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Thread: Suspension Overhaul FAQ

  1. #76
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    Aug 2008
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    nsw sydney
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    e36 318i turbo td05
    just a quick question, ive used all three shims and found they were too thin to actually get much camber from the mod, so i added one washer to the shim and got about -3 deg (guestimate) from the mod, at which point does this mod become dangerous? how much camber is too much for track use i was thinking mega camber and adding 2 washers thick, if the tyres dont rub then is it not too much? im rolling on 15" rims atm with 205 60 15 tyres and no rubbing at all, but there is alot of camber, more then the rear atm

  2. #77
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    It becomes dangerous if you are stressing the connection point between the shock bottom and the knuckle too heavily. That being not enough thread engagement or too wonky of an angle. I'm going to agree with joenationwide here and quote his numbers on how much is 'safe' to extract from this approach.

    From here.
    Camber change - shim thickness in mm
    0.5 deg - 1.16mm
    1.0 deg - 2.63mm
    1.5 deg - 4.00mm (just for reference, not recommended)
    2.0 deg - 5.44mm (just for reference, do not use)
    2.5 deg - 6.81mm (just for reference, do not use)
    If you're at -3 from shims alone I would consider yourself well beyond danger territory.

    As far as how much front camber is wise on track? E36 front geometry lovesss negative camber and stiff spring rates (fat sway bars if you can't run a super stiff spring). I've seen people run -6 deg on track before. Getting this via camber plates is the only sane approach.
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
    Suspension Overhaul FAQ

  3. #78
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    267 M3, 303 740i M-Sport
    how much thickness (please in milimeters) is safe to use on the stock bolts for cambering?I'm not sure if my measurements are correct but it seems the bolts get 12~13mm of engagement in the knuckle

    someone please correct me if i m wrong
    -Rich-


  4. #79
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    Jun 2003
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    charlotte, nc
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    97 dakar yellow II M
    does anyone know how much of a difference there is in an M3 LCA(wishbone) and one from another E36 328? I just remembered and at the time it didn't seem odd that when I hit a curb 6 years ago the shop replaced my passenger side LCA with one from a 328. I checked realoem and they a re different part numbers, should I go ahead and order the correct replacement part? The alignment doesn't seem that far off but I'd rather be safe than sorry and cause premature tire wear. The new tire that got replaced when they replaced the wishbone lasted about 5 years and when it did go, it WENT- shredded on the highway.

  5. #80
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    267 M3, 303 740i M-Sport
    Quote Originally Posted by 97DAKARM3 View Post
    does anyone know how much of a difference there is in an M3 LCA(wishbone) and one from another E36 328? I just remembered and at the time it didn't seem odd that when I hit a curb 6 years ago the shop replaced my passenger side LCA with one from a 328. I checked realoem and they a re different part numbers, should I go ahead and order the correct replacement part? The alignment doesn't seem that far off but I'd rather be safe than sorry and cause premature tire wear. The new tire that got replaced when they replaced the wishbone lasted about 5 years and when it did go, it WENT- shredded on the highway.

    The LCA of the 96-99 M3 and the 325-8-3 are the same. They are interchangeable with no major issues (get printout from your alignment shop to confirm).

    the normal 3 has the outer ball joint separate and is pressed into the LCA whereas the M3 has an intergral balljoint, meaning that if the M3's outer ball joint goes bad, you ave to replace the whole LCA.

    Some people say the M3's integral balljoint adds to the suspension's performance but I do not know if that is true at all. You're fine with the "lower grade arm"

    but if you do wanna replace your LCA get em from trademotion.com
    31122228461 for left (M3)
    31122228462 for right (M3)

    good luck

    -Rich-


  6. #81
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    97 dakar yellow II M
    isn't it also a material difference? One being forged and the other cast or something like that?

  7. #82
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    Sep 2007
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    '95 M3
    Hey quick question Spoonman,

    Does the rear upper and lower control arms have two balljoints per arm?

    I ask because on real OEM it looks like it does but im not sure. On GC's site it sells upper/lower bearings in pairs, so does that mean each pair is per side and I have to order two to complete both sides? Or is the pair already for both sides?

    http://www.ground-control-store.com/...hp/II=835/CA=6


  8. #83
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    I've seen those before, I think in this topic even. My educated guess on them was they were for the inner upper control arm (item 6), and stock inner lower camber arm (item 8, aftermarket will usually replace this bushing). Both these placements are bushings from the factory, and generally remain bushings on street cars - not much deflection goes on here it seems, they don't wear out that fast.

    The outer upper control arm where it attaches to the trailing arm is always a ball joint across all E36s (item 2). The lower camber arm to trailing arm connection (item 3) is a bushing on the non-M cars, and a ball joint identical to item 2 on M3s.

