Arborguy

E36 Suspension. Which route to take!?

54 posts in this topic

FWIW I run the Bilstein/Eibach B12 setup with Eibach swaybars on my E36 and love it. Factory compliance with even more stability and a lowered ride height. Perfect for me because I was never going to learn/test enough to extract value from an adjustable setup.

Are the b12 not just the B8 with eibach prokit/sportline spring as a combo?

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Are the b12 not just the B8 with eibach prokit/sportline spring as a combo?

That's exactly what they are.

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And you obviously haven't found them to firm like so many people seem to think (mainly usa)?

I have spent hours upon hours today reading about the koni sport, B8, Ebach pro, h&r oe sport and h&r sport configurations. Seems like if your looking for more of a firm canyon car then the B8 with Eibach pro is a good mix or H&r sport for slightly firmer again, whereas a firm DD combo would be koni on soft with eibach pro kit...would you agree?

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Edited by atlantiskiwi

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It also seems the advantage of the Koni o/way adjustable is you can increase the dampning as you increase sway bar rigidity, well I think thats what I got from 3pedals comments?

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Eibach's Prokit and Sportline kits are different. Prokit will lower by around 30mm front and rear, while the Sportline is typically 40-60mm down on stock; there asre different kits for these: the B12 Prokit and the B12 Sportline kit.

The Bilstein B8 shock which is part of the kit is a shortened shock designed specifically to work well with shorter springs.

Several of the Bilstein kits are adjustable. The B14 is ride-height adjustable, and the B16 is adjustable for ride height and damping. There's the B6 and B8 Damptronic which give adjustments for rebound and compression, and the Clubsport coilover kit.

I just bought a set of Eibach Prokit springs for Miss M's E36 to replace the superlows whatever-they-are currently fitted. I expect them to cost $220-250 (maybe less) delivered from Germany once shipping and currency conversion is accounted for.

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Eibach's Prokit and Sportline kits are different. Prokit will lower by around 30mm front and rear, while the Sportline is typically 40-60mm down on stock; there asre different kits for these: the B12 Prokit and the B12 Sportline kit.

The Bilstein B8 shock which is part of the kit is a shortened shock designed specifically to work well with shorter springs.

Several of the Bilstein kits are adjustable. The B14 is ride-height adjustable, and the B16 is adjustable for ride height and damping. There's the B6 and B8 Damptronic which give adjustments for rebound and compression, and the Clubsport coilover kit.

I just bought a set of Eibach Prokit springs for Miss M's E36 to replace the superlows whatever-they-are currently fitted. I expect them to cost $220-250 (maybe less) delivered from Germany once shipping and currency conversion is accounted for.

I am very keen to hear what you think of the change. I am thinking of Koni sport with eibach prokit and stiffer sway bars, which means i will have the dampner setting somewhere around mid way. I believe the H&r sport will be just a little to firm and lower the car that little bit more resulting in the suspension riding the bump stops more? Most of my driving is moderate on back roads with the odd auto x or hill climb. Thoughts?

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Edited by atlantiskiwi

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Richard, the rebound adjustability of the Konis allows you to accommodate a variety of spring rates; That is if you use as soft spring you ease off the rebound control a medium spring dial in more rebound and for stiff springs a bit more again.

Each time you increase the spring rate you also increase the "release speed" which is how fast / hard the spring pushes the suspension back to the "normal position"

So the rebound control allows you to manage this release - not enough control means the suspension rapidly expands and bounces

Too much and it is slow to react and you loose contact - get skipping and chatter.

SO: if you choose a spring you can dial in the rebound - if you change the spring in the future - you can track that with the rebound control.

My Bike runs an Ohlins front shock which you can adjust the rebound control as you ride which is awesome - nice smooth surface - dial up the rebound and flatten the bike out and you can get more aggressive on the throttle, hit some shitty stuff just wind it back 5 clicks and watch the Ducati riders skate all over the road .

If you have in sufficient rebound control it also lets the car roll quickly - so the compensation for this is a stiffer roll bar - this is common with Bilsteins which have less rebound control than Konis and produce a choppy ride with firmer springs generally.

The Koni / firmer spring / medium roll bar gives a more linear response to increase in speed/ acceleration cornering G force.

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And you obviously haven't found them to firm like so many people seem to think (mainly usa)? I have spent hours upon hours today reading about the koni sport, B8, Ebach pro, h&r oe sport and h&r sport configurations. Seems like if your looking for more of a firm canyon car then the B8 with Eibach pro is a good mix or H&r sport for slightly firmer again, whereas a firm DD combo would be koni on soft with eibach pro kit...would you agree? Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk

No, not too firm. In fact I think this is how the car should have come from the factory. Even my mother wouldn't say the ride was uncomfortable.

