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BMW 3-Series (E90 E92) Forum > E90 / E92 / E93 3-series Technical Forums > Suspension | Brakes | Chassis > INSTALLED: M3 bits (bushings, front/rear arms & sways) + BMW perf springs/v1 dampers



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      03-12-2012, 11:59 PM   #1
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Post INSTALLED: M3 bits (bushings, front/rear arms & sways) + BMW perf springs/v1 dampers

PARTS:
For a long time I've gathered the M3 bits, and after careful consideration (see here) I added an upgraded spring & shock combo. Below is what went on the car:
  • M3 Front Wishbone Set
  • M3 Front Tension Strut Set
  • M3 Aluminum Rear Guide Rod Set
  • M3 Aluminum Rear Wishbone Set
  • M3 Front Sway Bar Kit
  • M3 Rear Sway Bar Kit
  • M3 Rear Subframe Bushings
  • BMW Performance Springs (yellows) with correctly paired bumpstops (part of the v2 kit)
  • BMW Performance Dampers (v1 kit)
All except the bushings & bumpstops were used. For the record: M3 bits had 3.5-4k miles on them, dampers & springs were luckyu's and had 7150 & 5080 miles, respectively. A big thanks to cvc for digging up the part numbers & a supplier for the bumpstops.

JOB:
I had the job done at a local shop (review here). There is plenty of info on this forum about these parts so I'm not going to add to it. What I am going to add is something I could not find anywhere and had to dig into TIS to extract for this job: parts that need to be replaced + the torque specs.

Find this info attached. And if you think giving these parts to your mechanic will get you the proper torque & all the correct parts replaced I think there is a good chance you are fooling yourself: It takes too much time to dig this info up for every nut & bolt, so I insisted to be there for the whole job exactly for this reason - to make this possible, to look stuff up and make available. Now I know I have everything installed correctly.

After the install the alignment - esp the toe - was so out-of-whack that the car felt as if it rolled on eggs. You would turn the steering wheel a bit, the car would plunge wholeheartedly into the turn and you had to force it back under control. I went straight to have my alignment done, which made it driveable again.

+ a note: all the parts we took off - all were in great condition. We did not find any loose or stuck or damaged screws or nuts, and there was not even a small leak on the dampers @ 72k miles. All the control arm bushings looked ok, with no tears or damages. I think BMW really deserves credit for this in terms of a quality car & build.

IMPRESSIONS:
On first impression it felt really harsh. I am used to a hard suspension but this really felt rough. Turns out the miserable roads on the East side of town, combined with my tires inflated for over 100mph (35/41 psi), were to blame. Possibly the switch from all-season RFT 17's to summer non-RFT 18 might have helped too... too many variables. Anyway, after setting pressure back to stock 32/35 psi things are back to normal.

After the roughness was gone I was finally able to see if may main objectives were met: reduce body roll, and more importantly lose the feeling I get when turning at higher speeds - that I might be sliding and losing control. It was a very unsettling feeling, felt like a part of the car was having a different dynamic then the rest of the car. Best I can described it is: oh-sh*t-I-think-I'll-lose-it feeling. And it got worse when I hit joints in the road, as I would wonder on each if I'll regain traction or slide out. It is not what I was expecting from a BMW. Happened on both my summer performance non-RFT's 18's and my "winter" all-season RFT 17's.

Well, I happy to report: objectives met ! Even with the sh#tty wet weather we had since, the car finally feels worthy of the BMW name, or least what I was imagining it to be.

There is a massive reduction in body roll that I attribute mostly to the bars, with the shock+springs helping too. And it is a very balanced handling not a sudden change from feeling understeer to oversteer or vice-versa. It's really a perfect balance, no chasing steering feel.

As for the 2nd objective - oh jeez, the car at last feels as if it's one piece with everything solid, planted, and working in unison. All parts feel connected and predictable, and it makes for a pleasurable drive. No more doubting the outcome of a turn.

BONUS:
On top of all this, the suspension feels more comfortable then the previous OEM sport suspension the car came with. I attribute this to the notoriously under-dampened sport dampers, so while the springs are now stiffer, because the dampers really slow the oscillation down you don't just thunk when a road event happens (bump or pothole), you actually get a gradual amortization of the wheel movement, not a free bang. I really think the sport suspension was a poser.

