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      08-24-2018, 08:31 PM   #1
GeorgeF31
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I got Koni Special Active (formerly FSD) put on my 2017 330i xDrive F31/wagon/touring this week. I figured I'd share my thoughts to help others as I found a lack of info on the Special Active and FSD in my searching.

I spent 12 years with an E46 M3 Coupe so my "handles well but still road trip worthy" level comes from that. That is NOT to imply that this setup is nearly as taught. Just that I do know what top notch is. Well, stock top notch anyway.

After the reviews I could find and https://www.tirerack.com/suspension/tests/koni_fsd.jsp I decided to take the plunge. At the same time, I replaced my stock run flats with Michelin AS3+ tires. I kept the stock springs because Koni specifically replied to my inquiry that the Special Active were not designed for lowering springs on the xDrive. RWD cars are fine with them.

The result thus far has been what I'd have expected the car to do in the first place. Not rock-hard. Very compliant on rough surfaces but not quite as soft as stock. Close enough that you won't notice. In more "spirited" driving, the car feels much flatter cornering. Gone is the leaning side to side on changes and the overall unbalanced feeling. I feel like it is flatter than the 440i xDrive with adaptive suspension I drove back in August, 2017.

At any rate, for anyone who, like me, wanted a compliant ride with much more adaptive behavior in corners with their xDrive car, I wholeheartedly endorse the Koni Special Active setup.

I will update as time progresses.
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      09-02-2018, 05:52 PM   #2
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Did you notice if it decreased the under steer when cornering?
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      10-19-2018, 02:54 PM   #3
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Any updates on these?

Itís a shame you went to non-rft at the same time as it makes it impossible to say if the tyre and/or the suspension did anything.

Cheers

Dave
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      10-21-2018, 01:48 AM   #4
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Sorry I missed these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danddd View Post
Did you notice if it decreased the under steer when cornering?
I can't really answer this since I found the stock to be so awfully sponge-y that I didn't really push the car that hard. The setup has some roll still but I have not seen excessive under steer. Maybe a bit but nothing like a FWD car.
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Originally Posted by Mr Whippy View Post
Any updates on these?

It's a shame you went to non-rft at the same time as it makes it impossible to say if the tyre and/or the suspension did anything.

Cheers

Dave
I still love the setup. The car will never be an M2 or my old E46 M3 but then both of those cars are more fatiguing on trips and rough roads. The tires make the ride nicer. They have a bit better grip than the old RFTs but the handling improvements are more about how the car transitions than how it grips and rides. Excepting rough roads, the stock setup grip and ride weren't that bad. I did this entirely for the damping behavior which I didn't think was up to expectations with the factory choice of stiff tires and soft dampers.
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      10-25-2018, 11:05 AM   #5
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Dinan shockware for an adaptive suspension Xi?

I didn't get if the original thread author had adaptive suspension on his wagon, although it seems not. My 2014 335Xi sedan has adaptive suspension. When I go to non-RFTs I suspect the comfort setting will be way too soft. Dinan's "shockware" software (only about $200) sets Comfort settings at OEM, and sport and revised Sport to about "25%" stiffer than OEM sport. Since my car has 18 inch wheels the RFTs are noticeably harsh. (My daughter's 17 inch RFTs don't feel so bad.) Non-RFTs would fix this.

Anyway, Dinan says a combination of shockware, Dinan springs which lower the Xi by only 3/4 inch, and Dinan bump stops which I think are less "high" to allow greater suspension travel is an effective setup. All Dinan products tend to increase stiffness, but not necessarily harshness.

Does anyone have insight into such a conversion? The principal cost would be labor for the spring/bump stop install.

Thanks.
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      10-25-2018, 11:08 AM   #6
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edit on Dinan shockware

I meant to say shockware makes the Comfort setting the same as OEM Sport, and increases Sport and sport + to 25% "stiffer" than OEM sport and sport +.
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      10-26-2018, 12:56 AM   #7
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I don't have adaptive on my F31. None of the Koni Special Active parts are intended for the adaptive suspension. Koni specifically told me that for the wagon with xDrive I had to keep the stock springs as well.
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      11-18-2018, 07:25 PM   #8
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Thanks

Bavauto is offering the set right now for $594 (for f30). I thought it was a decent deal - considering a $50 rebate is also active (until 11/30/18) - so I took the plunge. Anxious to replace my stock shocks on 328ix, as I noticed the car was really floaty on a 600 mile road trip last weekend - particularly in the rear. I will keep the same run flats (Iíve had winter Michelin Pilot Alpins on since November 3), so my reference for comparison will be shocks only. Thanks for sharing your experience - and yes, I regret I didnít buy the sport wagon...maybe next time!
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      11-21-2018, 05:08 AM   #9
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Iím anxious to hear your feedback Zaxer!

