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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 Wed, Aug-05-2015, 05:05:00 PM   #31
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

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Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Good discussion.

...

This is why I am, at this point, fundamentally against anything stiff/low for most street use as you actually realize a handling penalty 90% of the time (when not balls to the wall). And even in the 10% where you do get better "handling", it makes no difference since the stock setup will still drain blood from your ears I know this goes against the grain here but it's just been my experience over the years looking for the best possible street experience.
Agreed, good discussion.

I'm currently running the RT setup with 300/500 (softer) springs.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...post1067154622

Unfortunately the experiment is flawed. The softer springs are the same height as the original stiffer springs. This means the car sits much lower than I wanted. It looks "dope" in pictures, but there is more road feel than I would like (expected). The springs will be stretched soon to correct this. Only then I can properly evaluate the spring difference with the car at a higher ride height.

That said, my initial impressions are positive. I can certainly feel an improvement with the softer springs over poorer road surfaces for my needs. The sharp edges over nasty bumps have been substantially reduced or removed. The lack of interior creaks/rattles also confirm this on specific roads. Previously, driving these same roads on the RT stock springs caused some interior noise and discomfort.

I appreciate the RT dampers even more having gone back to them from the B6. Their consistency is incredible, it appears to ride the "same" on a given piece of road on any given day. Completely different levels engineering of course.

I'm still rather fond of the B6-OEM though (B6 + oem springs). It may have its quirks but that setup made the car feel "invincible". Strong words I know, but it 'ate' bumps for breakfast. It had enough isolation from the imperfections in the road, yet you were still able to 'feel' what the car was doing.

Trying a setup that consists of a good damper, decent suspension travel and soft spring is illuminating. eg. B6-OEM/Koni-OEM.

It will change a lot of "what you think you know or heard" for street setups regarding ride quality. I'm approaching this from a DD.

I'm going to compare the Koni-OEM and B6-OEM at some point. Koni-OEM is likely to excel in comfort I'm sure!

Side Note: I swapped my OE18s recently for some lightweight wheels. Ian, I know you've always advised ditching OE18's for light weight wheels... gotta say I wish I did it sooner. A noticeable improvement in acceleration, braking and suspension (settles quicker)!!
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Old Wed, Aug-05-2015, 05:05:32 PM   #32
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Eric and Obi, I see both of your points. I appreciate the discussion and input very much. I'm in sales at a BMW dealership where I live, so I drive the new cars all the time. The suspensions in the new F30's are much softer than an e46 or e90, yet I feel a better balance of sport and comforst in the F30 chasis. The F30 setup is just better suited to the roads here. I think Eric's explanation is spot on: in most daily driving in the city (with crappy streets), where you aren't pushing the car too hard, a more forgiving suspension will maintain better control and experience better traction because it doesnt bounce and hit as hard at every bump. Right now my m3 on standard suspension gets tossed around on bad streets because it's so sensitive to bumps. In part that may be that the suspension is a bit shot. I'm not the original owner, so who knows what punishment it had previously. based on all the input I'm going to go with the rear Koni TCK's and front Koni's.

Eric/obi can you advise on any additional parts I will need or should include in the suspension refresh (i'm talking about little things at this point...bushings, mounts, ball joints, etc). Should I go OEM or aftermarket? I'm thinking anything polyurethane isn't for me, right?

Thanks again
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Old Wed, Aug-05-2015, 05:53:29 PM   #33
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Just reading EricSMG's and Dal's point of views on suspension makes me so happy that there are members like them on this forum. Unbiased, no agenda, and willing to tell the truth about all products both at the upper and lower end of the spectrum.

Please stick around.
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Old Wed, Aug-05-2015, 07:20:31 PM   #34
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal View Post
Agreed, good discussion.

I'm currently running the RT setup with 300/500 (softer) springs.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...post1067154622

Unfortunately the experiment is flawed. The softer springs are the same height as the original stiffer springs. This means the car sits much lower than I wanted. It looks "dope" in pictures, but there is more road feel than I would like (expected). The springs will be stretched soon to correct this. Only then I can properly evaluate the spring difference with the car at a higher ride height.

That said, my initial impressions are positive. I can certainly feel an improvement with the softer springs over poorer road surfaces for my needs. The sharp edges over nasty bumps have been substantially reduced or removed. The lack of interior creaks/rattles also confirm this on specific roads. Previously, driving these same roads on the RT stock springs caused some interior noise and discomfort.

