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Thread: Lets talk E30 suspension techniques for drift

  1. #1
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    Lets talk E30 suspension techniques for drift

    So i have a 87 325is and have been adding things to it here and there. I just recently took off my race skids cross brace because it didnt fit with my suspension techniques 22mm sway bar.

    I have now driven the car without the brace and it feels much better staying sideways into a corner and also when i exit on the gas. With the brace i needed more steering inputs and chages it seems. It also snapped sideways more with the brace. Maybe since im still a beginner im not ready for it. I spoke with some ppl at a local event and they also said you dont want the front too stiff for drifting.

    so all that said does anyone drift with a cross brace up front. or is it more for auto x and i should concentrate more on full chassis strength with a cage and go from there.

    or is 22/19mm sways and some strut braces good...or do i not want a strut brace up front? cause ive also heard them shock braces dont do anything. also seem some vids with cars drifting with front strut bars, but they take off the bar...for more flex up front im guessing???

    Im ordering ground control coils soon also and want to know how stiff i can go with front/rear spring rates while it being dd'able. it may be a miserable dd for the passenger but i loove feeling everything
    i hear some ppl with 600/700 setups or something but that seems a bit much for dd. ive never rode in such a car tho
    Last edited by ROLLingKING; 09-29-2011 at 01:30 AM.

  2. #2
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    I'll give you my quick 2 second shpeal. Take it or leave it; it's up to you.

    If you want to go drift, go full on with your car as a race car. Any mod towards comfort will make the car handle worse.

    I run stock front sway and no rear sway. 12k/18k springs (~650/~1050). Several others run this setup including Eric Mahl in GA IIRC. You want stiff as possible in the rear to make it easier to break loose but also make up for no anti roll bar. Springs (on a smooth surface) should be your primary source of anti roll.

    As far as cross braces and stuff are concerned, I run the peerless skid plate. It made no difference in my car's handling and I'm 100% sure it didn't in yours either. It's a placebo effect. Only a true race car driver might notice the addition of a few braces and bars. Even that I found doubtful. It's like that cone filter making your car "respond faster". It's BS. Get that out of your head right now.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by protomor View Post
    Only a true race car driver might notice the addition of a few braces and bars. Even that I found doubtful.
    You have obviously never driven a mustang before and after subframe connectors.

  4. #4
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    lol true. didn't think about that.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  5. #5
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    I am a firm believer in the x-brace on the E36 for the same reason, I know I noticed a difference right through the wheel, and in how the car behaved/responded to steering input.

  6. #6
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    I disagree. But you are entitled to your opinion good sir. I do agree with the mustang tho. That thing is floppier than me at a gay bar.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  7. #7
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    Stiff spring rates are overrated. My fronts are 480 and rears are 336 and no swaybars.. love it.

    E30 Turbo 2.8L - 60ft - 1.70 :: 1/8th - 6.99 :: MPH - 105.47 :: 1/4 - 10.66 :: MPH - 132.53
    Daily E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.790 :: 1/8th - 8.20 :: MPH - 84.68 :: 1/4 - 12.81 :: MPH - 107.05
    *RIP* E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.944 :: 1/8th - 8.64 :: MPH - 80.00 :: 1/4 - 13.55 :: MPH - 99.95
    Cool2seat's TTstg1 E36 M3 - 60ft - 2.123 :: 1/8th - 8.44 :: MPH - 87.71 :: 1/4 - 12.94 :: MPH - 107.95

  8. #8
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    Everybody's got your own style/preference. I for one just have off the shelf 10k (~550lb/in) springs all the way around on my BC's, I'd like to try something stiffer but they feel good to me.

    Chelsea told me he runs his dampers almost on full soft. Like a click or two from the bottom. I run mine almost full stiff, full soft feels terrible to me. So, to each their own.

  9. #9
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    ya i run my damp about half way... i actually had to tune them in when i was at a club loose event last year.