There's a lot of opinion about the Bilstein dampers that is no longer relevant/accurate as the shocks have undergone a significant overhaul since (about) 2008. This is about the same time they teamed up with Eibach. You won't find a better matched non-adjustable set of dampers/springs/sways out there because they are matched, not just bundled together.

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I am very keen to hear what you think of the change. I am thinking of Koni sport with eibach prokit and stiffer sway bars, which means i will have the dampner setting somewhere around mid way. I believe the H&r sport will be just a little to firm and lower the car that little bit more resulting in the suspension riding the bump stops more? Most of my driving is moderate on back roads with the odd auto x or hill climb. Thoughts? Sent from my SM-N910U using Tapatalk

I've used Eibach springs many times in the past and supplied some to other drivers (including one with an E46 M3) who have always given very positive feedback (please excuse the pun!)

I used them on Fords, Mercedes and BMWs in the UK, initially as a replacement when the factory parts got tired, but also on cars that have seen a reasonable amount of track time. They're obviously not as track-suitable (with perhaps the exception of the ClubSport set up) as dedicated race kit, but they're fine for many club racers, especially those on a budget.

I've also used Koni shocks and like them.

As Dave says - the non-adjustable kits are not just a shock and spring setup. They are factory matched to perform a specific task. Also you'll find the Eibach springs vary considerably - E36 316i and 318i get different springs to a 6-cylinder car, and there are variations in the range for different body styles too. And, of course, the entire range of ProKit and SportKit are different.

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The other element you need to add into the above equations is the environment and the tyre choice. and one you can take out is the comment about spring wearing out the latter is largely a myth perpetuated from when some countries couldn't make a decent spring.

If you can find an off the shelf spring / shock combo that perfectly matches your driving style, environment and exact car well done but the reality is it will be a compromise.

With out wishing to sound dogmatic that's why the make adjustable shocks - so you CAN actually optimise a specific set up. In this respect it will always be possible to get a better set up with an adjustable shock than a fixed valving shock.

My experience with Bilstein from 2014 when I installed them in my X5 is they are largely as they were in 2008 when I had a Subaru GTB - their philosophy is firm compression and soft rebound control and IMO this does not work that well in NZ on a typical road- it will be fine on a smooth track.

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With out wishing to sound dogmatic that's why the make adjustable shocks - so you CAN actually optimise a specific set up. In this respect it will always be possible to get a better set up with an adjustable shock than a fixed valving shock.

This is true. And I don't want to get into a pissing competition but it's important to note that whilst it's possible to optimise an adjustable setup most people will never be able to do this and will end up with a worse setup than an off-the-shelf non-adjustable setup.

The reality of optimising a suspension setup is that you need a ton of knowledge, a ton of experience and a ton of time. Most people don't have any of that. An adjustable setup in the hands of somebody that can tune it properly is by far the most adaptable setup and as such can be optimised for all sorts of conditions. An adjustable setup in the wrong hands is a disaster waiting to happen.

And that's exactly why I don't have adjustable suspension. I don't need it and by accepting the inherent (albeit small) compromises of a matched non-adjustable setup I've saved time, money and frustration. I've also lost nothing because I don't have a race car.

Most people I know with an adjustable setup fiddle a bit, get it feeling fine and never revisit the settings. Might as well just get a fixed setup.

Although ride-height flexibility with adjustable shocks is appealing in and of itself to some people.

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To quote James bond, in Golden eye: NO, NO, --------- NO--------------- NO !!!!!!

Your argument is arse about face - it requires a minimum of knowledge, just some good guidance from people who have done it or do it as their day job or at worst "READ THE INSTRUCTIONS"

Buy a street sport spring set Konis to 1.00 turn front and .5 turns rear

- A year later decide you want to do the odd track day so you flick in some stiffer springs - crank fronts up to 1.5 and rear to 1 turn

Find this a bit firm for a bumpy Puke -- back both ends off .25 turns

Go to Taupo nice flat track and you run a set of slicks - crank fronts to 1.75 and rears to 1.25

One set of shocks 3, sets of springs, 10 sets of tyres and 200,000 km shopping cart, family car, track day car , weekend scratch car -- all fun all optimised - no compromise .

