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      10-31-2019, 08:19 PM   #1
cmb570
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Lowering choices

Tossing around idea of lowering my car. Mainly for looks, not too low but fill in the wheel gaps better. But looking at BC coil-overs or just lowering springs like H& R. Question is do you think the coil-overs are worth the money or just swap springs ??


BC Coil-overs
https://www.vividracing.com/racing-t...152645703.html

or
https://www.vividracing.com/racing-t...152645704.html

Lowering springs
https://www.vividracing.com/racing-t...152645703.html

THanks for your input. Any real world experience with these products would be great.

Last edited by cmb570; 10-31-2019 at 08:30 PM..
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      10-31-2019, 08:27 PM   #2
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If you don't want to change the shocks, the KW HAS kit is probably a good option, but I think this will shorter the life of the stock shocks

Otherwise the KW V3s are always a good choice
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      10-31-2019, 08:46 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MyM2See View Post
If you don't want to change the shocks, the KW HAS kit is probably a good option, but I think this will shorter the life of the stock shocks

Otherwise the KW V3s are always a good choice
Coilovers are easier to put on than springs, for what it's worth. I would let let deter you from going coilovers.

That being said, I've ran H&R springs for a year now. Combination of daily and a half dozen or so track days a year.

Works great.
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      10-31-2019, 09:17 PM   #4
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I'd look at the Dinan setup for your needs.
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      11-01-2019, 09:46 AM   #5
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any feedback on BC Coil overs ?
KW seem popular
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      11-07-2019, 11:08 AM   #6
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Swift M4 Spec-R on M2C:

https://f87.bimmerpost.com/forums/sh....php?t=1663948
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      11-09-2019, 09:28 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by detroitm2 View Post
Coilovers are easier to put on than springs, for what it's worth. I would let let deter you from going coilovers.

That being said, I've ran H&R springs for a year now. Combination of daily and a half dozen or so track days a year.

Works great.
I can't agree with that. Doing just the springs is incredibly easy since you don't need to take the front strut out of the lower clamp (just lean the strut assembly out of the wheel well).

H&R springs are the cheapest and easiest way to get nice drop without sacrificing much ride comfort.
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      11-09-2019, 11:19 AM   #8
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The problem with this thread and many more like it is that they don't really uncover the real issues.

1. ALL lowering springs will shorten the life of your struts, period. Some ride more harshly than others, the prices differ, but all will kill your struts. If that doesn't bother you, then it's your cheapest and easiest option.

2. There is literally no set of coil-overs that will shorten your ride height to make a decent gap front and rear and preserve the stock ride quality, they all make it more harsh, and all can be a PITA to set up.

BMW tax or not, there is no easy solution to this problem, and oh how I wish there were.

I do wonder if any of these coil-over kits come pre-set to where it drops the rear a bit, and the front by the exact margin it needs to in order to even the gap, but I don't think any of them do. If they did, that might be a selling point, as coil-over set-up is a pain.
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      11-12-2019, 10:46 AM   #9
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FWIW, I have had Ohlins R/T installed for six months now and I would not do it again. The handling has never been the same, steering feel has gone from darty and playful to lumpen and inert. I am doing one last try, a third and final alignment, if that doesn't fix it the suspension goes in the bin, stock bits go back in and I sell the car. That's how disappointed I am. Don't make the same mistake !
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      11-13-2019, 01:25 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualEcho View Post
The problem with this thread and many more like it is that they don't really uncover the real issues.

1. ALL lowering springs will shorten the life of your struts, period. Some ride more harshly than others, the prices differ, but all will kill your struts. If that doesn't bother you, then it's your cheapest and easiest option.
I always wondered if this was the case with all(including moderate drop) lowering springs and was kinda hesitant on installing them.
Whatís the reasoning for the premature failure?
Increased spring rates causing shocks to operate at high rate of cycles/speed?
Or any other stress to shock assembly itself?
Is there any credible data to back up such claim?

Iím not doubting your statement, just trying to fully understand the root cause.
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      11-13-2019, 06:45 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwater4me View Post
I always wondered if this was the case with all(including moderate drop) lowering springs and was kinda hesitant on installing them.
Whatís the reasoning for the premature failure?
Increased spring rates causing shocks to operate at high rate of cycles/speed?
Or any other stress to shock assembly itself?
Is there any credible data to back up such claim?

