Completed this install today, took about 1.5 days working 10 hours one day and about 6 hours the next day.
Ground Control Street/School setup; coilovers f/r, camber plates in the front, single adjustable (rebound) Konis valved for my spring rates, 525/650 f/r springs.
Ground Control adjustable toe arms.
StopTech 355mm 6-piston Red Caliper Slotted Rotors Front BBK
M3 Wishbones and Tension Struts in the front, M3 camber arms in the rear.
Since I had to do brakes anyway, I pulled off the old caliper and rotor, disconnected and capped the brake line, and pulled off the dust shield so I could have more room to work.
Undid the strut nuts, disconnected the swaybar and the headlight rod, then took the nuts off of all of the control arms connected to the knuckle. Went ahead and pulled the tie rod out of the knuckle and put it to the side (still connected to steering rack of course). Now what I did was loosen the bolts holding the wishbone and camber arm to the chassis, and then those were free to swing all the way down.. once this happened I got the entire knuckle out with the strut and had room to split the clamp apart and swap in the GC strut.
When that was done, I went ahead and pulled the fender liner and the undertray a little so I could reach all the control arm bolts, took those out and installed the M3 arms. I put the knuckle back on the arms supported by the jack, and finger-tightened the strut nuts up top. Then I snugged up all the nuts holding the control arms, then raised the knuckle up with the jack to engage the spring.
Since you aren't supposed to torque the control arms until the arm is it riding position, I lifted the knuckle up high enough (via the hub) to lift that corner off the jack stand. Then I reached in and torqued all the control arms. Re-attach the swaybar and attach the headlight rod.
Now the brakes - these StopTechs are a thing of beauty. I picked up a couple of the ECS stainless steel rotor-retention bolts, so I had new ones to install the stoptechs with. Put the rotor on, put the caliper in, put the pads in the caliper, then attach the banjo bolt to the back of the StopTech caliper (make sure you angle the line away from the caliper or you'll end up reversing it afterwards for more clearance). Then attach the line to the grommets on the swaybar mount, and then attach the line to the factory hardline.
I had speedbleeders so I just went ahead and flushed the system with Motul and got it nice and happy.
That might be a little different procedure than you guys do, thats just how I did it. It worked out.
In the rear, I did the toe arms first, then got the strut nut off the top (I had to disassemble the trunk a bit to get to it) and then I could just support the front of the brake rotor with the jack (wood pad) and use my other jack to support the control arm and zip out the bolts holding the camber arm on. The back bolt by the chassis is a pain because they for some odd reason put the bolt in from the front of the car pointing back, and the exhaust blocks the bolt from coming all the way out. I just undid the back 3 exhaust hangers on both sides (3 easy bolts, 1 bolt each) then let the exhaust droop the inch or so it droops, popped those bolts out and got the spring/shock out, then got the M3 arms in there and then put the exhaust back.
The back bolts are eccentric so you need to ensure they go down in the little valley they belong in while you're snugging it up. Also get ready to dial in minimum camber to get that front bolt into the hub. After everything is tight you can dial in max camber like I did.
The rear is really no muss no fuss besides that stupid exhaust issue.
Thanks to CALWATERBOY for the torque specs chart, the only ones he left off were the strut nuts in the front and the shock mounting bolt to the control arm in the back. The strut nuts are 25 ft/lbs and the shock mounting bolt is 75.
I went through and torqued everything to factory spec with the car held up by the hubs so the control arms were at ride height, then lowered it back onto the stands and put the wheels on. We eyeballed the toe (the rear toe was HILARIOUSLY off, the car would have driven in circles) then lowered it onto its tires for the first time in 36 hours, and backed it up and down the driveway and few times to settle everything in.
Came back up and re-torqued the strut nuts (and set the camber to -1.0 on both sides in the front, which looks like a shade over 2 degrees negative to my eye) and then got going on ride height. I ended up with 1 apparent finger gap in the front although its illusory because you hit the tire, its just so far in because of the camber it looks like it has a little gap.
Could definitely go with M3 fitments on the wheels with this much camber. Ended up with between 1 and 2 fingers gap in the rear. I like the raked look so I will probably leave the rear a little higher. I didn't measure the distances to the hubs or anything, I just wanted them approximately even and in the ballpark height-wise.
We set the toe using the tried and true plumb on the side of the tires chalk marks on the street and measure method, and it turned out great. We got it to 1/16" toe out in the front and essentially 0 toe in the rear (I was making like 1/4" chalk marks on the ground so I tried to measure to the middle of the mark.
). But it drove flawlessly and tracked straight so I think we got it.
Holy crap. Its a completely different car. If you really liked how the stock car felt, don't do this. Its totally different. Luckily, this is what I wanted.
When you turn the car, there's no "taking a set" it just instantly turns. It feels really eager to turn (probably the toe out is helping that) and it just does so, no leaning, no drama, no wallowing. I went out to bed the brakes and did 10 back to back 90 to 10mph stops on the freeway consecutively and the lack of brake dive was remarkable. Also, the stoptechs didn't fade away at all.
I was accelerating as hard as possible each run to minimize the down time and get them hot, and it didn't really do much. The StopTechs just worked with no hassle. Exactly what I paid for.
Next up: Stett Stage 2 Oil Cooler.
Future: LSD + Sway bars + powerflex subframe/diff bushings
It was dark by the time We got the car aligned so I don't have any post-lowering photos. Will get some tomorrow.
The 335i adventure continues...