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E46 M3 (2001-2006) Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006.


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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 01:17:28 AM   #41
herrubermensch
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Thanks very much for your answer, which will take me a while to unpack and to respond to appropriately. In the meantime I will only note that the NASA national winner in GTS3 is a friend and drove basically the setup I described. It is also the setup that James Clay at Bimmerworld specs after having raced E46 M3s perhaps more than any human on Earth. So it is not a setup to be dismissed lightly; it's proof is in the pudding. That said, it seems that your softer front spring/more front bar/Flat Ride methodology has some bragging rights as well.

I'm currently rebuilding my E46 M3 and will have shock pots, strain gauges and tire temp sensors on each wheel, as well as a number of other sensors. I will try all setups (other than change my MCS 3-ways, which I find to be the absolute best in the business). Will be interesting to see! May be driver dependent; that is, isn't it really all about what makes the driver the most confident and willing to drive the car at the limit?

--Peter

PS: I really love the idea of a three-piece spherical bearing front sway. I need to make that. Obviously, the GC piece has spherical links, as most do. But I assume you literally mean a purely spherical link to the bar itself.

Last edited by herrubermensch; Thu, Sep-20-2018 at 01:32:13 AM.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 04:03:34 AM   #42
ShaikhA
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Thanks, M3_dude. There may be people who've gone this way and either posted or not about it - I don't assume no one has tried some or much of this. But I understand reasons why some ideas haven't reached greater public awareness. I know for me being able to look at numbers and keep numeric track of setup changes made all this much easier for me.

Keep in mind, the factory M3s come with Flat Ride, and a stiff front bar relative to total roll stiffness. What I'm (strongly!) promoting is to consciously apply Flat Ride to aftermarket setups. I didn't use to be aware of this and designed a number of setups with pitch - as I was following conventional practice for stiffer setups. It was actually through a lot of conversations with my friend Peter (VW enthusiast & great design engineer!) that got me really thinking about frequencies. Around that same time I worked with a customer who had a Porsche 993 with Euro spec M030 suspension. The damping was too stiff on rebound, etc. (a typical situation w/ OE German sports cars) but I found the ride frequencies were 1.56 Hz front / 1.77 Hz rear (13% Flat Ride). Pretty decent ride frequencies and solid rear-bias on that car! I thought "well, shoot, why not do that for more of our setups?"

By the way, this table is pretty insightful - Flat Ride is everywhere!



Of course, people can make cars handle well with pitching setups (higher front frequency, from closer spread in spring rates). But the cars tend to be more skittish, need more damping to prevent/reduce excessive oscillations than setups with Flat Ride.

You'd be stunned how relatively soft my current dampers are, even compared to the factory rebound... !

I've got a few videos in mind to do looking at the numbers from

-Factory suspension cornering, not on bump stops
-Factory suspension cornering, using bump stops
-'Touring' E46 setup - spring rate upgrade (combo H&R Race front, GC weight jacker/linear spring rear), frequencies around 1.7 Hz front, 1.9 Hz rear.
-'Grand Touring/Dual Purpose' E46 setup - higher rate linear springs front and rear, frequencies up to 1.9 Hz front, 2.0 Hz rear.
-'High-Performance' E46 setup - frequencies around 2.1 Hz front, 2.2 Hz rear.
-'Pure Race' E46 setup - frequencies even higher, utilizing Flat Ride if at all possible.

.
.
.
.

P.S. So I had to go back and check the exact numbers for the Porsche, then I came across a sheet of various spring rates for OE and aftermarket 996 and 997 Porsches. Ready for mind-blown territory? Every dang setup (at least except for one KSport configuration) has Flat Ride - and some 20% or more!

Yeah, I know the 911s are more rear-weight biased than our BMWs, but even considering our ~50/50 vs. their ~40/60 weigh distributions, they definitely take Flat Ride SERIOUSLY! Even their OE setups in the 1.6-1.8 range use Flat Ride.