Lastly, as this is getting ridiculously long: on my commute, right before the Vista Ridge tunnel the road is really harsh and the vibrations get transmitted to the inside of the car quite intensely. Well, this morning I did not feel these vibrations reverberating everywhere in the car. Wow !

I have to think that I am probably in a bit of an owe because of all the upgrades I had put in at once. So maybe in time I will, like others, find things that could be improved, but as of right now it feels really great. The only thing I noticed is that I get a little more steering pull, but I'm not yet sure if it a case of tramlining or torque steer. Next project ? - likely...
Attached Images
File Type: pdf m3 bits + shock + springs.pdf (125.1 KB, 594 views)
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.

Last edited by DaanBMW; 07-20-2012 at 02:45 PM. Reason: updated PDF
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      03-13-2012, 01:43 AM   #2
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A bargain shopper, huh? Congrats and enjoy
btw, try 34-35 psi front and 38 psi rear. bye bye rft's; they'll be too hard w/all the new bushings
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      03-13-2012, 09:23 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cvc 22349a View Post
A bargain shopper, huh? Congrats and enjoy
btw, try 34-35 psi front and 38 psi rear. bye bye rft's; they'll be too hard w/all the new bushings
Yup, why buy new when used is half price ? I got lucky with all the m3 used bits in 1 sale. I wanted only sways to begin with, and look what the forums and people like you have done...

Are those pressures for 18's ? If so I'll try them. Yeah I'd be more then happy to get rid of the 17" RFT but for the winter season I think they'll stay.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-13-2012, 11:26 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaanBMW View Post
Yup, why buy new when used is half price ? I got lucky with all the m3 used bits in 1 sale. I wanted only sways to begin with, and look what the forums and people like you have done...

Are those pressures for 18's ? If so I'll try them. Yeah I'd be more then happy to get rid of the 17" RFT but for the winter season I think they'll stay.
Yes. It's a preference thing but your ride comfort can be diminished and handling will suffer if your pressures are too low.
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      03-13-2012, 11:43 AM   #5
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Congrats Dan in joining the M3 Bit Club and a well written review.

I too had way-out-of-whacky alignment trouble when I got my car back, and like you had it resolved.

Your statement regarding being in "owe" due to "all the upgrades" you've done is a very true. Now it seems to make all sense to how this vehicle is supposed to behave. As time goes on (being your daily ride and all), it's the overall steering and butt feedback will be more sensitive. Those routine routes are more enjoyable and love powering into and out the cloverleafs with more power and confidence (but do keep an eye out for Mr. Officer way back yonder -hehehe). It's amazing how much road nuisances you will experience that you had missed from the previous suspension. Also yes, you will find other things to improve the car. Sounds like you handling needs have been met -enjoy.

If you have chance to step to the Michelin PSS (yeah not inexpensive, but...), you will enjoy the increased traction, wet performance, and steering feed back even more.

One last thing, I think you're experiencing "tramlining" and not torque steer. Torque steering is a most common problem with FWD cars that have unequal half shaft. On occasion, it could be present in a rear wheel car if there's a unsymmetrical feature in the suspension system, but I don't think it is latter.
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Name: Blanca | 07 E92 | AW-Blk | ZSP | Alcon BBK | M3 Bits | VM RR Links | Koni | UUC Sways | V5 | Dinan CAI | ETS IC | Fge DV | ER CP | Cyba | Raden. Exh | Mod Step | Trunk Drawer | Perf LED Wheel | Illum Dr Sills | IS Shifter | Parrot | Philps D1S | 6000k fog | MTECH RR | CSL Trunk | Aero | Roof Spoiler | PSS on BBS RS-GT 19s

Last edited by Thumperx; 03-13-2012 at 11:51 AM.
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      03-13-2012, 03:01 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperx View Post
Congrats Dan in joining the M3 Bit Club and a well written review.

I too had way-out-of-whacky alignment trouble when I got my car back, and like you had it resolved.

