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Replacement shocks for stock springs

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  • Replacement shocks for stock springs

    My rear shocks are shot, so I'm planning on replacing them with some aftermarket pieces.

    The two I am considering are Koni sports and Bilstein sports. I have searched this issue, but as far as I could tell, people were talking about pairing shocks with lowering springs. Will these shocks work well with stock springs (since they are intended for use with lowering springs) and which would be the better choice?

    Also, would it make sense to upgrade all four shocks at the same time, or to just replace the rears for now and replace the fronts when they go bad?

    Just out of curiosity...my dad has B&G shocks and he seems to like them. Does anyone have any opinions on these shocks compared to Konis/Bilsteins?
    Mike


  • #2
    Use Bilstein HD for stock spring. The Bilstein sport and the Koni are designed for a shorter spring. The HD has the same valving as the sport.

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    • #3
      I used bilstein sports and had no problems. The car handled very nicely on the stock springs. I later upgraded to H&R sport and the ride was actually smoother in my opinion on bilsteins and H&R than on stock hardware. When Turner sold me the bilsteins they told me that you shouldn't put the HD on the M3, the bilsteins are standard for all E30's and if the HD is used on the M3's already shorter springs (than other E30s) that the shock would be too tall. I took their advice.

      Then I upgraded springs again to something stiffer, the bilstein sports were the right choice for me because I've been able to stick with them through all these spring swaps

      Dave
      Last edited by 1990m3; 01-09-2005, 05:10 PM.

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      • #4
        I don't have personal experience with the Konis or Bilsteins on a stock height car, but I would go with Konis for a lowered set-up.

        That being said, for stock ride height stick with the stock struts/shocks from Boge. Replacing all four at the same time is a good idea too. I figure if the set-up is good enough for Motorsport GmBH, it's pretty darn good.

        While you're at it, the rear shock mounts are probably toast if the shocks are. (that's how my car was when I got it) Ground control mounts are the best, but $$$. There are other similar mounts that are way cheaper but aren't as sexy - such as from JTD or turnermotorsport.


        Bryant

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        • #5
          The shock mounts are toast, and I was actually planning on using the E46 M3 mounts as replacements.

          Anymore opinions?
          Mike

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          • #6
            I've got the e46 mounts too, back when it was either those or the GC mounts. They've held up for the past 20,000 miles or so without problems.

            Bryant

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            • #7
              You are fine going with Koni SA's on all four corners with stock springs - nice upgrade actually if you aren't interested in lowering the car from stock ride height. I did this several years ago when I was running my 91 in SCCA Solo2 stock class. I would recommend the Konis over the Bilsteins.
              "E30 M3 . . . it's the perfect toy for an upscale closet wild man." Car and Driver, 1988 M3 Road Test

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              • #8
                What are "Koni SAs"?

                Thanks.
                Mike

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                • #9
                  SA = single adjustable

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                  • #10
                    I have "short" Koni's with stock springs. Works fine. Just a bit more difficult to compress the stock spring to get re-assemble the strut.


                    Goodbye M3, you served me well.

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                    • #11
                      I would definaltey recommend the E46 M3 mounts - so far lasted more then twice the mileage of standard ones and they are nearly the same price.
                      Steve
                      Scottish Cecotto

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by ttw18
                        Use Bilstein HD for stock spring. The Bilstein sport and the Koni are designed for a shorter spring. The HD has the same valving as the sport.
                        I disagree, the M3 is "lowered" from the factory. If using Bilstein go for the Sport/Sprint dampers. That is also Bilstein's own recomendation, http://katalog.bilstein.de/.

                        Unless the US M3E30 has a lot longer springs, wich I doubt. I would trust this recomendation instead of the Bilstein US catalogue.

                        As for Bilstein vs Koni. I have had Bilstein Sprint on both my 325E30 and my M3E30 and liked them. The characteristic is slightly different between Bilstein an Koni and I can't say if any of them are always better. I think it's matter of taste and none of them is a bad choise.

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                        • #13
                          the standard Koni shocks are designed to work with both stock and the typical sport street springs

                          KONI NA, GC, Truechoice,and ProParts offer modified/custom shocks for very short/stiff springs typically used for racing applications
                          A friend will come bail you out of jail, but a TRUE friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell saying, "Dude, that was focking awesome!"

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                          • #14
                            EDIT: KONI NA, GC, Truechoice,and ProParts offer modified/custom KONI shocks for very short/stiff springs typically used for racing applications
                            A friend will come bail you out of jail, but a TRUE friend will be sitting next to you in the jail cell saying, "Dude, that was focking awesome!"

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