So can we!
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 04:09:21 AM   #43
ShaikhA
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Quote:
Originally Posted by herrubermensch View Post
Thanks very much for your answer, which will take me a while to unpack and to respond to appropriately. In the meantime I will only note that the NASA national winner in GTS3 is a friend and drove basically the setup I described. It is also the setup that James Clay at Bimmerworld specs after having raced E46 M3s perhaps more than any human on Earth. So it is not a setup to be dismissed lightly; it's proof is in the pudding. That said, it seems that your softer front spring/more front bar/Flat Ride methodology has some bragging rights as well.

I'm currently rebuilding my E46 M3 and will have shock pots, strain gauges and tire temp sensors on each wheel, as well as a number of other sensors. I will try all setups (other than change my MCS 3-ways, which I find to be the absolute best in the business). Will be interesting to see! May be driver dependent; that is, isn't it really all about what makes the driver the most confident and willing to drive the car at the limit?

--Peter

PS: I really love the idea of a three-piece spherical bearing front sway. I need to make that. Obviously, the GC piece has spherical links, as most do. But I assume you literally mean a purely spherical link to the bar itself.
Cheers, Peter! I'm not dismissing people's successes, driving prowess, or results. I'm looking at suspensions from a fundamental stand-point as I seek to get the most possible traction in all situations. I want to see people GO FASTER! Yes, sometimes it's nice to make a sale but I get a lot of satisfaction from knowing I'm using an idea / principle / practice that works. That's why I share as much as I can (and maybe more than I 'should'). I also really like the BMW community and find a much higher signal-to-noise ratio in posts than in other places I've spent time.

My curiosity for how all this suspension stuff works together leads me to ponder / observe / test / evaluate various possibilities, including areas that may seem heretical. The earth wasn't always round, after all Or rather, not everyone knew it was. So there's always room to learn more.

It's pretty amazing how much I learned through studying heavy, solid-axle-equipped vehicles (e.g. Sprinter Vans) and what off-road racers did to improve traction. This led to seeing Ohlins with their 'high-frequency' piston that's designed for off-road use. And that got me going on doing the Ripple Reducer modification for Bilstein digressive pistons which has been amazingly effective. The technical term I found is 'free bleed hole':

http://www.fourwheeler.com/how-to/09.../photo-13.html



Quote:
'You will also notice a tiny hole close to the outer edge. This hole is never covered by a shim, and is called a free bleed hole. Oil flows freely through this tiny hole, whole function is to smooth out the tiny bumps.'
https://resuspension.com/index.php/s...frequency.html


I also found the 'flutter' stack (creating a two-stage effect with a softer 'flapper' shim that behaves similarly to what the drilled pistons can do) which I incorporated on some builds although I find the drilled holes easier to incorporate into a build.

http://www.crawlpedia.com/shock_tuning.htm

http://accutuneoffroad.com/accutune-...lutter-stacks/

So scientific method and real-world results are my guide, along with my desire to understand hows and whys, plus when to use certain techniques and when not to. There were some Winston Cup-powered NASA T1 Mustangs (highly built as you can imagine) that I tuned dampers a number of years back. They were running a pretty high front-bias in ride frequency. The drivers placed 1st and 2nd to my recollection. Lots of things had to work together properly so it's not just 'Flat Ride all day, all night!' but it's been worth my consideration in a vast majority of applications.

Yes, that fully-articulating front bar would be g*dd*mn sweet! I think that might be one weak link when it comes to our ability to really maximize front grip. It's got me thinking now... any engineers want to help with solid modeling / analysis??
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'02 Fat Cat Motorsports E46 330i / 3.46 Wavetrac / FCM Elite Bilstein suspension / lightened / NASA TTC prep / Team Rival S

Best laps: 1:48 Laguna Seca / 2:11 Thunderhill w/bypass / 2:16 Buttonwillow 1CW

Last edited by ShaikhA; Thu, Sep-20-2018 at 05:23:29 AM.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 05:22:54 AM   #44
ShaikhA
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Here's my last post for the day (you guys get me thinking / writing and not necessarily working, so tomorrow has to be for valving first and writing later!)

TL;dr - Just about every fast Porsche you see is tuned with Flat Ride, including the GT3! From 12 to 34% rear-biased ride frequency!
===

Okay gang, check this out!

