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      11-11-2011, 12:48 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CALWATERBOY View Post
Do you have rear subframe bushings?

For the love o'God man, M3 'em!
Why of course!
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      11-11-2011, 12:50 PM   #24
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What part of the bay area are you from?
Hi Marcelo, I live in Sunnyvale.
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      11-11-2011, 01:02 PM   #25
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Is this gonna be installed in the Mountain View area? I'd like to see how this turns out as well, I was thinking of going BMW Perf. Susp. kit route.
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      11-11-2011, 02:14 PM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yoko kai View Post
Is this gonna be installed in the Mountain View area? I'd like to see how this turns out as well, I was thinking of going BMW Perf. Susp. kit route.
Yes I am right next to Mountain View.
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      11-11-2011, 02:21 PM   #27
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      11-11-2011, 02:24 PM   #28
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You're first in line!
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      11-11-2011, 02:44 PM   #29
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Front spring selection

I want to post the process I used to select the front spring. I have a factory style strut with no height adjustment, so I have to work from the springs that are available. Here were my goals:

1) I wanted a spring rate as close as possible to 160#.

2) I wanted the ride height to be between 14.4" and 14.8". This is a little high, but I have my reasons.

So I looked over various BMW models and estimated their spring rates. If the 335i sport spring is 145#, then with a little algebra I can estimate what the 335d sport spring rate must be (assuming it is the same length -- which it is). I get 156# for the 335d spring. In reality I think it's a little lower, but still, that's pretty close to 160#.

So what's the ride height? If I take the 335d sport front spring and put it on my car, it will deflect less, because my car weighs less. I can take the difference in corner weights (335d versus 328i), divide by 156 lbs/in, and get the difference in deflection, which is 0.9". So this spring will jack up my car by 0.9".

That's 0.9" added to the 335d sport's nominal height, which is unknown but it's probably around 14.25".

That's too high. So, to bring it down I was originally planning to use the SP lowering perch, which lowers 0.4". This gives 14.75".

Ultimately I found a better way to bring down the height, but this gives an idea how to choose a front spring.
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      11-11-2011, 05:32 PM   #30
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Hyperco

The Hyperco springs arrived today. The first ones I received turned out to be old stock, and Hyperco offered to exchange them for the latest designs.

I weighed all the springs, and Hyperco has apparently been making continual improvements. These are all 10" 2.5" ID 525#.

#1 2.42 kg (9 coils)
#2 2.15 kg (8 coils)
#3 2.11 kg (7.5 coils)
#4 2.08 kg (7.5 coils)

For reference, the Swift 10" 65 mm 504# weighs 1.92 kg. That's as rated, I haven't weighed it, but Swift's ratings have been right on.

The 560# 9" 60 mm Swifts I bought earlier -- I was going to use them until I re-measured and found I couldn't get the height I wanted with them -- weigh only 1.57 kg.

What matters much more than weight, is stroke. The Hypercoils I have now look like they have 5.75" of stroke before coil bind, maybe more. It's pretty cool to see these spring designs improving. The 504# Swift spring is rated to have a max stroke of 6.1".

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      11-12-2011, 03:09 PM   #31
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I can't wait to hear how all this turns out
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      11-12-2011, 04:38 PM   #32
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Quote:
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I can't wait to hear how all this turns out
Hi Fraggy! The car goes into the shop on Monday.

I have an E36 and an E90, and every time I drive the E90 I'm reminded how poor it drives in comparison with the E36. We'll see how things turn out.
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      11-13-2011, 10:57 PM   #33
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I had an E36, 318ic, I looooooooved that car. Broke a lot, but drove great!!
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      11-14-2011, 10:14 PM   #34
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Well, Steve hit the first couple snags in the install. The front strut mounts in my car are 1/4" shorter than the ...943 guide supports. I was expecting my car to have the ...098 part, and that it would be taller, not shorter, than the 943's. So, in go the lowering perches.

[EDIT: my car does have the ...098 guide support, as expected. It is 0.2" shorter than the ...943 guide support that is used on non-sport E90s and many other BMW models.]

The E46 strut mounts, p/n 31 33 6 760 943, are 2.37" high.

