Last night I finished installing Dinan Camber Plates, and today I got the car aligned. This completes my suspension overhaul for my 135i. Phase 1 was swapping over to Performance Suspension. Phase 2 was installing M3 Front Arms. Phase 3 was installing M3 Rear Subframe Bushings and the Dinan Camber Plates.
Why I chose Dinan for my Camber Plate solution
My car is a daily driver, but I also like to... well, let's just say challenge it every once in a while.
That being said, I wanted some additional negative camber, but I was unwilling to tolerate any squeaks or clunks that are so common with camber plates from other manufacturers. I also wanted a "set it and forget it" solution, so the ability to adjust wasn't a necessity. Also I didn't want to have to tear the suspension back apart in a year or two to replace worn components. Dinan's product fits the bill here perfectly.
Before installing the camber plates, I was mostly wearing the outside edges of the tires from the "spirited" driving I like to do a couple times a year. My daily high way commutes would wear the inside edges some, so the discrepancy wasn't too bad, but I clearly needed a little more negative camber. I knew I didn't need to get down to -3 or -3.5 degrees, so again, Dinan's product appealed to me.
Why I chose M3 Rear Subframe Bushings
As others have said, the rear of the car just doesn't feel very planted, steady, predictable, etc. with the stock spongy bushings. In some fast, sweeping turns, I've actually felt the rear of the car oscillating side to side a bit. I could tell they were a weak link and needed to be corrected.
The camber plates were a piece of cake! Took me about an hour per side. I posted a write-up in the DIY forum. Be sure to check it out if you are installing these plates yourself. There is a lot of overlap for other suspension projects too obviously.
The bushings were obviously more work, but still very doable. I posted a DIY of this as well. If you are doing this install, DEFINITELY check it out.
Front Camber: -2.0 deg
Front Toe: -.40 deg (-9/64")
Rear Camber: -1.9 deg
Rear Toe: +.32 deg (+1/8")
I pieced this alignment setup together from reading the posts of a few track junkies here on the forums. So far I am quite happy. Unfortunately, I can't find my old alignment specs after each phase of my suspension overhaul, but I believe I got about -.6 or -.7 degrees of front camber each phase. If I were to do it again, I'd probably do the M3 Front Arms first because you also get the stiffer bushings. Next, I'd do the Performance Suspension only because I can only tolerate stock height for so long. The Dinan camber plates also raise the front of the car a bit because they sit on top of the OEM top hat, so dropping the front is a must. Last, I'd cap it off with the Dinan camber plates like I did. Obviously if you can do it all at once and save some money on alignments, go for it!
Car feels great!! Steering response and turn in feels improved. The rear of the car feels more predictable thanks to the M3 bushings. I don't feel that oscillating motion in the rear that I used to experience. Also, there are no squeaks or clunks. I don't feel any penalty to the ride comfort of the car. In fact, with non-RFT's, there's a good chance the car rides better
than it did new. Better handling and softer ride? I will take that any day of the week. This is exactly how I wanted it to end up. It's been said a million times before, but this is how the car should have come from the factory!
If anyone has any questions, feel free to post here! Lastly, thanks to the 1addicts community. The wealth of knowledge here has undoubtedly influenced my suspension mod choices in a 100% positive way.