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E90 suspension/handling upgrade

Discussion in 'E90/E91/E92/E93 (2006-2011)' started by sgilmore, Jul 27, 2011.

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    sgilmore

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    I am interested in improving the street handling of my '08' 335i. I have read that BMW's "performance" suspension upgrade is not very effective.

    Can anyone recommend an improvement or combination of improvements to the "Sports Package" set up from the factory?

    Thanks–
    • Member

    MGarrison

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    Depends on what you want to

    Depends on what you want to accomplish, what compromise in ride quality you're willing to accept, what uses you have for the car (winter driving, for instance, or regularly driving over potholed roads, etc.), and how much you want to spend.

    You could give it race-car-like handling, but the more extreme you go, the more likely you'll be driving around something that's beating you up with every bump. Might be great fun in the turns, but the rest of time, perhaps not so much.

    Traditionally, one change you can make that can up your lateral grip a good bit, without changing anything else, is tires.

    Too much body roll? Look at springing options (may require different dampers/shocks). Lowering the car and changing shocks get into affecting ride quality. After that you get into things that make more subtle differences - anti-swaybars, chassis stiffening/reinforcement (shocktower stressbars, chassis braces, etc), various bushings, and so on.

    Reviewers reporting on Dinan packages over the years seem to consistently comment on their combination of reasonable ride quality and excellent handling. You might find Dinan options expensive, but if your budget allows for it, they seem to be well sorted out.

    Presumably for E90's, you have many options for both packaged solutions, and component choices.

    Start with specific goals, a budget, and learn as much as you can about the effects of changing out various things with more sport-oriented components. There's not a simple answer to your question, because there are so many things you could change.
    • Member

    sgilmore

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    Thank you!

    Thanks for responding.

    I am aware of those general issues related to modifying a cars stock suspension. I have two E30's which I have modified.

    I was looking for someone who had actually done some of what you spoke of to their E90 and what the results were. I wanted to rule out things that just don't improve the cars handling or drivablity all that much. I know those things related to E30's but I'm new to E90's.

    The car is my daily driver and that was the point in buying it so I will heed your caution about making it too stiff for city roads. I would like to feel more of the "edge" then I do now and reduce roll through turns.

    I'm thinking 2-3k. as a budget.

    ManyMoonsAgo guest

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    I have a 2008 335i Coupe that

    I have a 2008 335i Coupe that came from the factory with the Sports Suspension.

    In April I had the BMW Performance Suspension installed.

    I vacillated between the BMW Performance and Dinan Stage 2 kit for quite some time. From an inventory perspective, each kit is identical - new springs, shocks/struts, 26.5mm front-sway, and all associated hardware - and my gut told me the performance of each would be very similar.



    My coupe does feel more planted and demonstrated less roll after the Performance Suspension. There are more aggressive packages out there, particularly in the form of coilovers. I was shopping for a well-matched spring-shock/strut package though and am happy with the Performance Suspension.



    That being said - the two greatest upgrades I have done in regard to my car's feel in the corners have been installing the Dinan Limited-Slip Differential and replacing the Bridgestone Run-Flats with Michelin Pilot Super Sport tires. The value of a LSD is really difficult to over-state; it totally transformed the feeling and behavior of the car as it exits turns.



    For your information, the other modifications I am running are:

    Dinan Stage 2 ECU Flash, Dinan Intercooler, Dinan Cold Air Intake, BMW Performance Exhaust, Forgestar 19" wheels (19x8.5 F and 19x10.0" R). Next week my car is heading to have ///M3 rear subframe bushings, rear guide-rods, front control arms, and front tension struts installed.
    • Member

    sgilmore

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    2008 E90 Suspension Upgrades/General Upgrades

    Thank you for your response and please let me know how you feel about the M3 parts your adding. I have heard it makes a big difference. Do you track the car?

    ManyMoonsAgo guest

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    My M3 bushing install date

    My M3 bushing install date was pushed out due to unexpected business travel, but I am on track to have everything installed on Thursday after Labor Day. I will post impressions.

    As for tracking, I have autocrossed three times (once on a bone-stock car, once on a Dinan-flashed car with Run Flats, and once with all my current mods on board). In addition to auto-crosses, I have participated in at least half a dozen poker runs with a local Porsche club.

    I am looking to participate in some Hooked On Driving events this Fall through Spring - particularily if events open up at Sebring and Road Atlanta.
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    crqflier

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    I personally think the best mod to start with is some lighter wheels. I've got BBS RSGT and they made a huge difference in the feel of the car - lost like 10 lbs per wheel/tire combo after ditching the RFT. I've also got the Dinan stage 1 - just the shocks and springs, not the sways. I think the handling/ride balance is excellent for a daily driver unless you have super bad roads.

    aj555 guest

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    Look into coilovers, springs, and other full kits. Check out stuff from Eibach, and H&R

    arabold guest

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    BMW handling

    The best way to improve the handling of a 3 series is to shave 500 pounds off it lard butt!

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