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Old 04-12-2012, 11:21 PM   #1
JdevTi
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Default mtech suspension replacement

Hi guys, I'm brand new. I'm searching to pick up a 318ti. I really would prefer the more tightly tuned suspension of the mtech but these cars in decent condition are kind of hard to find I'm discovering.

What I'm thinking about doing is buying a regular Ti Active and upgrading the suspension from there. It would be cool to have a true mtech car, but I'm not that attached to that requirement. I really need cruise control too which makes the car find even harder it seems...

My question is, is there a company that sells OEM spec replacement suspension for the mtech car? The reason is I don't want a "lowered" car. I want a stock OEM mtech ride, and I'm having trouble finding stock replacement parts for that spec.

I found where someone had posted an OEM replacement on realoem, but the part number is discontinued.

Any help appreciated!!!
Thanks,
Jason

http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...40&hg=33&fg=95
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Old 04-13-2012, 01:21 AM   #2
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I'm not sure how much tighter a true mtech car is but the 318ti handles pretty darn well stock. The front is the same as all the e36's as I understand so if you did want to ungrade there is parts out there. I have some extra bracework on mine I think is aftermarket and have heard updating the wheels to something bigger would also improve the handling. I've heard of people upgrading the rear so there must be parts out there as well. If you are set on having an m car I've read all the 1996 cali editions were all handled by the m division, I think they all have cruise as well. Overall numbers on these cars was fairly low so fiding a nice one may be getting hard. Then again after you change the engine, the rear end the front suspent. the sound system, the seats. no one will know it didn't start out nice.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:01 AM   #3
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There are still nice examples out there, you just have to be patient and expect to pay a premium when you find one (i.e.- you're probably not going to find a primo example for under $3500-4000.). M tech stuff actually has a slight drop to it, but I think it's only like 0.5".

DON'T get an Active model (unless you're really fond of ASC+T)- get a Base or a Sport (many Base models came with cruise control as an option - my '95 did), put an aftermarket suspension on it, an x-brace, and call it a day. Companies like Mason Engineering also make front and rear strut braces for these cars, but probably not necessary unless you plan on putting in a lot of track time.
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:16 AM   #4
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Thanks guys. I made a wrong turn in LA and couldnt get up to see the car in time. Ill go tomorrow just for experience if nothing else.

Bummer about the active model but yea, its really just about about cruise control. I searched a bit and didnt find what ACS is. Is that traction control? Why is it bad?
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:35 AM   #5
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ACS is traction control, I don't understand the connection to the active package though. after mid 96 all BMWs came with traction control regardless of trim level
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Old 04-13-2012, 04:23 AM   #6
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my 1995 Active has cruise...no ACS
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:50 AM   #7
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I have a base model, and like you I am not interested in lowering the car any. I got a lot firmer, yet comfortable ride by installing Bilstein HD shocks. They didn't lower the car at all. Some day if I can get the parts cheap I would like to install sport model sway bars. Good luck! John
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:45 AM   #8
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You can buy the Sport Package suspension parts seperately and make it yourself. They should still sell every thing.

The Sport Suspension has these updated parts:

FRONT

• Front Springs (.6" lower)
You will have to give the dealer the VIN for a Sport Package car to get the parts number, RealOEM doesn't list spring part numbers.

• Front Struts. I believe these are the Sachs "Turbo" or "Advantage" line.
L: 31311090715
R: 31311090716

• Front Roll Bar. 26mm vs. 25mm on the normal cars.
31351091308
And two roll bar bushings for 26mm.
31351140188 (2x)

REAR

• Rear Springs (.6") Lower
Same thing with the part number. But, I did buy a pair of new rear springs (sport package) from the dealer and it was part number: 33539066887

• Rear Shocks. Sachs Turbo/Advantage
33521091630 (2x)

• Rear Bar. 16mm vs 14mm standard
33551090317

And two roll bar bushings for 16mm
33551129700 (2x)

At www.bmwmercedesparts.com (probably the cheapest place for OE/Genuine parts) - along with www.getbmwparts.com - I came up with $1,168.98 total without the front springs. Probably about $1,400 total with the front springs and shipping.

Pretty pricey. But, I see at AutohausAZ.com you can get the Sachs Advantage (Sport Package) struts/socks and save a ton over the BMW stickered/dealer version. A $290 savings. They are cheaper than Bilstein HDs (which I have), unlike buying them from the dealer and their markup.

I'd also have no issue with using used roll bars, so that would save some, just buy brand new bushings and end links.

Then you just have the springs to worry about. The factory M-Tech/Sport ones are nice and I'd say a good compromise between the standard springs and a true aftermarket spring set which usually are a 1-2" drop. Used would also be an option in a low rust area. I had a rear spring snap on me in a road salt environment.
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Last edited by CirrusSR22; 04-13-2012 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 04-13-2012, 08:17 AM   #9
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Unbelievable help! Thank you. That is exactly what i was hoping to find. I take it the acs thing is a "problem" for most of us then, say if i were to upgrade an active model? Is the issue with it mainly that you lose the ability to drive it like a real wheel drive, aggressive car essentially? I thought i read somewhere that it could be defeated somehow.

Thanks again all. Ill have to see what car i can find that makes sense. By the way ive been driving an unbelievably reliable honda civic almost forever and the forum guys for that car... sometimes a little rough... Excellent forum here!
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Old 04-13-2012, 03:28 PM   #10
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You can turn ACS+T off completely by just pushing the button but it will come back on the next time you start the car.

If you really want it gone it's ~$25 to make that happen, just swap out intake boots to delete the traction control throttle body.
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:30 PM   #11
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What was bmw thinking making us turn off the traction control, and then putting that annoying little red light in the middle of the dash to remind us it's turned off, as if there's something wrong. And another thing, I know I have an automatic but why is the brake pedal bigger than the gas? Didn't they know how I was going to drive this thing?
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tiFreak View Post
ACS is traction control, I don't understand the connection to the active package though. after mid 96 all BMWs came with traction control regardless of trim level
My bad, I thought that the 'Active' trim level denoted ASC+T. I was unaware that all trim package levels got this after '96. (yet another reason why I miss my '95... )

Surely there is a thread somewhere here on the forum that details what features were standard/options across the different trim packages?
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Old 04-13-2012, 05:59 PM   #13
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Trim packages baffle me on bmw's. I have a cali ed. and I say this because it's a 1996 and it has the canvas sun roof. But it does have cruise, cloth seats, black paint, and a few other 'goodies'. And I've heard of a few other odd ball packages like 'club sports' and some even odder names that my back woods Iowa tungue couln't even say correctly. Places like kelly blue book don't even list these packages as options. When I was rear ended a while back the insurance company wouldn't value the car as anything more than a base because there books didn't show any other packages as well. Long story short there's by far to many packages for this being such a low production car.
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Old 04-13-2012, 06:24 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoner View Post
My bad, I thought that the 'Active' trim level denoted ASC+T. I was unaware that all trim package levels got this after '96. (yet another reason why I miss my '95... )

Surely there is a thread somewhere here on the forum that details what features were standard/options across the different trim packages?
wikipedia has a decent summary of the options. It doesn't mention traction control. This is the best I've found, and wouldn't be surprised it the content came from members here.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BMW_Compact
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Old 04-24-2012, 06:02 AM   #15
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Just so I have this straight... the ti Mtech bars (front and rear) bolt to a base or active w/just new bushings?
And they are the biggest OEM bars made for the e36?

Last edited by petemc53555; 04-24-2012 at 06:03 AM. Reason: spelling
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