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      05-13-2021, 06:18 PM   #1
djacinto
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To coilover or not to coilover

So I have been debating for quite some time on how I want to lower my car

As an xdrive tall boi my wheel gap is atrocious since I put on my 624's but it fills my wheel wells much better than the stock 17's I had before

With that being said, I've had my eyes on the bilstein b14's for quite some time and have been asking around for people's reviews for nearly a year at this point

However, Even though Texas roads are by no means poor, at least on the highways, cities can be pretty rough sometimes. I want a firmer ride, there's no doubt along with lowering it just a bit to get rid of the wheel gap, but I also don't want my girlfriend to find it rough especially in the cities so...

Do I go b14's and just suck it up if they are too rough?

Or do I go b6's and find lowering springs that aren't too aggressive?

And as for budget I just don't want to exceed the b14's cost realistically. I think 1500 would be max but I like the price to performance the b14's offer

Curious to know your thoughts!
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      05-13-2021, 07:31 PM   #2
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Texas roads are amazing compared to Boston, Chicago, New York roads. Get b14
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      05-13-2021, 07:47 PM   #3
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If coilovers, I'd go with KW V1 since they are more comfortable than Bilstein B14. KW costs more, though.

If doing damper/spring combination, I'd go with Eibach Pro-Kit springs paired with Koni Yellow Sport or SA(red)dampers. Bilstein's upside down monotube design, with internal bump stops, are reported to ride firm and you can't see the "wear and tear" on the bump stops. Koni's dampers are traditional "Macpherson" strut type with external bump stops and are considered to have a more compliant ride, than Bilstein. Koni Yellows have adjustable rebound as well.

My response is based on what I've read here on the forums. Likewise, you should do your research on it as well.

Look for threads and posts by FaRKle! and johnung. they have the best information on this matter, imo.
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Last edited by alohasurftoad; 05-13-2021 at 07:53 PM..
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      05-13-2021, 08:28 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anotheran View Post
Texas roads are amazing compared to Boston, Chicago, New York roads. Get b14
You're certainly right I can't complain about 80-90% of the roads I've driven on here in Texas, so I guess I'm a little ignorant to the true mess that is the east coast
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      05-13-2021, 08:34 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alohasurftoad View Post
If coilovers, I'd go with KW V1 since they are more comfortable than Bilstein B14. KW costs more, though.

If doing damper/spring combination, I'd go with Eibach Pro-Kit springs paired with Koni Yellow Sport or SA(red)dampers. Bilstein's upside down monotube design, with internal bump stops, are reported to ride firm and you can't see the "wear and tear" on the bump stops. Koni's dampers are traditional "Macpherson" strut type with external bump stops and are considered to have a more compliant ride, than Bilstein. Koni Yellows have adjustable rebound as well.

My response is based on what I've read here on the forums. Likewise, you should do your research on it as well.

Look for threads and posts by FaRKle! and johnung. they have the best information on this matter, imo.
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Ok I appreciate it!

Will definitely check them out
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      05-14-2021, 08:27 AM   #6
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I recently installed the B14 on my F31 XDrive. I also own a F80 with electronic dampers. Right after installation, the B14 felt extremely stiff but after a couple weeks of break in they are maybe just slightly firmer than my F80 in sport mode. To me they are very livable and I love the improvement compared to the stock suspension in my F31.
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      05-14-2021, 09:37 AM   #7
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@djacinto, does your car have M Adaptive suspension?

If no - there many choices. It all depends on your budget. What's your budget incidentally?
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      05-14-2021, 10:22 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
@djacinto, does your car have M Adaptive suspension?

If no - there many choices. It all depends on your budget. What's your budget incidentally?
No it doesn't.

Definitely under 1500 preferably under 1250

Realistically I just want to stick with bilstein I was just curious as to the differences between the b8 and b6 shocks but with the b8's in the b14 package as I'm not sure what springs I would do with the b6 yet.

I'll post a close up pic of my car's wheel gap but it's roughly an inch and a half and I want to get rid of that
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      05-14-2021, 10:23 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziego View Post
I recently installed the B14 on my F31 XDrive. I also own a F80 with electronic dampers. Right after installation, the B14 felt extremely stiff but after a couple weeks of break in they are maybe just slightly firmer than my F80 in sport mode. To me they are very livable and I love the improvement compared to the stock suspension in my F31.
That's interesting! I test drove an m4, but not long enough to get a full feel of the suspension. It certainly felt firm but by no means back breaking so that's good to hear you f31 isn't either!

And how are your roads around you?
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      05-14-2021, 06:48 PM   #10
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Roads are OK on my normal route, there are sections with rough patches but mostly country road. Driven it to NYC and it was bearable. To me NYC has some of the worst road, they can’t pave anything flat.
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      05-14-2021, 06:58 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aziego View Post
Roads are OK on my normal route, there are sections with rough patches but mostly country road. Driven it to NYC and it was bearable. To me NYC has some of the worst road, they canít pave anything flat.
I certainly won't have to deal with that... very fortunate there, and I don't plan on going out of state often or anytime soon. I guess I'll go with b14's!
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      05-14-2021, 08:14 PM   #12
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Despite the harshness, coils will be a noticeable improvement just make sure you dial in the height the way you want it. I too am a resident of NYC and on my KW V2's, I had to have my shop soften it up a few clicks to the softer side, lose a bit of the "on rails" feeling for the ability to not feel part of my soul leave over road imperfections.

