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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 12-09-2010, 07:52 PM   #1
SalM
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Best Suspension Set-ups.!?

Sup guys so in the last few months I got Kw V1 suspension with a UUC Strutbarbarian Engine Strut Bar.

I was wondering what sway bars to get. and If I should change my strut bar?

I was reading that the thicker the sway bars the better they performed.

What are you guys opinions on sway bar and strut bar sets?

If I save up some more $$$$ I'll sell my Kw V1's for Kw V2's.

If anybodies interested shoot me an offer they've got about 700 miles on them they're practically brand new.

As well as my strut bar been on for about 700 miles aswell.
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:11 PM   #2
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Any opinions on UUC Sways?
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Old 12-09-2010, 08:47 PM   #3
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As long as you like the way it looks, I'd keep the strut bar if I were you. There aren't any other bars that will noticeably perform better.

Last edited by Levi@AvTechParts; 12-09-2010 at 08:49 PM.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:38 PM   #4
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uuc and hotchkis swaybars are the best, but they need to be lubed periodicly to keep them quiet. then H&R/turner bars are good, come with bushings that dont have to be maintained and will never make a sound. if you track the car go with the uuc/hotchkis. if its a street car, you probably wont notice the difference in size so go with the cheaper H&R/turner bars.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:49 PM   #5
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Best at what? How much are you willing to change? On what budget?

With sway bars, bigger isn't always better. The stiffer the sway bar, the less "independent" an independent suspension becomes (ie, it starts to act more and more like a solid axle). You can also make handling worse by combining too much bar with too little tire. Sway bars aren't meant to be the primary method of controlling body roll, that's best done with springs and to some degree the dampers. Sway bars should be used as the final level of fine tuning a suspension's balance. Springs, dampers, roll bars, and tires must all be selected carefully in order for them to work together properly.
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:49 PM   #6
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SpeedDemon's set up is pretty rad- here's a video: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=792623
If you click on the link below his sig pic he lists all his mods...
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Old 12-09-2010, 09:50 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by txzhp04 View Post
best at what? How much are you willing to change? On what budget?

With sway bars, bigger isn't always better. The stiffer the sway bar, the less "independent" an independent suspension becomes (ie, it starts to act more and more like a solid axle). You can also make handling worse by combining too much bar with too little tire. Sway bars aren't meant to be the primary method of controlling body roll, that's best done with springs and to some degree the dampers. Sway bars should be used as the final level of fine tuning a suspension's balance. Springs, dampers, roll bars, and tires must all be selected carefully in order for them to work together properly.
+8
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:01 PM   #8
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Heres What I have so far. And I want a the best handling possible out of the bars.

Kw V1
UUC Strutbarbarian Strut Bar
Yokohama S-Drives 235/35/19

So far what I plan on doing:
Getting Kw V2
Hotchkis Sway Bars
Oem Bmw Performance Strut Bar.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:47 PM   #9
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Bars by themselves don't make or break handling.

Can you explain what you hope to accomplish by:

* switching from KW v1 to v2?
* switching from UUC Strut Barbarian to BMW Performance strut bar?
* switching from stock to Hotchkis anti-roll bars?

Also, could you please try to answer my previous questions regarding your goals and budget for the car.
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Old 12-10-2010, 02:52 PM   #10
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My goals are to achieve really really good handling in the twisties and possibly future track reference.

And Budgets not that much of an issue, Its CHRISTMAS TIME!!!!! Gotta treat my baby well.!

And yes if somebody would buy my Kw V1 ( I paid $1700 Installed) I would then take whatever I sold those for and buy Kw V2
If somebody would buy my UUC Strutbarbarian then I would switch to BMW Performance just for the looks.
And I would buy Hotchkis anti-roll bars.
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Old 12-11-2010, 07:47 AM   #11
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Bump for some more opinions
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Old 12-11-2010, 08:07 AM   #12
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The problem here is that you don't really know what it is you're trying to accomplish. You simply have this vague notion of wanting something "better". A fresh stock suspension has more than enough performance to tackle the twisties (well, at least the ZSP or ZHP equipped cars)... and KW v-anything plus roll bars is still going to fall well short of a good track setup.

Let's try a different approach here. What is it about your current setup that you don't like and feel needs to be improved? What, if any, qualities of your suspension do you like and would prefer not to change?

