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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 08-31-2006, 12:55 PM   #1
jpr
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BMW Spring Color Codes

Im trying to crack BMWs color coding system for their springs. Based on a review of spring photos in the classified section and some guesswork, heres my working theories:

Front springs
* M3 springs have 1 yellow stripe
* manual transmissions have 1 white stripe on the sport springs
* auto transmissions have 1 brown or orange stripe on the sport springs
* 330s have 1 white and 1 red stripe on the sport springs

Rear springs
* M3 springs have 4 yellow stripes
* 330 sport springs have 3 stripes
* 330 non-sport springs have 2 stripes
* non-330 sport springs have 2 stripes
* non-330 non-sport springs have 1 stripes
* manual transmissions have green stripes on the sport springs
* auto transmissions have blue or white stripes on the sport springs

What will help take a lot of the guesswork out of this would be if people can check the markings on their springs and post it along with some info about their car. On my car for example
1999 323i sedan sport package manual front 1 white stripe, rear 2 green stripes

Thanks for any info you can provide!
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Old 08-31-2006, 01:41 PM   #2
manydubs
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99 323i non-sport, front 3 green stripes.
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Old 08-31-2006, 02:47 PM   #3
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manydubs View Post
99 323i non-sport, front 3 green stripes.
Well that is curious indeed... manual or auto? how about the rear springs?
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:18 PM   #4
jskijoe
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Are the ZHP springs different from previous year sport package? If so, what's the difference in rate and height?
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Old 08-31-2006, 03:41 PM   #5
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jskijoe View Post
Are the ZHP springs different from previous year sport package? If so, what's the difference in rate and height?
ZHP springs are advertised as being stiffer by about 6%F and 8%R, but I believe ride height is the same as the sport package. From the pictures of springs I've seen both ones identified as ZHP and as 330 sport both have one white and one red stripe on the front and 3 green stripes on the rear.
If somebody has a set a loose springs and can take some measurements, we can figure out the spring rates and know for sure.
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Old 08-31-2006, 04:31 PM   #6
UncleDon
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2005 325iT Wagon, Sport Package, Manual Front 1 grey stripe on each coil, Rear 2 Brown stripes on each coil.
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Old 08-31-2006, 05:59 PM   #7
jpr
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Originally Posted by UncleDon View Post
2005 325iT Wagon, Sport Package, Manual Front 1 grey stripe on each coil, Rear 2 Brown stripes on each coil.
Thanks for the info- in looking at photos I haven't been confident in the ability to distinguish white from gray or brown from orange, so it's nice to get some first hand color confirmation. Also, that's the first report I've seen of wagon springs
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Old 08-31-2006, 07:06 PM   #8
E36graduate
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JPR...I just picked up the 01- 330ci suspension from a great guy in Boston. The front springs have 1 white and 1 red. The rear springs have 3 blue stripes.

Explain to me how to measure what you need and I'll take care of it. When I take the old stuff off, I will post again.

Anyone want to buy used 328i sports package struts/springs and shocks? only a mere 115,000 miles on them..ha ha.
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Old 09-01-2006, 12:05 PM   #9
jpr
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Anybody else?
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:24 PM   #10
330lover
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Here my stock sport front spring on the right and Eibach on the left



01' 330ia, bk/bk, moon, cd, xenon, 18x8 ASA AR1, Axxis brake pad, Eibach spring
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Old 09-01-2006, 02:55 PM   #11
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 330lover View Post
Here my stock sport front spring on the right and Eibach on the left

01' 330ia, bk/bk, moon, cd, xenon, 18x8 ASA AR1, Axxis brake pad, Eibach spring
Thanks - that's a sport package spring correct?
how about the rears - do they 3 green stripes, 3 blue stripes, or something else entirely?
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Old 09-02-2006, 05:37 PM   #12
jpr
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Anybody else have some OEM springs around? I'd especially like to get the color codes of some xi's, convertibles, and anybody with the standard non-sport springs.
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Old 09-03-2006, 07:16 AM   #13
Bry F
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Non sport springs from my manual 02 325 coupe, Uk spec of course

Front: 1 red and 1 green band

Rear: 3 grey Bands

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Old 09-03-2006, 10:09 AM   #14
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bry F View Post
Non sport springs from my manual 02 325 coupe, Uk spec of course

Front: 1 red and 1 green band

Rear: 3 grey Bands

Bry.F
Thanks for the info - that's the second example of a grn/red front spring I've got and the first of grey/grey/grey rear.
Over here, all coupes allegedly come with the "sport" suspension and the "sport package" is mainly other things like seats, steering wheel, etc. Is it different in the UK?
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Old 09-06-2006, 02:10 PM   #15
jpr
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Results so far -

Attached is a copy of the data I've collected so far and also a table of the weights and balance for all the E46 models.
My working assumption is that since the ride height is the same across all model for a given suspension type, then the heavier the car, the higher the spring rate. The other useful bit of info is that during 2001, there was a change from only two types of suspension (standard and sport) to three types of suspension (standard, sport, and ZHP). However, my supposition is that the pre-2001 sport is equivalent to the post 2001 ZHP, and the post 2001 sport is somewhat softer then the pre 2001 sport.
The front springs then, in order of stiffness are coded - gray; orange; white/red; brown
The rear springs, in order of stiffness are coded - green/green; blue/blue/blue; green/green/green; brown/brown.
What is obviously needed though, is a lot more information. So if you've got some OEM springs laying around, please provide some info on their color coding and the details on what car they came from.
***
just realized I attached a slightly older version of the spring colors table than I've currently put together, but it still suffices to make the point that it's possible to begin to see a pattern, but more data is needed
Attached Files
File Type: pdf E46 Weight and Balance.PDF (23.0 KB, 3047 views)
File Type: pdf E46 Spring Colors Prelim.PDF (54.9 KB, 4228 views)

Last edited by jpr; 09-06-2006 at 02:29 PM.
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Old 09-06-2006, 10:32 PM   #16
KATO
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I just checked my 2000 328i with sport package and 5 speed.

Front: Orange
Rear: green/green
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Old 09-07-2006, 08:09 AM   #17
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KATO View Post
I just checked my 2000 328i with sport package and 5 speed.

Front: Orange
Rear: green/green
Thanks for the info - once I get a few more new bits of info I'll post an update
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:25 AM   #18
Bry F
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jpr View Post
Thanks for the info - that's the second example of a grn/red front spring I've got and the first of grey/grey/grey rear.
Over here, all coupes allegedly come with the "sport" suspension and the "sport package" is mainly other things like seats, steering wheel, etc. Is it different in the UK?
#

Coupes in the Uk are available in Sport or SE spec

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Old 09-07-2006, 10:28 AM   #19
jpr
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bry F View Post
#

Coupes in the Uk are available in Sport or SE spec

Bry F
What's the "SE" spec all about? For which version do you pay extra?
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Old 09-07-2006, 10:31 AM   #20
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Pics if it helps

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