So after reading Orb's thread with the M3 parts, it really made me make a decision with where I wanted to go with modding.
Here is the thread that is very informative.
If you haven't read it yet, then you probably should before reading on so you get some more answers.
Before, I was only concerned about making my car faster and faster and I was thinking that more power meant faster. It does to an extent, but if one has a better tuned suspension, yet it has 6 less hp, then this car will be faster on a road course.
So, I took the plunge.
Thanks a bunch to Harold from HP Autowerks and Evan@Tischer!
Without them, I wouldn't have these parts!
Hats off to these guys for excellent customer service!!
I ordered the following:
Left Wishbone link--31102283577
Right Wishbone link--31102283578
Left Tension link--31102283575
Right Tension link--31102283576
M3 Strut brace (All Parts) http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts...61&hg=51&fg=75
Rental of my friend's shop was $50, so no labor costs.
Most would say that the under steer with this car completely sucks!
Some think that if you put a thick sway bar in the rear then you will correct it and that is so not true.
What will happen in this case is you will start to under steer, and then go directly into snap overseer. This is when you will see the world start to spin while you yell obscenities to yourself.
So, what happened after the install?
First off, the most important thing that I need to say is that if you install the wishbone links, you need to make sure that the same shop that installs these performs alignments as well.
Don't even think that you will drive to an alignment shop to get it done because it will be very dangerous.
Trust me on this please! I tried it and it was very scary!
I drove back to my friend's shop and adjusted it myself the old fashioned way.
I straightened the wheel and measured the front of the tire and the back of the tire.
The toe alignment was so far off that the rear was of the tires was 1.75" longer than the front!!
EDIT--When I did the allignment after the tension link install, it was only a front end alignment and I didn’t have anything printed out.
So recently, I installed the BMW Performance Srpings which called for a 4 wheel allignment. Now, I could finally compare the before and after of the camber that the M3 wishbone links added.
The M3 links added -.6 degrees to the left and -.5 degrees to the right giving the total camber to -.9 degrees on the left and -.8 degrees on the right. BTW, the tolerances are -1 degree to 1 degree.
With all that said, the feeling of the car is 100% better. There is so much more feedback with the steering. Meaning, when I turn the steering wheel, it's a bit tighter, but not too tight. The steering wheel doesn't try to pop out of my hands and it doesn't feel light. It does exactly what I want it to do.
Having said that, you can feel more of the road as well.
I do understand why BMW chose to put the hydraulic bushings in because the so called typical BMW driver would most likely complain since they can feel the bumps in the steering wheel, but I believe that this is a very important feature to have for a modified car. We need to feel the bumps in the road. We need to be able to react as quickly as possible, so the more information that is being transferred to me via the steering wheel, the better I’m going to drive the car.
I’ll give you an example, after I installed the lower links, I noticed that my steering wheel was vibrating on the freeway. It turns out that one of the weights fell or came off my car in the past and I never noticed it. I have been driving around on a wheel that wasn’t balanced correctly and I never noticed it. Once I installed the M2 links, I noticed it right away.
As far as the M3 strut brace, I’m sure it’s doing its job as well. It would have been nice to do one at a time but then again, doing everything all at once saves time and money, and let’s face it—I was excited to get it on.
The fitment of the strut brace was perfect except for one thing. The studs need to be taken out since the microfilter housing will rub on the studs. I went to the local hardware store and picked up some stainless steel flanged bolts. That did the job.
Sorry about the pictures of the compared tension links and wishbone links.
I forgot my camera at the shop so I used my friend’s camera phone.
The first picture is comparing the wishbone links. The bottom link is the M3 link. Notice how the bushing is completely different and that the M3 link is longer. This will actually add some negative camber to the front since it’s pushing the lower wheel out more than the 335 link does.
The second picture is comparing the tension links. The bottom is the M3 link. Again, notice how this link is also a bit longer, and look at the size of the rubber bushing. It’s very stiff compared to the 335 link.
The third picture is is a group photo.
The other pictures are detailed pictures of the strut brace installed.