Table (part 1) of Porsche 996 and 997 OE and aftermarket ride frequencies based on spring rates from Rennlist



---

Table (part 2) of Porsche aftermarket options including KW, Ohlins, H&R, Bilstein, and Eibach lowering springs



---

The Rennlist thread where I found the original spreadsheet.

Here is my edited version which includes calculated ride frequencies (I used the specific weight for each model) and Flat Ride bias (rear freq divided by front freq).

===

The Porsche GT3 is a darned powerful sports car and at least comparable to the M3. Perhaps quicker? Even considering the higher rear-weight bias, Flat Ride is definitely a default consideration - it's just a matter of degree.

I relate all this to the ride frequencies I measured on the 1995 Porsche 993 I did years back. It had Flat Ride with its M030 suspension. The front bump stop comes into play pretty early and helps the car stay neutral. The E46 M3 (and all M3s) use the front bump stop in the same way. It's longer / firmer than the rear and helps the car stay neutral in harder cornering, but also tends to force the car to understeer when you don't want to.

The 996.1 GT3 from the factory has spring rates of 200 / 371 which gives ride frequencies of 1.8 Hz front 2.0 Hz rear. I'd consider those frequencies a 'Grand Touring/Dual-Purpose' setup for all the vehicles I work on.

On the E46 M3, to get the same ride frequencies you'd be using rates of 300 / 650 with the CSL front bar and OE rear and should have an OE-like handling balance and likely less understeer than stock. Of course, bump stops / alignment / ride heights matter...

---

Then on the 996.2 GT3 RS things get even firmer - 2.04 Hz front, 2.45 Hz rear. WOW! You're WAY above 2 Hz on the rear and that's 20% Flat Ride!

The 997.2 GT3 wins the prize for the highest factory ride frequencies I've seen - 2.12 Hz front, 2.69 Hz rear (27% Flat Ride bias!). I've previously commented that Porsche damping tends to be really REALLY stiff, there's bump stop engagement to consider (especially up front) so the actual experienced ride frequencies could feel like Flat Ride in some situations, and if there's a lot of suspension movement / jacking down, you might feel pitching if the front stop is strongly engaging. But on fairly smooth roads when you're not exciting the suspension much, you'll feel Flat Ride. You'll get it when cornering on most race tracks if not engaging bump stops.

Bottomline: nearly every single Porsche - whether using factory or aftermarket suspension

is


running


Flat Ride!!



Gentlemen, we Khan do it!!!
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Best laps: 1:48 Laguna Seca / 2:11 Thunderhill w/bypass / 2:16 Buttonwillow 1CW
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 05:26:18 AM   #45
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShaikhA View Post
For people looking to apply Flat Ride and not wanting an excessively stiff or heavy front bar, it's looking like this CSL front bar is a really good choice.

I did calcs for 300/550 (1.77 / 1.84 Hz front/rear, 4% Flat Ride) and 350/650 (1.91 / 2.00 Hz front/rear, 5% Flat Ride) as previously suggested and get FRC of 78.0% and 76.5%, respectively. Recall that stock FRC is about 75% (when not hard on the bump stops).

For a more hardcore track setup, the CSL front bar, no rear bar and 450/850 spring rates would give 2.17 / 2.29 Hz front/rear (6% Flat Ride) and 77.6% FRC. With no rear bar you'd have really good on-throttle capability and also better compliance when applying power on rougher surfaces. Downside would be a bit more understeer in very tight / low-speed corners.

John in Socal, if you're reading, this could be a nice setup for you (along the lines of our consult call yesterday)!
I am reading this! It's Jim, not John, but close enough. After looking at pricing on the CSL bar I'm leaning toward using the Turner Motorsport 30mm bar and keeping the rear bar in. When you get a chance Shaikh send me the email follow-up to our consult. I think I'm ready to start buying parts.
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nah this one dude on the forum said it was all good. I'm sure he knows what he's talking about.
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 01:26:56 PM   #46
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Such a great thread! I love the scientific and data-driven approach. I really do intend to experiment with a Flat Ride approach.

