BMW E36 Coilover Upgrade Guides – Best E36 Coilovers. E36’s reasonably small and light-weight nature can make them enjoyable street or daily drivers. Nevertheless, with these cars pressing 25+ years of ages, a couple of upgrades will go a long way in enhancing the handling and efficiency of them. One of the very best efficiency upgrades is changing the used stock suspension with a set of coilovers. In addition to lowering the car and providing it more enticing looking position, coilovers will improve handling and cornering and make the E36 a more enjoyable street cruiser.
The very best E36 coilovers truly depends on what your budget and goals are. This article is going to walk through some of the basics and after that supply 3 various setups particular to your potential objectives. The first will be a budget option for position and entry level street. Second will be a greater efficiency option for street and occasional track usage. And last but not least, we’ll cover an innovative setup for top-tier street and devoted track efficiency.
This guide is applicable to all E36 engines, however, keep in mind that fitment differs for XI, TI, and M3 designs and the products we point out at the end of the short article will have different fitments.
E36 Coilover Basics
Coilovers come in all various budgets, from $400 budget plan alternatives to $4,000+ racing setups and everything in between. As we discussed above, the very best coilovers truly depends upon the goals you have for your E36.
When selecting E36 coilovers, this area will cover a few of the standard factors to consider. We’ll talk about tube design, damping control, spring rates, and E36 coilovers vs. lowering springs.
Check out this Ultimate Coilover Guide if you desire a more detailed run-down on coilover functionality.
E36 Monotube vs. Twin-Tube
Mono and twin-tube describe the style and engineering of the shocks. If you want to better understand the differences in the design, checkout the ultimate coilover guide mentioned above. Without entering into the nitty gritty, here are the distinctions.
Monotube coilovers typically offer better efficiency since they are more sensitive to little suspension movements and more precise. Nevertheless, this does make them slightly less comfortable for everyday driving because you will feel more of the little bumps and motions.
Twin-tube coilovers are less conscious small movements which makes them more comfy for daily driving. Nevertheless, it also suggests they offer a bit less efficiency – although the performance differences are likely just noticeable on the track or throughout aggressive driving.
Monotube coilovers are likewise more pricey. So if you care more about budget plan and ride convenience vs. ultimate performance, then twin-tube is an excellent route to go.
Damping, or dampening, describes the tightness of the shocks. Coil springs hold the weight of the car and compress as weight is placed on the spring. Shocks are accountable for managing the just how much the spring compresses and also how strongly the spring rebounds. Stiffer shocks will enable less compression and rebound whereas softer ones will enable more.
Coilovers can either come with pre-set damping or adjustable damping. Pre-set means that the damping is set by the maker to supply the very best balance in between convenience and performance. Adjustable coilovers will normally have anywhere from 8 to 32 adjustment settings that you can utilize to either stiffen or soften the damping.
Adjustable damping is a need to have for any cars that see a track. Pre-set damping is economical and developed for those who don’t care quite as much about efficiency and are just searching for ride height lowering or entry-level choices.
Spring rates manage how easily the coil springs compress. A greater spring rate indicates it requires more weight or pressure to compress the spring, which makes for a stiffer flight quality. Entry-level coilovers are going to come with one spring choice, more pricey setups usually provide you the capability to pick your spring rates.
Higher spring rates = less comfortable flight, better for performance
Lower spring rates = more comfy flight, less performance oriented
Now, because damping controls spring compression and rebound, it does give some flexibility in controlling flight quality. However, if you have extremely stiff springs you are still going to have a brutal trip quality even if you have adjustable damping and set the shocks to the softest setting. On the flip side, getting soft springs and setting the damping to a stiffer setting can trigger the shocks to burn out quickly.
At the end of the day, unless you are developing a high-performance track car, I wouldn’t stress too much over spring rates and damping. Producers provide the most optimal combination of spring rates and damping for what their coilovers were made to do.
E36 Lowering Springs vs. Coilovers
You may think about conserving some cash and simply getting lowering springs if you are simply looking for a bit of lowering and somewhat better handling.
If your spending plan permits, we constantly suggest coilovers.
Coilovers offer flight height flexibility which is necessary if you are attempting to fit a set of aggressive wheels or tires. Furthermore, even the most inexpensive set of coilovers is going to ride much better than the very best set of lowering springs. Due to the fact that the stock shocks on the E36 aren’t built for the stiffer spring rates you get with lowering springs, this is.
Coilovers will be more comfortable and use much better efficiency considering that the spring rates and moistening are enhanced by the makers through lots of R&D. The alternative choice is to get a set of upgraded shocks in addition to a set of lowering springs, however at this point the cost is going to be equivalent to a set of coilovers.
BMW E36 Coilover Upgrade Benefits
- Ride height adjustability from ~ 0″ -4″.
- Better managing and cornering.
- Improved ride convenience and quality.
- Terrific upgrade over old used suspension.
- Shock adjustability (for more pricey setups).
