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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:19 AM   #1
chyuh
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Planning my suspension OVERhaul. Opinions?

I was looking under the hood today and noticed that the bolts on the strut tower were not completely perpendicular to the metal, close but not completely flat. Mushrooming?

This, and reading the other Koni FSD thread inspired me to plan my suspension overhaul. I might as well change everything while I'm banging away at the mushroom.

Here is everything I plan on changing. I am planning on doing this in the summer when I have more free time.


Mileage: 63,XXX


I like my current ride height. I have no plans to track the car in the next year or two, and if I do, it would be to have fun. I won't be worried about trying to trim 3 seconds off my lap time.

San Francisco has some crappy roads. That's probably how the mushrooms formed to begin with.

I only shopped around a handful of websites, so if you know any place that has something cheaper, please let me know!

I plan to buy the parts over the next coming months, just so it won't put a huge dent in my checking account at once.

Any opinions or recommendations? I still have to buy some tools too. Unless someone in the Bay Area wouldn't mind lending me tools, or some knowledge, or even a helping hand!

Updates: I will probably go for these now

$345 for Meyle HD CA and FCAB with brackets!

$35.28 for the steering coupler!

$510 for Meyle HD CAs, FCABS w/brackets, front tie rods, front sway links!

Last edited by chyuh; 02-06-2011 at 12:37 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:02 AM   #2
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This should save you some coin off of some of the parts that you have listed:

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...4462&tab=27618
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by The_Don View Post
This should save you some coin off of some of the parts that you have listed:

http://www.trademotion.com/partlocat...4462&tab=27618
Hmm... I wish it were more specific in terms of part numbers...
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:42 AM   #4
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The front tower brace is a good idea. It was recommended by one of my shops I install one to prevent the mushrooming from happening.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:06 AM   #5
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I left out the rear swaybar links. 28 dollars for both from pelican

the ECS kit looks pretty good...

Last edited by chyuh; 02-06-2011 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:21 AM   #6
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I did almost exactly the same thing nearly a year ago using exactly the same parts. More or less. I went with the meyle HD control arms because I liked the idea of the removable and replaceable ball joints. Other than that, all the same.

I saw on your spreadsheet you had a query over the RE Rsm's being compatible with the FSD's. Well they are. I am running that set up. I also went with an M3 front sway bar and a vert rear sway bar. Both used. Saved me a ton on a sway bar kit. Both are beefier than stock and fit no problems. Although I did have to double nut the m3 sway brackets and use some loctite.

As for mushrooming. I also had the same issue. I used the BMW rough road reinforcement plates that come with the xi. Super cheap and it's nice to stay oem where you can. I then also put the strut bar on top as well to create a sandwich effect which should prevent reoccurence. One thing to consider is that if your shock towers are mushroomed and the bolts are no longer parallel to each other, your front shock mounts are warped too. I beat my towers back to flatness with a rubber mallet and a block of wood. The new mounts fit right in perfectly. Huge difference.

Great and useful list by the way. The FSD's are awesome shocks, great handling with minimal sacrifice in comfort.

Last edited by simonhla; 02-06-2011 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:30 AM   #7
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Oh, something I forgot. Is to check your springs. Specifically the rear ones for wear. Sometimes the ends of the rear springs snap off. If the coating has worn off and the springs are rusty in any area, then I would replace them. It's really easy to find used ones on this forum somewhere for dirt cheap. I got mine with only 20k miles on them and for about $100.
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:40 AM   #8
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Some better places to get parts: www.oembimmerparts.com (they have FCAB for $80, for example), www.rmeuropean.com (free shipping for orders $65+), www.autohausaz.com (free shipping for orders $50+), www.bmwmercedesparts.com (online BMW dealer like tisher, but with significantly better prices and more reasonable shipping costs).
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Old 02-06-2011, 11:59 AM   #9
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Some better places to get parts: www.oembimmerparts.com (they have FCAB for $80, for example), www.rmeuropean.com (free shipping for orders $65+), www.autohausaz.com (free shipping for orders $50+), www.bmwmercedesparts.com (online BMW dealer like tisher, but with significantly better prices and more reasonable shipping costs).
Woah!

