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      06-05-2019, 03:14 PM   #1
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Lowering springs - AST vs H&R (i3s content)

Lowering springs is a popular first mod for many i3 owners.

The i3 caught me off guard when first released. Admittedly not a fan at the beginning, I quickly fell in love after an extended test drive. There were limited options for our previous MY17 i3, except H&R, so we quickly installed a set and was happy with the new height. However as many with H&R springs have already experienced, the ride is ultra-stiff, bone-jarring at times. You can run over a quarter and could tell whether it was heads or tails, it simply made the i3 no longer fun to drive. While H&R is great for other vehicles, it's not the case when it comes to the i3.

Moving forward to the i3S, we researched other lowering options (not many out there) for the i3 platform and decided to give AST a try. AST (and Moton) are well known in the motorsports world with their coilover setups on the M3/M4 platforms and have experience with the brand, and was surprised to find they support i3/i3S and immediately ordered a set.

A local i3s came in with H&Rs and he took our AST-equipped i3s on a test drive and purchased a set of ASTs on the spot. Before installing, we thought it would be a good opportunity to do a short comparison.

The H&Rs do sit a smidge lower than the ASTs, but are very similar in drop. The ride is sporty and not harsh (~10% stiffer) and retains the i3S nimbleness/handling while keeping it super fun to drive. Macht Schnell 15/12mm spacers & lugs bring the wheels flush with the wider i3s fenders.

TL;DR: AST springs provide fantastic ride, same price as H&R, missing out by not having a set on your i3.

In the meantime, enjoy the photos.
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Last edited by tom @ eas; 08-12-2019 at 11:43 AM.. Reason: clarification
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      06-05-2019, 03:15 PM   #2
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i3s Comparison Photos - AST vs H&R




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      06-05-2019, 03:17 PM   #3
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Spring measurements

Measurements (AST Springs)

Front




Rear




Measurements (H&R Springs)

Front




Rear


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      06-06-2019, 09:48 AM   #4
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What about non S applications?
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      06-06-2019, 11:50 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BuzzBomb View Post
What about non S applications?
The AST springs cover both I3 and i3S applications.
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      07-11-2019, 03:22 PM   #6
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AST Springs just arrived in stock with orders shipping out today, few sets remaining.
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      07-31-2019, 07:37 AM   #7
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Great review! Do you have part numbers for H&R and AST springs for BMW i3s with REX. Thanks
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      07-31-2019, 01:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Benzima View Post
Great review! Do you have part numbers for H&R and AST springs for BMW i3s with REX. Thanks
Part number can be retrieved from H&Rs site, we don't recommend them as they've simply too stiff for i3.

We always have the ASTs in stock.
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      08-10-2019, 04:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
Part number can be retrieved from H&Rs site, we don't recommend them as they've simply too stiff for i3.

We always have the ASTs in stock.
Which is too stiff?

Any spacers on the i3 in the pics? Looks really good!
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      08-12-2019, 11:43 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichP View Post
Which is too stiff?

Any spacers on the i3 in the pics? Looks really good!
H&Rs are awful on this platform. Much happier with the ASTs and ride quality.

Running 12/15 Macht Schnell Competition Spacers on both i3s.
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      08-13-2019, 01:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
H&Rs are awful on this platform. Much happier with the ASTs and ride quality.

Running 12/15 Macht Schnell Competition Spacers on both i3s.
Thanks!

Not what I wanted to hear.. I purchased some HR springs a few months back and haven't gotten a chance to install them yet. I have an i3s.. do you feel the ASTs improve the handling as well or is it just for the look?

I assume you carry Macht spacers? Thats the perfect fitment, I was worried that spacers might have rubbing issues because the "widebody" is just the taped-on fender extenders, the inside well spacing isnt any different.
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      08-13-2019, 01:27 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RichP View Post
Thanks!

Not what I wanted to hear.. I purchased some HR springs a few months back and haven't gotten a chance to install them yet. I have an i3s.. do you feel the ASTs improve the handling as well or is it just for the look?

I assume you carry Macht spacers? Thats the perfect fitment, I was worried that spacers might have rubbing issues because the "widebody" is just the taped-on fender extenders, the inside well spacing isnt any different.
I had the H&Rs on my previous i3. The ride was so bone-jarring stiff, I was really starting to hate driving the i3. Once AST notified us that they had a compatible listing, I couldn't wait to be among the first to try them out on the i3s - the ride/handling of the ASTs were night and day in comparison to the H&Rs.

We also have the Macht Schnell spacers in stock as well when ready.
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      09-01-2019, 01:40 PM   #13
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Hi Tom@EAS - thanks for this post, was just about to order H&R's and.was doing some recon. Can you PM me a quote for the AST Springs with Spacers as shown?

I see that you are also an ACSchnitzer dealer. What do you think of their just released product besides the big price difference. I am after lowering with the smallest change in ride quality possible. The roads where I drive are some of the best in the US but nonetheless not looking to drive a skateboard either as my wife has a bad back and need to use the i3s on date night.
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      09-03-2019, 01:18 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drowningman View Post
Hi Tom@EAS - thanks for this post, was just about to order H&R's and.was doing some recon. Can you PM me a quote for the AST Springs with Spacers as shown?

I see that you are also an ACSchnitzer dealer. What do you think of their just released product besides the big price difference. I am after lowering with the smallest change in ride quality possible. The roads where I drive are some of the best in the US but nonetheless not looking to drive a skateboard either as my wife has a bad back and need to use the i3s on date night.
PM sent.
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      09-11-2019, 04:15 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tom @ eas View Post
PM sent.
Hey Tom - can I also get a quote for the same?

Compared to the stock ‘S’ suspension, what can be expected in terms of feel/comfort? Looks like you’ve had the setup for a while, any more insight with the added time?

I live in Richmond VA and we’ve got some fairly rough roads
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      09-11-2019, 05:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 35mphgolf View Post
Hey Tom - can I also get a quote for the same?

Compared to the stock ‘S’ suspension, what can be expected in terms of feel/comfort? Looks like you’ve had the setup for a while, any more insight with the added time?

I live in Richmond VA and we’ve got some fairly rough roads
Love them, been running them since early spring. I only wish I'd had them on my previous i3 also.

PM incoming.
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