I appreciate the RT dampers even more having gone back to them from the B6. Their consistency is incredible, it appears to ride the "same" on a given piece of road on any given day. Completely different levels engineering of course.

I'm still rather fond of the B6-OEM though (B6 + oem springs). It may have its quirks but that setup made the car feel "invincible". Strong words I know, but it 'ate' bumps for breakfast. It had enough isolation from the imperfections in the road, yet you were still able to 'feel' what the car was doing.

Trying a setup that consists of a good damper, decent suspension travel and soft spring is illuminating. eg. B6-OEM/Koni-OEM.

It will change a lot of "what you think you know or heard" for street setups regarding ride quality. I'm approaching this from a DD.

I'm going to compare the Koni-OEM and B6-OEM at some point. Koni-OEM is likely to excel in comfort I'm sure!

Side Note: I swapped my OE18s recently for some lightweight wheels. Ian, I know you've always advised ditching OE18's for light weight wheels... gotta say I wish I did it sooner. A noticeable improvement in acceleration, braking and suspension (settles quicker)!!
Wow, Dal! I haven't been keeping up with your journal, had no idea you tried the softer springs.

But yes - it's critical that the softer spring be proportionately longer. This is why TCKs springs' lengths are rate dependent almost as a rule - you pick the rate, not the length, for the most part.

But your results are exactly what I'd expect. What we've learned is that spring rate AND travel both have dramatic affects on street comfort and handling. The suspension needs to "breath" with the road.

Your own testing with the RT shows us that while the dampers are amazing, the 'package' is not ideal. Springs are too stiff and too short, ride height too low. Soften the rates, bring up the ride height and you've got a totally different system. This challenges the legacy 'wisdom' that dampers are everything and springs have no affect. I contend that both are equally important.

It seems that you, Ian and myself seem to end up in this 'same' conversation often but with all of our collective experimentation something new seems to come from each convo.

Awesome stuff!
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Old Wed, Aug-05-2015, 10:24:58 PM   #35
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dal View Post
Agreed, good discussion.

I'm currently running the RT setup with 300/500 (softer) springs.

http://www.m3forum.net/m3forum/showt...post1067154622

Unfortunately the experiment is flawed. The softer springs are the same height as the original stiffer springs. This means the car sits much lower than I wanted. It looks "dope" in pictures, but there is more road feel than I would like (expected). The springs will be stretched soon to correct this. Only then I can properly evaluate the spring difference with the car at a higher ride height.

That said, my initial impressions are positive. I can certainly feel an improvement with the softer springs over poorer road surfaces for my needs. The sharp edges over nasty bumps have been substantially reduced or removed. The lack of interior creaks/rattles also confirm this on specific roads. Previously, driving these same roads on the RT stock springs caused some interior noise and discomfort.

I appreciate the RT dampers even more having gone back to them from the B6. Their consistency is incredible, it appears to ride the "same" on a given piece of road on any given day. Completely different levels engineering of course.

I'm still rather fond of the B6-OEM though (B6 + oem springs). It may have its quirks but that setup made the car feel "invincible". Strong words I know, but it 'ate' bumps for breakfast. It had enough isolation from the imperfections in the road, yet you were still able to 'feel' what the car was doing.

Trying a setup that consists of a good damper, decent suspension travel and soft spring is illuminating. eg. B6-OEM/Koni-OEM.

It will change a lot of "what you think you know or heard" for street setups regarding ride quality. I'm approaching this from a DD.

I'm going to compare the Koni-OEM and B6-OEM at some point. Koni-OEM is likely to excel in comfort I'm sure!

Side Note: I swapped my OE18s recently for some lightweight wheels. Ian, I know you've always advised ditching OE18's for light weight wheels... gotta say I wish I did it sooner. A noticeable improvement in acceleration, braking and suspension (settles quicker)!!
Ha, yes sir!!!

Light weight wheels are the best mod you can do, imp. They just improve every aspect of the car, without trade offs.

Awesome/exciting update in your journal!
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Old Wed, Aug-05-2015, 11:51:59 PM   #36
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by EricSMG View Post
Wow, Dal! I haven't been keeping up with your journal, had no idea you tried the softer springs.

But yes - it's critical that the softer spring be proportionately longer. This is why TCKs springs' lengths are rate dependent almost as a rule - you pick the rate, not the length, for the most part.