    E30 Turbo 2.8L - 60ft - 1.70 :: 1/8th - 6.99 :: MPH - 105.47 :: 1/4 - 10.66 :: MPH - 132.53
    Daily E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.790 :: 1/8th - 8.20 :: MPH - 84.68 :: 1/4 - 12.81 :: MPH - 107.05
    *RIP* E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.944 :: 1/8th - 8.64 :: MPH - 80.00 :: 1/4 - 13.55 :: MPH - 99.95
    Cool2seat's TTstg1 E36 M3 - 60ft - 2.123 :: 1/8th - 8.44 :: MPH - 87.71 :: 1/4 - 12.94 :: MPH - 107.95

  10. #10
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    i love soft suspension. makes for very stable transitions when running a sticky tire

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by rpm620 View Post
    Stiff spring rates are overrated. My fronts are 480 and rears are 336 and no swaybars.. love it.
    I always doubted your spring rates. Your rear rates are 30# stiffer than stock M3 rates but your fronts are 400% stiffer? That just seems off to me. Even with no sways. Then your rear should be REALLY floppy.

    Quote Originally Posted by bennyfizzle View Post
    Everybody's got your own style/preference. I for one just have off the shelf 10k (~550lb/in) springs all the way around on my BC's, I'd like to try something stiffer but they feel good to me.

    Chelsea told me he runs his dampers almost on full soft. Like a click or two from the bottom. I run mine almost full stiff, full soft feels terrible to me. So, to each their own.
    Not all dampers are created equal. They are valved for the spring sets you run. Or at least should be. For high power setups, they tend to like to run softer in order to gain traction to go faster mid drift. Near stock power, you need all the help you can get to break the rear loose but stay stable in the corner. You adjust to fit you and your car. But when you get up in the power/ability, you need to soften up to keep competitive.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpm620 View Post
    ya i run my damp about half way... i actually had to tune them in when i was at a club loose event last year.
    Chelsea runs BCs as well. I think the dampers are very stiff out of the box. It would make sense you'd have to tune them down if chelsea had to as well.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  12. #12
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    Okay..i like the.respondes so far....
    But Protomor, i disagree. U say ur running a skidplate..i had the race skids cross brace and it was a noticable difference. With it little sterring inputs made a large difference. Maybe youre speaking in theory but from experience it makes quite a difference. I mean the way it connects the front chassis how can u say its not doing anything?lol

    Quote Originally Posted by bennyfizzle
    I am a firm believer in the x-brace on the E36 for the same reason, I know I noticed a difference right through the wheel, and in how the car behaved/responded to steering input.
    I agree more with this guy..on the e30 its a huge difference.lol it makes the front soo much tighter and connected..my question still stands to protomor..are u speaking from just experience with a skid plate? They are not the same as a race skids cross brace. Not even close
    Last edited by ROLLingKING; 09-29-2011 at 03:40 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  13. #13
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    I've run with strut bars, without strut bars, with skid plates, without skid plates, with skid plates and strut bars. Yes your front frame does move around a bit. Enough to make a noticeable difference in steering? no. How would it? Your suspension is in charge of keeping the wheels on the ground. There is a small amount of bump steer if one side of the frame is tweaked up while the other is down but this is marginal as the steering rack is placed in between the frame rails.

    thus 1 inch of frame delta would be a fraction on one tie rod attachment point. Your bump steer would be more affected by suspension travel than frame travel. Again, I equate this to "my car responds faster with a cone filter" snake oil. I've driven a lot of E30s in various states of modifications.

    I have the weld in peerless skid plate. In comparison to the race skids plate, it is much more stout and does a significantly better job of joining the frame together then tying it to the subframe. I noticed no difference in steering input what so ever.

    Things that will make a difference in steering input:
    alignment
    tire choice
    rim choice
    tire compound
    bushing type/material and bushing age
    condition of balljoints

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  14. #14
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    YOU KEEP SAYING SKID PLATE!

