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2012 F20 118i Project
#1
I just recently had my consultation with Shaikh on improving my 2012 BMW F20 118i~  Heart

Although I have not yet gone for the revalved FCM Elite dampers (soon), the initial tuning based on Shaikh's advices already made night-and-day difference for the overall ride quality and handling!

According to some tuners/auto shops here in Taiwan, BMW had shifted from a stiffer, more sporty OE setup to a more comfortable setup since the F-platform. While I do not know if that is true, the F20 with stock suspensions did have a lot of rolling (quite scary)  in cornering, and the whole car started to have quite a bit of swaying on freeway past 110km/h.

Per Shaikh's advices, I have so far done some initial tuning on stabilizer bars and bump stops, and straight away I am able to feel what "flat ride" is capable of offering (though i didn't change the springs, so in theory I did have "flat ride" before, but the excessive swaying and shaking around was hindering my senses), with decent ride quality and quite neutral cornering with not much roll~  Smile

With the pretty bad road conditions here (see below pictures), I know that I will need to get the FCM Elite dampers to truly have "ride harmony"!
[Image: 600_1640958_1.jpg]
[Image: 0424%E5%B8%82%E6%94%BF%E7%B5%84_%E9%A1%8...%BC%89.JPG]

A few years ago, I was a completely newbie about cars, but I had this weird (according to friends) high sensitivity on car motion and ride quality. While all my friends were happy with certain suspension setups, I was never happy (a different car back then) and I ended up changing suspensions, trying different springs, different dampers, and later different bump stops (when I only half-understood what Shaikh was conveying about bump stops) for more than 30 times! I was even testing wrapping a 2-kg training thingy around different leg of the frame for my modded chair, and I could tell each position affected the motion and ride quality... Long story, short, lot of time and money wasted... 

While I never got that car to feel right since I couldn't get FCM Elite dampers due to Bilstein not offering replacement dampers, I did find out how big of a difference changing bump stops made (also on disabling stabilizer bar to improve grip), and immediately then, I knew that Shaikh was one of the few people, who really knew about suspension! (And I know for sure right now that 99.9% of people in Taiwan know nothing about how suspensions should work and what bump stops could do)

After this few years watching and re-watching Shaikh's videos, and reading and re-reading his blogs, video comment replies and forum posts, I have recently finally started to really understand some of his concepts, and once I've understood, the logic simply just makes absolute sense!

To me, Shaikh is like Galileo, telling people that the Earth is round, but the idea is difficult for people to understand because of all the BS marketing and sales pitches from other suspensions...

P.S. My background is brand strategy, marketing strategy and product planning (3C industry), so it was a bit difficult for me to fully understand his videos.

So~ I am now planning to get the FCM Elite Stage 2 and am already totally ecstatic about it~  Big Grin
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#2
Hi Kahwen, thanks for joining and welcome! I appreciate you sharing your very intriguing experiences so far, and your kind words about me and FCM. I can appreciate your extreme sensitivity - it's both a gift and a curse! But that is the essential ingredient to new discoveries - our curiosity and ability to pick up on small differences. Something steps out to catch our attention and then .. we're hooked! I would NEVER want you to think of any time, money, or energy spent on pursuing Truth to be wasted! If you didn't learn anything from the experience then you could call it that, but otherwise it was a hard-won experience and wisdom that you now know and can share with others. If everyone had to reinvent the wheel we'd still be living in grass huts, so we need the continual movement of innovation and curiosity that each of us can bring out and inspire in each other.

It's indeed amazing how much most cars use the front bump stops.

I've got some builds to finish up (which is always the case) and will reply to your consult form likely by Monday. Please also let other BMW owners know about your project page here and encourage them to join this forum. I'd like to keep the signal high and noise low! I also have in mind creating a version of my Ride Harmonizer Spreadsheet for the F20 and other models as I did for the E46 M3 community.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=601913

http://www.fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM_Rid...Online.htm

I'll look forward to getting into your project as / when you're ready. And I really do appreciate your willingness to help me market what I do and make it less obtuse for the average driver, because that's the new and broader audience I want and need to reach!

