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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 Fri, Jul-28-2017, 12:35:47 AM   #1
Daily Driver
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Default OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

I have recently purchased a 2003 manual coupe with 110K miles. It has new’ish Megan Euro II coilovers, which is their street/comfort coilover. The drop looked good until I tried to get out of my downtown work parking lot and got hung up on exit. Too low. I am now at 14”, and am just making it without scraping. The coilover springs are Front - 440lbs/in and Rear – 550 lb/in. The shocks have 30 adjustment points. I cannot seem to find the sweet spot on the dampening with the shocks; that or they are not great shocks. (I suspect the latter).

I use the car as a daily driver, mostly in the city with speeds below 40 mph. I have 18” PSS tires. The roads I travel on are bad. Every block has at least one 2 ‘ wide gas line trench dug across the road that has been filled improperly, so you hit a ridge of 1” – 2” every block. The front suspension seems to handle this OK, but when the back end hits one of these ridges, it tends to launch the rear end even though I am running full soft on the shocks. Time for a new suspension setup.

This is not a track car, and I am willing to give up higher speed performance for lower speed (below 45 mph) ‘comfort’. I am not seeking a Cadillac ride, but I do need to give some consideration to my SO who suffers from a bad back. The harshness of the Megan’s are too much for the roads I drive on, so I am looking for a combination that would provide the best ‘comfort’ or compliance for the cr@# roads I drive on, within reason – this is an M3!

I have read many many threads. For a comfort oriented suspension on an M3, it seems to come down to the following:
1. OEM springs + Koni’s or Bilstein B6
2. Dinan springs + Koni’s or Bilstein B6
3. Stage 1 Dinan
4. Bilstein B12 setup

I would prefer to not raise the car above the stock ride height, which I understand the OEM + B6 does, but will do so if that is the best ride quality. I have also read conflicting reports on the B6’s being harsh. The Koni’s also get reviews of being harsh (more so than the Billy’s) but they do not have the ride height issue. To get out of my parking lot, I would like to stay at 14”, which is about the Dinan drop, but if that setup is harsher than OEM, then the Dinan’s are off the list. Same with the B12 kit.

Help me out here. Which of the above are going to be the best for my daily driving on poor city roads.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 01:39:05 AM   #2
EricSMG
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Best all around street setup is Konis+stock springs, hands down. Other setups may do certain things better, but this is the jack of all trades setup. And it's on rails at high speeds. It'll blow your current setup out of the water in every aspect except for maybe body roll. But what a small price to pay for actually being able to enjoy the car.... key point that most people seem to miss.

Konis + Dinans is close and gives you your current ride height. This will still destroy your current setup in terms of comfort. Zero question. This is the only spring/shock setup that you can get away with running the stock front strut mounts, which are mandatory for maximum comfort. Anything else is too low/soft thus requiring travel restoration, see below.

B12 is very refined and feels sophisticated but very, very firm. Zero body roll. Amazing high speed ability. Not great for bad roads or slow driving in town. This is the ultimate non-coilover performance setup. MUST use short camber plates to restore front travel which increase road feel/harshness ever so slightly, further making this setup not great for your use.
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Last edited by EricSMG; Fri, Jul-28-2017 at 01:45:54 AM.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 01:57:49 AM   #3
TboneM3
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

I can't even imagine owning this car in your situation, no matter what suspension setup.

It's a convertible right?

I'd just go back to all stock if I were you or Konis & Eibach/Dinan/stock springs at most.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 06:50:00 AM   #4
Daily Driver
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

EricSMG - thank you for you quick reply. With all your different setups, I was hoping you would weigh in with your experiences. Very helpful.

TboneM3 - it is a 6spd coupe.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 08:07:13 AM   #5
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Does OE springs + Koni really raise the ride height?
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 01:25:52 PM   #6
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Best all around street setup is Konis+stock springs, hands down. Other setups may do certain things better, but this is the jack of all trades setup. And it's on rails at high speeds. It'll blow your current setup out of the water in every aspect except for maybe body roll. But what a small price to pay for actually being able to enjoy the car.... key point that most people seem to miss.

Konis + Dinans is close and gives you your current ride height. This will still destroy your current setup in terms of comfort. Zero question. This is the only spring/shock setup that you can get away with running the stock front strut mounts, which are mandatory for maximum comfort. Anything else is too low/soft thus requiring travel restoration, see below.

B12 is very refined and feels sophisticated but very, very firm. Zero body roll. Amazing high speed ability. Not great for bad roads or slow driving in town. This is the ultimate non-coilover performance setup. MUST use short camber plates to restore front travel which increase road feel/harshness ever so slightly, further making this setup not great for your use.
Ive been running the B12 setup in NYC for about a year, i understgand what your talking about loss of front travel before bottoming the shock out. What short camber plates do you reccomend to combat this?
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 04:00:15 PM   #7
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Another vote for stock springs with Konis! And 17" wheels, if you can stomach them

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFNATIK View Post
Does OE springs + Koni really raise the ride height?
Nope. Bilsteins raise the car, Konis do not.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 05:02:26 PM   #8
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Quote:
Originally Posted by MFNATIK View Post
Does OE springs + Koni really raise the ride height?
Not at all.

Bllies + stock spring are what raise the car.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Danwilz View Post
Ive been running the B12 setup in NYC for about a year, i understgand what your talking about loss of front travel before bottoming the shock out. What short camber plates do you reccomend to combat this?
Other options may work, but I can say without question that the GC Street plates are ideal for that setup. No bearings or moving parts to get nasty or noisy plus a small amount of isolation and ~ a full inch of bump travel restoration.
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 05:15:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Thanks! This forum really needs a thanks or appreciate button haha
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Old Fri, Jul-28-2017, 08:08:31 PM   #10
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Default Re: OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12

Cmon now Eric, 'MUST' is not correct.
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Discussing OEM + shocks vs Dinan stage 1 vs B12 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)