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View Poll Results: How are your Bilstein struts and shocks holding up?
My Bilsteins are working fine, no problems. 14 87.50%
My Bilsteins are having/have had issues. 2 12.50%
Voters: 16. You may not vote on this poll

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      04-04-2019, 09:29 PM   #1
Esteban
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How are your Bilstein struts and shocks holding up?

After reading some of the recent posts in this thread, I'm wondering how everyone's Bilstein struts and shocks are holding up over time? Would like to hear from people who are having good luck and everything is still functioning as it should, as well as those who have had or are having problems. Is there a quality issue, or is it just a few, like the people who have posted in the above thread? Please include mileage.

I'm interested because I bought Bilstein B8 struts and shocks for my 135i a few months ago and so far, everything is working fine, but it's only been a short time for me. It seems to me that most people post when they're having problems with a product, and for those who are, please post here, but as mentioned above, would love to hear from those where everything is working as it should.

Last edited by Esteban; 04-04-2019 at 09:59 PM..
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      04-05-2019, 10:27 AM   #2
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I’m not going to vote, since my B12 Kit is new, but I’m not worried about it. We’ve seen various strut/shock failures from other brands around here, too. Granted, even if I did only get 40k miles out of the B12 kit, it wouldn’t be terrible, since that would be 7-8 years of driving for me. lol

IIRC, when you look around at various car forums, it’s the Bilstein B16 setup that was having the most problems.
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      04-05-2019, 11:16 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by duder13 View Post
I'm not going to vote, since my B12 Kit is new, but I'm not worried about it. We've seen various strut/shock failures from other brands around here, too. Granted, even if I did only get 40k miles out of the B12 kit, it wouldn't be terrible, since that would be 7-8 years of driving for me. lol

IIRC, when you look around at various car forums, it's the Bilstein B16 setup that was having the most problems.
I'm not worried either. Just wanted to hear what our forum's experiences are with Bilstein products. As mentioned above, my Bilsteins are new too, but I voted anyway just to get at least 1 vote in here. lol

May not get many responses. Maybe it would've been better to put this in the "Coupe and Convertible General Discussion" section where there is more activity, but think this is the more appropriate place.
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      04-06-2019, 04:20 AM   #4
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I had them for a year before i sold the car. They ride firm and the ride is actually best when flying over rough roads than going slow/speed limit. They passed the Sydney shit roads tests
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      04-12-2019, 12:18 PM   #5
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Purchased my B12 kit in summer of 2016. It's my daily driver, and I do the occasional driver education day at a track (maybe 2/summer).

I put on about 23,000km/year average, road in the Toronto area are variable and can be pretty shit. I unfortunately do have to drive on the shit roads sometimes, so May 2018 (at about 50K kms of use on the suspension) is when I first started to note an issue with the front pulling/wandering on acceleration or sudden deceleration (not braking, just letting off the gas).

Turns out both front dampers had leaked - there was still strong rebound dampening but compression was very harsh. I was able to rectify one side by ordering a replacement, but due to supply issues I was only able to get the replacement for the other side in January this year (so yea I drove on a failed damper on one side for 6+ months )

Bilstein approved warranty replacement on both, and a cheque for the full amount I paid for the replacements is in the mail.