Cheers,
Shaikh
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#3
(10-19-2018, 02:23 PM)Shaikh Jalal Wrote: I've got some builds to finish up (which is always the case) and will reply to your consult form likely by Monday. Please also let other BMW owners know about your project page here and encourage them to join this forum. I'd like to keep the signal high and noise low! I also have in mind creating a version of my Ride Harmonizer Spreadsheet for the F20 and other models as I did for the E46 M3 community.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showthread.php?t=601913

http://www.fatcatmotorsports.com/FCM_Rid...Online.htm

I'll look forward to getting into your project as / when you're ready. And I really do appreciate your willingness to help me market what I do and make it less obtuse for the average driver, because that's the new and broader audience I want and need to reach!

Cheers,
Shaikh

Hi Shaikh~

Absolutely ready and can't wait to hear from you  Big Grin

I've also redone the bounce test a few more times, and the current bounce frequency should be about (if I've done it correctly):
Front: 1.7~1.8Hz
Rear: ~2Hz

Cheers,
Kahwen
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#4
Shaikh received my Bilstein B6 today and already he did some initial damping dyno test and here are the dyno graphs for the B6 for F20 118i:

Front:
[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=1932661&d=1541660856]

Rear:
[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=1932662&d=1541660856]

Shaikh also measured the gas pressure to be:
Front: 48lbs
Rear: 54lbs
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#5
Allow me to update with the tuned damping dyno:

[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=1968094&stc=1&d=1546912990]
[Image: attachment.php?attachmentid=1968095&stc=1&d=1546912990]
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#6
Just had my first week of daily commute driving, and am excited to provide how I am finding the dampers so far:

  • The first thing I noticed is that they definitely ride more comfortably than my BMW stock (Non-M) dampers. It is interesting that they provide me with much more road condition feedback (I sense more of how the road conditions are), yet I feel less impact. It's like: "I sense it, but my body doesn't feel it."
  • There is much more support (less initial roll) at turn-in, giving me more confident turn-in steering feel, but the turning handling is totally different from the rigid stiff feeling you get from most aftermarket sport suspensions. It feels like when I turn in slow, it feels comfortable almost like the stock feeling, but better handling; while when I turn in fast, the quick response feels even faster than any of the sport suspensions I have tried before, yet still maintains a casual & comfortable feel.
  • For the front 1:1 compression and damping ratio, which provides a non-jacking setup, I can tell that there is pretty much no nose-dive or any of those "dipping feel" when you suddenly drive over a deep potholes, or a downward slope. This is even more prominent when doing a fast cornering, and running over road joints or very uneven surface mid-corner; the car feels so composed from turn-in to exit, and tires feel planted and undisturbed running through those surfaces.
  • They give me a false sense of speed from these dampers. I would go faster and faster because my body just doesn't feel that the car is going that fast, so now I need to be careful checking my speed before speed cameras 
  • Got the chance to test a little bit of these two big turns on my daily commute (when there is no other car), and for the bigger turn, my previous stock dampers (with upgraded stabilizer bars) allowed me to take that turn at about 100km/hr, and just the other day I was pushing through that turn and was at 120km/hr at corner-exit, yet I could tell that the car could go faster still (just need to slowly get used to how fast my car can take corners now)
  • So far I have only driven to work and back, with one detour to my parents', so I also got to test the ripple reducer (their basement parking has all the slopes made like washboards... and like I described in the first point: The car still got the high-frequency jerking, and I could "sense" the overall movement, but my body didn't get the impact from that jerking at all
Haven't got a chance to do touge test, will update in the future~
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#7
Just did a quick touge test a couple days ago, with one added set of packers to the rear. Man, I was SUPER BLOWN AWAY!

Never had I felt so in control when pushing the car to its limit for touge driving, it pretty much felt like I was doing this graceful ballad dance, with the ride being comfortable, yet clear so I knew what my tires were doing, and at the same time my speed was faster than ever taking those turns. It just felt so easy to drive at its limit, and the behavior was complete neutral, and while I was already way faster than ever on this touge path that I had previously driven for so many times, I felt as if I was simply taking a casual drive! 

On top of those, I actually had a passenger on-board with me (he drives a GTI mk7 with KW V3), and he, too was totally blown away at the performance!

So far I can only say... I am never going back to other suspensions ever again... I will swear by FCM for every single car I own in the future! 
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