E46Fanatics - View Single Post - are sway bars really going to make a difference?
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Cincinnati
Posts: 815
My Ride: 328Ci, 325i, M3 ZCP
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I really do believe the Hotchkis are the best available for the cars, and ModBargains is a fantastic bunch of people to order from

I have driven with H&R, TMS, and others, but the Hotchkis are completely silent and maintain their silence (i.e. no squeaks after 10k miles or anything), despite being the largest sway bars for non-M cars they weigh less than any of the others I've used, it's extremely easy to change the settings, they have the most complete package (unless others have changed, Hotchkis is the only to include new end links as far as I know), and they just "flat out" handle better (pun intended). After getting used to the Hotchkis sways, at Mid-Ohio and at Autocross events I was able to take corners at ~74-76mph that I used to have to slow to 65-68mph to take. There were no other changes for that difference; exact same coils, bushings, etc and all of the same settings (this was with the KW V2's before I got TC Kline D/A's, and they were set two-clicks from full-stiff on damping; camber was -1.75" Front/-2.00" Rear; very mild toe-out of around ~0.2"; sways were at full-stiffness on both ends; Quaife LSD has variable lockup so I can't help that), the same exact tires and wheels (BBS LM 19x9.5" front and 19x11" rear with Michelin Pilot Sport Cups), and the weight was nearly identical with the car varying between 3075-3090lbs (lots of CF, removal of "unnecessary stuff" though still have a kicking sound system courtesy of Focal's Utopia line, Recaro Sportster CS CF/Kevlar-backed race seats with Alcantara/Leather surface for driver and passenger = 2 seats that weigh less than one OE Sport Seat, etc). Aerodynamics were identical (M-Tech II full kit, CF Clubsport splitters, custom-designed and laser-cut undertray that extends just past the front wheels, Vorsteiner dual-sided CF: GTR hood, CSL Roof, M3 Mirrors, CSL Trunk, modified M3-type rear diffuser fitted to M-Tech II rear bumper; custom "pseudo wide body" done by friend who owns a body shop consists of fenders cut down middle, pulled out, shaped, aluminum panel cut and shaped to match then welded in and everything sanded and painted which added 1.75" per side front and 2.0" per side rear; Turner Motorsports Carbon Fiber Brake Cooling Ducts, and so on), the brakes were the same (Brembo Monobloc BBK 6-piston front 4-piston rear with 2pc vented/slotted rotors), and I even use the same exact gas pump for the 105oct race gas with which I always fill my tank exactly 1/3 full.

Honestly, I have looked at every possible variable, and the only real differences were temperature: 72F vs 74F, 54% vs 48% humidity, 12:30pm vs 4:15pm, and that's about it.

I have to attribute the gain in handling to the Hotchkis sway bars, and I was blown away. They are simply the best out there outside of pure race-type sways, and they are extremely well-priced.

I also would highly recommend getting them from Modbargains, as the service I get from them has always been absolutely amazing regardless of who it is that handles my order. I can honestly say that talking to them on the phone ordering parts, it's obvious that you're talking to an enthusiast, no just a salesperson, and they really do care about their products AND their customers. I have been a customer since 2006 and from my first order to my most recent, they have always gone the extra mile (or even extra 100 miles) to ensure that I remain a loyal customer.
No I am not paid to endorse them or even asked, I am really just that pleased with their service. I only wish that they had not stopped carrying so many E46 parts
(Temporary Sig)

- DPE - Volk - BBS - OE CSL - JRZ Race 4Way -
- M-Tech II - RE - AP Radi-CAL -
- Hotchkis - AFE - AKG - KW CS 4way -
- TMS - OS Giken - SS V1 - Vorsteiner - Recaro - Focal - JL - MORE! -
-00 328Ci Topaz 6MT ZSP/ZPP/HID (Street) ESS TSE2+ 2980lb
-01 325i TiAg 5MT/ZSP/ZCW (Street) Track Susp/Brk/Whl 3102lb
-06 M3 AW/IR 6MT/ZCP/HID (Dual-purpose) NA Fully-Built 2810lb
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