    These would, I assume, be sold as a matched pair. You buy the uppers for both right and left upper inner, and the lowers for both right and left lower if you're using stock arms. I have no direct experience with these parts so this is all speculation.
    "I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence or insanity to anyone, but they've always worked for me." - Hunter S. Thompson
    Suspension Overhaul FAQ

  9. #84
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    Feb 2010
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    e36 328i
    I installed some Bilstein shocks about 9000 miles ago. Is it too late to throw on some springs as well? I know you usually are supposed to install them at the same time.

  10. #85
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    Apr 2006
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    Melbourne FL
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    1992 318is, 1998 M3
    Is it true to replace the stock M3 rear lower control arm with an adjustable one requires lowering the entire diff to get the long inside bold out. Im finished with the front and have RTAB and shims on order. The car has been slightly lowered and everything I read on this forum seems to indicate a big advantage to being able to get more camber adjust on the rear end.

  11. #86
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    Oct 2005
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    North East PA
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    1970 2002; 1998 E36
    Quote Originally Posted by sew4412 View Post
    Is it true to replace the stock M3 rear lower control arm with an adjustable one requires lowering the entire diff to get the long inside bold out. Im finished with the front and have RTAB and shims on order. The car has been slightly lowered and everything I read on this forum seems to indicate a big advantage to being able to get more camber adjust on the rear end.
    one side is harder than the other but you can get them out with a little prying, jacking, and swearing.

    -E

    Quote Originally Posted by LazyAmerican View Post
    I installed some Bilstein shocks about 9000 miles ago. Is it too late to throw on some springs as well? I know you usually are supposed to install them at the same time.
    myth.
    Last edited by E36M3E; 03-01-2010 at 10:25 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
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  12. #87
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    93 318i, 01 CR-V
    Quote Originally Posted by LazyAmerican View Post
    I installed some Bilstein shocks about 9000 miles ago. Is it too late to throw on some springs as well? I know you usually are supposed to install them at the same time.
    It's not at all too late. It's just easier to do both at the same time since you'll have the strut assemblies out.

  13. #88
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    Mar 2010
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    Boston, MA
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    have a couple
    who makes bushing kits?

  14. #89
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    Jan 2010
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    Calgary,Alberta,Canada
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    My Cars
    99 M3 Vert, 00 323 sedan
    I would like to put 225 45 17 -front, 245 40 17 - rear with style 68 rims from a 330 on a 94 325 cab, wondering if there are issues with this ?
    I also have a set of 98 M3 springs and shocks, can these fit / be used. ?
    I have been looking around and getting different responses as to if these [COLOR=blue! important][COLOR=blue! important]wheels[/COLOR][/COLOR] and rims will work.....Can you give me any advice ?

  15. #90
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    Apr 2005
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    99 M3, 06 Evo MR #7 STU
    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Spoonman View Post
    The strut mounts to the steering knuckle using two bolts per side [31311136465 - item 3 in the diagram] that comes with a washer permanently affixed and coated with threadlocker. These are specced for replacement every time they are removed.
    Is there anything else that stands out as something that should be replaced during a spring/strut swap?

    I'll be in there soon with some E36M3E housings, just wondering what else to order.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evil Spoonman View Post
    NOTE: If anybody wants to donate server space I can turn this into a website instead (more navigation and organization options).
    BTW, if you are still interested in this drop me a PM. Dreamhost = lots of space and multiple accounts.
    Last edited by ButtDyno; 04-19-2010 at 10:53 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost
    project:BDR | 1999 M3 | 2006 Evo MR (STU #7)

    Me at the Nurburgring (in someone else's E36)

  16. #91
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    1997 328is Bmw
    This is a GREAT thread, cuts search time down by ALOT! Anyways, something I want to get cleared up.

    I have a 97 328is and would like to upgrade to an ///M suspension set up and want to see if I have this correct before jumping in there...

    I can use/order front struts for an ///M as long as I have front hats,strut bearing mounts and spindles to complement these struts.

    What I am not sure about is if I NEED the ///M front control arms to make this set up work? I am aware the bushing set up are a bit different and the struts from the ///M have the spot to hook up the sway bars... but still unclear if I can get away with keeping my Non-M control arms. Any response would be a helpful one! Thanks!

  17. #92
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    Jan 2009
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    Hempstead, NY/Kennesaw, GA
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    1995 BMW 318i
    Hi, there. I've been wanting to do some maintenance on my front end suspension, and I have a couple of quick questions. Basically, I'm new to DIY stuff, and I'm trying to slowly get my feet wet in doing some repairs myself. Sometimes lately, I've been hearing a slight creak/pop when I start braking coming from the front end. I asked a while back on here, and I was led to believe my sway bar bushings and possibly ball joints are on the way out.

