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      06-28-2012, 02:05 PM   #1
KennyPowers
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BMW Performance suspension + m3 front kit review

Hey guys,

Just installed this kit on my 135i last night, right now its getting aligned, so i only have some basic first impressions.

Here's a list of parts that were installed

-bmw yellow springs
-matching bumpstops
-bmw performance shocks / struts
-all mounting hardware
-DID NOT install the sway bar
-m3 front control arm kit (upper and lower arms)

Impressions

The kit barely lowers the car in my case, but to me, that is not a bad thing. The install went well, the m3 bushings on the control arms are much stiffer than stock, so installing them takes a little muscle and patience, but nothing too bad.

So far, i have only driven it a very short distance because when you install the m3 front control arm kit your alignment will be so far out of spec the car feels like it wants to drive you straight off the road.

What I have noticed so far though, is that the car handles bumps and wavy roads with ease compared to stock and the eibach pro system kit i had before. It reacts smoothly and greatly diminishes suspension travel while at the same time not being harsh or violent in doing so.

The steering also seems much more linear and firm, and the car is super fast to turn in, basically as easy to turn in as my old e90 m3, though that car felt heavier but also had more mechanical grip.

I do have re-11's on the stock wheels, which i will replace with apex ec-7 in the near future, so that helps some with the handling and overall steering feel. I find that a tire like the re-11 with its stiff sidewall can almost replicate the steering feel of the runflats but offer much much more traction and grip.

I will have some pics up over the next few days and report back with driving impressions after i get the car back from alignment. I am hoping to achieve -.75 or greater camber, but am not too worried about it since i only plan to track this car 4-6 times per year max and use it as a DD.

So far, i love the upgrade, and the ride comfort once aligned should be top notch along with epic steering feel.

I do not regret going with the bmw performance springs and matched shocks, and am glad i did not match aftermarket shocks with the springs, as the kit "as-is" is perfect for me.
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      06-28-2012, 02:17 PM   #2
ezeedee
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when i did the m3 stuff up front, i had almost 3" toe in! i got it pretty close to 0 so i could at least drive it to the alignment shop.
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      06-28-2012, 02:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ezeedee View Post
when i did the m3 stuff up front, i had almost 3" toe in! i got it pretty close to 0 so i could at least drive it to the alignment shop.
haha yea its pretty wild. i have no idea how far off it is, but its gotta be a lot!

do you feel like the m3 parts were worth it in your case?

i cant wait to drive the car once the alignment is done!
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      06-28-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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That was fast!!! Hope you enjoy it!!!
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      06-28-2012, 02:52 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
haha yea its pretty wild. i have no idea how far off it is, but its gotta be a lot!

do you feel like the m3 parts were worth it in your case?

i cant wait to drive the car once the alignment is done!
i like the steering feel, it just seems more precise. I havent driven the car too hard, my hpfp is failing and the tires i put on rub.
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      06-28-2012, 08:18 PM   #6
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Car feels great after alignment. The alignment (lifetime alignment at firestone) isnt perfect, and the car still pulls to the left a bit, so im considering taking it to a higher end shop just this one time to get it done right.

I was able to get 1 degree of negative camber on the front which is perfect for me for DD.

The car handles bumps extremely well, and drives very smoothly. It is not super smooth over bad pavement, and really not an improvement over the prior eibach setup. Though some of that has to do with my stiff re-11 tires. Regardless, this does not bother me at all.

The turn in improvement is VAST, the car turns in fast, flat and right now. The body roll which was massive in stock form and even with the eibach setup is basically gone. The car feels dead flat, very similar to my old e46 m3. In fact, it does remind me of that car in terms of size and basic street speed driving characteristics.

Overall, awesome upgrades and the small, but notable, drop over stock is perfect. Cant wait to get some proper apex ec-7 wheels on the car in a few months.

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      06-28-2012, 08:19 PM   #7
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yes, the calipers are ugly. the prior owner painted them. i plan to get them painted a gunmetal color sometime soon, but probably will do wheels first....

