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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

Suspension & Braking
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!

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Old 10-17-2008, 12:53 PM   #1
paraklas
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Thumbs Up Hotchkis Sport Sway Bars arrived and Installed! WOW!!!

After snapping the ARB brackets twice I decided to go a step ahead and get a complete ARB set (Front + Rear). Also, the addition of the S/C made me drive more spirited than usual hense the requirement for better road stability, and reduced body roll. After a lot of research, I ended getting the Hotchkis Sport Sway Bar Kit, with rear endlinks and adjustable stiffness. Initial impression is WOW. Very well packed from factory, power coated bars, grease, manual, parts list to make sure you don't miss anything, adapter plates etc.

From the manufacturer:
Quote:
H Sport has significantly increased the handling performance of the E46 with the addition of our Tubular Sway Bar Set. Bar diameters are 30mm front and 25mm rear. Both are adjustable for fine tuning with the front being 3 position and the rear 2 position. H Sport utilizes special adaptor plates for the rear bushing brackets which allow the use of a standard bushing brackets instead of having to struggle with the oe 'tabbed' brackets. This benefit allows for a zerk fitting and additional strength over the rear subframe. Perfect for street or track days, the set comes complete with front and rear black powdercoated bars,rear end links, polyurethane bushings, bushing brackets and zerk fittings for easy occasional lube.
Specs:
Front 30.2mm (1 3/16") Hollow
3 Way Adjustable
Stiffness over stock 04 330ci Sport
+31%,+51%,+77%
Rear 25.4mm (1") Hollow
2 way Adjustable
Stiffness over stock 04 330ci Sport
+138%,+171%

Bar Rates lbs/in (Not Wheel Rate)
Front:
470 lbs/in.
540 lbs/in.
630 lbs/in.

Rear:
475 lbs/in.
540 lbs/in.
I kept this picture to make a comparison of what is advertised and what is actually delivered. No difference at all!


And here is what the UPS delivered: :wink:







Very good packing!! Nothing moved!


mmmm Thick bars!






Manual and parts list




Front bar, 3-way adjustable




Don't like stickers but where this is going, nobody will see it.


Rear Bar - 2 Way adjustable








I was planning to do the install over the weekend but I managed to squeeze 3 hours of "lunch break" to do the install today
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Old 10-17-2008, 12:55 PM   #2
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very nice.. post a review after u install it!
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:01 PM   #3
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very nice, im still deciding between H&R and these, can anyone think of the differences, Such a weird name, where are they made.
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Old 10-17-2008, 11:36 PM   #4
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very nice, im still deciding between H&R and these, can anyone think of the differences, Such a weird name, where are they made.
I'm sure there are some similarities. Probably just thickness differences, though I'm no sway expert.

Hotchkis made a reputation making suspension parts for muscle cars. Only within recent time did the get into the sport compact & euro scenes.

And for anyone that watched Sports Car Revolution when it was on TV, they were big fans of Hotchkis suspension parts.

For sways & springs, it's hard to bet against Hotchkis, imho.
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:07 AM   #5
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nice! i had mines for about 2 weeks now and i love it!
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Old 10-17-2008, 01:30 PM   #6
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Congrats on the buy. You will LOVE them. I installed Hotchkis about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier. Handling is much tighter and feel much less roll on high speed turns. If you haven't already done so I would advise changing the end links, mine broke because the sway bars were too strong, plus if you get the adjustable end links you can not only adjust rear but fronts. Good luck with install!
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:00 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by InLoveWithE46 View Post
Congrats on the buy. You will LOVE them. I installed Hotchkis about 6 months ago and couldn't be happier. Handling is much tighter and feel much less roll on high speed turns. If you haven't already done so I would advise changing the end links, mine broke because the sway bars were too strong, plus if you get the adjustable end links you can not only adjust rear but fronts. Good luck with install!
Do I have to get endlinks too? If so, for F and R? I thought the Hotchkis kit include endlinks! I have a set at home I bought 3months ago and have been dreading to install - guess I will have to pay someone to do it. If getting NEW endlinks, any recommendations out there? Will OEM (M3 or 330)ones work? Still on that, do I need an alignment afterwards?
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:41 PM   #8
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Hotchkis Sport ARB Install

Front Stock ARB


Endlink connection


The dreaded brackets that break all the time with the -now gone- powerflex bushes




Install was very easy for the front one. Just remove the brackets, disconnect the endlinks and replace with new ARB. I set it to the softest mode as the manual suggests, but I will change it later on when I have time to test the handling characteristics.