Honestly I think the best advice anyone can give you right now is to sign up for some driving lessons (track events) and learn to exploit the capabilities your car has so that you can start to recognize what might need to be improved.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:19 AM   #13
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I mean I really dont dislike any part of my suspension setup. I think it handles great but I want it to be a little more stiffer and handle better when in higher speeds on the twisties.

I think Kw V2's would solve my problem with some Hotchkis sway bars.

Because I'm not looking for this top end high performance track setup. I want something capable for the track as well as being stiff and glued to the road while taking a corner or a turn.
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Old 12-11-2010, 10:48 AM   #14
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I mean I really dont dislike any part of my suspension setup. I think it handles great but I want it to be a little more stiffer and handle better when in higher speeds on the twisties.

I think Kw V2's would solve my problem with some Hotchkis sway bars.

Because I'm not looking for this top end high performance track setup. I want something capable for the track as well as being stiff and glued to the road while taking a corner or a turn.
When the last time you replaced your FCABS & rear suspension bushings? If it's been more than 5 years I'd do all that first- there could be a lot of slop in there.

If anyone has seen otherwise please chime in but I don't think KW v1 to v2 will do anything for you whatsoever. AFAIK v1's are just like v2's except with fixed settings for performance street use. Even if you were leaning more toward the track, I doubt you'll be able to make meaningful adjustments on v2's without your bushings in good shape anyhow.

Swaybars, as mentioned above, are the last fine tuning thing you do once a suspension is all dialed in. They are not things that will bolt on and automatically do anything good for you. Some E46 racers don't even run a rear sway bar at all.

So yeah I'd say look into bushings first. And reinforcement plates for the rear shock mounts (and fronts IMO) as preventative maintenance since you're running a stiffer suspension. For a quick and effective performance/suspension upgrade I'd look into lightweight wheels - they'll take inertia out of your suspension so it'll work better AND make the car a little faster.
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Horsepower vs. Torque

Last edited by McSpeed; 12-11-2010 at 11:55 AM.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:15 AM   #15
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I know this contradicts my earlier advice but start with sway bars and see how close that gets you to the "feel" you want from the car. I prefer H&R but the Hotchkis are a solid product. Once you get them installed, then you will need to experiment to figure out how to adjust them to give the car the amount of roll control and understeer/oversteer balance that you want.

What makes you think that the KW V2 are going to make any difference over the V1? The V2 simply add adjustable rebound damping which will be yet another setting you have to learn how to set. They still use the same soft progressive rate springs as the V1 (as best I can determine since most vendors only seem to publish the amount of lowering - which should be a clue that KW caters to those interested more in looks than performance). I wouldn't waste the time or money on the KW V2. If the V1 isn't stiff enough for you, the V2 isn't going to change that. Start with sway bars and then re-evaluate your needs from there.

I also agree with McSpeed's advice regarding basic suspension maintenance.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:54 AM   #16
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If you need some rear shock tower reinforcment plates like McSpeed mentioned, pm me and I'll hook you up with a good deal. Also, get some strut tower reinforement plates if you don't have them already. Every e46 on a stiffer suspension should have reinforced strut and shock towers.
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Old 12-11-2010, 11:58 AM   #17
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Well you guys are right, I appreciate the advice guys This is all useful info I'm going to look forward to very soon when I start upgrading. Whats your guys opinion on Kw V3? Those are track based but what would the ride feel like when on the street. Is it a higher rebound ( Like more bouncy then Kw V1's)? Because my local shop said they would feel more bouncy and wouldnt be that comfortable of a ride.
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Old 12-11-2010, 01:21 PM   #18
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The problem with KW, whether it be V1, V2, or V3, is the lack of flexibility in spring rates along with their use of progressive rate springs. The dampers are also going to be limited in the range of spring rates they can handle. I really just can't recommend KW for high performance/track driving. They're great for people who want a drop with a decent ride and a level of quality beyond some of the low budget trash available while still keeping within a reasonable budget.
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Old 12-11-2010, 03:15 PM   #19
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The best sway bar to get on E46s is the BMW Motorsport 40mm. You can get it from Turner Motorsport for a little over 1k. I heard its what all the fast guys use.
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Old 12-11-2010, 05:32 PM   #20
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The best sway bar to get on E46s is the BMW Motorsport 40mm. You can get it from Turner Motorsport for a little over 1k. I heard its what all the fast guys use.
Those aren't a direct swap, some modification is needed from what I remember.
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