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      04-28-2019, 11:15 AM   #243
Matthewricha
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Originally Posted by GSband View Post
Hello,

I’ve been following this thread for some years, because I wanted to install something better than the OEM adaptive dampers. The OEM adaptive dampers were at their end at about 100000Km/62000Miles. I hadn’t found decent user experiences anywhere, but got fed up with the wait, and went ahead and installed the B6 Damptronic dampers from Bilstein.

They were fitted February 22nd 2018, and I’ve driven with these dampers some 20000Km/12500miles till today. The springs are the OEM springs, so the car’s height has not changed.

I don’t usually post, am more of a reader, but I've learnt so much here that it seems only fair that I share my evaluation. So, as a first post, here’s my write-up. For you to be able to compare your set-up with mine, I’ve written some preliminary remarks.

1. My F30 335i (RWD) was built in May 2013. During production BMW changed (perhaps improved) software and hardware of the Adaptive Dampers. Therefore, your experience with or evaluation of the OEM dampers can differ from mine.

My tyres (summer and winter) are NON-runflat, size 225/45 R18. Riding with runflat tyres will worsen your comfort experience, and so will riding on 19 inch wheels/tyres. Adjust my story accordingly.

For better comprehension I prefer speaking of dampers in 1st position and 2nd position (the 2nd being the harder position). This to avoid confusion between comfort as an evaluation and comfort as position of dampers.

2. On OEM adaptive dampers, in the 1st position, I found that the rear axle was underdamped. After passing an undulation in the road, I could always notice that the front had stopped moving vertically while the rear would continue to do so. While very comfortable at city speeds, this was quite annoying at higher speeds : the car would “wallow” from front to rear, to the point where 2 passengers became sick because of cabin movements (on different occasions, at constant speed, on a straight stretch of highway).

On OEM adaptive dampers, in the 2nd position, the suspension was too harsh for my liking. The car would start “bouncing”, as if the spring travel had become shorter. I found this totally unsuited for highway driving. I only used this position for diminishing the lean in speedy curves.

Basically, I found the OEM Adaptive dampers useless at highway speeds (edit : i.e. over 160Km/h, over 100mph)

3. With Bilstein B6 Damptronic dampers in the 1st position the car’s character is totally different from OEM’s. It’s as if the car comes alive : it listens to steering inputs much better, the car becomes “chuckable”, easier to make slaloms with, handling is so much better. It makes the ride dynamic. The rear becomes “light” (= oversteers) on demand (as can be seen in Joe Achilles’ video). I can’t stress this enough : it really is a fun experience. But suspensionwise, this is as hard as I want to go. Feeling the road can be an advantage for dynamic driving, but you always feel every hump or bump in the road. It is not harsh, but the cabin never stops moving vertically. This is the position I use on the highway : the car rides on rails, but it's not a comfortable ride.

With Bilstein B6 Damptronic dampers in the 2nd position, the spring travel feels much shorter. The dampers are stiffer, so the ride becomes harsh/bouncy on anything that isn’t absolutely flat asphalt. This may be perfect for track riding, but that’s something I never do. I only ride with the dampers in this 2nd position to avoid lean in fast curves. It’s close to what BMW adaptive dampers did in the 2nd position (in my 2013 F30).

I would describe the B6 Damptronics’ 1st position as “sport”, and the 2nd position as “sport plus”. I am convinced that these characteristics will suit those who want a sporty ride all the time, and an even sportier suspension for track days.

4. As a conclusion : for a dynamic ride I am totally happy with the B6 Damptronic in the 1st position. Then, my F30 really is a super fun car to drive. But for long highway stretches, or simply commuting, it’s not comfortable enough. In the 2nd position the ride is simply too harsh for me. So, what I miss with the B6 Damptronic dampers, is a “comfortable” setting.

I am actually comtemplating installing Bilstein B4 Damptronic, hoping that the B4’s 2nd position will be as sporty as the B6’s 1st position, and that B4’s 1st position will give a comfortable ride, without the “wallowing” I mentioned under (2).

I hope this write-up helps. Cheers !
GSband
I have an M235i and know of the wallowness you speak of with M Sport springs in comfort mode. However when I changed to M Performance springs, that horrible wallowness you speak of went away and I was very happy. So I think the wallowing is the "soft" compromised M Sport springs, not necessarily the adaptive shocks.
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      05-07-2019, 12:42 AM   #244
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewricha View Post
I have an M235i and know of the wallowness you speak of with M Sport springs in comfort mode. However when I changed to M Performance springs, that horrible wallowness you speak of went away and I was very happy. So I think the wallowing is the "soft" compromised M Sport springs, not necessarily the adaptive shocks.
Do you keep the adaptive shocks with the M performance springs, if not which shocks? I recall that the M Performance springs can't be used with the adaptive shocks.
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      05-10-2019, 08:43 AM   #245
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Originally Posted by daxtor View Post
Do you keep the adaptive shocks with the M performance springs, if not which shocks? I recall that the M Performance springs can't be used with the adaptive shocks.
Hi, yes I've retained the Adaptive shocks. Please see below, they are an approved BMW modification:

PI (Process Instruction): SZ_143_08_15 for SZP5A (M P Suspension)

Also Aux Damper kit for the springs (PN: 33502411196 [Adaptive])

Unfortunately BMW seems to have removed the PDF's from their website.

https://www.parts.bmwgroup.com/infod..._143_08_15.pdf

https://www.parts.bmwgroup.com/infod...icing_list.pdf



here is my writeup:
https://www.babybmw.net/forum/viewto...?f=74&t=118686

also more info here:
https://www.2addicts.com/forums/show...1410070&page=2

Previous owner had ACS Springs which are > 10mm lower and I already know at least 1 rear shock has gone or has prematurely failed and I only have 20k miles on the clock. If I can't get BMW to replace under extended warranty then will be buying two rear B4 Damptronic shocks.

EDIT: also note that a large proportion of the rear sway or potentially "wallow" is down to the hollow rear subframe bushes flexing. I eliminated a lot of this with Powerflex subframe inserts, full bushes are better.

Last edited by Matthewricha; 05-10-2019 at 12:33 PM..
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      05-11-2019, 12:34 PM   #246
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Quote:
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Originally Posted by Eschmacher View Post
Was your kw ddc kit the plug and play or ecu version?
Plug and play, I had EDC from factory
If you don't mind me asking, but how much did all 4 cost you?
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      05-13-2019, 04:01 PM   #247
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Well this looks promising:

https://www.bimmerworld.com/Suspensi...Drive-EDC.html
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      05-13-2019, 05:00 PM   #248
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thisismikeyb View Post
Very promising indeed!

The set of 4 shocks for RWD vehicles with EDC suspension is $2.2K.

https://www.bimmerworld.com/Suspensi...2-F3X-RWD.html

I sense B16 PSS10 Damptronic coilovers are not too far behind.
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      05-13-2019, 10:31 PM   #249
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cfm56d7b View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by thisismikeyb View Post
Very promising indeed!

The set of 4 shocks for RWD vehicles with EDC suspension is $2.2K.

https://www.bimmerworld.com/Suspensi...2-F3X-RWD.html

I sense B16 PSS10 Damptronic coilovers are not too far behind.
B6 EDC dampers only is about the same price as a non-EDC Ohlins R&T coil over kit. I understand the EDC bypass could add price but I think I might go Ohlins. I have to think about it.
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      05-16-2019, 01:42 AM   #250
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthewricha View Post
Hi, yes I've retained the Adaptive shocks. Please see below, they are an approved BMW modification:

PI (Process Instruction): SZ_143_08_15 for SZP5A (M P Suspension)

Also Aux Damper kit for the springs (PN: 33502411196 [Adaptive])

Unfortunately BMW seems to have removed the PDF's from their website.

https://www.parts.bmwgroup.com/infod..._143_08_15.pdf

https://www.parts.bmwgroup.com/infod...icing_list.pdf



here is my writeup:
https://www.babybmw.net/forum/viewto...?f=74&t=118686

also more info here:
https://www.2addicts.com/forums/show...1410070&page=2

Previous owner had ACS Springs which are > 10mm lower and I already know at least 1 rear shock has gone or has prematurely failed and I only have 20k miles on the clock. If I can't get BMW to replace under extended warranty then will be buying two rear B4 Damptronic shocks.

EDIT: also note that a large proportion of the rear sway or potentially "wallow" is down to the hollow rear subframe bushes flexing. I eliminated a lot of this with Powerflex subframe inserts, full bushes are better.
Thanks for the detailed info. Unfortunately it seems the suspension for M235i is different from 335i. I may not be able to go your route, as the official option for my car is actually a coil over kit.
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      05-18-2019, 10:56 AM   #251
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daxtor View Post
Thanks for the detailed info. Unfortunately it seems the suspension for M235i is different from 335i. I may not be able to go your route, as the official option for my car is actually a coil over kit.
no problem!

recently found out from Bilstein themselves that both the B4 and B6 Damptronic units are Twintube shocks! Only the M Car Damptronic units are monotube.
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      05-21-2019, 05:36 AM   #252
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They exist! Got my set for xDrive last night. Planning to install this weekend. I won't be able to really compare to stock dampers since mine have over 83k miles on them. The front dampers took a beating in shipping though...
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      05-21-2019, 10:05 AM   #253
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thisismikeyb, thanks for sharing! Please post an update after installation. Very interested in your experience.