    Anyhow, I'm back from school for the summer, and it looks like I'll have some time to get everything started. I figured a good place to start would be replacing the front sway bar bushings as well as the linkage. I took a look underneath, and most of the bushings look like it's time. Anyhow, with that lengthy intro, I guess I'll get to my questions-

    First -- Assuming I properly jack up the car and have standard socket/box end wrenches and a torque wrench, is there anything else special that I'd need to do the replacement?

    Second -- What kind of tension is on the sway bar? I'm less worried about the bushings than I am about the end linkage. When I undo the end pieces, am I going to have anything spring apart on me, or is everything there under pretty low tension?

    Third -- Would something as minor as changing out the sway bar bushings and end links require a realignment once I take care of it? I ask because as I get more money over the summer (and assuming I get the confidence if I successfully replace the sway bar components), I'm probably going to try to replace the control arms and control arm bushings since the ball joints are old and should be replaced. I know with something like that I'd need an alignment, so I'd rather consolidate my repairs if I'll need one after the sway bar work.

    I'll add that besides the small clunk/pop, there's nothing else wrong -- the steering feels fine, nothing's pulling, and I had the shocks/struts replaced about 12,000 miles ago. I just want to do some more preventative stuff and a visual/tactile inspection confirms that things down there are starting to get worn. And I'm only interested in replacing stock things (I've already found the OEM parts on Pelican), as it's a DD that I never track or anything like that ('95 318i).

    Also while I'm asking, I know some rear bushings and pieces probably need replacing too -- while I'm at it, I may as well tackle the rear sway bar end links/bushings -- is there anything fundamentally different there, or would it be essentially the same as the sway bar fixes on the front?

    Thanks for any help, and I apologize if this is the wrong thread (seemed most appropriate, and I figured you guys don't want a new thread for something that could be answered here).

  18. #93
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    Apr 2009
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    Boston, MA
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    i can haz wheelz
    How hard is it to change #8? I have a couple of the bushings new in their packaging, but I've never gotten around to changing them (I think I ordered them by mistake.) Are they worth doing if they aint broke?



    I'm finishing up my RTABs tomorrow so if it makes sense to do them at the same time, I will.
    Last edited by numbah9; 06-12-2010 at 09:16 PM.

  19. #94
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    Jul 2010
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    1992 BMW 318IS
    Would anybody happen to know the dimensions and theading of the hex bolt that goes through the bottom of the shock?

  20. #95
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    Aug 2007
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    Portland, OR
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    1999 M3

    Dropping the subframe and bearing job E36 M3

    I have most of the car apart at this point except the inner wishbone bushings, lower outer bushings, e-brake connection to trailing arm, and of course the subframe and diff isn't down, but all else is cleared out of the way.
    Questions:
    1. I've PB Blaster'd the e-brake "metal grommet" what is the key to getting that off?
    2. Inner bushing bolts won't come out without subframe down and diff...am I missing something here?
    3. Is there a trick to getting the lower outer bushing bolts out?
    4. The disc is off and the axle is out, do I need to separate the hub from trailing arm before I yank it out and put it on a press?

    I have the service manual that is about no use when it comes to this....

    Thank you
    R

  21. #96
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    2007 BMW 530Xi

    Wobbling

    I'm looking at overhauling my entire front suspension and this article has been a great starting point. The main reason I want to do this is because my steering wheel shakes when I am going between 35 and 40 mph but its very smooth all the way up to 95+. I'm wondering if this is indicative of a specific problem or if I should just do the whole thing.

  22. #97
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    2003 Bmw m3 Coupe
    I'm getting ready to install my H&R sport cup Kit and I ordered rear HD strut mounts with reinforcement plates. plus new front strut mounts... Do I need bump stops or does the kit include them?

    Ok i ordered bump stops.. not included.
    Last edited by jdamore44; 08-14-2010 at 11:04 PM.

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  23. #98
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    '93 318is, '95 M3
    Quote Originally Posted by Cameron318 View Post
    Would anybody happen to know the dimensions and theading of the hex bolt that goes through the bottom of the shock?
    The stock lower STRUT bolts are M12 x 1.75mm pitch x 17mm long. Replace with either 20 or 25mm length. Also, get class 10.9 bolts, not class 8.8. The class 10.9 is very close to a grade 8, which is what you want for such highly stressed bolts. When I checked at a well stocked True Hardware, the standard hex head M12 x 1.75 x 25mm in class 8.8 was $ 0.95 each. The class 10.9 bolts, which had a flanged hex head, were $ 2.40 each. I'm going to get mine, along with shim washers, from McMaster-Carr (98093A746 for the bolts and 98055A127 for 0.3mm shim washers).

    If your question was really about the rear lower SHOCK bolt, then I haven't measured that one.
    Last edited by CoolDad; 09-01-2010 at 09:00 PM.

  24. #99
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    1993 325i sedan
    I have a 93 325 I with air ride suspension ....love the look of it lowered!

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by bennyboom325i View Post
    I have a 93 325 I with air ride suspension ....love the look of it lowered!
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