It doesn’t take a team of Formula One engineers to tell you that running a suspension setup intended for the track out on real surface streets is going to be anything but comfortable. David A’s 2009 BMW 128i has been on autocross-toy status for a while, but lately, he’s been finding himself driving his 128i on his commute more and more often, and so a change from the race coilover setup was warranted. David got in touch with the Mod Experts, who set up the install of the new suspension setup.


The new suspension setup is a set of Bilstein HD shocks and a set of Swift Springs for BMW E82 1-series, which offers a nice compromise of making the car more livable as a daily driver without taking away too much of the the car’s trackday capability. This 2008 E82 BMW 128i is something of a BMW purists’ car- it’s the last of the Naturally Aspirated, Rear-Drive, 6-Speed-Manual Inline-Six BMWs, it’s simple, uncluttered. A careful eye will notice the car has a few OEM+ upgrades, like the OEM BMW Performance Exhaust for E82 1-Series visible in the photo above.
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Rocking OEM Blackline LCI Tail Lights for E82, the back end of this 1er looks sexy and modern.

BMW_E82_128i_BBS_RK_Bilstein_Shocks_Swift_Springs_BMWPerf_BBK_Intake_Exh_img012Under the hood, power is slightly enhanced with the european BMW 128i intake, offered here as the BMW Performance Intake for 128i.

In addition to the suspension upgrades, the car sports a few other subtle tweaks to improve its trackday capability.


Up front is a BMW Performance Big Brake Kit for E82 with drilled and slotted brake rotors to enhance the stopping power of the E82 128i brakes and traction is dramatically increased thanks to a set of BBS Wheels RK 17×8 ET40 (square) wheels wrapped in sticky Michelin Pilot Super Sports in 235/45-17 both front and rear, ensuring optimal grip on the track or on the street.


We’re really fond of the overall package David has put together here. A nod to the original 2002tii, David considers it a “welcome back” to the “small BMW” – the car captures a fun to drive but pure spirit, handling being the priority of the car. Aesthetically this E82 exterior is a bit different than stock as well; wearing an M-Sport front and rear bumper with a Performance Style Rear Diffuser for E82 and a BMW Performance Trunk Spoiler for E82 1-series, it looks like it’s some kind of factory package.BMW_E82_128i_BBS_RK_Bilstein_Shocks_Swift_Springs_BMWPerf_BBK_Intake_Exh_img004a BMW_E82_128i_BBS_RK_Bilstein_Shocks_Swift_Springs_BMWPerf_BBK_Intake_Exh_img007a BMW_E82_128i_BBS_RK_Bilstein_Shocks_Swift_Springs_BMWPerf_BBK_Intake_Exh_img018a


Up front a set of BMW Performance Gloss Black Kidney Grilles for E82 1-Series evens out the look of the M-Sport front bumper.BMW_E82_128i_BBS_RK_Bilstein_Shocks_Swift_Springs_BMWPerf_BBK_Intake_Exh_img001


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David A was trying to recapture the spirit of the small, fun to drive BMW with his “tii tribute”, and with a bit of help from the Mod Experts, we’d have to say that he succeeded.

Interested in modding your BMW Suspension? Talk to our Mod Experts, give us a call at 714-582-3330, chat live on or just stop by our showroom between 8-5 Monday through Saturday in La Habra CA.

We hope you enjoyed the photos of this car as we enjoyed taking them. Thanks for reading, see you next time!

Story & Photos Nick Gregson