Overall I think you can expect the Bilsteins to last a long time, but it will depend on how bad your roads are and your usage cycle. I'm pretty sure there were a couple of nasty potholes that did my front dampers in...the rears are still original and fine (now at 70K kms on the suspension).
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      04-14-2019, 04:41 PM   #6
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All good here. B6's with stock Sport Suspension going on 4 yrs. although not a lot of miles (maybe 25K.). Highway, twisties, light track. Firm handling/ride just like I like it, no issues.
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      04-18-2019, 06:32 PM   #7
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i just put my b14 kit on as well. so ill need more time also. i am curious about these strut damages and leakages though. on my 08 135i that i drove for 120k miles, just on eibach pro kit springs, factory sport struts, i never had to replace them NOT ONCE. never had any issue with them either. no excessive play nothing. alignments 2xs a year. just find it odd that they were leaking.
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      04-19-2019, 01:08 PM   #8
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It's more based on usage and road conditions IMO. I think your average usage with reasonable roads - the struts will be just fine. I had a set of Bilstein Sport shocks on my old A4 and they were rock solid for 4+ years and 100,000 km of mileage.
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      04-19-2019, 02:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
It's more based on usage and road conditions IMO. I think your average usage with reasonable roads - the struts will be just fine. I had a set of Bilstein Sport shocks on my old A4 and they were rock solid for 4+ years and 100,000 km of mileage.
With all the recent rain here in SoCal, a lot of new potholes have popped up and I've ran over my share lately. Sometimes they are impossible to avoid. These days, I'm not sure what reasonable roads are. lol
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      04-19-2019, 03:16 PM   #10
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B4 with 20k, they're working great
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      04-20-2019, 03:49 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Purchased my B12 kit in summer of 2016. It's my daily driver, and I do the occasional driver education day at a track (maybe 2/summer).

I put on about 23,000km/year average, road in the Toronto area are variable and can be pretty shit. I unfortunately do have to drive on the shit roads sometimes, so May 2018 (at about 50K kms of use on the suspension) is when I first started to note an issue with the front pulling/wandering on acceleration or sudden deceleration (not braking, just letting off the gas).

Turns out both front dampers had leaked - there was still strong rebound dampening but compression was very harsh. I was able to rectify one side by ordering a replacement, but due to supply issues I was only able to get the replacement for the other side in January this year (so yea I drove on a failed damper on one side for 6+ months )

Bilstein approved warranty replacement on both, and a cheque for the full amount I paid for the replacements is in the mail.

Overall I think you can expect the Bilsteins to last a long time, but it will depend on how bad your roads are and your usage cycle. I'm pretty sure there were a couple of nasty potholes that did my front dampers in...the rears are still original and fine (now at 70K kms on the suspension).
I have a 2011 128i with 153000km and live in the Toronto area. I think the roads in Syria are probably in better shape than here. The ride is so harsh now that I am almost physically sick to my stomach each time I drive around here. It seems to me that something must be wrong because even with 18" tires I don't recall the ride ever being this bad. It sounds and feels like the suspension is slamming and bottoming out each time I go over any rough road. Do you know if there's an easy way to determine if the struts have leaked or otherwise are in need of replacement??
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      04-20-2019, 04:08 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thin_client View Post
I have a 2011 128i with 153000km and live in the Toronto area. I think the roads in Syria are probably in better shape than here. The ride is so harsh now that I am almost physically sick to my stomach each time I drive around here. It seems to me that something must be wrong because even with 18" tires I don't recall the ride ever being this bad. It sounds and feels like the suspension is slamming and bottoming out each time I go over any rough road. Do you know if there's an easy way to determine if the struts have leaked or otherwise are in need of replacement??
Yea - what you're experiencing sound very familiar indeed. When I first started noticing the problem (last spring after I swapped out my winters), it had slowly crept up on me and I thought I was just used to it...but some bumps were really shaking me around/jarring. With one damper replaced (while the other one was on back order), the ride difference from bumps it on one side to the other was night and day, so that 100% confirmed it for me. Riding on the remaining bad damper progressively got worse over the next 6 months as I waited for the replacement, by the end it had almost no cushion on bumps and was making slight knocking sounds whenever it hit a bump. It felt like it was slamming straight into the bumpstops.

Take the car to a mechanic and have them hoist it up, with the suspension on full droop. You should be able to lift up the blue dust boot on the strut and look at the shaft of the strut as it goes into the shock body, mine were covered with think goop everywhere so it was pretty obvious. I think there was a picture in this thread further up somewhere of someone else's damper (I think it was Suhb ).

EDIT Found it in another thread here: https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show...2&postcount=15

Last edited by asbrr; 04-20-2019 at 04:10 PM.. Reason: added link
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      04-20-2019, 04:22 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Yea - what you're experiencing sound very familiar indeed. When I first started noticing the problem (last spring after I swapped out my winters), it had slowly crept up on me and I thought I was just used to it...but some bumps were really shaking me around/jarring. With one damper replaced (while the other one was on back order), the ride difference from bumps it on one side to the other was night and day, so that 100% confirmed it for me. Riding on the remaining bad damper progressively got worse over the next 6 months as I waited for the replacement, by the end it had almost no cushion on bumps and was making slight knocking sounds whenever it hit a bump. It felt like it was slamming straight into the bumpstops.

