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

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Old 09-07-2012, 03:38 PM   #1
peytonracer4
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are sway bars really going to make a difference?

i have a 2000 328i with koni sport yellows and h&r sport springs for sport suspension (or race springs for non-sport, {same thing})
anyway, it's been a good setup and it's pretty comfortable. however i want less body roll.

-first pic is my car under full braking and turning.
-second pic shows body roll under hard turn.




too much IMO. while the car feels nice and has good handling, i want that extra step up. i DO NOT want to increase understeer. if anything i want to decrease it slightly.

according to this i have 24mm front and 19mm rear
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?p=12712980

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Old 09-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #2
tock172
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I'm currently on H&R race springs and Bilstein shocks/struts. The handling is excellent with a huge decrease in body roll, but I am starting to grow tired of them for daily driving. I'm sort of considering switching to H&R sport springs instead, but I suppose then I might need sway bars from looking at your photos. Your photos remind me of my car on OE springs and dampers with 115k on them
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:04 PM   #3
dawnpatrol53
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You will definitely get that extra step up. I have a similar set up, bilstein sports with h&r sport springs and I added some tms sway bars after a few weeks so I could tell the difference, way worth it. More precise, stable and comfortable in turns while taking them faster than I used to be able to. You can mess around with the adjustability too decrease the understeer and get it just the way you like it. I think I just went with the recommended setup, full stiff in the front and medium in the rear. I don't know enough about understeer and suspension geometry to get into it but the car just feels way better.
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Old 09-07-2012, 04:10 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tock172 View Post
I'm currently on H&R race springs and Bilstein shocks/struts. The handling is excellent with a huge decrease in body roll, but I am starting to grow tired of them for daily driving. I'm sort of considering switching to H&R sport springs instead, but I suppose then I might need sway bars from looking at your photos. Your photos remind me of my car on OE springs and dampers with 115k on them
i agree. the pictures make it seem very dramatic. however the car feels good, much better than my OE sport suspension.
i really like my suspension however i just recently bought an e30 with ground control coil overs. i badly wish my e46 felt like my e30 does. i haven't been under the car yet to check anything out but why would it be so different?
and when i say the e30 suspension is good, i mean it feels like i hired a team to fine tune the suspension for the car. it's the "tightest" car i've ever driven. and i've driven the lot.

why do the ground control coil overs perform so much better? they're in a similar price range to my suspension, which wasn't cheap.
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Old 09-09-2012, 07:40 AM   #5
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i roll about the same but i got standard shocks, eibach pro springs and eibach arb. your e30 is over 600kg less - not the shocks, you put those ground control on your e46 they would be ****
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Old 09-10-2012, 01:06 PM   #6
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I absolutely love the Hotchkis Sway Bars, they are one of the best suspension upgrades I have done (and I have upgraded every single piece of the suspensions on both 328Ci and 325i). I have used them with ST V1, TC Kline D/A, and KW V2 coil-overs, amongst others, and they make a HUGE difference in cornering stability and provide the absolute best bang for the buck of any suspension upgrade. On the 325i, for example, I just had ~$5k worth of parts as well as the full TMS Reinforcement kit installed (all bushings are the stiffest option without being "solid": Rogue Engineering "Blue" RTAB's, UUC "Red" engine mounts and "race" trans mounts w "enforcers", TMS RCA bearings, TMS adjustable rear camber/control arms, Meyle HD + TMS Delrin/Aluminum diff mounts/bushings, PowerFlex 66mm FCAB's and their whole Subframe Bushings kit, Meyle HD FCA's, Rogue Engineering RSM's with welded reinforcement plates, and literally about 70 other parts).
The difference between all those upgraded parts with the sway bars and without is immense, just as on my 328Ci (which is far less streetable; 325i is a DD). I can set the KW V2's to their softest setting and still get ZERO roll in turns yet the ride quality remains good, which is awesome. I do have TMS Adjustable Swaybar Endlinks, but even without them the sways are just awesome.

The Hotchkis are better than the H&R many times over, and I prefer them over the TMS and other kits available. They are just that good. I guarantee you will notice a difference, especially under hard cornering, as you will have much better control over the car due to maintaining a larger contact patch. DO IT!
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Old 09-10-2012, 03:51 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by nleksan View Post
I absolutely love the Hotchkis Sway Bars, they are one of the best suspension upgrades I have done (and I have upgraded every single piece of the suspensions on both 328Ci and 325i). I have used them with ST V1, TC Kline D/A, and KW V2 coil-overs, amongst others, and they make a HUGE difference in cornering stability and provide the absolute best bang for the buck of any suspension upgrade. On the 325i, for example, I just had ~$5k worth of parts as well as the full TMS Reinforcement kit installed (all bushings are the stiffest option without being "solid": Rogue Engineering "Blue" RTAB's, UUC "Red" engine mounts and "race" trans mounts w "enforcers", TMS RCA bearings, TMS adjustable rear camber/control arms, Meyle HD + TMS Delrin/Aluminum diff mounts/bushings, PowerFlex 66mm FCAB's and their whole Subframe Bushings kit, Meyle HD FCA's, Rogue Engineering RSM's with welded reinforcement plates, and literally about 70 other parts).
The difference between all those upgraded parts with the sway bars and without is immense, just as on my 328Ci (which is far less streetable; 325i is a DD). I can set the KW V2's to their softest setting and still get ZERO roll in turns yet the ride quality remains good, which is awesome. I do have TMS Adjustable Swaybar Endlinks, but even without them the sways are just awesome.

