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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 11-12-2013, 11:20 AM   #141
BigDRick323
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I'm doing refresh on Cooling and Suspension. Mostly parts laying around right now, because I have no time, but piece by piece putting it together. I need an extended weekend to get all this done....
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:16 PM   #142
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Originally Posted by 02'topaz View Post
Is Stage 3 easy to do when the rear subframe is down? Or still lot's of labor involved even still?
at that point, you better have the right tools and be prepared to reinforce the subframe mounts while you're there...
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Old 11-13-2013, 03:22 PM   #143
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Suspension Refresh Guide. Information w/ complete parts list.

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Originally Posted by Mango View Post
at that point, you better have the right tools and be prepared to reinforce the subframe mounts while you're there...
Yep would be doing it at the time of rear subframe reinforcement. And unfortunately I'll be paying for all of this work. Just trying to coordinate when to do everything.


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Old 11-13-2013, 04:43 PM   #144
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Re: Suspension Refresh Guide. Information w/ complete parts list.

Great guide followed and checked my whole suspension going down ur list and lucky the owner before me had it done. All i had to change was my outer tidrod which was a pain in the ass to get off but well worth feels so much better thanks for the great guides

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Old 11-13-2013, 06:07 PM   #145
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Originally Posted by 02'topaz View Post
Yep would be doing it at the time of rear subframe reinforcement. And unfortunately I'll be paying for all of this work. Just trying to coordinate when to do everything.


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When the rear end is down be sure to do:

Subframe reinforcements
Subframe bushings
Inner lower/upper control arm bushings
Driveshaft coupler
Driveshaft support bearing

Not necessary, but easier to do the differential bushings (x3) at the same time.

The RTABs, outer TA bushings/balljoints, etc can easily be done w/ the rear end in place and may save you some costs to DIY
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Old 11-18-2013, 01:19 PM   #146
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Special tools for stage 3?

I'm contemplating doing the stage 3 refresh myself. I'm curous about the special tools required for the axle.. Looking at the TMS diy it doesn't seem like any BMW tools were required.

Am I missing something obvious?
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Old 11-18-2013, 02:34 PM   #147
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^ removing the subframe itself doesn't require the use of any specialty tools. removing the bushings from their respective housings does require special tools. (if you want to do it right and not like a caveman while spending 8x the time)
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:34 PM   #148
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Okay, so I'm trying to figure out what I need to purchase to "restore" my suspension to something near factory fresh. My current suspension, as far as I can tell, dates back to 09/2003, 115k miles ago. The car tracks fine, and has no steering shimmys or any indication that the suspension is shot. The car is a 2004 325CiC with sport suspension.

Obviously, I need the lower control arms and bushing. The "BMW E46 3-Series Front Control Arm Kit By Meyle HD" for $320 seems like an obvious choice.

Moving on to the struts, I run into a wide variety of choices from a wide variety of vendors. The prices range from a low of $87.95 for a Meyle from FCPEuro to $246.95 for "Genuine" BMW from Turner. The bulk of them are around $200, and are either SACHS Advantage or SACHS Super Touring. (Pricing was established by entering the pn 31316750792 into www.furiousmethod.com.)

So what do I do from here? Should I just suck it up and pay $200 per strut from "thebmwpartstore.com", knowing I'm getting the dealer authorized product? Is there an equivalent strut, that doesn't have 16 layers of mark up from the different entities that "handle" it?

It seems strange to me, that $170, +/- $80, is the range of pricing for a given part number.

I need to resolve this before I move to the rear suspension.
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Old 01-03-2014, 02:45 PM   #149
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Get the cheapest OEM/OE units you can find. If its sachs, it's good. You may want to consider something more durable like Bilstein HD though if you don't plan on wrenching on this again in five years.

Do shocks/struts/rear springs (they will be broken), rear shock mounts (go w/ rogue engineering if you go with stiffer dampers or even stock dampers), strut bearings, rtabs, fcabs, front end-links, and control arms. you'll be set. if you want to borrow my tools, let me know and just pay for shipping. this offer extends only to people on my friends list and of course to the king of this site (who has touched my tool before)
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Old 05-02-2014, 02:15 PM   #150
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I have a question,
So I have a 2001 325cic with non-sport suspension. Can I buy the sports/zhp parts for a conversion? Is there anything else I need to know? I'm tired of all the body roll
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Old 05-08-2014, 05:39 AM   #151
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I have a question,
So I have a 2001 325cic with non-sport suspension. Can I buy the sports/zhp parts for a conversion? Is there anything else I need to know? I'm tired of all the body roll
You certainty could buy all oem. I would suggest only buying new, rather than any used sets other members are unloading.
I have the same year and model and went with the H&R Sport cup kit and love it. I didn't notice until I was replacing my rear springs that both were rusted and broken. It has a great stance and the ride is amazing. It is much softer than all other suspensions i have used on other vehicles which I was very pleased with as I didnt want a harsh ride.
The only concern I have had is the rear end seems a little heavy and after 50k the new shocks it feels a little soft, from what i can find this is common on most verts.

For the price i got the set though I have been very pleased.

You will also want to replace your rear upper shock mounts with new aftermarket ones made for the vert and of course get an alignment after the set is on.

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:03 AM   #152
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Am I missing something for rear sway link attachment?

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Old 05-08-2014, 06:19 AM   #153
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Am I missing something for rear sway link attachment?