Another snag is that new bolts are needed to attach the M3 lower control arm to the subframe. Somehow I neglected to order them, they weren't in any parts list I saw.

So, the bolts are on order and work resumes tomorrow.
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Last edited by luckyu; 12-06-2011 at 01:33 AM.
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      11-14-2011, 11:45 PM   #35
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Quote:
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Another snag is that new bolts are needed to attach the M3 lower control arm to the subframe. Somehow I neglected to order them, they weren't in any parts list I saw.

So, the bolts are on order and work resumes tomorrow.
Can you explain why you must have new bolts. That is one of the areas I'm still unclear about when it comes to all the M3 control arms, both front & rear. Some say you should, Bentley says replace (at least for front arms, rear I haven't found yet) but most haven't replaced them (that I know of).

I really would like to know exactly which bolts/nuts should be replaced and which not for the front & rear control arms. Oh, and torque specs too.
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      11-15-2011, 12:55 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaanBMW View Post
Can you explain why you must have new bolts. That is one of the areas I'm still unclear about when it comes to all the M3 control arms, both front & rear. Some say you should, Bentley says replace (at least for front arms, rear I haven't found yet) but most haven't replaced them (that I know of).

I really would like to know exactly which bolts/nuts should be replaced and which not for the front & rear control arms. Oh, and torque specs too.
The M3 rear camber link is made of aluminum, as opposed to stamped steel on the E9x. The link's attachment point at the subframe is thicker, and the needed bolt is longer. If I had double-checked the parts diagram, I could have seen that the bolt is different on the M3. Stupid mistake on my part.

AFAIK Steve re-used all hardware when installing the front M3 tension struts and control arms.

Have you considered getting the BMW ETS [Edit: I meant TIS], in order to get torque specs? Not to mention rules of hardware re-use that come right from the source.
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Last edited by luckyu; 11-17-2011 at 01:26 AM.
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      11-15-2011, 12:12 PM   #37
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Quote:
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AFAIK Steve re-used all hardware when installing the front M3 tension struts and control arms.

Have you considered getting the BMW ETS, in order to get torque specs? Not to mention rules of hardware re-use that come right from the source.
According to my 2nd-hand knowledge of Bentley, all the front bolts/nuts should not be re-used. That is why I want to clarify.

Did you re-use the subframe bushing bolts as well ?

BMW ETS ? you mean TIS or ... ?
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      11-16-2011, 02:11 AM   #38
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Quote:
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According to my 2nd-hand knowledge of Bentley, all the front bolts/nuts should not be re-used. That is why I want to clarify.

Did you re-use the subframe bushing bolts as well ?

BMW ETS ? you mean TIS or ... ?
Right, TIS, that's it.

I will ask Steve about the bolts when I get my car back.
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      11-16-2011, 10:26 PM   #39
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What part of the bay area are you from?
Marin - Embarking on major suspension overhaul in coming weeks if interested. Everything must go....
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      11-17-2011, 06:20 PM   #40
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First Impressions

Got my car back last night, and did some more driving today. Here are my first impressions. I hope you'll excuse me if I go into detail.

First I have to separate bumps into two categories. There are bumps that cause an impact, a noise, and there are bumps that do not -- smooth bumps.

First, impact bumps. At low speed, these cause more noise. I'm still able to ripple over many small bumps without an impact, but when impacts occur they are louder and there's more vibration making its way to the body, which sometimes excites a couple noises on the passenger side that I've had for a while -- ever since the front M3 control arms went in, actually.

For the non-impact bumps, it's brilliant. The car moves over bumps gracefully and corrects quickly. At low speed it's a busy ride, but not exaggerated and uncomfortable like before.* I would just say the suspension reacts fast to an uneven road, and occasionally that causes a vertical acceleration that is uncomfortable. No more so than the non-sport E36 that I've been using as a benchmark. In fact I'd say, comparing the non-sport E36 to the M3-sprung, M3-valved E90, that they are very similar in character. But the E90 body moves less and corrects faster. Same or nearly-same comfort level. This is on an uneven road; on a smooth road any car is comfortable.

* My complaint with the stock 07 328i ZSP suspension, aside from the miserable tires, is the constant, exaggerated vertical accelerations. It is not a smooth ride at all.