The Hotchkis are better than the H&R many times over, and I prefer them over the TMS and other kits available. They are just that good. I guarantee you will notice a difference, especially under hard cornering, as you will have much better control over the car due to maintaining a larger contact patch. DO IT!
I was just about to switch out my tms bars for the hotchkis. I'm glad to hear you think that that would be an upgrade.
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:05 PM   #8
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If you're doing track days or auto-x, sway bars can indeed help a lot. I know they really helped me on my previous car when I took it to the track, you can feel a significant difference when you're really pushing the car, without giving you an uncomfortable ride either here's a few good options:


Eibach Anti-Roll-Kit for BMW E46 3-Series / M3


H&R Sway Bars / Anti-Roll Bars E46 3 Series

Of course, you'll limit the body roll with these, significantly increasing traction as well through the bends. Let me know if you have any questions on it,
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Old 09-10-2012, 04:14 PM   #9
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It's a night and day difference, even during street driving.
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Old 09-14-2012, 12:09 AM   #10
dawnpatrol53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nleksan View Post
I absolutely love the Hotchkis Sway Bars, they are one of the best suspension upgrades I have done (and I have upgraded every single piece of the suspensions on both 328Ci and 325i). I have used them with ST V1, TC Kline D/A, and KW V2 coil-overs, amongst others, and they make a HUGE difference in cornering stability and provide the absolute best bang for the buck of any suspension upgrade. On the 325i, for example, I just had ~$5k worth of parts as well as the full TMS Reinforcement kit installed (all bushings are the stiffest option without being "solid": Rogue Engineering "Blue" RTAB's, UUC "Red" engine mounts and "race" trans mounts w "enforcers", TMS RCA bearings, TMS adjustable rear camber/control arms, Meyle HD + TMS Delrin/Aluminum diff mounts/bushings, PowerFlex 66mm FCAB's and their whole Subframe Bushings kit, Meyle HD FCA's, Rogue Engineering RSM's with welded reinforcement plates, and literally about 70 other parts).
The difference between all those upgraded parts with the sway bars and without is immense, just as on my 328Ci (which is far less streetable; 325i is a DD). I can set the KW V2's to their softest setting and still get ZERO roll in turns yet the ride quality remains good, which is awesome. I do have TMS Adjustable Swaybar Endlinks, but even without them the sways are just awesome.

The Hotchkis are better than the H&R many times over, and I prefer them over the TMS and other kits available. They are just that good. I guarantee you will notice a difference, especially under hard cornering, as you will have much better control over the car due to maintaining a larger contact patch. DO IT!
I just ordered a set off of amazon.com of all places! What settings are you running or what setting does hotchkis recommend to start with?
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:36 AM   #11
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Honestly I doubt hothkis are better than any other bars of the same thickness .. I have h&r bars and love them. Hothkis would perform the same.

If I did it over I would get a m3 h&r front bar and non-m rear
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Old 09-14-2012, 10:42 AM   #12
dawnpatrol53
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Honestly I doubt hothkis are better than any other bars of the same thickness .. I have h&r bars and love them. Hothkis would perform the same.

If I did it over I would get a m3 h&r front bar and non-m rear
I guess we will soon find out. The hotchkis bars are bigger than the h&r/tms though. 30mm front and 25 mm rear compared to 27 and 23 for the tms I believe. They are hollow as well, don't know how that will affect it but I will be able to directly compare the two.
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Old 09-16-2012, 06:04 PM   #13
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Got the hotchkis bars installed this weekend and they're great. Better steering response and less body role than even the tms that I just switched out. The whole car feels smoother. Worth it in my opinion.
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Old 09-17-2012, 09:27 AM   #14
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I really do believe the Hotchkis are the best available for the cars, and ModBargains is a fantastic bunch of people to order from

