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02Anders

OEM Sport ~vs~ Bilstein/Eibach

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Hi guys,

I hope someone in here has some experience with various suspension set-ups on E46.

Here's my situation : My 330Ci Sport only has 57,000 miles on it, so I would argue that the still stock suspension probably isn't particularly worn yet.  However, just today I found that one of the rear springs has broken!  So what to do?  Do I just buy two new OEM Sport rear springs, or do I take the opportunity to upgrade the suspension?  And if I do upgrade, which set-up should I go for?

On one side, I've always been a massive fan of a Bilstein/Eibach set-up, which I've had on a variety of previous BMW's such as E21, E30, E34 and E36.
But that of course doesn't mean that I have to upgrade my E46 too!  For one thing, I'm only getting older, and maybe I don't need a upgraded suspension anymore?  Secondly, I've previously lived in Denmark and Germany where I must say the roads are generally a fair bit smoother.  In short I guess what I'm saying is, that I'm certainly not into upgrading the suspension just so my car looks cooler when it's lowered.  Nope, if I do upgrade the suspension on my E46, then it has to be from the perspective of achieving a better driving experience.

So as I see it, here are my options:

1) Buy two new OEM Sport springs and stick with the stock OEM set-up.

2) Buy a set of four new Eibach Pro Kit springs, but retain the stock Sport shock absorbers.

3) Buy a complete Bilstein B12 Pro Kit consisting of Bilstein B8 shocks and the same Eibach Pro Kit springs.

So do any of you guys have experience with any of the above set-ups?
I would like to know just how much stiffer and harsher the ride will be if I start to upgrade?  In other words, how does option 2 compare with 1, and how does option 3 compare with both 1 and 2?  Does comfort suffer significantly with either option 2 or option 3?  Also, does option 2 or option 3 actually vastly improve the handling compared to the OEM Sport set-up?
Last but not least, does anyone know how much the Eibach Pro Kit springs lower the car compared to the OEM Sport springs (which are of course a little lower than the standard E46 springs)?

Looking forward to some advice...

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I swapped out my OEM suspension, car had only done 58k, went with the EIBACH/BILSTEIN combo just as you described.

The difference was night and day, fantastic ride quality and lowered the car about 20mm.

Mines a 330 Clubsport, I'm now running HSD coilovers as wanted something stiffer for track work, the ride of the coilovers is crap compared to the EIBACH/BILSTEIN set up.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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My advice would be to refresh the lot as yes its low mileage but the e46 is getting no younger so its still most likely past its best.

Eibach and Bilstein setup b12 kit is what i have with sportling springs. Pro springs have the same amount of drop as the oem sport springs so the ride height would stay the same. I find the B8 dampers to be very stiff, a lot stiffer than the original oem sport dampers. Yes it improves the handling when throwing it about down some B roads but for every day driving on the uk roads it can be a harsh ride.

Bilstein do a few different damper combinations so worth looking into which suites your needs.

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Thx Gents for your feedback!  Much appreciated...  :)

@R11CH, I take on what you say about the E46 not being a new car anymore - despite low mileage.
So based on both your comments here, my own previous experience with Bilstein/Eibach set-ups on various BMW's, and not least a very pleasant and informative chat with a guy from Bilstein Technical Center UK today, I've gone ahead and ordered a complete Bilstein B12 Pro Kit for my 330Ci Sport.  It should arrive from Germany middle of next week.  Really looking forward to experience the result of the new suspension set-up!  Needless to say, I'll be going through all the rubber bushings in the suspension at the same time, and renewing anything which doesn't look to be in prime condition.

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