Iím not doubting your statement, just trying to fully understand the root cause.
I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert, but I do have friends in the field, and they tell me that factory struts are purchased for pennies, and are designed to last x amount of miles based on a certain range of movement and with a specific spring/damping rate (so basically all the things you mentioned). The worst news is that the issue seems to be pervasive across all brands.

But since I offer no proof, you can take my comments with a grain of salt.
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      11-13-2019, 10:33 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualEcho View Post

I'll be the first to admit I'm no expert, but I do have friends in the field, and they tell me that factory struts are purchased for pennies,and are designed to last x amount of miles based on a certain range of movement and with a specific spring/damping rate (so basically all the things you mentioned). The worst news is that the issue seems to be pervasive across all brands.

But since I offer no proof, you can take my comments with a grain of salt.
My experiences may be anecdotal but I fully agree with what you said. Lowering springs will absolutely destroy stock shocks. The only viable solution is to find shocks that are designed for lowering springs. Bilstein does this, but they don't make them for the M2.
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      11-13-2019, 11:02 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacletteMan View Post
My experiences may be anecdotal but I fully agree with what you said. Lowering springs will absolutely destroy stock shocks. The only viable solution is to find shocks that are designed for lowering springs. Bilstein does this, but they don't make them for the M2.
Off topic but you have had a great collection of eclectic cars!
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      11-13-2019, 12:34 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacletteMan View Post
My experiences may be anecdotal but I fully agree with what you said. Lowering springs will absolutely destroy stock shocks. The only viable solution is to find shocks that are designed for lowering springs. Bilstein does this, but they don't make them for the M2.
My issue has always been (across several brands) finding coil-over's that ride softer than stock (without being under-damped), even though they lower a bit. And the weird thing is that we're not talking about dropping 2" here, usually 10 to 15mm in the rear, and 15-25mm in the front (that pesky front gap is almost always larger). But it's super hard to find such a thing, and by ALL accounts the M2 needs such, with the stock suspension being unnecessarily crashy for only the sake of "feeling" more sporty.

I don't mind dropping $2K on coil-overs as opposed to $500 on springs, but there just doesn't seem to be a clear winner here. The only thing I know for sure is NOT to go with BC Racing, as they believe EVERYONE wants to race their car, and offer nothing but terrible street rates.

15-25mm never caused so much damn trouble as it does in lowering.
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      11-13-2019, 01:34 PM   #15
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Assuming the same spring rate as OE, lowering springs alone shouldn't shorten the life of dampers unless the piston is reaching the end of physical travel. If you look inside a damper it's just a piston head, piston, and cylinder filled with oil. It shouldn't be position sensitive unless, it's reaching the end of travel and impacting things, but your bump stops should prevent that.

Stiffer springs by their nature reduce the critical damping of the damper, and thus as the damper wears will feel underdamped sooner, but that has nothing to do with lowering.

Some of the F2x/F3x springs BMW offers (either OE on models or M-performance line) have virtually the same spring rate as the M2 springs, but are shorter by about an inch.

Back to the bump stop point, if you go lower you'll want to either get shorter bump stops or trim your existing ones to maintain similar damper travel without engaging them. When the bump stops are engaged they boost the spring rate, and in doing so can create more work for the damper along with making the ride worse depending on how hard they're engaged.
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      11-14-2019, 05:11 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Megator View Post
Off topic but you have had a great collection of eclectic cars!
Thanks a lot
Best out of the bunch was the W124 500E. Miss it a lot !
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      11-14-2019, 05:34 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VisualEcho View Post
My issue has always been (across several brands) finding coil-over's that ride softer than stock (without being under-damped), even though they lower a bit. And the weird thing is that we're not talking about dropping 2" here, usually 10 to 15mm in the rear, and 15-25mm in the front (that pesky front gap is almost always larger). But it's super hard to find such a thing, and by ALL accounts the M2 needs such, with the stock suspension being unnecessarily crashy for only the sake of "feeling" more sporty.

I don't mind dropping $2K on coil-overs as opposed to $500 on springs, but there just doesn't seem to be a clear winner here. The only thing I know for sure is NOT to go with BC Racing, as they believe EVERYONE wants to race their car, and offer nothing but terrible street rates.

