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E36 M3 (1992-1999) {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999


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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 01:28:32 AM   #1
Denniscastro
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Default suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

i have a 97 m3 sedan, which i primarily use for track/autocross, and am going to be replacing the suspension this winter as the koni's/ H&R Sport springs are old, worn out.

The car is used mostly for track events, but i do enjoy driving it on the street and backroads. Currently, the cars ride is too stiff for my liking, it does well on the track, but is just to firm for my liking, and id like to drive the car more on the road, and the firmness is limiting me from doing that, as the roads in PA are awful. im not sure what the koni's are adjusted to, but they are old, maybe 10 years, with a lot of events under their belt.

I understand i may be giving up some track cornering ability by going softer or with another alternative, and im ok with that. the car has sooo little flex right now its hard to find the limit (for me), and driving in the rain without disconnecting my sway bars is hard.

Current set up:
Koni adjustable shocks
H&R Sport Springs
Turner front/rear sway bars
ground control camber plates
strut brace

Budget: around $1,000

Set ups ive been considering:

Bilstein B12 Prokit. B8 shocks, Eibach Pro Kit springs
This kit is back-ordered, but you can just buy the shocks/springs separate. I've read it will not be lowered as much, marginally higher, springs slightly softer. probably my #1 choice. should be a little more forgiving, but still lowered and with good cornering

Bilstein shocks, other springs. maybe re use my H&R sports, with the new shocks, or dinan springs?

Dinan stage 1 suspension kit. koni adjustable shocks, dinan springs. haven't found as much info on this kit, but seems to be a good package. i like that the dinan springs don't lower it as much.

Open to other suggestions, not as interested in coilovers.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 04:05:08 AM   #2
bluptgm3
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Default suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Koni’s have Lifetime warranty, but they have to sent back for testing, and you have to be the original purchaser.
And if these are for the M3, they will have to be removed from the reused stock casings.
Either way, for E36M3 Koni Sports are a ‘Cut-n-Gut’ in stock casings, and to replace them on your set up they have to be removed from the stock casings. That can be problematic if the inner surface of the stock strut casing has rusted/bonded to the Koni inserts.

I am on E36M3 Koni’s ‘Cut-n-Gut’ Sports and stock springs 275k miles. I am really used to the body roll that comes with stock springs.

Wife’s E36M3 Sedan is on Koni ‘Cut-n-Gut’ Sports and H&R OE Sport springs, light drop, nice ride.

Son’s 328 Sedan is on E36M3 Bilstein Sports and E36M3 Dinan springs (there are S50 and S52 versions). Again, light drop, great ride.




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Last edited by bluptgm3; Thu, Jan-10-2019 at 02:34:43 PM.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 02:23:23 PM   #3
Mless5
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

FWIW, I am not happy with Eibach springs paired with Koni. I think the drop it too much in the front. Looking to switch to H&R Sport.
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 03:18:51 PM   #4
Denniscastro
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mless5 View Post
FWIW, I am not happy with Eibach springs paired with Koni. I think the drop it too much in the front. Looking to switch to H&R Sport.
you dont like the ride? the handling? or just the look?
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 03:20:41 PM   #5
Denniscastro
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluptgm3 View Post
Koni’s have Lifetime warranty, but they have to sent back for testing, and you have to be the original purchaser.
And if these are for the M3, they will have to be removed from the reused stock casings.
Either way, for E36M3 Koni Sports are a ‘Cut-n-Gut’ in stock casings, and to replace them on your set up they have to be removed from the stock casings. That can be problematic if the inner surface of the stock strut casing has rusted/bonded to the Koni inserts.

I am on E36M3 Koni’s ‘Cut-n-Gut’ Sports and stock springs 275k miles. I am really used to the body roll that comes with stock springs.

Wife’s E36M3 Sedan is on Koni ‘Cut-n-Gut’ Sports and H&R OE Sport springs, light drop, nice ride.