    THAT IS NOT A CROSS BRACE. Cmon bruh..u listenin.haha
    But on a serious note i do hear what ur saying..basically i dont need the cross brace, NOT SKID PLATE, and will continue to sell my brace.
    The brace mounts to the steering rack and then braces it to the lollipops mounting holes. Totally not a skid pkate, right?

    And if you have not driven a e30 with a cross brace please stop pretending youve felt the difference..cause there clearly is one..and it does effect steering and how the car reacts..especiay when sliding..i just took mine off and was pleasently surprised to like it more
    Last edited by ROLLingKING; 09-29-2011 at 04:30 PM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  15. #15
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    my bad. I associate cross braces with skid plates since they essentially do the same thing in this instance. Although, with those attachment points, it will do significantly less for your frame movement than a skid plate welded to the front of the frame.

    I stand by my previous statements of its effects. It's all placebo.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  16. #16
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    I run front and rear strut bars, front and rear swaybars, f&r subframe reinforcement and 500/700 springs.. I like my chassis super stiff with the underpowered m20, however my last e30 had a s52 and i ran stock sways and 425/600 springs.. I feal each track/driver requires a different setup, you just gotta figure out what you like.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by protomor
    my bad. I associate cross braces with skid plates since they essentially do the same thing in this instance. Although, with those attachment points, it will do significantly less for your frame movement than a skid plate welded to the front of the frame.

    I stand by my previous statements of its effects. It's all placebo.
    Im sorry but you sound like an idiot. Its not placebo..a skid plate which covers your oil pan is not a cross brace.and they come nowhere near doing the same thing bruh. If u go and buy a skidplate for a suspension/chassis mod than your confused. Look up a "race skids cross brace". It bolts into the lollipop mounting point and then to the steering rack bolts.lol connecting the front part of the frame at actually crucial points.u should just let it go.u dont know what the cross brace does. So please stop talkin out of ur ass. U clearly either think u know it all or arent too good at understanding/ feeling car feedback. Id put money on the second.

    On another note im liking the responses. Everyone will have their opinions on what makes a car handle better for drift. Thanks guys for giving me ideas and a direction to go in. Ive already bought a couple parts and now had to sell em cause they just didnt work out so im trying to get things right once as best as i can

    Quote Originally Posted by 4ce30
    I run front and rear strut bars, front and rear swaybars, f&r subframe reinforcement and 500/700 springs.. I like my chassis super stiff with the underpowered m20, however my last e30 had a s52 and i ran stock sways and 425/600 springs.. I feal each track/driver requires a different setup, you just gotta figure out what you like.
    Is this one like the race skids cross brace and located up front velow the front sway? And id have to agree with u. I need a lot more seat time to learn and then ill get better with dialing in the suspension. Im prolly gonna look at similar spring rates. How does that hold up driving in the city streets is what i really wanna know. Is it too bumpy
    Last edited by MauiM3Mania; 03-31-2012 at 10:06 PM. Reason: profanity

  18. #18
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    Also i dont have D2's... also i was reading threw some of my emails from when i bought them.. i gotta figure out if they sent me E30 Rear springs or E36 Rear springs.. The Fronts are E36 M3 coilovers with an E30 D2 Camber plate and the rears idk.. lol...

    I will try to figure out whats what.. but if i do have the M3 rear springs then there like 520

    E30 Turbo 2.8L - 60ft - 1.70 :: 1/8th - 6.99 :: MPH - 105.47 :: 1/4 - 10.66 :: MPH - 132.53
    Daily E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.790 :: 1/8th - 8.20 :: MPH - 84.68 :: 1/4 - 12.81 :: MPH - 107.05
    *RIP* E36 M3 - 60ft - 1.944 :: 1/8th - 8.64 :: MPH - 80.00 :: 1/4 - 13.55 :: MPH - 99.95
    Cool2seat's TTstg1 E36 M3 - 60ft - 2.123 :: 1/8th - 8.44 :: MPH - 87.71 :: 1/4 - 12.94 :: MPH - 107.95

  19. #19
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    Lol I know the difference between a skid plate and a cross brace. Both do stiffen the chassis (I know the primary purpose of the skid plate isn't that though). Twas my point. If you insist you can feel the difference, by all means...

