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Questions regarding suspension mods

Discussion in 'E46 M3 (2001-2006)' started by KCP37, Sep 10, 2008.

    KCP37 guest

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    Hey, everyone. It's time for me to start thinking about mods. for my '05coupe. I'm looking for a tighter, more responsive feel. I'll only do an occasional DE/ track day. Any opinions on Dinan stage 2 or 3 suspension vs. PSS10? I've heard modified suspension set-ups (particularly lowered) can cause rear subframe failure. Is this true. Is there a certain model year that is more prone to subframe failure?
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    CRKrieger

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    It isn't the subframe that fails. The subframe tears out the mounting points from the body. Do a search for "E46 subframe mount failure" in Google and you'll find plenty of information on the issue.

    KCP37 guest

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    Thanks for the reply. I've done quite a few searches on google prior to this post. Half seem to be people whining, and the others give a number of opinions. Some say it's caused by hard driving/ auto-x/ track time (isn't that why we buy M-cars anyway?), others say suspension set-up, some even say it's certain model years. I can't seem to find an answer from a reliable source.......which is why I posted it here. Just want any info you guys might have regarding suspension mods, and wheather they're worth it or not.
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    CRKrieger

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    I'd say, if it hasn't happened to your car and you're just worrying, you might be whining. If it has happened to you, that's not whining. You got a right to be downright bitchy.
    It certainly could be aggravated by driving conditions and more suspension stresses passed on to the body mounts, but the fact that it happens on E46 chassis suggests that BMW never managed to resolve it for the entire decade of the '90s when they had the E36 to work on. So if it's confined to particular years, I don't know what the last one would be. You'd think someone would have noticed a redesign or different construction in that area if they fixed the problem. Otherwise, I would have to assume it's there for all E46s. BMW will obviously try to find anything else to blame, but the simple fact is that it shouldn't be happening at all. It doesn't happen to E24s, E28s, or E30s, and they're all 15-30 years old and many have been modified all to hell. They may rust there, but they don't break.
    BMW is certainly not going to tell you of its failures (Newer BMW motorcycles have a similar problem with final drive units that have what many think is an unacceptably high failure rate - and BMW won't acknowledge it.). So you have to gather what information you can and decide for yourself. I made my decision when I bought yet another E28 - and I won't hesitate to slap sport springs & shocks into it. [We know we have to reinforce the front antiroll mounts - maybe $30 of welding. Nobody can be bothered to complain about a fix that's that cheap.] Only you can decide if you want to deal with a ~$3000 repair that may not be covered by warranty.

    KCP37 guest

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    CRKrieger

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    No; you accused them of whining. I was agreeing with you, to an extent, in that some of those who are complaining loudest have had nothing happen to them. See, I said 'might' up there. Jeez, read the thread.

    KCP37 guest

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    Ok, let me rephrase.....about half of the links are people trying to organize class-action lawsuits, writing letters (of varying tone) to BMW NA, or otherwise saying how ridiculous it is that the problem is happening. I'd prefer links that discuss WHY it might happen. What the frequency is, etc. That would be much more productive for everyone, don't you think?
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    CRKrieger

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    Yes; it probably would be more productive, except for a few things.

    First, we can't get reliable information on the frequency of failure. The one place that might have the numbers is BMW and they sure aren't going to share them so somebody can sue them over it. We are left with a collection of anecdotal occurrences from unfortunate victims. If someone can organize them, then a class action suit might be the best answer. It worked for a bunch of repainted E28 M5s ...

    The second reason - WHY - is similarly tied up with BMW. They might have a more definitive answer, but why should they tell you if they can claim that you did something as rash as driving your car 'briskly' with flagrant disregard of your suspension mounting points? No one has managed to pony up the funds to buy a fleet of E36s or E46s to destructively test them and find the reason they break. I don't expect that anyone will. The end result will be a recognition that, like those of us with the E28's notorious front-end shimmy, "they all do that".

    Finally, BMW has already moved on. They are taking the 'obstructionist' attitude and choosing to ignore the problem. They no longer build E36s or E46s, so why should they bother figuring out how to fix them? If there are enthusiasts who care enough, there will be a common 'fix' available at a somewhat reasonable cost in the future. Otherwise, the choice will be the same as in a 2002 or a 320i with rear shock tower rust. Fix it or throw it away.

    I don't envy your position. I have no simple or cheap answer for you. Anecdotally, your car might rip those mounts out whether you modify it or not. You might consider a preemptive reinforcement so that you can safely modify it. Either of those alternatives is far more than I want to spend on a car. That's why I drive a 21-year-old BMW ...

    KCP37 guest

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    Well, I think the best answer is a kit like turner motorsports makes. And believe me. After a lot of thought, I've even asked myself if maybe I should have bought an older car that I could more easily afford to abuse/fix......hind-sight is 20/20.
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    CRKrieger

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    Hey, there's still time ... Get yourself over to MyE28.com and check out our For Sale forum. FWIW, the E28 is about the same size as the E46.

    KCP37 guest

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    Lol......Maybe the next one. This one's a keeper.

    KCP37 guest

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    Suspension kits

    Ok, back to the orginal questions. Does anyone have any opinions or feedback regarding bilstein PSS9/10 vs Dinan suspension kits

    armram guest

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    Only ridden in one, and it was actually more complian than Dinan's while not. Difficult for me to explain, but that was what it felt like. It does not lower the car.

    My son and I were just at OktoberFest where he when thru DE with his 2005 M3.
    I spent some folks speaking re their suspension and there is everything from GC, TCKline, Turner and PSS10.
    All spoke in about the same terms as to lowering additinal stiffness etc. By far the harshes riding one was the GC.

    My son plans to have Turner install the reionforcement kit since he plans to DE/Track days quite a bit the next couple of years.

    KCP37 guest

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    Thanks for the reply. I always read great things about Dinan, but bilstein has a good reputation as well. I know more Porsche guys than BMW guys. They complain about the PSS9 being too harsh on
    911's. I'm glad to get an opinion re: M3's. I'd like to go to O'fest next year. It would be great for talking to guys about mods/hearing exhausts, etc.

    tommyboy guest

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    body mods

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

    My heart was broken last week 2 times i hit a little bamby and i riped up my fender and hood.I feel terible for the little sucker but he almost killed me. So now my mint 03 e46 m3 is not mint anymore {10k in damage}
    Im looking to replace oe hood with carbon fibre {vorsteiner .. ?}, anybody know somebody who has-had any expiriance with good or bad fitment ,look, places to call and $$$$ pricing
    The body shop told me its hard to find good product so i figured ill ask the PROS {you guys and girls}
    I appretiate all your advice and help in advance
    Tommy

    KCP37 guest

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    I've heard that vorsteiner is good. It's available on a lot of sites like modbargains.com, bimmerpeformancestore.com. I have heard that the cheaper versions have poor fitment. I hear that EAS (europeanautosource.com) makes excellent products. However, I don't have any personal experience.
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    EuroWerkz1

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    M3 suspension mods

    I have experience with and sell most all of the suspensions you have mentioned on E46 M3's. Contact me off-forum for opinions and recommendations

    tommyboy guest

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    body mods

    Thanks KC will check their stuff outand let you know.
    Tommy

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