Any set of coilovers, no matter expense, is going to be a huge upgrade over old, worn suspension. Beyond that, the benefits from coilovers will really vary depending on the setup you pick.
High performance track level coilovers absolutely aren’t going to enhance flight comfort. In addition, they will not go as low as a set of coilovers designed for stance. And vice versa, a set of entry-level coilovers isn’t going to provide track quality performance. So, the advantages actually depend rather on the setup you pick but in any circumstances even the most entry-level coilovers will be a huge upgrade over old suspension.
Best BMW E36 Coilovers
We’re going to cover 3 various setups here: entry-level street, mid-tier street & periodic track hybrid, and top-tier track quality E36 coilovers.
To mention it again, the very best coilovers depend upon your budget plan and your goals. We’re trying to record the three most popular goals here. Keep in mind crucial elements like whether or not you need monotube’s or adjustable dampening, etc.
1) Raceland E36 Coilovers.
Tier: Entry Level Street & Position.
Price: $419-$ 449.
Lowering: 1-3″ (Classic) & 2-4″ (Ultimo).
Buy Here: Raceland BMW E36 Coilovers
Raceland coilovers are our favorite entry-level bang-for-the-buck coilover. With the majority of E36’s being reasonably inexpensive nowadays, there is no requirement for a $1k+ coilover setup unless you track your car or are trying to develop a pristine M3.
Raceland coilovers are twin-tube coilovers with pre-set dampening. They are going to provide the very best trip convenience and quality while still supplying a solid efficiency boost over stock suspension. They are affordable and provide some of the most affordable trip height adjustability on the market. These aren’t going to be the highest efficiency coilovers but they are probably the very best alternative for 95% of E36’s.
In addition, Raceland has terrific customer support, offers a minimal life time service warranty, and offers financing. It’s an excellent company that uses a quality coilover at a fantastic price. It might not have all the bells and whistles however it’s a fantastic entry level choice for someone who does not ever track their E36.
Raceland has two choices: the Classics and Ultimo’s. The primary distinction between the two is that the Ultimo’s offer 1″ more of drop. They also have a bit stiffer springs to compensate for the extra lowering abilities.
2) BMW E36 BC Racing Coilovers
Tier: Mid Level Street & Occasional Track.
Price: ~$ 1,195.
Lowering: ~ 1-3″.
BC Racing deals among the more affordable mid-level coilovers for the E36. BC coilovers have monotube shocks and has 30 levels of adjustable dampening. They likewise offer an add-on feature called “Extreme Low” that will drop the car an additional inch.
In addition, BC coilovers come with the option to upgrade to Swift Springs for more performance oriented setups. And adjustable camber plates are an extra choice for those who need camber for position.
In General, BC Racing is a great choice for someone who desires a more efficiency oriented street setup or uses their E36 on the track from time to time. These are an excellent street coilover but the price might be a bit overkill considering the worth of E36’s nowadays. In addition, BC has a set that will fit the E36 M3 while Raceland does not.
3) KW V3 E36 Coilovers
Tier: Advanced Street & Dedicated Track.
Price: ~$ 2,000+.
Lowering: approx. 2.4″ max in front and 1.8″ in rear.
For anybody searching for a top of the line alternative, the KW V3 is among the very best coilovers without entering insane $3k+ overkill coilovers.
These are monotube coilovers and offer independent dampening adjustability that enables both compression and rebound dampening to be adjusted separately. KW has a reputation for being one of the premiere efficiency coilover manufacturers and these E36 coilovers fit the bill.
The KW V3’s do not use as much lowering capability compared to the Raceland’s or BC considering that track cars do not need that much lowering capability. These are going to have stiffer spring rates than the other options making them less comfy for everyday driving. However, spring upgrades and rates are personalized with these setups.
Overall, these coilovers are overkill unless you seriously track your E36. If you do, then these coilovers are top of the line.
BMW E36 Coilover Summary
Upgrading to a set of coilovers is one of the best suspension and handling mods you can make to your E36 BMW. Specifically for older cars that are still running on old and broken stock suspension.
A set of coilovers will improve ride quality while also making the car manage and corner much better, making street driving more enjoyable and engaging. There are a great deal of factors to consider from spring rates, damping, ride height, and so on.
Eventually, if you do not track your E36 or require an aggressive street setup then sticking to twin-tube shocks and pre-set damping with a setup like the Raceland’s is all you need. If you ever track your car you’ll desire both monotube and adjustable damping – however, this can be considered a bit overkill on a street car specifically thinking about the price.
Raceland is going to be a terrific setup for the 95% of readers who don’t need the expensive monotubes and adjustability. For those who desire more efficiency oriented street setups, then BC is a terrific alternative. And for the no-expenses barred street car or devoted track car, KW V3’s are top of the line.
What E36 coilovers are you running or thinking about? Let us know!
We likewise have E46 Coilover guides and E90/E92 Suspension Upgrade guides.