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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
Have some questions about suspension or brake setups for your E46 BMW? Get all your answers here!
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Old 04-03-2012, 11:59 AM   #1
addbhp
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Join Date: Mar 2012
Location: Aurora, Ontario, Canada
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My Ride: 2001 330ci vert
Suspension time

My new to me 2001 330Ci with Sport package has a dying rear passenger shock....oil leak. The car has 125,000 kms on it so thinking it's time for a refresh. I currently have about a 2 finger gap on front and 1 finger rear(drivers side), and don't think I want to go too much lower.

Looking at either Eibach Prokit with Koni FSB's or H&R Sport Cup kit. Everything else seems tight, but looking for input on the following:
1) Is front upper strut mount reinforcement plates over kill if I also get a front stress bar....Looking at ECS tuning for both of these
2) Will also do RSM, but wondering which RSM reinforcement kits fit convertibles? Or is modification always required.
3) If I do go with new Front control arms, was thinking OEM ZHP ones, but what would be the better FCAB's...Powerflex, Meyle HD or Rogue engineering, and what size, 60 or 66mm?

May do the occasional autocross, and potential Driving school but the rest is daily driver. Since I'm also shopping for E36 to be the track toy.
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:00 PM   #2
Dirty Mike
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I'm in for advice also, just piggybacking along, don't mind me
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Old 04-03-2012, 12:03 PM   #3
addbhp
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No problem Dirty Mike...I've read so much on this subject my brain hurts, but everything seemed to be specific to coupes or sedans.
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Old 04-04-2012, 06:42 AM   #4
BavLar
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Strut tower reinforcement plates are only $23 from Turner Motorsport and, in my opinion, very worthwhile. I put Bilstein coil overs on my vert and now I'm paranoid about mushrooming. Ordered reinforcement plates now and will install this weekend. $23 is inexpensive insurance against potential costly metal work.

Oh yeah, the research for reliable advice on convertible suspension is indeed tiresome. After swapping to Meyle HD control arms and bushings I have found that the bushings failed even quicker than stock. I have since replaced the bushings (after just 25k miles) and bought stock.
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Last edited by BavLar; 04-04-2012 at 06:45 AM.
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:29 AM   #5
johnrando
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I have the H&R Cup Kit with race springs. I was told that the front reinforcement plates are not necessary for street driving. But if they are that cheap and you are doing the change anyway, you might as well. I didn't. Separately, I have a strut brace on mine for added protection and looks.

As far as the control arms, I've heard good things about all those you mentioned, but Meyle seems to be a preferred upgrade brand on the zhp forum I'm on. I can't speak to bavlar's issue but that is a bummer. I replaced mine with OEM (ZHP), but I'm not sure what size.
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Old 04-04-2012, 02:41 PM   #6
addbhp
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Thanks John and BavLar...argreed for the price of the reinforcement plates might as well do it. John do you have a picture after installing the HR Cup kit (race springs) I looked at your garage pictures and it looks stock there. I was thinking that might take away some comfort with the lower stance, your thoughts?
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Old 04-04-2012, 09:22 PM   #7
johnrando
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Here you go. It's REALLY low with race springs. As far as comfort, yes, it does change it. You feel the bumps more, but for me, not an issue... the handling benefits outweigh it, but it does change the car. I can tell my wife doesn't like it as much but she hasn't actually complained. Remember, the sport springs aren't as dramatic.


Before


After


Front


Rear
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete

Last edited by johnrando; 04-04-2012 at 09:27 PM. Reason: added pic, etc
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Old 04-05-2012, 02:22 PM   #8
addbhp
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Thanks Johnrando, looks good, but think that would be too low for up here in Canada. Here we have two seasons, Winter and construction. Better for me to go Prokit or H&R Touring I think. Love the Rims btw, been looking for the same locally.
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Old 04-05-2012, 10:38 PM   #9
z0lt3c
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I am also in the market for the a new suspension solution on my 02 330cic. I am also leaning towards the H&R Touring Cup kit -- the drop from sport should be minimal. I would prefer the Koni FSDs, but they are back ordered at many vendors, they hard to even buy that option now. The Koni sports do offer adjustable dampening, which you won't get on the H&R, but I am unsure what spring to mate with them and is best for the convertible. The Vogtland cup kits also look interesting but I cannot find published spring rates (The JR kit is cheap). On the low end coilover side I have been considering FK and CX Racing.
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Old 04-06-2012, 12:52 PM   #10
johnrando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by addbhp View Post
Thanks Johnrando, looks good, but think that would be too low for up here in Canada. Here we have two seasons, Winter and construction. Better for me to go Prokit or H&R Touring I think. Love the Rims btw, been looking for the same locally.
Thanks. Totally understand. BTW, I just spoke with H&R and they said it would be better for me with my touring cup kit to go with the sport springs, as they are designed to go together, and that race springs dampening rates don't really mesh with the cup kit. So, going to switch back to sport springs and sell the race... so my ride will be slightly higher now.
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete
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Old 04-10-2012, 08:31 PM   #11
tbear325
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Hate to jump a post but just purchased a '02 vert with sport suspension. I replaced shocks (bilstein sports), control arms, rtabs, tie rod ends, etc. It still feels like the rear end swings out a lot even when I just turn the wheel going down the interstate. Is this normal and is there anyway to fix? Coming from a Miata that handled like a go cart so maybe I'm expecting too much from a much bigger car.
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Old 06-20-2012, 07:16 PM   #12
dobleo7
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My Ride: 04 330Ci ZHP, 84 318
H&R Cup Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by johnrando View Post
I have the H&R Cup Kit with race springs. I was told that the front reinforcement plates are not necessary for street driving. But if they are that cheap and you are doing the change anyway, you might as well. I didn't. Separately, I have a strut brace on mine for added protection and looks.