--Peter
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 07:10:28 PM   #47
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Quote:
Originally Posted by gearhead55 View Post
I am reading this! It's Jim, not John, but close enough. After looking at pricing on the CSL bar I'm leaning toward using the Turner Motorsport 30mm bar and keeping the rear bar in. When you get a chance Shaikh send me the email follow-up to our consult. I think I'm ready to start buying parts.
Ay me, thanks Jim. I have another new customer in Socal who's a John. But his car is slower. Okay, with the Turner 30mm vs CSL, your FRC would be 79% which is high enough to use throttle coming out of turns. Will finish that email and send it off to you.
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Best laps: 1:48 Laguna Seca / 2:11 Thunderhill w/bypass / 2:16 Buttonwillow 1CW
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Old Thu, Sep-20-2018, 07:41:47 PM   #48
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

I will be swapping 800F/1000R to 500F/1000R and testing.

Great thread!
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Old Thu, Sep-27-2018, 01:29:57 AM   #49
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

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Originally Posted by 10speed View Post
I will be swapping 800F/1000R to 500F/1000R and testing.

Great thread!
Very cool, 10speed, and thanks! Look forward to your feedback. I trust you'll check your FRC and adjust sway(s) as needed to maintain a neutral balance.

GGC BMW CCA TECH TALK on 9/30 @ Edge Mtn View!

BTW, this coming Sunday September 30th, from 1 to 4 pm, Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA is sponsoring a FREE Alignment Tech Session @ EDGE MV. If you're in the San Francisco Bay Area (or willing to drive up!) you might want to check out the Golden Gate Chapter BMW CCA website, register, and come by!

At some point (perhaps at the beginning), I will be offering a ~20 min tech talk - The 3 Crucial Concepts for Optimal Suspension Design. It'll be hands-on, inviting audience participation so you're likely to stay awake! I plan to stay until the end and a little after to answer some additional questions.

NOTE: if you plan to come, be sure to register on MotorsportsReg.com (link above) to ensure you have a seat in case the event fills up.
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'02 Fat Cat Motorsports E46 330i / 3.46 Wavetrac / FCM Elite Bilstein suspension / lightened / NASA TTC prep / Team Rival S

Best laps: 1:48 Laguna Seca / 2:11 Thunderhill w/bypass / 2:16 Buttonwillow 1CW

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Old Thu, Sep-27-2018, 01:49:50 AM   #50
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Default Re: FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffn

Quote:
Originally Posted by herrubermensch View Post
Such a great thread! I love the scientific and data-driven approach. I really do intend to experiment with a Flat Ride approach.

--Peter
Thanks, Peter! I'm really glad to hear that. For reference, I'm re-posting the configuration from your first post, and wanted to confirm that's your starting point:

Quote:
900 lb front springs
450 lb rear springs (true coilover), usually with light helper springs
GC front roll bar
GC rear roll bar set on full soft
MCS triples with typical pressure settings in the 175-190 psi range
Since the front GC bar doesn't have holes we need to take distance measurements to know how much stiffer or softer your bar settings would be than mine / someone else. Then we can enter those lengths into the spreadsheet to quantify the before/after FRC / roll stiffness.

I'd love to compare your arm lengths to what I'm using with my GC race front bar, and also use your current setup as a new line in the spreadsheet since many people are likely using it or similar. So, my kind request to you are:

-To note / add permanent marks / post photos of your front and rear sway bar lengths for your current setup.
-To measure front and rear bar outside diameter
-To confirm / measure wall thickness. Different thickness bars are out there and we need to know what each car is actually using

I dislike assuming anything if I can get a measurement ...

In terms of indexing your current and later sway bar positions, perhaps you can use a paint pen at approx 'bend center' of the arm and then move toward the end link 'clamp' and draw an outline around the bar? That can be the official 'arm position.' Having a photo to reference would help me make a similar measurement on Christina. I haven't looked at my own GC front bar lengths yet, but the current position works well with my Flat Ride-oriented setup.

Not knowing specifics on bars, I'll go with 32mm OD / 6mm wall front with stock arm length and but considering you already have a 450 rear spring, you could test a 550 lb/in front. Your ride frequencies would be 2.56 Hz front / 2.65 Hz rear (3% Flat Ride). If you're willing to be bolder, you could go 500 lb/in front for 2.45 Hz and 8% Flat Ride.

Whatever springs you end up running, you would likely need to soften the rear bar and then, if further reductions to oversteer are needed, stiffen the front bar.

