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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > Help with suspension mods



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      09-27-2011, 09:33 PM   #1
E90335iflyer
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Help with suspension mods

Newbie here. Just bought a CPO E90 335i(My first turbo BMW, had an E36 M3 back in the late 90's with just anything you can think of on it) with super low miles for a daily driver to and from work. I currently own a Porsche Boxter Spider(modified) and Nissan GTR(stock), both are weekend cars for me.

I will be doing a lot of reading here for the next few days on what mods I can do to this 335i to make it both handle better and run faster. I am somewhat disappointed at the handling of the 335i even as a daily driver and it can use more power as well. I consider myself a very good driver and run in the advance group with my Porsche. I can withstand a firm but not jarring ride for the 335i and the only reason I got the 335i was the M3 just doesn't get the same gas mileage and the trips I often take will require a stop for gas, which is a hassle. With that being said, I would like the 335i to handle somewhat like the M3, is that possible? I know the Porsche products well, but not this new toy for me. Is there a BMW expert here?

I am new so please take it easy. Informative responses will be appreciated. If you suggest a product, I would appreciate it if you can also tell me why that product in particular and perhaps the positives and negatives as well to help my decision making process. The shops I usually deal with do not carry BMW product so I will also need some suggestions on which vendors to use as well.
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      09-27-2011, 09:38 PM   #2
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Welcome..it would help to know what type of budget you are working with to provide accurate information..

IMO first order of business is proper coilover set-up..depending on what you are looking to do u have some choices to consider..

Next best bang for the buck would be swapping the front OEM control arms for the M3s..that will give u less deflection, better handling and added negative camber

I highly recommend you contact Harold at www.hpashop.com

He is one the most knowlegeable suspension guys on the forum..I personally bought my entire set up from him..my review here

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=586764

Best of luck and happy modding..
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      09-27-2011, 10:11 PM   #3
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I don't think you can get a 335i to handle like an M3 w/o having a stiffer ride than the M3 and spending a ton of money that you won't recoup. You didn't mention if your 335i still has runflat tires and if you intend to keep runflat tires. Assess that and go from there. Once you add grip, reduce sidewall stiffness and add torque, it's a slippery slope $$. I know I'd suggest you do alot of research on wheels/tires/springs/shocks/control arms and bushings and decide if you want to go down that road.
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      09-28-2011, 12:44 PM   #4
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cvc you make a good point. The M3 is a different car with different character. I had considered (long term) using M3 components to upgrade the handling but as you said, but it is not that simple. Returns may be diminishing....
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      09-28-2011, 07:44 PM   #5
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Returns aren't necessarily dimishing; it's just that I don't think you can replicate the M3's combination of handling and ride quality. Once you ditch the rft's, the 335i's bushings, control arms, springs and dampers become too soft. The M diff is also superior to the Quaife lsd I have and that wasn't cheap installed. Hey, if you want to spend the money, go for it.. I did for the same reason as the OP stated; I like the fuel economy v. the V8 for a DD. My car is a blast for a DD, but if I were to do it again, I'd just install FSD's, Meyle's front HD tension links, the latest, greatest Michelin rft's and call it good for a DD.
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      09-28-2011, 10:30 PM   #6
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You can look at what I did with my car for similar reasons ... not an M3 but addresses a lot of the issues with the stock 335 with RFT. It also quickly summarized about 500 posts worth of information and decision making.

http://www.e90post.com/forums/showthread.php?t=589722

If you got the 335 for gas mileage than you are kindof defeating the purpose by adding a ton of tunes and stuff ... you'll save a lot more money not messing with it.

If money is not an object then take the price of a similar year/mileage M3 and subtract the price of your car - when mods cross 50%+ of that number by trying to make it more M3ish ... u may wonder why u didn't just get a used M3 after all. (Especially as not having an LSD really kills the 335i when comparing with an M3 and that costs a LOT more than most any other parts.)

Still a 335 is great fun to tune and drive and relatively cheap to mod. Have fun.
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      10-01-2011, 01:03 PM   #7
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I have a $15k budget for my daily driver. What do you guys suggest for suspension and wheels/tires?
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      10-01-2011, 08:30 PM   #8
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Something like what Tibra's doing: an LSD, quality c/o, M3 control arms and subframe bushings, non-rft PSS on lighter weight wheels and a tune. As mentioned above, if you've got that budget call Harold at HPA and deal w/him
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      10-04-2011, 07:11 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
I have a $15k budget for my daily driver. What do you guys suggest for suspension and wheels/tires?
The skies the limit lmao
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      10-04-2011, 11:11 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
I have a $15k budget for my daily driver. What do you guys suggest for suspension and wheels/tires?
With that amount you can get all the
1)non run flats (Mitch PS2),
2)coilovers with swift springs (hpa koni SA from Harold),
3)M3 bits (front & rear links, swaybars f/r, subframe bushings,
4)differential
5)tune
6)intake
7)downpipes cattless
8)intercooler

After this you have more than half your budget left... Have fun!!
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Last edited by Midnight Magic; 10-05-2011 at 12:44 PM.
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      10-05-2011, 11:38 PM   #11
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Donate the rest of the money to tje forum. 15k for wheels tires and suspension....must be rough
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      10-06-2011, 07:58 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
I have a $15k budget for my daily driver. What do you guys suggest for suspension and wheels/tires?