Not sure how feasible it is for you to find another vehicle like your own with the suspension but I took the bullet on mine having never been in a car with coils and I would never look back even despite the harsh pavement moments.
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      05-16-2021, 12:00 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by djacinto View Post
I certainly won't have to deal with that... very fortunate there, and I don't plan on going out of state often or anytime soon. I guess I'll go with b14's!
There is one fact about coilovers which is essential to recognize before making an expensive decision.

Expectations.

Some people expect both comfort and performance at $1500 or below. It's just not possible.

Comfort is function of suspension travel and how quickly compression and rebound cycles are executed.

The more expensive coilovers - like KW V3 - offer independent compression and rebound controls, which is more expensive to engineer. I am not a big fan of KW V3 coilovers because they lower the suspension too much for my preferences.

Koni Special Active shocks with Eibach Pro springs is a very good combination at a reasonable price range. Worth considering if the suspension upgrade project is below $1.5K.

If you want to tune the suspension behavior, coilovers are the preferred option.
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      05-18-2021, 04:42 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post

Some people expect both comfort and performance at $1500 or below. It's just not possible.
Aren't there are a lot of people who found a great combo of spring and strut under $1,500? My impression is a lot of strut/spring users tend to be satisfied with their choice.

Then again, in reading over a lot of the posts on the forums, the impression I get of spring/strut users that go to coilovers is they are more satisfied with that choice. Can't find many posts where users say "Coilovers just don't cut it. I'm going to spring and strut." This assumes the coilover is a name brand and the model of coilover meets the application. I have seen complaints of club sport coilovers not being at all comfortable for the street. At a minimum coilovers match their spring and strut and often include ride height. Think of the frustrated xDrive users who end up with reverse rake. I could see that as a reason for some buyers to push toward a coilover just to avoid the hassle and no other reason.
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      05-18-2021, 07:32 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by casualDIYer View Post
Aren't there are a lot of people who found a great combo of spring and strut under $1,500? My impression is a lot of strut/spring users tend to be satisfied with their choice.

Then again, in reading over a lot of the posts on the forums, the impression I get of spring/strut users that go to coilovers is they are more satisfied with that choice. Can't find many posts where users say "Coilovers just don't cut it. I'm going to spring and strut." This assumes the coilover is a name brand and the model of coilover meets the application. I have seen complaints of club sport coilovers not being at all comfortable for the street. At a minimum coilovers match their spring and strut and often include ride height. Think of the frustrated xDrive users who end up with reverse rake. I could see that as a reason for some buyers to push toward a coilover just to avoid the hassle and no other reason.
With lowering springs and aftermarket shocks, the suspension height cannot be changed. It will be whatever the outcome will be after the suspension settles.

For drivers which require suspension tuning options (height, compression / rebound cycles), coilovers are the only choice.
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      05-18-2021, 09:18 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by casualDIYer View Post
Aren't there are a lot of people who found a great combo of spring and strut under $1,500? My impression is a lot of strut/spring users tend to be satisfied with their choice.

Then again, in reading over a lot of the posts on the forums, the impression I get of spring/strut users that go to coilovers is they are more satisfied with that choice. Can't find many posts where users say "Coilovers just don't cut it. I'm going to spring and strut." This assumes the coilover is a name brand and the model of coilover meets the application. I have seen complaints of club sport coilovers not being at all comfortable for the street. At a minimum coilovers match their spring and strut and often include ride height. Think of the frustrated xDrive users who end up with reverse rake. I could see that as a reason for some buyers to push toward a coilover just to avoid the hassle and no other reason.
With lowering springs and aftermarket shocks, the suspension height cannot be changed. It will be whatever the outcome will be after the suspension settles.

For drivers which require suspension tuning options (height, compression / rebound cycles), coilovers are the only choice.
Spending $1000 to roll the dice on lowering height <<<<<

IMO, and in many others here coilovers are the only way to go when lowering. You have full control of the height. Set it and forget it. Springs and shocks leave too much to chance.
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      05-19-2021, 07:30 AM   #17
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I am in the process of lowering my f36 xdrive. I'm not gonna track it or anything, my daily driver. I'm only doing it because of the looks. Still leaning towards the coilovers because of the ability to set the height exactly to what i want. Only replacing the springs feels to risky and unnecessary strain on the struts?
Struts + springs, I dunno. So many options and different opinions and outcomes. Coils just feels safer and easier.
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      05-19-2021, 08:06 AM   #18
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I have V1s on my car and i don't have any issues here in OK. Just have to be careful on some entry/exit areas if they are too steep.

The good thing about coils is that you can adjust the height as needed.
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