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Old 10-08-2013, 12:47 AM   #1
bovilexic
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Default Suspension advice needed - quickly!

I've got a '98 ti (sport, so MTech stuff on it in general), whose springs were replaced by a previous owner. Said springs (unknown brand) are quite, quite short -- the can't-get-over-speed-bumps-hardly-at-all kind of short. Shocks appear to be Bilstein Sports...Sway bars appear stock...

In any case, just heard from my mechanic that the cause of some noise from the left front is due to the spring being broken (!) So, I guess I'm in for at least a set of 4 new springs, and perhaps more...

Can't be without my car for long (else the rental kills me), so I need to make a decision quickly :-( So, I'm soliciting advice. Basic parameters: I don't autocross/race/trackday, but definitely want something stiffer than stock, good street handling, a little lower than stock (but not so extreme as I have now): maybe 1" to 1-1/4" max at front, maybe 3/4" in back?

What springs should I consider, if I just go that way? H&R, Eibach, other? Just crack the budget and get Bilstein PSS9 (costs about what the car's worth?)

I know suspensions are a topic of strong opinions, and highly subjective, but I'd appreciate y'all's thoughts, anyway :-) -- Philip

Last edited by bovilexic; 10-08-2013 at 12:48 AM. Reason: paragraphs ftw!
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Old 10-08-2013, 12:59 AM   #2
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If you already have Bilstein Sports then the logical solution is to go with a set of H&R sports.

That will be the cheapest way out of your problem. Beyond that it is probably the best way out given how you use the car.

Like you said, there are a lot of opinions out there on suspension choices. I think the PSS9 kit is one of the best street suspensions available but it is not cheap and it does not sound like you need that.

If I can help you sourcing the H&R's let me know. I would also be glad to discuss other options.

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Old 10-08-2013, 02:54 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by BimmerBum View Post
If you already have Bilstein Sports then the logical solution is to go with a set of H&R sports.

That will be the cheapest way out of your problem. Beyond that it is probably the best way out given how you use the car.

Like you said, there are a lot of opinions out there on suspension choices. I think the PSS9 kit is one of the best street suspensions available but it is not cheap and it does not sound like you need that.

If I can help you sourcing the H&R's let me know. I would also be glad to discuss other options.

Ed
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Thanks for the feedback...did a bit more searching (web in general, threads on this forum also), and it seems that H&R may indeed be the way to go. Would dearly love some coilovers, but like $2K vs $225-250? Yow..
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Old 10-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #4
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I have H&R sports and Bilstein sports. You wouldn't believe the amount of good comments I get on how it rides, e.g. "This thing rides good for a 15 year old car". There's not too much drop in the rear so your tires don't get worn out from excessive camber, if you want bigger wheels you can still fit 17s under the car, it's a firm ride but very forgiving over speed bumps and dodgy bridges, and looks 1000x better than the stock height. I would say, as long as your not a drift bro or stance bro, H&R sport/Bilstein sport is the best package for this car. Along with Goodyear eagle GTs. Grips like a cat on carpet. BTW, if you do get them, DO NOT remove the little Nylon pieces off of the rear springs. I thought it was just for packaging, turns out it's not. I get a "thunk" from coil rub when the car flexes going up a steep driveway. Called H&R and they said they couldn't just send me the pieces.
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Old 10-08-2013, 04:40 PM   #5
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Default stiffness

spring weight is most important. then height. check this out.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarspaz View Post
spring weight is most important. then height. check this out.
That pic that you attached has very interesting information:

Where did you find the OEM rates, or the other ones? Are non of the spring rates progressive? Is the autocross setup your own personal setup?

I am assuming stock sway bars are used on all setups?

Also for the H&R coilovers I assume you mean "-.75" and not "-75" ?
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:39 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anassa View Post
That pic that you attached has very interesting information:

Where did you find the OEM rates, or the other ones? Are non of the spring rates progressive? Is the autocross setup your own personal setup?

I am assuming stock sway bars are used on all setups?

Also for the H&R coilovers I assume you mean "-.75" and not "-75" ?


