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      01-01-2009, 02:23 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Ant Man View Post
You must have some self control? most people go for a power upgrade first and the brakes last!

Have you been reading the Mr 5 and Orb's postings re the M3 suspension and strut brace per chance? What springs and dampers are you running? Do you pay attention to Orb'd load transfer and rear suspension frequency numbers or your own subjective assestment?

Great jobs with the mods The car looks standard (save the AP's) and low key but it's performance is in a different league.

I personally think I believe in self-preservation first... going fast is one thing, being able to stop is quite another!!

I have been reading Orb's musings about the suspension and strut brace... it does make interesting reading, although I do wonder sometimes where all the figures come from. However be that as it may, I have done some mods to my car along the same lines as you know. However, I firmly believe, as do the people from Alpina, that the dampers that BMW use are actually quite well specified. It's more the spring rating and secondary damping (or rubber bump stops) that need refining. To that end, I have followed Alpina's route - the front springs are of a slightly different rating, and I have changed the front rubber bump stops to items from the 335xi. The rear dampers and springs are completely stock.

I have no empirical data to give regarding load transfer or rear suspension frequency. To be honest, I don't really care! You must remember that the type of roads that Orb et al are driving on over in the US and Canada are vastly different to the challenging bitumen that we face here in the UK. For me, lowering springs and/or uprated dampers, or even coilovers, are largely wasted in the UK on our cars as for me, the art of going quickly over B-roads is to have excellent mechanical grip, good roll resistance, and supple suspension which can absorb the camber changes, ruts and bumps. Having a stiffer suspension setup will in most cases slow down a car when driving on such roads. The track obviously is a different animal - however I don't think any of us are using our cars as a dedicated track tool!

For Orb and the others in the US, they want to stiffen the rear subframe so that higher-rated springs and dampers can be used more effectively. I personally don't think that is necessary - anyone who has been in my car, or actually driven it, have all said that they feel they can go quicker, safer, and in more comfort than more stiffly spring variants (such as the Hartge car, which is way too stiff in the rear). Even on the very fast negative-g Fuchsrohre section of the Nurburgring, when the car does 140+mph into a long dip left-handed dip in the road, the suspension never reaches full compression (which it does in a lot of other cars).

I firmly believe that the way to achieving the best handling out of our cars is by the fitment of an LSD for extra traction, a fine tuning of the subtleties of the suspension and running gear, and uprating the antiroll bars to reduce the roll rate and neutralise the handling bias away from on-limit understeer.

And thank you - I do like the way my car looks completely and utterly standard, save for the AP brakes... it certainly does surprise a few people!!