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Old 07-21-2012, 08:38 PM   #1
louie586
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Giving new life to an old M3 sway bar

Found a used OEM E46 M3 sway bar on eBay for $50 shipped. Received it about a week later and decided to clean it up. I started off by taking the bushings off to reveal the dirt and rust below.

Afterwards, I cleaned the entire sway bar and sprayed on some paint stripper... Nasty stuff! Burns like hell if you get it on you. I carefully scraped away the old black finish with a razor knife. Once most of the paint was stripped off, I cleaned the bar up with some 80 grit emery cloth.

Next, I rigged up a bike hook and a shoe lace to suspend the sway bar in the air for painting. First was two coats of primer, followed by two coats (one light, one wet) of metallic silver paint, then finally two coats of clear enamel.

Came out pretty nice! It will look good with my new blue poly bushings. First pic is before, second is stripped, third is primed, fourth is painted and clear coated, and the last pic are of the materials I used. Oh, and finally a pic of the car it's going in!
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Check my for sale thread:

OEM diamond key (cut - nearly brand new)
OEM glovebox flashlight (new bulb)
OEM M54 VANOS unit (used)
Black kidney grilles (Khoalty, coupe fitment)
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Old 07-21-2012, 10:57 PM   #2
Levim9
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Nice upgrade and paint work.
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:27 PM   #3
Alex323Ci
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well your 328Ci had one of the largest bars fitted on a non-M, 24mm. that's combined with a 19mm rear. you are going to really change the dynamics on how it handles with this front only bar upgrade in size.

The M3 is 26mm but has a bit of a angle. Scott, member "SLO_town" did some extensive research on using oem bars. Let's see if I can find his thread on how the M3 bar turned out on the front.
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CF CSL RACE LIP - NAVI - BMW PERF CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC SS BRKLINES, TRANS MNTS, RTABs - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 07-22-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
Alex323Ci
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here is the thread on the M3 front. i think you'll find there are a few posts on it being an issue with fitment that made a few uncomfortable using it on a non-m.

but you can decide for yourself. here is the thread and post number 127 is the one that may interest you? either way good luck
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...way+bar&page=7
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OE CSL WHEELS - OE CSL BRAKES - OE AUTOFOLD MIRRORS - CSL TRUNK - CSL DIFFUSER - AA SPORT TUNE - AA PULLEYS - BILSTEIN PSS9s - AS 40% SSK
CF CSL RACE LIP - NAVI - BMW PERF CF STRUT BAR - BMW GROUP N MNTS - GRUPPE M CF INTAKE - SUPERSPRINT - UUC SS BRKLINES, TRANS MNTS, RTABs - 4.10 M-SPORT DIFF
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:31 PM   #5
louie586
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Thanks for your post Alex. I was researching the past couple days and found out I can buy adjustable end links and they won't bind up on me with the 26mm sway bar. SLO installed them and reported no issues. I didn't actually plan on putting anything on until I got my new struts (+ mounts) and LCAs (+ bushings) in first. I planned on refreshing the suspension up in one shot. My inner and outer tie rods were recently replaced. They should be fine until then.

I also bought an OEM 20mm sway bar for the rear, and I know that will bolt up just fine with the use of OEM end links. Should balance it out a little more. If I don't like the way it feels, I'll probably spring for an aftermarket 21mm adjustable rear. I'll see what it's like first. $90 for two (bigger) sway bars is too good for me to pass up. I will have to spend $155 on front end links because I didn't do my homework, but that's fine. I think it's still a worthy upgrade. Plus I can really tweak the suspension with adjustable end links...
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Old 07-24-2012, 08:51 PM   #6
Solidjake
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Great paint work. Must look nice underneath her skirt
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Old 07-24-2012, 09:08 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex323Ci View Post
here is the thread on the M3 front. i think you'll find there are a few posts on it being an issue with fitment that made a few uncomfortable using it on a non-m.

but you can decide for yourself. here is the thread and post number 127 is the one that may interest you? either way good luck
http://forum.e46fanatics.com/showthr...way+bar&page=7
Thanks for that link. I'm learning.. since sway bars are something I'd like to upgrade soon...
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