Your statement regarding being in "owe" due to "all the upgrades" you've done is a very true. Now it seems to make all sense to how this vehicle is supposed to behave. As time goes on (being your daily ride and all), it's the overall steering and butt feedback will be more sensitive. Those routine routes are more enjoyable and love powering into and out the cloverleafs with more power and confidence (but do keep an eye out for Mr. Officer way back yonder -hehehe). It's amazing how much road nuisances you will experience that you had missed from the previous suspension. Also yes, you will find other things to improve the car. Sounds like you handling needs have been met -enjoy.

If you have chance to step to the Michelin PSS (yeah not inexpensive, but...), you will enjoy the increased traction, wet performance, and steering feed back even more.

One last thing, I think you're experiencing "tramlining" and not torque steer. Torque steering is a most common problem with FWD cars that have unequal half shaft. On occasion, it could be present in a rear wheel car if there's a unsymmetrical feature in the suspension system, but I don't think it is latter.
Thanks, happy to be in the club !

Yeah, I see the PSS's have good reviews. Maybe next set of tires, as the Hankooks I just put on last summer.

As for the tramlining/torque steer, I have to examine it more. Some with such upgrades have experienced some torque steer & there seem to be efforts underway to see if stiffer toe links might cure it. Why would it be tramlining now and not before, and it also doesn't seem to happen at low speeds. From what I read to date tramlining is due to tires and nothing changed there.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-13-2012, 04:07 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaanBMW View Post
Thanks, happy to be in the club !

Yeah, I see the PSS's have good reviews. Maybe next set of tires, as the Hankooks I just put on last summer.

As for the tramlining/torque steer, I have to examine it more. Some with such upgrades have experienced some torque steer & there seem to be efforts underway to see if stiffer toe links might cure it. Why would it be tramlining now and not before, and it also doesn't seem to happen at low speeds. From what I read to date tramlining is due to tires and nothing changed there.
Recently got new tires, eh? I totally understand. Next time....

NP Dan, It’s hard to understand your intention without reading any of your source references. Maybe you're meant to describe something else or term. From what I know:

Tramlining is an event when tires tend to follow the roadway groves. Negative cambered and wider width tires exacerbates this situation like the M3. It's not as noticeable in low speed or with narrower tires; rather, at higher speeds. The inside corner tire tends to “dig in" the grooves (ruts) of the road and follows their direction. Standard three series cars have less negative camber in the suspension designs; therefore, most drivers will not notice the affect.

Again torque steering is a condition typically found in FWD cars. For an example, most Civic owners (longer right side half shaft vehicles) may have noticed powering and turning left through a corner may be easier than right. These different length half shafts effects the torque distribution. Again due to different windup of different length half shafts which cause one wheel to grip the road more than the other.

Maybe, the term is misused.
.
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      03-14-2012, 11:48 AM   #8
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Doing the same upgrade..Can you PM me the PN for these:

BMW Performance Springs (yellows) with correctly paired bumpstops (part of the v2 kit)
BMW Performance Dampers (v1 kit)
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      03-14-2012, 12:06 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperx View Post
NP Dan, It’s hard to understand your intention without reading any of your source references. Maybe you're meant to describe something else or term. From what I know:

Tramlining is an event when tires tend to follow the roadway groves. Negative cambered and wider width tires exacerbates this situation like the M3. It's not as noticeable in low speed or with narrower tires; rather, at higher speeds. The inside corner tire tends to “dig in" the grooves (ruts) of the road and follows their direction. Standard three series cars have less negative camber in the suspension designs; therefore, most drivers will not notice the affect.

Again torque steering is a condition typically found in FWD cars. For an example, most Civic owners (longer right side half shaft vehicles) may have noticed powering and turning left through a corner may be easier than right. These different length half shafts effects the torque distribution. Again due to different windup of different length half shafts which cause one wheel to grip the road more than the other.

Maybe, the term is misused.
What I experienced is a bit of steering wondering/pulling on it's own, but I'm not sure it was when I hit ruts. My understanding of tramlining is you need ruts or grooves. Plus it def did not happen before on same tire/wheel combo. I don't have a diagnosis yet, these were just my guesses.

