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    Koni vs Bilstein

    Preface, I drive a 325ix.

    I recently noticed that Koni was having a sale on their struts. The sale put them in the realm of Bilstein HDs or Sports. I am trying to decide what will be best because I'd like to do it right the first time.

    I know the major differences, mono-tube, vs dual. Adjustable vs not.

    I'd like to hear some personal experiences on each strut if possible. I'm starting to lean to Bilstein because of the mono-tube design and longevity of the strut (at least what I've read). Someone said that Koni feel more "crashy" than Bilstein. I think I understand more or less what that means, but again some more input would be great.

    I'm sure the conversation has been had many times. I'm just trying to find what would work best for me.

    #2
    I have done two iXs now with Bilsteins/H&Rs, and one with Konis. My brother has Bilsteins on his iX and enjoys it but switched to coilovers, for which he used Konis. I had another rwd car with e30m3 springs and Bilsteins that rode fine. I also have Konis on my red iS and other cars that have passed through the stable.

    Konis ride/feel significantly better than Bilsteins in my case, in both simple lowering spring applications as well as coilover applications.

    I will always use Konis if I can. They make the car feel better without a noticeable difference in handling.

    I am by no means pushing my car to the limit or an expert. I've just used both several times, and every time I've done Billys I've regretted it.
    1990 Brilliantrot 325iS Build Thread
    1989 Zinnoberrot M3 Build Thread

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      #3
      Haven't experienced the Konis, but have driven on my Bilstein sports / Eibachs for nearly 10 years. The Bilsteins are firm for a daily, but I find them ok. For years I thought they were great, but my e92 with M-sport suspension is a much better ride / handling compromise. The e30 is obviously more chuckable in corners due to weight difference & firmer suspension, but with the adjustability of the Konis you can set the firmness that you like. I'd go for the Konis if I was to redo the suspension now and the price was in the same ballpark.
      My e30: OEM+ with M30B35

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        #4
        Yup I've had both also, and after trying out Koni's that's all I'd go with from now on. Bilsteins are a great shock and will last you years, but Koni's are just much more forgiving and give a more comfortable ride overall.

        Edit: I'm talking about Koni Yellow's aka Koni Adjustable's.


        1992 M tech 2 Convertible - S50 Swap
        1992 e34 Touring- S50 Swap
        1992 325i-S50 Swap

        1995 e36 M3 Mugello Red - S50
        1991 325i Convertible Laguna Green (SOLD)
        1987 325i (SOLD);1992 M tech 2 Convertible (SOLD)
        1988 325i Convertible Alpine White (SOLD)
        1991
        Brilliantrot Convertible 80k Miles (SOLD)
        1992 325i Convertible Schwarz (SOLD)
        1992 318i Convertible Project-Finished (SOLD)

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          #5
          I have the Bilstein B6 dampers on both my cars, E30 and E46. I do believe that they are firmer than most people would prefer, and I’m on HR OE sport springs on the 30.

          E30: H&R OE sport, IE 22mm sway bar, B6 struts/shocks rear. Honestly, it firmer than I expected but it is also wonderfully responsive, road feel is fantastic. Having never felt a Koni equivalent I cant be sure but I would bet the B6’s are firmer. Bumps are jarring enough to rattle the dash pretty good. At the same time, it s insanely responsive.

          on the 46, its all stock suspension with B6 on all four corners. It rides softer than the e30 but I think that’s by design. My only complaint on the 46 is a lot of road noise if the surface is rough.

          youre right in that it is very difficult to get a handle on the differences, preferences, and making a decision that makes you confident that its the right choice for you.
          My son has the 1987 325e, 2 door, 5speed
          I daily the 1989 325i, 4 door, 5speed

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            #6
            Where did you find this sale? Or is it the same price on every website? The Price I'm seeing is $542


            it's a Kenny Powers quote on wheels

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              #7
              Bilstein are fine for a car, at close to stock height. The problem is, when lowered, the fronts are too stiff and the rears are too soft - they can't keep up.

              I only install Koni yellow or red, on lowered cars anymore - they are infinitely superior, in my opinion.
              Autobahn Motorsport - Portland, Oregon
              @autobahnmotorsport
              '88 M5 | '88 325is | '88 330is | '91 M-Technic 325ic | '00 M5 | '03 325it

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                #8
                The previous owner had Bilsteins installed on my 325iX Touring, they were way to hard to daily.. (or we have just shitty roads)
                For now I have the stock Sachs shocks but I would need to go with another shock, I would go with Koni's.
                1990 325iX Touring - November 2018 R3V Car Of The Month

                1980 Volkswagen Golf mk1 1.1
                1974 BMW 2002 Touring

                Instagram

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                  #9
                  Originally posted by Das Delfin View Post
                  Where did you find this sale? Or is it the same price on every website? The Price I'm seeing is $542
                  Directly off their website seems to be the best deal.

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                    #10
                    Thank you for all the feedback on this! I think it was best said that when lowered the front compresses and the strut doesn't travel enough. That makes sense to me, especially since on the ix it's the HDs that are used. I think Koni's adjustable strut is what I'm looking for and will accommodate building coilovers in the long run through GC.

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                      #11
                      be careful getting the right koni's.
                      first...NEVER get the Koni STR-T's. they just suck and rust out immediately. these are orange.

                      for Koni sports, there are several versions of these single (rebound) adjustable dampers.
                      -one with "internal" adjustability. gotta set them before you install on car. once set, can't change it without taking strut off car.
                      -one with "top adjust". on these you can change the rebound with a knob on top without removing from car.

                      the cheap sports you see on sale are usually the internal adjust version. these are yellow.

                      the common set available is front top adjust, rear internal adjust. these are yellow

                      places like GroundControl sell the all top adjustable version. these are red.
                      Marshall
                      M2 build thread
                      http://www.bmw2002faq.com/topic/1035...es-m2-madness/

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                        #12
                        I have had both, although not both on an E30. I had bilstiens on an E46 and I have the Koni Adjustables on my E30.

                        They are both great shocks, you cant go wrong with either, I will say the ride is much better on the Koni's. If you dont mind the harder ride go with the Billies, I personally like the more comfort of the Koni's.
                        Euro Delivery Thread///E30 Project Klaus

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by Staszek View Post
                          I have had both, although not both on an E30. I had bilstiens on an E46 and I have the Koni Adjustables on my E30. They are both great shocks, you cant go wrong with either, I will say the ride is much better on the Koni's. If you dont mind the harder ride go with the Billies, I personally like the more comfort of the Koni's.
                          How is the rebound on the Konis? Some people have described them as "crashy" and I'm curious if that's related to the rebound possibly?

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                            #14
                            Originally posted by jeenyus View Post
                            How is the rebound on the Konis? Some people have described them as "crashy" and I'm curious if that's related to the rebound possibly?
                            I have heard that before, I dont think its crashy, maybe people who have it on full firm feel that way. I have mine set right in the middle and dont have issues with it.
                            Euro Delivery Thread///E30 Project Klaus

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                              #15
                              Thanks so much for your feedback. Koni is probably still the best option for daily driving it seems. Track it's undoubtedly Bilstein I think. The monotube keeps the heat down and holds up to the abuse.

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