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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-13-2017, 09:21:30 PM   #51
Bimmerman325i
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

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Originally Posted by WuBai View Post
Let me throw this out there, how would MCS DA or JRZ RS2 level dampers with 350/400 springs compare to TCK DA with the same spring rates? I'm looking for the more comfortable option.
I'd say TCKs. SG M3 did exactly that and I think jvit27 did at well for each of those options.

Personally the TCKs rode better at equivalent 600ish spring rates to my MCSs. I've never run soft springs with coilovers....I personally don't see the point over spring/shock, but I know it's a popular option non the less.
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Old Fri, Oct-13-2017, 09:24:31 PM   #52
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

How would 450/500 springs compare to 350/400 or 400/450 on TCK SAs at the same (relatively softer) rebound? Much difference from 50-100lb/in?
I have 450/500 now, it's a taut/controlled feeling and a nice balance for a weekend car but I'm curious now based on feedback in here saying these shocks are at their best with softer springs.
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Old Fri, Oct-13-2017, 10:28:24 PM   #53
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

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Originally Posted by aznbo187 View Post
Care to elaborate on mono vs twin? Conceptually, I still don't understand a clear advantage for either configuration and when one is preferred over the other. Current setup is the Eibach PSS which is a mono - however, tbh, I remember my friends TCK being more comfortable at a higher spring rate and lower height.
Twin tube is an older design, cutting edge back in the 80's so plenty of time to get it figured out. Monotube design is more recent and much simpler, so tuners have been getting more creative (custom pistons, etc) to play with the valving profiles.

Essentially the oil in a monotube has less places to go so it displaces quicker, thus being more efficient (resistant to cavitation). There are less seals so you can run higher pressure, which ultimately allows more control over bigger spring rates. This is REALLY lamens terms but you get the gist. TCK runs lower pressures which is why they generally pair so well with softer spring rates.

JRZ has figured out how to do seals a high pressure twin tube, but it's not universally applied across their product line and not nearly as durable as a Koni. Every manufacturer has slightly different theories of how to interpret and develop the monotube application.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WuBai View Post
Let me throw this out there, how would MCS DA or JRZ RS2 level dampers with 350/400 springs compare to TCK DA with the same spring rates? I'm looking for the more comfortable option.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bimmerman325i View Post
I'd say TCKs. SG M3 did exactly that and I think jvit27 did at well for each of those options.

Personally the TCKs rode better at equivalent 600ish spring rates to my MCSs. I've never run soft springs with coilovers....I personally don't see the point over spring/shock, but I know it's a popular option non the less.
^^
I cannot emphasize enough how much it sucked. Everyone who never bought them will regurgitate how amazing they ride and it's all forum bs. I ran RS1 with 400/500 and then swapped to 300/400. Lived in SoCal and this was my daily driver, zero track use just surface streets and some crappy highways. I tried everything to make them work - lowered nitro pressures, changed tires, even had the lead JRZ engineer ride in my car to dial in the R&C. But when a non-car person was in the backseat and asked me if I had a flat tire because it was so uncomfortable, I finally threw the towel in. TCK's were backordered but I was so miserable I bought the Bilstein B12 kit to drive on while I waited for the TCK's to show up (and the Bilstein dampers are known to be harsh yet it was still a massive improvement in comfort). When my TCK DA's showed up I literally reused the same set of 300/400 springs and fell in love with the car. But by that point the girl I was seeing, who was upset I never drove to see her because I literally would not drive my car, had already moved on

They are not the end-all, be-all everyone makes premium dampers out to be. It is a specific product for a specific purpose, and does it's intended job incredibly well - but that job is not putting around on the street. The only way i'd recommend JRZ/MCS/etc dampers for a street car is if you get external reservoirs** and the touring valving (not offered at the time I did this four years ago). But by then you have spent an actual fortune dumbing down a track product so far below it's capabilities to work on the street like the less high end stuff was already designed to do. It's like trying to use snow tires for canyon carving. They'll work but at the end of the day it's just not the right tool for the job.