Iíve a 335Xd here. Itís nice but I miss the more solid handling and feedback of M sport, but would miss the comfort side of things.

If I can get 330d m sport springs and koni special active I think it might be the best compromise.
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      11-21-2018, 03:44 PM   #10
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hoping to hear about 335Xi with non RFTs and adaptive susp.

If anyone has such a car (could be diesel - don't care of course) and has tried Dinan shockware upgrade, Dinan springs and Dinan bump stops I would like to hear. My stock adaptive suspension with RFTs is hardly optimal. The tires have to go. Then I think Dinan mods would make sense.
Charlie
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      11-28-2018, 09:02 PM   #11
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George, how was the car stock?

I'm about to pull the trigger on an '18 f31 330 with base suspension.

I'm not expecting it to be sporty but I don't want excessive roll or a floaty feeling

It will be my wife's car and we are coming from e84 X1 35 (previously had a rwd '13 335 with option 704 so I have some experience with f3x but it's been a while)

Thanks!
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      11-29-2018, 12:32 AM   #12
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It was fine on the highway and in a straight line. None of what I like to call "Buick feel" or "70s Cadillac feel" in the extreme. Didn't bounce over seams. Just felt like it wasn't firmly damped enough in turns or bumps on curves. Like when you get a hop on an exit ramp that's got a big seam and the car doesn't quite plant as well as a BMW ought to. That also made for too much lean on back and forth transitions like a good twisty road or slalom would have.
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      11-29-2018, 01:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeF31 View Post
It was fine on the highway and in a straight line. None of what I like to call "Buick feel" or "70s Cadillac feel" in the extreme. Didn't bounce over seams. Just felt like it wasn't firmly damped enough in turns or bumps on curves. Like when you get a hop on an exit ramp that's got a big seam and the car doesn't quite plant as well as a BMW ought to. That also made for too much lean on back and forth transitions like a good twisty road or slalom would have.
Thanks for the perspective.

That should actually work out well. Comfy in a straight line and a bit more comfortable is exactly what we're looking for.

I'll report back this weekend
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      12-09-2018, 03:50 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zaxer View Post
Bavauto is offering the set right now for $594 (for f30). I thought it was a decent deal - considering a $50 rebate is also active (until 11/30/18) - so I took the plunge. Anxious to replace my stock shocks on 328ix, as I noticed the car was really floaty on a 600 mile road trip last weekend - particularly in the rear. I will keep the same run flats (Iíve had winter Michelin Pilot Alpins on since November 3), so my reference for comparison will be shocks only. Thanks for sharing your experience - and yes, I regret I didnít buy the sport wagon...maybe next time!
Zaxer,

If you've had an opportunity to install the Koni Special Actives, what are your impressions? I'm considering installing these on my 2014 F30 Xdrive (which floats like a Buick).

I'd appreciate any feedback and/or your impressions on how they changed the way your car drives.

Thanks.
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      12-10-2018, 09:24 AM   #15
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Does it feel sporty as well or too comfortable ? I wanna go koni actives but I'm afraid it's to dampened that I can't feel anytbing, does it still feel like a BMW if you know what I mean. I'm stuck between the koni actives, koni sports or Bilsteins b6 or b8.
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      12-10-2018, 01:23 PM   #16
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Take a look at this thread. Johnung goes into a lot of detail into his decision for Koni Active and how the ride is compared to stock.

https://f30.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1531759
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      12-11-2018, 09:24 PM   #17
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Ok, this is a great thread... I've installed FSD's on many other german cars and things are top notch. Compliant cruising, but they help control more than the stock dampers when getting into corners.

I think the KA's are designed for the F31 in my limited searching, and that's a great thing for those that want better dampers and maybe a swaybar upgrade.

