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Old 04-04-2010, 01:13 AM   #1
davidkillion
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Default Bilstein PSS9 coilovers installed

Thanks to my buddy Ted at Monkey Wrenches in Brentwood I was able to get coilovers installed on my 98 318ti. I chose the Bilsteins because I started autocrossing the car and also plan to start doing track days in it; the added adjustability is going to be helpful.

the job was not really that hard except for the rear spring removal - needed to disconnect the axles from the differential as well as the sway bar links. We were able to do the whole job without removing the rotors or calipers.

Looking forward to my first track day at Laguna Seca in May!

The car before



The kit:



Old rear spring compared to the new one
Getting that old spring out was the hardest part of the job! Note in the picture that the axle is disconnected to get that rear end to sag down enough. We still need a crow bar to get the spring out.



Rear shock & spring installed (easy)



Front strut installed
I expected this to be the most difficult, but it was actually fairly easy - 3 nuts on the top, 3 bolts on the bottom. Compress the old spring - take the factory hat off the old strut and put it on the new Bilstein Coilover.



After

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Old 04-04-2010, 01:38 AM   #2
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Looks good, nice choice on the PSS9s.

It seems weird that you had that much trouble with the stock rears. I installed H&R sport springs pretty easily with no need to disconnect the axles. Was the ebrake on by chance? I know that can cause the rear to not drop down.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:52 AM   #3
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Nice setup! It looks like you didn't disconnect the rear swaybar during the removal/install?

That would also give you grief trying to get the springs out... I'm with Dave, the rear spring swap was the easy part of my spring/strut install.
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Old 04-04-2010, 01:57 AM   #4
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The e-brake was not on, so I don't know what we were doing wrong. We just looked at it for about 10 minutes, put a spring compressor on it and there was just a LOT of energy left in that spring and it wasn't coming out --- I guess we just chickened out. So, in the interest of saving time [and safety] we just decided to drop the axles and sway bar, which wasn't that difficult, just unexpected. I read a couple blogs where this was not necessary before the job, so I was a little surprised.

The easy part of this job was the front strut replacement --- I was expecting to have to take the calipers and rotors off, but that is complely unnecessary.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:00 AM   #5
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:33 AM   #6
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Your stock springs look 100% better than mine, NO RUST! If you want to sell them drop me a line! You left coast guys miss out on the trials and tribulations of rust.
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Old 04-04-2010, 02:51 AM   #7
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@chuszikb - sent you a PM.

Another thing that surprised me was that I didn't end up with a bunch of negative camber afterwards. I almost bought camber/caster plates, but glad I didn't. It looks like a fine compromise between track & street as it sits. Yay, more $ for my lightweight wheels purchase.
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Old 04-04-2010, 03:01 AM   #8
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thats so sick, thats the suspension i want

whats the drop of this setup
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Old 04-04-2010, 04:45 AM   #9
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looks much better
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Old 04-04-2010, 06:48 PM   #10
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I'm jealous
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Old 04-04-2010, 08:11 PM   #11
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Offhand, whos the easiest to deal with, and has a decent price on this kit?

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Old 04-12-2010, 05:22 AM   #12
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I shopped for awhile and finally purchased these off of eBay for quite a good price. The seller was: autobahndismantlinginc. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eB...K%3AMEWNX%3AIT I was nervous about buying them from these guys - but the seller feedback was good. It all worked out well and I have a legitimate invoice/receipt to enforce the lifetime warranty.

I did not measure before putting them on, so all I cannot tell you exactly the difference in height. However, I can tell you this:

1) The car could be lowered another 1.5" in the front compared to the picture early in this thread - but that would be completely unreasonable. There is no way you could drive it at the lowest possible position in the front. In fact, I raised the car up another 1/4" in the front (as represented by the pictures in this post) to keep it from pounding the speedbumps in the Safeway parking lot.

2) The back is not low enough even at the lowest setting. I am going to have to remove the threaded nuts off of the perch to get it down another 1/2" (which will make it much more difficult to raise again if I need to). However, I am going to wait another month before doing this to see exactly how far the springs settle.

3) Adjusting the shocks in the back is easy - you can even reach around without laying on the ground. The front is pretty easy to, just put the wheel at full lock to the left and reach in to adjust the left strut, then full lock to the right and do the right one. Much easier than I expected.

4) I autocrossed the car this weekend. The verdict: Absolutely amazing! Turn-in is SOOOO much better - it is a whole new car. Also, I am able to steer the car with the throttle now and also able get the rear to whip around during transitions from one turn to another. Before next autocross I will be lowering the front another 1/2" for the event only. Because, as you can see in the pics, there is still some roll. If that doesn't stiffen it up I may need to put some sway bars in it.

Now I need to get those 400 Treadwear tires off and replaced with some 180s to really make this suspension come alive.





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Old 04-12-2010, 02:44 PM   #13
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Front ride height should be at 12.25 to 12.5 inches, measured from the center of the wheel to the fender lip. Lower than that, and you are causing the suspension to get into some bad angles that will muck with handling.


That's at 12.5 front with 540lb springs, 650 rear springs.
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Old 05-03-2010, 07:54 PM   #14
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i was searching around and found some on carjunky for 1300$ with i believe free shipping


how are these around the city like with small pot holes and things? Lexington has some pretty rough roads.
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Old 05-30-2010, 06:24 AM   #15
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The PSS9s are great around town because you can reduce the damping on the shocks. The only problem around town is the fact that it does tend to hit speed-bumps. This is because I am lazy and don't want to raise it up a 1/2 inch after being at the track. Furthermore, I have completely removed the spring perches in the back and the car sits perfect.

I put the car on Laguna Seca with the 460 treadwear tires and it did great! It ran a 2:10, which is very respectable given the junk tires, 138bhp and the only mod being the coilovers.
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