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Old 20th November 2013, 11:16   #1
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Default BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

I'd be booking a BMW 320d Sports Line in the first/second week of December. The stock ground clearance of the car has been recently raised to 158mm which kinda kills the look and aggression. I'm planning to get the car lowered at all cost right after picking it up but don't wanna compromise on comfort/ride quality either. I'm considering the following options, would be great if you can suggest me an ideal option and help me out.

1. H&R Sport Springs with stock dampers (Current Preference)
2. H&R Sport Springs with Bilstein B8 performance dampers
3. KW V1/V2 coilover suspension
4. Bilstein B14 coilover suspension

I wouldn't mind investing in coilovers but the car would be my daily drive to college hence an outright performance suspension is not what I'm looking for. Body roll isn't really an issue here. I just want something that would lower the car by about 1.2"-1.4" max and still offer a comfortable drive with 4-5 people on board.

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Old 20th November 2013, 11:38   #2
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Default re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

OT, but thanks for letting us know that they have increased the ground clearance, it is good news for some of us :-)
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Old 20th November 2013, 13:13   #3
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdiSinghV12 View Post
The stock ground clearance of the car has been recently raised to 158mm
Neat info, thanks for sharing! That's 18 mm over the earlier spec.

Quote:
I'm planning to get the car lowered at all cost right after picking it up
May I suggest first living with it for while? Chances are, you might get used to it (or it isn't as bad as you think now). Plus, suspension mods could negatively affect those terrific warranty & service packages that BMW offers.

Quote:
if you can suggest me an ideal option and help me out.
Here's some alternatives:

- Check if BMW has stock of the older spec car. Simply buy that

- Coil-overs might be a bit too much for a brand new ride. Since ride height is your only issue, just get a drop (shorter) springs. H&R Springs with your stock dampers seems to be the safest option.

However, and again, do first drive with the stock setup for a while. You never know...
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Old 20th November 2013, 15:24   #4
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

I would go with GTO's thoughts
1. Try and buy an older lot car. Chances are it would be even more cheaper.
2. Live it for a while and check if it grows on you.

Additionally, check how has BMW raised the ride height. Most probably, they would have used longer springs with near similar damping. You could check with BMW spares itself and try and get shorter OEM springs. This could be the best option if the assumptions are valid. No warranty void.

On a different note, did you check with BMW why they have increased the height. I am positive there would have been some issues reported regarding scraping or similar OR the high ride height gives them more cushion to soften the suspension for more comfort.

Last edited by dipen : 20th November 2013 at 15:25.
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Old 20th November 2013, 16:30   #5
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Neat info, thanks for sharing! That's 18 mm over the earlier spec.

May I suggest first living with it for while? Chances are, you might get used to it (or it isn't as bad as you think now). Plus, suspension mods could negatively affect those terrific warranty & service packages that BMW offers.

Here's some alternatives:

- Check if BMW has stock of the older spec car. Simply buy that

- Coil-overs might be a bit too much for a brand new ride. Since ride height is your only issue, just get a drop (shorter) springs. H&R Springs with your stock dampers seems to be the safest option.

However, and again, do first drive with the stock setup for a while. You never know...
Been a while since the suspension height is raised to 158mm so I doubt a previous spec car would be available, GTO. From what I have heard, changing ONLY the springs makes the car bouncy. Is it true? Maybe you can shed some more light on this as I have never driven a car with aftermarket lowering springs to be honest. And your opinions are certainly valuable but the 158mm car looked too high for a sports sedan. Previous 140mm was fine but after this height increase things have gone worse and since I'm planning to get 18" rims as well, lowering the car has become a must

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
I would go with GTO's thoughts
1. Try and buy an older lot car. Chances are it would be even more cheaper.
2. Live it for a while and check if it grows on you.

Additionally, check how has BMW raised the ride height. Most probably, they would have used longer springs with near similar damping.
I so badly wish that the damping is kept same. The effect of the lowering springs on them would not be much in that case. As I mentioned above, the 140mm cars are probably sold out and with 158mm, the car looks too high so a slight lowering be it of any kind is a must.

Last edited by AdiSinghV12 : 20th November 2013 at 16:32.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 10:41   #6
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Did you check from BMW spares, if the older models have a shorter spring. If yes you could swap your new car with a BMW OEM part; thus maintaining the warranty too.

Also sharing a valid thought on altering the ride height, even though your car would have a multi link and not a McPherson one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satya430 View Post
Hi prithiwi_81

Please be a little careful when you adjust the height as it vastly affects the suspension geometry . That will alter the handling .

Say For example in a McPherson Strut . You want to lower the car ( effectively CG) so that you get better handling and lower body roll in corners . If you shorten the strut length your ride height will go down but your roll stiffness may be decreased due to change in the control arm position. Please keep suspension geometry in mind before changing the ride height .

Also when you change the ride height , you probably turn the special screw on your strut which holds the spring . This apart form changing the spring length alters it's preload and stiffness ( if a progressive spring ) and will bring about changes in your ride quality .
Post source : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...ml#post3300125 (My Laura with a Bilstein B14 suspension & many other Mods)

Last edited by dipen : 22nd November 2013 at 10:44.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 12:39   #7
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by dipen View Post
Did you check from BMW spares, if the older models have a shorter spring. If yes you could swap your new car with a BMW OEM part; thus maintaining the warranty too.

Also sharing a valid thought on altering the ride height, even though your car would have a multi link and not a McPherson one.



