One of the most popular methods to lower a vehicle is to equip the car with a coilover suspension kit. The standard procedure in most cases is to find the least expensive, lowest, and most adjustable coilovers available. These coilovers are then immediately fitted to the car, slammed to their absolute lowest setting, and forgotten. While this is technically a way to lower your BMW E9x 335i, the best way to statically lower your vehicle is on coilovers designed for your driving style. We have a few tips and recommendations that will make your search for the right coilovers easy while helping you confidently make the right buying decision.
Whether you take your BMW E90 335i to the track every weekend or if your car never leaves a public road, coilovers are generally the best way to achieve affordable performance and aesthetic benefits. The ability to fully adjust the ride height, dampening force, and sometimes, even more, gives the coilover style suspension a wider range of peak performance. Ideally, a coilover is adjusted to compensate for the sprung and unsprung weight by adjusting the rebound and compression respectively in order to maintain as much contact between the tires and the track as possible. This gives your tires the best ability to transmit power to the ground for as long as is allowed by your suspension before g-forces and body roll reduces traction.
With that in mind, how you drive your car and for what it is primarily used will determine how aggressive a setup you need. There is no ‘perfect’ universal coilover system, but there are definitely easy ways to figure out your perfect coilover choice to fully enjoy the driving experience in your BMW E90 335i.
Daily Driven Cars
If you are like most people interested in modifying your BMW 335i, chances are high the car in which you will be installing your new coilovers is the same car you drive on a daily basis. For someone interested in more than just eliminating wheel gap, coilovers give you the most adjustability at the best price. The biggest concerns here will be how low the coilovers can safely drop, what the cost of the kit will be, and how comfortable the ride quality will be. We suggest anyone looking to drive their car comfortably consider the Suspension Technique ST X Performance Coilover System with fixed dampening.
The twin-tube design featured on these coils, and several others is a hot-button issue among tuners. While a mono-tube design is more appropriate for a car that spends a considerable amount of time on the track, the twin-tube design of the ST X system, paired with the coil-over-strut design, makes it a similar feel to stock with added performance benefits of lowering the center of gravity and increasing the spring rates. This will increase the cornering and handling ability of your 335i while comfortably allowing you to drive the car around daily. Not only are these coils the most popular choice, they are also going to cost roughly the same as OEM replacement parts while offering significant increases to your driving enjoyment.
If your BMW 335i is not your daily commuter and spends a good deal of its time on a track or at the autoX, you will be looking for something more dedicated in terms of performance. A Full-Bodied coilover option will most likely be your ideal route, as the only way to truly gain remarkable performance advantages is with the adjustability and performance capabilities of the more aggressive systems. The inclusion of dampening, spring rate, and ride height allows the perfect settings for several variables you will encounter. Choosing wheels, tire sizes, ride height, corner balancing, and of course, adjusting your car for track conditions means the ability to compensate those dynamics with proper suspension geometry is paramount, but these coilovers still need a measure of comfort on the road. Selecting a mildly aggressive coilover setup is going to be your best route.
Bilstein B16 PSS10 Coilovers come from the foremost damper producers in the world and draw upon nearly a century of development to bring some of the most competent suspension components available to your BMW E90 335i. A mono-tube design, which displaces more hydraulic fluid than their twin-tube counterparts, offers optimal cooling and dampening during extreme conditions. This design results in impressive performance capabilities. The ride height and spring rate are adjustable independently of each other with a combined total of up to 70mm in the front and rear. This gives your BMW E90 335i an incredible range, which offers more for your vehicle than decrease wheel gap. These are the coilovers fitted to our own BMW 335i project car, which you can check out in this previous post!
The Bilstein B16 PSS10 coilovers are a nearly true “Full-Bodied” design, which means your dampening is adjustable with 10 settings. With these, you are able to easily switch between comfort and competitive dampening force. Finally, Bilstein spends an impressive amount of time putting these systems to the test: both on their own test track and the grueling Nurburgring in Germany. With the explicit design intended for track and road use, these coilovers are the best suggestion for both achieving a real performance advantage and more appealing stance in your BMW E90 335i.
Competitive Track Cars
If you are one of the few who expects the absolute most out of your BMW E90 335i, then a no-compromise suspension setup dedicated to providing the absolute pinnacle of performance is your only option. Your BMW will only truly benefit from a setup that is completely customizable for your exact build. With the proper attention to every minute change to your roll centers, camber, caster, toe, spring rates, sprung/unsprung weight, weight balance, and every other headache-inducing ratio necessary for dialing in the perfect track setup, you will shave precious seconds from your time around the track.
We completely recommend the Fortune Auto fully buildable route. While each setup will need to be entirely customized for your build, Fortune Auto coilovers are some of the most adjustable and highest-performing kits on the market. These coilovers are a true Full-Bodied coilover and feature 24 levels of compression and rebound customization, pillow ball camber plates, adjustable spring rates, housing heights, customizable spring rates and lengths from Swift Springs, and a heritage in extreme track performance.
The Fortune Auto 500 series and 510 series have found homes in some of the up-and-coming time attack stars all across the country for good reason. Their uncompromising performance, complete customizability, and entirely adjustable design allow you to maximize your suspension capabilities in line with other complimentary modifications to create the perfect track car out of your BMW E90 335i.