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Old 03-14-2007, 03:06 AM   #1
DustenT
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Default Suspension Upgrade FAQ - READ THIS BEFORE POSTING!

Time for another FAQ thread, this time for suspension upgrades. Post everything you know or every wondered in this thread and I'll consolidate it. I'll start the list with some ideas, post your suggestions.

Official 318ti Suspension FAQ Thread.

This thread will be dedicated to frequently asked questions related to 318ti suspension components. Please post your questions here, and I'll combine all the questions and answers and keep them at the top of the thread.

Who makes front control arm bushings?
- The 1995 m3 bushings are offset and solid.
- The 1996+ m3 bushing are solid but not offset.
- Tree House Racing: Offset, urethane, Pre-Pressed(Big Plus for DiY types)
- Ground Control LCA bushing, Offset, Delrin encased in metal,
- Ireland Eng, offset, urethane

What about ball joints?
The OEM ball joints are soft and don't last long on lowered cars. The Meyle solid metal ball joints are much better. They can be purchased seperately or pre-pressed into the control arms. The pre-pressed solution is an easier install.

What about control arms?
- See above for the Meyle control arm/ball joint combo.
- e30 m3 aluminum control arms work too, but recommended replacement is every 2 years or X track days.

Who makes front camber correction kits?
- KMAC
- eibach
- bimmerworld
- TcKline

Who makes rear camber correction kits?
- Ireland Engineer makes a weld-on kit.
- eibach
- OEM BMW???(need confirmation)
- KMAC

Who makes rear trailing arm bushings (RTAB)?
- Ireland Engineer
- Powerflex

Who makes and what size sway bars should I use?
- 318ti stock sways (non-sport) 25mm front, 14mm rear
- HR
- Turner MotorSports
- BMW OE Club Sport (26mm front, 16mm rear)
- Racing Dynamics
- Europe Only Eibach(need this confirmed)
- AC Schnitzer(used to, not sure if it still made)
- eibach

Who makes rear shock mounts (RSMs)?
- Ground control (urethane)
- e46 m3 cabrio RSMs
- Koala Motorsports (koalamotorsports.com)
- TcKline- Buna rubber or solid spherical for race applications

Who makes sport suspension kits? Race kits?
- BILSTEIN
- KW
- KONI
- H&R
- WEITEC
- FK Automotice
- TcKline, two levels of coilovers

Who makes rear subframe bushings?
- Powerflex
- Ireland Engineering: either in race or street versions, call IE to order the race version. There is a difference between the Z3/Ti rear subframe bushings and E30 rear subframe bushings.

Who makes differential bushings?
- Powerflex, street or race versions

What is the x-brace? Where do I get it?
The "x-brace" is a cross reinforment brace that helps to connect the front crossmember to the front subframe rails. It is stock on all E36 convertibles (including Z3's) and the '95 M3 LTW. Although it was not stock on the E36 coupe, sedans and compacts it does improve chassis rigidity and handling if added... -courtesy of understeer.com


What kind of suspension should I go with if I just want a smooth ride?
- If you are on a budget, go with the HR sport springs or the BavAuto Sport springs. You'll need to run a shorter strut/shock too. I recommend the Bilstein sports.
- Bilsteins or Konis with the factory Mtech sport springs is another good combination, although not as much drop as the above listed combination.

Links for more information:

- Great link- http://e30m3performance.com/tech_art...tech/index.htm has a lot of good information on the E30 rear suspension

- Changes to suspension and the effect of that change- http://www.wtrscca.org/tech.htm
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Old 03-14-2007, 06:42 PM   #2
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This is going well. Anything else that needs to be added? I guess I can put links to the specific manufactures too.

Does anyone have any useful links that are e30 rear or e36 front suspension specific? My some how-to articles, or suspension explanations?

THANK YOU to everyone that has posted so far.
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Old 04-25-2007, 08:11 PM   #3
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Can someone help me with this one???

On your suspension faq, you mention using Bilsteins with the M-Technik sport suspension for 'comfort.'
Which Bilsteins fit the bill? Sport? HD?
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Old 04-25-2007, 09:43 PM   #4
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I wanna say HD cause Panzer_M has HD on his clubsport.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:14 AM   #5
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The German Eibach website lists the swaybar kit as no longer available. For posterity, the part number is E2044-320.
Ground Control makes a front camber plate.
Powerflex makes centered and offset front control arm bushings. They are very easy to install.
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Old 04-26-2007, 12:28 AM   #6
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It should be said that the `96-`99 M3 LCAB's are specifically for those year control arms while the E30 M3/`95 M3 LCAB's work in the normal 3-series/M3 control arms. Some people will buy the E30 M3 control arms since they are aluminum but they are double the cost and supposedly need to be replaced sooner.
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:00 PM   #7
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Useful information about suspension:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=22024

How to suspension overhall (Andyman):
(looks to be a good DIY)

