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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 09:02:33 PM   #1
R60BBA
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Default Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

M3Forum members,

I'm looking at refreshing my 80,000 mile OEM suspension this year but am stuck between replacing with new OEM Sachs or switching to the Bilstein B12 Pro Kit (Bilstein B6 dampers & Eibach Pro Kit Lowering Springs).

I have heard that the B12 Kit while firmer provides better handling than the OEM Sachs set up, however from a stance perspective the front sits higher than stock...

I welcome those who have tried both set-ups to share their experiences in this thread.

N.B. I intend to use the car for fast road use and up to 4 track days per year.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 09:07:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

Billys will blow stock away. Even konis with eibachs. I wouldn't worry about ride height too much - it'll never really be what you want with a shock/spring combo. Might get close with Vogtland's nice and even 1" all around drop. There was a set for sale on here for a good price recently.

My plan, if I don't come across a better pair of dampers for cheap, is to get billy struts and have the gas pressure lessened a bit and inner bump stop shortened.
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Last edited by TboneM3; Sun, Jan-06-2019 at 09:23:28 PM.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 09:34:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

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Originally Posted by TboneM3 View Post
Billys will blow stock away. Even konis with eibachs. I wouldn't worry about ride height too much - it'll never really be what you want with a shock/spring combo. Might get close with Vogtland's nice and even 1" all around drop. There was a set for sale on here for a good price recently.

My plan, if I don't come across a better pair of dampers for cheap, is to get billy struts and have the gas pressure lessened a bit and inner bump stop shortened.
Thanks for your feedback, however I would like for this thread to solely concentrate on people's experience of using either a new set of OEM Sachs or the Bilstein B12 kit.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 09:47:42 PM   #4
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

Well one is better than the other what do you want?

You could also search. Both these options have been around for years.
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Evolve-R Alpha N Evolve CSL CF Airbox Eventuri Scoop Supersprint V1 stepped 2.5" SS V1 S pipes 2.5" + 200 cell HFC OE sect 2 SCZA 2.5" sect 3 Besian RE pullies WPC'd OE bearings oil catch can fan/SAP/washer delete CSL battery

GroundControl S/A Koni (Hyperco/Eibach 300/550) + tall RSMs Hotchkis front sway (med) rear strut bar TMS camber & subframe plates SPC alum rear camber arms RE trans mounts AKG poly subf/diff 95a SDW RTAB weighted ///M knob + ZHP alcantara boot + UUC DSSR + delrin bushing Mason clutch pedal + brass bushing TMS black pedals delrin brake pedal bushing

OE CSL trunk Sportline 8S 18"x8.5/9.5" MPSS 245/275 APEX 75mm Studs 12mm/10mm F/R spacers Brembo 996 4 pot 36/40 345mm CSL & 28/30 328mm CSL ZHP "712" rack Pioneer/CDT/Eclipse/Kicker
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 09:54:50 PM   #5
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

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Originally Posted by TboneM3 View Post
Well one is better than the other what do you want?

You could also search. Both these options have been around for years.
Iíve done quite a lot of research, and from reading various threads on numerous forums it seems like there is a mixed opinion on the B12 kit.

Also there is no thread out there which concentrates solely on these 2 suspension set ups. Thus to contain all this information in one thread would be quite useful I think.
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 10:13:05 PM   #6
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

If you don't specifically want a sharper, edgier ride then don't get the Bilsteins. They will behave better than your 80k Sachs but won't be as comfortable on the road. Koni's are generally accepted as a better all-around damper when using stock springs.

Search for EricSMG's posts, or wait for him to chime in here...
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Old Sun, Jan-06-2019, 10:25:30 PM   #7
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

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Originally Posted by twentyseven View Post
If you don't specifically want a sharper, edgier ride then don't get the Bilsteins. They will behave better than your 80k Sachs but won't be as comfortable on the road. Koni's are generally accepted as a better all-around damper when using stock springs.

Search for EricSMG's posts, or wait for him to chime in here...
Thanks for the feedback, much appreciated.

I welcome otherís opinions.
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Old Mon, Jan-07-2019, 02:32:06 AM   #8
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

Quote:
Originally Posted by twentyseven View Post
If you don't specifically want a sharper, edgier ride then don't get the Bilsteins. They will behave better than your 80k Sachs but won't be as comfortable on the road. Koni's are generally accepted as a better all-around damper when using stock springs.

Search for EricSMG's posts, or wait for him to chime in here...
Nuts how polarized people are on this. I have read consistent, similar and good reviews on the billies which leads me to think they are a superior shock. The biggest controversy is the final ride hwifht on them.
They are 623 right now on ecs, really tempted to pick them up to replace my B4's.
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Old Mon, Jan-07-2019, 03:46:47 AM   #9
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

The B12 kit will blow the Sachs/stock springs out of the water it terms of handling/roll/response/tightness. The B12 is very......taught. Totally different than stock. It can be a little firm at times, though. It will eventually settle at around a half inch drop from stock all around which looks killer.

All that said, fresh Sachs on an otherwise fresh factory setup is quite plush and still handles very good. So it depends on if you want max comfort or more of an edge.

In between these two options sits the Koni/Dinan setup. Less aggressive than B12 but more sporty than stock....same drop as B12....ish.
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Old Mon, Jan-07-2019, 04:46:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit

Be prepared to wait. I ordered mine a few months ago and they aren't expected to be in stock, anywhere, for another few months. I just installed a set of the B6 all around until my B12 order comes in. My car had been using KW V1's and it was just too harsh.
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Discussing Suspension - OEM Sachs vs Bilstein B12 Pro Kit in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)