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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Suspension options for occasional track days



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      09-02-2009, 02:14 PM   #1
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Suspension options for occasional track days

Hello,


I am interested in hearing from some of you who have upgraded suspension parts as to what works best for mostly DD with occasional track days.

Coil overs, sway bars, strut braces, M3 suspension parts -- basically what set-ups work well together to have a firm but reasonable ride around town with the ability to really enjoy a neutral car at the track. Also interested in tire and brake choices.

Thanks,
John
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      09-02-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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Your best bet would be the BMW performance or Dinan. Moderately lowered ride height, stiffer, tighter but still very forgiving on the streets.
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      09-02-2009, 10:36 PM   #3
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I do occassional track, I'm running H&R Sport springs as a pretty good compromise. I actually find them a little soft, not sure if the Race versions would have been better. Probably H&R or Dinan or pretty much whatever for sways is up next for me, seems to make a huge difference. Tires....still using my road rubber but thinking the best option is to have a seperate set for the track (I'm picking up something cheap on Kijiji or off one of the forums)
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      09-02-2009, 10:43 PM   #4
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What BMW do you have? Does it have a sport PKG?
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      09-02-2009, 10:48 PM   #5
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hmmm, showing A6 and S4 in his profile ?????
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      09-03-2009, 11:33 AM   #6
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What dollar figures are in your budget is also a good question.
Is this a lease or purchase?
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      09-03-2009, 12:54 PM   #7
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How "occasional" is it? Twice a year? 6 times a year? 12-20 weekends?

I mean, if it's 4-6 times a year, what is so wrong with the factory suspension that you are willing to give up daily driving comfort for *maybe* 10 out of 365 days in a year? In my not so humble opinion, a switch of tires to something a little suitable for track use will go a much, MUCH longer way than $2,000-$5,000 worth of suspension work.

And if you've not taken the car to the track yet, how exactly do you know how "not neutral" the car actually is? I've driven a ton of E9X at the track, and "understeer" only shows up if you A) do something STOOPID and B) you're driving way past what the car is capable of doing, and at that point, the TIRES are still the most important aspect of the car, not the suspension.

Frankly, the OEM sport suspension is about PERFECT for a daily drive and casual track work. Like anywhere from 4-6 weekends a year. If you're going once a month, then you either have a serious track addiction problem, in which upgrading the suspension makes perfect sense since it's probably going to spend just as much time on track as it does on street and making that compromise is not an issue, or you're going to the track for FREE in which case, you should seriously consider buying a track dedicated car (since that $1,000 you're spending a month to go to the track makes for a NICE monthly payment on something a little bit more appropriate, like a Lotus Exige S).
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      09-03-2009, 02:54 PM   #8
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Stay stock. It feels so good to smoke modded cars while being stock. The look on dudes' faces when they find out they're slower than you with 25% more power and a 5k suspension is what its all about.

But, if you suck at driving, spend lots of monies on mods to make up for lack of talent.
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      09-03-2009, 03:01 PM   #9
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LOL
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      09-03-2009, 03:01 PM   #10
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look at you useing the GranTurismo method
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      09-03-2009, 03:27 PM   #11
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I agree, the stock sport suspension is great, except that like all non M BMWs, it doesn't have enough camber. That's not to say you can't have fun though. I would get better as a driver first before attempting any mods on an already incredibly capable car.
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      09-03-2009, 05:21 PM   #12
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I found the stock ZSP suspension w/rfts OK. Switching to extreme non-rfts was great. Swapping out for M3 suspension bits reduced slop but increased bump harshness. BMW Perf springs and dampers are a bit of a disappointment, still too soft with non-rfts. LSD was a big improvement. I would like to further reduce weight, stiffen chassis, and further upgrade springs/dampers.

It is much more fun to drive a car on the street, off-road, & track that has better steering feel and more predictable handling. Better tires, LSD, M3 bits, springs/dampers, & weight loss make for a more responsive E9x.

