bilsteins, some will mention KW.

Actually KW might be your best bet. Pick yourself up a set of V1s and drop the car, plenty of people have done that. A lot more than any of the options you mentioned in the OP
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      06-24-2012, 09:43 PM   #17
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I just bit the bullet and got used TC Kline double adjustables with camber plates. The car is lowered and drives smoother than stock. Handles great. Just came back from the track and I am very happy with the setup. Big improvement + worth the $$.
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      06-25-2012, 07:52 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by INDPNDT View Post
Thank you for a solid suggestion and helpful insight to your experience. You are one of the rare ones who actually read the thread and gave some good info without jumping in and bashing. Haha.
Your welcome! I almost always try to find someone who has actual experience with a mod before trying it myself. I generally find that most people are willing to provide their opinions about mods they have done.
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      06-25-2012, 11:23 PM   #19
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For a set and forget system that doesnt lower the car beyond 1" I recommend going with Koni Yellows and BMW Performance springs.
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      07-14-2012, 05:34 PM   #20
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Ok - Decided on a suspension... :-) See above!!
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      07-15-2012, 03:37 AM   #21
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Quote:
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Ok - Decided on a suspension... :-) See above!!
450F and 571R, that doesn't seem like a rate TCK usually recommends. Did you buy a new or a used kit?

Let us know if need some recommendations as we sell TCK and had these on both our project 135i and competed in Time Attack with these on our 335i.
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      07-15-2012, 08:19 PM   #22
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Those springs seem pretty hard already.
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