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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 10-28-2009, 12:22 AM   #1
jkwon
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BMW Performance Suspension research

I've gotten a few emails regarding upgrading to the BMW Performance Suspension. I did a lot of research to find out what parts I needed, what goes where and the little details that I needed to do a complete suspension refresh. Keep in mind that I'm coming from a non-sport setup so I did everything down to the bolts and washers. To avoid writing the same thing over and over again through emails and PM's, I thought I would post my research here.

Peformance Suspension Part number: 33 50 0 429 577
Complete parts list of the package:

http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/33500429577/

Front axle diagram and parts list:
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E4...taching_parts/

Rear axle diagram and parts list:
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/E4...ounting_parts/

Cross reference all 3 sites then you'll be able to figure out what else you're going to need to buy. Since there are so many little items, I put everything into a spreadsheet. It was the only way I could organize.

The following parts list may be incomplete because I ordered a few odds and ends seperate to the list. I did upgrade a couple of parts which include M3 RTABS and M3 RSMs.

PART NUMBER DESCRIPTION QUANTITY
33326770817 M3 rtab 2
33551094545 Rear sports sway 1
33551094551 Stabilizer rubber mounting 2
33506779734 STABILIZER SUPPORT 2
33551094619 Stabilizer link 2
FRONT
31336752735 Guide support 2
31331110196 DUST PROTECTION COLLAR 2
31336776760 Flat washer 2
31326769667 UPPER SPRING POCKET WITH SPACER 2
31331091867 SPRING PAD UPPER 2
31331094749 Protection tube 2
31331096664 SPRING PAD LOWER 2
REAR
33521136283 Protection tube 2
33526779398 Shim 10X16 ZNS3 2
33526762325 Plate 2
33526779670 Guide support M3 2
33526772864 WASHER-GASKET 2
33526751403 Plate 2
33531094518 SPRING PAD LOWER 2
33531136385 SPRING PAD 5MM 2
SPRINGS
31331093084 front springs 2
33531095712 rear springs 2
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:43 AM   #2
jkwon
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If you already have sport springs, you don't need to buy springs.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:49 AM   #3
SpeedDemon
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The only thing that is different about ZHP suspension over ZSP suspension are the front lower control arm ball joints which are stiffer and more durable.
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Old 10-28-2009, 12:56 AM   #4
jkwon
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I don't think so unless they have 2 part numbers for the same part. Take a look at the the struts and shocks for each package, they are different. As far as differences are concerned, I have no idea. I'm only comparing what I had (non-sport) to what I have now (performance suspension)

Sport Suspension
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/33329415350/

Performance Suspension
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/33500429577/

I know the springs are the same. I also heard somewhere that the performance control arm ball joints are replaceable. Don't know if that's true.
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Old 10-28-2009, 01:23 AM   #5
SpeedDemon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jkwon View Post
I don't think so unless they have 2 part numbers for the same part. Take a look at the the struts and shocks for each package, they are different. As far as differences are concerned, I have no idea. I'm only comparing what I had (non-sport) to what I have now (performance suspension)

Sport Suspension
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/33329415350/

Performance Suspension
http://bmwfans.info/parts/catalog/33500429577/

I know the springs are the same. I also heard somewhere that the performance control arm ball joints are replaceable. Don't know if that's true.
There are lots of different product numbers that BMW often uses to describe identical parts. That's what you are experiencing in this situation.

BMW used to offer a different ZSP damper that you can't get anymore back in 2001 that is/was actually nicer than any ZHP damper that was ever used.

Anybody upgrading to OEM suspension is probably just best off using the OEM M3 dampers instead of the ZHP/ZSP ones (they're completely compatible).

