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M2 Technical Topics > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > BC Racing vs. KWv3 vs. Bilstein PSS10 B16

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      11-23-2019, 01:08 PM   #1
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BC Racing vs. KWv3 vs. Bilstein PSS10 B16

Anyone make this same decision I am in?

My brief thoughts:

KWv3 ($2.5k): offers the most diversity with height and adjustments
Bilstein ($2k): close is variability and cheaper than KWv3 with just as good quality
BC racing ($1k): Cheapest option but best value for your $$, still a quality product from what I hear

My M2C is currently a daily driver in southern California, potholes and crap roads are easily avoidable... but the ultimate goal is to turn this car into a full-blown track build.

Any advice is appreciated.
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      11-23-2019, 04:44 PM   #2
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If the ultimate goal is a "full blown track build" then I don't understand why BC racing is even an option. I would buy the KWs and be done with it.
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      11-23-2019, 04:59 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kpaso View Post
If the ultimate goal is a "full blown track build" then I don't understand why BC racing is even an option. I would buy the KWs and be done with it.
Ok so BC racing isn't good on the track I would assume. What about the middle of the road Bilstein?
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      11-24-2019, 06:15 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Detoxified View Post
Ok so BC racing isn't good on the track I would assume. What about the middle of the road Bilstein?
Keep OEM suspension spend moneies on diver mod, buy JRZ MCH, AST, etc actually awesome track suspension when its only a track car
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      11-24-2019, 06:36 PM   #5
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If you never experienced any kind of coilover and you don't have much of track experience, go with either KW or Bilstein for beginning.

There is forum member who was running B16 PSS10 kit for years now on this forum and he has many trackdays videos posted on the youtube:



I just ordered mine kit 3 days ago, and It should be with me in the next 2 weeks.

But, what made me decide to go with Bilstein over KW are the following reasons.

1.The shocks are Monotube, and rear shock piston is reversely positioned which can have many benefits. The main one is that adjustment knob is easily accessible compared to KW V3 kit.
2. Bilstein is more comfortable compared to KW what I have heard from many F80 owners from European forums.

Overall you can't go wrong with any of these two kits, but I chose comfort as we have bad roads over here and the eibach springs that I've put on my shocks really hurt my daily driving experience. While on track they work perfectly well.

And you will look for the suspension out there, there is just one: Intrax.
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      11-24-2019, 09:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowflash21 View Post
If you never experienced any kind of coilover and you don't have much of track experience, go with either KW or Bilstein for beginning.

There is forum member who was running B16 PSS10 kit for years now on this forum and he has many trackdays videos posted on the youtube:



I just ordered mine kit 3 days ago, and It should be with me in the next 2 weeks.

But, what made me decide to go with Bilstein over KW are the following reasons.

1.The shocks are Monotube, and rear shock piston is reversely positioned which can have many benefits. The main one is that adjustment knob is easily accessible compared to KW V3 kit.
2. Bilstein is more comfortable compared to KW what I have heard from many F80 owners from European forums.

Overall you can't go wrong with any of these two kits, but I chose comfort as we have bad roads over here and the eibach springs that I've put on my shocks really hurt my daily driving experience. While on track they work perfectly well.

And you will look for the suspension out there, there is just one: Intrax.
I wanted the Bilsteins at first because I felt they couldn't be beat for the price and had many of the positives that you mentioned. I ordered them in early 2018 but apparently they were backordered for the whole US and kept pushing the date back over and over. I called their corporate headquarters about 6 months later and was promised they would be arriving in the next month, but of course they never did. I had read that the delays were because they were moving production to a new plant. Then word was coming out that quality was not the same on the new ones that were arriving, lots of warranty claims at some of the local shops. I decided if they hadn't come by a year after I put my order in that I'd cancel. They never came and so I ordered KW V3s instead, they arrived within a week.

Glad to hear that yours are actually coming though. I was turned off by the whole experience with Bilstein and didn't want to give them my business. Post up and let us know how you like them once you have them installed though!

And just an edit: The KWs can be had for around $2k if you wait for a deal. I think they were running a $350 rebate when I got mine and it came to just under 2k shipped. Closes the gap to some of the others like the Bilsteins.
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      11-25-2019, 04:07 AM   #7
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Mosely Thanks for sharing your experience.

As far as I heard, they had issue 3+ years ago with the springs, and also the common problem is with the damping adjustment knob at front which tends to get broken after few years. Might be due to salt/water, and I'm planning to further protect it with some isolation/corrosion lubricant.

I think that you folks in US have a dedicated manufacturing, which might explain the possible difference in built quality that existed before.

Definitely, I will share my experience once I manage to install them in Bilstein thread.
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      11-25-2019, 05:12 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yellowflash21 View Post
Mosely Thanks for sharing your experience.

As far as I heard, they had issue 3+ years ago with the springs, and also the common problem is with the damping adjustment knob at front which tends to get broken after few years. Might be due to salt/water, and I'm planning to further protect it with some isolation/corrosion lubricant.

I think that you folks in US have a dedicated manufacturing, which might explain the possible difference in built quality that existed before.

