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      05-19-2019, 03:05 PM   #21
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Drives: 2011 128i 6MT Sport
Join Date: Jan 2017
Location: Texas

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Originally Posted by kaputt View Post
Is there anything wrong with just doing the M3 front arms? This is my first time modding any suspension, and Iím trying keep things simple.

My plan is just the front arms, performance suspension, and M3 rear subframe bushings. I read all this stuff about camber plates and all that, and I end up getting lost in the weeds.
There is nothing wrong with just doing the arms.

Fixed camber plates are very straightforward. Normally, each strut mounts to the car with 3 nuts (you can see them on each side of the engine bay). With camber plates, the strut mount gets secured to the camber plate and the plate mounts to the car where the strut mount would normally go. The bolt holes are arranged such that the top of the strut is positioned inboard of the normal mounting spot, which tilts the strut. It is difficult to visualize but here is a picture of fixed plates. You can see the 2 sets of 3 holes are offset by about an inch or so.

You have to press out an alignment pin in the strut mounts but that can be done in 30 seconds with a bench-mounted vise. The strut has to come out of the car to do this but it sounds like you are replacing the struts anyway, so the fixed plates add about 10 minutes of work to the job.

M3 arms are more work to install, as you have to remove the four existing arms (which you typically would not do with a suspension refresh) and put in the M3 arms. They are tight, and have to be beaten in with a deadblow hammer, then you need to use new bolts as they are one-time-use. It is not a bad job but more involved than camber plates and more expensive.

The work involved with the M3 rear bushings is more than all of this. Read up on Whiteline 2-piece bushings. I used those and they are quite a bit easier to install.