Marks D3 Biturbo - Bilstein B12 kit fitted

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Wellsy
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Marks D3 Biturbo - Bilstein B12 kit fitted

Post by Wellsy » Thu Mar 16, 2023 10:37 am

Hey all,

What have a I done, Don't hate me but thought I'd share what I've been up too with my car. Those of you that know me and my car would of heard me say "I think my car is too low". So in November last year when the front shocks came up as misting and an advisory I thought to my self "right now is the time to refresh the suspension".
Why not go down the OEM Route, I know that's coming and don't hate me for doing something different. Well my reason was as follows.

Why did I do it. My car is 13 years old now and the suspension fitted by Alpina is SE dampers and M Sport Springs. So not Alpina specific but the combination would be specific to the D3's. I approached Swift Performance in Aylesbury who do a lot with BMW's, both track and road. We had a discussion about full OEM refresh or go down the upgrade route.
The Bilstein B12 kit actually ended up coming out less than a full OEM Spec replacement and is better quality and performs better. So I bit the bullet and ordered a full B12 kit early December with an estimated fitment date of Early Jan.
Of course parts supply has been crazy all over the world so delivery of the kit was delayed a number of times, until eventually they were fitted Tuesday 14th March. So only a 3 month delay, but nothing Swift could do about that.

How does it look. So the kit returns the car to std spec, its not lowered or extra stiff or anything like that and the difference isnt huge to be honest, the front has lifted about 5mm and the rear about 15mm. Which gives the car a much better rake in my opinion. Turns out my front dampers were so knackerd when they removed them and took the springs off there was no compression at all, so very little damping effect, Also the rears that were changed by a local garage about 3 or 4 years ago were the wrong spec. So with reduced damping all round that actually allowed the car to sit slightly lower than it should.

How does it drive, So what do I think about the kit, first impressions as i drove out of the car park at very slow speed it definitely felt stiffer, which I expected, once up and moving at normal speeds its much much better. Smoother and reassuringly stiff. I've driven car to work this morning so had a bit more of a chance to get a feel for it. On fast dual carriageways its lovely, really smooth and handles dips and bumps a lot better. Of course its wet today so didn't really do any spirited driving, but Spring is just around the corner and show season is approaching so I'll have plenty of opportunity to push on a bit and see how it feels. I can confirm the car is a lot flatter through round-about's even in the wet I could feel its was flatter and more planted.

At the same time, I also spoke to Swift about M3 lower control arms, as a lot of people mention these are a good upgrade for the E9X platform. On their advise I didn't go for these but did opt for poly bushes in the lower control arms. Which gives much the same feel as upgraded arms but doesn't change the geo settings. On the road I think I can feel a bit more of the road surface through the wheel, which is a good thing to be honest. Of course at the same time full Hunter alignment was done so that will help with the feel as well.

Conclusion - - So far I'm really impressed, the cars feels a lot more positive and purposeful now. It felt a bit soft and nervous before so I never felt I had confidence in the car. So far that has gone completely the car feels really positive now, feels planted, steering is more direct and reaction to the road is really nice.

Side note, I also changed all four tyres a few days before the suspension to PS4's all round so of course this helps as well.
E90 D3 Biturbo 2009 No114
Black with Gold Decals
Piano black interior trim (looking for trim with Gold inlay)
Upgraded Stereo system

MattOz
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Re: Marks D3 Biturbo - Bilstein B12 kit fitted

Post by MattOz » Thu Mar 16, 2023 4:37 pm

Sounds like it was well worth it Mark.

I had the Bilstein B6 kit on an old E91 330i and it was excellent. Much more compliant than the factory set up and was firm without being crashy. They whole car felt very nicely balanced and tied down.

Once it's settled a bit take some pics. 8)

Matt
G21 D3S #356

simon13
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Re: Marks D3 Biturbo - Bilstein B12 kit fitted

Post by simon13 » Thu Mar 16, 2023 8:36 pm

i thought the 4 pot D3s of this era used an SE damper but the springs are eibach to Alpina spec as they sit lower than M-sport cars
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Wellsy
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Re: Marks D3 Biturbo - Bilstein B12 kit fitted

Post by Wellsy » Fri Mar 17, 2023 10:43 am

Hi ya,
The springs are labelled D3, but I believe that refers to the BMW Spring Table rather then being specific to the D3. The new springs I have fitted are Eibach and the correct spec.
The car actually sits lovely now, much better than it was, Previously on the rear the tires were slightly tucked into the arch and the front tires were about level with the arch. For me it looked too low and a bit stanced. Now there is about a 5mm gap between both front and rear tires and the arches and the typical BMW rake is back which I love.
E90 D3 Biturbo 2009 No114
Black with Gold Decals
Piano black interior trim (looking for trim with Gold inlay)
Upgraded Stereo system

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