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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 07-05-2010, 10:59 PM   #1
ploughna
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My Ride: BMW 330ci
Looking to optimize suspension for lots of track use

Hi all


Looking for thoughts here. I've just gotten hooked on track days with my 2001 330ci. I'm mostly driving at PIR (Portland International Raceway) and car is mostly stock. It's the the sports suspension option and I put new wheels and tires on for track use (17x9 with 255/40R17 Dunlop Z1 Starspec on all 4 corners).

I'm now what I would consider at an intermediate skill level and running very consistent times around the track. While there's not much I can do to improve my straight line speed, in the turns there's a lot of body roll and the car is always tending toward understeer esp. in the long fast turns.

I don't want to spend a fortune (at least not all at once), so what are the options in order of most bang for my buck, or biggest noticable improvement that will contribute to faster lap times?

sway bars?
stiffer and lower springs?
R-compound tires (the Dunlops seem to have very good grip, but are squealing on every turn)?
shocks (adjustable or fixed)?
coilovers (although I don't necessarily need the adjustability if the right fixed spring/shock combo can do the job)?
Camber plates for the front struts?
Adjustable links for rear camber?
etc?

I will still drive the car on the street - roads are relatively smooth and I've a short commute

Thanks a lot

Paul
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Old 07-07-2010, 12:21 PM   #2
ECSTuning
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Your best initial bet will be coil overs, sway bars, brakes, and tires.

You can see our entire E46 330Ci suspension section below.

There you will find coils overs, sway bars, camber kits, MEYLE HD control arms, ect.


Please let us know if you have any questions! Feel free to shoot me a PM or email.

Best,
Joe
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Old 07-08-2010, 08:23 AM   #3
shanneba
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Start with sway bars. They will give you the most improvement for the money spent.
Adjust the sway bars / tire pressures to eliminate the understeer.

Decide on Springs/Shocks after you run the sway bars a while.
You may at a mileage where replacement shocks will help, I noticed a reduced performance of my stock shocks by about 60,000 miles.

Also consider a limited slip diff, the Quaife really made a difference in my 330Ci coming out of the corners, I could get more power down sooner. More so on tighter turns/AutoX courses.
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Old 07-08-2010, 09:00 AM   #4
blablac
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For the LSD: see thread: http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthread.php?t=771375

For the suspension, after doing a lot of reading on this forum, there seems to be a general agreement that AST coilovers, Swift Springs and Vorshlag Camber plates are the good stuff. I don't think you need the RCA unless you drop the car significantly.
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Old 07-09-2010, 12:15 AM   #5
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I have no experience with ASTs but I think the general consensus for a street/track car is what blacblac proposed. I would add that engine, tranny and diff mounts are important for MT cars.

LSD is great, not critical.

But I would go with brake pads/fluids/lines. UUC offers a pretty cost effective 4 wheel BBK as well.
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Old 07-13-2010, 02:10 AM   #6
ploughna
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thanks guys - this helps a lot.
By the way, regarding brakes - I'm currently using Stoptech pads for street and track - they are really really good for a dual use pad - fantastic stopping power compared to OEM and no indication of overheating on 20min track sessions at PIR. (combined with ATE blue fluid)
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