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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 Sun, Jan-13-2019, 01:14:56 PM   #1
ac427
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Arrow Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

Rather than pollute Obioban's 'Ohlins bump droop thread', i thought i would explain my experience with the Ohlins R/T kit.

My E46 M3 Convertible has the Ohlins R/T kit fitted with TMS top mounts. The TMS top mounts are about six years old, i'm not sure that TMS make the same model anymore.

The rear suspension is standard apart from TMS rear camber arms and Rogue uprated rear top mounts.

The car was very low in this setup, even with both the front spring compression at max and the rear height adjusters set to maximum height. The top of the front tyres were covered by the front wing.

Ohlins only make the one kit for the E46 M3, there is not specific convertible or CSL kit available.
The kit is only supposed to drop the ride height by 20mm on a car with OEM suspension.

So i went to an official Ohlins centre where we ended up getting some +15% stiffer spring made.
This has improved the situation but the front is still a bit too low.

The TMS top mounts my be the issue here but that wouldn't explain why the back was so low even on maximum height adjustment.

I guess the next step is to revert to OEM top mounts and the the front shock back to the Ohlins measurement.


Has anyone else experienced ride height issues with the Ohlins R/T kit?
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Old Sun, Jan-13-2019, 06:32:00 PM   #2
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

How tall are your springs? I run 7" in front and 5" in rear Swift springs. If yours are shorter, you might need a stiffer spring, since height adjustment and spring preload are the same adjuster on Ohlins.

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Old Sun, Jan-13-2019, 06:44:55 PM   #3
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

Camber plates have a lower stack height, and Ohlins are quite short to begin with. You should gain some ride height back up front by using the stock top mounts. That is how they were originally designed to be run. Obioban basically created spacers to mimic this..

Also, cabrios are about 200lb heavier and that weight is on the rear which will add more sag when using the same springs designed for the lighter coupe, especially since that weight is moved even farther back when the top is down - effectively redistributing additional weight from off the front of the car and causing even more sag.
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Last edited by twentyseven; Sun, Jan-13-2019 at 06:50:03 PM.
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Old Mon, Jan-14-2019, 02:00:28 PM   #4
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

Thanks all, i was wondering if the weight could be on the rear if the 50/50 weight balance is preserved?

I realise the whole car weighs more, so that won't help my situation.
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Old Mon, Jan-14-2019, 08:17:28 PM   #5
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

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Originally Posted by ac427 View Post
Thanks all, i was wondering if the weight could be on the rear if the 50/50 weight balance is preserved?

I realise the whole car weighs more, so that won't help my situation.
Think of a balance scale... move weight from one side to the other, the total doesn't change but they are no longer equal.

You'd be well-served to get the car cornerbalanced after you reinstall stock hats and change out the rear springs. And FYI the recommended damper settings won't apply to you since you're changing the spring rate so it will also require some fine tuning to get the rebound/compression correctly matched.
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Old Mon, Jan-14-2019, 08:39:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

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Originally Posted by twentyseven View Post
Think of a balance scale... move weight from one side to the other, the total doesn't change but they are no longer equal.
Thanks twentyseven, I thought the convertible was just heavier but still had the 50/50 weight balance?
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Old Mon, Jan-14-2019, 08:50:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

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Originally Posted by ac427 View Post
Thanks twentyseven, I thought the convertible was just heavier but still had the 50/50 weight balance?
Can't say I ever recall seeing published figures, because usually the coupes were advertised as 50.x/49.x - and there isn't anything on a convertible that is different from a coupe fore of the A-pillar that I know of...
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Old Mon, Jan-14-2019, 10:07:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

This is what my car looked like on the Ohlins with stock front top hats (reversed to get enough camber to fit the bad offset front wheels) and the front a full half inch higher than the Ohlins recommended height.



They're most definitely not intended for this car, and while I do find them to be pretty comfy day to day vs most other aftermarket setups, it was pretty pointless having them on there. You'd be better off with a nice fresh set of Koni/Dinan or Eibach. Although I'm quite curious about trying the TCK singles again on this car but with flat ride-matched spring rates.
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Old Tue, Jan-15-2019, 02:02:10 AM   #9
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

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Originally Posted by Dave B View Post
This is what my car looked like on the Ohlins with stock front top hats (reversed to get enough camber to fit the bad offset front wheels) and the front a full half inch higher than the Ohlins recommended height.
That's low-rider low. And you are 1/2" higher than "recommended"??
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Old Tue, Jan-15-2019, 02:03:04 AM   #10
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Default Re: Ohlins R/T + E46 M3 Convertible

The extra weight doesn't account for OP's low ride height. The cabrios weigh ~230 lbs more than coupes. That's only ~60lbs on each corner. The Ohlins springs are 400 front/630 rear. The extra weight only accounts for 1/10" in the rear, only slightly more in the front.
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Discussing e46 M3 Tire Sizing Thread 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)