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  1. #1
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    How many M3 bits do I really need for a street only car?

    Want to try to get some more info shared in the suspension section and I need advice.

    Iím going to upgrade to 19inch wheels and plan to do some other suspension upgrades at the same time. I doubt I will be able (read allowed) to get everything I want at one time. Iíve already compromised this list down quite a bit. I need to know if Iím going the right way with this. Right order, right parts, can I do this in stages as listed, or any other constructive comments?

    Iím currently running a 2010 335i FBO+meth on stock sport suspension. Planning to go with 19x9 and 19x10 wheels with Michelin Pilot Super Sports.

    I have the Koni yellows with H&R sport springs on my other e90 and Iím happy with them. Every time I drive the wifeís car (a '06 330i) I want to upgrade my suspension. I don't think I've even ridden in another car with a properly tuned aftermarket suspension. I'm almost ok living blind thinking that the koni yellows and H&R are decent, If the next best upgrade is more than double the price. Not really interested in any coil overs.

    Shopping list (Stage 1):
    Wheel & Tire Package (Wheels for look, tires for grip)
    Koni Yellows (liked the change on my 330i when ditching rft's)
    H&R Sport springs (works well with koni yellows, would love JRZ or better setup but cant afford it)
    M3 Strut bar kit
    M3 Front control arm kit (TRW)
    M3 Rear kit (TRW)

    ------With DIY labor Iím at about $4,900 for the parts listed above.--------

    I also want to add (Stage 2):
    LSD (I know everyone says to do this first but this was the best way for me to split up the cost, and I really guess I don't drive as hard as many here cause I don't have the traction problems many here talk about. Maybe I'm just smooth Click here to enlargeClick here to enlarge)
    Hotchkis F & R sways (because they come with adjustable end links)
    M3 Subframe bushings
    DEFIV diff lockdown

    -----Add $4,300 for these parts = $9,200.

    Did I forget any important parts for either stage? Do I need camber plates? Is this the correct order to do everything? Please chime in with any suggestions.
    Iím aware my list may look short, I have added hardware kits and alignment cost into the pricing listed above. I have spent at least 8 hours reading suspension threads in the last few days, looking for more confirmation that Iím going the right way with this. I'm building this car to be ready for a turbo upgrade when I no longer need it as my DD in a couple of years.

    THANKS!

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Some suggestions that have been posted other places are:
    HPA Koni with swift spring coilover set
    Nitron NTR R1 or JRZ RS1 coilovers w/ M3 rear camber links
    Adjustable rear toe arms
    Adjustable sway bar end links
    Add tie rods to the list

    Camber plates
    For the street you donít need the diff lockdown kit
    If you do the rest of it right the strut tower brace is really not needed

    Here are my answers based on what Iíve been able to read:

    Another bonus of the m3 tower brace is access to adjust front suspension.

    I've seen it posted that if I'm not tracking and I do stop here with the suspension I don't need the camber plates. I think it was even one of the vendors that said this.

    Similar statement about the adjustable rear toe arms. I think I've seen it said in a couple threads that with everything m3 in the front and minus the sway in the back, minimal drop from the h&r sport springs it can still be aligned to 335 specs other than the -.75 camber up front. Are the adj toe arms just to make it easier for the alignment shop or installation or really needed to dial it in?

    I do want the adjustable sway bar end links, thatís why I chose the hotchkis kit cause it comes with them for about the same price as the just the m3 bars.

    My car only has 35k miles, is there another bonus to the front tie rod upgrade/swap? Mine look good right now.

    I'm also a bit worried about finding a shop that do the alignment right the first time. Any pointers on questions to ask as I contact different shops?

    The truth is that with a 3k set of wheels this setup has about a ~10k price tag. Really looking for some subjective input on where the line should be for those (like me) that can easily do the wrenching but have never seen the track and dont know if they will, and just want a sharp handling car. The cost is not an issue, it's there but I just want to be realistic for MY needs.

    If I've made any false statements please correct me as to prevent confusing others.

