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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 Fri, Oct-05-2007, 03:38:01 PM   #41
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Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post
Keep in mind that several improvements and innovations that are present in KW's street products, are a DIRECT result of R&D achieved through their racing efforts.

For example:

KW street coilovers derive a huge PERFORMANCE benefit from their extensive racing suspension technologies. Such as:

* Trapezoidal-cut height adjustment threads (to resist striping)
* CNC-machined, hardened, & chromium-plated strut and shock piston rods (to prevent corrosion and reduce friction)
* Pistons with V-shaped Teflon seals (for optimal sealing with minimal internal friction)
* Special guide and ultra high-pressure sealing systems (to insure non-binding and leak-free operation under severe loads)
*High temperature-resistance due to lower overall internal friction (will not suffer loss of performance due to overheating after sustain periods)

Also, on the Variant 3 for example, the compression characteristics are adjusted utilizing a valve at the lower end of the damper casing. (KW received a German patent for this technology) The number of pre-installable parameters available for this valve allow for settings for just about any application required. The unique low-speed pressure adjustment is the decisive feature of this technology. In this absorption area, the handling of the vehicle is greatly influenced. An increase in the damping force supports the vehicle even during compression, thereby preventing pitch, roll and notably improving cornering behavior.

All of these suspension technologies are the direct result of KW's extensive expertise drawn from various forms of motor sport racing all over the world.

Note: Every KW suspension component is designed & extensively road tested for optimum performance before it is released to the public. (they have incredibly high build quality standards)







Since we are trying to remain objective, let's not get all memorized by the fact that KW participates in racing. Koni, Ohlins, and Moton are also involved in the same series, and many, many others (Koni works with McLaren in F1). Ground control components were R&D'd and tested in club racing.

Also, there is a difference between getting free equipment or even being paid to run it, and picking the best equipment you can that you think will give you an advantage.

As Ian points out, there is a very big different between street products and race.
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Last edited by ShakeNbake; Fri, Oct-05-2007 at 03:42:44 PM.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 03:49:39 PM   #42
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Cleveland I could not agree with you more on the progressive vs linear springs on the street. I have a 4k ohlins setup on another car and I would love to find progressive springs for that setup. Any recomendations? All I can find is linear springs.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 03:49:43 PM   #43
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You made some great points Cleveland, but you do not define "stiff" or "stiffer" anywhere.

Linear being stiffer than what? ...than stock? I'm confused.
My TCK S/A (and those of many other folks on the board) honestly ride better than stock. By better I mean they make the car handle better (duh), but more important they DO RIDE SMOOTHER THAN STOCK. With my TCK, the car is NOT stiffer than stock. Actually, the car’s ability to effectively absorb road imperfections has drastically improved.

My best subject till date has been my girlfriend. She had no idea when I replaced the suspension.

It went something like:
Her: "what did you do to your car?"
me: "what do you mean?"
Her: "it's smooth; not as harsh as it used to be"

Of course, at the time I was dialed in on the softest setting.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 03:54:20 PM   #44
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Originally Posted by jacy View Post
Since we are trying to remain objective, let's not get all memorized by the fact that KW participates in racing. Koni, Ohlins, and Moton are also involved in the same series, and many, many others (Koni works with McLaren in F1). Ground control components were R&D'd and tested in club racing.

Also, there is a difference between getting free equipment or even being paid to run it, and picking the best equipment you can that you think will give you an advantage.

As Ian points out, there is a very big different between street products and race.
True...but you can't deny that through dedicated racing R&D, you can discover technologies that can be applied to your street products.

Also keep in mind that some companies are better at transferring this racing technology into their street products, while other companies keep those two technology's separate. (primarily due to retooling and material costs)
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 05:25:04 PM   #45
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Objectivity goes out the window when blind statements about ignorant target audiences are made.

Not all people who buy PSS9s are ignorant about camber plates and RSMs. Opinions about PSS9s are strongly subjectified. buyers do their own research.

Objective statements are backed by facts. In this case, regarding trackability, one should provide lap times with the same driver, same car, different suspension. then one can calculate the significance of the difference in the lap times. then if there is a difference one product is inferior.

analysis is a scientific process with a demonstration of methods, results and conclusions about the data.

claiming one is better without statistics is meaningless.

otherwise, i think a nice summary of the options. i would have liked to have had this summary before purchasing. i may have made a different decision and went with GC. I am ignorantly happy with my pss9s however.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 05:27:11 PM   #46
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Racing shocks have very little in common with street kit shocks
True but racing experience on the track most always translates to well manufactured products for the street.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 05:32:48 PM   #47
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Excellent thread.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 06:54:48 PM   #48
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Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post
Simple math problem...