** these actually make a substantial difference, don't let anyone tell you external reservoirs are worthless on the street.

The market forces you one way or another. No one makes a high end damper for the street that can be used with stock style springs (because so few people would actually buy them) so buying mix & match Bilstein/Koni to pair with lowering springs will be an inferior setup (reduced bump travel, non customizable stance), vs. a proper coilover with shortened shock bodies. But cheap coilovers have their compromises too. And after awhile you get sick of dealing with tradeoffs and wish you had left it stock lol. But as Bimmerman pointed out so eloquently above, TCK figured this out and made the best all-around setup. If comfort is a priority, just save the headache and heed the advice in this thread. I've been around many years and seen when brands like AST and Eibach come along touting themselves as a magic do-it-all setup only to hear years later it was all marketing hype. There are only so many ways to skin a cat!! Ohlins R&T has been the only other option to come close.

To quote SG_M3 "Koni's aren't cool or fancy, they just work the way you want them to."
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Old Fri, Oct-13-2017, 11:17:25 PM   #54
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

I just want to weigh in on the MCS DAs on the street idea, and why I actually hate driving the car (to the point where I bought another E36).

On track, the MCS/Bimmerworld/GC suspension works great. Handling is seemingly telepathic, the car response is razor sharp, and the way it soaks up bumps is incredible. That is what I want, and why I still have it.

On the ROAD, the setup sucks so much I have parked it for months inbetween events and not regretted it at all. The shocks clunk. The camber plates clunk. The ______ clunk. If it doesn't clunk, it rattles. If it doesn't rattle, it squeals. If it doesn't squeal, it clunks anyway. 21 year old me and 30 year old me have very different standards for streetability and NVH. And, before you ask, literally all of that has been replaced and rebuilt, has been inspected by MCS/BW and GC, and many shops have looked at it too, with the overall comment being to just deal with it. So I park it and drive something else. If it seems like I'm furious about this....you'd be right.

I hate the suspension so much that I'm going down the same road that twentyseven did. I'm getting rid of the poly bushings and spherical bushings and going back to stock rubber everywhere. I'm in process of getting rid of as many metal on metal components as I can because the car isn't pleasant to drive without earplugs in (both from exhaust and from CLUNK CLUNK GODDAMNIT).

I can see you reading this and saying "yea well none of that is shock related" and you're right. I mention all of that for people who don't think there is an issue with racecar parts on the street-- it works great for a few miles and then CLUNK. It's freaking embarrassing to drive the damn thing with non-racer types.

All that aside, the shocks suck for the street too. On the softest settings, the shocks act like pogo sticks whenever there are small ripples in the road. The stuff your car used to soak up to where you didn't notice? HA, not anymore! The shocks are downright bouncy and shakey no matter what the shock setting until you're at highway speeds, and then they just get firm and stiff. They DO soak up bumps crazy well, but really what they're soaking up are bump impulse. They don't really do well with cracked pavement or road ruts or the goobery road repair stuff. You will feel EVERYTHING, which is what you want for a TRACK suspension. You think you want that on a STREET suspension but you're not really aware of just how much a good street setup does not transmit to the chassis/driver. To be clear-- I hate driving the car because of the clunks. I don't mind the street manners of the shocks because I don't have to daily drive it and it's the clunking that is driving me to insanity. They still suck as far as street manners go, which will be a dealbreaker for people who DO want to DD the suspension, it's just not my primary complaint.

Now, on to the TCKs. I went from 600/650 rates on the DAs to similar rates on the MCSs, with no other change (at the time). Rubber bushings, oh how I miss thee, stock sways and endlinks, rubber RSMs, and spherical camber plates. Aside from the old TCK rattle, which I understand has been corrected on new production, the TCKs were sublimely comfortable. Stiff, yes, but they had good road manners, they didn't fall apart or cause my kidney to liquefy on ripply pavement. They did not handle bump impulse in any spectacular way but they did smoothen out the bad qualities of the road in a way I've never felt my MCSs do.