Post source : http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/modifi...ml#post3300125 (My Laura with a Bilstein B14 suspension & many other Mods)
All they said was the 'suspension is raised'. My bet would be same what you said. Most probably the springs are changed to longer ones. Considering this situation, how about finalising on the H&R Sports springs only and keeping the dampers same ? The drop is very subtle (1.4" front and rear).
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Old 22nd November 2013, 13:13   #8
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by AdiSinghV12 View Post
Any more suggestions ? I'm kinda tilting towards the just changing the stock springs to H&R Sports but I have no clue how the car would tackle regular roads with 5 people on board.
I don't drive a Bimmer, but I use a similar set up (H&R Sports springs + stock dampers) in my Polo.

Honestly speaking, if you're looking for any sorta comfort, forget it. You'll find none.
Even the smallest bump on the road is magnified into a huge one inside the vehicle.

With two people on-board, I leave a mark on every Bangalore speed breaker, literally.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 13:30   #9
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Quote:
Originally Posted by speed kills View Post
I don't drive a Bimmer, but I use a similar set up (H&R Sports springs + stock dampers) in my Polo.

Honestly speaking, if you're looking for any sorta comfort, forget it. You'll find none.
Even the smallest bump on the road is magnified into a huge one inside the vehicle.

With two people on-board, I leave a mark on every Bangalore speed breaker, literally.
Ahh I see.

Well I haven't been to Bangalore lately but I guess the road scenario is similar to Mumbai ? I'm planning to do a lot of trips with 4-5 people on board so going by what you said, I may land in embarrassing situations often.

What should I do then ? Coilovers ?
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Old 22nd November 2013, 14:26   #10
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

I wouldnt advise any sort of mechanical mods on these high end cars unless it is your spare drive and you dont mind spending additional time at service centers. All the options are only if you are hell bent.

HR, Bilsten, etc - These are never extensively tested on Indian cars or Indian conditions. They can never match factory levels of refinement.

In most reviews that your read online, the roads are way better to withstand the imperpection of these suspension mods.

I have been in lowered cars with stiffened suspension in India. Half of the owners phycologically feel that the harsh ride results in better grip on the roads. But what I observed is that the stiff ride often unsettles the car in case of road adulation. The jerks that you will feel, the unwanted noises will ruin the experience of the sport luxury sedan. You dont want your passengers to complain that even a Laura is way more comfortable than your 3er very often too.

There are no high speed corners that your 3er will not be able to handle effectively in stock form. Save the greens for the performance upgrade package.

Rationally thinking if BMW India has decided to raise the ride height, it would be for a practical reason. Might be they are experiencing too many warranty claims for underbody hits or customers are complaining of scraping way too often.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 17:19   #11
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade-1450163_628917587172286_1712937276_n.jpg

Dipen, whatever you just said makes complete sense but have a look at the pic. This gigantic GC is kind of a deal breaker and needs to be lowered a bit at any cost. The only dilemma now is whether to go with springs...or go with the coilovers. My priority, as I said above is slight lowering but just can't compromise on the ride quality/comfort so looking for something that is a fusion of all this.

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Old 22nd November 2013, 19:09   #12
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Have already advised you buddy. First get the get, then get the rims you want. Then think about suspension upgrades.

Now if you are fixed on a suspension upgrade, then either swap to the suspension from the lower Gc F30s.

Another option is to import springs from the UK or anywhere in Europe where the F30s are lower already.

The third option is the M sport suspension. These are coilovers too if I'm not mistaken. This is a good option, but will be expensive.

Now if you do want to go aftermarket get coilovers, only changing springs will not be good since I don't think the shocks will be able to handle the shorter springs well.

Coilovers like KW or TEIN will be good, but again are expensive.

The bottom line is, if you want to do it, do it right. Changing only springs will make the car look good but it will not be a balanced set up.
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Old 22nd November 2013, 19:30   #13
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

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Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
Have already advised you buddy. First get the get, then get the rims you want. Then think about suspension upgrades.

Now if you are fixed on a suspension upgrade, then either swap to the suspension from the lower Gc F30s.

Another option is to import springs from the UK or anywhere in Europe where the F30s are lower already.

The third option is the M sport suspension. These are coilovers too if I'm not mistaken. This is a good option, but will be expensive.

Now if you do want to go aftermarket get coilovers, only changing springs will not be good since I don't think the shocks will be able to handle the shorter springs well.

Coilovers like KW or TEIN will be good, but again are expensive.

The bottom line is, if you want to do it, do it right. Changing only springs will make the car look good but it will not be a balanced set up.
The 'get' will be booked on 9th December! 18" rims I have already placed an order which will be here by the time I take the delivery.

I'll have to do some research on realoem.com so that I have a clear picture of what all differences are there in the Indian and European spec F30s. If it's only the springs then I might just do what you said but if the shocks are different then it wouldn't make much sense.

Last edited by AdiSinghV12 : 22nd November 2013 at 19:31.
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Old 27th November 2013, 23:58   #14
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

After an extensive research, I have finalised on the BC Racing BR Series coilovers. My other considerations were the KW V2 and the Bilstein B14 but finalised on the BC Racing because it's the only one out of the three which can go the highest and the lowest because of its fully threaded design and also has 30 point adjustable dampers. The B14 doesn't even offer adjustable dampers for 1.8L and the KW V2 has less scope for height adjustment hence considering everything I have chosen the BC Racing BR Series. Will place the order in a week.
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Old 28th November 2013, 00:00   #15
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Default Re: BMW 3 Series (F30) - Suspension Upgrade

Here is the link of the product;
http://www.bc-racing.co.uk/br-series-coilovers
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