If the ratio is in the 90-99% range for driving your car on the street, then it's not that difficult of a decision. Normal, or even 'spirited' street driving, will never approach the same suspension stress level (forces), as a car running wide open on a dedicated track. (if you managed to to that on the street, your car would be impounded and you would be in jail ) So if you are not a track junkie, the whole LINEAR springs vs. PROGRESSIVE spring debate is basically mute.

If you are not going to turn your M3 into a dedicated track car, why give up ANY ride comfort by using LINEAR springs. (less forgiving than PROGRESSIVE springs)

The low-speed and high-speed dampening characteristics are different in each application. Some similarities exist, but a one-size-fits-all coilover kit simply doesn't exist. (no matter which brand you choose)

Don't believe the hype. Trust me, you are making a compromise somewhere. (fact)

Many of the guy's looking to upgrade their suspensions, are fooling themselves with dreams of going to the track every weekend and thrashing their cars around. Well the truth is...very few people ever do that. But they buy LINEAR springs that will give them less than ideal ride comfort, and they expose their cars chassis to a higher risk of developing a sub-frame failure.

Here is my recommendation...

If you want a stiffer, more taught, and extremely responsive suspension setup than stock, and you are willing to live with a little harsher ride(and any other potential fallout) on a day-to-day basis, then by all means go with LINEAR SPRINGS.

If you want a little stiffer ride, that is 'just' a little more responsive than the OEM suspension provides, but you really don't want to give up anything the ride comfort area, buy PROGRESSIVE springs that are specifically designed to achieves that goal. PROGRESSIVE springs are more forgiving than than LINEAR springs on the street. (fact) Another thing people seem to forget (or simply don't know), is that the dampers are actually more important to the performance of the suspension than the springs. The springs primary job are to hold up the car, so the dampers can do their job. So having a kit with PROGRESSIVE springs shouldn't really be deal killer per say.

NOTE: Just because a spring is PROGRESSIVE, doesn't mean there is no design or R&D behind it. Initial progressive springs rates for each coilover kit, can be manipulated by the type of steel alloy used, and the size of the spring itself. (even though they increase exponentially) People give PROGRESSIVE springs a bad rap (which is unfair) when virtually every car sold in the world uses them. (even expensive performance-oriented sports cars) Coilovers (or spring types) aren't the end of the story. These aren't the only thing that you can buy to tweak the suspension characteristics of your car. Bushings and sway bars are two commonly overlooked components that can have a dramatic impact on the performance of your cars suspension.
I agree with pretty much everything you said. There is no solution that is good for everyone. And I think if you go through all my posts in the time I've been here you'll see that I tend to recommend KW for people that are street drivers and TCK/GC for people that are street/track.

HOWEVER

In my experience both GC/TCK kits with reasonable spring rates and KW kits ride better and handle better than stock. The KW kits tend to ride a little better than the GC/TCK, the GC/TCK tend to handle a little better than the KW. How is this possible? I think the stock dampers aren't very well suited to the car.

I think perhaps you need to drive a (not slammed, reasonable spring rate) TCK/GC car to actually experience it-- if you look through all the threads on here I think you'll see that everyone who buys them is amazed that they manage to be be both stiffer and ride better. It's a very unique feeling if you're used to the stock car.

Which, again, is not to say that I think everyone should get TCK/GC--- the KWs do ride better and provide a moderate handling increase. For many people, especially those who only street drive, that is the best option.
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 07:00:29 PM   #49
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I can see that, especially at the price point for a D/A kit (at least the price I saw, not sure how it compares with your pricing). I really don't think its worth spending that amount of money (even TCK D/A is borderline on the pricing) for a street only vehicle looking for a drop (and sometimes better ride). And from what I have heard, these are valved more for track (not surprising given their history).

What kind of feedback are you hearing about these systems?

Overall, interesting discussion on the pros/cons of each system. At one point I was leaning towards the KWs, but the progressive springs gave me a moment of pause.
Bump for Ian.... since it was directed at him!!!
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Old Fri, Oct-05-2007, 07:05:09 PM   #50
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Originally Posted by Cleveland View Post
True...but you can't deny that through dedicated racing R&D, you can discover technologies that can be applied to your street products.

Also keep in mind that some companies are better at transferring this racing technology into their street products, while other companies keep those two technology's separate. (primarily due to retooling and material costs)
TC Kline uses (or at least I know they did 2 years ago, haven't checked to see if this is still true.... but I would assume so) exactly the same springs and dampers on Grand-Am race cars that it sells to customers for street use. Bushings and such are different, as solid bushings would make the car full of all sorts of rattles, but technology transfer doesn't get much more direct than that
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Discussing Objective suspension comparison with subjective target audiences 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)