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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 Sat, Feb-18-2017, 05:38:00 AM   #11
nasieg
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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How much lighter is the Hotchkis front bar? I was looking to get the front bar only. I like how my car feels with my current suspension set up and stock sways. I'm thinking to run a Hotchkis front bar at full soft since it's 11% stiffer than stock at that setting. The weight savings and increased roll resistance makes it seem worth it.


I think the weight difference is minus 4 lbs.



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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 05:45:32 AM   #12
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Originally Posted by nasieg View Post
I think the weight difference is minus 4 lbs.



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Awesome. Thanks. Any weight savings with the rear bar?
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 05:50:46 AM   #13
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Awesome. Thanks. Any weight savings with the rear bar?


No, they are the same.

Btw, The rear has two settings, but the soft setting does not seem to have enough clearance, so I ended up setting it to the firmer setting even though I wanted to go soft in the rear and medium in the front. Since I had to set the rear to firm I ended up setting the front to the firmest setting as well and I like the set up that way. Definitely reduces body roll with not noticeable difference in the regular ride comfort, which is already compromised by coil overs and camber plates.


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Last edited by nasieg; Sat, Feb-18-2017 at 02:57:15 PM. Reason: clarification
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 06:01:28 AM   #14
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

Hotchkis front bar is noticeably lighter. Have not done any driving events since install, but it definitely keeps sway to a minimum when driving on street. Doing autocross on Sun, so I'll get to feel the difference then.
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 01:26:54 PM   #15
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Hotchkis front bar is noticeably lighter. Have not done any driving events since install, but it definitely keeps sway to a minimum when driving on street. Doing autocross on Sun, so I'll get to feel the difference then.


Any noticeable change in ride quality/overall comfort?
Any change in steering response?
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 03:53:12 PM   #16
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Originally Posted by AK_Topwise View Post
Any noticeable change in ride quality/overall comfort?
Any change in steering response?
I'm interested in this as well.
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 04:36:04 PM   #17
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

Ride quality over single wheel bumps will be notably firmer, no question - you my like this and you may not.

The car will also corner flatter and respond/set quicker - you may like this and you may not.

They affect actual performance incrementally but change the feel of the car quite notably.
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 05:53:24 PM   #18
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Ride quality over single wheel bumps will be notably firmer, no question - you my like this and you may not.

The car will also corner flatter and respond/set quicker - you may like this and you may not.

They affect actual performance incrementally but change the feel of the car quite notably.


I think the e46 m3 handles well when pushed to its limits, it just doesn't feel that flat while getting to those limits. I have adjustable end links already and I swear one time I adjusted them to get rid of preload and the first drive after that the car felt so much flatter around corners and the steering turn in response was much quicker and go kart ish but the next day that feeling wasn't there and it felt back to normal, weird.

Anyways, I understand how sway bars work just didn't realize a larger diameter ball would so drastically change the comfort or ability to soak up bumps and road imperfections.

In your opinion is the impact on daily driving ability to soak up bumps and be a comfortable car that noticeable? Is it a worth while trade off to get the improved flatness and steering response?
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Old Sat, Feb-18-2017, 06:57:06 PM   #19
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

I didn't notice much change in comfort with just the front upgrade on medium setting, only a slight change but it's subjective I'm sure.
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Old Sun, Feb-19-2017, 03:03:33 AM   #20
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Default Re: Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it?

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Originally Posted by AK_Topwise View Post
Any noticeable change in ride quality/overall comfort?
Any change in steering response?
Quote:
Originally Posted by simon_c View Post
I'm interested in this as well.
I believe it's all subjective. My car has stiff coilovers, partially stripped interior, fixed-back seats, and square wheel setup. That being said, I did not notice any change in ride quality/comfort, nor was I actively looking for it. That probably means the change, if any, was insignificant enough for me to not notice.

I run -3.0 camber and 0.0 toe up front, so the car was already very responsive to steering input with the square setup. With sway bar, it does feel a bit twitchier (good thing for me). The car feels more planted when cornering. The front sway is also supposed to reduce some oversteer, but I'll have to track the car to know how much. I must add that the PO installed the coilovers and stock sway bar with OE endlinks, and there was preload. So I don't know how the car was supposed to behave with stock bar and zero preload.

For a street car, I don't see why you'd want aftermarket sway bars. For a car that sees autocross and/or track use, I'd say go for it.
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Discussing Aftermarket front sway bar: worth it? 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)