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Bilstein Hd/sport Interchange


strictlyvanagon

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My question is this. I have  a young suspension setup (2006) of slightly lowering ST springs and Bilstein sports shocks. If I switch back to new stock springs are my sport Bilsteins going to be too short. My present ST springs  only lower the car about 30mm tops. If I have to replace both springs and shocks my kit will be for sale with receipt from Greenfield foreign auto in Greenfield Mass. Will sell springs and Bilsteins in the future seperatlly if I need to replace both to make the new stock springs work. If I cannot find new springs on this forum from a member I will buy from my local BMW dealer. I am not afraid to spend money. My local dealer beats everyones price with no shipping cost. Reason for deleting this present suspension setup: too stiff and hoppy-want a smother softer non boy racer ride. ONLY bought this kit because it was cheaper than OEM springs and Bilsteins. Live and learn!

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As a test, you could purchase the rear HD shocks and install them and take a test ride to see how they feel vs. the sports rear shocks.  If you like this combination, purchase the front HD strut inserts and leave your ST springs alone.   How do the front upper strut bearings look?  Now would be the time to replace them if doing the front.

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According to everything I've read Bilstein Sports are valved much stiffer than HDs.  I have HDs paired with H&R sport springs--lowers the car about 25-30mm (much improved handling) but the ride isn't jarring at all, just firm, as a 2002 should be.

 

I'm sure someone on the board will want your Sports shocks, or perhaps will trade their HDs for your Sports...but I'd leave your lowering springs in place.  73-76 2002s have stock springs that are about 25mm taller than the 68-72 cars--the taller springs were fitted to meet Federal bumper height requirements.  So if you're bound and determined to fit stock springs, get a set for a 68-72 car, not the later ones. 

 

cheers

mike

PS--another handling trick is larger sway bars with urethane bushings--swaybars only come into play when the car is cornering, so the stiffer urethane bushings only allow the bars to work sooner (less compressible than rubber) without affecting the car's ride. 

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From what I've heard, both Vanagon and Mike are right. On most cars, the only difference between Bilstein HDs and Sports is the length of the shocks, with Sports being for lower applications. The valving is the same. On '02s, however, the opposite is true: the length is the same (or nearly so), but the valving is different, with Sports being stiffer.

At least that used to be the case; I recall seeing a post a year or so ago that Bilstein may have been normalizing this '02 oddity on future production runs so there would be less (or no) difference in valving between the shock models. I don't recall which valving specs were supposed to prevail, though, or if it was to be somewhere in the middle. And I don't know if the rumor was even true!

-Dave

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From what I've heard, both Vanagon and Mike are right. On most cars, the only difference between Bilstein HDs and Sports is the length of the shocks, with Sports being for lower applications. The valving is the same. On '02s, however, the opposite is true: the length is the same (or nearly so), but the valving is different, with Sports being stiffer.

At least that used to be the case; I recall seeing a post a year or so ago that Bilstein may have been normalizing this '02 oddity on future production runs so there would be less (or no) difference in valving between the shock models. I don't recall which valving specs were supposed to prevail, though, or if it was to be somewhere in the middle. And I don't know if the rumor was even true!

-Dave

This is good info right here  Valving is different on 02 shocks. Not true on others like e30

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