PS. Which shocks did you get? Wasn't clear from the pictures.
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      05-21-2019, 07:31 PM   #254
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cfm56d7b, I ordered the B6's for xDrive.
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      05-21-2019, 07:51 PM   #255
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cfm56d7b, I ordered the B6's for xDrive.
Great. Thank you.
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      05-22-2019, 07:28 AM   #256
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Doing this same work next weekend. Mine took a beating in shipping also. I have 60K miles now. I bought all the replacement parts (expendable fasteners and shock mounts) from BMW.

I was wondering - is there any other good things to do when I'm in there doing this work? (mounts, bushings, etc). I've seen a video from a guy doing the sway bar end links (
). Wondering if that's something that should be done as well... I do get some suspension noise when going over the cobblestone like roads here where I live.

Looking for any advice from those with experience.
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      05-22-2019, 07:37 AM   #257
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Originally Posted by joe130 View Post
Doing this same work next weekend. Mine took a beating in shipping also. I have 60K miles now. I bought all the replacement parts (expendable fasteners and shock mounts) from BMW.

I was wondering - is there any other good things to do when I'm in there doing this work? (mounts, bushings, etc). I've seen a video from a guy doing the sway bar end links (
). Wondering if that's something that should be done as well... I do get some suspension noise when going over the cobblestone like roads here where I live.

Looking for any advice from those with experience.
This question has been on my mind lately. I'm pondering where I stop; especially when my car has 95k miles.

One thing for sure, I suggest replacing the "strut bearings" or "pillow mounts" on top of the struts. They wear and add a lot of harshness.
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      05-22-2019, 08:10 AM   #258
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Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
This question has been on my mind lately. I'm pondering where I stop; especially when my car has 95k miles.

One thing for sure, I suggest replacing the "strut bearings" or "pillow mounts" on top of the struts. They wear and add a lot of harshness.
Yes - I bought those and will be replacing them with the front struts. You're referring to the what Real OEM calls the Guide Support ( BMW part 31306863136)?
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      05-24-2019, 12:03 PM   #259
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe130 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by glennQNYC View Post
This question has been on my mind lately. I'm pondering where I stop; especially when my car has 95k miles.

One thing for sure, I suggest replacing the "strut bearings" or "pillow mounts" on top of the struts. They wear and add a lot of harshness.
Yes - I bought those and will be replacing them with the front struts. You're referring to the what Real OEM calls the Guide Support ( BMW part 31306863136)?
Yes Sir!
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      05-24-2019, 12:41 PM   #260
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Ok.. installation of the rears today and I've run into an issue. That upper nut that attaches the shock to the upper mount. The torque spec is IMPOSSIBLE to find. I tried the TIS spec - 38NM. The allen key (5mm) in the top of the shock couldn't take that much torque. I've looked all over the web and can't really find the Bilstein torque spec. Anyone have any ideas? The closest I've come is some places indicate 20 Ft-lbs (around 24-25 NM or so) for other similar shocks.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

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      05-24-2019, 02:28 PM   #261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe130 View Post
Ok.. installation of the rears today and I've run into an issue. That upper nut that attaches the shock to the upper mount. The torque spec is IMPOSSIBLE to find. I tried the TIS spec - 38NM. The allen key (5mm) in the top of the shock couldn't take that much torque. I've looked all over the web and can't really find the Bilstein torque spec. Anyone have any ideas? The closest I've come is some places indicate 20 Ft-lbs (around 24-25 NM or so) for other similar shocks.

Any help is greatly appreciated!

Per ista, it's 38NM. That's only 28 ft-lbs, that should definitely be doable. Also, you are just holding the center while you tighten the nut around it.
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      05-25-2019, 02:02 PM   #262
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Now connector issues

The saga continues..

I went to do the rear dampeners this weekend and after removal of my OE dampeners and installation of the Bilstein adapter dampeners (20-250744), I was unable to get the adapter wire provided by Bilstein to connect to my vehicle's OE harness. It seems that the connectors are not compatible with each other. Attached are photos of the supplied connector compared to the OE harness. The harness with the blue end is the OE. According to the instructions, the short harness is supposed to plug into the dampener and then into my factory OE harness. Clearly the ends don't go together (even if I try to force it... completely different size and shape). The supplied connecter from Bilstein won't plug into the vehicle harness without the OE harness either - not only are the plugs incompatible, the wire they provided is way too short.

Already torqued the single use fasteners, so for now I have the Bilstein dampeners installed (had already used the one use fasteners for mounting the dampeners) with the harness unplugged.

Anyone ever seen anything like this? I've sent an email to Bilstein customer support, but I think I'll have to wait until after the holiday weekend to hear back.

Thanks in advance for any advice. You can bet I'll be checking the front connectors before I install the struts to make sure they are compatible!
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      05-25-2019, 03:45 PM   #263
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Thanks for sharing. Very unusual. Please keep us informed.
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