Take the car to a mechanic and have them hoist it up, with the suspension on full droop. You should be able to lift up the blue dust boot on the strut and look at the shaft of the strut as it goes into the shock body, mine were covered with think goop everywhere so it was pretty obvious. I think there was a picture in this thread further up somewhere of someone else's damper (I think it was Suhb ).

EDIT Found it in another thread here: https://www.1addicts.com/forums/show...2&postcount=15
Thanks so much for the quick reply, this must surely be the case with my car.
Did you go with oem parts or aftermarket?
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      04-21-2019, 02:27 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thin_client View Post
Thanks so much for the quick reply, this must surely be the case with my car.
Did you go with oem parts or aftermarket?
I had a Bilstein B12 kit - that's the strut shown in the picture I linked with the leak. I assumed (perhaps incorrectly) that's what you had also. I simply replaced my Bilstein shocks with new replacements.

If you have stock suspension you have a few options - you can replace with aftermarket pieces with different options depending on if you want to lower the car and improve handling/dampening. The Bilstein B6 or B8 are options in the performance improvement category. You can buy Bilstein B4 as an OEM replacement, which will be more cost effective than buying BMW replacements.

Alternatively - you could find someone with a used suspension - like me for example . I have an OEM M-Sport suspension for a 128i from my 2010 (front struts/springs and rear shocks/springs) from my car, with 80K (KMs) on them, in good working order. You could have them for say $100, I can meet you in the GTA....

Last edited by asbrr; 04-21-2019 at 05:23 PM..
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      04-21-2019, 04:57 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Alternatively - you could find someone with a used suspension - like me for example . I have an OEM M-Sport suspension for a 128i from my 2010 (front struts/springs and rear shocks/springs) from my car, with 80K on them, in good working order. You could have them for say $100, I can meet you in the GTA....


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      04-27-2019, 11:23 AM   #16
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Iíll chime in my two cents since that was my thread. I had heard amazing things about bilsteins, and admittedly, after installing them on the car, it was a night and day difference. The car handled much better than the sport suspension. Bumps that used to jar and shock the car were handled much better and highway travel was much more stable. Iíve been to a handful of auto cross events and the car performed amazingly.

My gripes with the kit started after around 20k miles or so. It started to not handle bumps as well. Bumps began to jar and shock the car. Interior pieces that didnít rattle before began to rattle. Then the shock lost all fluid. Complete shock failure where the car was completely unstable. It ended up bending my end link. Whatever, no big deal. It stung that they didnít warranty it, but I got over it. I thought it was a one off scenario.

Then the other front right gave out. Because of the right shockís failure, a ton of my interior trim pieces are rattling like crazy now, even after replacing the shock.

The thing that stings the most is that I have friends with stock sport suspension rocking 100k+ miles on their cars and they still ride firm, without leaks, and without a quarter of the rattles my car has. I would have to buy 3 bilstein shocks to get the longevity of 1 stock sport shock and thatís whatís most infuriating about my ownership of the b12 kit.
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      05-23-2019, 03:43 PM   #17
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So after about 500 miles, havenít much nice weather to drive it since installing it, but my major question is with the clunking sound that comes mostly from the rear when hitting certain bumps at low speed. Itís pretty puzzling. I get it from the passenger side front as well but only when going up my drive way on the passenger side. Thoughts?
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      05-23-2019, 05:27 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockstar1487 View Post
So after about 500 miles, haven't much nice weather to drive it since installing it, but my major question is with the clunking sound that comes mostly from the rear when hitting certain bumps at low speed. It's pretty puzzling. I get it from the passenger side front as well but only when going up my drive way on the passenger side. Thoughts?
Hmm... I get no clunking sounds.

Anybody else getting them?
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      06-08-2019, 05:45 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Esteban View Post
Hmm... I get no clunking sounds.

