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Thread: Cutting springs 323i

  1. #1
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    '79 E21, '98 E39 540iA

    Cutting springs 323i

    Who on here has cut your springs, how much (I.e half a coil, a full coil, more) did you cut, and how much did it drop the car? Any other issues caused by this much drop?

    If you have before and after pics associated chuck them here; wanting to cut mine but hoping I can get a rough idea how much I should be cutting.
    My 1979 Reseda Green E21 323i with Australian Ford Falcon I6 4L SOHC Motor fitted: http://www.e21build.com
    Also drives: 1998 E39 540iA in Biarritz Blue.

  2. #2
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    Don't.

  3. #3
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    Why not? This car will be used for drifting (track only) so extra stiffness isn't an issue. Happy to try cut springs first and buy some h&r's if they are too shit.
    My 1979 Reseda Green E21 323i with Australian Ford Falcon I6 4L SOHC Motor fitted: http://www.e21build.com
    Also drives: 1998 E39 540iA in Biarritz Blue.

  4. #4
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    '80 323i,'86 K75C

    to cut, or not to cut....

    well, consider this, new springs for a 323i run about 100/wheel, usually takes about 2-4 weeks to aquire should the car be put back in to regular road service. From reading this forum for quite some time now, I realize I am in the minority when it comes to keeping the car at it's factory standard ride height; my 323i was lowered when I bought it, and has been nothing but a pain in my ass ever since. Must be extremely careful when pulling the car up on ramps for service, which for me, resulted in a buggered up front valance. Had a flat, could not fit the jack stand in it's slot without raising the body of the car up. Could not fit my 15" replica alpinas because of body rub on the tires in turns; so I sold the 15's. Since then I purchased new springs for the car and will have them installed in the near future.

    If your ride is all about fun and giggles and not regular service, by all means have fun. If your car is a daily driver like mine and you do not mind the little irritations that come with altering the car from it's original design, have at it, but in the long run, it may be cheaper to keep the original springs in there original form and just buy lowering springs now. Just my 3.23 cents worth.

  5. #5
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    1998 M3 AA St 2
    Do not cut... This is not a honda forum



    360+rwhp

  6. #6
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    '83 320i & '86 535i
    The 320i I just picked up has 2 coils cut out and it sits about 2" lower than stock. Havent driven it yet (gotta figure out my no spark issue) so I don't know how it rides.

  7. #7
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    It's your car. Despite what people will tell you (and the fact that some BMW owners view some mods as heresy) you need to do what you want. I had plenty of people telling me dropping an LS1 in a Datsun is completely wrong. A car is valuable to only one person: you. Everyone else just oogles it or chooses not to.

    In other words, if it's a track car and you choose to ignore certain people's cry for functionality, then by all means do it -- you're making the best choice for you. And if not, one more lesson learned and you didn't hurt anyone else but yourself (despite what others might claim, lol.)

    Point is, do what you want with your car no matter what anyone tells you, lol.

    That said, lowering springs might be better at this point as you can at least throw stock ones back in. That is...if you have the money. Good luck!
    1982 BMW 320i: Stock with rebuilt top end (RIP June 25, 2014)
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  8. #8
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    75 2002 77 323irace 91M5
    For sure cut them I cut the springs on all my street cars for a 320i cut 1 1/2
    coils in front and one coil in the rear to start with, cut more if its not enough.
    I cut them on the car with a die grinder ,then spin them it to place and go.
    One thing though cutting the springs is not going to stiffen it up that much
    good for a street / track car , for dedicated race car that will corner flat you will
    need to go to coil overs and much stiffer springs. H&R wont work that
    much better ether for racing they are just a street sport spring too.
    If you want to drift weld up a open diff and it will magically drift all on its own.

  9. #9
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    I will have to weld the diff anyway as its the weak point given the motor I am going to run is a 4L inline 6 with 180rwkw.

    The car is never going back on the road/into regular use so functionality & speed bumps are not even a consideration. It's being done on a budget so I'm happier to start with cut springs and then adapt second hand s13 coil overs or similar down the track for more stiffness. As a side note, r33 skyline front spring/strut assembly is scarily similar to the rears in an e21

    hdx, do you happen to have before and after pics with the 1.5/1 coil chop?



    ...not going back on the road.
    Last edited by SileNceR; 12-13-2012 at 01:09 AM. Reason: Automerged Doublepost

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SileNceR View Post
    Why not? This car will be used for drifting (track only) so extra stiffness isn't an issue. Happy to try cut springs first and buy some h&r's if they are too shit.
    Drifting is cool. Cutting your springs won't do a whole lot except make your car handle worse. Save and get coil overs.

  11. #11
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    I think cutting springs will only make your car look better cause It would be lower ... it probably wont improve on handling, unless it bottoms out easier and since your lower it has a bit less body roll ...

  12. #12
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    http://www.eatonsprings.com/cuttingcoilsprings.html

    Cutting them makes them stiffer, by a factor of how many active coils you remove (the one at each end doesn't count as they are not "active" coils) this will help reduce body roll all by itself albeit not as well as uprated sway bars
    My 1979 Reseda Green E21 323i with Australian Ford Falcon I6 4L SOHC Motor fitted: http://www.e21build.com
    Also drives: 1998 E39 540iA in Biarritz Blue.

