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Old 01-04-2014, 02:54 PM   #1
mclovin
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Coilovers in winter

Question to those who are on coilies this winter. This is my first winter on Bilstein PSS. When installed in summer, the ride was great. Firm but very comfortable. Now that temperatures have been in below 10, ride has significantly degraded. Feels as if I am riding on springs only and struts donít provide enough dampening. Ride feels very bouncy. Is this a common occurrence thatís associated with coilovers in below freezing temperatures?
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Old 01-04-2014, 03:58 PM   #2
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Doesn't sound right, have someone check to see if they blown or leaking.
If you bought them new they should be covered under warranty.

I drove 3 winters on a set of FK coils and they always rode great.
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Old 01-04-2014, 04:17 PM   #3
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check psi of winters
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:33 PM   #4
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Should be no different for shocks filled with gas. Oil shocks would be a different story though.
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Old 01-04-2014, 10:09 PM   #5
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zero difference on my tck
i drive in winter for a few years now
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Old 01-04-2014, 11:15 PM   #6
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Yea it's most likely your winter tires lol they will feel considerably different. I had coils on my M3 very and only felt wishy washy because of the snow tires
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Old 01-05-2014, 05:06 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mr ilia View Post
Should be no different for shocks filled with gas. Oil shocks would be a different story though.
I believe they are oil filled shocks that are gas pressurized to reduce aeration.

It does make sense that the shocks would get a little harder due to colder fluid. But it's probably your winter tires. They likely have a different load rating. Your winter wheels may be a different weight too.

My ride feels harder in the winter too. I'm planning on playing with the pressures.
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:16 PM   #8
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You guys could be right about the tires. Winters are brand new good year nordics. Even though PSI ratings are all within specs, they are very soft and flexible. It wasn't something i used to notice with factory sport suspension.
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Old 01-07-2014, 04:37 AM   #9
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Did you get an alignment when you put the winters on?
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Old 01-19-2014, 05:32 PM   #10
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Had bilstein PSS9's with vorshlag camber plates on my e90, in all honesty, hated every minute of them. The ride sucked.

Switched to BC BR coilovers and couldn't be happier
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:20 PM   #11
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OK, so I confirmed that increasing tire pressure reduces that insane jarring.
Basically at 35psi, the stock sized tires didn't have the spring rate to avoid bottoming out the tire with the increased spring rate of the coilovers.
That was causing the tire sidewall to completely compress, impacting the wheel, and causing the sudden jarring. I increased the pressures to 41psi and that completely eliminated it.
In the summer my stiffer, wider tires were resistant to this effect. Also the roads are much worse in the winter, with many more potholes and heaved roads.
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Old 01-20-2014, 03:59 PM   #12
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^ Interesting. How did you determine that the sidewall was compressing, seems to me that the tire would have to be extremely soft for this to become an issue. I ran really high spring rates last winter with V-rated winters, didn't have any weird jarring but definitely made me wish for marshmallow tires, which apparently create their own issues.
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Old 01-20-2014, 04:54 PM   #13
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It's really the only thing it could be, that would be fixed by increasing tire pressure. It only happened when hitting potholes or bumps in the road that were pretty big like 2+ inches.
Speed rating isn't necessarily tied to sidewall stiffness. My 17" winter tires are also V rated but the sidewalls are noticeably thinner than my W rated 18" summer tires.
Anyhow, that's not the main reason why it would bottom out. The main reason is that the skinnier tire had less load capability at the same psi than the wider tire. See my spreadsheet below.
You can see that the wider tire carries the same 800lb load with 4 less psi.
ie. imagine a basket ball lightly inflated, so that you can easily squeeze it. Now imaging that ball at a much higher pressure. You would have a difficult time compressing it.

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Old 01-20-2014, 06:04 PM   #14
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^ oh, I understand the physics behind it, was just wondering if you did anything to determine the bottoming out issue other than adding more air. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the most satisfying.
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Old 01-20-2014, 06:07 PM   #15
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Ok, yea I thought about mounting a GoPro down low in high speed to see if I could see it, but didn't really want to purposely run over potholes and have it get knocked off on the street.
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