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Suspension & Braking Forum by BimmerWorld
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Old 12-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #61
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Just for arguments' sake, and for temporary transportation only I have one more brain teaser:

- Would the front struts off a 325i (non-sport suspension) fit an M3?
- I realize the alignment pin on one strut mount will need to be shaved off.
- The M3 front coil looks more compact.

I am worried about clearance issues between the wheel and front struts.


Just to clarify: 325i suspension --> to M3
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Old 12-26-2013, 05:44 PM   #62
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_2007 View Post
Just for arguments' sake, and for temporary transportation only I have one more brain teaser:

- Would the front struts off a 325i (non-sport suspension) fit an M3?
- I realize the alignment pin on one strut mount will need to be shaved off.
- The M3 front coil looks more compact.

I am worried about clearance issues between the wheel and front struts.


Just to clarify: 325i suspension --> to M3
You could use the whole 325i strut, spring, and hat assembly on the M3. I'm not sure about change in clearance to the wheel, but with stock wheels, it probably would not be a concern.
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Old 02-05-2014, 12:35 AM   #63
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To update my question above, YES - a non-sport 325i suspension will fit on the M3. This was for temporary transportation ONLY.

BUT, both rubber bushings ended up popping out of the RSMs, and I essentially completed the last 20mi of my trip home on only springs in the rear.

My obvious assumption would be that the non-sport rear springs were a bit too tall for the RSMs to handle.
That, or the 14 year old components just couldn't take it anymore. Once the first RSM popped, the 2nd was due within minutes.

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Old 07-22-2014, 05:58 AM   #64
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M3 swapped top hat pss9 not rotated in non m zhp question

First off thank you for the detailed info. I have searched and found swapping but not rotating m3 top hats in an m3 yields 2.5 to 3 degrees negative camber, does anybody know what the resulting camber would be on a non m using m3 top hats swapped left to right but not rotated and struts or pss9 from m3 assuming stock or only slightly lowered ? I'm assuming it's not -2.5 to -3 since our stock non m hats are centered therefore not exactly apples to apples. Thanks in advance. I have free access to hunter alignment rack and I'm happy to update with my results , just trying to do as much homework as possible. This is for a 2003 zhp it has z4 m offset front bushings but still in zhp spec caster on hunter alignment machine. I looking to see if I can make a streetable alignment with all parts I have in stock ... M3 strut brace m3 top hats m3 pss9s I would like camber between -1.2 to -2.5 w stock ride quality top hats if possible. Not looking to spend 400$ on adjustable hats at the moment, but I will wait to do it that way if needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
Here is some info and pictures about both setups.


Struts, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut bearing assembly, bump stops(if used), and dust boots(if used).
Strut mounts, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut and removal of factory alignment pin. NOTE: Changes alignment range.
Shock and mount, rear: Interchangeable
Springs, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut mount assembly or modification of spring.
Springs, rear: Interchangeable
Anti-sway bars, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate bushings and brackets
Anti-sway bar, rear: Not interchangeable (forum supplied information; reasonable to believe because of dimensionally different rear subframes, differentials, and difference in spare tire well)


Strut assembly pieces in order:

Stock Non-M:


Stock M3:





The M3 strut bearings are mirrored left to right and have an offset strut attachment hole that changes alignment between the M3 and non-M. The non-M strut bearings have a concentric attachment hole and are identical left and right. The M3 strut bearings can be clocked or swapped left to right to change the alignment range; the factory alignment pin must be unscrewed to do so. I am not sure of any long term integrity or accelerated wear problems caused by this, but I have observed no ill effects on two non-Ms with modified position M3 strut bearings.