But your results are exactly what I'd expect. What we've learned is that spring rate AND travel both have dramatic affects on street comfort and handling. The suspension needs to "breath" with the road.

Your own testing with the RT shows us that while the dampers are amazing, the 'package' is not ideal. Springs are too stiff and too short, ride height too low. Soften the rates, bring up the ride height and you've got a totally different system. This challenges the legacy 'wisdom' that dampers are everything and springs have no affect. I contend that both are equally important.

It seems that you, Ian and myself seem to end up in this 'same' conversation often but with all of our collective experimentation something new seems to come from each convo.

Awesome stuff!
I don't have the experience you guys do but I do want to add to your comment about ride height. I just installed a set of JRZ RSones with 600#/700# (actually running 350# in the rear but TRCO). Before I had the car corner balanced I had them raised to almost stock ride height. They definitely rode better at the higher ride height and were actually pretty civilized, especially when you consider the high spring rates. My mom just bought a 21k mile '07 Z4 3.0si coupe with the sport suspension and I would say that at the higher ride height my car rode as good (better over some bumps) as her car. I can only imagine how it would feel with lower spring rates. I might pick up another set of springs just for the street. First I plan to try a tender spring setup though.
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Old Thu, Aug-06-2015, 12:07:00 AM   #37
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

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Yes^!!

Please do review the B4s....also very curious.
Eric, I had the B4s installed a few months ago along with fresh Meyle HD RTABs and Turner limter plates, and a fresh alignment. 65k miles, other rubber bits are original and I have the stock springs.

Overall, when really pushed over choppy roads, the B4s hold together pretty well but I think they could be better. On the road, the dive/squat is noticeably less and the body roll is less as well. Smoother over bumps, and at under $400 a set, a steal for OEM replacements. I am happy I went this route. Also, no change in ride height that I noticed.
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Old Thu, Aug-06-2015, 12:10:44 AM   #38
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Default Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

Quote:
Originally Posted by Namniek View Post
I don't have the experience you guys do but I do want to add to your comment about ride height. I just installed a set of JRZ RSones with 600#/700# (actually running 350# in the rear but TRCO). Before I had the car corner balanced I had them raised to almost stock ride height. They definitely rode better at the higher ride height and were actually pretty civilized, especially when you consider the high spring rates. My mom just bought a 21k mile '07 Z4 3.0si coupe with the sport suspension and I would say that at the higher ride height my car rode as good (better over some bumps) as her car. I can only imagine how it would feel with lower spring rates. I might pick up another set of springs just for the street. First I plan to try a tender spring setup though.

I ran 500/600 on the MCS 2ways, and granted they were special order built by them for those rates, but they were more comfortable than a Lexus on the bumpy LA streets. I can't tell you how much I regret swapping them out :/



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Originally Posted by tjkenny15 View Post
Has anyone here considered inexpensive coilovers? I've had my eyes on the Megan Racing EZ Street Coilovers that ECS Tuning has for sale.

http://www.ecstuning.com/BMW-E46-M3-...ers/ES2863196/

From my experience, coilovers not only provide better handling characteristics but also ride comfort. For $700, its really hard to not consider.

First we really have to define coilover, as technically the setup BMW's use in the front is a coilover. What you have here are height adjustable coilovers, which the majority of do not improve ride comfort, although performance is subjective on the street, as Eric has mentioned.

The ones you mentioned, including BC/FA/ST and even most of the Kw's are all the same loss in comfort/performance on the street. What many on here fail to understand (well one of the many things they fail to grasp) is that any kit will feel better going from blown/tired dampers/bushings to a fresh damper or coilover. What usually happens is the kits rapidly degrade and the ride becomes bouncy, but owners accept that because race car, not knowing that their handling is now also far worse, as roads are rarely smooth, and bump steer becomes a real issue.

So as not to start a butthurt thread, I'll leave my .02 at that and not reply to the supporters of said cheap kits.