As far as the control arms, I've heard good things about all those you mentioned, but Meyle seems to be a preferred upgrade brand on the zhp forum I'm on. I can't speak to bavlar's issue but that is a bummer. I replaced mine with OEM (ZHP), but I'm not sure what size.
Just wondering where you scored your Cup kit and for how much? I'm lookin at getting it from HPF, but I've seen it on Tirerack for about $150 cheaper. Did you install yourself or take it to someone? I don't want the race springs...looking at the sport because I like it the way it is. Thanks in advance for your response!

Sean
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Old 06-20-2012, 08:10 PM   #13
johnrando
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Got mine on sale at Turner Motorsports. Don't recall the price, but it was somewhere around $700? Installed at Migs Motorsports in San Diego. BTW, I now have the H&R Touring Cup Kit with Sport Springs, the Race springs dampening rate did not match the Cup Kits, so I switched back.
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete

Last edited by johnrando; 06-20-2012 at 08:12 PM.
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Old 06-21-2012, 07:52 AM   #14
e46mook
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do you have pics of the cup kit with the sport springs to compare the drop?
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Old 06-21-2012, 01:43 PM   #15
johnrando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46mook View Post
do you have pics of the cup kit with the sport springs to compare the drop?
I'll take some before the weekend is out and post. Most of my good pics are on my old setup.
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete
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Old 06-25-2012, 11:22 AM   #16
johnrando
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H&R Touring Cup Kit

BEFORE


AFTER










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John '06 330 Cic ZHP
Southern California



ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete

Last edited by johnrando; 06-25-2012 at 11:23 AM.
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Old 06-25-2012, 01:07 PM   #17
e46mook
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ah that is exactly the drop I want! Thanks for the pics
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Old 06-25-2012, 03:40 PM   #18
johnrando
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Quote:
Originally Posted by e46mook View Post
ah that is exactly the drop I want! Thanks for the pics
You're welcome. GL with your setup.
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete
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Old 06-26-2012, 07:56 AM   #19
rblynn78
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All,

I would strongly urge you to look into BC Racing Coilovers prior to purchasing a strut / spring setup. They run $1,000 and that includes everything, including camber plates. I think you will find that is only a few hundred more than a strut / spring setup AND then you can adjust the height as much as you want, adjust the camber as much as you want and they are 30 WAY adjustable, so you can adjust the ride. I keep mine more on the firm side, but when I am going out to dinner with my wife I will click them down a few for a smoother ride, when I am going for a spirited drive, I will pull over and click a few more firm, it is that easy to adjust. I am EXTREMELY pleased with them, just my two cents.
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Old 06-26-2012, 11:58 AM   #20
johnrando
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I agree that coilovers are the ultimate, and they should definitely be considered. For me, a little overkill for just my street driving, the H&R setup handles well enough, lowers enough. Your scenarios make sense.

I took the $300 savings and put it toward a UUC TSE3 exhaust, plus got a high quality tint job on my windows. More funds and the decision might have been different, but I'm very happy with my choice. As I always say, to each his/her own.
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ZHP, Cold Weather Pkg., Leather, Jet Black/Black/Black Cube, NAV
AA Tune, Sprint Booster, BMW Perf. Intake, Magnaflow Exhaust, Dinan STEP S/W & TB, TMS Pulleys, H&R Touring Cup Kit
DICE Ipod, Parrot/Connects2 Bluetooth, StealthOne Valentine Module, Hardwired V1
BMW Perf. Strut Brace, Orion V2 Angel Eyes, No-holes License Plate, SMG Paddle Shift Mod, Besian VANOS, Gold DISA, Fan delete
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