Original M3 position strut bearing orientation on left strut; reducing camber and increasing caster compared to non-M:


M3 strut bearing rotated 120 degrees clockwise from original position; decreases camber and decreases caster compared to non-M, increases camber and decreases caster compared to original:


M3 strut bearing rotated 240 degrease clockwise from original postion; increases camber and increases caster compared to non-M, increases camber and decreases caster compared to original:



Underside of M3 strut bearings showing they have substantially more material, are designed for much greater rigidity, and a larger, stronger, sealed bearing is used, greatly increasing service life and reducing chances of strut tower mushrooming with the downside being roughly $90 more expensive per strut bearing:




Non-M struts are partially compressed at rest position, fluid can be heard if shaken, and easier to compress. M3 struts are fully extended at rest, no fluid can be heard if shaken, and are harder to compress.

Non-M left, M3 right


The threaded shaft length above the taper is why non-M(left) and M3(right) struts must be used with the appropriate strut bearings and vice versa:



Appearance, ride, and handling of M3 suspension on a non-M: M3 suspension on a non-M looks similar to non-M sport suspension in terms of ride height, but spring rates are considerably higher and damping is much greater as well. There is no noticeable lift in the front relative to the rear as rumored by some people. The ride feels very similar to an M3 meaning much more road feedback and the car follows the road more sharply. I haven't driven any of these cars hard enough to comment on at-the-limit handling.


*Everything here is through actual experience from working on and driving multiple E46 unless stated. This only info only applies to US market M3 and rear wheel drive non-M.

Last edited by kevindsheaka; 07-22-2014 at 06:07 AM.
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Old 12-17-2014, 08:09 PM   #65
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Big up-- to all the gurus and experts, I need your help and advice. I recently installed the Koni FSD and Eibach sport kit from ECS. Now the car looks good and drive good but it is a bit too low for NY streets about 1/2". Now for some details.All 4 Wheels rubs occasionally on dips and hard cornering with me and a passenger. Checked the front suspension and noticed that with the car jacked up the springs can be turned by hand. And the car has to be jacked way up before the wheels leave the ground There is almost no tension on them (spring). It seems like the struts shaft is too long. I was looking at the pictures of the struts in your posts and there seems to be a significant difference in none M and the M struts shafts length. I know and understand that the neck that goes into the struts mounts are different but my concern is the shaft travel. Now to eliminate the rubbing do I need taller spring or springs with higher spring rate or what? ???. BTW my wheels are 225 40 18 in front and 255/35 /18 in rear. I will post pictures of how low the car is tomorrow. I'm thinking that about 1/2" gain in height would eliminate most of if not all of the rubbing. Any and all advice and recommendations are appreciated.
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Old 12-18-2014, 06:20 PM   #66
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pic's of lowered suspension

Before you could see the struts over the tires and now my fingers can't pass between tires and fenders, but it drives great not bouncy not hard and cornering with little to no body roll except for the occasional rubbing. I am almost positive that a 1/2" gain would cure the rubbing.
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Old 03-29-2015, 06:15 AM   #67
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Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
The ride height looks about the same as non-M sport suspension.



The rumor was that M3 front springs would raise the front of a non-M because they were designed to support the heavier M3 engine, but there was nothing noticeable to me.

I'm sure everyone has a different opinion on this, but in my own experience (2 different cars) the front sits noticeably higher. I've installed factory M3 struts/springs/shocks on my own vehicle and a friends'. Both of which the front was higher than the rear....

Why even do this one might ask? Money... My suspension was completely blown and I was able to pick up the M3 stuff, with low miles (25k), for like 150 bucks.
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Old 04-03-2015, 04:16 PM   #68
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Can anyone tell me can this Control arm bushing be used on a non M model?

Im fairly sure i have it from my old E46 M3 and I'm now needing to change the bushing on my current 325ci. Can this be used even tho the whshbone is different? I can pick up a regular Control arm bushing next week but i wanted to get this job done over the weekend if this part i have will fit.

