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Thread: De-trackifying my M3, what spring rates to go with?

  1. #1
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    De-trackifying my M3, what spring rates to go with?

    So I have a great E36 M3 that I have setup as a time trial car. TCK rollbar, fixed back seats, 6 pt harnesses, etc, etc, etc. Currently running MCS 2WNR with 600F 800R springs.

    I'm not making it out to the track very much due to family demands turning into the lack of free weekend time. I think maybe I'll get 4 days at the track this season. I'm debating pulling all the "track" stuff off the car and turning it into more of a street car. Something that'll still work ok for those 4 days but will be far more enjoyable to drive on the street and that I can put my kids in.

    So put the OEM interior back in and swap out the spring rates, lift the ride height, etc. What spring rates would you guys suggest? 300F 400R? 350/450? Also, my rear springs are 6" long, in order to raise the ride height what spring length should I use? 7"?

    Figure I can keep the rollbar, VAC mounts, recaros/harnesses, springs until I have more free time, then reinstall everything to turn it back into a track car when I get more free time...
    '98 M3 track whore
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  2. #2
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    You should probably be ok with 400/500. I daily my car with 600/700 its stiff but not that bad. After I got used to it I wouldnt want anything softer.

  3. #3
    MINIz guy's Avatar
    MINIz guy is offline #buttstuff2k14 BMW CCA Member
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    I'm pretty sure 400/500 rates were what was recommended many years back, before tires got as grippy as they are now. You should still be having fun out there with those lower rates.

  4. #4
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    FWIW I have been tracking my car on rebuilt OEM suspension for the last two years and it's been great. There's a good amount of body roll but I think it's capable enough to have fun. The damping is good and the ride is obviously comfy in comparison to an aftermarket option. This setup would probably cost you only a little bit more than getting new springs and you could swap back and forth with the MCS with less effort. Just something you may not have considered.

  5. #5
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    What rear spring length? 7"? With the 6" rear springs I have now I can't really raise the car higher than it is now, which is a bit too low for street driving comfort
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    7 inch rear works for near stock ride height.

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    For street duty, i'd sell the MCS setup and go with Konis, stock springs, aftermarket swaybars, swapped stock strut mounts and stock bushings/mounts. That actually sounds kind of nice...
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  8. #8
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    Or maybe H&R OE Sports if they're still sold. They were a pretty mild drop, with just a little stiffer rate than stock. Should work well for a dual duty setup.

    I'd probably go a hair softer than 400/500 if you're only doing 4 days a year. That's still a pretty aggressive ride for fun on the street. A softer setup that can still handle well is pretty fun on the street when you get a chance to go blasting around here and there, and I don't think you'll really lament the 0.3 sec slower laptime if you're out there 4 times a year.

  9. #9
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    Sell me MCS and I'll send you either my TCK SA with whatever spring rate you want, or a Koni/H&R OE setup, your choice.

    But, yea, for ~4 days a year, I'd go with 300/400 or so.

  10. #10
    NeilM is offline Member BMW E36 M3 Expert
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    I've driven a number of different spring rates on my TCK/Koni DA setup. While personal tolerance is obviously subjective, of those 350F/450R was the highest I thought acceptable for street use on mixed surfaces. Soften that a bit in case of rough roads in your driving area.

    I'm at 600F/700R for driving to/on/from the track, which is tolerable for a car not otherwise driven on the street.

    Others have reported that the higher quality your shocks are, the stiffer the springs can be and still deliver a tolerable ride. Not sure where your MCS fit in that continuum.

    Neil

  11. #11
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    I can't provide any input on the spring rates but I've enjoyed driving my KW V2's (SA) on the street; I run the stock spring that comes with the kit. Driving to get out of NYC they are a little harsh because of how bad the roads are, but other than that, I find them streetable. I found that switching to a harder sidewall tire increased harshness much more than the shocks.

    Sidenote - If you do indeed pull the MCS's I am in the market for a set.

  12. #12
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    My daily/track car has 440/550 springs and is stiff but tolerable on the street.
    1999 M3/2/5 - Titanium Silver - Daily Driver and Track Toy


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    I have the Fubari set up now with something in the neighborhood of 300/450 I think but I will double-check. I tuned it with single-adjustable dampers and swapped M3 front mounts for camber, and it is really pretty impressive in the balance department and a good street-track compromise. I'm going to uprate to 450/600 now that I have a handle on the adjustment process, because the car is now fairly useless as a street car.

    I'm assuming you're doing some kind of coil-over. If you just want a set of stock M3 springs, I'm pretty sure I have a set I could mail you. But I don't think I have a set of the front strut housings you would need to convert it to inserts.
    Last edited by JBasham; 06-25-2018 at 06:22 PM.
    If God meant for man to motor-swap LS engines into track cars, He wouldn't have created Corvettes.

  14. #14
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    Yeah, I'm going to stick with the MCS' I have installed now and just swap the springs. Wyatt@MCS said they'd handle the lower spring rates without any issues, just run less rebound.
    '98 M3 track whore
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  15. #15
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    Okey dokey. I checked and the setup I described above is in fact 300/450.
    If God meant for man to motor-swap LS engines into track cars, He wouldn't have created Corvettes.

  16. #16
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    Wouldn't you risk the chance of bottoming out if you go to a significantly lower spring rate ?

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