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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 02-18-2013, 07:30 AM   #1
stevestrimpfel
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Centerville, Ohio
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My Ride: 06 330Ci Convertible
2006 330Ci Sway Bar and Control Arm Bushings

I just bought a 2006 330Ci Convertible. I has the Sport and Premium Packages. I have read that a Sway Bar can increase the performance and handling.

My first question is, does the Sport Package already include a sway bar, or is this an after market add on.

My second question is what control arm bushing kit do you recommend. I hear there are aftermarket options that are an improvement in performance and longevity when compared to BMW stock bushings.

Last edited by stevestrimpfel; 02-18-2013 at 07:30 AM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:33 AM   #2
WDE46
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All cars come with swaybars. If you want less body roll during turns, you buy stiffer swaybars.

As far as control arm bushings, there are many things available. This subject has been beat to death on the forums. Use the search function and search for FCAB (front control arm bushings). On Google, try "E46 FCAB".
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:40 AM   #3
stevestrimpfel
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Thanks for the reply WDE46. I am going to guess the sport package includes a sway bar that is beefier than the standard sway bar. Would a stiffer sway bar be a noticeable difference from the sport package sway bar... or will a stiffer sway bar make a negligible difference for the cost of parts and labor.

Last edited by stevestrimpfel; 02-18-2013 at 07:41 AM.
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Old 02-18-2013, 07:57 AM   #4
WDE46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevestrimpfel View Post
Thanks for the reply WDE46. I am going to guess the sport package includes a sway bar that is beefier than the standard sway bar. Would a stiffer sway bar be a noticeable difference from the sport package sway bar... or will a stiffer sway bar make a negligible difference for the cost of parts and labor.
Upgrading your sway bars is actually the most economical and simplest way to improve handling (without compromising ride comfort). You can significantly alter your car's characteristics with a set of swaybars. You'll want to find a matched set of front and rear bars so that you preserve your handling though. For example, if you just upgraded the rear sway bar, you will possibly induce an unsafe amount of oversteer at the limits. Also, you must consider the fact that your car is a convertable and thus needs a different setup than a normal E46 though you would probably be okay installing a regular E46 kit.

As far as the sport package's sway bars, yes, you will notice a difference with upgraded bars. I'm going to say that all kits made for the E46 are stiffer than the stock sport package suspension sway bars unless they state otherwise (OEM equivalents). I must also note that all E46 coupes (you have a coupe that is a convertable) come with the sport suspension even if you didn't buy the sport package.

Last edited by WDE46; 02-18-2013 at 07:59 AM. Reason: Auto-save 1361195976
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Old 02-18-2013, 08:45 AM   #5
shanneba
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Here is a pretty good listing of the stock/aftermarket sway bars available :

http://www.vorshlag.com/bars.php

I added a set of turner motorsports sway bars 27mm front / 21mm rear and adjustable front links to my 330Ci, made a big difference in cornering.
http://www.turnermotorsport.com/p-10...y-bar-set.aspx
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:21 AM   #6
stevestrimpfel
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Thanks Guys this has been very helpful. I think I will go with the sway bar add. I have to replace the front control arm bushings, and rear arm bushings, so while they are working on it.. I might as well add the sway bars.

While you are on a roll.. let me ask about strut tower braces. Do these make a difference? I heard that convertible bodies tend to be a little flexy because it does not have the support of a fixed hard top. What are your thoughts on the strut braces?
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Old 02-18-2013, 09:27 AM   #7
WDE46
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Originally Posted by stevestrimpfel View Post
Thanks Guys this has been very helpful. I think I will go with the sway bar add. I have to replace the front control arm bushings, and rear arm bushings, so while they are working on it.. I might as well add the sway bars.

While you are on a roll.. let me ask about strut tower braces. Do these make a difference? I heard that convertible bodies tend to be a little flexy because it does not have the support of a fixed hard top. What are your thoughts on the strut braces?
A strut brace won't hurt things. You may want to get one. It won't give you the noticeable performance gain that the swaybars will, but it will stiffen things up. Convertables are in fact less stiff than their roofed counterparts. I wouldn't reocommend the strut brace based on the fact that you have a convertable though. I would recommend it because it just helps reinforce the car. With stiffer roll bars, your shock towers will see more stress. Have the shop add front strut reinforcement plates and the strut brace.

It also looks cool under the hood, so there's that. There are also many options available. BWM Performance, ECS Tuning, UUC Strut barbarian, and many others.

Last edited by WDE46; 02-18-2013 at 09:28 AM. Reason: Auto-save 1361201291
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