I am a big advocate of making suspension changes as a planned system. Wish we had access to BMWs CAD/CAM programs to sort this stuff out.
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      09-03-2009, 07:59 PM   #13
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I'm a BIG proponent of finding out what the car can do in stock form first before you do anything to it (although I've already made changes to my WRX Wagon before going to the track...But that car just BEGS to be messed with). In my experience there's absolutely NOTHING on the stock BMW sport suspension that should preclude you from having fun at the track...

And personally, that $2,000-$5,000 you may have to spend for all that mod is BETTER SPENT for track days anyway. Depending on where you are, that's around 10 weekends (or 5 if you're in California) on the track. That experience is worth way more than any M3 suspension or fancy springs and shocks or LSD COMBINED.
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      09-03-2009, 09:21 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
I'm a BIG proponent of finding out what the car can do in stock form first before you do anything to it (although I've already made changes to my WRX Wagon before going to the track...But that car just BEGS to be messed with). In my experience there's absolutely NOTHING on the stock BMW sport suspension that should preclude you from having fun at the track...

And personally, that $2,000-$5,000 you may have to spend for all that mod is BETTER SPENT for track days anyway. Depending on where you are, that's around 10 weekends (or 5 if you're in California) on the track. That experience is worth way more than any M3 suspension or fancy springs and shocks or LSD COMBINED.
+9001

even the best suspension in the world is no substitute for actual seat time. I would suggest attending some local auto-X's to get a feel for the car and practice.
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      09-04-2009, 03:36 PM   #15
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Wonderful advice. Stock ZSP is more than anyone needs for the first set of driving events. After that you may want to look at camber and other tweaks. If you are serious, a set of tires/wheels will pay off in the long run, but that will come later...

Quote:
Originally Posted by The HACK View Post
How "occasional" is it? Twice a year? 6 times a year? 12-20 weekends?

I mean, if it's 4-6 times a year, what is so wrong with the factory suspension that you are willing to give up daily driving comfort for *maybe* 10 out of 365 days in a year? In my not so humble opinion, a switch of tires to something a little suitable for track use will go a much, MUCH longer way than $2,000-$5,000 worth of suspension work.

And if you've not taken the car to the track yet, how exactly do you know how "not neutral" the car actually is? I've driven a ton of E9X at the track, and "understeer" only shows up if you A) do something STOOPID and B) you're driving way past what the car is capable of doing, and at that point, the TIRES are still the most important aspect of the car, not the suspension.

Frankly, the OEM sport suspension is about PERFECT for a daily drive and casual track work. Like anywhere from 4-6 weekends a year. If you're going once a month, then you either have a serious track addiction problem, in which upgrading the suspension makes perfect sense since it's probably going to spend just as much time on track as it does on street and making that compromise is not an issue, or you're going to the track for FREE in which case, you should seriously consider buying a track dedicated car (since that $1,000 you're spending a month to go to the track makes for a NICE monthly payment on something a little bit more appropriate, like a Lotus Exige S).
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      09-04-2009, 03:38 PM   #16
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Its even more fun passing modded 335s in a stock station wagon, or pulling on them on the straights.

Quote:
Originally Posted by satakal View Post
Stay stock. It feels so good to smoke modded cars while being stock. The look on dudes' faces when they find out they're slower than you with 25% more power and a 5k suspension is what its all about.

But, if you suck at driving, spend lots of monies on mods to make up for lack of talent.
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      09-08-2009, 11:18 AM   #17
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We have a large selection of suspension components available, from a variety of different manufactures. The setup that works best for you will probably depend on how much time you spend at the track.

The FK Coilover Kits offer a great ride for a daily driver with adjustable height and dampening, but are probably a tad on the soft side for heavy track use.

Unfortunately track specific coilovers are usually on the extreme of the stiff side for daily driving, so finding the right combination can certainly be tricky. If the car is mainly a daily driver, followed by a few track days through the year. I'd suggest a good dampening adjustable coilover setup, mixed with some upgraded sways / strut bars.
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