    Thanks again,
    ~Nate

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    Very nice post. I'm interested in the same thing.

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    • Coilover System
    • M3 Bits
    • Rear Toe Arms (to compensate for new ride height / coilover system)
    • Upgraded Bushings Everywhere
    • LSD
    • Front & Rear sway bars (Hotckis or COBB)
    • DEFIV Lockdown


    I'd recommend saving up and doing the 1st 4 all at once to save yourself the install headaches. The LSD a shop will have to do & from what I've read, sway bar install is a royal $#@!. At that point you might not need the DEFIV lockdown, but if you're getting some wheel hop on aggressive launches you could always add that.
    COBB AP ProTune by Bren of ///Bren Tuning
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    2 out of 2 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    You are ready to drop 10k on suspension pieces but a good set of coilovers are too expensive?

    What is your goal for the car, what are you going to use it for? AutoX track days?

    My order would be:
    Good set of COs
    LSD
    then all the other bits and pieces.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    Q: how many M3 parts for a street car?

    A: As many as you can

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    I'd recommend getting a clutch type LSD as your first modification.

    As for M3 bits, really as much as you can will help tighten things up and new bushings are a must. It depends how fanatic you are I guess.

    And don't cheap out on the coilovers!
    Click here to enlarge

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    @CubanJJ09 did the full M3 suspension swap. Let him chime in on what he thinks.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
    You are ready to drop 10k on suspension pieces but a good set of coilovers are too expensive?

    What is your goal for the car, what are you going to use it for? AutoX track days?

    My order would be:
    Good set of COs
    LSD
    then all the other bits and pieces.
    As I have it now its ~$10K for everything ---- wheels & tires ($3K. I wanted Morr but I can't justify $5K to myself), suspension ($3K), LSD ($2.8K), Diff lock ($700), brake line upgrade and other various fluids, alignment, and a buffer in case of problems ($???).

    This is the whole point of my post. It is my DD car. Being subjective what SHOULD I do? I know there are many others out there that look at these TRW bits and think, ohhhh now is my chance. If those same people take just the advice given in this thread they will hit a $12K to $15K number really quick. As enthusiast we all want to mod, but how many can (or should) put the price of a decent used car into our DD? I want options and opinions. I want to make sure I do it right the first time. I also want to put it here in one place for others to see all the pros and cons, and to put some valuable threads on this forum.

    For my car I want to:

    1 - Improve the handling (I have Koni yellows & H&R sports on another e90 and I'm happy with it, I want a bit of an upgrade over this. I'm thinking that the M3 bits might be the upgrade I'm looking for vs. spending over $1.5K more just on coilovers and still thinking I should have done the M3 bits.)
    2 - Put the power to the road and not have any traction issues (LSD, Bushings & Sways)
    3 - Be ready (traction) when my turbos fail and I can upgrade, stage 2 or 3 price depending.
    4 - Be able to track the car either strip or autoX. Right now with an open diff I dont think its even ready (neither am I. I know I need some schooling).

    I've made contact with HPA and am waiting on a phone call about some CO options.

    Thanks so much for the comments and sugestions.

    Keep it going!

    ~Nate

  10. #10
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    If you are looking for coil overs, don't forget Ground Control. You get camber plates and the M3 rear lower arms with their coil over kit for about 2K USD. Lots of people who track their cars have these and I've never really read a complaint about them.

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    I think you'd be better served buying better more important components than trying to bulk up on getting EVERYTHING you possibly can but likely will not take full advantage of. Benzy is right, bushings are the most underrated upgrade you can do.

    GC's are a good investment for coils.

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    Id say go for some Apex wheels, they are all around baller and strong/lightweight.