With that budget, you could EASILY set the ride up for a killer DD and be a beast on the track.
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      10-07-2011, 12:49 PM   #13
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with a $15k to burn on a car, instead of modding the 335, id just buy an m3. lol
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      10-07-2011, 01:40 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
I have a $15k budget for my daily driver. What do you guys suggest for suspension and wheels/tires?
Check out the mods in my signature (as well as others) if you want something thats going to be smoking fast, handles well, yet is still a great daily driver. I'm assuming the $15k is for mods + install, I would leave out the upgraded turbos if thats the case ($5,000 including install) but many of the mods are rather easy DIY's. I run it in group 2 on track days, does pretty well out there, however it's still a heavy car and thats something you cannot change if you are going to keep it a DD. I would have gone with coilovers for the suspension, but since I DD the car more than track it....shocks + springs were a better bet for me. My next project is to do a M3 suspension bit conversion (mainly control arms + bushings and subframe bushings).

Quote:
Originally Posted by edirtaynine View Post
with a $15k to burn on a car, instead of modding the 335, id just buy an m3. lol
He already has 2 track/weekend cars....including a GTR. The 335 is a much better daily driver than a M3 and he probably doesn't have the need for another track/weekend car.
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Last edited by Syndicategt; 10-07-2011 at 01:45 PM.
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      10-07-2011, 01:45 PM   #15
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A 335 with 15K in it (done right, obviously) could be WAYYYYY better than an M3 IMO.

Yeah, first get Ohlins, LSD and all the M3 bits tibra mentioned. <<He did A LOT of research on suspension before getting his setup.

Get some HRE wheels with some good tires.

DP's, FMIC, Flash/piggy, intake and exhaust are givens. There are quite a few to choose from for each so search and read up on all.

After all that, you would have more than enough money to maybe even get the bigger turbos. I have read from a couple people that have them and say they have problems getting traction (wish I had that problem). But if you have the base...and you will with that suspension setup...go for it.
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      10-11-2011, 08:53 AM   #16
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Replacing the run flats with Michelins, coil-overs and a LSD have really transformed my car. More I could do, but not sure if I want to bother.
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      10-16-2011, 04:14 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by edirtaynine View Post
with a $15k to burn on a car, instead of modding the 335, id just buy an m3. lol
Owning one means filling my tank often because of the poor gas mileage. I am happy with the ~29 mpg I am currently getting on the highway.

If I were to build a track car, M3 would be the base car.
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      10-19-2011, 11:09 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E90335iflyer View Post
Newbie here. Just bought a CPO E90 335i(My first turbo BMW, had an E36 M3 back in the late 90's with just anything you can think of on it) with super low miles for a daily driver to and from work. I currently own a Porsche Boxter Spider(modified) and Nissan GTR(stock), both are weekend cars for me.

I will be doing a lot of reading here for the next few days on what mods I can do to this 335i to make it both handle better and run faster. I am somewhat disappointed at the handling of the 335i even as a daily driver and it can use more power as well. I consider myself a very good driver and run in the advance group with my Porsche. I can withstand a firm but not jarring ride for the 335i and the only reason I got the 335i was the M3 just doesn't get the same gas mileage and the trips I often take will require a stop for gas, which is a hassle. With that being said, I would like the 335i to handle somewhat like the M3, is that possible? I know the Porsche products well, but not this new toy for me. Is there a BMW expert here?

I am new so please take it easy. Informative responses will be appreciated. If you suggest a product, I would appreciate it if you can also tell me why that product in particular and perhaps the positives and negatives as well to help my decision making process. The shops I usually deal with do not carry BMW product so I will also need some suggestions on which vendors to use as well.
Welcome.

Coming from Boxster Spider and GTR? Those are big shoes to fill for the 335i, both in handling and power. I am not going to make suggestions for power until the suspension and brakes(I hope you have plans to modify that as well) are squared away. What I am about to suggest will give you a solid platform to start, but it isn't the most expensive nor is it the best of what is out there, but a good starting point for your DD.

Since you have two nice weekend cars and you don't want this daily driver to beat you up. In addition, looking at some of your locations(don't know where you drive the 335i), I will assume for the worst.

Our HPA Koni Single Adjustable coilover kit will give you the best bang for your money. Nothing is even close at its price point. Single adjustable, height adjustable, custom Swift springs with thrust sheets with optional camber plates. I urge you to find another coilover system like it with the same performance. You can easily spend double, triple or more on better coilovers, but you can just hop in any of your other cars if you really want to have some fun.

The next thing to do is all the M3 bits along with the new RE rear toe arms. This will give you a solid platform to work with. If you choose to go with the M3 lower camber links, this is a good time as well since you are buying a coilover kit, M3 rear dampers can be substitude at very little additional cost.

Last is to add a limited slip differential to the car. Quaife has proven to be the most reliable so far and will be great for your DD. Gear oil change will be less frequent with this gear type diff and there is no noise, no on and off clutch engagement. You wouldn't know it's even there until you put your foot down and leave two strips of vaporized rubber on the road!

I am not going to discuss wheels and tires, but will only suggest installing the widest wheels and tires(stagger is fine, square setup for better handling and less understeer is non sense. You are just giving up rear traction is all). the vehicle will allow. Choose a quality wheel that is both light and strong and buy the best tires you can afford.

I may have missed something...will try to fill in later. Don't trust everything people tell you here. Private party and vendors alike. Do your own research and you will know who knows their stuff and who is just talking out of your know what.
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