That's exactly why I have adjustable suspension - so that as my car evolves the shocks can be adjusted to match been doing it for 30 years

Most recent experience was fitting Koni sport adjustables to the Saab- read the instructions - set rebound , install and enjoy, when I pick up a set of Aero sports springs ( lower & stiffer - just set the rebound to what the Koni book says and bingo - optimised again

P.S if this is too hard just get some one like Peter or Chris or Norm ( all suspension experts to do it for you)

Edited by 3pedals

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Lol. Who would have guessed?

/thread

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Are Koni sports rebound adjustable now Ron, the ones I have seen and used are only compression (bump) adjustable?

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Richard, the rebound adjustability of the Konis allows you  to accommodate a variety of spring rates; That is  if you use as soft spring you ease off the rebound control  a medium spring dial in more rebound and for stiff springs a bit more again.

 

Each time you increase the spring rate you also increase the "release speed" which is how fast / hard the spring pushes the suspension back to the "normal position"

 

So the rebound control allows you to manage this release - not enough control means the suspension rapidly expands and bounces

 

Too much and it is slow to react and you loose contact - get skipping and chatter.

 

SO: if you choose a spring you can dial in the rebound - if you change the spring in the future - you can track that with the rebound control.

 

 My Bike runs an Ohlins front shock which you can adjust the rebound control as you ride  which is awesome - nice smooth surface - dial up the rebound and flatten the bike out and you can get more aggressive on the throttle, hit some shitty stuff just wind it back 5 clicks  and watch the Ducati riders skate all over the road .

 

 

If you have in sufficient rebound control it also lets the car roll quickly - so the compensation for this is a stiffer roll bar  - this is common with Bilsteins which have less rebound control than Konis  and produce a choppy ride with firmer springs generally.

 

The Koni / firmer spring / medium roll bar gives a more linear response to increase in  speed/ acceleration cornering G force.

Awesome explanation. I get it now.

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Ok ok, I know this subject like many other can be contentious at the best of times... BUT I really like the conflicting opinions. Well I think I am getting a new set of Konis and near new Bilstein wkth Eibach prokit springs.... lets see what happens ;)

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Are Koni sports rebound adjustable now Ron, the ones I have seen and used are only compression (bump) adjustable?

Damn - I've been putting them in upside down all these years -

please check the Koni website - fixed compression adjustable rebound is what they offer on "single" adjustment shocks. there is a nice little graphic

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I would run factory M3 3.2 evo stuff, all new where applicable.

Sporty and comfortable. Can't go wrong.

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Easy to make significant improvements to Evo set -up had 3.2 shocks & springs ditched them for Koni sport adjustables -

post-649-0-68499400-1466977115.png

Edited by 3pedals

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I've been an advocate for the Bilstein/Eibach solution because it does represent the majority of things to the majority of users, and it does provide a single-source, nigh-on bolt-up solution that requires little thought and only a little technical expertise. The lower end solutions aren't as flexible as others, but they are good, out of the box.

I've not bought new shocks recently (just springs) but my preference has formally been for Koni kit. For whatever reason, it's not as simple to buy Koni shocks and springs as a solution as it is with the Bilstein/Eibach offering.

FWIW, I do feel the Koni yellows are superb. Certainly not the last word in suspension technology (that's megabucks) but the Yellows are very, very good. Choose springs carefully and you'll have a long-lasting, adaptable and adjustable (if you want!) set-up.

If you want adjustable... If you don't and still prefer Koni, then there is the Str.T kit to consider, too.

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Yep, totally agree:

Simplest improvement - better shocks,

Next step - Better shocks & matched springs,

One step further - selected springs and adjustable shocks,

Top notch - fully adjustable multi-speed coil overs.

Gains are significant and so is the associated investment

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my theory on the lean is that the cars are lefthand drive design and when the drivers weight is added  

to the lefthand seat the car levels out,

How does that sound.

Robert. 

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On 11/1/2017 at 2:59 PM, robertw said:

my theory on the lean is that the cars are lefthand drive design and when the drivers weight is added  

to the lefthand seat the car levels out,

How does that sound.

Robert. 

Like crap from the 1920's - when roads were cambered and vehicles were light  and softly sprung so passenger weight was an influence on ride height.

The E36 was designed as an international market car  for modern flat roads  - Even a lardy 100kg driver will have minimal load effect on the ride height of a modern 1350kg car 

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100kg "Lardy"?

Steady on

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1 hour ago, 3pedals said:

Like crap from the 1920's - when roads were cambered and vehicles were light  and softly sprung so passenger weight was an influence on ride height.

Don't think that's what he meant at all

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