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Old 28th December 2015, 13:45   #1
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Default Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

I am trying to get user reviews for the following two dampers for a BMW 320d Sportline (F30):
1. Koni FSD
2. Bilstein B6

I will be happy to get user reviews / experiences of selecting and subsequent performance on the car.
Insights on using these in Indian driving conditions will be particularly helpful, including purchase and fitment experience.

Thank you motorheads!

Last edited by issigonis : 28th December 2015 at 14:06.
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Old 28th December 2015, 15:07   #2
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

I think the stock dampers on the beemer are better than the options you are looking at. You should ideally look at kits that allow electronic adjustment of dampers on the move. Bilstien offers them.
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Old 28th December 2015, 15:19   #3
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Been thinking of the same and from whatever homework I have done till now, it seems that FSD has a slight advantage of ride comfort as compared to Bilstiens but the latter is more sporty as well as longer lasting. There are reviews in either direction but this is what I could average out from all that I have read. Haven't concluded yet but from many forums, from user reviews, FSD's seem to be for those who are worried about comfort. But I wouldn't worry that much about it as I would not upgrade to sports shocks if my priority was comfort. Will make a choice after researching more, as damper upgrade is not planned to be done soon, so I have time. Thanks for starting this thread. Would like to get as much inputs on this as possible.

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Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
I think the stock dampers on the beemer are better than the options you are looking at. You should ideally look at kits that allow electronic adjustment of dampers on the move. Bilstien offers them.
Not true for F30. Its a bit too soft for sporty handling. An upgrade is very much desirable if you like to use the full potential of its motor and gearbox.

Last edited by ajaypjayaraj : 28th December 2015 at 15:23. Reason: Added info.
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Old 28th December 2015, 15:53   #4
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

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Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
I think the stock dampers on the beemer are better than the options you are looking at. You should ideally look at kits that allow electronic adjustment of dampers on the move. Bilstien offers them.
While I agree on the electronic adjusting dampers. Those are needed on the 3 series and how!
On a recent drive, there was a huge difference between my friends 320D that was bobbing like a hyundai, and another friends Accord with aftermarket Koni FSD (I believe) parts was glued to the ground.
Even around bends, the Accord kept up with the 320D, and how!

The best bet is to read reviews online as not many have carried out such a job on the 3 series in India. Based on the reviews, you can order a part and get it fitted at one of the many good workshops across town. Installation and maintenance shouldn't be an issue as long as you stick to a reliable installer and brand.

Last edited by lamborghini : 28th December 2015 at 15:54.
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Old 28th December 2015, 16:47   #5
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

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Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
While I agree on the electronic adjusting dampers. Those are needed on the 3 series and how!
On a recent drive, there was a huge difference between my friends 320D that was bobbing like a hyundai, and another friends Accord with aftermarket Koni FSD (I believe) parts was glued to the ground.
Even around bends, the Accord kept up with the 320D, and how!

The best bet is to read reviews online as not many have carried out such a job on the 3 series in India. Based on the reviews, you can order a part and get it fitted at one of the many good workshops across town. Installation and maintenance shouldn't be an issue as long as you stick to a reliable installer and brand.
In the 320d class its more about feel than absolute grip, which is already close to maxed out. Tires + suspension probably played a major role in helping the accord keep up, but it would have done it with plenty of understeer

The damper change is not going to make the 320d a lot faster. The 320d's suspension seems to only get better with speed and the jitteryness of the e90 at speed is completely gone. It's so composed it feels a little dull compared to its predecessor.
If you want to get the best of both worlds a variable damper is the way to go.
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Old 28th December 2015, 16:55   #6
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
In the 320d class its more about feel than absolute grip, which is already close to maxed out. Tires + suspension probably played a major role in helping the accord keep up, but it would have done it with plenty of understeer

The damper change is not going to make the 320d a lot faster. The 320d's suspension seems to only get better with speed and the jitteryness of the e90 at speed is completely gone. It's so composed it feels a little dull compared to its predecessor.
If you want to get the best of both worlds a variable damper is the way to go.
Hi bro,

My point being that the Accord with the suspension bits was able to keep up with the stock 3 around bends. Compared to a stock accord, it is a world of a difference, and that's what the topic is about.

Secondly - please do try the current 320D. It's not about making the car fast in a straight line, or around bends - but more about the car being planted at those speeds. The Accord felt way more composed than the 320D which was literally bobbing.
The E90 on the same road was flat out stable, as was the E60 (compared to the F10).
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Old 28th December 2015, 17:06   #7
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

I have driven f30 and the e90, both for only short stretches though.
I think the the f30 is quicker in the real world over undulating roads. Its this suppleness that I really like in the f30. E90 is a joy but is probably not as technically competent, any broken tarmac and you will need to slow right down if you want to retain your teeth.

About the car being planted around undulations I would pick the f30 any day, the e90 rear would just hop around and go light. I think going for a sporty stiff setup on the f30 will probably make the car less fast in the real world but improve feel.
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Old 28th December 2015, 17:15   #8
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
I have driven f30 and the e90, both for only short stretches though.
I think the the f30 is quicker in the real world over undulating roads. Its this suppleness that I really like in the f30. E90 is a joy but is probably not as technically competent, any broken tarmac and you will need to slow right down if you want to retain your teeth.

About the car being planted around undulations I would pick the f30 any day, the e90 rear would just hop around and go light. I think going for a sporty stiff setup on the f30 will probably make the car less fast in the real world but improve feel.
So we had a W211 E Class, and have an E60 5 series.
What you said is completely true between both these cars - the Mercedes is a little more supple and would expect it to be more fun, but the E60 is just so much more nimble and chuckable - and high speed stability is fantastic (not that the E Class wasn't).