Ps: I might add that the FK silver lines have been excellent on the street! Too soft for any serious tracking, but very smooth, even compared to a 06 330i, it rose far better over the bumpy PA roads than the sedan on OE suspension. My buddy, who's on this board as a former 46M owner, has commented several times how smooth they are. Shame they're no longer in business :/

Sent from Chipotle

Last edited by Cha5en; Thu, Aug-06-2015 at 12:16:27 AM.
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Old Thu, Aug-06-2015, 07:36:43 AM   #39
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Default Re: Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

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I ran 500/600 on the MCS 2ways, and granted they were special order built by them for those rates, but they were more comfortable than a Lexus on the bumpy LA streets. I can't tell you how much I regret swapping them out :/

First we really have to define coilover, as technically the setup BMW's use in the front is a coilover. What you have here are height adjustable coilovers, which the majority of do not improve ride comfort, although performance is subjective on the street, as Eric has mentioned.

The ones you mentioned, including BC/FA/ST and even most of the Kw's are all the same loss in comfort/performance on the street. What many on here fail to understand (well one of the many things they fail to grasp) is that any kit will feel better going from blown/tired dampers/bushings to a fresh damper or coilover. What usually happens is the kits rapidly degrade and the ride becomes bouncy, but owners accept that because race car, not knowing that their handling is now also far worse, as roads are rarely smooth, and bump steer becomes a real issue.

So as not to start a butthurt thread, I'll leave my .02 at that and not reply to the supporters of said cheap kits.


Ps: I might add that the FK silver lines have been excellent on the street! Too soft for any serious tracking, but very smooth, even compared to a 06 330i, it rose far better over the bumpy PA roads than the sedan on OE suspension. My buddy, who's on this board as a former 46M owner, has commented several times how smooth they are. Shame they're no longer in business :/

Sent from Chipotle
The FK Silver Lines is pretty much in line with Ground Controls basic $1200 coilover kit. Uses the same Koni yellows, and the GCs can be had with the same soft spring rates if anyone desires. I wouldn't wholeheartedly suggest either kit since the ride height adjustment is essentially useless given they're just normal Koni yellows without the shortened rear struts. Better off saving $500 by just buying Koni yellows and sticking to the OE springs or Eibachs (should one desire a conservative drop). Not a horrible kit, just not the best use of money.
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SUSPENSION: Ground Control street/school coilover kit, Eibach anti-roll kit, Rogue Engineering RSMs, Powerflex RTABs /// BRAKES: Brembo GT 355mm BBK & Type III "LeMans" rotors, BimmerWorld cf brake ducts /// WHEELS: Volk TE37 19" custom powdercoat, Falken FK452, neochrome valve caps /// ENGINE: ESS VT-440 s/c, AEM H2O/meth injection kit, Magnaflow 2.5" exhaust, SS headers /// EXTERIOR: Vorsteiner cf CSL bootlid & diffuser, Floßmann cf GTR hood, cf GTR fenders, GTR rear bumper, ACS cf roof spoiler, Straßentech lip, misc cf trim, Orion LED angel eyes, Depo smoked corners, 3M vinyl wrap, custom widebody /// INTERIOR: Vorsteiner CSL console, Recaro Sportster CS, ///M5 shift knob, Ultimate pedals, misc cf trim, custom stitched interior /// AUDIO: Rainbow Audio OEM replacement speakers, Zapco amp, Focal KX33 sub, Intravee II, custom enclosure
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Old Thu, Aug-06-2015, 11:26:26 AM   #40
Cha5en
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Default Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated

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The FK Silver Lines is pretty much in line with Ground Controls basic $1200 coilover kit. Uses the same Koni yellows, and the GCs can be had with the same soft spring rates if anyone desires. I wouldn't wholeheartedly suggest either kit since the ride height adjustment is essentially useless given they're just normal Koni yellows without the shortened rear struts. Better off saving $500 by just buying Koni yellows and sticking to the OE springs or Eibachs (should one desire a conservative drop). Not a horrible kit, just not the best use of money.

Have you tried the FK's? They ride much smoother than GC's kit, as I've had both..

The GC's also do not come with a helper spring, and GC's rear adjuster makes so much f'ing noise, that you think something's broken. The FK's were about $1100 with OE top hats included, so they were an excellent value for anyone looking for a ride height adjustability.

I couldn't tell you which kit ran smoother, the koni/h&r's, Eric's/Dals hybrid Billy's, or these FK's, but they are all very close. It's a shame the FK's are no longer been produced, as they truly were a answer for our street cars..

Ps: the FK's were only $750, but of course you'll need RSM's and OE plates? Bumping the cost up to $1000, just like the Koni/Bill dampers come out to when you properly refresh the suspension and not just replace a single part


Sent from Chipotle

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Discussing Another Suspension Thread: Your experience is appreciated 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)