Son’s 328 Sedan is on E36M3 Bilstein Sports and E36M3 Dinan springs (there are S50 and S52 versions). Again, light drop, great ride.




Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

how is the handling/ride tradeoff of the 3 you listed? which would you say is the firmest, and which handles the best?
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Old Thu, Jan-10-2019, 10:02:10 PM   #6
M-technik-3
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Don't mention track use when you send in for warranty work. Track use voids warranty.
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Old Sat, Jan-12-2019, 01:42:33 PM   #7
Richardsperry
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

If it were me, and with that budget, I'd opt for the Ground Control coilover coversion. Cut the front spring perch off, install the cilover sleeve and pick a spring rate.

If it were me, since I'm a baller, I'd go witht he TC Kline double adjustable Koni's... Or JZ, or Moton, or Ohlins, or other very high dollar setup... ;-)
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Old Sat, Jan-12-2019, 08:14:30 PM   #8
bluptgm3
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Default suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Quote:
Originally Posted by Denniscastro View Post
how is the handling/ride tradeoff of the 3 you listed? which would you say is the firmest, and which handles the best?


I believe the Dinan are a bit softer but I’m running Bilstein Sports with them, which prove to have ‘stiction’..
Both overall are similar, tough to compare, as we are running 15” Style 32’s on the 328 (Dinan w/Bilstein) and 17” staggered Contours on the M3 (H&R OE Sports w/Koni).

For me they are both similar drop and not too much that I have to worry about the wife and son bottoming or curbing the front bumper.


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Last edited by bluptgm3; Sun, Jan-13-2019 at 11:26:17 PM.
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Old Sat, Jan-12-2019, 08:25:03 PM   #9
123bmwm3
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

Here are my thoughts on different suspension setups:
  • Bilstein B12 Pro-kit - I don't recommend the Bilstein B12 pro-kit if you want a smooth ride. I had this suspension on my M3. On rough roads, the ride quality was not good and borderline harsh. Other car enthusiasts riding in my car also agreed. My car had OEM strut mounts, X-brace, stock sways, and Dinan strut tower brace.
  • KW V3 - I replaced the B12 pro-kit with KW V3 coilovers + GC camber plates. The KW V3 coilovers are a drastic improvement over the Bilstein B12 proKit. The suspension is firm, but it feels softer and more compliant on rough surfaces. Ride height is also adjustable. My compression/rebound settings are at their default levels. The KW V1 are ~$1000 and are probably comparable if you don't care about compression/rebound adjustment.
  • Bilstein PSS9 - I've driven an E36 with this suspension. This setup also feels softer and more compliant than the Bilstein B12 pro-kit on the street.
  • Koni/H&R (or Dinan Konis) - I don't have direct experience with this setup. My friends with this suspension believe it is softer and more compliant than the B12 Pro-kit, and therefore better for the street.

The takeaway is, if you think the Koni's are too stiff, you won't be happy with the B12 pro-kit. Maybe the aftermarket sway bars are the issue?

Last edited by 123bmwm3; Sun, Jan-13-2019 at 03:04:19 AM.
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Old Sun, Jan-13-2019, 02:18:49 PM   #10
M-technik-3
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Default Re: suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's

I like my KW V2's that I got last year for my S52 Compact, I purchased Bilstein and H&R sport combo for my 95 M3 and dislike the bouncy ride. I had the same set up in my E30 325iS and it was fantastic but started doing track events with it and went to TMS J-stock.

I used to like the Hydraulic Koni's but have not tried the current gas charged ones, I plan to put V2 or V3 in my 95 possibly this year.
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Discussing suspension advice, 75% track use, worn out koni's in the E36 M3 (1992-1999) Forum - {Euro - S50 B32 321hp @ 7400 rpm} {U.S. - S52 B32 240 hp @ 6000 rpm}
Total Produced: 71,212 - Years Produced: 1992 to 1999 at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)