I have driven with H&R, TMS, and others, but the Hotchkis are completely silent and maintain their silence (i.e. no squeaks after 10k miles or anything), despite being the largest sway bars for non-M cars they weigh less than any of the others I've used, it's extremely easy to change the settings, they have the most complete package (unless others have changed, Hotchkis is the only to include new end links as far as I know), and they just "flat out" handle better (pun intended). After getting used to the Hotchkis sways, at Mid-Ohio and at Autocross events I was able to take corners at ~74-76mph that I used to have to slow to 65-68mph to take. There were no other changes for that difference; exact same coils, bushings, etc and all of the same settings (this was with the KW V2's before I got TC Kline D/A's, and they were set two-clicks from full-stiff on damping; camber was -1.75" Front/-2.00" Rear; very mild toe-out of around ~0.2"; sways were at full-stiffness on both ends; Quaife LSD has variable lockup so I can't help that), the same exact tires and wheels (BBS LM 19x9.5" front and 19x11" rear with Michelin Pilot Sport Cups), and the weight was nearly identical with the car varying between 3075-3090lbs (lots of CF, removal of "unnecessary stuff" though still have a kicking sound system courtesy of Focal's Utopia line, Recaro Sportster CS CF/Kevlar-backed race seats with Alcantara/Leather surface for driver and passenger = 2 seats that weigh less than one OE Sport Seat, etc). Aerodynamics were identical (M-Tech II full kit, CF Clubsport splitters, custom-designed and laser-cut undertray that extends just past the front wheels, Vorsteiner dual-sided CF: GTR hood, CSL Roof, M3 Mirrors, CSL Trunk, modified M3-type rear diffuser fitted to M-Tech II rear bumper; custom "pseudo wide body" done by friend who owns a body shop consists of fenders cut down middle, pulled out, shaped, aluminum panel cut and shaped to match then welded in and everything sanded and painted which added 1.75" per side front and 2.0" per side rear; Turner Motorsports Carbon Fiber Brake Cooling Ducts, and so on), the brakes were the same (Brembo Monobloc BBK 6-piston front 4-piston rear with 2pc vented/slotted rotors), and I even use the same exact gas pump for the 105oct race gas with which I always fill my tank exactly 1/3 full.

Honestly, I have looked at every possible variable, and the only real differences were temperature: 72F vs 74F, 54% vs 48% humidity, 12:30pm vs 4:15pm, and that's about it.

I have to attribute the gain in handling to the Hotchkis sway bars, and I was blown away. They are simply the best out there outside of pure race-type sways, and they are extremely well-priced.

I also would highly recommend getting them from Modbargains, as the service I get from them has always been absolutely amazing regardless of who it is that handles my order. I can honestly say that talking to them on the phone ordering parts, it's obvious that you're talking to an enthusiast, no just a salesperson, and they really do care about their products AND their customers. I have been a customer since 2006 and from my first order to my most recent, they have always gone the extra mile (or even extra 100 miles) to ensure that I remain a loyal customer.
No I am not paid to endorse them or even asked, I am really just that pleased with their service. I only wish that they had not stopped carrying so many E46 parts
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Old 09-20-2012, 12:24 PM   #15
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Honestly I doubt hotchkis are better than any other bars of the same thickness .. I have h&r bars and love them. Hotchkis would perform the same.
I can't definitely say the H&R are the equal of the Hotchkis, but I can say that the cost effectiveness and noiseless teflon bushing quality of the H&R is so high that you should at least research them. Because if there is a difference, I'd be doubting it would be worth the extra cost.

For $350 the pair, I love the H&R and it turned my sport suspension with FSD's dramatically into a much tougher cornering machine.
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:48 PM   #16
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i have order Eibach sway bars kit for my 325ci,now i have Bilstein B8 and Eibach Sportline springs,can i have a lot of benefits?
thanks
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Old 09-30-2012, 12:52 PM   #17
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It will add lots of cornering rigidity
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Old 09-30-2012, 01:01 PM   #18
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Just put my Turner motorsports sway bars with adjustable end links. And i just got back from hitting a mountain rub with a few of my buds. Lets just say my initial bite into the corner was harder and flatter then my buds z06 coming out of the turn he took me but going into it i was able to keep more speed the the entire turn. I drive his vet back down the mountain, and i have to say the power is nice but mine can carry more speed threw the corners. My buys was whooping my a$$ in my own car! He feel in love with my cat and its now considering selling his and getting an e46 m3! My hole set up is bilstien shocks, H&R trace springs, racing dynamics strut bar, Turner motorsports sway bars front and rear with adjustable end links, stop tech drilled rotors with hawk hp plus pads. This is on a 01 325ci with the 3.0l swap.I couldn't be happier with my set up

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:03 PM   #19
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I guess we will soon find out. The hotchkis bars are bigger than the h&r/tms though. 30mm front and 25 mm rear compared to 27 and 23 for the tms I believe. They are hollow as well, don't know how that will affect it but I will be able to directly compare the two.
I measured my tms bars with a digital caliper and it actually was 28mm front and 24mm rear and i don't believe they are hollow cause they are a heavy sun of a Bish

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Old 09-30-2012, 01:15 PM   #20
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Chart for comparing Sway Bars
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