The torque steer I referring to: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ghlight=torque
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-14-2012, 12:13 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BLK_08E90 View Post
Doing the same upgrade..Can you PM me the PN for these:

BMW Performance Springs (yellows) with correctly paired bumpstops (part of the v2 kit)
BMW Performance Dampers (v1 kit)
you got PM
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-14-2012, 02:28 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaanBMW View Post
What I experienced is a bit of steering wondering/pulling on it's own, but I'm not sure it was when I hit ruts. My understanding of tramlining is you need ruts or grooves. Plus it def did not happen before on same tire/wheel combo. I don't have a diagnosis yet, these were just my guesses.
Hmm, when you make a statement likes "My understanding of tramlining is you 'need' ruts or grooves." I am still not sure that you understand the term. I am still trying to grasp your idea of "steering wondering". It sounds like the grooves or water channel of the road would create this meander (wander from side to side, not a perfectly straight) affect. Is this a possible cause of "steering wondering" as you had described. To me, ruts are deeper and/or wider channels in the road. What I hope to get from you is this may be not a mechanical or tire issue; rather, an environmental or road issue. just my .02 cent on the matter.


The torque steer I referring to: http://www.e90post.com/forums/showth...ghlight=torque[/quote]
Ok, I get this. Due to the softer OEM rubber bushing at the toe link ends would cause the rear wheel and upright assembly to deflect. This deflection may cause changes to the toe setting with higher lateral loads. Not entirely sure if it interferes with the torque distribution though. But, the term may apply. Heim joints provide close to zero deflection, which gives the driver more confidence and feedback in a turn. I have the Velocity Motorcars type for the exact same reason as CVC mentions.

More importantly, you've got your items in the car and you're happy with the results!
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Last edited by Thumperx; 03-14-2012 at 03:18 PM.
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      03-14-2012, 09:44 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Thumperx View Post
Hmm, when you make a statement likes "My understanding of tramlining is you 'need' ruts or grooves." I am still not sure that you understand the term. I am still trying to grasp your idea of "steering wondering". It sounds like the grooves or water channel of the road would create this meander (wander from side to side, not a perfectly straight) affect. Is this a possible cause of "steering wondering" as you had described. To me, ruts are deeper and/or wider channels in the road. What I hope to get from you is this may be not a mechanical or tire issue; rather, an environmental or road issue. just my .02 cent on the matter.

Ok, I get this. Due to the softer OEM rubber bushing at the toe link ends would cause the rear wheel and upright assembly to deflect. This deflection may cause changes to the toe setting with higher lateral loads. Not entirely sure if it interferes with the torque distribution though. But, the term may apply. Heim joints provide close to zero deflection, which gives the driver more confidence and feedback in a turn. I have the Velocity Motorcars type for the exact same reason as CVC mentions.
I'll try to clarify it again. I found a bit of steering pull I didn't have before, either with the 17" or the summer 18". It happens for a brief moment, that's is why I don't think it's tramlining, as that means ruts/grooves in the road, but then there might have been a slight one in the road at the time I drove over that particular portion of the road. It could be this torque steer effect as it happens upon direction changes.

It happened too few times to get a better diagnosis. If I wouldn't have just done an alignment that would have been my first culprit...
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-18-2012, 07:54 PM   #13
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What specific function do M3 Rear Subframe Bushings have?
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      03-19-2012, 10:09 PM   #14
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What specific function do M3 Rear Subframe Bushings have?
They are working between your rear subframe and the chassis, so they transmit more or less of the movement of the subframe to the rest of you car body. You might think the less the better: Not really so. The non-M bushings are flexing too much, and the car feels sloppy (see my objective descr up top). The M bushings are way stiffer and make the car feel like it's one piece under load instead. There are even stiffer, metal-only bushings (M ones are metal wrapped in rubber), usually used in racing, which are thus really hard to live with used normal driving conditions.

This is layman's descr I'm not a car susp/chassis specialist.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-26-2012, 03:21 PM   #15
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OK, an update on the handling: I had to drive to Yakima WA this weekend, and could further learn about what the car can and cannot do.

I am happy to report I am still in owe with the handling. It is absolutely superb. You want to take the curve in the road at 70 mph ? fine. 80 ? ok. 90 ? still ok. even at 100 you can take nice sweeping curves as long as you turn in nice and steady. None of the jerkiness and sudden body roll that used to accompany such maneuvers before, and which led to really having to acknowledge the actual speed you were rolling at. It just answers your inputs, very composed and ready for more. Handling is so neutral that you have to watch your speedometer to not overdo it... it is so much fun it's addictive. I wish I could drive it like that every day ! Likely the tires are now the biggest limiting factor, even on summer perf 18" (staggered) tires. Google reported 3:45 hours and it took me 3 hours including a gas fill-up & bathroom break (& a wrong turn).

