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Go Back   E46Fanatics > Tuning & Tech > Suspension & Braking

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

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Old 12-26-2013, 10:51 AM   #61
ac_2007
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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
cyberkaa
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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
ac_2007
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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.

Last edited by ac_2007; 02-05-2014 at 12:36 AM.
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Old 07-22-2014, 05:58 AM   #64
kevindsheaka
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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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