Anybody else getting them?
Its been sorted, my shop did some dumb shit and lowered the car all the way to the lowest setting in the back. so when i would hit this bumps and the car would clunk its because the car was flying up so high that it was coming off the spring perch and re settling when coming back down. I had the raise the rear to eliminate the sound, they brought it back up .5" and it clunks very rarely now.
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      06-08-2019, 06:08 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thin_client View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by asbrr View Post
Purchased my B12 kit in summer of 2016. It's my daily driver, and I do the occasional driver education day at a track (maybe 2/summer).

I put on about 23,000km/year average, road in the Toronto area are variable and can be pretty shit. I unfortunately do have to drive on the shit roads sometimes, so May 2018 (at about 50K kms of use on the suspension) is when I first started to note an issue with the front pulling/wandering on acceleration or sudden deceleration (not braking, just letting off the gas).

Turns out both front dampers had leaked - there was still strong rebound dampening but compression was very harsh. I was able to rectify one side by ordering a replacement, but due to supply issues I was only able to get the replacement for the other side in January this year (so yea I drove on a failed damper on one side for 6+ months )

Bilstein approved warranty replacement on both, and a cheque for the full amount I paid for the replacements is in the mail.

Overall I think you can expect the Bilsteins to last a long time, but it will depend on how bad your roads are and your usage cycle. I'm pretty sure there were a couple of nasty potholes that did my front dampers in...the rears are still original and fine (now at 70K kms on the suspension).
I have a 2011 128i with 153000km and live in the Toronto area. I think the roads in Syria are probably in better shape than here. The ride is so harsh now that I am almost physically sick to my stomach each time I drive around here. It seems to me that something must be wrong because even with 18" tires I don't recall the ride ever being this bad. It sounds and feels like the suspension is slamming and bottoming out each time I go over any rough road. Do you know if there's an easy way to determine if the struts have leaked or otherwise are in need of replacement??
At that mileage (153,000km/95,000 miles) the stock shocks are likely worn out. The OEM shocks start to lose their ability to control the ride beginning around 50k depending on the roads & use. They start to feel harsh over bumps & get worse over time.
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      06-30-2019, 03:58 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rockstar1487 View Post
So after about 500 miles, havenít much nice weather to drive it since installing it, but my major question is with the clunking sound that comes mostly from the rear when hitting certain bumps at low speed. Itís pretty puzzling. I get it from the passenger side front as well but only when going up my drive way on the passenger side. Thoughts?
I would check your rear upper shock mounts for the proper torque specs. Did you reuse the old mounts? I hope not... bc IF you did... that's your problem right there.

Checking the lower shock mount is also a good idea.


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      07-13-2019, 12:13 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Suhb View Post
Iíll chime in my two cents since that was my thread. I had heard amazing things about bilsteins, and admittedly, after installing them on the car, it was a night and day difference. The car handled much better than the sport suspension. Bumps that used to jar and shock the car were handled much better and highway travel was much more stable. Iíve been to a handful of auto cross events and the car performed amazingly.

My gripes with the kit started after around 20k miles or so. It started to not handle bumps as well. Bumps began to jar and shock the car. Interior pieces that didnít rattle before began to rattle. Then the shock lost all fluid. Complete shock failure where the car was completely unstable. It ended up bending my end link. Whatever, no big deal. It stung that they didnít warranty it, but I got over it. I thought it was a one off scenario.

Then the other front right gave out. Because of the right shockís failure, a ton of my interior trim pieces are rattling like crazy now, even after replacing the shock.

The thing that stings the most is that I have friends with stock sport suspension rocking 100k+ miles on their cars and they still ride firm, without leaks, and without a quarter of the rattles my car has. I would have to buy 3 bilstein shocks to get the longevity of 1 stock sport shock and thatís whatís most infuriating about my ownership of the b12 kit.
Out of curiosity, did you buy all new mounts, and maybe install Dinan upper mounts in the rear, when you installed your B12 kit?

I'm surprised your friend's stock suspension still works well at 100K+ miles. Mine was crashing and pretty rough after only 40K miles. Of course, I bought the car used, so I don't know how it handled from new, but it felt really bad to me.
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