BMW Coilover Buyer's Guide

There is a large amount of information online about which coilovers are ideal to improve your BMW’s handling. However, we have encountered several misconceptions surrounding which coilovers are ‘best.’ Through years of experience, we have perfected our suspension for both street and track. We would like to provide a technical rundown of the coilovers we have found to be optimal for your BMW. We will address the three main fallacies tuners believe: that ‘expensive means best,’ ‘stiff equals fast,’ and ‘lower equals faster.’ Let’s examine exactly how your suspension functions and show you why these are the coilovers we recommend for your driving style.

Page Index:
1. What do Coilovers do?
2. Three Main Fallacies
3. Turner Recommends for Daily Driven BMWs
4. Turner Recommends for Street/Track BMWs
5. Turner Recommends for Race/Track Only BMWs

What do coilovers do?

The real purpose of upgrading your suspension is to maximize your tire’s contact with the road. If your suspension is too soft, weight transitions in cornering reduce your tire’s contact with the road. This reduces your traction and performance. Inversely, if your suspension is too stiff for the tires, you can cause the car to slide. This is because the tire pressure, size, and compound were not capable of withstanding the stiffer suspension. To properly dial in your suspension for the track, adjustability is key. For the street, look for something designed with fixed damping and spring rates that match factory specifications.

The Anatomy of Coilovers
Spring Rate Explained

The spring rate is the amount of energy in terms of weight it takes to compress the spring by 1 inch. A higher spring rate is stiffer and takes more energy to compress. A lower spring rate allows for lots of wheel travel, but will not take much to fully compress, relatively speaking. Spring rates should be softer on road cars and stiffer on track cars. The reason is simple: the camber angle of the suspension directly relates to the necessary spring rate. You will want stiffer spring rates compared to factory springs for lowered vehicles with more negative camber, but you will not want to over-stress your tires with springs that are too stiff. Spring rates for the track need to keep the lowered suspension from traveling too far upwards, resist change in geometry through corners, and need to be matched with the tire compound and weight of the vehicle for optimal results.