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E46 Suspension Refresh help

Discussion in 'E46 (1999-2006)' started by pbenjamin, Mar 11, 2009.

    pbenjamin guest

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    I have a 330i sport package with 75K and would like to refresh my suspension back to new or better with slight lowering while maintaining ride quality . I plan to keep the stock M68 rims. I have some ideas and would like to have some inputs which components I should replace while refreshing the suspension.

    - Bilstein PSS Kit HE5-C684-H0
    - New Rear Shock Tower Mounts (Possibly repair model from TMS?)
    - New front upper strut mounts
    - E46 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates
    - E46 ZHP Sport Control Arms with solid ball joints
    - Spring perches? if so what specifications
    - Bushings? front? back? recommendations please?

    Have I missed anything? If so what? and do I have stuff listed that I shouldn't replace?

    Thank you,
    Paul
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    mooseheadm5

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    You won't need spring perches. Front control arm bushing should be done for sure, and you will have to anyway when you put on new control arms. The rear bushings should be renewed as necessary. You know that this will give you a very stiff ride, correct?

    pbenjamin guest

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    Stiffer yes...but I wouldn't know how stiff

    I realize this will be a tight stiff ride. But I am not sure how stiff it will be with the PSS kit. I should probably take a ride in someone's car who has similar mod.

    Do you have recommendations for particular front control arm bushings and rear bushings?

    Thank you,
    paul
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    shanneba

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    I have the PSS10 setup on my 2003 330Ci. The struts/shocks can be adjusted softer than the stock sport suspension. I currently have my front / rear set to #4 and it seems to about match the original setup. I tried settings 1 - 3 and it seemed softer than the original suspension.
    I haven't replaced the control arms or bushing yet, maybe later this year.
    BMP design has front control arms with replaceable ball joints.
    I would probably go with the ZHP BMW front control arms.
    Have you considered adding front / rear sway bars? The TMS bars made a big differnce in the cornering of my car.

    pbenjamin guest

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    Here is what I ended up ordering

    I ended up ordering all the below components from TMS. The Strong Strut I ordered from Strong Strut. We will see how this all works maybe some control arms in the future....

    Bilstein PSS HE5-C684-H0
    ZHP Control Arms 31122282121 & 31122282122
    E46 Control Arm Bushing Kit 31126757623
    E46 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates (Pair) 51717036781
    E30, E36,E46 Aluminum Rear Shock Tower Mounts (pair) JTD909
    E36/E46 Rear Control Arm Bushings / Trailing Arm Bushings (pair) 33322228153
    Strong Strut Tower Brace


    Paul
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    mooseheadm5

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    That part number does not come up on the catalog. Which bushing is it? Are you doing all this work yourself?

    pbenjamin guest

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    mooseheadm5

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    If they have the special tool, replacing those is easy. If not, then it will cost you a lot of money because the trailing arm will have to be removed from the car. Just so you know, most shops do not like it when you bring your own parts. Parts sales are part of a shop's revenue stream, and when a shop orders their own parts they can stand behind their work. Our shop almost always flat out refuses to install customer suppied parts unless we know the customer very well. I am not saying that the parts you are buying are of low quality, but if you were to ever provide a part that failed prematurely who would you blame? The shop would not have to warranty the repair, but you would certainly be mad at them because they will charge you the same amount of labor again to make it right. It does not usually turn out well when we let customers supply their own parts, so make sure that your shop is OK with it.

    pbenjamin guest

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    Thank you for your inputs. Before I placed my order, I spoke with the owner of the shop and asked him if his preference was to order the parts or for me to order them. He seemed to prefer that I order the parts and gave me an installation price. He recommeded I place my order with Doug from TMS. I should be having everything installed within a couple of weeks. I'll let you know how things go.

    Paul

    pbenjamin guest

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    Completed.......

    The suspension went into the car today. Just a recap. My car is a 2002 330i with the ZSP sport package. That being said, when comparing the new suspension to the original sport package suspension there is no OMG the ride quality now sucks. Quite the contrary, The ride is very composed and the quality is still there. The car is tighter and drives where it is pointed. When moving the steering wheel rapidly from left to right and back again continuouly at moderate speed (30 mph) the car recovers from the left to right and right to left direction very quicky and control is is maintained better than the stock suspension when it was new and definitely better than the 75K mile suspension it replaced. On the highway, the floating feeling that had developed as the original suspension wore is gone, resulting in renewing the level of confidence when driving at very high speeds. Yes very illegal speeds. Weirdly, when driving city streets at low speeds the suspension seems more bouncier over bumps.

    Overall I am very pleased with the upgrades and am wondering how it will be as it settles in. In a couple of weeks I will have the alignment checked and aligned accordingly.

    For reference, this is a list of the upgrades.

    Part No/Description
    HE5-C684-H0/E46 323i/325/328/330 Bilstein PSS Coil Over Suspension
    JTD909/E30, E36, E46 Aluminum Rear Shock Tower Mounts (pair)
    33322228153/E36/E46 Rear Control Arm Bushings / Trailing Arm Bushings (pair)
    31126757623/E46 Control Arm Bushing Kit
    31122282121/2/E46 ZHP Sport Control Arm (fit Z4) (Left & Right)
    TSU9975100/TMS Rear Shock Tower Mount Reinforcement Kit
    51717036781/E46 Strut Tower Reinforcement Plates (Pair)
    E46 Strong-Strut Tower Brace/E46 series Competition-Lightweight (CL) front Strong-Strut Tower Brace
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    shanneba

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    What settings are you running on the shocks?

    How do you like it after about a month?

    pbenjamin guest

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    The Bilstein PSS kit that I installed only has ride height adjustment and no dampening adjustment like the PSS9 or PSS10 kits. Supposedly, the PSS dampening is equal to about a 6 in relation to the PSS9 or PSS10 where 1 is the softest.

    The drop on my car is about 1 inch lower than stock all the way around with the rear slighly lower. I brought the car to Turner Motor Sports to tweak the ride height. They ended up lowering the rear a tad. The aligment is almost all perfectly within BMW specifications except the left front camber which is a tad out of spec.

    After a month I really like the ride...
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    shanneba

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    I thought setting 3-4 was about like the original shocks when new on my PSS10. The PSS10 does have 1 as the softest and 10 as the firmest setting. Mine dropped about 3/4", it already had the BMW sport suspension (330Ci). I have been very happy with my upgrade.

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