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Old 03-30-2005, 06:14 AM   #1
pdxmotorhead
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Question Making List of suspension points to reinforce.

Ok so I can't find a "list" of what points need reinforcing, so far I found,,,

Primary upgrades:
1. Solid front bushings.
2. Non rubber mounted Ball Joints.
3. Reinforce Rear Sway bar tabs.
4. Upper Rear shock mounts.

Secondary Upgrades.
1. X-brace
2. Rear undercarrage brace.

Finishing touches:
1. Heavier sway bars.
2. Full shock strut kit.
3. Spring kit.
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Old 03-30-2005, 11:51 AM   #2
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you'll have a number of different choices on front control arm bushings (assuming that's what "solid front bushings" refers to). my mechanic (who also race preps and races 318s) suggested the e30 m3 CABs (still rubber, but harder and he said he's never seen them fail - i also have mine as a daily driver). there are urethane bushings, centered or offset (e30 ones are offset, believe someone else commented somewhere that it makes it a little more stable - hopefully someone can explain this more in simple terms and/or correct me if what i just said is wrong) ... i think delrin ones are available too.

the "butt strut" (not the official name, but its nickname) from strong strut (www.strongstrut.com, look for Z3 rear strut bar) would be my recommendation for "rear undercarriage brace." not cheap, but there are some people who would consider going in on a group buy at some future point (maybe 6 months from now for me personally) ... i know L84thsky was interested.

if you choose lowering springs, i would also very much consider putting on a camber kit. i know bavauto.com and bmpdesign.com both offer them. bmpdesign for some reason doesn't list the front kit for our car even though it should be exactly the same as the other 6-cyl 3ers, go figure. front and back would be about $600. otherwise you'll have really nice negative camber like me you might want to consider stiffer springs that offer little to no lowering (if you can find them) or a coilover kit that offers a highest point of adjustment in the perches that results in little to no drop. another thing to consider in lowering your car ... you very well might not be able to get under it any more! i used to be able to change my oil without raising the car at all (yes, on a flat garage floor) and now i have to get up on ramps. oh yeah, my regular car ramps wouldn't work any more either after i lowered it, even with the extension kit i got which makes the angle shallower, the front bumper cover would STILL hit. had to fashion mods out of 2 x 10 pressure treated wood to make it all the way up to the top without hitting. AND i have to be careful of many things i didn't before now because it sits lower (speed bumps, driveway entrances, ice/snow chunks during winter that are of any significant size, etc). personally after all this, i'm wondering if lowering is really worth it. just my humble opinion.
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 03-30-2005, 03:59 PM   #3
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sway bar links
front and rear stess bars (strut bar)
traling arm bushings
rear and front sub frame bushings
tranny bushings
diff bushings
control arm bushings
sway bar bushings
rear shock mounts
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Old 03-30-2005, 05:21 PM   #4
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i had a custom x brace made for my car that goes from the c pillar to the seat belt spools
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Old 03-30-2005, 09:04 PM   #5
pdxmotorhead
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Default Refining the list. Call it Basic reliability suspension mods.

What I'm trying to do is create a simple FAQ of the progression
of what really needs done to a 318 ti to make a nice handling street
fun car. I fix a lot of cars at the track that have been developed in
the wrong order, (Example: too much tire for the suspention.)

Primary upgrades: (Tighten up the car and make more reliable.)
1. Reinforced Upper Rear shock mounts.
2. Solid Rubber (M3) front bushings.
3. Non rubber mounted Ball Joints.
4. Reinforce Rear Sway bar tabs.
5. Sway bar bushings front and rear.

Secondary Upgrades. (Stiffen the chassis a bit)
1. X-brace
2. Rear undercarrage brace.
3. Tranny and Differential Bushing upgrade.

Finishing touches: (Take advantage of the chassis improvements.)
1. Heavier sway bars.
2. Full shock strut kit.
3. Street sport Spring kit. (Coil over or Just springs...Hmm?)
4. + size tires and wheels.

Any others?

Dave
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Old 03-31-2005, 04:17 AM   #6
maurolin
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Roll bars, sway bar links, front and rear strut/shock bars, wheel spacers, training wheels,
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Old 03-31-2005, 05:05 AM   #7
cali-ti
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as maurolin mentioned, trailing arm bushings, possibly subframe bushings (don't know if there are drawbacks to using urethane for any of these). i haven't done any of these yet so i can't really comment. i AM planning on doing urethane trailing arm bushings (as part of a camber kit). i guess one may want/need a camber kit too (if drop is significant).

looks nice dave. btw, where was this list when i was starting my mods man?
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 04-01-2005, 06:11 AM   #8
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Post Street car suspension upgrade FAQ

Every marque has its productive mods and those that may have
cool factor but don't improve and maybe actually hurt handling.
Focus here is the basic through more advanced mods for a street car.
I'm holding mods to performance increases with minimal impact
on the comfort of driving the car. Track level/ Autocross is beyond
the intended scope.

Primary upgrades: (Tighten up the car and make more reliable.)
1. Reinforced Upper Rear shock mounts.
2. Solid Rubber (M3) front bushings.
3. Non rubber mounted front Ball Joints.
4. Reinforce Rear Sway bar tabs.
5. Sway bar bushings front and rear.

Secondary Upgrades. (Stiffen the chassis a bit)
1. X-brace
2. Front strut tower brace.
3. Rear undercarrage brace.
4. Tranny and Differential Bushing upgrade.
5. Firm subframe bushings. (Whats the best material? Delrin? Urathane?)