Honestly I should've kept them. I'm not going to be winning plastic trophies anytime soon, and I effing hate driving the car on the road anymore. Also, CLUNK.

So, I bought another E36, and life was good. The track car with the fancy suspension sat in the garage and got brought out to play once or twice a month, and the bone stock E36 got to drive around a ton. When its shocks died, I had a crisis of what to replace with, because stock can't be good, right? I replaced with brand new OE all the things, and man, that was niiiiiiice. It's worn out a bit since then, hence the Koni/Spring idea, but good stock suspension blows the MCSs out of the water for road manners.

Ramble ramble ramble don't throw kilobucks at racecar parts for your non-raced street car ramble ramble get off my lawn.
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 02:20:42 AM   #55
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

Oh man, the last two posts, LOL. 30 year old me relates to every bit of it (and in the back of my mind, I'm questioning my mono FCAB, mono RSM decision).
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 03:24:59 AM   #56
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

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Originally Posted by WyattH View Post
How would 450/500 springs compare to 350/400 or 400/450 on TCK SAs at the same (relatively softer) rebound? Much difference from 50-100lb/in?
I have 450/500 now, it's a taut/controlled feeling and a nice balance for a weekend car but I'm curious now based on feedback in here saying these shocks are at their best with softer springs.
100lbs is a massive difference in my experience - I've done that a couple times and vastly prefer the softer springs. The car still handles great but the suspension really breaths with the road keeping the chassis much more calm over crests, peaks and valleys. Plus the initial impact is softened significantly. I actually think the car "handles" better on the street with softer springs. It may not corner quite as flat but all other aspects of driving are much improved. Hitting a large dip or crest at speed with stiff springs is not pretty while soft springs just soak it up with very little drama. That's how I define good handling - a setup that lets me point the car down any road and just haul ass without drama.

I couldn't even drive my 36M with 450/500 TCK SAs and found it to be quite nice with 300/400 springs - I mean literally that different. I HATED it with the stiffer springs - absolutely horrible street manners, chassis moving with the road way too much. It wasn't so much the harshness but more just the general abruptness of the chassis movements. To properly control those rates the TCKs had to be firmed up and just felt like shit. I later did the same thing with PSS9s - wasn't fond of them with their stiff stock rates but once I converted them to300/400 TCK springs it was a totally different car.

You may like your car now but I can virtually assure you that you'd like it much more with more relaxed rates. A stock 46M is anything but soft and has 170/400 rates give or take.
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 04:59:28 AM   #57
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

^ Thanks, Eric. I value your feedback. What's your take on rates f/r? Same, +50f, +100f? Let's assume stock sways.
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 12:33:56 PM   #58
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

has anybody tried custom valved remote reservoir units for softer "street" springs.

it sounds to me like all the high end dampers are valved for higher track spring rates. i can understand peoples frustration, as dampers are probably the most important part of the chassis. i have konis on the M3, and had koni 8041s on the miata, but i wouldn't want to go any stiffer for street use.
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 02:19:21 PM   #59
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

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^ Thanks, Eric. I value your feedback. What's your take on rates f/r? Same, +50f, +100f? Let's assume stock sways.
I always run as much split as practical given the setup in question. This is for two reasons:

1. The ride quality is always better with a softer front setup - there is less energy transferred into the cabin and so the overall experience is nicer.

2. Pitch. This is what FCM calls 'flat ride' and it's really just boils down to this: you want the front wheel rate to be slightly less than the rear wheel rate for the 'flattest' (fore/aft) chassis movements. The basic principle is that since the front always hits the bump first, it must 'settle' at a slower rate than the rear such that by the time the rear has hit the bump, both ends settle together. This is very obvious in a stock M3 when you hit a large dip at 90mph while going straight - the entire chassis moves up/down while its rake never changes.

