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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone have experience with the PSS9's I know there are knob adjustments as well as height adjustment. Anyone have any input re: ride quality/handeling?
 

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I've had the Bilstein PSS9 for about 6 months now, and can give you a quick run down. A lot more details can be found by searching the topic.

Adjustability

Very easy to adjust the height and damper at home. The height is adjusted by turning the threaded spring holder which subsequently moves the spring up or down. The damper is also easy to adjust simply to raising the car. The knob for the front is located directly below the damper, and the rear is located on the side of the damper facing away from the wheels. I attached a picture of the front damper adjustment for reference.

Handling

I've had the opportunity to drive the car in many different driving conditions, at different settings. The first 3 months it was driven on 9 all around (1 being the stiffest). For being the softest setting, I was surprised with the improved handling characteristics over stock. However, going through a turn at 45 miles plus seemed like the car leaned too much, more than you'd want. After changing the car to 4, everything I liked about 9 was dismissed. The handling was very predictable and stiff. Body lean/roll was essentially eliminated (at least what you'd feel on the streets), the car would not dip under hard braking or squat under hard acceleration, a very neutral feeling car. Cornering was where you'd really feel the suspension in action, with the rebound being almost immediate. You the driver just feels more confident with maneuvering the heavy beast. Currently, riding at 5, the car is dramatically less stiff than at setting 4. I haven't noticed a big difference in handling characteristics at similar conditions as setting 4, so I'd say between 4-5 under normal driving conditions, handling improvements are the same.

Comfort

Of course at 9 (softest setting), the ride was incredibly comfortable. I did not encounter any driving situation that was uncomfortable. I drove the car through San Fransisco, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between my road trip between the Northern and Southern CA cities. 9-being on the extreme soft side of the suspension's capability was too soft for my taste. At damper setting 4, it was very stiff. I really like the feel of a stiff suspension, and 4 hit the spot. However, over dips in the road, you'd feel a sudden "dip" in the car as well. Reminded me of how a roller coaster takes a small dive and your stomach just sinks. Generally speaking, it probably wasn't the most comfortable setting for my passengers. Driving over road imperfections could cause motion sickness, depending on the severity of the road. Currently, setting 5 offers a little less road-feel than setting 4; it is still pretty stiff. I'd say the perfect setting, in terms of comfort, for the PSS9 lies in the 6-7 range. Of course this depends on the road condition. You could get away with 4-5 if you only drive on freshly paved roads ;).

Stance

Because of the ability for you to adjust the height, the stance should end up being perfect given your personal preference. You cannot go wrong since you can adjust it any way you'd like. I believe I am 14 7/8" all around (from fender to middle of wheel). I'm not positive, I'd have to remeasure for accuracy.

Installation

I chose to have these done at the local shop (thanks Kurt!), I'd say the install was easy :). But despite the fact you have to remove the entire rear deck to access the rear suspension, it is a real straight forward install. The instructions seem no different than installing suspension on any other car. Of course, with certain tools (lift, air tools, etc), it certainly makes the job easier. Should range from 6-10 hours depending on experience level.

Footnotes

The PSS9 offers easy adjustability of damper and height settings without having to remove any interior pieces or use of special tools. The range of damping that is offered (1-9) is plenty to be able to tailor to your own personal preference. Most importantly, handling characteristics are greatly improved with this mod. I can't comment about Dinan, but I know Dinan comes pre-set in terms of offering a comfortable ride. Until I find the optimal setting, Dinan has that advantage of the PSS9 (not a bid deal for me, however). Also, others have cited that Ground-Controls allow clearance for those running rear wheels in the front. I think I remember members reporting there was clearance issues with the PSS9 barely fitting rear wheels up front. Since those were not my concerns, I am 100% satisfied with the PSS9. The fact that I can adjust the damper from under the car, in my garage, at any time I wish, is really convenient for me. I don't think you'd be unhappy with the PSS9 if you chose to go with them. :M5thumbs:
 

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I ordered PSS9's as well, the two main reasons I chose it was for height adjustability and because the dampening adjustment was on the bottom of the shock.

However, mine are still lying in a box in my garage :p
 

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If you don't mind me asking, roughly what did ya'll pay for the PSS9's for the e39? I had them on my '95 993 RS, but the previous owner had put them on, so I wasn't aware of the cost.

Judging by how nice they were on that car (it just about felt like a Lexus with them on setting #9 and like a go-cart on #3-#1), I imagine that's the way I'll go when the OEM struts need replacement.


Thanks & happy motoring
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks for that extensive review very helpfull.

I've had the Bilstein PSS9 for about 6 months now, and can give you a quick run down. A lot more details can be found by searching the topic.

Adjustability

Very easy to adjust the height and damper at home. The height is adjusted by turning the threaded spring holder which subsequently moves the spring up or down. The damper is also easy to adjust simply to raising the car. The knob for the front is located directly below the damper, and the rear is located on the side of the damper facing away from the wheels. I attached a picture of the front damper adjustment for reference.