Last edited by irishbaz; 04-03-2015 at 04:22 PM.
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Old 05-19-2015, 03:19 AM   #69
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It was mentioned that non m coilovers would fit an m3.. So I'm assuming with this and the fact that f struts and r shocks from an m3 will fit a non m, that m3 coilovers would fit an m3 also?
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Old 05-19-2015, 06:19 AM   #70
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Originally Posted by e46t View Post
It was mentioned that non m coilovers would fit an m3.. So I'm assuming with this and the fact that f struts and r shocks from an m3 will fit a non m, that m3 coilovers would fit an m3 also?
It all depends on your top mounts,the bottom will bolt up fine but if you use a non m non adjustable coilover bearing it will give you 3 degrees of camber if your top mount is adjustable you might be able to straighten it up a bit
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Old 05-19-2015, 07:47 PM   #71
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That's what I assumed from the OPs post, thanks for the confirmation.
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Old 05-23-2015, 11:51 PM   #72
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkodama View Post
Here is some info and pictures about both setups.


Struts, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut bearing assembly, bump stops(if used), and dust boots(if used).
Strut mounts, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut and removal of factory alignment pin. NOTE: Changes alignment range.
Shock and mount, rear: Interchangeable
Springs, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate strut mount assembly or modification of spring.
Springs, rear: Interchangeable
Anti-sway bars, front: Interchangeable only with appropriate bushings and brackets
Anti-sway bar, rear: Not interchangeable (forum supplied information; reasonable to believe because of dimensionally different rear subframes, differentials, and difference in spare tire well)


Strut assembly pieces in order:

Stock Non-M:


Stock M3:





The M3 strut bearings are mirrored left to right and have an offset strut attachment hole that changes alignment between the M3 and non-M. The non-M strut bearings have a concentric attachment hole and are identical left and right. The M3 strut bearings can be clocked or swapped left to right to change the alignment range; the factory alignment pin must be unscrewed to do so. I am not sure of any long term integrity or accelerated wear problems caused by this, but I have observed no ill effects on two non-Ms with modified position M3 strut bearings.

Original M3 position strut bearing orientation on left strut; reducing camber and increasing caster compared to non-M:


M3 strut bearing rotated 120 degrees clockwise from original position; decreases camber and decreases caster compared to non-M, increases camber and decreases caster compared to original:


M3 strut bearing rotated 240 degrease clockwise from original postion; increases camber and increases caster compared to non-M, increases camber and decreases caster compared to original:



Underside of M3 strut bearings showing they have substantially more material, are designed for much greater rigidity, and a larger, stronger, sealed bearing is used, greatly increasing service life and reducing chances of strut tower mushrooming with the downside being roughly $90 more expensive per strut bearing:




Non-M struts are partially compressed at rest position, fluid can be heard if shaken, and easier to compress. M3 struts are fully extended at rest, no fluid can be heard if shaken, and are harder to compress.

Non-M left, M3 right


The threaded shaft length above the taper is why non-M(left) and M3(right) struts must be used with the appropriate strut bearings and vice versa:



Appearance, ride, and handling of M3 suspension on a non-M: M3 suspension on a non-M looks similar to non-M sport suspension in terms of ride height, but spring rates are considerably higher and damping is much greater as well. There is no noticeable lift in the front relative to the rear as rumored by some people. The ride feels very similar to an M3 meaning much more road feedback and the car follows the road more sharply. I haven't driven any of these cars hard enough to comment on at-the-limit handling.


*Everything here is through actual experience from working on and driving multiple E46 unless stated. This only info only applies to US market M3 and rear wheel drive non-M.
Hey Mkodoma, thanks for the write up. I actually wanted to try this since I had a spare set of M struts laying around. Did the install however, I swapped the bearings from left to write and vv. I wanted to get max amount of Castor out of this setup, instead of looking for camber. That being said, by pushing the tops all the way toward the engine in the slots, I believe I am now running about 1.5 -1.8 camber, which is more than what I had before.