Finishing touches: (Take advantage of the chassis improvements.)
1. Heavier sway bars.
2. Full shock & strut set. (Koni or Bilstien)
3. Street sport Spring kit. (Coil over or Just springs...Hmm?)
4. Camber kit if lowering springs are installed.
5. + size tires and wheels.

Any others?
I flagged things with colored comments that I'm firuring out....
I place the strut brace a bit higher because I've found that a
lot of different track cars show fatigue signs in areas that are likely
due to strut tower flex. IE Leaky Windshields, seams that leak, and I
give it a bump for the cool factor cause you can see it when you work
on the car...

Dave
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Old 04-01-2005, 11:08 AM   #9
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lol ... ****, are we BORG now dave??? hmmmm, kinda sounds like HAL from 2001: "What are you doing, Dave?" i digress ...

i don't deem strut/shock tower braces as primary upgrades (per your definition, and i like your definitions and upgrade concept). from what i've read (i don't have them myself), they should be in the finishing touches section. the return on your investment for those is nowhere near what say the x-brace would be. i think i would put that literally last in the list (not last in the category, last in the list).

RSM (rear shock mounts) are a common failure point. i would move those up in category 1 ... say to the number 3 position. other than that, i like the list, the order and you for putting this together
__________________
1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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Old 04-02-2005, 05:56 AM   #10
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I have stock suspension and my rear springs have cracked off little pieses (now rear dropped "1.0 and my RSM poped, so before anything RSM THEN springs THEN all the other crap ,
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Old 04-03-2005, 04:44 AM   #11
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I updated the list based on the feedback, Still looking for lessons learned form the experienced owners...

Dave
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Old 12-09-2005, 01:20 AM   #12
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In terms of time and money, here's my recollection--after taking a driver's ed class--since some projects are easiest to do all at once, like front springs/struts/control arms. I'm looking at what Dinan has for the 318is....

1. +1 size tires and wheels
2. Street sport spring kit with
3. Reinforced Upper Rear shock mounts w/ Bilstein Sports/Koni dampers
4. Front strut bearings (different types)/ w/ Bilstein Sports/Koni front strut dampers
5. Solid Rubber (M3) front control arm bushings and
6. New oem or non-rubber mounted ball joints (Meyle rubber/steel? Urethane?)
7. Heavier sway bars (27 or 28 fr/18-20 rear) and
8. Sway bar bushings front and rear. sway bar links
9. front and rear stress bars (strut bar)
10. Reinforce Rear Sway bar tabs.
11. X-brace
12.Rear undercarrage brace.
13. rear and front sub frame bushings
14. Tranny and Differential Bushing upgrade.
15. trailing arm bushings
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Old 01-02-2006, 11:50 PM   #13
assaf_shalvi
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Default shock observer unhooked

i was driving my car when all of a sudden i felt the left rear side acting wierd.
i looked at the shock observer and the bottom of it was off the bolt. the bolt is still there...
this a recently installed bilstien...
any one knows how this could have happen? any similar experience? any solution?
thanks
Assaf Shalvi
95' compact manual m43
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:34 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cali-ti
i don't deem strut/shock tower braces as primary upgrades (per your definition, and i like your definitions and upgrade concept). from what i've read (i don't have them myself), they should be in the finishing touches section. the return on your investment for those is nowhere near what say the x-brace would be. i think i would put that literally last in the list (not last in the category, last in the list).
I disagree. I noticed a marked improvement when I installed my strut tower brace.The common off-camber windshield 'creak' went away. What more evedince could you need?

Also, add to the list two very cheap insurance items:

Z3 reinforcing plate (rear shock mount) 51.71.8.413.359 ?
Front strut tower reinforcing plates 31.31.2.489.795 $10.00
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Old 01-03-2006, 12:44 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J!m
I disagree. I noticed a marked improvement when I installed my strut tower brace.The common off-camber windshield 'creak' went away. What more evedince could you need?
that same "windshield creak" is what the x-brace is supposed to eliminate (and why they put it on the convertibles from the factory, right?

did you already have the x-brace when you installed the strut tower brace? that would certainly be telling if you did.
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1996 318ti, California package, 267k miles
current mods: bilstein sports, bavauto springs, e30 m3 LCABs, solid metal ball joints, bavauto RSMs w/reinforcements, e30 3.73 LSD & halfshafts, supersprint cat-back exhaust, turner rear sway bar reinforcements, IE poly subframe & RTABs + camber/toe kits, powdercoated e36 32x front calipers, sport mirrors, H&R 28mmF/19mmR sway bars, x-brace, auto solutions SSK w/poly bushing upgrade, BMW CD43 head unit, DICE HD Radio w/iPod integration and "stealth" HD antenna, staggered style 68s, orange electronic TPMS, leather arm rest, JT Designs metal undertray

acquired and awaiting install: heated seat kit, cali top switch relo, lumbar support kit, park distance control kit, heated washer nozzle kit, m-coupe rear subframe, trailing arms, differential, and halfshafts, m-coupe front/rear brakes with master cylinder, under hood light kit, mud flaps, rear sun blind, auto-dimming rear view mirror, tilt steering wheel retrofit, apexcone 5000K HIDs with 55W ballasts




2002 X5 4.4 Sport Package, 53.5k miles
Current Mods: e46 m3 steering wheel
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