Looking to optimize suspension for lots of track use - E46Fanatics E46 BMW Social Directory E46 FAQ 3-Series Discussion Forums BMW Photo Gallery BMW 3-Series Technical Information E46 Fanatics - The Ultimate BMW Resource BMW Vendors General E46 Forum The Tire Rack's Tire Wheel Forum Forced Induction Forum The Off-Topic The E46 BMW Showroom For Sale, For Trade or Wanting to Buy

Welcome to the E46Fanatics forums. E46Fanatics is the premiere website for BMW 3 series owners around the world with interactive forums, a geographical enthusiast directory, photo galleries, and technical information for BMW enthusiasts.

You are currently viewing our boards as a guest which gives you limited access to view most discussions and access our other features. By joining our free community you will have access to post topics, communicate privately with other members (PM), respond to polls, upload content and access many other special features. Registration is fast, simple and absolutely free so please, join our community today!

If you have any problems with the registration process or your account login, please contact contact us.

Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld

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

Thread Tools Search this Thread Rate Thread Display Modes
Old 07-05-2010, 09:59 PM   #1
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 4
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?

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

Thanks a lot

ploughna is offline   Reply With Quote
Ads by Google

Guests, get your FREE E46Fanatics.com membership to remove this ad.
Old 07-07-2010, 11:21 AM   #2
ECSTuning's Avatar
Join Date: Jul 2008
Location: Wadsworth, Ohio
Posts: 10,675
My Ride: BMW
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.


Have questions? Need answers? Live Chat us! 8:30am to 12:00am Midnight EST
sales@ecstuning.com | customerservice@ecstuning.com
Customer Service Hours: M-F 8:00am-8:00pm EST|Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm EST
Sales Team Hours: M-F 8:00am-11:00pm EST|Saturday: 10:00am-7:00pm EST |800.924.5172
ECSTuning is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 07:23 AM   #3
Registered User
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Indiana
Posts: 2,195
My Ride: 2003 330Ci
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.
Discounts on new and CPO cars.
Most Dealers offer a parts discount, BMP Design 10% off
shanneba is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 08:00 AM   #4
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: VA
Posts: 155
My Ride: 240sx
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.
blablac is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 07-08-2010, 11:15 PM   #5
Registered User
bigjae1976's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Wichita
Posts: 11,509
My Ride: 2011 E90 M3
Send a message via MSN to bigjae1976
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.
2013 F30 328i - Melbourne Red
2011 E90 M3 - Monte Carlo Blue
2004 E46 M3 - Imola red
bigjae1976 is online now   Reply With Quote
Old 07-13-2010, 01:10 AM   #6
Registered User
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Vancouver, WA
Posts: 4
My Ride: BMW 330ci
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)
ploughna is offline   Reply With Quote

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search
Display Modes Rate This Thread
Rate This Thread:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Censor is ON

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:33 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2017, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
(c) 1999 - VerticalScope Inc. All rights reserved.