$345 for Meyle HD CA and FCAB with brackets!

$35.28 for the steering coupler!

$510 for Meyle HD CAs, FCABS w/brackets, front tie rods, front sway links!

And $8.89 flat shipping from oembimmerparts! holy ****

Last edited by chyuh; 02-06-2011 at 12:05 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:02 PM   #10
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Woah!
Exactly!
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:18 PM   #11
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Hmm... I wish it were more specific in terms of part numbers...
I hear you there. I know that the control arms are the zhp control arms, but the shocks would be nice to look up and research.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:29 PM   #12
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Stick with your original plan. The FSDs make your plan superior to the trademotion kit, zhp shocks are bouncier than sport shocks, and a helluva lot worse than FSDs.

Those parts of autohauz, fcpgroton, rmeuropean, etc. sites are not always OEM, usually they are lower quality to aid in the cheaper price.

Having said that, if getbmwparts has a kit similar to ECSs (without the shocks/struts) I would use it, because recently some have had issues with ECS; getbmwparts has certainly earned their salt in the BMW community.
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Old 02-06-2011, 12:36 PM   #13
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Stick with your original plan. The FSDs make your plan superior to the trademotion kit, zhp shocks are bouncier than sport shocks, and a helluva lot worse than FSDs.

Those parts of autohauz, fcpgroton, rmeuropean, etc. sites are not always OEM, usually they are lower quality to aid in the cheaper price.

Having said that, if getbmwparts has a kit similar to ECSs (without the shocks/struts) I would use it, because recently some have had issues with ECS; getbmwparts has certainly earned their salt in the BMW community.
Good to know, but I am leaning towards the rebuild kit from OEMBimmerParts now.

Sub-Total price goes down to 2044.12 now.

Last edited by chyuh; 02-06-2011 at 12:38 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:22 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by simonhla View Post
I did almost exactly the same thing nearly a year ago using exactly the same parts. More or less. I went with the meyle HD control arms because I liked the idea of the removable and replaceable ball joints. Other than that, all the same.

I saw on your spreadsheet you had a query over the RE Rsm's being compatible with the FSD's. Well they are. I am running that set up. I also went with an M3 front sway bar and a vert rear sway bar. Both used. Saved me a ton on a sway bar kit. Both are beefier than stock and fit no problems. Although I did have to double nut the m3 sway brackets and use some loctite.

As for mushrooming. I also had the same issue. I used the BMW rough road reinforcement plates that come with the xi. Super cheap and it's nice to stay oem where you can. I then also put the strut bar on top as well to create a sandwich effect which should prevent reoccurence. One thing to consider is that if your shock towers are mushroomed and the bolts are no longer parallel to each other, your front shock mounts are warped too. I beat my towers back to flatness with a rubber mallet and a block of wood. The new mounts fit right in perfectly. Huge difference.

Great and useful list by the way. The FSD's are awesome shocks, great handling with minimal sacrifice in comfort.
Quote:
Originally Posted by simonhla View Post
Oh, something I forgot. Is to check your springs. Specifically the rear ones for wear. Sometimes the ends of the rear springs snap off. If the coating has worn off and the springs are rusty in any area, then I would replace them. It's really easy to find used ones on this forum somewhere for dirt cheap. I got mine with only 20k miles on them and for about $100.
No idea how I missed your two posts before, just read it now.

I know the FSDs will work with the RE RSM, but RE has the option of 10mm to 12mm mounts. http://www.rogueengineering.com/rogue/RSM.html

Problem is, I am not sure what the outer diameter of the shocks are.

Does the vert sway fit on a sedan?

Last edited by chyuh; 02-06-2011 at 03:24 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 03:44 PM   #15
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Those parts of autohauz, fcpgroton, rmeuropean, etc. sites are not always OEM, usually they are lower quality to aid in the cheaper price.
If the parts are not OEM they state this clearly (at least rmeuropean and autohaus) so you can choose OEM vs Aftermarket.
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Old 02-06-2011, 06:59 PM   #16
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No idea how I missed your two posts before, just read it now.