Thanks, watching this thread and hoping there's more feedback.
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      12-22-2018, 11:36 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeF31 View Post
Sorry I missed these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danddd View Post
Did you notice if it decreased the under steer when cornering?
I can't really answer this since I found the stock to be so awfully sponge-y that I didn't really push the car that hard. The setup has some roll still but I have not seen excessive under steer. Maybe a bit but nothing like a FWD car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Whippy View Post
Any updates on these?

It's a shame you went to non-rft at the same time as it makes it impossible to say if the tyre and/or the suspension did anything.

Cheers

Dave
I still love the setup. The car will never be an M2 or my old E46 M3 but then both of those cars are more fatiguing on trips and rough roads. The tires make the ride nicer. They have a bit better grip than the old RFTs but the handling improvements are more about how the car transitions than how it grips and rides. Excepting rough roads, the stock setup grip and ride weren't that bad. I did this entirely for the damping behavior which I didn't think was up to expectations with the factory choice of stiff tires and soft dampers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeF31 View Post
Sorry I missed these.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Danddd View Post
Did you notice if it decreased the under steer when cornering?
I can't really answer this since I found the stock to be so awfully sponge-y that I didn't really push the car that hard. The setup has some roll still but I have not seen excessive under steer. Maybe a bit but nothing like a FWD car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Whippy View Post
Any updates on these?

It's a shame you went to non-rft at the same time as it makes it impossible to say if the tyre and/or the suspension did anything.

Cheers

Dave
I still love the setup. The car will never be an M2 or my old E46 M3 but then both of those cars are more fatiguing on trips and rough roads. The tires make the ride nicer. They have a bit better grip than the old RFTs but the handling improvements are more about how the car transitions than how it grips and rides. Excepting rough roads, the stock setup grip and ride weren't that bad. I did this entirely for the damping behavior which I didn't think was up to expectations with the factory choice of stiff tires and soft dampers.

did the car stiffen up a bit or does it feel too comfortable if that makes sense ?
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      12-26-2018, 01:44 AM   #19
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"Stiffen" is one way to describe it but I don't think that gives a full measure to the variability of the suspension. It seems slightly less squishy initially but then firms up more when needed but isn't up to what, for instance, an M2 feels like or my old M3.

It is NOT what someone will like if they're after a street capable track car or even an aggressive sport setup. At least not on my car. It puts the car back where a BMW car should be by default unless you want the hardcore handling setup.
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      12-29-2018, 11:26 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeorgeF31 View Post
"Stiffen" is one way to describe it but I don't think that gives a full measure to the variability of the suspension. It seems slightly less squishy initially but then firms up more when needed but isn't up to what, for instance, an M2 feels like or my old M3.

It is NOT what someone will like if they're after a street capable track car or even an aggressive sport setup. At least not on my car. It puts the car back where a BMW car should be by default unless you want the hardcore handling setup.

Baby compliant, but happy daddy. Best way to explain it if you have baby seats.
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      01-21-2019, 07:34 AM   #21
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Iíve recently fitted Koni SA to my 130i LE.

Iím still not entirely happy with the car feel generally, but it had a failed shock at the rear and old crap tyres, and now has new tyres, the tracking out, with Koni SA.

But purely for reference on the dampers, they feel just like OE, but if you hit really rough roads, the places where normally your BMW just gets annoying and harsh, it somehow glides over them... on two properly rough patches near me itís probably 50-75% smoother feeling.


Iíll be honest, itís hard to spot any improvement at the firm end. The 130i seem very bouncy on the seats and bushings and so masks quite a lot of whatís happening in the firm spectrum.
It possibly feels more bouncy with the SA but thatís very likely due an improvement in firmness getting lost in bushings and a bouncy seat.


However, for the money and change in comfort, and the purpose of my 335xd which is more a family car, Iím very tempted.
Itíll retain the decent handling it has now (LCI), but might bring another level of comfort.

Part of me would like to put 330d springs on there though, and then fit SA for a 330d.
That way I get normal ride height, even better handling, but hopefully retain SE comfort.
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      08-09-2019, 07:59 PM   #22
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Suspension upgrade on 2016 F25 N20 …..non -adaptive...

https://x3.xbimmers.com/forums/showt...0#post25124540
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