  13. #13
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    83 320i to 325ti S.I.K.
    Cut 2 coils and test. Cut more if desired. If its track-only, who cares!
    Standard 320i: $1000
    Auto: -$500
    Perfect interior:+$200
    Needs paint: -$700

    Total: $0

    Add $6000 for an optimistic seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by jollE21 View Post
    Hazard Light buttons are a hazard themselves...

  14. #14
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    Just remember that on the front you can't cut partial coils off with the way the upper spring mount is indexed on the strut. Doesn't matter in the rear since you can just rotate the upper spring rubber to match up.


    Quote Originally Posted by Tom D View Post
    throttle lift oversteer is a way of life and should be celebrated. there are few things as much fun as steering a car through a corner with the throttle.
    He who dies with the most unfinished projects wins



  15. #15
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    Looking at the time and work you are doing to the car, cut springs will not do what you want. Save the time and energy and get adjustable coilover collars and go with stiffer springs, there are in expensive ones out there that will do the job. Buy the slip on collars that go over stock size shocks and the front struts for 2.5" ID springs. I would start with 550 lb up front and 450 in the rear. I will also need some quality shoks to controlthe body roll. You will end up doing more spinning out then drifting if the suspension is too soft.

    Always FUN TO DRIVE - Build Thread & Tech info - 79 320/6 track car build thread -- Videos of track car -Adam in car Auto-x video - Start-up video - 4/2011 Adam's TOP BMW time San Diego BMWCCA - 4-5-15 Dyno break-in run new M20B25 - Exhaust Thread - Link

  16. #16
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    Hey instead of cutting, just ditch the whole thing together and get a slip-on.

    I'm sporting 10kg fronts and once you pull the gland nut, slip on the coil sleeve, it's like a 3" drop already!
    Standard 320i: $1000
    Auto: -$500
    Perfect interior:+$200
    Needs paint: -$700

    Total: $0

    Add $6000 for an optimistic seller.

    Quote Originally Posted by jollE21 View Post
    Hazard Light buttons are a hazard themselves...

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OLD MAN View Post
    Looking at the time and work you are doing to the car, cut springs will not do what you want. Save the time and energy and get adjustable coilover collars and go with stiffer springs, there are in expensive ones out there that will do the job. Buy the slip on collars that go over stock size shocks and the front struts for 2.5" ID springs. I would start with 550 lb up front and 450 in the rear. I will also need some quality shoks to controlthe body roll. You will end up doing more spinning out then drifting if the suspension is too soft.
    This is where my long term plans are leading me, but the car is a "plenty of time, not enough money" build; Cut springs initially would surely be better than standard height? Before I started pulling the car apart, I drove it with the original motor and it had a fair bit more body roll than I would like.

    I understand the loss of camber gain, changed roll center, not stiff enough etc, but I still think cutting the springs as an interim step would be worthwhile? Correct me if I'm wrong?

    Interestingly, the car seems to have Bilsteins at one end and Koni's at the other; perhaps one pair of Bilsteins was replaced rather than rebuilt at some point in the car's life?

  18. #18
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    All cars I've driven with cut springs behave a little bit "odd" I just don't like the resulting ride.
    E21 320/6 2.7 81"
    2002 70"

  19. #19
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    this is exactly 1 coil off the front.
    very recent suspension rebuild, all stock. Shes maybe a touch stiffer. The few people I have let drive my car are very impressed with how these little cars can take a corner.

  20. #20
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    That said, lowering springs might be better at this point as you can at least throw stock ones back in.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Electric Space View Post
    Cut 2 coils and test. Cut more if desired. If its track-only, who cares!
    Thanks

    I've cut two coils and it looks pretty spot on, not too much negative camber in the rear and the front LCA still has heaps of clearance to the subframe.

    Write up is here for those of you interested

    E21Build.com - Cut springs and other things
    Last edited by SileNceR; 12-16-2012 at 08:00 AM.

  22. #22
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    Id say cut em... once i finally decieded to cut the springs up front, i wondered why i hadnt before. the nose doesnt lift like a baja truck on take offs and it barely dives up front when braking. It makes the body lines look alot better feel front to back springy on hard braking though.

  23. #23
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    My 2 cents....

    At first I did cut mine.....the way you cut them is with a cutting wheel and NOT...I repeat NOT with torch!! Torches weaken the whole spring and throws it out of whack. Like it was mentioned above, in the front you do have to cut off one coil at the time...you just can't go 1/4 or 1/2 of a coil....

    Everything was fine, the car drove a little stiffer but everything still worked just fine....FYI

    The only issue I started having, not really an issue, but just being anal, is when you lift the car up to change a wheel or whatever, the spring would fall out of the perches.....I hated that!!!! So right this minute, I am changing over to coil overs...probably with helper springs just to keep them where they are supposed to


    (FYI....don't look at the actual hubs, since I have E28 susp on my E21)
    My build thread M20 than S50 into 320i: http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum...0#post23442810

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