On the freeway, the E90's sublime. I can't think of anything that could be improved. Reactions are quick, the ride is controlled, movement is minimal, and overall feel is soft. There are no instances of discomfort like there are at low speed. Very smooth.

With the stock ZSP and with the performance suspension, the E90 used to compress into large freeway bumps and then launch out of them, raising me off the seat. No more. Now the car compresses into the bump, and that's it, it's over. The rebound after the compression is damped and you feel nothing.

I paid special attention to pitch on the freeway. Cruising at 80 there's no perceptible pitch, it's completely flat, just perfect, at 65 there's a small amount. I have to glance at the door sill against the ground to notice it. The spreadsheet says the "flat ride" tuning is optimized for 62 mph.

There's significantly more road vibration in the steering wheel. Unfortunately it's not useful, it doesn't count in my book as "feel"; but I don't mind it. I was hoping for some torquing and movement of the steering wheel when going over large undulations, esp. on the highway, but it's largely unchanged from before. There is some feel there, but it's muted.

I made one sweeper turn on my way back, and was impressed by grip and lack of roll. I got an impression of STICK like the tires were glued down. But the main thing is the car didn't jounce over the long bumps during the turn. I wasn't slipping at all, so I wasn't even close to testing limit behavior. I will do more testing of steady state turns soon.

At low speed, around town, operating at 6/10, my assessment of roll and body movement is that it doesn't occur. You really have to yank the car to get it to move. At high speed, there is still a slight delay on turn-in if you make a significant input. Small inputs are flat and immediate, but I'd say that was true before too.

My overall assessment so far is that the freeway ride is perfect, and that I hope the rattles and impacts at low speed can be softened a little bit by changing to goflat tires, and/or by breaking in the seals of the Bilsteins.

Here is the equipment that got installed:

Supersport SUFT015 upper spring plates (lowering perch) with no upper rubber piece
E46 front strut mounts
Bilstein struts and shocks, valved to Bilstein's M3 "HD" tuning.
Front spring from 335d, around 150 - 156 lbs/in
Hyperco 525# racing spring with AST height adjuster and Swift nylon bearings
Rubber spring seat for isolation in the camber link
M3 rear camber links

I'm running this on 16" wheels and original runflat tires. I will change to goflat tires soon. All my other equipment is in my sig.

More testing, photos, and measurements to come!
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Last edited by luckyu; 11-18-2011 at 04:25 PM. Reason: some rewording
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      11-17-2011, 06:38 PM   #41
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Ride Height

I forgot to post ride height measurements. I am riding a bit high, and this is intentional. I wanted to gain suspension travel and clearance, and I wanted to experiment with steering feel.

It's possible to ride .2" lower than me with a simple change, and by selecting a spring from the 135i you can go lower than that. So if you are thinking of doing this, you don't have to ride this high at all.

Here are my numbers:

Day 2: LF 14.75" RF 14.625"
Day 2: LR 14.25" RR 14.1875"

In the rear, I measured 0.8" of bump travel before touching the bump stop. At the wheel that's 3" of total bump travel.
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Last edited by luckyu; 12-06-2011 at 01:39 AM.
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      11-17-2011, 08:07 PM   #42
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Hopefully, you've got some pics to share while it was up on the rack
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      11-17-2011, 10:44 PM   #43
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Quote:
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Hopefully, you've got some pics to share while it was up on the rack
I don't have any photos of the installation, I'm very sorry about that... But I can get good shots of the rear suspension while it's on the ground!

Plus there's more coming on bump stops and bouncy rides...
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      11-18-2011, 04:06 PM   #44
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Another Drive

Took another drive this morning, this time up to Skyline. The suspension is perfect except how it handles impact bumps at low speed. At high speed impacts get absorbed perfectly. At low speed, some impacts cause cabin noise, which bothers me.

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I felt no absolutely no lack of comfort aside from the interior noises. The whole way up to Skyline, there was no noise actually because the road is free of impact bumps. The cobblestones in downtown Saratoga are absorbed, and train tracks on De Anza are absorbed. So not every impact causes noises.

Overall I'm very happy with the suspension, it's almost exactly what I was looking for, maybe a little harder. I'm hoping goflat tires and shock break-in will make most of the noises go away.
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