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another nut/bolt? I would make sure you have a washer/s between the arm and the sway bar. I had the same link on my scion set up and it chewed up the paint and rusted.
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Old 05-10-2014, 02:34 PM   #154
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About to do Stage 1 and 2 on my 328. I am having it done by my families shop that we have brought all of our cars to for many years. He isn't a BMW mechanic so he doesn't have a specific tool for the RTAB such as the MIS tool. He does however have bushing presses. I talked to him about it and he knows he can get the bushing out but isn't sure if he can get it back in without the specialized tool and get it in properly. So would he be able to get it in safely without an MIS RTAB tool or do I need to rent one? I don't want this to turn into a "take it to a reputable indy shop" kind of thing. I completely trust him working on my car and know that if something was done wrong he would do everything he could to fix it.

Edit: Also what are the x8 Bolts (31106772199) used for? I don't understand where they go.

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Old 05-10-2014, 03:01 PM   #155
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Originally Posted by dkuchta View Post
another nut/bolt? I would make sure you have a washer/s between the arm and the sway bar. I had the same link on my scion set up and it chewed up the paint and rusted.
Ok, washer sizes? Update???
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Old 05-27-2014, 06:02 PM   #156
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I have Bilstein Sports on mine and I absolutely love them. They perform REALLY well under aggressive driving!
Mango, I'm about to get all the parts for stages 1 and 2, as my car is at 103k and I just need to do it all. Is there a good aftermarket shock/strut+spring combo you'd recommend that keeps the OEM ZHP height while making the ride just a tad stiffer and eliminating some roll?
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Old 05-27-2014, 10:02 PM   #157
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Sweet threads! This one and your cooling thread inspired me to change out all of stage 1 and 2 except the tie rods which were still tight. I did the high stress pairs of RCAB/RTAB's in stage 3 as well with the upgraded M3 ball joints. Also sprung for a pretty thorough cooling refresh at the same time. I'm doing all OEM and Lemforder except:

UUC FCAB's
Meyle HD FCA's
Ground Control RSM's
Koni Sport S/A external adjustable rear shocks (similar to the TCKline version)
Koni Sport S/A front struts
Hotchkis front swaybar
poly rear swaybar bushings

Stewart water pump
UUC underdrive pulleys

Couldn't resist:
UUC Clutch valve delete
UUC Clutch stop big boy v3.0 (still have to grind it down -- stacked furniture stops working great for now though!)

Should have it back from my mechanic on Saturday -- can't wait to take 'er for a spin! Total labor for complete cooling system overhaul (including the 3 front hoses, thermostat, expansion tank and retaining clip (broke upon removal), radiator, all belts, pulleys, and tensioner) and suspension refresh came in at just under $1500 with alignment.

2003 330i ZHP 78k was still running all original suspension and cooling parts.

Thanks for putting these guides together.

Edit: just got everything back and it drives great. Corners much more stable, body roll is reduced and feels more responsive to steering input. Ride quality also improved -- handles bumps better as well. CDV and clutch stop are great mods -- shifting also much more responsive and predictable now -- feel is much improved. Not so sure about the underdrive pulleys -- the car seems to rev faster, but I can't say that it feels any more powerful on the butt dyno.

Last edited by zacjones; 06-01-2014 at 09:11 AM. Reason: update
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Old 06-18-2014, 01:25 PM   #158
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zacjones View Post
Sweet threads! This one and your cooling thread inspired me to change out all of stage 1 and 2 except the tie rods which were still tight. I did the high stress pairs of RCAB/RTAB's in stage 3 as well with the upgraded M3 ball joints. Also sprung for a pretty thorough cooling refresh at the same time. I'm doing all OEM and Lemforder except:

UUC FCAB's
Meyle HD FCA's
Ground Control RSM's
Koni Sport S/A external adjustable rear shocks (similar to the TCKline version)
Koni Sport S/A front struts
Hotchkis front swaybar
poly rear swaybar bushings

Stewart water pump
UUC underdrive pulleys

Couldn't resist:
UUC Clutch valve delete
UUC Clutch stop big boy v3.0 (still have to grind it down -- stacked furniture stops working great for now though!)

Should have it back from my mechanic on Saturday -- can't wait to take 'er for a spin! Total labor for complete cooling system overhaul (including the 3 front hoses, thermostat, expansion tank and retaining clip (broke upon removal), radiator, all belts, pulleys, and tensioner) and suspension refresh came in at just under $1500 with alignment.

2003 330i ZHP 78k was still running all original suspension and cooling parts.

Thanks for putting these guides together.

Edit: just got everything back and it drives great. Corners much more stable, body roll is reduced and feels more responsive to steering input. Ride quality also improved -- handles bumps better as well. CDV and clutch stop are great mods -- shifting also much more responsive and predictable now -- feel is much improved. Not so sure about the underdrive pulleys -- the car seems to rev faster, but I can't say that it feels any more powerful on the butt dyno.
Sounds good! Glad everything is great now.

I made a few changes to the thread. will make more later
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Old 06-18-2014, 02:08 PM   #159
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I did a full refresh. Need to get adjustables even.

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Old 07-01-2014, 09:01 PM   #160
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Fantastic write up! I will definitely be using this! I just noticed my bushings are worn so it's time for the upgrades!
I love having good excuses to upgrade!
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