That's a picture I grabbed off of bimmerforums. I do have ground control coilovers though with 500/700 weight springs.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:48 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarspaz View Post
That's a picture I grabbed off of bimmerforums. I do have ground control coilovers though with 500/700 weight springs.
Ah I see, how does the 500/700 ride? is it for DD? I had 350lbs up front and it was definitely nice and stiff, enough so that it bent my stock tophats up - I can hardly imagine how 500 up front would be like.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:55 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anassa View Post
Ah I see, how does the 500/700 ride? is it for DD? I had 350lbs up front and it was definitely nice and stiff, enough so that it bent my stock tophats up - I can hardly imagine how 500 up front would be like.
The ride is super tight. I had the h&r sport with Koni shocks and the difference is light years ahead. I daily drive in the suburbs of Philly and in the city so I experience every kind of bump out there and it really rough, but I enjoy it non the less either way. I've also got 235 DS1's with summer tires so that extra width helped grip a lot too. Upgraded the controls as well and have solid bushings. That helped a ton too. All of this created many new squeaks and e36 interior noises to come out even more.
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Old 10-08-2013, 07:58 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by geetarspaz View Post
The ride is super tight. I had the h&r sport with Koni shocks and the difference is light years ahead. I daily drive in the suburbs of Philly and in the city so I experience every kind of bump out there and it really rough, but I enjoy it non the less either way. I've also got 235 DS1's with summer tires so that extra width helped grip a lot too. Upgraded the controls as well and have solid bushings. That helped a ton too. All of this created many new squeaks and e36 interior noises to come out even more.
Ya I bet, since I also drive my car daily I decided to back off on spring stiffness but increase bushing stiffness so that everything would be tight but be able to absorb bumps comfortably also - I got diff,subframe,trailing arms, LCA bushings that are all poly so its tight but lighter spring rates still make it comfortable.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:00 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anassa View Post
Ya I bet, since I also drive my car daily I decided to back off on spring stiffness but increase bushing stiffness so that everything would be tight but be able to absorb bumps comfortably also - I got diff,subframe,trailing arms, LCA bushings that are all poly so its tight but lighter spring rates still make it comfortable.
Awesome. Every bit helps. I wanted to do this to my car knowing I can daily drive it like this. Knowing that no matter where I'm going my car will always handle great.
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Old 10-08-2013, 08:06 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by geetarspaz View Post
Awesome. Every bit helps. I wanted to do this to my car knowing I can daily drive it like this. Knowing that no matter where I'm going my car will always handle great.
True but I figure it will handle great with stiffer then stock springs and everything else tight- its still public roads so I don't hit corners hard enough to justify very stiff springs/or all that tire, also with such wide tires you won't be as nimble, but you do gain a higher point of tolerance for breaking traction - which I don't need that much of, on public roads with 138hp .

Anyways I think we just hijacked the thread. woops.
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Old 10-08-2013, 09:09 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by anassa View Post
True but I figure it will handle great with stiffer then stock springs and everything else tight- its still public roads so I don't hit corners hard enough to justify very stiff springs/or all that tire, also with such wide tires you won't be as nimble, but you do gain a higher point of tolerance for breaking traction - which I don't need that much of, on public roads with 138hp .

Anyways I think we just hijacked the thread. woops.
All that horsepower!
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:11 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UberWagen View Post
I have H&R sports and Bilstein sports. You wouldn't believe the amount of good comments I get on how it rides, e.g. "This thing rides good for a 15 year old car". There's not too much drop in the rear so your tires don't get worn out from excessive camber, if you want bigger wheels you can still fit 17s under the car, it's a firm ride but very forgiving over speed bumps and dodgy bridges, and looks 1000x better than the stock height. I would say, as long as your not a drift bro or stance bro, H&R sport/Bilstein sport is the best package for this car. Along with Goodyear eagle GTs. Grips like a cat on carpet. BTW, if you do get them, DO NOT remove the little Nylon pieces off of the rear springs. I thought it was just for packaging, turns out it's not. I get a "thunk" from coil rub when the car flexes going up a steep driveway. Called H&R and they said they couldn't just send me the pieces.
Hi - thanks for the response. Been slammed the past few days... I ended up ordering a set of these. My shop just called and told me that the H&R fronts are almost 1/2" lower than my previous springs (but the backs are a little taller). Now I'm kinda panicking...my 'ti was so low that I have trouble going over even fairly mild speed bumps at a crawling speed...

The front will be even lower, but the back will be a little higher (more rake than before is OK with me, style-wise). So maybe the clearance mid-car (where the speed bumps hit) won't be any worse, or perhaps a bit better? Just more worried, I guess, that the front bumper cover's going to get whacked even more often...

Talked to a nice gent at Eibach (in case they might have some info), but they have no current listing for our cars (perhaps in the past, but not now). The theory would be that perhaps Eibachs don't have so much drop (?) Can't really find a 318ti-specific offering on the 'net anywhere...

So, either I risk it and let the shop install the H&Rs, or just bail and do some coilovers. Bimmerworld has some Ground Control Koni/Eibach coil overs at $1550, Bilstein PSS9s are $1850, Bilstein PSS are $1450, and turner motorsport has some H&R-based coilovers for $1174. Lots more than the $250 I got the H&Rs for...sigh... Sorry for the whining...here are the questions for you (being a current owner of the H&Rs): how low, really, is the front? Would you happen to have a wheel-center-to-wheel-arch measurement handy? Do you find speed bumps injurious to your car's underbody?

Thanks!

-- Philip
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Old 10-12-2013, 01:37 AM   #15
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Is it possible that you could have mistakenly purchased springs for an e36 coupe, sedan or vert? I ask because someone on here installed them on their ti and while they'll physically fit, they gave the car a substantial amount of rake and I'm sure it didn't handle very well.
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