Definitely, I will share my experience once I manage to install them in Bilstein thread.
Ah yes, I remember while I was waiting people overseas were able to get them still pretty easily. Look forward to hearing about them!
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      11-26-2019, 05:43 AM   #9
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I didn't have much luck with PSS10 on the e46. The front failed after only about 30k miles. The warranty only covers material and has many exceptions.

I heard similar things from other people including a performance shop owner.

They were quite good while they lasted though. Same comfort as OEM.
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      11-26-2019, 06:04 AM   #10
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I ordered a set after test driving my friends M2 with B16's on it.

I was really impressed with the ride quality and it eliminated plenty of body roll.
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      12-09-2019, 03:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr_lab_rat View Post
I didn't have much luck with PSS10 on the e46. The front failed after only about 30k miles. The warranty only covers material and has many exceptions.

I heard similar things from other people including a performance shop owner.

They were quite good while they lasted though. Same comfort as OEM.
o always had billeting on my cars and they were good. the problem is that people don't keep the strut firm while removing the bolt and they "cook"the seal giving problems over time like leaking
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      12-11-2019, 02:57 AM   #12
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>> people don't keep the strut firm while removing the bolt

Could you explain, please? (What do you mean firm? Which bolt?) Thanks.
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      12-11-2019, 03:42 PM   #13
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I think hes referring to keeping the shock absorber rod/cylinder(?) steady while removing the top bolt.
Spinning that thing while removing may damage the seal.
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      12-14-2019, 06:29 PM   #14
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Ok, finally my buddy mechanic find some time to dedicate me a whole day to install PSS10 kiy properly.

Before switching to PSS10 set, I had Eibach spring which worked well on track but on street use it was a complete mess.

We ran into few issue during installation, as:
a)My buddy mechanic got drunk last night.
b)We didn't have a proper socket to unbolt the rear shock, so we had to ask around to get the right one.

But anyway, here is the short story.

My M2 is 2016 and on inspecting the front axle, we heard strong ticking noise when we moved steering angle from one side to another.

The same noise can be reproduced when turning hard left or right in the corners, and many people reported this type of noise/clicking/ticking on this forum but nobody didn't know how to fix this.

The problem was very clear and it was due to failed bearing inside "guide support", or the thing that comes at the top of each front shock.

Today is Saturday, and we had little hope that we will find a replacement part and my gc plates didn't arrive yet.

So, we had no other choice then to try to open them up and see what's going on with bearings inside.

Lucky thing for us is that this was a bloody easy fix. Bearing can be dismantle with ease.
My buddy put a lot of bearing lubricant inside of both of them and they were like new without any further noise.

Now, back to Bilstein install, as we had visit in the shop by experienced ex racing driver which was happy to assist us with height setup.

He measured front & rear shocks travel distance when uncompressed and compressed and did his math on the paper to tell us what would be the idle height to set the coils on.

It surprised me that he was able to perfectly match the height of the car when it was on oem springs and on our first attempt.

I've tested the setup for almost 60 miles on middle setting number 5, and its amazing how comfortable it is compared to stock & Eibach especially the back end which I hated so much.

Although, the front is bit stiffer now compared to stock and I will see to maybe switch them to 4 and see how that will work out for daily usage.

As its winter here, the hard settings will have to wait until March & track but overall I'm extremely happy as well is my butt and kidneys.

Please, if you're looking for comfort,and look(lowering), do not go with any kind of HAS or spring sets. Pick a proper and well tested set of coilovers or don't change anything.

The reasons why, I've decided to go with Bilstein compared to KW3 or Mperforamnce ones are:

1. Monotubes design shocks compared to KW ones
2. Rear shock is inverted
3. Rear damping can be easily adjustable
4. Damping can be adjusted on one knob
5. Trusted fellow M2 owners across the globe who had this kit installed and confirmed that it was a good option for them
5. It has blue colored springs.
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      12-17-2019, 11:57 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
You didn't buy a 320i, the OEM suspension is vastly superior than almost all aftermarket coilover options. They're downgrades, just read above... they make the car ride like crap.

Leave it alone except for Dinan tension strut ball joints. You will never reach the limits of the OEM suspension unless you're a full time professional race car driver.
This is simply untrue. The adjustability of pretty much any aftermarket coilover is what makes the difference. OEM suspension is good, but offers no adjustability and simply sits too high for any kind of serious track performance. It was tuned for the street, plain and simple, and meets the needs of those who do not track their cars.

For those that do, its inadequate at best, dangerous (body roll comes to mind) at worse. Its quite an uneasy feeling when you lose downforce on the inside coming into a corner at high speeds.
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      12-17-2019, 12:17 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
Everything you just typed is wrong.

How do you know what to adjust to be faster on the track? Do you have a team of engineers in the pits? Turning knobs might sound fun but unless you are a trained expert you're just making it worse than OEM. The M2 Competition is designed for the track and not tuned for the street, plain and simple. Also, higher spring rates doesn't = better handling. That's a myth. BMW knows these cars better than anyone, they built them. The M Performance coilover kit is the best you'll get for our cars.
Sorry, theres a plethora of information available online about what various suspension settings do, and how they effect performance. Information is widely available, and theres any number of tuners out there that will help you get the most out of adjustable suspension, based on your use.