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    Id say go for some Apex wheels, they are all around baller and strong/lightweight.
    +1

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    Id say go for some Apex wheels, they are all around baller and strong/lightweight.
    Agreed. Did you end up picking up a set?
    2010 e92 M3 Jet Black | DCT | ESS Tuned | Akrapovic Slip-on | Challenge X-pipe | AFE Intake | 18" Volk TE37SL | KW V3 Coilovers | RPI Scoops | Under Drive Pulley

    2007 e92 Mont. Blue 335i | 6MT | COBB Tuned | Quaife 3.46 LSD | Helix FMIC | AA DPs | HKS Exhaust | DCI | Stett CP w/ Forged DVs | KWv2 Coilovers | UUC Sway Bars & SSK | HPF Stg 2 Clutch | HFS-4 | M3 Suspension Bits | DEFIVfab Diff Lockdown Kit | Stoptech Trophy BBK

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by nafoo Click here to enlarge
    Agreed. Did you end up picking up a set?
    no, i chinced out for now, but they will be what i replace my GTS style 18's with

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    Too lazy to read the thread but I swapped the two front sets of arms, the two rear sets of upper arms, the subframe bushings, both sway bars and did pss9 coil over. Well worth it for the money. Also had light weight wheels. These all really transform the car and my car was a 6 day a week daily driver to Chicago.
    Last edited by CubanJJ09; 04-03-2013 at 07:19 PM.

  17. #17
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by LostMarine Click here to enlarge
    no, i chinced out for now, but they will be what i replace my GTS style 18's with
    I almost went with 17 inch apex ar8s with meaty tires (i love that look) but instead bought some BBS 19 inch wheelsClick here to enlarge Much better choice for my street car...

    OP i'm in your same boat....only i may get stg 2 turbos rather than suspension..
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

  18. #18
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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dblrguy Click here to enlarge
    It is my DD car. Being subjective what SHOULD I do? As enthusiast we all want to mod, but how many can (or should) put the price of a decent used car into our DD?
    Just to touch on this because you asked:

    You can buy a 335i for 15-20k depending on what you want. Yours may be worth more.

    It 100% comes down to you on this one. Financially investing any money into mods is a bad return on your investment usually 1:4 if not much worse. Investing the book value of your car into mods is a slippery slope. If you are ok with investing 15k into a car that in bad one accident will destroy it go for it. I would but that is me. You can buy stage 3s and know you are faster than 95% of the cars on the road for 1/2 the price. Then spend the rest on your suspension bit that you can afford and upgrade from there.

    Also, to put it into perspective 15k in suspension or 15k + your trade in towards an m3. Different class of car, insurance payments, number of doors, etc. Or just finance the m3 and buy a big blower, you would be much happier from what I read.

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    1 out of 1 members liked this post. Yes Reputation No
    For me it came down to switching to a m3 and keeping it relatively stock (maybe wheels / exhaust) or continuing to mod my 335. In the end i chose to continue to mod my 335, mainly bc i'm pretty deep into the car already and just didnt' want to sell my car for nothing. Not to mention the e9x m3 doesn't blow me away to the point where i'd want to really jump into one no matter what the cost. Maybe the new m will give me that feeling?

    I would just get some coilovers, bushings, and call it a day. Your 335 wont handle like a m3 even after dumping 10-15k in it so why bother. Unless your a track junky, in which case you may be better off selling the 335 for a e46 m3.
    Click here to enlarge
    ESS 6XX kit

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by Torgus Click here to enlarge
    Also, to put it into perspective 15k in suspension or 15k + your trade in towards an m3. Different class of car, insurance payments, number of doors, etc. Or just finance the m3 and buy a big blower, you would be much happier from what I read.
    I expected the M3 suggestion to come up. When I bought my 335 last year there were only about 25 nation wide for sale that had a MT and even less that had all the other options I wanted. A similar M3 was $20K outside my price range, in the 50K range. The price and all of the things you mention that make an M3 more expensive, made my choice easy. For some the "trade and get an M3" argument is valid, its not in my case. I could do all of this and stage 2 turbos and still not be at the price I would have needed to pay for a similar M3. The other side of the coin is that even with the M3 there would be parts tempting me to buy them.