Now, hit that same dip with a narrow rate delta and the front will settle instantly while the rear is slower, giving the sensation that the rear is soft/squatty - the car just feels unnatural and it bothers me. It may not bother you and you may not even notice.

I've looked into trying to approximate the stock rates with coilovers - Eibach does make very soft/long 2.5" front linear springs but given my experience trying many 'experiments' I'd bet money that such a soft/long linear spring would be difficult to get to work right - the ride height adjustment may not be at all where we want it. Could be wrong, though. I've always thought a 220F/400R might be the sweet spot but certainly 300/400 would be great. I talked to TCK recently and he said that the 400 rear is essentially the same as the stock rate. GC also makes a 430 rear.

-------------------------------------

Ultimately what I want is a custom-valved monotube coilover with stock-ish spring rates. The monotube has many technical benefits over the twin tube but they're generally valved VERY aggressively and so they're uncomfortable out of the box. Aftermarket shock builders think everyone wants a track car for the street and fail to realize that many of us just want the absolute best shock technology but tailored for a sport street ride. FCM can do this but not for a reasonable cost especially given that custom shock valving takes trial and error.

Technology aside, TCK is the only company that seems to really understand the street part.... they've valved their dampers to be 'comfortable' and noone else has. I just wish they were A) compatible with the OE strut mounts and, to a lesser degree, B) monotube for the better fluid/heat control.
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Old Sat, Oct-14-2017, 02:33:03 PM   #60
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Default Re: 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail?

I'll follow up to Bimmerman325i's post above. I have MCS 2WNRs with 550f/650r springs and in the six months I've run them I've done nine track days,multiple autocross events and approx.1500 street miles. I would echo his description of their track behavior exactly - they are absolutely amazing! The car is incredibly well composed on track and virtually nothing upsets it. A huge step up from the AST 4100s I ran previously for seven years with everything else in the suspension unchanged. They deliver what they promise and the hype is warranted IMO. And it's been a very enjoyable learning experience dialing them in for track and autocross.

For street use I share many of his observations although my experience has been a little better than his in some respects. First,I am in total agreement that this is not a street suspension. It appears I've had a little better luck in finding a decent ride on the street but my car is heavier,has softer spring rates and a full interior. The soft shock settings are indeed bouncy and the car feels underdamped but I feel like I've been able to adjust that out and find a reasonably comfortable range of adjustment. He is correct that large dips and impacts are felt much more than with a stock(ish) suspension and there's no avoiding it or so it seems so far. I would never buy these for predominantly street use because,as he says,you feel everything and will probably be disappointed.

In terms of NVH,My experience has been similar. The rear shocks do rattle at low speeds over expansion joints and sharp impacts but not noticeable at highway speeds. I initially installed them with spherical RSMs and the noise was pretty annoying. I lived with it for awhile but finally re-installed my Rogue RSMs (albeit with their harder durometer rubber bushings) and the noise is diminished by about 90% so much improved. It is barely noticeable now. Other than the Vorshlag camber plates I have no other spherical bushings anywhere and the camber plates are dead silent but obviously don't isolate like the stock mounts. That's a trade off I gladly accept for the increased performance and decreased tire wear they provide. Overall,I feel that the increase in NVH is pretty minimal after removing the spherical RSMs.

I think,in the end,one should be honest with themselves about how they use the car and have realistic expectations with respect to what they want from a suspension. Everything is a compromise and no suspension is going to do everything well across the spectrum of comfortable street use to track use. I am very happy with the MCS suspension for the way I currently use and enjoy the car. That said,the day I decide to quit doing track days I'll go to a stock type suspension with either stock or Eibach springs with Konis with TCK top adjustable rear shocks. I have the intact stock suspension with 18k miles in my basement and it calls my name at times when I look at it
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Discussing 13.5F/13R & 19's - most comfortable suspension avail? 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)