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Trying to decide to replace shocks or go full coil overs

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    Trying to decide to replace shocks or go full coil overs

    Hey guys,

    I have had my E30 down for a little while now since I'm replacing most of the suspension wear parts at the moment. So since I have thee control arms off and the struts removed I figured it would be a good time to replace the shocks since I have no idea how old the ones that are installed currently are. The previous owner installed what I think is the bilstein shocks with eibach lowering spring kit. I haven't really had any issues with ride quality or anything like that, but since it is a bit of work to get to this point I am wondering if I should just replace the shocks with some new bilsteins, or should I bite the bullet and go full coilovers (was looking at the complete ground control kit).

    Basically just wanted to hear some thoughts or pros to going with coil overs. Obviously with the way things are in the world right now its probably not a great time for me to be spending a bunch of money but I wan't to get my E30 back on the road.

    I just use the car as a street car right now it has not seen any track use. That being said I would love to get into it one of these days when I get more time. Anyways thanks for any thoughts or opinions.

    Also, if there is anything that I should be replacing as while I am in there kind of parts let me know. Here is the list I am at now.
    • Front Control Arms with all new ball joints
    • Tie rods
    • Upper Strut mounts
    • Sway Bar end links
    • All the bushings have been switched to poly about a year ago
    Thanks again.

    When faced with this question, I decided to refresh my suspension with mostly OE components (mounts, bushings, control arms, etc) and a solid spring/strut combination (H&R OE Sport Springs and Bilstein shocks). I track my car a couple weekends a year and I'm very happy with my setup. I'm not interested in how low the car can go or the added adjustability coil overs provide, but I do understand and I have experienced the benefits that adjustable rebound/compression and corner weighting provide.

    My opinion is just go the simple route of a solid spring/strut combo. Refresh the other things that you can while you're in there.


      Sounds like a simple IE3/Race Springs with Bilstein sport shocks set would fit your needs. Tho I’m a bit biased because this is what I run haha.
      Do keep in mind the difference between progressive vs linear springs, and the quality of roads around you.
      "Time doesn't heal anything... It just teaches us how to live with the pain." - My Cracked Dashboard


        For a street car, a good set of shocks and springs will be more than enough. H&R Sport or OE Sport are popular street car spring set ups that give a mild drop without sacrificing practicality. Bilstein or Koni Sport shocks will work great with those springs as well.

        The GC coilover route is a great solution if you need custom spring rates, but for a daily driver or weekend cruiser, not really necessary. One of my e30's is on Bilstein HD shocks w/ H&R OE Sport, and it works perfectly fine for daily driving. My other e30 is on the GC coilover conversion kit (unmodified strut housings) with GC Koni top adjustable shocks and it's surprisingly not too harsh for street driving, especially with the stiffer auto-x spring rates.

        Albeit more expensive, there are benefits to the complete GC kit, namely the custom valved shocks, strut mounted sway bar tabs, camber plates, and beefier rear shock mounts. Also the rear shocks are top adjustable, which is great for quick adjustments vs the off-the-shelf Koni sport shocks which require removal from the car to adjust. Having experimented on my e36 328 with Koni + H&R springs, GC conversion kit + Koni Sports, and the full GC Street/Touring package, I should have gone with the complete GC kit from the get-go, but the H&R springs and Koni shocks were by no means bad and worked great for daily driving.

        I'd say go for a ride in cars with suspensions setups you're considering, as its all subjective. That way you'll know first hand how they feel before deciding to spend money on them.


          OEM e30 front are coilovers.