    Thanks for the post!
    ~Nate

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    Thanks for the post bobS. I do kind of think this amount is too much thats why I'm trying to confirm what is needed for a street only ride. I've saved this mod money on the side of my normal savings and I'm still not sure that this it what I want to do. I've done a ton of reading in the last week as the weather is starting to get nicer and I want to do the wheels. I wont do the wheels without doing the suspension, and I want to do the suspension right the first time. If the Koni/H&R combo can be beat for a little more coin I'd like to try it.

    At this point I've got 3 goals/levels:

    1 - Wheels/tires and drop for the look I want to see when I walk out to get into my car. (Nothing crazy 1"F, 1.5"R)
    2 - Performance oriented suspension for handling. (I also like watching people in my rear view when they realize they cant take a corner at the speed I'm going Click here to enlarge.)
    3 - LSD to be able to go to a track or driving school and really learn how to steer with the gas pedal.

    I'm going to look into the GC stuff some more. I had read about them a couple of months ago. I've already decided to "upgrade" to at least the TCKR Koni/Swift setup from HPA. I'm going to leave sways, LSD, strut brace and subframe bushings for later. As of now my suspension cost is at $2900. I'm going to watch the sale ads and pick up sways and sub bushings on the cheap. I'm thinking that unless this setup makes the rear tight enough that it starts to pronounce my lack of an LSD I will be happy for a while.

    ~Nate

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dblrguy Click here to enlarge
    I expected the M3 suggestion to come up. When I bought my 335 last year there were only about 25 nation wide for sale that had a MT and even less that had all the other options I wanted. A similar M3 was $20K outside my price range, in the 50K range. The price and all of the things you mention that make an M3 more expensive, made my choice easy. For some the "trade and get an M3" argument is valid, its not in my case. I could do all of this and stage 2 turbos and still not be at the price I would have needed to pay for a similar M3. The other side of the coin is that even with the M3 there would be parts tempting me to buy them.

    Thanks for the post!
    ~Nate
    I might be misunderstanding, but you are saying the M was 20k outside of your price range - today (assuming you are in US), the price of the M is going to be lower. I understand your car's value has went down - but the point is, by the time you spend what you are wanting (15k in suspension PLUS turbos) - you are going to be over what you weren't intending to spend before. For what you seem to want, it might be best to just buy an M3 at this point... You get better brakes, chassis, quicker steering, much better suspension bits (above), better ECU, and most of all - much better engine for a race track. This engine isn't going to require walnut blasting every 20k miles due to you tracking the car with more than stock boost, it's not going to have HPFP issues, it's not going to have issues with limping due to overheat conditions - the list goes on. Please do NOT think I am knocking the x35i - I am just saying, one is a general sports/sporty sedan, the other is pretty much a racecar for the street. I am sure you will be more than happy with the difference in the suspension - even if you stay STOCK with the M. If you want to upgrade with coil overs, it's going to be that much better. I think the economical choice is the M - that's all I am saying - and that's only because of your intentions. You WILL get the money invested back if and/or when you buy/sell the M - you will NOT recover all the money thrown in the 335i (might make it less attractive to be honest). It just doesn't make sense to do this in my opinion - that's if your intention is really to track the car - otherwise, if it's just to have a fun, fast, great handling car - that you already own - you are going in the right direction. Just an FYI - I did bushings on my M3 - and it WAS extremely unexpected how much better the car felt. It was night and day - and super cheap to do. Might free up some dollars for ya. Hope that helps - cheers.

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    A few have commented to do ALL the bushings. By all, do you mean the ones that are in the control arms and the subframe bushings or are there more I should be looking at?

    ~Nate

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by dblrguy Click here to enlarge
    A few have commented to do ALL the bushings. By all, do you mean the ones that are in the control arms and the subframe bushings or are there more I should be looking at?

    ~Nate
    I would say do as many as possible. Definitely sub-frame, control arms, engine, differential would be a start. Not sure what is left now. Click here to enlarge

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    Click here to enlarge Originally Posted by inlineS54B32 Click here to enlarge
    I would say do as many as possible. Definitely sub-frame, control arms, engine, differential would be a start. Not sure what is left now. Click here to enlarge
    Thanks!

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