Here is what I found though: My car came with factory sport suspension and, unfortunately the M3 struts are taller and raised my car about 0.75 to 1".
Not worried about it since, this was just a 'test' to see how the non-coilover setup would play out. So, with this test, I am now ready to spend money on new stuff and will be purchasing H&R springs for the M3 (0.75 -1" lowering) that should return my Sport suspension ride height.
Will also buy new Bilsteins and will throw in a set of Z4M lower eccentric control bushings (in search of more caster).

Otherwise, the handling after the swap, even though the M3 shocks are blown, are freaking unbelievable. Having extra caster gives me more dynamic camber at 20 percent lock and, all the previous understeer under "street conditions" are gone.
The only thing is, since the front end has been raised, the roll center has also changed that could also contribute to better handling and less roll.

Otherwise, valving between the Non-M and M dampers: Seat of the pants dyno is telling me that, Bound valving is about the same between the two however, the rebound is definitely stiffer on the M. In addition, I believe the M springs are about 50lbs heavier up front.
Anyhow, I figured I'd provide you with some feedback as well as a photo.

The taller strut is the M on the left.

http://s577.photobucket.com/user/bay...2nmlv.jpg.html

[IMG][/IMG]

Last edited by bayern_munchen; 05-23-2015 at 11:54 PM. Reason: adding image link
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Old 05-24-2015, 10:31 AM   #73
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bayern_munchen View Post
Otherwise, the handling after the swap, even though the M3 shocks are blown, are freaking unbelievable. Having extra caster gives me more dynamic camber at 20 percent lock and, all the previous understeer under "street conditions" are gone.
The only thing is, since the front end has been raised, the roll center has also changed that could also contribute to better handling and less roll.

Otherwise, valving between the Non-M and M dampers: Seat of the pants dyno is telling me that, Bound valving is about the same between the two however, the rebound is definitely stiffer on the M. In addition, I believe the M springs are about 50lbs heavier up front.
Anyhow, I figured I'd provide you with some feedback as well as a photo.

I noticed a pretty big handling difference between the m3 struts/shocks/springs compared to my previous two setups. Which were shitty raceland coilovers (car came with them) and factory sport suspension.

The front did sit higher compared to the sport suspension, but the rear was exactly the same. To eliminate this I simply put thicker spring pads in the rear (top and bottom).

It's a cheap upgrade IF you can find all I the parts together and IF they have low milage. And you get better handling than sport suspension.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:12 AM   #74
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Hi,
I ahve one specific question and I am not sure whther someone already tried this or not.

As far as I can find, I have an issue to change the rear shocks on sport suspension coupe. I have factory shocks, which are really on the end of their lifetime and I want to change them for aftermarket, as OEM are quite pricey.

Unfortunately Sachs stopped producing the rear shocks for sport suspension and they sell only standard ones, Bilstein are well known for early failures last few years, Konis are rusting as hell, KW are pricey and I do not believe in quality of the rest.

However rear schocks from M3 are direct fit, my coupe is sitting on Eibach Pro Kit springs, and Sachs still sells aftermarket shock on BMW E46 M3.

My question is, whether is it good idea to have combo of Sachs Sport Front (non-M3) and Sachs M3 rear (all on non-M Pro Kit Eibach). The car is 320ci M52, rear axle is mounted on powerflex black bushings and quaife torsen differential.

