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Old 02-27-2004, 04:36 PM   #1
Gladius
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Suspension setup

I've got a 2001 330ci (sport suspension by definition). Last year, the first year I autoxed/tracked my car, I did about 5 autoXes and 1 driving school.

Last year I was talking with Bob Tunnel and he suggested H&R sport springs and Koni shocks (sport I assume, but I'm not sure), OR swaybars, but not both. I've been trying to understand why this is a one-or-the-other choice.

Granted, I don't know a lot about suspensions. Can someone attempt to explain this to me?

Secondly, since this is my daily driver, I'm concerned about how much lower the car will ride than the stock (sport) suspension if I go with the springs/shock combo. Anyone with experience? What kind of ballpark $ figure am I looking at for springs & shocks & installation?
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Old 02-27-2004, 04:57 PM   #2
MrMotorwerk
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Well, first off everyone has their own oppinion in regards to suspension setups. Generally the advise people give you, are what works well for them and their driving characteristics. Also alot of advise is based on what they have tried and worked best for them as well as personal experience using as forementioned products.

There really isn't a right or wrong answer in regards to suspension setups, in regards to shocks, springs and swaybars. Problem is that there are so many choices out there in the market for us to chose from. And when you do the infinite combination possiblilities, the only way you can decide what works is by tuning your own car untill it works for you.

Shocks, springs and swaybar combinations are totally doable. Many people here have both installed onto their cars. The key is the harmony that can be achieved with all these independent products working together. Plus you as the driver being comfortable with driving the setup. Reason being, you want to be able to predict how your car will react in different situations. Remember vehicle dynamics? under throttle the car does what? and under braking the car does what? Well suspension will change those dynamics for the better or worse depending on your driving style. Of course you can learn to drive and become comfortable with what ever suspension setup.

Also remember, that though the standard suspension (sport) on the 330Ci may be a nice ride and somewhat stiff depending on the situation, but the suspension was optimized for mainly street driving to be comfortable. With an aftermarket suspension setup, no matter what setting you put it on, it will be alot stiffer than your stock setup. The ride can be described as harsh and go kart like.

Maybe Bob was commenting you shocks or sways because he realizes that youre going to still be wanting to enjoy your daily commute was well as doing weekend events with your car.

As for myself, I'm riding on a kart.
I've got Bilstein PSS and Racing Dynamic Swaybars.
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Old 02-27-2004, 06:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Gladius
...Last year I was talking with Bob Tunnel and he suggested H&R sport springs and Koni shocks (sport I assume, but I'm not sure), OR swaybars, but not both. I've been trying to understand why this is a one-or-the-other choice. ...
Bob Tunnell has competed and won at national SCCA events so I think I'm safe in saying he has forgotten more about car setup than I will ever know. With that sadi, he might have been suggesting a streetable compromise for someone who only wants to attend a few events per year and does not want too harsh of a street ride. If you have the time, stop by his shop again and spend a few more minutes discussing your wants and needs to fine tune the recommendation he can give you.

And please buy the stuff from him instead of trying to save $20 on the internet somewhere. Developing a relationship with Bimmerhaus will pay off in the long run if you get more serious about your autocrossing. Their expertise and advice is worth a lot as you try to go faster.


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Old 02-27-2004, 07:04 PM   #4
Mpower619
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I can help you on this. Bob Tunnell is trying to say is that you should do one or the other for one reason better handling for auto Xing. Most Auto x's are held in parking lots and un-smooth terrain and thus giving an advantage to cars with smoother suspension setups. On track you would need both because you rely more on you cars feed back, plus tracks are more smoother than Auto x terrains. In auto X's your car puts up with dips, bumps, and cracks on the surface plus most parking lots have large grains of asphalt unlike tracks. so you want your suspension to do more of the work in absorbing such obstacles. On the track you want your tires to take in more work then the suspension when it comes to absorbing the road you are driving on. Now if you took a track car with similar HP as that of a street car the street car will be more efficient. A while ago I wrote about this because many people mod their cars extremely with no regard of the auto x setup. I hope you can understand. If you still dont understand PM me and I will find an easier way to explain. Good luck and have fun.

Ps. I would suggest the shox-spring-Kumho R compound tire combination. You wont need more then that. You will be very competitive.

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Old 02-27-2004, 07:36 PM   #5
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If you're looking to have fun and be competitive, you should be mindful of how different modifications will bump you into more competitive classes. Only front sway-bar modifications and replacement shock absorbers are permitted in the "stock" category. If you go further than that, you'll be up against more competitively built cars. Check out this site: http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/Rules/index.html or a recent copy of the SCCA rulebook. Right now, I'm wishing I wasn't in DSP...
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Old 02-27-2004, 09:08 PM   #6
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I'm really glad this topic came up, as I am also about to start Autocross for the first time this year. I'm running a stock sport suspension, and was considering getting sways instead of doing suspension. I was looking to go with the UUC sways, though I heard the Racing Dynamics are good as well.

I wouldn't mind dropping the car just a tad more to get a decent balance for auto-x, and the daily driver. Could I get away with just running some lowering springs like H&R? Are there any other recommendations of springs I could run with the stock sport suspension? I wouldn't mind if the rear was raised just a bit more as a result. Thanks.


Quote:
Originally Posted by sfzBimmer2
If you're looking to have fun and be competitive, you should be mindful of how different modifications will bump you into more competitive classes. Only front sway-bar modifications and replacement shock absorbers are permitted in the "stock" category. If you go further than that, you'll be up against more competitively built cars. Check out this site: http://www.moutons.org/sccasolo/Rules/index.html or a recent copy of the SCCA rulebook. Right now, I'm wishing I wasn't in DSP...
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Old 02-28-2004, 08:04 AM   #7
Gladius
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I have heard that if you replace just the springs your stock struts/shocks will wear out very quickly.

MPower619, it was my understanding that swaybars will reduce body roll (side to side). Why would you NOT want this in AutoX? Seems like you would want this is slaloms more than on the track. I think Bob specifically told me that if I only wanted to spend a few bucks, do the sways, but if I had the $$ to drop, do the shocks & springs. Seems to me that they perform different functions so why not do both?

Are there any good primers out there that discuss each suspension part and what it does? Diagrams? etc...

sfz, in our local BMWCCA club autoXs I currently run in DS. Even then I'm at the bottom of the class at 76 pts. Adding springs, sways, shocks, and my CAI only puts me at 90 points. CS is 95 pts so I'd have to do even more to move up to the next class. Race tires automatically jump me to DR, but last year only one or two cars ran in that class. Since there are plenty of BMWCCA events each year here (I think we're running 10 autoXs this year), I'm unlikely to need to worry about SCCA events.
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