That's enough for now related to initial tests of to a testing Flat Ride as a first improvement in the pursuit of more grip.

===

As food-for-thought for later improvements - since you don't have an FCM Elite setup but do have adjustable dampers:

An F80 328 M Sport owner I did consulting with found that he could soften the damping once we took his spring rates from the factory 'pitching' frequencies to having a Flat Ride bias. In fact, Flat Ride is the fundamental concept in the 3 Crucial Aspects of Optimal Suspension Design. He ended up at full soft actually and still felt the car transitioning quickly-enough. The gas force was still rather high and would still cause ride quality / grip issues (the third Crucial Aspect), but at least now he knew how much (or how little!) damping he needed (the second Crucial Aspect...).

Flat Ride tuning -> less damping needed -> fewer opportunities for jerk to occur -> more grip accessible from the tires in more driving situations.

===

So, in summary, once you get Flat Ride and corresponding new sway bar positions for a neutral handling balance, you can experiment with new (softer) damper settings which will further improve grip (or prevent it from being reduced) and vehicle predictability at the limit.

With the lower damper settings, you could work with a shop near you that has a shock dyno and investigate how low the gas pressure can actually go while still having enough gas pressure to prevent hysteresis / cavitation. I did this when working with some Motons. I believe the MCS has a softer initial compression ramp which is good: less 'shock' to the nitrogen chamber when the main piston starts moving in compression.

After softening the damper settings and gas pressure (which wouldn't require a rebuild for external reservoir or non-reservoir / Schrader-type setups), the next big step would be to incorporate a 'free bleed hole' (what I call the Ripple Reducer modification) or two or three... the physics (as it see it) behind Ripple Reducer in this blog post from work I did on a winning 2016 MX-5 for SCCA Solo C Street.

In that blog post, I commented on my assessment of the (IMO/IME) over-pressurized Bilstein monotubes part of the factory 'Club' package on the 2016 Mazda Miata,. Before I did my modifications, Deana commented on how the car was 'skittery' (her words), even though damping-wise there was NO jacking down present! Ripple Reducer and lower gas pressure work in perfect concert with each other, which that illustration above helps you visualize.

Once I drilled the piston and softened the gas pressure, the gas force dropped from ~60 lb to ~20 lb. It was much more compliant, grippier, and 'had that claws in the carpet' feeling. It's a long post and worthwhile addition to link in this thread but the key image / text I had in mind is this one:

---



Quote:
Diagram showing behavior of the nitrogen gas chamber as the shaft & piston assembly move into the monotube damper body. Too little gas pressure will allow the Oil Chamber to collapse the Gas Chamber, which gives a momentary drop in compression force and feeling of being unsupported by the suspension. However, too much gas pressure causes excessive initial stiffness in compression movement.

Both behaviors can be avoided through using Ripple Reducer (adding carefully sized, very small holes to the bottom of the piston facing the Gas Chamber) which relieves pressure as the Piston moves through the Oil, reducing the likelihood of Gas Chamber collapse and minimizing the presence of hysteresis on the dyno graph plus in the occupant’s experience.

Original image by TEIN, modified by Shaikh Jalal Ahmad / Fat Cat Motorsports, Inc.
---

I KNOW that once low-speed damping is soft enough, and overall high-speed compression is reasonable, then anyone with any monotube can reduce the gas pressure and pick up grip / composure at the limit. A further step would be to do the 'free bleed hole' / Ripple Reducer modification which is effective everywhere - street and track.

I'd be curious if someone out there with XYZ brand on their M3 decides to make some changes to use a Ripple Reducer-type mod on their shocks! Maybe there's someone lurking who already has ... ?!?
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Discussing FCM E46 M3 Ride Harmonizer suspension spreadsheet (bounce freqs, FRC, roll stiffness) in the E46 M3 (2001-2006) Forum - Engine: S54 - Max Hp: 333 hp at 7,900 rpm / 262 lb/ft at 4,900 rpm
Total Produced: 45,000+ - Years Produced: 2001 to 2006. at BMW M3 Forum.com (E30 M3 | E36 M3 | E46 M3 | E92 M3 | F80/X)