Thank you for your input.
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Old 08-04-2016, 11:32 AM   #75
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You are mixing non OEM spring rates with OEM but not model specific valving...I don't know man, I am sure it will work - to get you from point A-B but, will the car be balanced? Probably not.
I swapped the M3 struts/springs/plates and rear springs only, onto my 325ci. While the front end is pretty much hooked up (due to raised ride height, corrected roll center and added +castor), the rear end does this funny swing on bound.. Obviously, the OEM non-M dampers are under-valves for the M3 rear springs... That, or my rear dampers are just that* worn. Either way, I wouldn't mix (again) front to back if it was me.
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Old 08-04-2016, 12:16 PM   #76
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If I understand coreectly, you do not recommend the m3 shock with non-m3 spring, as the shock could have different working position?
Because regarding the spring, i understand Ou need to have the coreect one build on the weight level od the vehi***263;le (which I have as the spring is suited to my car). However the shock should not be dependant on weight of the car, they can be however dependnt on height of the spring....
I have to think about it. My concwrny were however regarding the fornt/rear balance as I can inagine that rear shocks from m3 will be much stifer.
I came ober this idea as Bilstein recommends to use b6 bmw m3 e36 shocks instead od their b6 e46 for x-drive models.
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Old 08-04-2016, 01:43 PM   #77
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HennessyVSOP View Post
If I understand coreectly, you do not recommend the m3 shock with non-m3 spring, as the shock could have different working position?
Because regarding the spring, i understand Ou need to have the coreect one build on the weight level od the vehi***263;le (which I have as the spring is suited to my car). However the shock should not be dependant on weight of the car, they can be however dependnt on height of the spring....
I have to think about it. My concwrny were however regarding the fornt/rear balance as I can inagine that rear shocks from m3 will be much stifer.
I came ober this idea as Bilstein recommends to use b6 bmw m3 e36 shocks instead od their b6 e46 for x-drive models.

Please buy the shocks you are asking about, They Will Work.


I have spoken....




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Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:32 PM   #78
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HennessyVSOP View Post
If I understand coreectly, you do not recommend the m3 shock with non-m3 spring, as the shock could have different working position?
Because regarding the spring, i understand Ou need to have the coreect one build on the weight level od the vehi***263;le (which I have as the spring is suited to my car). However the shock should not be dependant on weight of the car, they can be however dependnt on height of the spring....
I have to think about it. My concwrny were however regarding the fornt/rear balance as I can inagine that rear shocks from m3 will be much stifer.
I came ober this idea as Bilstein recommends to use b6 bmw m3 e36 shocks instead od their b6 e46 for x-drive models.
No, that's not what I said. If it was me, I would not mix dampers front and back. Either use all 4 dampers spec'd for the M3 (and swap strut plates and make sure the springs fit) or use a set destined for your non-M3 -on all 4 corners.
IMO, blisteins are very good for daily. 36mm mono-tube with digressive valving. Perfect for daily.
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Old 08-04-2016, 02:47 PM   #79
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Originally Posted by bayern_munchen View Post
No, that's not what I said. If it was me, I would not mix dampers front and back. Either use all 4 dampers spec'd for the M3 (and swap strut plates and make sure the springs fit) or use a set destined for your non-M3 -on all 4 corners.
IMO, blisteins are very good for daily. 36mm mono-tube with digressive valving. Perfect for daily.

I will gladly disagree with you, I have tested out countless rear shocks at this point for the E46 chassis. Some E36, some E46, and some from other automobile manufacturers.

I personally don't like recommending is mixing a twin tube design on one end of the chassis with a mono tube on the other end of the chassis.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by RacerX View Post
Nitrous is a little trickier than boost, but it's not the spray that kills motors, it's STUPIDITY!!
I Know How To Fix The Rear "Bouncing" Problem On Your Cheap Coilovers Like: Jom RL FK SE & RK.

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Old 08-04-2016, 03:11 PM   #80
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I will gladly disagree with you, I have tested out countless rear shocks at this point for the E46 chassis. Some E36, some E46, and some from other automobile manufacturers.

The only thing I personally don't like recommending is mixing a twin tube design on one end of the chassis with a mono tube on the other end of the chassis.



Rob43
it's a personal preference but, okay. I am running M3 springs on my car with non-m rear dampers. I can tell, the rebound valving on the non-m is too soft to properly handle the rear M3 spring rates. That being said, and slightly off topics but, I just swapped my 286mm front rotors to the larger, 320mm from a 330i and, I dont think it was worth the effort. over 20mph, I can feel the difference, with the steering being much heavier especially when coming out of turns. Dampers/wheels/tires all the same however, running heavier and larger rotors have changed suspension frequencies. again, it's a personal pref imo.
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