This is what I always imagined BMW cars to be, and judging by the amount of upgrades I had to put in I guess it's the M3 I actually wanted/imagined, the regular 3-series is not really the sportiest out there, but I guess this comes down to marketing to a larger audience.

+ One think I forgot mentioned in the OP is that all the parts we took off - all were in great condition. We did not find any loose or stuck or damaged screws or nuts, and there was not even a small leak on the dampers @ 72k miles. All the control arm bushings looked ok, with no tears or damages. I think BMW really deserves credit for this in terms of a quality car & build.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-26-2012, 06:49 PM   #16
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i agree, i am somewhat dissapointed with the ZSP. hope f30 is better. its the m3 i actually wanted/imagine also. time to save up. waiting for e90 parts price drop.
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      03-27-2012, 02:02 PM   #17
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Lowering

Did changing out these parts end up lowering your car and if so, how much? Also, do you know if the stock sport suspension that came on your car is the same that comes on a 335i coupe?

Last edited by nikitino25; 03-27-2012 at 04:00 PM.
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      03-27-2012, 11:30 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitino25 View Post
Did changing out these parts end up lowering your car and if so, how much? Also, do you know if the stock sport suspension that came on your car is the same that comes on a 335i coupe?
My car came stock with the sport susp. All coupes non-awd come like that, so if yours is a 335i coupe then you have the sport susp (ZSP). As far as I know its' the same susp on 328i & 335i, with maybe slight differences in springs but honestly I haven't looked into it.

The BMW perf susp springs (yellows) lower the car a bit but I was quite concerned as did not want is too low to scrape on every driveway and am happy to report that the car is lowered enough to be noticed but not enough to look slammed. Perfect !

I did not measure my car before the upgrades so while do not know 1st hand, I read it's about 10mm compared to the ZSP.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      03-30-2012, 05:30 PM   #19
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dampers

Do you know what the difference is, if any, betweeen the dampers from the v1 performance kit and the ones that now come with the v2 kit?
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      03-30-2012, 06:10 PM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikitino25 View Post
Do you know what the difference is, if any, betweeen the dampers from the v1 performance kit and the ones that now come with the v2 kit?
That was my biggest question... and while I read and read, I could not find a direct comparison of the dampers, especially since the v1 kit did not include springs. Popular opinion seems to be that the v2 dampers are a bit stiffer then the v1's. So my thinking went something like: if the v1 work with the ZSP springs but longer bumpstops, then that is fairly stiff so the dampers cannot be too soft. I also thought that BMW would not invest a lot of money in designing a set of dampers only to change them radically the next year. Hence my guess that they are fairly comparable if not the same.

I took the risk because I judged the price difference to be more then worth it. After putting them on, I think they work really great together, but I did not have the full v2 setup on my car so I cannot make an actual comparison.
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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      04-17-2012, 12:12 PM   #21
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What alignment specs did you put the car to after all was done?

I am in the process of having everything changed over right now.

Did you use the OEM 335i specs or OEM M3 spec?
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      04-17-2012, 02:27 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arapone View Post
What alignment specs did you put the car to after all was done?

I am in the process of having everything changed over right now.

Did you use the OEM 335i specs or OEM M3 spec?
I used M3 specs as I had read on some threads here, and after a lot of grief, time & extra $, now I'm blaming them for the tramlining issues I've been experiencing (see thread here).

Fri I'm having them re-done the 4th time, this time to stock specs (except camber, which will be increased because of the arms).
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328i Sports Pkg, Michelin PSS on Staggered 18" OZ Ultraleggeras
. BMS Powerbox. Cyba scoops + charcoal delete. Wavetrac LSD
. M3: subframe bushings + sways + control arms. Meyle rear toe arms. M3 diff fr bushings
. BMW Perf: springs + v1 dampers
. Short Shifter + ZHP M weighted shift knob. CDV delete.
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