15-25mm never caused so much damn trouble as it does in lowering.
While my Ohlins certainly do not ride softer than stock, at 18 clicks they are not noticeably firmer. I do have the 160nm rear spring rate, which is one of two variants of the M2 kit that Ohlins sells here. The 160nm is intended for street use, the 190nm for tracking.

What I am very disappointed about with the Ohlins is the steering which to my opinion never felt the same after I had the suspension installation. I do not know if the suspension causes this, if it is the alignment or the fact that I run slightly more aggressive wheels in the summer. I did have to use spacers to reuse the stock wheels with winter wheels as otherwise they would rub against the strut. So I don't even know if the Ohlins cause this.

I am not certain that my issues are due to the Ohlins. Unfortunately most shops around here don't seem to have a freaking clue what they are doing and don't seem to understand my issue, much less attempt to resolve it. I had the same issue with the KW V3 on the 1M. 3 different adjustments, but no one who knew what to do with them.

If you have a shop that is competent or if you have the tools and knowledge to do the install and adjustments yourself , and if ride quality is what you are after, than you could probably be happy with the Ohlins with 160nm springs in the rear. Of course I may be biased, but the steering issue makes me look at the Ohlins in a rather negative way, and even then, I can't fault the ride quality.
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Last edited by RacletteMan; 11-14-2019 at 05:44 AM..
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      11-14-2019, 05:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Assuming the same spring rate as OE, lowering springs alone shouldn't shorten the life of dampers unless the piston is reaching the end of physical travel. If you look inside a damper it's just a piston head, piston, and cylinder filled with oil. It shouldn't be position sensitive unless, it's reaching the end of travel and impacting things, but your bump stops should prevent that.

Stiffer springs by their nature reduce the critical damping of the damper, and thus as the damper wears will feel underdamped sooner, but that has nothing to do with lowering.

Some of the F2x/F3x springs BMW offers (either OE on models or M-performance line) have virtually the same spring rate as the M2 springs, but are shorter by about an inch.

Back to the bump stop point, if you go lower you'll want to either get shorter bump stops or trim your existing ones to maintain similar damper travel without engaging them. When the bump stops are engaged they boost the spring rate, and in doing so can create more work for the damper along with making the ride worse depending on how hard they're engaged.
It would be interesting to find out in what way a shock like the Bilstein B8, made to be matched to lowering springs, differs from the B6 which is an OEM replacement.
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      11-14-2019, 07:22 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacletteMan View Post
Unfortunately most shops around here don't seem to have a freaking clue what they are doing and don't seem to understand my issue, much less attempt to resolve it.
Living in a town of about 40,000, this is the story of my life. So much I've learned in my life was due to the fact that no one else around knew it.
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      11-14-2019, 12:03 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacletteMan View Post
It would be interesting to find out in what way a shock like the Bilstein B8, made to be matched to lowering springs, differs from the B6 which is an OEM replacement.
I've had both in hand (for the F2x/F3x), and the B8 has a shorter damper cartridge body. With the B6 front strut assembly, if you're lowered .5" it's already engaging the internal bump stop (which is kind of long and really soft). The B8 (and B14/16) has a shorter damper cartridge body so the piston has more travel before the outer strut housing engages the bump stop against it. Additionally the B8 bump stop is shorter and stiffer.

Here's a picture of the damper cartridge and bump stop in the B6 front strut:

Last edited by FaRKle!; 11-14-2019 at 12:12 PM..
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      11-19-2019, 11:48 AM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FaRKle! View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by RacletteMan View Post
It would be interesting to find out in what way a shock like the Bilstein B8, made to be matched to lowering springs, differs from the B6 which is an OEM replacement.
I've had both in hand (for the F2x/F3x), and the B8 has a shorter damper cartridge body. With the B6 front strut assembly, if you're lowered .5" it's already engaging the internal bump stop (which is kind of long and really soft). The B8 (and B14/16) has a shorter damper cartridge body so the piston has more travel before the outer strut housing engages the bump stop against it. Additionally the B8 bump stop is shorter and stiffer.

Here's a picture of the damper cartridge and bump stop in the B6 front strut:
[img]
View post on imgur.com
[/img]
Very interesting thanks !
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      11-19-2019, 01:33 PM   #22
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I drove a car with Ohlins and I was impressed by the front end grip. But to be fair the car was M2C on Cup 2 tires compared to my M2 on PSS (with H&R springs).
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