Handling

I've had the opportunity to drive the car in many different driving conditions, at different settings. The first 3 months it was driven on 9 all around (1 being the stiffest). For being the softest setting, I was surprised with the improved handling characteristics over stock. However, going through a turn at 45 miles plus seemed like the car leaned too much, more than you'd want. After changing the car to 4, everything I liked about 9 was dismissed. The handling was very predictable and stiff. Body lean/roll was essentially eliminated (at least what you'd feel on the streets), the car would not dip under hard braking or squat under hard acceleration, a very neutral feeling car. Cornering was where you'd really feel the suspension in action, with the rebound being almost immediate. You the driver just feels more confident with maneuvering the heavy beast. Currently, riding at 5, the car is dramatically less stiff than at setting 4. I haven't noticed a big difference in handling characteristics at similar conditions as setting 4, so I'd say between 4-5 under normal driving conditions, handling improvements are the same.

Comfort

Of course at 9 (softest setting), the ride was incredibly comfortable. I did not encounter any driving situation that was uncomfortable. I drove the car through San Fransisco, Los Angeles, and everywhere in between my road trip between the Northern and Southern CA cities. 9-being on the extreme soft side of the suspension's capability was too soft for my taste. At damper setting 4, it was very stiff. I really like the feel of a stiff suspension, and 4 hit the spot. However, over dips in the road, you'd feel a sudden "dip" in the car as well. Reminded me of how a roller coaster takes a small dive and your stomach just sinks. Generally speaking, it probably wasn't the most comfortable setting for my passengers. Driving over road imperfections could cause motion sickness, depending on the severity of the road. Currently, setting 5 offers a little less road-feel than setting 4; it is still pretty stiff. I'd say the perfect setting, in terms of comfort, for the PSS9 lies in the 6-7 range. Of course this depends on the road condition. You could get away with 4-5 if you only drive on freshly paved roads ;).

Stance

Because of the ability for you to adjust the height, the stance should end up being perfect given your personal preference. You cannot go wrong since you can adjust it any way you'd like. I believe I am 14 7/8" all around (from fender to middle of wheel). I'm not positive, I'd have to remeasure for accuracy.

Installation

I chose to have these done at the local shop (thanks Kurt!), I'd say the install was easy :). But despite the fact you have to remove the entire rear deck to access the rear suspension, it is a real straight forward install. The instructions seem no different than installing suspension on any other car. Of course, with certain tools (lift, air tools, etc), it certainly makes the job easier. Should range from 6-10 hours depending on experience level.

Footnotes

The PSS9 offers easy adjustability of damper and height settings without having to remove any interior pieces or use of special tools. The range of damping that is offered (1-9) is plenty to be able to tailor to your own personal preference. Most importantly, handling characteristics are greatly improved with this mod. I can't comment about Dinan, but I know Dinan comes pre-set in terms of offering a comfortable ride. Until I find the optimal setting, Dinan has that advantage of the PSS9 (not a bid deal for me, however). Also, others have cited that Ground-Controls allow clearance for those running rear wheels in the front. I think I remember members reporting there was clearance issues with the PSS9 barely fitting rear wheels up front. Since those were not my concerns, I am 100% satisfied with the PSS9. The fact that I can adjust the damper from under the car, in my garage, at any time I wish, is really convenient for me. I don't think you'd be unhappy with the PSS9 if you chose to go with them. :M5thumbs:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Wow so you had a 993 RS euro spec? Great car I have a 97 993 C4S and contemplating installing PS10's on that car. Just took delivery a few weeks ago on an 08 RS.

If you don't mind me asking, roughly what did ya'll pay for the PSS9's for the e39? I had them on my '95 993 RS, but the previous owner had put them on, so I wasn't aware of the cost.

Judging by how nice they were on that car (it just about felt like a Lexus with them on setting #9 and like a go-cart on #3-#1), I imagine that's the way I'll go when the OEM struts need replacement.


Thanks & happy motoring
 

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Have you considered KW?

I have purchased and installed the KW Variant 1 as I knew I would never try to mess with damper settings. They offer 2 other versions with more adjustability if you'd like.

The car now handles infinite times better than stock, which is saying a lot considering the M5 is a fine handling car from the factory. Body roll is almost totally reduced and steering response is amazing.

Ride quality has remained very close to stock. Very solid and confidence inspiring on the highway, while very accommodating and willing to respond to back road tomfoolery.

The KWs are easily height adjustable and provide a good range of ride heights.
 

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I have Dinan with JRZs on my M5 and Dinan with Konis on our 540iT. I've ridden in 1mpowerme's PSS9-equipped M5, but don't know what settings he used - I presume a standard street setup. The PSS9s ride noticeably harder than the Dinan JRZs or Konis. I didn't have a chance to "play" with his car, but both of mine handle fantastically. If I was doing things over again I don't think I'd do anything differently.
 

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I think you may have to use spacers for the coil-over set-ups? Dinan uses the same size spring so no spacers are required.
 
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