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Stock Front Struts - Solution?

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  • Stock Front Struts - Solution?

    Hi guys.

    After troubleshooting and solving my injector problems, it is time to work on
    the front suspension. I plan to keep my car stock and while I was changing
    the upper strut mounts I noticed that my front struts are questionable in
    response to moderate pressure. In fact, I believe it's time to replace the cartridges.

    A few questions.

    1. Is it difficult to remove and replace the struts from the housing?
    (I already have decompressed the springs to change the upper
    strut mounts)

    2. What is the best alternative to use if I plan to keep the stock springs.
    I understand that the Sachs 170142's stock strut cartridges are
    NLA. Any suggestions on what I could use?


    CanuckM3

  • #2
    I've had good luck with Koni Single Adjustable struts. I find they ride pretty good, even with stiff coil over springs. I would not recommend Bilstein struts. I found them to be pretty firm/harsh on several BMWs I've owned. Take this all with a grain of salt. Everyone's comfort level is different.

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    • #3
      Consequently I prefer bilstein to Koni on a street car with h&r sport or similar type suspension. It's really a horse a piece, I can't believe for a street car the difference is even too noticeable

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      • #4
        Originally posted by rewilfert View Post
        I've had good luck with Koni Single Adjustable struts. I find they ride pretty good, even with stiff coil over springs. I would not recommend Bilstein struts. I found them to be pretty firm/harsh on several BMWs I've owned. Take this all with a grain of salt. Everyone's comfort level is different.
        The Bilsteins are fine if you trim the bumpstops down, it takes 10 mins per side prior to fitting. There is plenty to search on here in that respect.

        My bumpstops are 1/2 original length, spring rates 50% stiffer and it rides really well. The instructor (who used to race E30M3) on a track day said he couldn't believe how well the car rode and handled for something with "just" Bilstiens and a relatively soft spring.
        Sport Evo No.47

        My Sport Evo Restoration

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        • #5
          If you have a bench vice and a LARGE pipe wrench, replacing the struts is cake.

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          • #6
            Thanks guys. I am not planning to upgrade my suspension in terms of stiffer springs or larger sway bars
            so I am looking for a solution that is as "stock:" as possible. In fact, I want it to be simple "plug and play".
            Any care to share their experience?

            CanuckM3

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            • #7
              bump

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              • #8
                Okay after checking on this discussion board (which I should have in the first place)
                on stock strut replacement I think that the best set up for my use is the
                E30 Bilstein HD Shock set sold by Turner. Does anyone know if they are B6's?

                It appears that it's a common set up as a replacement for OEM with stock springs.
                Anyone have any first hand experience with this set up?

                Is cutting the bumper stops still necessary?

                My housing is 51mm. The strut is a 36mm monotube. Is this the right fit?

                Looking for answers before I go ahead and spend my hard earned money.



                CanuckM3

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                • #9
                  Well. I took the plunge and bought the B6's . Took me
                  some time to install as I was learning as I go along.
                  Now that I have them installed and running the car for
                  a few days, I now know what I was missing. I was essentially
                  running on dead shocks and I was fairly content with the ride.
                  I now feel more road imperfections but not to the point where
                  it is hard and annoying. I also changed the sway bar bushings,
                  Tie rods and upper strut mounts.

                  I really like the ride now.

                  CanuckM3.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Sports and HD are the same valving, the difference is the length of travel. That being said you were driving on just springs. Must have been dull and thudding ride. Glad to hear you are enjoying the car now.
                    Who knows where I'll be, changes from day to Continent.

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