I know the FSDs will work with the RE RSM, but RE has the option of 10mm to 12mm mounts. http://www.rogueengineering.com/rogue/RSM.html

Problem is, I am not sure what the outer diameter of the shocks are.

Does the vert sway fit on a sedan?
Oh sorry. Didn't catch that part as I was checking on my phone. Let me find my old order form and I will tell you which size RSM's I ordered.

As far as the vert rear sway on a sedan, I don't know. You can probably search through the forum and find out though.

I'll get back to you.

EDIT: Ok, so Rogue Eng. give the option of ordering a 12mm adapter plate for certain suspensions (mainly coilovers I think). I did not need this plate for the FSD's. So can confirm that they are 10mm shocks. Same as Koni Sports.

A note on the sways:

I believe that Sport package non-m e46 had 23.5/24mm front sways and 18mm rear sways. The M3 front sway is 26mm and the convertible rear sway is 20mm. So a 2mm increase at both ends. Your ZHP I believe has 23.5 & 18 as standard. The set you are looking at on Turner are 27/21. So a little beefier. However given that they are for all e46 applications it makes me think rear sways are universal (except M3), so an educated guess would say that you can put the rear vert sway in a sedan.

Also on Turner here is the m3 front sway for only $50. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...RODUCT_ID=7377
The rear 20mm sway can be bought new from bmwmercedes parts.com for $107. Finding a used one is tough in my experience.
Confirm these will both fit the sedan because I am not to be trusted! If they do work, you have a decent upgrade for around $200+ cheaper than aftermarket options.

One last thing I noticed is that you are getting meyle tierods. I would stick with OEM for these if I were you (Lemforder). Just my $0.02

Last edited by simonhla; 02-06-2011 at 07:32 PM.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:18 PM   #17
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Oh sorry. Didn't catch that part as I was checking on my phone. Let me find my old order form and I will tell you which size RSM's I ordered.

As far as the vert rear sway on a sedan, I don't know. You can probably search through the forum and find out though.

I'll get back to you.

EDIT: Ok, so Rogue Eng. give the option of ordering a 12mm adapter plate for certain suspensions (mainly coilovers I think). I did not need this plate for the FSD's. So can confirm that they are 10mm shocks. Same as Koni Sports.
Awesome, thanks!

I think I read on bimmerforum that you used the oem bushings for the m3 sway, the stock end links from your e46, and a new set of brackets which actually turned out to be the same? you haven't ran into anymore issues have you?
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:35 PM   #18
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Awesome, thanks!

I think I read on bimmerforum that you used the oem bushings for the m3 sway, the stock end links from your e46, and a new set of brackets which actually turned out to be the same? you haven't ran into anymore issues have you?
No. I haven't. I don't know why i had the issues I did. One of my front brackets literally tore off. The tech never saw anything like it. We ordered new brackets for the M3 but it was the same part number. When they arrived we double nutted them for added security and added loctite to the 2nd nut. Previously they had worked themselves loose. I don't know if it was equipment or installation error. Either way they have been fine since. It's been approx 10K of hard driving.

Check my previous post above. I have edited it and added more info re: the sways.
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Old 02-06-2011, 07:46 PM   #19
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Also on Turner here is the m3 front sway for only $50. http://www.turnermotorsport.com/html...RODUCT_ID=7377
The rear 20mm sway can be bought new from bmwmercedes parts.com for $107. Finding a used one is tough in my experience.
Confirm these will both fit the sedan because I am not to be trusted! If they do work, you have a decent upgrade for around $200+ cheaper than aftermarket options.

One last thing I noticed is that you are getting meyle tierods. I would stick with OEM for these if I were you (Lemforder). Just my $0.02
Never even noticed the used section on Turner. Thanks.

And I think I'll listen to you and go with the OEM tie rods.
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Old 02-06-2011, 08:05 PM   #20
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Never even noticed the used section on Turner. Thanks.

And I think I'll listen to you and go with the OEM tie rods.
Tierods are pretty critical so why take the chance with anything else I say. Not that I have heard anything bad about that Meyle product in particular but my understanding is that regular Meyle products are so-so whereas their HD line is superb.
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