    Quote Originally Posted by rpm620 View Post
    Also i dont have D2's... also i was reading threw some of my emails from when i bought them.. i gotta figure out if they sent me E30 Rear springs or E36 Rear springs.. The Fronts are E36 M3 coilovers with an E30 D2 Camber plate and the rears idk.. lol...

    I will try to figure out whats what.. but if i do have the M3 rear springs then there like 520
    I'm interested to find out for sure what your rates are. Should be written on the springs themselves. Oh yea you have D2s not BCs. I keep forgetting.
    Last edited by protomor; 09-30-2011 at 02:26 PM.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROLLingKING View Post
    Im sorry but you sound like an idiot. Its not placebo..a skid plate which covers your oil pan is not a cross brace.and they come nowhere near doing the same thing bruh. If u go and buy a skidplate for a suspension/chassis mod than your VERY confused. Look up a "race skids cross brace". It bolts into the lollipop mounting point and then to the steering rack bolts.lol connecting the front part of the frame at actually crucial points.u should just let it go.u dont know what the cross brace does. So please stop talkin out of ur ass. U clearly either think u know it all or arent too good at understanding/ feeling car feedback. Id put money on the second.

    Chill pill dude, he was trying to help just take it or leave it thats it, in any case the only viable advice its go practice because whatever they tell you just going to do what you like and everybody likes different.

    try not to attack me two.
    Last edited by MauiM3Mania; 03-26-2012 at 04:10 PM. Reason: profanity


  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by ROLLingKING View Post
    I just recently took off my race skids cross brace because it didnt fit with my suspension techniques 22mm sway bar.

    Question. Does this mean you ran the skid plate and the 22mm sway bar? What part didn't fit? Or was it that you got a 22mm sway bar, put it on and the skid plate got in the way so you took the skid plate off?

    In scenario 1 - the plate might have interfered with the sway bar causing problem.

    In scenario 2 - you're feeling the difference in the sway bar and not in the cross brace.


    IE: What was the setup before/after to feel such a difference in the car?

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nisanda View Post
    Chill pill dude, he was trying to help just take it or leave it thats it, in any case the only viable advice its go practice because whatever they tell you just going to do what you like and everybody likes different.

    try not to attack me two.

    I'm with on the chilling out. No need to get all worked up because you don't like what someone has to say. I wouldn't rule what he says out, seems like the man knows his stuff...



  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by protomor View Post
    question. Does this mean you ran the skid plate and the 22mm sway bar? What part didn't fit? Or was it that you got a 22mm sway bar, put it on and the skid plate got in the way so you took the skid plate off?

    In scenario 1 - the plate might have interfered with the sway bar causing problem.

    In scenario 2 - you're feeling the difference in the sway bar and not in the cross brace.


    Ie: What was the setup before/after to feel such a difference in the car?
    cross brace not skid plate!!?!?!?!?!!!!@@@!!@!!one omeoe

  24. #24
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    I know I know I keep mixing them up. I think one thing. type another.

    one one exclamation one one.

    Status: HG repair. 488wtq though!

  25. #25
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    Its all personal preference, the E30 and E36 chassis are very stiff to begin with so the normal braces that help on really weak chassis don't do that much on them. I had a front strut bar on my E36 and I felt little to no difference at all but I just recently added one to my JZX100 (Floppy as hell chassis by comparison) and I did feel a noticeable improvement in steering feel and consistency.

    I don't really think the E30/36 needs much bracing at all. Im not saying that it couldn't hurt but... its not a priority like it is on my current car

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