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BMW 3-Series and 4-Series Forum (F30 / F32) | F30POST > Technical Forums > Suspension | Chassis | Brakes > What is the weak link in M Adaptive Suspension?
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      12-06-2013, 09:06 PM   #23
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      12-08-2013, 10:56 PM   #24
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So Racer, i saw in one of your earlier post that you plan on buying adaptive suspension on your next car. But the term adaptive is a bit misleading in the f30. Unlike the Mercedes active body control or GM magnetic ride control, the f30 does not actually adapt while driving. All it means is that there are two modes. Soft and stiff(er). Based on this, isn't it wiser to get a cheaper passive suspension that has just one good setting instead of two sub par settings? Also, if anyone knows whether the f30 system is ACTUALLY adaptive, that'd be good to know.
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      12-09-2013, 01:37 PM   #25
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Good question. The sellers believe so. But they claim the xdrive ride height is the same as a rwd with msport suspemsion too.
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      12-09-2013, 02:53 PM   #26
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Quote:
So Racer, i saw in one of your earlier post that you plan on buying adaptive suspension on your next car. But the term adaptive is a bit misleading in the f30. Unlike the Mercedes active body control or GM magnetic ride control, the f30 does not actually adapt while driving. All it means is that there are two modes. Soft and stiff(er). Based on this, isn't it wiser to get a cheaper passive suspension that has just one good setting instead of two sub par settings? Also, if anyone knows whether the f30 system is ACTUALLY adaptive, that'd be good to know.
It is actually adaptive. The settings just dictates the amount of dampening. BMW's adaptive suspension uses electric pulses to control the dampening (EDC). The suspension is absolutely adaptive. It can adjust about 10-20 times a seconds (this is based on the fact that BMW says it takes 100 readings per second, I am not sure how quickly it reacts to these readings)
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      12-09-2013, 03:54 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by BradSCantor View Post
It is actually adaptive. The settings just dictates the amount of dampening. BMW's adaptive suspension uses electric pulses to control the dampening (EDC). The suspension is absolutely adaptive. It can adjust about 10-20 times a seconds (this is based on the fact that BMW says it takes 100 readings per second, I am not sure how quickly it reacts to these readings)
Really? So you mean even in the soft setting it can become stiff based on certain readings? If so, what would that reading be?
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      12-09-2013, 05:01 PM   #28
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Quote:
Originally Posted by momo3605 View Post
Really? So you mean even in the soft setting it can become stiff based on certain readings? If so, what would that reading be?

From Racer20's post:
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Originally Posted by Racer20 View Post
When driving down a smooth road, the active valve is fully open, and the damper is in full soft**, or some "steady state" setting close to it. When the sensors detect a large swell, pothole, choppy pavement, etc., or if you turn the steering wheel or brake or whatever, the ECU does the math and sends some current to the active valve solenoid for a split second. The valve gets stiffer, the damping force increases to deal with whatever is going on, then it drops back down to the soft setting. This all happens in fractions of a second.

**(Note that "full soft" is /= comfort mode. Full soft means no current being sent, no active control, absolute minimum damping force. Comfort mode typically has some level of active control, just less of it than normal and sport modes)
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      12-09-2013, 06:25 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by momo3605 View Post
Really? So you mean even in the soft setting it can become stiff based on certain readings? If so, what would that reading be?
Read my previous post. It's still adaptive, but the mode you're in determines how much the damping you start with and how much it increases for a given road event.
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      12-24-2013, 01:18 AM   #30
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Very informative stuff here guys! Thanks!
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      01-02-2014, 12:47 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by DVC View Post
It would be great to read your thoughts on the various considerations that are popular around here... some of those being:
  • Changing Just Springs - Many guys go for just lower springs (e.g. H&R Sport), with a similar spring rate to OEM. I have been considering going with slightly firmer springs, only about 1/2" lower, with matching bump stops. (Dinan plans to release a spring/bump stop kit in January 2014) Seems like these would match up well with the stock adaptive dampers in Sport mode...
  • New Shocks/Springs - e.g. Bilstein B8/H&R Sport springs have been popular and well-regarded
  • Coilovers - KW V3, Bilstein B16, TC Kline, etc. More adjustablity than regular shocks, but maybe not necessary? I've heard that the JRZ kits are in a different league altogether in terms of both comfort and performance...
  • Stiffer Anti-Roll/Sway Bars - I've seen claims that these will address the lateral body roll issue without doing much to change individual shock damping... but I've also heard that too stiff ARBs can be counter-productive.
Anxious to hear Racer20's response to this. I imagine just changing springs throws off all the calculations/model so far that you lose the effective damping system and calibration, but then again it sounds like changing wheels/tires also does this, so maybe it's an acceptable change.