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthread.php?t=9262

The link someone else posted at the bottom:
(DIY with pictures)

http://www.bimmerfest.com/forums/sho...ght=suspension

Some camber/toe info:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...spension+specs

Opinions on BAV springs:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...light=fcuk+bav

Info on changing tire sizes:

http://www.318ti.org/forum/showthrea...ht=wheel+sizes
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Old 06-11-2008, 11:12 PM   #8
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great thread... hopefully will be doing about 3/4 of this in the next 2 months!
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Old 09-16-2009, 04:37 PM   #9
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See my post here about shock valving and common misnomers when selecting which shocks to go with depending on application. The "which shock should I buy" is way too common.

http://318ti.org/forum/showpost.php?...42&postcount=9
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Old 10-25-2009, 03:00 AM   #10
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Maybe I missed it, but was there any info on E36/M3 suspension parts compatability? Rear has to be from MZ3, but what about front suspension? I have an entire front suspension, brakes, etc from a E36 M3 sedan.
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Old 10-25-2009, 05:48 AM   #11
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they will fit but the springs and shocks will be rated for the heavier 6-cyl. engine and you'll probably raise the front and make it handle worse
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Old 10-25-2009, 06:01 AM   #12
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The car will not sit any higher than the E36 m3 which is comparable to stock sport on the ti, and handling is great compared to stock.
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Old 08-29-2010, 06:38 PM   #13
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Thanks for the response. A bit late on mine
As you know, I'm slowly working on my swap.
- S52 and 5 speed swap from a M3 sedan is in progress. M44 is removed, engine area is clean, and most parts needed from J!m's manual have been ordered.
- As I mentioned earlier, I have the entire front end to the same sedan.
- If I swap the stock M3 springs, struts, front brakes, and stab bar, do I need to add H&R springs/Billy's in order to have a safe, good performing suspension?
Reason I'm asking...I read earlier that if I swap the M3 front suspension into the M44 powered compact, then the front might sit too high. But I do not know what to expect if I swap the same supension, but with a S52/tranny now in place of the M44/stock tranny.

Maybe I'm just nukin my dilema, but it just seems like its going to be easier to swap out the suspension now that there is no engine in the way, then after I'm done with the engine swap.

Thanks again.
-SB
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Old 10-17-2010, 07:07 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shellback View Post
Thanks for the response. A bit late on mine
As you know, I'm slowly working on my swap.
- S52 and 5 speed swap from a M3 sedan is in progress. M44 is removed, engine area is clean, and most parts needed from J!m's manual have been ordered.
- As I mentioned earlier, I have the entire front end to the same sedan.
- If I swap the stock M3 springs, struts, front brakes, and stab bar, do I need to add H&R springs/Billy's in order to have a safe, good performing suspension?
Reason I'm asking...I read earlier that if I swap the M3 front suspension into the M44 powered compact, then the front might sit too high. But I do not know what to expect if I swap the same supension, but with a S52/tranny now in place of the M44/stock tranny.

Maybe I'm just nukin my dilema, but it just seems like its going to be easier to swap out the suspension now that there is no engine in the way, then after I'm done with the engine swap.

Thanks again.
-SB
As per Jim's manual, he recommends an M3 front suspensions set up, including the springs up front to carry the extra weight of the S52. That is exactly what I am doing on my swap.
Rear? I am not sure what would be compatible with M3 front springs. Eibach? H&Rs? Stock sport springs? I don't even know if I can use E30 spring. I have a set of ST sport springs for an E30. Will they work?
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Old 05-19-2011, 12:48 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DustenT View Post

What about ball joints?
The OEM ball joints are soft and don't last long on lowered cars. The Meyle solid metal ball joints are much better. They can be purchased seperately or pre-pressed into the control arms. The pre-pressed solution is an easier install.

What about control arms?
- See above for the Meyle control arm/ball joint combo.
- e30 m3 aluminum control arms work too, but recommended replacement is every 2 years or X track days.

I know Dusten is no longer with us but I'm sure you other guys can clue me in...

I have a set of 1999 M3 control arms. The outer ball joint threads (the one that goes to the king pin) are fubar'd. I don't think they can be saved plus I'd like to upgrade to solid (I guess meyle unless there is better).

My question is can the ball joint be replaced as I'm not sure if the 1996+ CA allows this or is it the before 1996 CA's?

If I can't replace them, then I'll get new CA's. Anyone have a link to a good buy on CA's with solid ball joints already pressed in? I'm only finding sets that are $200+ each.....


Taken from a PelicanParts tech article;


"Because the inner ball joint is integrated into the control arm, you must purchase a new control arm if you wish to replace the ball joint. On non-M3 E36 cars, the outer ball joint is replaceable."


So do I assume the e36 M3 outer ball joint is not replaceable?
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Last edited by Platanos; 05-19-2011 at 01:36 AM.
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