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Old 12-10-2011, 01:21 PM   #4
Parts hoarding partner...
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Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: Toronto
Posts: 3,429
try "JOM" coil overs - they are relatively cheap - 400-500 range maybe ship incl. good reviews on them for what they are compared to spending double if not more. I would seriously consider these for my car if I go that route.

a write up from another site:

Price & Shipping - Perfectly fair. It came much faster than I thought it would and it's 420 dollars for shocks and springs. Not much to complain about here.

Packaging - Fair but not great. Items are wrapped in paper and can move around so most of the paper was torn. One shock had popped out the end but upon arrival was back inside. There was no damage or chipped paint or the like. Not a huge problem but the box is huge compared to what shipped. Could save on packaging but I imagine the box is used for every coilover system they offer so say for an E36 you would get two complete struts and rear shocks.

Quality - Value is the word I would start with here. You can tell these shocks are not Bilstein Sports. One with any sense would imagine this would be the case based on the price but wanted to get that out here. Springs appear to be of good quality and the paint on everything was well done. The adjusters are definitely cheaper metals and the threads are sharp. Lowest quality pieces of the set are the adjusters(more below). Shocks rebound and go up as normal. No dead spots, catches or dodgey operation.

Installation - This is trick! No modification is necessary. I am sure most reading this have installed shocks on the E30. If not the shock goes inside the strut housing. It is held in with a threaded collar. You remove the OEM collar and the replacement is threaded from JOM. The shock fits perfect into the housing and you tighten down the new collar. The trick part? The new coilover sleeve now simply screws onto this. See photos below. All fit perfect. Zero issues.

Adjust-ability(split into two parts) - Front - Crazy the level of adjustment. From my estimation you can go from stock ride height(or maybe higher) down to the point that you cannot even drive the car. I started halfway on the adjuster and it was almost tucking 14" basketweaves. Way too low for my uses. I raised it back up almost an inch and like it at that ride height.

Rear - Not all that great. As many have said if you have a small bumper/late model car just running the rear spring should work out great. On an early model car don't even worry about trying it with the adjuster. There will be rear gap... with no adjuster. If you want to SLAM the car the fronts will be fine but you will want to get another rear spring for sure. Still if you need 2 rear springs at 180-200 dollars plus 420... the pricing is not bad.

Now to the downside here. Fronts are difficult to adjust. Why? With the lower rear spring perch and the shock installed up into the strut tower there is not much room to work. This is where the quality level comes into play. It is easy to damage and mar up the adjusting collar with the tool provided. It took a good amount of time and effort to raise the front. Worth it in the end. The other issue and one you will want to watch out for is the threaded collar we discussed before that holds in the shock? Well it can and will start to back out as you adjust up. It would be best to get the ride height set out of the car... to not deal with this. If it loosens you will have clunks as the shock moves inside the housing. Fair warning.

Ride Quality - This was the most surprising thing. It is quite good. I will say that just pushing down side by side with an IE3/Bilstein Sport car the JOMs are stiffer with what seems like higher initial valving on the shocks. Over rough terrain it is a little bouncy but hard to complain all things considered. I was super happy with the ride quality. Most surprising thing was the ride quality... and everyone that rides and drives the car comments on this.

Performance - It's better than stock. It's not better than IE3/Bilstein sport or other performance setups. I have driven my previous E30 on IE3/Bilstein Sport and then custom Ground Controls. Both were more confidence inspiring. These you learn on them and they stiffen up and you power through the corner. Are they bad? No. Are they great? No.

Final Thoughts - This setup is awesome when you consider the price, adjust-ability and what you receive. If you are looking for adjustable ride height on your daily driven that you like to toss around I would have no issue recommending this setup. It is great for that. I am 100% happy that I tested them out and a local friend of mine is purchasing them(along with my eBay camber plates I purchased). I am going to tuck my exhaust more and then run some custom coilovers. Since performance was what I was seeking first and foremost I want to run on something I know the results of and don't want to be messing with suspension.

Verdict? Daily Driver that you want to lower the car? Enjoy...

I think I've had 18 bmw's in 6 years.

1 90 325is white - keepin
1 87 325i vert -red - keepin
latest addition 1 88-325is red - parts
latest addition 1 89-325i vert - white -fixin/sold
latest addition 1 92-318i vert - blue - parts
latest addition 1 87 325is blk - parts.
latest addition as of 2013-Gold 87-325is auto! it's a keeper!
KEEPER 88 5sp Vert 2016

Last edited by Ceeker; 12-10-2011 at 01:25 PM.
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