I'm in the market for a used F30 and some have the adaptive M suspension and some don't for a similar price point. All things being equal, at this point I'm not sure I'd want the adaptive system or not. I always say I won't mess with the car's suspension, but a few years into ownership I change my mind I won't want to regret the decision either way.
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      01-02-2014, 01:31 PM   #32
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Assuming price is equal, I'd say go for the adaptive. You can always swap it out to an aftermarket suspension just like the passive one. But I feel like for the $900 they charge out the door for new adaptive suspension, I would've saved it towards the M perf suspension. The fact is both suspensions are soft. It's just which one will enable you to upgrade the suspension more easily. That would be the passive, but not by a huge margin. You'll just need to get the error lights for the edc coded out unless you go with KWs edc coilovers
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      01-03-2014, 09:37 AM   #33
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momo3605 - thanks for the feedback. That was my feeling as well, but it also comes bundled with the variable sport steering and I've seen mixed reviews of that.
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      01-03-2014, 11:39 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Bleser View Post
Anxious to hear Racer20's response to this. I imagine just changing springs throws off all the calculations/model so far that you lose the effective damping system and calibration, but then again it sounds like changing wheels/tires also does this, so maybe it's an acceptable change.

I'm in the market for a used F30 and some have the adaptive M suspension and some don't for a similar price point. All things being equal, at this point I'm not sure I'd want the adaptive system or not. I always say I won't mess with the car's suspension, but a few years into ownership I change my mind I won't want to regret the decision either way.
Well, until we get some more wisdom from Racer20, here are my thoughts on the F30 adaptive suspension...
Unless you plan to swap out dampers right away, it's definitely worth getting the Adaptive M Suspension. It controls body pitch/roll better than the passive sport suspension, while at the same time also takes bumps more smoothly. In most situations, when the driver is giving smooth inputs, it is an excellent suspension. When driving aggressively, or on poorly constructed/maintained roads (mid corner bumps, etc.) there is more pitch/roll than I like, but not too bad.

My suspicion is that slightly shorter/stiffer springs will match up quite well with the adaptive dampers in sport mode. The Dinan springs and matching bumps stops (which should be released this month) will hopefully hit the nail on the head. When Dinan is able to get past BMW's encryption and release their Shockware (with a revised, firmer Sport mode suspension calibration), then the Adaptive M suspension will hopefully offer the more taut ride that we're all looking for, while still giving the capability to switch to a softer mode for cruising down the highway, etc... This is one of the reasons I wanted adaptive suspension in the first place, so I'm reluctant to replace dampers until I give the Dinan system a chance.
But in the event that we want to change to new dampers at some point (M Performance, Coilovers, etc.), this can of course still be done. We lose the adaptive aspect of the stock dampers - as well as the ability to change firmness settings - but it's still doable. In order to avoid EDC error codes, there may be coding options, or as I understand it, KW has a module that can be used (not just with their suspension).


Quote:
Originally Posted by Bleser View Post
... the variable sport steering ... I've seen mixed reviews of that.
I've not heard any negative reviews of VSS - everything I've seen has been unanimously positive... which is another reason to opt for DHP, even if the suspension gets switch out later.
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      01-03-2014, 12:42 PM   #35
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DVC, thank you for your reply. Going back on my comment about the variable sport steering, I can't 100% confirm that is was negative on the 3-series; I know other manufacturers have gotten knocked for 'artificial' load off-center that isn't predictable with these systems. If it's good in the 3 then it'll probably be worth it, and I might be confusing reviews.

Excited to learn more about the Dinan system once released. I agree with you that going with the Adaptive M suspension and then the Dinan springs/tuning later might be just about perfect.
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      01-03-2014, 05:04 PM   #36
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Originally Posted by Bleser View Post
...I can't 100% confirm that is was negative on the 3-series; I know other manufacturers have gotten knocked for 'artificial' load off-center that isn't predictable with these systems. If it's good in the 3 then it'll probably be worth it, and I might be confusing reviews.
There have certainly been knocks on the 3-series electronic steering in general, but that's more related to the weight/feedback of the steering compared to the e90 hydraulic system. But as far as F30 steering goes, I think the consensus is that VSS is preferred.
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      01-07-2014, 11:56 AM   #37
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It's hard to offer a very good answer to specific questions like these without having driven the system to know what's really causing the poor performance. The best I can say is that a slightly stiffer spring (5-10% in rate, <1/2" drop) or 1-2mm larger in sta-bar diameter may help the situation, without sacrificing ride too much, but anything larger than that will likely put the car too far outside the model's parameters, and result in some tradeoffs. Your best bet would be to keep the front to rear spring/bar rate ratio of the stock system.

Sorry I can't be more specific, there's just no DHP cars anywhere near me to test drive.
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      01-07-2014, 05:45 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by DVC View Post
There have certainly been knocks on the 3-series electronic steering in general, but that's more related to the weight/feedback of the steering compared to the e90 hydraulic system. But as far as F30 steering goes, I think the consensus is that VSS is preferred.
These threads concern me about both the adaptive suspension and VSS:

http://www.f30post.com/forums/showth...neven+pavement

http://www.f30post.com/forums/showth...neven+pavement

Not sure if these problems are on *every* car with Adaptive M and VSS or what, but these threads with no resolution and multiple problem reports can ruin an ownership experience. Do you have these issues?
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      01-08-2014, 11:06 AM   #39
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Not sure if these problems are on *every* car with Adaptive M and VSS or what, but these threads with no resolution and multiple problem reports can ruin an ownership experience. Do you have these issues?
I have experienced nothing of the sort.
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      01-09-2014, 08:03 PM   #40
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I just installed super sports on my adaptive suspension 435. It works perfectly so far in all settings. No codes or anything as of yet but I only have 30 miles.
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