And no, ZHP ball joints aren't replaceable.
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Old 10-28-2009, 04:26 PM   #6
BMW_Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedDemon View Post
The only thing that is different about ZHP suspension over ZSP suspension are the front lower control arm ball joints which are stiffer and more durable.
And a slightly stiffer sway bar and stiffer dampers.
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:06 PM   #7
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Matt View Post
And a slightly stiffer sway bar and stiffer dampers.
Same swaybars ZHP and ZSP for post 4/01 build cars
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:27 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr View Post
Same swaybars ZHP and ZSP for post 4/01 build cars
I know that but there's only 3 months worth of e46's which are only a few compared to the rest of the later e46's
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Old 10-28-2009, 05:49 PM   #9
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMW_Matt View Post
I know that but there's only 3 months worth of e46's which are only a few compared to the rest of the later e46's
I believe you did the math wrong.

USA spec build dates for the E46 range from 10/97 to 2/05 with the facelift around 1/00 . 4/01 to 2/05 is a bit more than 3 months.

Edit - also, curiously enough, pre 4/01 build ZSP sway bars are stiffer than the ZHP bars
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:17 PM   #10
SpeedDemon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr View Post
I believe you did the math wrong.

USA spec build dates for the E46 range from 10/97 to 2/05 with the facelift around 1/00 . 4/01 to 2/05 is a bit more than 3 months.

Edit - also, curiously enough, pre 4/01 build ZSP sway bars are stiffer than the ZHP bars
All correct

The zhp ONLY has more durable/stiff ball joints. That is all that differs it from its same model year ZSP cars in the suspension.

BMW used better dampers and stiffer sway bars on pre-4/01 ZSP 330s. Everything after 4/01 was the same. Springs only differ based on equipped options if anybody is wondering (weight of the car varies slightly).
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:29 PM   #11
BMW_Matt
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr View Post
I believe you did the math wrong.

USA spec build dates for the E46 range from 10/97 to 2/05 with the facelift around 1/00 . 4/01 to 2/05 is a bit more than 3 months.

Edit - also, curiously enough, pre 4/01 build ZSP sway bars are stiffer than the ZHP bars
No I didn't do my math wrong I just didn't know 328s and 323s zsp was the same as the 330's. Guess u learn something new everyday.
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:39 PM   #12
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E46 = 323/325/328/330 in NA plus additional models in Euro region
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Old 10-28-2009, 06:43 PM   #13
BMW_Matt
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Yes I know that
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:09 PM   #14
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Good. Now that we've got a baseline, the ZSP suspension on the 323/328 is similar to the pre-4/01 ZSP, but significantly different from the post-4/01 ZSP, and ZHP suspensions on the 325/330. Compared to the ZHP suspension, the 323/328 ZSP suspension used higher quality dampers (but with similar valving), stiffer swaybars, and used spring rates are similar to slightly stiffer than comparable ZHP cars.
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Old 10-28-2009, 07:17 PM   #15
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Yes, correct.
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Old 10-18-2010, 02:04 PM   #16
Fry-man22
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Just bumping this thread as I just purchased the performance retrofit kit and this thread was very helpful in determining the required parts not included with the kit. Really some of this stuff could be swapped over, but in the interest of having a completely refreshed setup I'm changing everything listed. I'm posting the list of parts I purchased as there are a couple parts from the original post that have been deleted. I already have the M3 RTABS so they are not on the list.


Part # Desc Qty
FRONT
31336760943 Guide support 2
31331110196 DUST PROTECTION COLLAR 2
31336776760 Flat washer 2
31326769667 UPPER SPRING POCKET WITH SPACER 2
31331091867 SPRING PAD UPPER 2
31331094749 Protection tube 2
31331096664 SPRING PAD LOWER 2
REAR
33521136283 Protection tube 2
33526779398 Shim 10X16 ZNS3 2
33526762325 Plate 2
33521092362 Guide support 2
33526772864 WASHER-GASKET 2
33526788999 Plate 2
33531094518 SPRING PAD LOWER 2
33531136385 SPRING PAD 5MM 2
51717036781 Strut Tower Re-enforcement 2
54128144789 Blind Rivet 2
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