Also, the car gets detailed on sunday, so ill have some good pics at that time of the entire car
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      06-29-2012, 11:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KennyPowers View Post
-DID NOT install the sway bar
Why not?
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      06-29-2012, 07:24 PM   #9
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Where did you source all of these parts? Any idea on what it all cost?

Thanks!
Morgan
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      07-01-2012, 09:20 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pwn
Where did you source all of these parts? Any idea on what it all cost?

Thanks!
Morgan
*edit* Looks like this question is answered in an adjacent thread. It's Will@PRS. Am I correct in that PRS is performance race solutions? **

+1
I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the same stuff to my 1 when I buy it. This is a very interesting thread for me.
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      07-06-2012, 06:38 AM   #11
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I did the same upgrade with M3 arms and PS kit. The front sway that comes with PS kit is the same as E93 M-sport. In my case the entire contents of PS kit and springs were installed. Its a very good upgrade in terms of suspension stiffness. Its a bit firmer than I was expecting, but since the handling is so much improved I'm really pleased I had it done. On most decent roads you hardly notice any loss in ride quality, but on bad roads you certainly will notice that its less compliant. At least the car feels connected to the road, more like a sports car now, which it didn't before IMHO. The rear of the car feels much better controlled than before. The turn-in crispness has been totally transformed from stock. M3 arms and PS seem to compliment each other very well. I think this is a great upgrade for the 135i.

Last edited by John_01; 07-06-2012 at 06:47 AM.
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      07-06-2012, 09:07 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vantagesc View Post
Why not?
i would rather spend my money on the m3 front components than the sway, i felt like the stock sway was up to the task for my purposes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Canasian View Post
*edit* Looks like this question is answered in an adjacent thread. It's Will@PRS. Am I correct in that PRS is performance race solutions? **

+1
I'm pretty sure I'll be doing the same stuff to my 1 when I buy it. This is a very interesting thread for me.
will had the best prices and best customer service of all vendors i talked to.

its a nice set of upgrades. i will say that the ride is firmer than i expected, but i live in a part of houston that has terrible roads. the suspension travel over wavy roads and bumps is totally fine though, no issues there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by John_01 View Post
I did the same upgrade with M3 arms and PS kit. The front sway that comes with PS kit is the same as E93 M-sport. In my case the entire contents of PS kit and springs were installed. Its a very good upgrade in terms of suspension stiffness. Its a bit firmer than I was expecting, but since the handling is so much improved I'm really pleased I had it done. On most decent roads you hardly notice any loss in ride quality, but on bad roads you certainly will notice that its less compliant. At least the car feels connected to the road, more like a sports car now, which it didn't before IMHO. The rear of the car feels much better controlled than before. The turn-in crispness has been totally transformed from stock. M3 arms and PS seem to compliment each other very well. I think this is a great upgrade for the 135i.
totally agre with your assessment. i too was surprised at how firm the car rides, but its nothing too bad.

i will probably not run re-11s again on the street next time thoguh, ill look into s04 or possibly PSS tires to smooth out the ride a bit.
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      08-27-2012, 10:22 PM   #13
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      08-27-2012, 11:31 PM   #14
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Now after a couple of months have passed I don't notice the stiffness anymore. I have even done some trips on country roads and not found it harsh at all, in fact its much more enjoyable to drive. Maybe the rubber bump stops have broken in, or otherwise I just got used to it.
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      08-28-2012, 09:18 PM   #15
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I did a similar upgrade and love it. Had the car professionally aligned and it does not pull at all.

- BMWP Springs
- Bilstein HD dampers
- M3 control arms
- M3 subframe bushings
- e92 sway bar.

Got some of the parts from Will @ PRS (awesome experience, just bought ETS FMIC from him too)

Other stuff from Dan @ United BMW (awesome as well)

I haven't driven it too hard yet but it definitely feels much flatter, less understeer and more planted in the turns. Much like my old e46 M3. Nice job Kenny. Can't wait to see the EC7's on there!!
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