The PS hose was too close so we pushed it a bit out of the way.


New bracket in place with greased bush


Endlink connected at softest setting


Now the rears were a bit more challenging to install. Had to drop the exhaust from the rear mounts to allow some extra space. Just a ratchet with an extension did the job.




YESSSS No subframe damage!!!!


Left is OEM Vs new bolts



Rear ARB brackets removed




Rear ARB removed with the endlinks & brackets still attached to it. A 17mm open wrench was needed to hold the bolt's head on the upper side of the control arm.





Removing rear exhaust mounts to drop the exhaust a bit. Hotchkis doesn't mention this but my mechanic doesn't like following printed instructions blindly.




Testing the new endlinks with the OEM brackets


Securing them in place. We had to adjust the endlinks to lengthen a bit because the bar was touching the rear axles.








Installing the brackets with the PU bushes. The OEM brackets are held in place by a single bolt, the Hotchkis has 2 bolts and a massive aluminum reinforcement plate to hold the bar in place.




Adjusting endlinks to clear axle, screwing the exhaust back in place and DONE. Total time around 2 hours (10 minutes for fronts and 110 minutes for rear)


Old stuff in trunk to go in storage


Now, from the second the car touched the floor, the difference was noticeable. I will reserve my opinions once I manage to test the new setup in varying roads/conditions.
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Old 10-17-2008, 02:57 PM   #9
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sweet, so how much did it cost you, where are these made
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Old 10-17-2008, 04:52 PM   #10
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wow bro. nice string of PICS. another great addtion from a fellow fanatic. anyone on the planet thinking about this set up for their BMW will be well served by looking at this post. nice work.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:08 PM   #11
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Congrats! Helpful install write up as well.
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Old 10-17-2008, 05:44 PM   #12
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sweet, so how much did it cost you, where are these made
$380.00 from ebay
The seller also has a website which sells www.lightningforceperformance.com

I don't see any Made in.. but on the box it has date 10/08/2008 from an address in Santa Fe Springs, CA. I assume they are made in USA? I guess a call to hotchkis will solve this question.

Thanks for the comments
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:16 PM   #13
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I bought mine from the same seller on eBay. And I believe the stickers were only for reference when installing them. Nice write up! I love mine.
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Old 10-17-2008, 09:37 PM   #14
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if this is you after the softest setting:
this will be you at the intermediate setting:
and at the tightest setting:
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Old 10-18-2008, 12:43 AM   #15
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I am pretty sure they are made in the US, and I believe the main difference is that they are tubular.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:08 PM   #16
paraklas
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Rear endlinks are included in the kit.

No you don't need an alignment

You don't need to remove wheels, you don't even need jack stands. 2 good ramps and you are good to go.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:46 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by Many330i View Post
Do I have to get endlinks too? If so, for F and R? I thought the Hotchkis kit include endlinks! I have a set at home I bought 3months ago and have been dreading to install - guess I will have to pay someone to do it. If getting NEW endlinks, any recommendations out there? Will OEM (M3 or 330)ones work? Still on that, do I need an alignment afterwards?
^What he said. You may want to unbolt the rear muffler to make the rear install easier, but I think you can handle it.
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Old 10-22-2008, 04:55 PM   #18
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excuse me for my ignorance but what exactly does these sway bars do?
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Old 10-22-2008, 05:32 PM   #19
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Reduce body roll when cornering. Hence, "anti-roll bars" (ARB)
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Old 11-03-2008, 03:08 AM   #20
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Front end link use OEM right?
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