No, the M2 is not "designed for the track". Its a trackable street car. The "competition" badge does not all the sudden make it a full blown track car.

Never said higher-rate springs = better handling, not sure where you got that from.

BMW knows the cars well, but the cars are designed with thousands of drivers in mind, not you, or how you plan to use the car.

I'd suggest searching the forums regarding other's experience with M performance coilovers. They are certainly not the best from what I can gather.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
Body roll is not controlled by the struts/springs. That's a job of the sway bars, and sway bars do more than just body roll, they also control your under and over steer. Just tossing parts on WILL make your car handle worse and lose control entering/exiting corners.
Bodyroll is controlled by sway bars, yes, but ride height (which I directly attributed) is also a determining factor. Dont believe me? Why don't you go take a large lifted truck on the track and let me know how that goes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
Lowering ride height and adding spacers looks cool at car meets for stance points, but again, lowering your car an inch plays no factor in it's' cornering performance and can actually make it handle worse. A tracked car should never have spacers either.
This is not true at all. A lower ride height greatly improves corning performance in the M2. The fact you even bring up "stance points" gives me a chuckle. I'm not talking about slamming a car down on its body and adding 6 degrees of negative camber here. Spacers come in handy when you dual purpose your car and/or need to make up offset on wheels. In an ideal world, yes, you wouldnt need to run spaces.

Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
Downforce has nothing to do with suspension. At 125mph, the BMW M4 (M2 is the same) produces only 120lb of downforce. At track cornering speeds, 60-100mph, downforce is not even a factor in handling of our cars. The M4 GTS package (front splitter and rear wing) only produces 20lb more downforce at 125mph compared to a stock M4 off the showroom floor. It's just for looks and not a factor in the car's cornering ability.
I used the wrong word here. Cornering stability was what i meant.



Not trying to get into a pissing contest here, but you literally just bought your M2. I'd suggest you take it to a track before you start making claims of what you think the suspension is designed for.

Last edited by detroitm2; 12-17-2019 at 12:29 PM..
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      12-17-2019, 12:31 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
I'm not 16 years old and daddy just bought me my first car. I have raced on tracks such as Daytona International Speedway and Sebring International since the late 1990s.

I'm just pointing out you've made some very false statements about a car's suspension that are the job of other parts and not the job of the struts/springs.

The job of the struts/shocks/springs are to keep the tires on the road since we're not racing on perfectly level surfaces that do not require a suspension. If you're expecting to just toss on a set of random coilovers on a stock M2C and expect to turn it into a full blown race car that turns on rails you'll be highly dissapointed with your purchase, because that's not the job of the coilovers.

Just correctly aligning the OEM suspension for track use will do more than any coil over kit. BMW races stock showroom M2C's 7 days a week on two race tracks in the USA, they do just fine.
I've updated my post above with specific comments to your comments.

Its good to hear that you've had track experience, however, given you've just gotten your M2, I honestly doubt you're even close to qualified to state "facts" on its performance/handling specs.

Again, theres no need to turn this into a pissing contest. The M2C is not a "track car" and the OEM suspension is tuned for aggressive street driving, just like every other M car (non CS) on the road.
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      12-18-2019, 05:18 AM   #18
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And price of over 100k.
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      12-18-2019, 06:44 AM   #19
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The stock setup is quite good for street use and decent for track, but if you are looking for the best lap time you need an improvement and KW V3/PSS10 are far superior than stock suspension. Mperformance coilovers is nothing but a KW V3 with different rate springs (more street oriented). Everything can be improved, a KW Clubsport is even better but it depends on what you're looking for.
Nothing to say about BC coils because I never tried them, forget HAS on a M car.
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      12-18-2019, 11:20 AM   #20
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Have you ever driven a M2 with a KW V3 and a Mperformance coils? I suppose not.
The spring rate by itself does not mean anything if you don't consider the stiffness of the shock absorbers, a higher spring rate can be better or worse depending on the shocks absorbers, it's not a universal value.
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      12-18-2019, 11:39 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
If you're using coilovers to control body roll, please leave this conversation and read basic suspension theory and then come back.

The correct method to fix body roll is to properly balance the sway bars. That's their job to control body roll.
Again, it's part of the equation. Theres no "sponsor circlejerking" here.

Theres also no one mentioning anything about Spring Rate other than you. You do know that all of the aftermarket coilovers here have various options for spring rate, correct?

Please stop acting like an expert when you have literally zero experience on the M2 platform.

You can also head back to reddit with the trolling, no one here cares.
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      12-18-2019, 11:54 AM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SlowM2C View Post
Butt Dyno means nothing. Just because a car feels like it corners better cause it's stiffer doesn't mean it is cornering better.

Installing shocks and springs is only a very small part of improving handling. Alignment and cross weight is the largest factor. Next is sway bars. Changing out your struts only helps keeps your tires on bumpy roads. Each race track is different. A stiff suspension on a rough track will slow you down. But it feels cool right???
You miss the point. You and only you are saying that a softer spring is always better and a stiffer spring is always worse, it's nor right nor wrong it depends on various factors.
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