It's a very similar case here with the F30 and the E90, but the F30 being a lot softer leading to a lot more bobbing.
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Old 28th December 2015, 17:59   #9
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by lamborghini View Post
So we had a W211 E Class, and have an E60 5 series.
What you said is completely true between both these cars - the Mercedes is a little more supple and would expect it to be more fun, but the E60 is just so much more nimble and chuckable - and high speed stability is fantastic (not that the E Class wasn't).

It's a very similar case here with the F30 and the E90, but the F30 being a lot softer leading to a lot more bobbing.
I pushed the car really hard, I don't think the f30 ever bobbed. It might have looked so from the outside? Behind the wheel it just felt competent whatever the speed.

First chance I had to drive it was at a BMW event, in the dirt around cones, it felt too soft, but rwd made it fun.

Next time I got a long TD to nandi hills, it defied expectations. It had the same softness that allowed you to play with weight transfer but never lost any control over the body.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:06   #10
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

>>>

The E90 is a stiffer chassis as compared to the F30; the latter being more usable as a daily drive. The F30's rear wriggles more although it has great grip.

I wish to get dampers which will lessen/eliminate that wriggle, especially on highways at higher average speeds.

Koni's FSD seems to have the best of both worlds - improved ride over broken surfaces and better handling as well.
Bilstein's B6 offers better handling regardless of road conditions.
This w.r.t the stock dampers.
Read somewhere that Koni offers a lifetime warranty.

Right now Koni FSD has its nose in front...

Regards

Last edited by issigonis : 28th December 2015 at 18:12.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:11   #11
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
I pushed the car really hard, I don't think the f30 ever bobbed. It might have looked so from the outside? Behind the wheel it just felt competent whatever the speed.

First chance I had to drive it was at a BMW event, in the dirt around cones, it felt too soft, but rwd made it fun.

Next time I got a long TD to nandi hills, it defied expectations. It had the same softness that allowed you to play with weight transfer but never lost any control over the body.
Not trying to argue. But the F30 does bob on the rear suspension. In fact at speeds over 100, if you go over a larger undulation it feels as though the rear is in the air for a fraction of a second (which is unnerving) even though grip is not lost at all. Compared to the E90 which really stabilizes at high speeds. There is no comparison at all.

With aftermarket dampers, that bounciness in the F30 will be totally gone making at totally stable at high speeds and keeping the better ride than the E90.

With FSDs, they are generally in the stiffer damping mode, until they hit a bump or something which makes them compress with enough force to open up another set of valves, which in turn makes them softer - so the bump is absorbed better.

If I were in this predicament, it would be the FSDs simply because I find the technology interesting. And having used Konis before I know they are made well.

People say the Bilsteins are a bit better in quality, and last longer, but who knows?

Quote:
Originally Posted by issigonis View Post
>>>

The E90 is a stiffer chassis as compared to the F30; the latter being more usable as a daily drive. The F30's rear wriggles more although it has great grip.

Regards
It is actually the F30 which has a stiffer chassis

Last edited by Akshay1234 : 28th December 2015 at 18:14.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:17   #12
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

I have a real world anecdote that proves otherwise, an e90 hit a mid corner bump at high-speed. Thanks to the stiff but non compliant suspension the rear jumped and let go, luckily driver skill saved the day. I was right behind this car in the rapid. The f30 would never have had that sort of drama. Compliance is good for real world pace, stiffness is good for track/ pebble smooth roads. The ideal suspension would be compliant with great feedback.

F30 has a distinct lack of feedback compared to its predecessor.

The reason I am suggesting electronic damper control is that you can have your cake and eat it too.


Have a look at bilstein b16 ride control. I really do think both the konis and the b6s will be worse than OEM.

Last edited by Diesel_convert : 28th December 2015 at 18:25. Reason: Didn't see reply
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:26   #13
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Diesel_convert View Post
Have a look at bilstein b16 ride control. I really do think both the konis and the b6s will be worse than OEM.
OEM shocks are made by Bilstein too I believe. B6s may be slightly stiffer at lower speeds, but will still be better damped (no thuds). At higher speeds it will be a totally different story.

I would be tempted to get FSDs on my E90 if I was planning on keeping the car a few more years.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:38   #14
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Driving the F30 for 3000 kms so far, i agree that the rear end is touch too soft. Comparing it to Hyundai would be exaggerating but the rear end is not planted over sharp undulations. This is the price one has to pay for superlative ride comfort, there were so many complaints of teeth breaking ride in e90 that BMW went a bit overboard this time. Lateral grip is fantastic but then us enthusiasts would always prefer stiffer dampers. Another issue with this car is that you are unable to judge speed unless you see the speedo, the same stretch where am at 60-70 in other cars, am always doing 90-95 in the 3 series.

What is the cost of FSD's? I had contacted Petes and he told that B6 will cost around 1.15 for F30. How much stiffer is the ride on B6 compared to stock? Do not want to compromise a lot on that front keeping pathetic roads around north India, love the butter smooth ride right now on 16" wheels.

Bilstein offers lifetime warranty all over the world but India gets a 2 year warranty if am not wrong.
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Old 28th December 2015, 18:50   #15
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Default re: Dampers for the BMW 320d (F30) - Koni FSD vs Bilstein B6?

Quote:
Originally Posted by akshay1234 View Post
I would be tempted to get FSDs on my E90 if I was planning on keeping the car a few more years.
Get it bro!
You know a couple of members who are eyeing your car - I am sure they (or in some cases, the 'other users') would appreciate a more compliant everyday car.
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